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The Best R-Rated Action Movies of All Time, Ranked 

Ranker Film
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Updated August 4, 2020 36k votes 1.8k voters 69.2k views 231 items

List Rules Rated-R action movies only! No PG-13 or PG flicks.

Ready to marathon the best R-rated action movies? You do? Great! But now you have to decide which R-rated action movies qualify as being the best. To help you, action movie fans have ranked decades of R-rated action movies from best to worst. This list takes the best R-Rated action movies and pits them against each other to see once and for all which one is top dog. Add to the discussion yourself by voting on the movies you like. 

Movie trailers are included when available, so you can get a preview of these action flicks. You'll also find details such as top billed cast, director, year of release, and more. Prepare for excitement, as these top rated-R action movies feature plenty of gratuitous violence, explosions, sexual content, and are generally just over-the-top with awesomeness.

If you are searching for a specific movie,  you can use the search box at the top of the list to find what you're looking for. Don't see a movie you think should be on there? Feel free to add it and let others vote on it.

Generally, you'll find movies such as Saving Private Ryan and Gladiator on this list. And while we'll never get to see General Maximus face off against John McClane on screen, we can see which movie audiences prefer. Aside from those movies mentioned above, there are plenty of other R-rated action movies that deserve a spot in the top ten.

Use this list if you're looking for some new action movies that are rated R. If you plan on streaming these movies and similar movies, then you'll also want to check out the Best Action Movies of All Time, Best Action Movies on Netflix Instant and the Best Action Movies Amazon Prime. Between Netflix, Amazon Prime, and other services, there are thousands of great action movies rated R, so get out there and start watching.

Did you know that Clint Eastwood and George Clooney have both directed Action R movies?

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1
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Released: 1988

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Russell Crowe, Joaquin Phoenix, Michael Sheen

Released: 2000

Directed by: Ridley Scott

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Released: 1991

Directed by: James Cameron

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Released: 2014

Directed by: Chad Stahelski, David Leitch

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Tom Hanks, Matt Damon, Vin Diesel

Released: 1998

Directed by: Steven Spielberg

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Arnold Schwarzenegger, Jesse Ventura, Carl Weathers

Released: 1987

Directed by: John McTiernan

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Released: 1999

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Arnold Schwarzenegger, Bill Paxton, Linda Hamilton

Released: 1984

Directed by: James Cameron

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Mel Gibson, Gary Busey, Danny Glover

Released: 1987

Directed by: Richard Donner

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Sigourney Weaver, Bill Paxton, Michael Biehn

Released: 1986

Directed by: James Cameron

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Mel Gibson, Sophie Marceau, Brendan Gleeson

Released: 1995

Directed by: Mel Gibson

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Nicolas Cage, Sean Connery, Ed Harris

Released: 1996

Directed by: Michael Bay

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Ewan McGregor, Tom Hardy, Orlando Bloom

Released: 2001

Directed by: Ridley Scott

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Released: 2003

Directed by: Quentin Tarantino

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Bruce Willis, John Leguizamo, Dennis Franz

Released: 1990

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Willem Dafoe, Norman Reedus, Billy Connolly

Released: 1999

Directed by: Troy Duffy

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Clint Eastwood, Lee Van Cleef, Eli Wallach

Released: 1966

Directed by: Sergio Leone

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Released: 1979

Directed by: George Miller

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Keanu Reeves, Gary Busey, Patrick Swayze

Released: 1991

Directed by: Kathryn Bigelow

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Bruce Willis, Samuel L. Jackson, Jeremy Irons

Released: 1995

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Sylvester Stallone, Brian Dennehy, David Caruso

Released: 1982

Directed by: Ted Kotcheff

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Released: 1994

Directed by: Jan de Bont

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Robert De Niro, Sean Connery, Kevin Costner

Released: 1987

Directed by: Brian De Palma

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Released: 1995

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Released: 1987

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