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

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List Rules The 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. 

Kurt Russell is no stranger to working with popular directors, including Ron Howard, Quentin Tarantino and Garry Marshall. Kurt Russell has been in some really popular films, and is right up there with stars like David Caruso and Steven Seagal in terms of fame and success.

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Val Kilmer, Kurt Russell, Charlton Heston
Tombstone is a 1993 American western film directed by George P. Cosmatos, written by Kevin Jarre and starring Kurt Russell and Val Kilmer, with Sam Elliott, Bill Paxton, Powers Boothe, Michael ...more

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#84 of 336 'Old' Movies Every Young Person Needs To Watch In Their Lifetime #10 of 396 The Best Western Movies Ever Made #70 of 1,699 The Most Rewatchable Movies

2
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Kurt Russell, Keith David, John Carpenter
The Thing is a 1982 American science fiction horror film directed by John Carpenter, written by Bill Lancaster, and starring Kurt Russell. The film's title refers to its primary antagonist: a ...more

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#116 of 257 The Best Psychological Thrillers of All Time #43 of 347 The Best Movies Based On Books #8 of 769 The Best Horror Movies of All Time

3
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Kurt Russell, Kim Cattrall, John Carpenter
Big Trouble in Little China is a 1986 American action film directed by John Carpenter, and starring Kurt Russell, Kim Cattrall, Dennis Dun and James Hong. The film was released in the United ...more

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#114 of 336 'Old' Movies Every Young Person Needs To Watch In Their Lifetime #31 of 630 The Greatest Guilty Pleasure Movies #211 of 1,699 The Most Rewatchable Movies

4
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Jamie Lee Curtis, Kurt Russell, Ernest Borgnine
Escape from New York is a 1981 American science fiction action film co-written, co-scored, and directed by John Carpenter. The film is set in a then near-future 1997 in a distopian United States ...more

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#40 of 157 The Best Science Fiction Action Movies #134 of 376 The Greatest Movie Themes #86 of 575 The Greatest Movies Of The 1980s, Ranked

5
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Goldie Hawn, Kurt Russell, Roddy McDowall
Overboard is a 1987 American romantic comedy film starring Goldie Hawn and Kurt Russell. It was directed by Garry Marshall, produced by Roddy McDowall, and loosely inspired by the 1974 Italian ...more

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#97 of 336 'Old' Movies Every Young Person Needs To Watch In Their Lifetime #220 of 630 The Greatest Guilty Pleasure Movies #228 of 1,699 The Most Rewatchable Movies

6
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Robert De Niro, Kurt Russell, Jennifer Jason Leigh
Backdraft is a 1991 action thriller film directed by Ron Howard and written by Gregory Widen. The film stars Kurt Russell, William Baldwin, Scott Glenn, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Rebecca De Mornay, ...more

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#119 of 630 The Greatest Guilty Pleasure Movies #466 of 1,699 The Most Rewatchable Movieslisted on All Movies About Fire

7
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Kurt Russell, Patricia Clarkson, Ken Dryden
Miracle is a 2004 American sports docudrama about the United States men's hockey team, led by head coach Herb Brooks, that won the gold medal in the 1980 Winter Olympics. The USA team's victory ...more

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#896 of 1,699 The Most Rewatchable Movies #121 of 291 The Top Tearjerker Movies That Make Men Cry #58 of 240 The Best Movies Based on True Stories

8
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Kurt Russell, James Spader, Djimon Hounsou
Stargate is a 1994 French-American adventure science fiction film released through Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer and Carolco Pictures. Created by Dean Devlin and Roland Emmerich, the film is the first ...more

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#30 of 157 The Best Science Fiction Action Movies #451 of 1,699 The Most Rewatchable Movies #177 of 582 The Greatest Film Scores of All Time

9
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Sylvester Stallone, Teri Hatcher, Kurt Russell
Tango & Cash is a 1989 American buddy cop action comedy film directed by Andrei Konchalovsky, although Albert Magnoli took over in the later stages of filming, and starring Sylvester ...more

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#109 of 630 The Greatest Guilty Pleasure Movies #419 of 575 The Greatest Movies Of The 1980s, Ranked #137 of 440 The Funniest '80s Movies

10
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Kurt Russell, Gary Busey, Jason Isaacs
Soldier is a 1998 American science fiction action film directed by Paul Anderson, written by David Webb Peoples, and starring Kurt Russell, Jason Scott Lee, Jason Isaacs, Connie Nielsen, Sean ...more

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#219 of 567 The Greatest Sci-Fi Movies of All Time #76 of 199 The Best Space Movies #53 of 108 The Best Apocalyptic And Post-Apocalyptic Movies

11
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Kurt Russell, Roselyn Sánchez, Martin Short
Captain Ron is a 1992 American comedy film directed by Thom Eberhardt, produced by David Permut, and written by John Dwyer for Touchstone Pictures. It stars Kurt Russell as the title character, ...more

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#202 of 630 The Greatest Guilty Pleasure Movies #462 of 992 The All-Time Greatest Comedy Films #722 of 1,203 The Absolute Funniest Movies Of All Time

12
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Halle Berry, Steven Seagal, Kurt Russell
Executive Decision is a 1996 American action film directed by Stuart Baird in his directorial debut. The film stars Kurt Russell, Steven Seagal, Halle Berry, Oliver Platt and John Leguizamo. The ...more

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#54 of 89 Best Kidnapping Movies & Hostage Movies of All Time, Ranked #24 of 53 The Most Unrealistic Action Films #47 of 110 The Best Aviation Movies

13
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Kurt Russell, Kathleen Quinlan, J. T. Walsh
Breakdown is a 1997 American thriller film, written and directed by Jonathan Mostow. The film stars Kurt Russell, J. T. Walsh, and Kathleen Quinlan. The original music score was composed by ...more

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#48 of 89 Best Kidnapping Movies & Hostage Movies of All Time, Ranked #132 of 156 The Greatest Car Movies Ever Made #58 of 78 The Best Car Chase Movies Ever, Ranked by Fans

14
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Courteney Cox, Kevin Costner, Kurt Russell
3000 Miles to Graceland is a 2001 action film., starring Kurt Russell, Kevin Costner, Courteney Cox, David Arquette, Bokeem Woodbine, Christian Slater, and Kevin Pollak. It is a story of ...more
15
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Kurt Russell, Michael McKean, Jack Warden
Used Cars is a 1980 comedy satire film. It stars Kurt Russell, Jack Warden, Deborah Harmon, and Gerrit Graham. Kurt Russell portrays a devious car salesman working for affable but monumentally ...more

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#486 of 630 The Greatest Guilty Pleasure Movies #947 of 1,699 The Most Rewatchable Movies #151 of 440 The Funniest '80s Movies

16
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Kurt Russell, Steve Buscemi, Pam Grier
Escape from L.A. is a 1996 American science fiction action film co-written, co-scored, and directed by John Carpenter, co-written and produced by Debra Hill and Kurt Russell, with Russell also ...more

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#93 of 157 The Best Science Fiction Action Movies #51 of 86 The 35+ Greatest Dystopian Action Movies #130 of 181 The Best Movie Sequels Ever Made

17
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Rose McGowan, Rosario Dawson, Kurt Russell
This film is a 2007 American action-exploitation film written and directed by Quentin Tarantino. The film centers on a psychopathic stunt man, Stuntman Mike played by Kurt Russell, who stalks ...more

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#291 of 630 The Greatest Guilty Pleasure Movies #1,129 of 1,699 The Most Rewatchable Movies #19 of 81 Great Movies About Furious Women Out for Revenge

18
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Samuel L. Jackson, Kurt Russell, Jennifer Jason Leigh
The Hateful Eight is a 2015 American Western film directed by Quentin Tarantino. In a Wyoming winter, a bounty hunter (Kurt Russell) and his prisoner (Jennifer Jason Leigh) find shelter in a ...more

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#110 of 396 The Best Western Movies Ever Made #496 of 717 The Best Black Movies Ever Made, Rankedlisted on Every Oscar Winning Film Ever

19
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Kurt Russell, Mickey Rooney, Corey Feldman
he Fox and the Hound is a 1981 American animated drama film based on the Daniel P. Mannix novel of the same name, produced by Walt Disney Productions and released in the United States on July ...more

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#49 of 599 The Best Animated Films Ever #61 of 505 The Best Duos of All Time #454 of 1,699 The Most Rewatchable Movies

20
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Mel Gibson, Michelle Pfeiffer, Kurt Russell
Tequila Sunrise is a 1988 American crime thriller film written and directed by Robert Towne. It stars Mel Gibson, Michelle Pfeiffer and Kurt Russell, with Raúl Juliá, J. T. Walsh, ...more
21
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Kurt Russell, Madeleine Stowe, Ray Liotta
Unlawful Entry is a 1992 American thriller film directed by Jonathan Kaplan starring Kurt Russell, Ray Liotta and Madeleine Stowe. The film involves a couple who befriend a lonely policeman, ...more
22
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Kurt Russell, Shelley Winters, Ed Begley
Elvis is a 1979 American television biographical film directed by John Carpenter. It is based upon the life of Elvis Presley, and stars Kurt Russell in the title role. It stars Shelley Winters, ...more
23
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Emmy Rossum, Fergie, Kurt Russell
Poseidon is a 2006 disaster film directed and co-produced by Wolfgang Petersen. It is the third film adaptation of Paul Gallico's novel The Poseidon Adventure, and a loose remake of the 1972 ...more

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#375 of 630 The Greatest Guilty Pleasure Movies #34 of 569 The Greatest Disaster Movies of All Time #36 of 45 The Best Adventure Movies for 13 Year Olds

24
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Kurt Russell, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Lynda Carter
Sky High is a 2005 American superhero family comedy film about an airborne school for teenage superheroes. It was directed by Mike Mitchell and written by Paul Hernandez, Robert Schooley, and ...more

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#944 of 1,699 The Most Rewatchable Movies #542 of 992 The All-Time Greatest Comedy Films #103 of 183 The Best Superhero Movies Ever Made

25
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Bone Tomahawk Kurt Russell, Patrick Wilson, Matthew Fox
Bone Tomahawk is a 2015 American Western horror film directed by S. Craig Zahler. Four men set out in the Wild West to rescue a group of captives from cannibalistic cave dwellers.

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#272 of 396 The Best Western Movies Ever Made #706 of 769 The Best Horror Movies of All Time #90 of 106 The Greatest Directorial Debuts Of All Time