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The Best CGI Action Movies

Updated August 12, 2019 1.4k votes 93 voters29 items

List RulesVote 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.

  • 1
    Avatar is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best CGI Action Movies
    54
    16

    Avatar

    Zoe Saldana, Sigourney Weaver

    Released2009

    Directed byJames Cameron

    Avatar is a 2009 American epic science fiction film written and directed by James Cameron, and... more on Wikipedia
  • 2
    The Matrix is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best CGI Action Movies
    38
    17

    The Matrix

    Keanu Reeves, Hugo Weaving

    Released1999

    Directed byAndy Wachowski, Lana Wachowski

    The Matrix is a 1999 American-Australian science fiction action film written and directed by... more on Wikipedia
  • 3
    Alita: Battle Angel is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best CGI Action Movies
    61
    42

    Alita: Battle Angel

    Rosa Salazar, Christoph Waltz

    Released2019

    Directed byRobert Rodriguez

    Alita: Battle Angel is a 2019 American science fiction action film directed by Robert... more on Wikipedia
  • 4
    Terminator 2: Judgment Day is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best CGI Action Movies
    35
    20

    Terminator 2: Judgment Day

    Arnold Schwarzenegger, Edward Furlong

    Released1991

    Directed byJames Cameron

    Terminator 2: Judgment Day is a 1991 American science fiction action thriller film written,... more on Wikipedia
  • 5
    Transformers is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best CGI Action Movies
    32
    20

    Transformers

    Megan Fox, Shia LaBeouf

    Released2007

    Directed byMichael Bay

    Transformers is a 2007 American science fiction action film directed by Michael Bay, based on... more on Wikipedia
  • 6
    Edge of Tomorrow is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best CGI Action Movies
    25
    19

    Edge of Tomorrow

    Tom Cruise, Emily Blunt

    Released2014

    Directed byDoug Liman

    Edge of Tomorrow is a 2014 American military science fiction thriller film directed by Doug... more on Wikipedia
  • 7
    Inception is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best CGI Action Movies
    21
    18

    Inception

    Leonardo DiCaprio, Tom Hardy

    Released2010

    Directed byChristopher Nolan

    Inception is a 2010 science fiction thriller film written, produced, and directed by... more on Wikipedia
  • 8
    Star Trek is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best CGI Action Movies
    19
    15

    Star Trek

    Zoe Saldana, Jennifer Morrison

    Released2009

    Directed byJ.J. Abrams

    Star Trek is a 2009 science fiction film directed by J. J. Abrams, written by Roberto Orci and... more on Wikipedia
  • 9
    Kong: Skull Island is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best CGI Action Movies
    21
    19

    Kong: Skull Island

    Tom Hiddleston, Samuel L. Jackson

    Directed byJordan Vogt-Roberts

    Kong: Skull Island is a 2017 American monster film directed by Jordan Vogt-Roberts. The film... more on Wikipedia
  • 10
    District 9 is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best CGI Action Movies
    13
    13

    District 9

    Sharlto Copley, Jed Brophy

    Released2009

    Directed byNeill Blomkamp

    District 9 is a 2009 science fiction film directed by Neill Blomkamp, released August 13,... more on Wikipedia
  • 11
    The Perfect Storm is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best CGI Action Movies
    17
    20

    The Perfect Storm

    George Clooney, Mark Wahlberg

    Released2000

    Directed byWolfgang Petersen

    The Perfect Storm is a 2000 American biographical disaster drama film directed by Wolfgang... more on Wikipedia
  • 12
    Kick-Ass is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best CGI Action Movies
    8
    8

    Kick-Ass

    Nicolas Cage, Chloë Grace Moretz

    Released2010

    Directed byMatthew Vaughn

    Kick-Ass is a 2010 British-American superhero action comedy film based on the comic book of... more on Wikipedia
  • 13
    War for the Planet of the Apes is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best CGI Action Movies
    15
    18

    War for the Planet of the Apes

    Andy Serkis, Woody Harrelson

    Directed byMatt Reeves

    This film is a 2017 science fiction film directed by Matt Reeves. Following the events of Dawn... more on Wikipedia
  • 14
    Kingsman: The Secret Service is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best CGI Action Movies
    17
    22

    Kingsman: The Secret Service

    Lady Gaga, David Beckham

    Released2015

    Directed byMatthew Vaughn

    Kingsman: The Secret Service is a 2014 action spy comedy film directed by Matthew Vaughn. A... more on Wikipedia
  • 15
    The Mummy is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best CGI Action Movies
    12
    16

    The Mummy

    Rachel Weisz, Brendan Fraser

    Released1999

    Directed byStephen Sommers

    The Mummy is a 1999 American fantasy adventure film written and directed by Stephen Sommers... more on Wikipedia
  • 16
    The Fast and the Furious is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best CGI Action Movies
    10
    18

    The Fast and the Furious

    Vin Diesel, Michelle Rodriguez

    Released2001

    Directed byRob Cohen

    The Fast and the Furious is a 2001 American street racing action film directed by Rob Cohen... more on Wikipedia
  • 17
    The Day After Tomorrow is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best CGI Action Movies
    10
    19

    The Day After Tomorrow

    Emmy Rossum, Jake Gyllenhaal

    Released2004

    Directed byRoland Emmerich

    The Day After Tomorrow is a 2004 American climate fiction-disaster film co-written, directed,... more on Wikipedia
  • 18
    Mission: Impossible - Fallout is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best CGI Action Movies
    6
    16

    Mission: Impossible - Fallout

    Tom Cruise, Rebecca Ferguson

    Released2018

    Directed byChristopher McQuarrie

    Mission: Impossible - Fallout is a 2018 American action spy film directed by Christopher... more on Wikipedia
  • 19
    Avengers: Infinity War is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best CGI Action Movies
    26
    49

    Avengers: Infinity War

    Robert Downey Jr., Chris Hemsworth

    Released2018

    Directed byAnthony Russo, Joe Russo

    Avengers: Infinity War is a 2018 American superhero film directed by Anthony and Joe Russo.... more on Wikipedia
  • 20
    Skyscraper is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best CGI Action Movies
    8
    22

    Skyscraper

    Dwayne Johnson, Neve Campbell

    Directed byRawson Marshall Thurber

    Skyscraper is a 2018 American action film directed by Rawson Marshall Thurber. On assignment... more on Wikipedia
  • 21
    Rampage is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best CGI Action Movies
    7
    22

    Rampage

    Dwayne Johnson, Naomie Harris

    Directed byBrad Peyton

    Rampage is a 2018 American action adventure monster film directed by Brad Peyton, loosely... more on Wikipedia
  • 22
    The Avengers is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best CGI Action Movies
    24
    51

    The Avengers

    Robert Downey Jr., Chris Evans

    Released2012

    Directed byJoss Whedon

    Marvel's The Avengers is a 2012 American superhero film directed by Joss Whedon, based on the... more on Wikipedia
  • 23
    Guardians of the Galaxy is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best CGI Action Movies
    25
    55

    Guardians of the Galaxy

    Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana

    Released2014

    Directed byJames Gunn

    Guardians of the Galaxy is a 2014 American superhero film directed by James Gunn, based on the... more on Wikipedia
  • 24
    Thor: Ragnarok is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best CGI Action Movies
    20
    46

    Thor: Ragnarok

    Chris Hemsworth, Tom Hiddleston

    Released2017

    Directed byTaika Waititi

    Thor: Ragnarok is a 2017 American superhero film directed by Taika Waititi. Four years after... more on Wikipedia
  • 25
    Tron is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best CGI Action Movies
    20
    49

    Tron

    Jeff Bridges, David Warner

    Released1982

    Directed bySteven Lisberger

    Tron is a 1982 American science fiction film written and directed by Steven Lisberger, based... more on Wikipedia
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