Action

The Best CGI Action Movies  

Ranker Film
479 votes 50 voters 29 items

List Rules Vote up the movies that had the best CGI action moments.

In 1973, the movie Westworld became the first film to ever use computer-generated imagery. The science fiction western was a box office flop, but it paved the way to create the best CGI moments in action movies. Today, there is almost nothing that a filmmaker cannot do thanks in large part to CGI. Here are the best CGI effects in action films.

The Wachowskis impressed the movie world in 1993's The Matrix by showing off their new technology called bullet time during a scene where Neo (Keanu Reeves) is able to dodge an onslaught of bullets by bending backward. The visual effect makes it appear as if Neo’s body is in slow motion while the bullets race by him. The CGI in that scene may look tame by today’s standards, but the technology forever changed the way that computers could be used for realistic looking special effects in cinema.

The bullet time sequence in The Matrix is just one of the best CGI scenes in action movies. What other action movies made the list, and which ones do you think display the best use of computer-generated imagery? Cast your votes below.

list ordered by
1
Alita: Battle Angel is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best CGI Action Movies
dontyouwish added Rosa Salazar, Christoph Waltz, Jennifer Connelly
Alita: Battle Angel is a 2019 American science fiction action film directed by Robert Rodriguez, based on the manga by Yukito Kishiro. After being revived by Dr. Dyson Ido (Christoph Waltz), ...more
2
Avatar is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best CGI Action Movies
Zoe Saldana, Sigourney Weaver, Michelle Rodriguez
Avatar is a 2009 American epic science fiction film written and directed by James Cameron, and starring Sam Worthington, Zoe Saldana, Stephen Lang, Michelle Rodriguez, Joel David Moore, Giovanni ...more
3
Terminator 2: Judgment Day is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best CGI Action Movies
Arnold Schwarzenegger, Edward Furlong, Linda Hamilton
Terminator 2: Judgment Day is a 1991 American science fiction action thriller film written, produced and directed by James Cameron. The film stars Arnold Schwarzenegger, Linda Hamilton, Robert ...more
4
Inception is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best CGI Action Movies
Leonardo DiCaprio, Tom Hardy, Marion Cotillard
Inception is a 2010 science fiction thriller film written, produced, and directed by Christopher Nolan. The film stars a large ensemble cast that includes Leonardo DiCaprio, Ellen Page, Joseph ...more
5
Kong: Skull Island is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best CGI Action Movies
Tom Hiddleston, Samuel L. Jackson, John Goodman
Kong: Skull Island is a 2017 American monster film directed by Jordan Vogt-Roberts. The film is a reboot of the King Kong franchise and will serve as the second film in Legendary's Godzilla–Kong ...more
6
The Perfect Storm is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best CGI Action Movies
George Clooney, Mark Wahlberg, Diane Lane
The Perfect Storm is a 2000 American biographical disaster drama film directed by Wolfgang Petersen. It is an adaptation of the 1997 non-fiction book of the same title by Sebastian Junger, which ...more
7
The Matrix is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best CGI Action Movies
Keanu Reeves, Hugo Weaving, Carrie-Anne Moss
The Matrix is a 1999 American-Australian science fiction action film written and directed by The Wachowskis, starring Keanu Reeves, Laurence Fishburne, Carrie-Anne Moss, Hugo Weaving, and Joe ...more
8
Edge of Tomorrow is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best CGI Action Movies
Tom Cruise, Emily Blunt, Bill Paxton
Edge of Tomorrow is a 2014 American military science fiction thriller film starring Tom Cruise and Emily Blunt. Doug Liman directed the film. The film takes place in a future where Earth is ...more
9
Transformers is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best CGI Action Movies
Megan Fox, Shia LaBeouf, Odette Annable
Transformers is a 2007 American science fiction action film directed by Michael Bay, based on the toy line. An ancient struggle between two Cybertronian races, the heroic Autobots and the evil ...more
10
Star Trek is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best CGI Action Movies
Zoe Saldana, Jennifer Morrison, Winona Ryder
Star Trek is a 2009 science fiction film directed by J. J. Abrams, written by Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman, and produced by Damon Lindelof and Bryan Burk. It is the eleventh film based on the ...more
11
The Fast and the Furious is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best CGI Action Movies
Vin Diesel, Michelle Rodriguez, Jordana Brewster
The Fast and the Furious is a 2001 American street racing action film directed by Rob Cohen and starring Vin Diesel, Paul Walker, Michelle Rodriguez and Jordana Brewster. The film is the first ...more
12
War for the Planet of the Apes is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best CGI Action Movies
Andy Serkis, Woody Harrelson, Steve Zahn
This film is a 2017 science fiction film directed by Matt Reeves. Following the events of Dawn of the Planet of the Apes (2014), Caesar (Andy Serkis) and the apes are embroiled in a conflict ...more
13
The Day After Tomorrow is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best CGI Action Movies
Emmy Rossum, Jake Gyllenhaal, Dennis Quaid
The Day After Tomorrow is a 2004 American climate fiction-disaster film co-written, directed, and produced by Roland Emmerich and starring Dennis Quaid, Jake Gyllenhaal, Ian Holm, Emmy Rossum, ...more
14
The Mummy is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best CGI Action Movies
Rachel Weisz, Brendan Fraser, Patricia Velásquez
The Mummy is a 1999 American fantasy adventure film written and directed by Stephen Sommers and starring Brendan Fraser, Rachel Weisz, John Hannah, and Kevin J. O'Connor, with Arnold Vosloo in ...more
15
Rampage is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best CGI Action Movies
Dwayne Johnson, Naomie Harris, Malin Åkerman
Rampage is a 2018 American action adventure monster film directed by Brad Peyton, loosely based on the video game series. When three animals are mutated into giant monsters, primatologist Davis ...more
16
Kingsman: The Secret Service is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best CGI Action Movies
Lady Gaga, David Beckham, Elton John
Based upon the acclaimed comic book and directed by Matthew Vaughn, Kingsman: The Secret Service tells the story of a super-secret spy organization that recruits an unrefined but promising ...more
17
District 9 is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best CGI Action Movies
Sharlto Copley, Jed Brophy, Vanessa Haywood
District 9 is a 2009 science fiction film directed by Neill Blomkamp, released August 13, 2009. It takes place in Johannesburg, South Africa. District 9 is based on Alive in Joburg, a short film ...more
18
Mission: Impossible - Fallout is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best CGI Action Movies
Tom Cruise, Rebecca Ferguson, Ving Rhames
Mission: Impossible – Fallout is a 2018 American action spy film directed by Christopher McQuarrie, and the sixth installment in the film series. When IMF Agent Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise) tries to ...more
19
Kick-Ass is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best CGI Action Movies
Nicolas Cage, Chloë Grace Moretz, Lyndsy Fonseca
Kick-Ass is a 2010 British-American superhero action comedy film based on the comic book of the same name by Mark Millar and John Romita, Jr. The film was directed by Matthew Vaughn, who ...more
20
Skyscraper is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best CGI Action Movies
Dwayne Johnson, Neve Campbell, Chin Han
Skyscraper is a 2018 American action film directed by Rawson Marshall Thurber. On assignment in China, former FBI Hostage Rescue Team leader Will Ford (Dwayne Johnson), who now assesses security ...more
21
The Fate of the Furious is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best CGI Action Movies
Vin Diesel, Dwayne Johnson, Jason Statham
The Fate of the Furious is a 2017 American-Chinese action film directed by F. Gary Gray, and the eighth installment in The Fast and the Furious franchise. When a mysterious woman (Charlize ...more
22
Guardians of the Galaxy is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best CGI Action Movies
Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Dave Bautista
Guardians of the Galaxy is a 2014 American superhero film directed by James Gunn, based on the Marvel Comics superhero team. Peter Quill (Chris Pratt) forms a group of intergalactic "bad ...more
23
Tron is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best CGI Action Movies
Jeff Bridges, David Warner, Michael Dudikoff
Tron is a 1982 American science fiction film written and directed by Steven Lisberger, based on a story by Lisberger and Bonnie MacBird, and produced by Walt Disney Productions. The film stars ...more
24
The Avengers is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best CGI Action Movies
Robert Downey Jr., Chris Evans, Mark Ruffalo
Marvel's The Avengers is a 2012 American superhero film directed by Joss Whedon, based on the Marvel Comics superhero team. Earth's mightiest heroes must come together and learn to fight as a ...more
25
Thor: Ragnarok is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best CGI Action Movies
Chris Hemsworth, Tom Hiddleston, Cate Blanchett
Thor: Ragnarok is a 2017 American superhero film directed by Taika Waititi. Four years after the events of Thor: The Dark World, Thor (Chris Hemsworth) must win a gladiatorial duel against an ...more