Entertainment

The Best Action Movies Set in San Francisco 

Ranker Film
Updated December 26, 2019 68 votes 8 voters 29 items

List Rules The action movie must be primarily set in San Francisco.

Action movies based in San Francisco make a lot of sense from a cinematic point of view. The Golden Gate Bridge and those famously steep streets provide perfect locales for action and thrills. Filmmakers have enjoyed showing off the city's unique qualities for a long time. In fact, some of the most iconic entries in the genre were shot here. Action films in San Francisco offer visual style to match their suspense, and that makes them unforgettable. Watch these movies and see how many times a chase scene is filmed on Lombard Street, the most perilous street in San Francisco.

Some of the best action films based in San Francisco include The Rock, Dirty Harry, and the James Bond film A View to Kill. Choosing the best action movies set in San Francisco will be determined by your votes. Vote up the action movies you find most exciting. Don't see your favorite here? Add it, then check back to see how other users have rated it. 

list ordered by
1
Bullitt is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Action Movies Set in San Francisco
Robert Duvall, Steve McQueen, Jacqueline Bissett

Released: 1968

Directed by: Peter Yates

Bullitt is a 1968 American action police procedural film directed by Peter Yates and produced by Philip D'Antoni. It stars Steve McQueen, Robert Vaughn and Jacqueline Bisset. The screenplay by ...more
2
The Presidio is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Action Movies Set in San Francisco
Meg Ryan, Sean Connery, Mark Harmon

Released: 1988

Directed by: Peter Hyams

The Presidio is a 1988 American mystery film, directed by Peter Hyams, starring Sean Connery and Mark Harmon. Hyams also photographed. The score was composed by Bruce Broughton.
3
The Towering Inferno is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Action Movies Set in San Francisco
O. J. Simpson, Paul Newman, Faye Dunaway

Released: 1974

Directed by: Irwin Allen, John Guillermin

The Towering Inferno is a 1974 American action drama disaster film produced by Irwin Allen featuring an all-star cast led by Steve McQueen and Paul Newman. The picture was directed by John ...more
4
48 Hrs. is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Action Movies Set in San Francisco
Eddie Murphy, Nick Nolte, Annette O'Toole

Released: 1982

Directed by: Walter Hill

48 Hrs. is a 1982 American action comedy film directed by Walter Hill, starring Nick Nolte and Eddie Murphy as a cop and convict, respectively, who team up to catch a cop-killer. The title ...more
5
Rise of the Planet of th... is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Action Movies Set in San Francisco
James Franco, Freida Pinto, John Lithgow

Released: 2011

Directed by: Rupert Wyatt

Rise of the Apes is in pre-production as of May 2010. This origin story for a new franchise takes place in modern day San Francisco and will star James Franco. It is currently scheduled for a ...more
6
Star Trek IV: The Voyage... is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Action Movies Set in San Francisco
William Shatner, Leonard Nimoy, George Takei

Released: 1986

Directed by: Leonard Nimoy

Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home is a 1986 American science fiction film released by Paramount Pictures. It is the fourth feature film based on Star Trek, and is a sequel to Star Trek III: The ...more
7
Dirty Harry is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Action Movies Set in San Francisco
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
8
The Rock is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Action Movies Set in San Francisco
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
9
Ant-Man and the Wasp is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Action Movies Set in San Francisco
Paul Rudd, Evangeline Lilly, Bobby Cannavale

Directed by: Peyton Reed

Ant-Man and the Wasp is a 2018 American superhero film directed by Peyton Reed. As Scott Lang (Paul Rudd) balances being both a superhero and a father, Hope van Dyne (Evangeline Lilly) and Dr. ...more
10
Kuffs is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Action Movies Set in San Francisco
Milla Jovovich, Ashley Judd, Christian Slater

Released: 1992

Directed by: Bruce A. Evans

Kuffs is a 1992 action-comedy film directed by Bruce A. Evans and produced by Raynold Gideon. It stars Christian Slater and Tony Goldwyn. The film also features Milla Jovovich as well as Ashley ...more
11
Magnum Force is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Action Movies Set in San Francisco
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
12
Metro is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Action Movies Set in San Francisco
Eddie Murphy, Michael Rapaport, Donal Logue

Released: 1997

Directed by: Thomas Carter

Metro is a 1997 American action comedy thriller film which was directed by Thomas Carter, produced by Roger Birnbaum, and starring Eddie Murphy as Scott Roper, a hostage negotiator and inspector ...more
13
An Eye for an Eye is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Action Movies Set in San Francisco
Chuck Norris, Christopher Lee, Richard Roundtree

Released: 1981

Directed by: Steve Carver

An Eye for an Eye is a 1981 American action film directed by Steve Carver, and starring Chuck Norris, Christopher Lee, Richard Roundtree, Matt Clark, Mako Iwamatsu, and Maggie Cooper.
14
Ip Man 4 The Finale is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Action Movies Set in San Francisco
Scott Adkins, Donnie Yen, Kwok-Kwan Chan

Released: 2019

Directed by: Wilson Yip

Ip Man 4: The Finale is a 2019 Hong Kong biographical martial arts film directed by Wilson Yip. Ip Man (Donnie Yen) arrives in San Francisco, United States where his student, Bruce Lee (Danny ...more
15
Ant-Man is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Action Movies Set in San Francisco
Paul Rudd, Michael Douglas, Evangeline Lilly

Released: 2015

Directed by: Peyton Reed

Ant-Man is a 2015 American superhero film directed by Peyton Reed, based on the Marvel Comics character. Armed with a super-suit with the astonishing ability to shrink in scale but increase in ...more
16
A View to a Kill is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Action Movies Set in San Francisco
Christopher Walken, Roger Moore, Grace Jones

Released: 1985

Directed by: John Glen

This film is the fourteenth spy film of the James Bond series, and the seventh and last to star Roger Moore as the fictional MI6 agent James Bond. Although the title is adapted from Ian ...more
17
Hulk is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Action Movies Set in San Francisco
Jennifer Connelly, Nick Nolte, Eric Bana

Released: 2003

Directed by: Ang Lee

Hulk is a 2003 American superhero film based on the fictional Marvel Comics character of the same name. Ang Lee directed the film, which stars Eric Bana as Dr. Bruce Banner, as well as Jennifer ...more
18
Basic Instinct is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Action Movies Set in San Francisco
Sharon Stone, Michael Douglas, Jeanne Tripplehorn

Released: 1992

Directed by: Paul Verhoeven

Basic Instinct is a 1992 French-American neo-noir erotic thriller film directed by Paul Verhoeven and written by Joe Eszterhas, and starring Michael Douglas and Sharon Stone. The film is about a ...more
19
Freebie and the Bean is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Action Movies Set in San Francisco
James Caan, Alan Arkin, Valerie Harper

Released: 1974

Directed by: Richard Rush

Freebie and the Bean is a 1974 action-comedy film about two San Francisco police detectives who attempt to bring down a local hijacking boss. The picture, a precursor to the buddy cop film genre ...more
20
Time After Time is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Action Movies Set in San Francisco
Corey Feldman, Malcolm McDowell, Mary Steenburgen

Released: 1979

Directed by: Nicholas Meyer

Time After Time is a 1979 American science fiction film starring Malcolm McDowell, David Warner and Mary Steenburgen. It was the directing debut of screenwriter Nicholas Meyer, whose screenplay ...more
21
Innerspace is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Action Movies Set in San Francisco
Meg Ryan, Dennis Quaid, Martin Short

Released: 1987

Directed by: Joe Dante

Innerspace is a 1987 science fiction comedy film directed by Joe Dante and produced by Michael Finnell. Steven Spielberg served as executive producer. The film was inspired by the 1966 science ...more
22
Sneakers is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Action Movies Set in San Francisco
Robert Redford, Dan Aykroyd, Ben Kingsley

Released: 1992

Directed by: Phil Alden Robinson

Sneakers is a 1992 caper film directed by Phil Alden Robinson, written by Robinson, Walter Parkes, and Lawrence Lasker and starring Robert Redford, Dan Aykroyd, Ben Kingsley, Mary McDonnell, ...more
23
Sudden Impact is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Action Movies Set in San Francisco
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
24
The Dead Pool is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Action Movies Set in San Francisco
Clint Eastwood, Jim Carrey, Axl Rose

Released: 1988

Directed by: Buddy Van Horn

This film is a 1988 American action flim directed by Buddy Van Horn, written by Steve Sharon, and starring Clint Eastwood as Inspector "Dirty" Harry Callahan. It is the fifth and final ...more
25
The Enforcer is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Action Movies Set in San Francisco
Clint Eastwood, Tyne Daly, Bradford Dillman

Released: 1976

Directed by: James Fargo

The Enforcer is a 1976 American action film and the third in the Dirty Harry film series. Directed by James Fargo, it stars Clint Eastwood as Inspector "Dirty" Harry Callahan, Tyne ...more