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

Updated February 3, 2021 34.1k votes 1.9k voters 72.0k views206 items

List RulesRated-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.

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  • Terminator 2: Judgment Day1
    529
    195

    Terminator 2: Judgment Day

    Arnold Schwarzenegger, Edward Furlong

    Released1991

    Directed byJames Cameron

    RatedR (USA)

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  • Predator2
    428
    141

    Predator

    Arnold Schwarzenegger, Jesse Ventura

    Released1987

    Directed byJohn McTiernan

    RatedR (USA), UK: 18

    Predator is a 1987 American science fiction action film directed by John McTiernan and was...  more

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  • Die Hard3
    602
    192

    Die Hard

    Bruce Willis, Alan Rickman

    Released1988

    Directed byJohn McTiernan

    RatedR (USA), UK: 18

    Die Hard is a 1988 American action film directed by John McTiernan and written by Steven E. de...  more

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  • Gladiator4
    562
    214

    Gladiator

    Russell Crowe, Joaquin Phoenix

    Released2000

    Directed byRidley Scott

    RatedR (USA)

    Gladiator is a 2000 American-British epic historical drama film directed by Ridley Scott,...  more

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  • John Wick5
    578
    151

    John Wick

    Keanu Reeves, Willem Dafoe

    Released2014

    Directed byChad Stahelski, David Leitch

    RatedR (USA)

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  • Saving Private Ryan6
    554
    151

    Saving Private Ryan

    Tom Hanks, Matt Damon

    Released1998

    Directed bySteven Spielberg

    RatedR (USA)

    Saving Private Ryan is a 1998 American epic drama war film directed by Steven Spielberg. Set...  more

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  • Aliens7
    375
    150

    Aliens

    Sigourney Weaver, Bill Paxton

    Released1986

    Directed byJames Cameron

    RatedR (USA)

    Aliens is a 1986 American science-fiction action horror film written and directed by James...  more

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  • The Terminator8
    397
    155

    The Terminator

    Arnold Schwarzenegger, Bill Paxton

    Released1984

    Directed byJames Cameron

    RatedR (USA)

    The Terminator is a 1984 American science fiction/horror action film directed by James...  more

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  • Braveheart9
    401
    142

    Braveheart

    Mel Gibson, Sophie Marceau

    Released1995

    Directed byMel Gibson

    RatedR (USA)

    Braveheart is a 1995 epic historical medieval war drama film directed by and starring Mel...  more

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  • The Matrix10
    479
    200

    The Matrix

    Keanu Reeves, Hugo Weaving

    Released1999

    Directed byAndy Wachowski, Lana Wachowski

    RatedR (USA)

    The Matrix is a 1999 American-Australian science fiction action film written and directed by...  more

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  • Lethal Weapon11
    358
    163

    Lethal Weapon

    Mel Gibson, Gary Busey

    Released1987

    Directed byRichard Donner

    RatedR (USA)

    Lethal Weapon is a 1987 American buddy cop action film directed by Richard Donner, starring...  more

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  • Black Hawk Down12
    235
    82

    Black Hawk Down

    Ewan McGregor, Tom Hardy

    Released2001

    Directed byRidley Scott

    RatedR (USA)

    Black Hawk Down is a 2001 American-British war film directed by Ridley Scott. It is an...  more

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  • The Rock13
    267
    152

    The Rock

    Nicolas Cage, Sean Connery

    Released1996

    Directed byMichael Bay

    RatedR (USA)

    The Rock is a 1996 action film that primarily takes place on Alcatraz Island and in the San...  more

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  • The Good, the Bad and the Ugly14
    226
    87

    The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

    Clint Eastwood, Lee Van Cleef

    Released1966

    Directed bySergio Leone

    RatedR (USA)

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  • First Blood15
    238
    103

    First Blood

    Sylvester Stallone, Brian Dennehy

    Released1982

    Directed byTed Kotcheff

    RatedR (USA)

    First Blood is a 1982 American psychological thriller and action film directed by Ted...  more

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  • Point Break16
    207
    110

    Point Break

    Keanu Reeves, Gary Busey

    Released1991

    Directed byKathryn Bigelow

    RatedR (USA)

    Point Break is a 1991 American action film directed by Kathryn Bigelow, starring Patrick...  more

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  • The Untouchables17
    170
    84

    The Untouchables

    Robert De Niro, Sean Connery

    Released1987

    Directed byBrian De Palma

    RatedR (USA)

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  • Die Hard 218
    214
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    Die Hard 2

    Bruce Willis, John Leguizamo

    Released1990

    Directed byRenny Harlin

    RatedR (USA)

    This film is a 1990 American action film and the second in the series. It was released on July...  more

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  • Kill Bill Volume 119
    276
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    Kill Bill Volume 1

    Uma Thurman, Lucy Liu

    Released2003

    Directed byQuentin Tarantino

    RatedR (USA)

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  • Dirty Harry20
    143
    64

    Dirty Harry

    Clint Eastwood, Don Siegel

    Released1971

    Directed byDon Siegel

    RatedR (USA)

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  • Mad Max21
    253
    133

    Mad Max

    Mel Gibson, Hugh Keays-Byrne

    Released1979

    Directed byGeorge Miller

    RatedR (USA)

    Mad Max is a 1979 Australian dystopian action film directed by George Miller, produced by...  more

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  • Bad Boys22
    159
    97

    Bad Boys

    Will Smith, Téa Leoni

    Released1995

    Directed byMichael Bay

    RatedR (USA)

    Bad Boys is a 1995 American action comedy film produced by Don Simpson and Jerry Bruckheimer,...  more

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  • The Boondock Saints23
    298
    155

    The Boondock Saints

    Willem Dafoe, Norman Reedus

    Released1999

    Directed byTroy Duffy

    RatedR (USA)

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  • Die Hard with a Vengeance24
    282
    170

    Die Hard with a Vengeance

    Bruce Willis, Samuel L. Jackson

    Released1995

    Directed byJohn McTiernan

    RatedR (USA)

    This film is a 1995 American action film and the third in the film series. It was produced and...  more

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  • Blade25
    163
    88

    Blade

    Kris Kristofferson, Wesley Snipes

    Released1998

    Directed byStephen Norrington

    RatedR (USA), 18+ (RU)

    Blade is a 1998 American vampire superhero action film starring Wesley Snipes and Stephen...  more

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