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The 25+ Best Kurt Russell Movies of All Time, Ranked

Updated November 26, 2019 9.2k votes 1.6k voters 72.3k views67 items

List RulesThe best Kurt Russell movie roles, regardless of box office success or critic reviews.

The best Kurt Russell movies of all time prove that he is one of the most versatile actors currently working. Since he started as a child actor in the late ‘50s, Russell has appeared in plenty of blockbusters and critically-acclaimed movies, earning awards and accolades along the way. His highest grossing movies have been well-received at the box office and his lifetime box office total exceeds $1.5 billion.

Kurt Russell started his acting career at the age of 11 with an uncredited role in Elvis Presley’s It Happened at the World's Fair followed by a series of small credited roles in TV and film in the ‘60s. In the 1970s, Kurt Russell starred in a series of films for Disney and several TV series for ABC and NBC.

In the 1980s, Kurt Russell’s career started taking off with high profile roles in movies—often partnering with director John Carpenter. It was with Carpenter that he became well-known as the anti-hero Snake Plissken. From the ‘80s onwards, Kurt Russell has starred in a variety of action, comedy, and even dramatic movies. Some of the best Kurt Russell movies from his era include Backdraft, Stargate, and Tango & Cash.

Kurt Russell is no stranger to working with popular directors, including Ron HowardQuentin Tarantino and Garry Marshall. Kurt Russell has been in plenty of blockbusters and has surpassed many of his contemporary peers such as David Caruso and Steven Seagal in terms of fame and success.

So what are the best Kurt Russell movies of all time? Is it Escape From L.A. or Tombstone? See what fans have ranked as their favorites in the Kurt Russell filmography below. Movie trailers have been included below if you want a preview of the film. If you think the best Kurt Russell role isn't at the top, then vote it up. Don’t see it listed? Add it so that others may vote for it. After all, this list of the best Kurt Russell movies should be as comprehensive as possible. 

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    Tombstone

    Val Kilmer, Kurt Russell
    Tombstone is a 1993 American western film directed by George P. Cosmatos, written by Kevin...  more

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    #82 of 375 'Old' Movies Every Young Person Needs To Watch In Their Lifetime#10 of 47 The Best Historical Movies from the '90s

  • 2
    347
    96

    The Thing

    Kurt Russell, Keith David
    The Thing is a 1982 American science fiction horror film directed by John Carpenter, written...  more

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    #54 of 231 The Best Psychological Thrillers of All Time#3 of 57 The Best Alien Horror Movies Ever Made

  • 3
    336
    91

    Big Trouble in Little China

    Kurt Russell, Kim Cattrall
    Big Trouble in Little China is a 1986 American action film directed by John Carpenter, and...  more

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    #79 of 923 The All-Time Greatest Comedy Films#163 of 1,139 The Absolute Funniest Movies Of All Time

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    297
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    Escape from New York

    Jamie Lee Curtis, Kurt Russell
    Escape from New York is a 1981 American science fiction action film co-written, co-scored, and...  more

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    #67 of 92 The Most Rewatchable Action Movies#364 of 557 The Best Film Scores Of All Time

  • 5
    282
    98

    Overboard

    Goldie Hawn, Kurt Russell
    Overboard is a 1987 American romantic comedy film starring Goldie Hawn and Kurt Russell. It...  more

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    #80 of 782 The Greatest Chick Flicks Ever Made#28 of 126 The Greatest Date Movies Of All Time

  • 6
    256
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    Backdraft

    Robert De Niro, Kurt Russell
    Backdraft is a 1991 action thriller film directed by Ron Howard and written by Gregory Widen....  more

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    #13 of 318 The Greatest Disaster Movies of All Time#89 of 277 The Top Tearjerker Movies That Make Men Cry

  • 7
    206
    71

    Stargate

    Kurt Russell, James Spader
    Stargate is a 1994 French-American adventure science fiction film released through...  more

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    #15 of 38 The Best Movies Coming to Netflix in May 2021#11 of 186 The Best Alien Movies Ever Made

  • 8
    200
    56

    Miracle

    Kurt Russell, Patricia Clarkson
    Miracle is a 2004 American sports docudrama about the United States men's hockey team, led by...  more

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    #24 of 301 The Best Movies Based On True Stories#19 of 99 The Most Patriotic Movies of All Time

  • 9
    195
    68

    Captain Ron

    Kurt Russell, Roselyn Sánchez
    Captain Ron is a 1992 American comedy film directed by Thom Eberhardt, produced by David...  more

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    #4 of 40 The Best Martin Short Movies#18 of 51 The Best Action Movies of 1992

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    205
    88

    Tango & Cash

    Sylvester Stallone, Teri Hatcher
    Tango & Cash is a 1989 American buddy cop action comedy film directed by Andrei Konchalovsky,...  more

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    #211 of 512 The Greatest Movies Of The 1980s, Ranked#138 of 304 The Funniest '80s Movies

  • 11
    177
    57

    Soldier

    Kurt Russell, Gary Busey
    Soldier is a 1998 American science fiction action film directed by Paul Anderson, written by...  more
  • 12
    148
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    Death Proof

    Rose McGowan, Rosario Dawson
    This film is a 2007 American action-exploitation film written and directed by Quentin...  more

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    #810 of 1,506 The Most Rewatchable Movies#432 of 541 The Greatest Guilty Pleasure Movies

  • 13
    148
    64

    Breakdown

    Kurt Russell, Kathleen Quinlan
    Breakdown is a 1997 American thriller film, written and directed by Jonathan Mostow. The film...  more

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    #38 of 103 The Best Kidnapping & Hostage Movies Of All Time, Ranked#21 of 67 The Best Road-Horror Movies

  • 14
    136
    51

    Used Cars

    Kurt Russell, Michael McKean
    Used Cars is a 1980 comedy satire film. It stars Kurt Russell, Jack Warden, Deborah Harmon,...  more

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    #60 of 130 The Greatest Car Movies Ever Made#137 of 206 The Best R-Rated Action Movies Of All Time, Ranked

  • 15
    153
    74

    Executive Decision

    Halle Berry, Steven Seagal
    Executive Decision is a 1996 American action film directed by Stuart Baird in his directorial...  more

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    #43 of 53 The Most Unrealistic Action Films#278 of 626 The Greatest Action Movies Of All Time

  • 16
    133
    32

    The Hateful Eight

    Samuel L. Jackson, Kurt Russell
    The Hateful Eight is a 2015 American Western film directed by Quentin Tarantino. In a Wyoming...  more

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    #1165 of 1,195 Every Oscar Winning Film Ever#114 of 306 The Best Ensemble Movies

  • 17
    134
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    3000 Miles to Graceland

    Courteney Cox, Kevin Costner
    3000 Miles to Graceland is a 2001 action film., starring Kurt Russell, Kevin Costner,...  more
  • 18
    145
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    Escape from L.A.

    Kurt Russell, Steve Buscemi
    Escape from L.A. is a 1996 American science fiction action film co-written, co-scored, and...  more

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    #378 of 440 Your Favorite Movies of the 1990s#72 of 180 The Best Dystopian And Near Future Movies

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    89
    25

    Bone Tomahawk

    Kurt Russell, Patrick Wilson
    Bone Tomahawk is a 2015 American Western horror film directed by S. Craig Zahler. Four men set...  more

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    #85 of 126 The Greatest Directorial Debuts Of All Time#684 of 720 The Best Horror Movies Of All Time

  • 20
    103
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    Elvis

    Kurt Russell, Shelley Winters
    Elvis is a 1979 American television biographical film directed by John Carpenter. It is based...  more
  • 21
    87
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    Unlawful Entry

    Kurt Russell, Madeleine Stowe
    Unlawful Entry is a 1992 American thriller film directed by Jonathan Kaplan starring Kurt...  more

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    #14 of 85 The Best Movies About Corrupt Cops#12 of 16 The Most Powerful Movies About Police Brutality

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    104
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    Tequila Sunrise

    Mel Gibson, Michelle Pfeiffer
    Tequila Sunrise is a 1988 American crime thriller film written and directed by Robert Towne....  more
  • 23
    95
    41

    The Fox and the Hound

    Kurt Russell, Mickey Rooney
    he Fox and the Hound is a 1981 American animated drama film based on the Daniel P. Mannix...  more

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    #29 of 534 The Best Animated Films Ever#26 of 298 The Best Duos of All Time

  • 24
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    20

    Touchback

    Kurt Russell, Barry Sanders
    Touchback is a 2012 film written and directed by Don Handfield. It stars Brian Presley,...  more
  • 25
    79
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    The Best of Times

    Robin Williams, Kurt Russell
    The Best of Times is a 1986 American comedy film directed by Roger Spottiswoode and written by...  more