Watchworthy

The Best Action Thriller Movies Rated R 

Reference
Updated June 9, 2020 3.5k votes 234 voters 26.2k views 224 items

List Rules Add your favorite movie to the list if it's missing, but only if it's the correct rating.

List of R-Rated action thrillers, ranked from best to worst with movie trailers when available. This list takes the best R-Rated action thrillers and pits them against each other to see once and for all what the greatest R-Rated Action Thriller movie of all time is. This list of popular R-Rated action thrillers includes information like who directed the film, when it was released and which actors starred in the movie. If you think the top R-Rated Action Thriller movie isn't as high as it should be then be sure to vote it up so it can take its rightful place among the other great R-Rated Action Thriller films on this list. If you're trying to find a specific R-Rated Action Thriller film you can search this list and filter to find what you're looking for.

List features Children of Men, The Hurt Locker and more movies.

If you're trying to find out "What are the best R-Rated action thrillers?" and "What are the most famous R-Rated action thrillers?" then this list is the perfect resource for you.

Use this list if you're looking for some new action thrillers that are rated R. Between Netflix, Hulu and other services there are thousands of great action thrillers rated R, so get out there and start watching.

Get your social network's opinion by re-ranking the list, making it votable then sharing it on Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr or more. (224 items)

Did you know that Clint Eastwood and Sylvester Stallone have both directed R Action Thrillers movies?

Data-driven recommendations based on voting from over 40 million monthly visits to Ranker. Try the free app
list ordered by
1
Ranker Video
Sylvester Stallone, Brian Dennehy, David Caruso

Released: 1982

Directed by: Ted Kotcheff

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

More First Blood 

#138 of 367 The Best Movies Based On Books #40 of 571 The Greatest Movies Of The 1980s, Ranked #212 of 1,699 The Most Rewatchable Movies

2
Dirty Harry is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Action Thriller Movies Rated R
Clint Eastwood, Don Siegel, Andrew Robinson

Released: 1971

Directed by: Don Siegel

Dirty Harry is a 1971 American action film produced and directed by Don Siegel, the first in the Dirty Harry series. Clint Eastwood plays the title role, in his first outing as San Francisco ...more

More Dirty Harry 

#328 of 1,699 The Most Rewatchable Movies #77 of 130 Movies That Should Never Be Remade #11 of 591 The Best '70s Movies

3
Ranker Video
Bruce Willis, John Leguizamo, Dennis Franz

Released: 1990

Directed by: Renny Harlin

This film is a 1990 American action film and the second in the series. It was released on July 4, 1990. The film was directed by Renny Harlin. The novel has the same premise but differs ...more

More Die Hard 2 

The Most Action-Packed 'Die Hard 2' Quotes #186 of 1,699 The Most Rewatchable Movies #28 of 94 Best Kidnapping Movies & Hostage Movies of All Time, Ranked

4
Ranker Video
Sylvester Stallone, Julie Benz, Graham McTavish

Released: 2008

Directed by: Sylvester Stallone

Rambo is a 2008 American-German independent action film directed, co-written by and starring Sylvester Stallone reprising his famous role as veteran John Rambo. It is the fourth installment in ...more

More Rambo 

#109 of 375 The 50+ Best War Movies Ever Made, Ranked #124 of 349 'Old' Movies Every Young Person Needs To Watch In Their Lifetime #327 of 1,699 The Most Rewatchable Movies

5
Ranker Video
Nicolas Cage, Sean Connery, Ed Harris

Released: 1996

Directed by: Michael Bay

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

More The Rock 

#341 of 1,699 The Most Rewatchable Movies #247 of 599 The Greatest Epic Movies Ever Made #27 of 94 Best Kidnapping Movies & Hostage Movies of All Time, Ranked

6
Ranker Video
Arnold Schwarzenegger, Eliza Dushku, Jamie Lee Curtis

Released: 1994

Directed by: James Cameron

True Lies is a 1994 American action-comedy film written and directed by James Cameron, and starring Arnold Schwarzenegger and Jamie Lee Curtis in the lead roles with Tom Arnold, Bill Paxton, ...more

More True Lies 

#117 of 1,699 The Most Rewatchable Movies #66 of 493 The Funniest '90s Movieslisted on The 50 Highest Grossing '90s Movies, Ranked

7
Ranker Video
Keanu Reeves, Gary Busey, Patrick Swayze

Released: 1991

Directed by: Kathryn Bigelow

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

More Point Break 

Things About Point Break That Are Too Weird Not To Address #233 of 349 'Old' Movies Every Young Person Needs To Watch In Their Lifetime #202 of 1,699 The Most Rewatchable Movies

8
Air Force One is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Action Thriller Movies Rated R
Harrison Ford, Gary Oldman, Glenn Close

Released: 1997

Directed by: Wolfgang Petersen

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

More Air Force One 

#217 of 1,699 The Most Rewatchable Movies #9 of 94 Best Kidnapping Movies & Hostage Movies of All Time, Rankedlisted on The 50 Highest Grossing '90s Movies, Ranked

9
Ranker Video
Robert De Niro, Sean Bean, Ron Jeremy

Released: 1998

Directed by: John Frankenheimer

Ronin is a 1998 American spy thriller action film directed by John Frankenheimer and starring Robert De Niro, Jean Reno, Natascha McElhone, Stellan Skarsgård, Sean Bean, and Jonathan ...more

More Ronin 

#15 of 92 The Most Rewatchable Action Movies #16 of 75 The Greatest Movies About CIA Agents & Operatives #28 of 327 The Best Free Movies On YouTube, Ranked

10
Cold Pursuit is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Action Thriller Movies Rated R
Liam Neeson, Laura Dern, Emmy Rossum

Released: 2019

Directed by: Hans Petter Moland

Cold Pursuit is a 2019 American action thriller film directed by Hans Petter Moland. Snowplower Nelson "Mr. Plow" Coxman (Liam Neeson) seeks revenge against a drug cartel in his Rocky ...more
11
Ranker Video
Mel Gibson, Joe Pesci, Danny Glover

Released: 1989

Directed by: Richard Donner

Lethal Weapon 2 is a 1989 American buddy cop action film directed by Richard Donner, and starring Mel Gibson, Danny Glover, Joe Pesci, Patsy Kensit, Derrick O'Connor and Joss Ackland. It is a ...more

More Lethal Weapon 2 

#63 of 571 The Greatest Movies Of The 1980s, Ranked #945 of 1,699 The Most Rewatchable Movies #16 of 181 The Best Movie Sequels Ever Made

12
Children of Men is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Action Thriller Movies Rated R
Julianne Moore, Clive Owen, Michael Caine

Released: 2006

Directed by: Alfonso CuarĂ³n

Children of Men is a 2006 science fiction thriller film directed and co-written by Alfonso Cuarón. The screenplay, based on P. D. James's 1992 novel of the same name, was credited to five ...more

More Children of Men 

#133 of 367 The Best Movies Based On Books #809 of 1,699 The Most Rewatchable Movies #401 of 599 The Greatest Epic Movies Ever Made

13
Ranker Video
John Travolta, Nicolas Cage, Gina Gershon

Released: 1997

Directed by: John Woo

Face/Off is a 1997 American science fiction action thriller film directed by John Woo and starring John Travolta and Nicolas Cage. Travolta is an FBI agent and Cage is a terrorist, sworn enemies ...more

More Face/Off 

#239 of 1,699 The Most Rewatchable Movies #47 of 624 The Greatest Guilty Pleasure Movies #66 of 92 The Most Rewatchable Action Movies

14
Ranker Video
Clint Eastwood, Mara Corday, Sondra Locke

Released: 1983

Directed by: Clint Eastwood

Sudden Impact is a 1983 American action film and the fourth film in the Dirty Harry series, directed by Clint Eastwood, and starring Eastwood and Sondra Locke. The film is notable for the ...more

More Sudden Impact 

#234 of 571 The Greatest Movies Of The 1980s, Ranked #57 of 85 Great Movies About Furious Women Out for Revenge #23 of 102 The Best Movies Directed by the Star

15
Ranker Video
Clint Eastwood, Suzanne Somers, Hal Holbrook

Released: 1973

Directed by: Ted Post

Magnum Force is a 1973 American action film and the second to feature Clint Eastwood as maverick cop Harry Callahan after the 1971 film Dirty Harry. Ted Post, who also directed Eastwood in the ...more

More Magnum Force 

#62 of 591 The Best '70s Movies #78 of 181 The Best Movie Sequels Ever Made #11 of 45 The Best Movies Starring Clint Eastwood

16
Ranker Video
Angelina Jolie, Morgan Freeman, James McAvoy

Released: 2008

Directed by: Timur Bekmambetov

Wanted is a 2008 action film which is very loosely based on the comic book miniseries of the same name by Mark Millar. The film is directed by Timur Bekmambetov and stars James McAvoy, Morgan ...more

More Wanted 

#138 of 187 The Best Superhero Movies Ever Made #428 of 1,699 The Most Rewatchable Movies #72 of 186 The Greatest Comic Book Movies of All Time

17
Ranker Video
Denzel Washington, Viggo Mortensen, Gene Hackman

Released: 1995

Directed by: Tony Scott

Crimson Tide is a 1995 American submarine film directed by Tony Scott. On a U.S. nuclear missile sub, a young First Officer (Denzel Washington) stages a mutiny, to prevent his trigger happy ...more

More Crimson Tide 

#169 of 375 The 50+ Best War Movies Ever Made, Ranked #1,011 of 1,699 The Most Rewatchable Movies #484 of 599 The Greatest Epic Movies Ever Made

18
Ranker Video
Sylvester Stallone, John Lithgow, Janine Turner

Released: 1993

Directed by: Renny Harlin

Cliffhanger is a 1993 American action adventure film directed by Renny Harlin and starring Sylvester Stallone and John Lithgow. Stallone, who co-wrote the screenplay, plays a mountain climber ...more

More Cliffhanger 

#221 of 349 'Old' Movies Every Young Person Needs To Watch In Their Lifetime #55 of 212 The Best Adventure Movies #26 of 92 The Most Rewatchable Action Movies

19
Ranker Video
Jason Statham, Amy Smart, Dwight Yoakam

Released: 2006

Directed by: Neveldine/Taylor

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

More Crank 

#629 of 1,699 The Most Rewatchable Movies #286 of 624 The Greatest Guilty Pleasure Movies #231 of 548 The Greatest Movies for Guys

20
Ranker Video
Elizabeth Hurley, Wesley Snipes, Tom Sizemore

Released: 1992

Directed by: Kevin Hooks

Passenger 57 is a 1992 American action film directed by Kevin Hooks. The film stars Wesley Snipes and Bruce Payne. The film's success made Snipes a popular action hero icon. It also introduced ...more

More Passenger 57 

#287 of 729 The Best Black Movies Ever Made, Ranked #32 of 94 Best Kidnapping Movies & Hostage Movies of All Time, Ranked #8 of 21 'Die Hard' Ripoffs, Ranked By How Hard They Die

21
Ranker Video
Mel Gibson, Chris Rock, Joe Pesci

Released: 1998

Directed by: Richard Donner

Lethal Weapon 4 is a 1998 American buddy cop action film directed and produced by Richard Donner, and starring Mel Gibson, Danny Glover, Joe Pesci, Rene Russo, Chris Rock and Jet Li. It is the ...more

More Lethal Weapon 4 

#567 of 1,699 The Most Rewatchable Movies #26 of 74 The Best Action Movie Sequels #177 of 413 The All-Time Greatest Martial Art Movies

22
Ranker Video
Harrison Ford, Samuel L. Jackson, James Earl Jones

Released: 1992

Directed by: Phillip Noyce

Patriot Games is a 1992 action-suspense film directed by Phillip Noyce and based on Tom Clancy's novel of the same name. It is a sequel to the 1990 film The Hunt for Red October, but with ...more

More Patriot Games 

#123 of 253 The Best Psychological Thrillers of All Time #45 of 81 The Most Patriotic Movies of All Time #15 of 75 The Greatest Movies About CIA Agents & Operatives

23
Ranker Video
Sylvester Stallone, Charles Napier, Richard Crenna

Released: 1985

Directed by: George P. Cosmatos

Rambo: First Blood Part II is a 1985 American action film directed by George P. Cosmatos and starring Sylvester Stallone. Picking up where the first film left, the sequel is set in the context ...more

More Rambo: First Blood Part II 

#204 of 375 The 50+ Best War Movies Ever Made, Ranked #251 of 349 'Old' Movies Every Young Person Needs To Watch In Their Lifetime #148 of 571 The Greatest Movies Of The 1980s, Ranked

24
Ranker Video
Will Smith, Jack Black, Gene Hackman

Released: 1998

Directed by: Tony Scott

Enemy of the State is a 1998 American spy-thriller about a group of rogue U.S. National Security Agency agents conspiring to take out a U.S. Congressman and try to cover up. It was written by ...more

More Enemy of the State 

#91 of 729 The Best Black Movies Ever Made, Ranked #813 of 1,699 The Most Rewatchable Movieslisted on The Very Best Movies About Hackers

25
Die Hard is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Action Thriller Movies Rated R
bythewaybtw added Bruce Willis, Alan Rickman, Bonnie Bedelia

Released: 1988

Directed by: John McTiernan

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

More Die Hard 

'Die Hard' Ripoffs, Ranked By How Hard They Die #27 of 367 The Best Movies Based On Books #17 of 349 'Old' Movies Every Young Person Needs To Watch In Their Lifetime