Action The Best Intelligent Action Movies of All Time  

Ranker Film
339 votes 51 voters 1.1k views 25 items

List Rules Vote up the best intelligent movies, or those that are smart, clever, etc.

Action movies are always entertaining to say the least, but an intelligent action movie combines the best of both worlds: keeping the audience excited, as well as making them think. Even if you're just there to see some dudes fight and some cars crash, a thought-provoking action flick only makes the experience better. Think of it this way: you like these non-stop action films because they're so stimulating. Well, adding clever storylines or thought-provoking elements adds to that stimulation, and you leave the theater both entertained and a little smarter... maybe.

Whether a movie packs in good social commentary alongside explosions, features the top action stars, or simply creates the perfect setting for the film, plenty of aspects constitute an intelligent action movie. Take Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon for example. Aside from the incredible display of martial arts, the film is renown for its cinematography and story—putting it at the top of its class. The same could be said about many of these popular action films to follow.

Check out the intelligent and action-packed films below and vote up the ones you think are best. You can also vote down any that may have missed the mark, or at least deserve to be lower on the list. Feel free to add your own picks to the list as well.

list ordered by

1
24 2
The Matrix is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Intelligent Action Movies of All Time
Keanu Reeves, Hugo Weaving, Carrie-Anne Moss

2
23 2
The Dark Knight is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Intelligent Action Movies of All Time
Christian Bale, Michael Caine, Heath Ledger

3
17 2
Inception is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Intelligent Action Movies of All Time
Leonardo DiCaprio, Tom Hardy, Marion Cotillard

4
20 4
Blade Runner is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Intelligent Action Movies of All Time
Harrison Ford, Daryl Hannah, Sean Young

5
11 1
Star Wars Episode V: The Empir... is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Intelligent Action Movies of All Time
Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, Mark Hamill

6
14 2
The Terminator is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Intelligent Action Movies of All Time
Arnold Schwarzenegger, Bill Paxton, Linda Hamilton

7
12 3
Indiana Jones and the Raiders ... is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Intelligent Action Movies of All Time
Harrison Ford, Alfred Molina, Karen Allen

8
11 3
Die Hard is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Intelligent Action Movies of All Time
Bruce Willis, Alan Rickman, Bonnie Bedelia

9
11 3
Starship Troopers is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Intelligent Action Movies of All Time
Neil Patrick Harris, Denise Richards, Amy Smart

10
12 4
Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Intelligent Action Movies of All Time
Zhang Ziyi, Michelle Yeoh, Chow Yun-Fat

11
8 3
Aliens is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Intelligent Action Movies of All Time
Sigourney Weaver, Bill Paxton, Michael Biehn

12
8 3
Minority Report is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Intelligent Action Movies of All Time
Cameron Diaz, Tom Cruise, Colin Farrell

13
7 2
In the Line of Fire is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Intelligent Action Movies of All Time
Clint Eastwood, John Malkovich, Rene Russo

14
8 3
Goldfinger is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Intelligent Action Movies of All Time
Sean Connery, Honor Blackman, Garry Marshall

15
9 5
Mission: Impossible – Ghost Pr... is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Intelligent Action Movies of All Time
Tom Cruise, Paula Patton, Jeremy Renner

16
7 3
Dirty Harry is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Intelligent Action Movies of All Time
Clint Eastwood, Don Siegel, Andrew Robinson

17
8 5
Kill Bill Volume 1 is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Intelligent Action Movies of All Time
Uma Thurman, Lucy Liu, Quentin Tarantino

18
6 4
Casino Royale is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Intelligent Action Movies of All Time
Alessandra Ambrosio, Eva Green, Daniel Craig

19
3 2
True Romance is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Intelligent Action Movies of All Time
Brad Pitt, Val Kilmer, Samuel L. Jackson

20
9 9
The Fugitive is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Intelligent Action Movies of All Time
Julianne Moore, Harrison Ford, Tommy Lee Jones

21
3 3
Gladiator is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Intelligent Action Movies of All Time
Russell Crowe, Joaquin Phoenix, Michael Sheen

22
3 4
First Blood is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Intelligent Action Movies of All Time
Sylvester Stallone, Brian Dennehy, David Caruso

23
6 8
Speed is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Intelligent Action Movies of All Time
Sandra Bullock, Keanu Reeves, Dennis Hopper

24
2 4
The Wild Bunch is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Intelligent Action Movies of All Time
William Holden, Ernest Borgnine, Robert Ryan

25
5 8
Total Recall is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Intelligent Action Movies of All Time
Arnold Schwarzenegger, Sharon Stone, Michael Ironside