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

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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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Die Hard Bruce Willis, Alan Rickman, Bonnie Bedelia Die Hard is a 1988 American action film directed by John McTiernan and written by Steven E. de Souza and Jeb Stuart. It is based on the 1979 novel Nothing Lasts Forever, by Roderick Thorp. Die ...more

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Terminator 2: Judgment Day Arnold Schwarzenegger, Edward Furlong, Linda Hamilton Terminator 2: Judgment Day is a 1991 American science fiction action thriller film written, produced and directed by James Cameron. The film stars Arnold Schwarzenegger, Linda Hamilton, Robert ...more

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The Matrix Keanu Reeves, Hugo Weaving, Carrie-Anne Moss The Matrix is a 1999 American-Australian science fiction action film written and directed by The Wachowskis, starring Keanu Reeves, Laurence Fishburne, Carrie-Anne Moss, Hugo Weaving, and Joe ...more

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The Terminator Arnold Schwarzenegger, Bill Paxton, Linda Hamilton The Terminator is a 1984 American science fiction/horror action film directed by James Cameron, written by Cameron and the film's producer Gale Anne Hurd, and starring Arnold Schwarzenegger, ...more

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Die Hard with a Vengeance Bruce Willis, Samuel L. Jackson, Jeremy Irons Die Hard with a Vengeance is a 1995 American action film and the third in the Die Hard film series. It was produced and directed by John McTiernan, written by Jonathan Hensleigh, and stars Bruce ...more

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Gladiator Russell Crowe, Joaquin Phoenix, Michael Sheen Gladiator is a 2000 American-British epic historical drama film directed by Ridley Scott, starring Russell Crowe, Joaquin Phoenix, Connie Nielsen, Ralf Möller, Oliver Reed, Djimon Hounsou, ...more

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Total Recall Arnold Schwarzenegger, Sharon Stone, Michael Ironside Total Recall is a 1990 American science fiction action film directed by Paul Verhoeven, starring Arnold Schwarzenegger, Rachel Ticotin, and Sharon Stone. The film is loosely based on the Philip ...more

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Aliens Sigourney Weaver, Bill Paxton, Michael Biehn Aliens is a 1986 American science-fiction action horror film written and directed by James Cameron, produced by his then-wife Gale Anne Hurd, and starring Sigourney Weaver, Carrie Henn, Michael ...more

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Lethal Weapon Mel Gibson, Gary Busey, Danny Glover Lethal Weapon is a 1987 American buddy cop action film directed by Richard Donner, starring Mel Gibson and Danny Glover as a mismatched pair of L.A.P.D. detectives and stars Mitchell Ryan and ...more

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John Wick Keanu Reeves, Willem Dafoe, Adrianne Palicki John Wick is a 2014 American action thriller film directed by Chad Stahelski and David Leitch. Starring Keanu Reeves, Michael Nyqvist, Alfie Allen, Adrianne Palicki, Bridget Moynahan, Dean ...more

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Saving Private Ryan Tom Hanks, Matt Damon, Vin Diesel Saving Private Ryan is a 1998 American epic drama war film set during the Invasion of Normandy in World War II. Directed by Steven Spielberg and written by Robert Rodat, the film is notable for ...more

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Die Hard 2 Bruce Willis, John Leguizamo, Dennis Franz Die Hard 2 is a 1990 American action film and the second in the Die Hard film series. It was released on July 4, 1990. The film was directed by Renny Harlin, and stars Bruce Willis as John ...more

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Predator Arnold Schwarzenegger, Jesse Ventura, Carl Weathers Predator is a 1987 American science fiction action film directed by John McTiernan and was distributed by 20th Century Fox. It stars Arnold Schwarzenegger, Carl Weathers, Elpidia Carrillo, Bill ...more

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The Rock Nicolas Cage, Sean Connery, Ed Harris The Rock is a 1996 action film that primarily takes place on Alcatraz Island and in the San Francisco Bay Area. It was directed by Michael Bay, produced by Don Simpson and Jerry Bruckheimer and ...more

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Braveheart Mel Gibson, Sophie Marceau, Brendan Gleeson Braveheart is a 1995 epic historical medieval war drama film directed by and starring Mel Gibson. Gibson portrays William Wallace, a 13th-century Scottish warrior who led the Scots in the First ...more

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Speed Sandra Bullock, Keanu Reeves, Dennis Hopper Speed is a 1994 American action film directed by Jan de Bont in his feature film directorial debut. The film stars Keanu Reeves, Dennis Hopper, Sandra Bullock, Joe Morton, and Jeff Daniels. A ...more

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300 Gerard Butler, Michael Fassbender, Lena Headey 300 is a 2006 American fantasy war film based on the 1998 comic series of the same name by Frank Miller and Lynn Varley. Both are fictionalized retellings of the Battle of Thermopylae which took ...more

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Mad Max 2 Mel Gibson, Bruce Spence, Vernon Wells Mad Max 2 is a 1981 Australian post-apocalyptic action film directed by George Miller. The film is the second installment in the Mad Max film series, with Mel Gibson starring as Max Rockatansky. ...more

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Mad Max Mel Gibson, Hugh Keays-Byrne, Steve Bisley Mad Max is a 1979 Australian dystopian action film directed by George Miller, produced by Byron Kennedy and starring Mel Gibson. James McCausland and Miller wrote the screenplay from a story by ...more

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Léon Natalie Portman, Gary Oldman, Jean Reno Léon: The Professional is a 1994 English-language French action crime thriller film written and directed by Luc Besson. The film stars Jean Reno and Gary Oldman, and features the film ...more

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Kill Bill Volume 1 Uma Thurman, Lucy Liu, Quentin Tarantino Kill Bill: Vol. 1 is a 2003 action film written and directed by Quentin Tarantino.

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RoboCop Alex Van Halen, Peter Weller, Leeza Gibbons Sergeant Warren Reed is a fictional character from the film series RoboCop, RoboCop 2, RoboCop 3.

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Zombieland Emma Stone, Amber Heard, Bill Murray Zombieland is a 2009 American zombie comedy film directed by Ruben Fleischer from a screenplay written by Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick. The film stars Jesse Eisenberg, Woody Harrelson, Emma ...more

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Rambo Sylvester Stallone, Julie Benz, Graham McTavish Rambo is a 2008 American-German independent action film directed, co-written by and starring Sylvester Stallone reprising his famous role as Cold War/Vietnam veteran John Rambo. It is the fourth ...more

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Full Metal Jacket Stanley Kubrick, Vincent D'Onofrio, R. Lee Ermey Full Metal Jacket is a 1987 war film directed and produced by Stanley Kubrick. The screenplay by Kubrick, Michael Herr, and Gustav Hasford was based on Hasford's novel The Short-Timers. The film ...more

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First Blood Sylvester Stallone, Brian Dennehy, David Caruso First Blood is a 1982 American psychological thriller and action film directed by Ted Kotcheff, co-written by and starring Sylvester Stallone as John Rambo, a troubled and misunderstood veteran. ...more

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ashish.bhatta5 added Conan the Barbarian Arnold Schwarzenegger, James Earl Jones, Max von Sydow Conan the Barbarian is a 1982 sword and sorcery/adventure film directed and co-written by John Milius. It is based on stories by Robert E. Howard, a pulp fiction writer of the 1930s, about the ...more

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Starship Troopers Neil Patrick Harris, Denise Richards, Amy Smart Starship Troopers is a 1997 American military science fiction action film directed by Paul Verhoeven and written by Edward Neumeier, originally from an unrelated script called Bug Hunt at ...more

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Sin City Jessica Alba, Bruce Willis, Mickey Rourke Sin City is a 2005 American neo-noir crime thriller anthology film written, produced, and directed by Frank Miller and Robert Rodriguez. It is based on Miller's eponymous graphic novel Sin City. ...more

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Platoon Johnny Depp, Charlie Sheen, Willem Dafoe Platoon is a 1986 American war film written and directed by Oliver Stone and starring Tom Berenger, Willem Dafoe and Charlie Sheen. It is the first film of a trilogy of Vietnam War films by ...more

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Fight Club Brad Pitt, Jared Leto, Helena Bonham Carter Fight Club is a 1999 film based on the 1996 novel of the same name by Chuck Palahniuk. The film was directed by David Fincher, and stars Brad Pitt, Edward Norton and Helena Bonham Carter. Norton ...more

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Beverly Hills Cop Eddie Murphy, Damon Wayans, Paul Reiser Beverly Hills Cop is a 1984 American action comedy film directed by Martin Brest and starring Eddie Murphy as Axel Foley, a street-smart Detroit cop who heads to Beverly Hills, California to ...more

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The Good, the Bad and the Ugly Clint Eastwood, Lee Van Cleef, Eli Wallach The Good, the Bad and the Ugly is a 1966 Italian epic Spaghetti Western film directed by Sergio Leone, starring Clint Eastwood, Lee Van Cleef, and Eli Wallach in the title roles respectively. ...more

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Black Hawk Down Ewan McGregor, Tom Hardy, Orlando Bloom Black Hawk Down is a 2001 American-British war film directed by Ridley Scott. It is an adaptation of the 1999 book of the same name by Mark Bowden based on his series of articles published in ...more

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Kick-Ass Nicolas Cage, Chloë Grace Moretz, Lyndsy Fonseca Kick-Ass is a 2010 British-American superhero action comedy film based on the comic book of the same name by Mark Millar and John Romita, Jr. The film was directed by Matthew Vaughn, who ...more

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Point Break Keanu Reeves, Gary Busey, Patrick Swayze Point Break is a 1991 American action crime film directed by Kathryn Bigelow, starring Patrick Swayze, Keanu Reeves, Lori Petty and Gary Busey. The title refers to the surfing term point break, ...more

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Air Force One Harrison Ford, Gary Oldman, Glenn Close Air Force One is a 1997 American political action thriller film written by Andrew W. Marlowe and directed and co-produced by Wolfgang Petersen. It is about a group of Russian terrorists that ...more

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The Running Man Arnold Schwarzenegger, Jim Brown, Jesse Ventura The Running Man is a 1987 American science fiction action film loosely based on the 1982 novel The Running Man, written by Stephen King and published under the pseudonym Richard Bachman. ...more

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Bad Boys Will Smith, Téa Leoni, Martin Lawrence Bad Boys is a 1995 American action comedy film produced by Don Simpson and Jerry Bruckheimer, producers of Top Gun and Beverly Hills Cop, and directed by Michael Bay in his directorial debut. It ...more

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District 9 Sharlto Copley, Jed Brophy, Vanessa Haywood District 9 is a 2009 science fiction film directed by Neill Blomkamp, released August 13, 2009. It takes place in Johannesburg, South Africa. District 9 is based on Alive in Joburg, a short film ...more

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Blade Kris Kristofferson, Wesley Snipes, Traci Lords Blade is a 1998 American vampire superhero action film starring Wesley Snipes and Stephen Dorff, loosely based on the Marvel Comics character Blade. Snipes plays Blade, a human-vampire hybrid ...more

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American History X Edward Norton, Edward Furlong, Beverly DAngelo American History X is a 1998 American crime drama film directed by Tony Kaye and written by David McKenna. It stars Edward Norton and Edward Furlong, and co-stars Fairuza Balk, Stacy Keach, ...more

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The Last Boy Scout Halle Berry, Bruce Willis, Dick Butkus The Last Boy Scout is a 1991 American action film directed by Tony Scott, starring Bruce Willis, Damon Wayans, Chelsea Field, Noble Willingham, Taylor Negron and Danielle Harris. The film was ...more

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The Untouchables Robert De Niro, Sean Connery, Kevin Costner The Untouchables is a 1987 American crime drama film directed by Brian De Palma and written by David Mamet. Based on the book The Untouchables, the film stars Kevin Costner as government agent ...more

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The Long Kiss Goodnight Samuel L. Jackson, Geena Davis, Brian Cox The Long Kiss Goodnight is a 1996 action film directed and produced by Renny Harlin, written and produced by Shane Black and starring Geena Davis and Samuel L. Jackson.

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Inglourious Basterds Brad Pitt, Michael Fassbender, Diane Kruger Inglourious Basterds is a 2009 German-American war black comedy film written and directed by Quentin Tarantino and starring Brad Pitt, Christoph Waltz, Mélanie Laurent, Michael ...more

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Falling Down Robert Duvall, Michael Douglas, Tuesday Weld Falling Down is a 1993 drama film directed by Joel Schumacher and written by Ebbe Roe Smith. The film stars Michael Douglas in the lead role of William Foster, a divorcé and unemployed ...more

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Enter the Dragon Bruce Lee, Jackie Chan, Sammo Hung Enter the Dragon is a 1973 Hong Kong martial arts action film directed by Robert Clouse; starring Bruce Lee, John Saxon and Jim Kelly. This was Bruce Lee's final film appearance before his death ...more

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The Boondock Saints Willem Dafoe, Norman Reedus, Billy Connolly The Boondock Saints is a 1999 American crime film written and directed by Troy Duffy. The film stars Sean Patrick Flanery and Norman Reedus as fraternal twins, Connor and Murphy MacManus, who ...more

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Crank Jason Statham, Amy Smart, Dwight Yoakam Crank is a 2006 American black comedy/action film written and directed by Mark Neveldine and Brian Taylor and starring Jason Statham, Amy Smart and Jose Pablo Cantillo. The plot centers on a ...more