Watchworthy
137 voters

The Greatest Guilty Pleasure Action Movies

Updated August 14, 2019 1.6k votes 137 voters 3.9k views35 items

List RulesVote up the best guilty pleasure action movies.

Given it's an inherently cheesy genre, all action films are kind of guilty pleasures. However, the corny action films below add an extra layer of absurdity that makes you a little ashamed to admit you love them. But, hey! You're not always in the mood for a thought provoking film that requires unpacking after viewing. (Or are you?) Sometimes, you just want something easy, and these films should suffice! 

What makes bad action movies so enjoyable? The genre, by nature, is over the top. This means when action movies fail, they do so spectacularly, granting you the hate watching experience of a lifetime. Some of the cheesiest movies of all time are poorly executed action films. Dumb action movies often involve terrible CGI, bad performances, and plot lines so absurd even the most gullible viewers can't suspend their disbelief. These flicks are the type you simply love to hate. Browse the list below to find the best guilty pleasure action movies for you!

Photo:
...more
  • 1
    Predator
    58
    14

    Predator

    Arnold Schwarzenegger, Jesse Ventura

    Released1987

    Directed byJohn McTiernan

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

    More Predator 

    Somehow, Making Predator Was WAY More Insane Than The Actual MovieKiller Details In ‘Predator’ That Fans Have Hunted Down

  • 2
    Commando
    43
    5

    Commando

    Arnold Schwarzenegger, Alyssa Milano

    Released1985

    Directed byMark L. Lester

    Commando is a 1985 American action film directed by Mark L. Lester, and starring Arnold... more on Wikipedia

    More Commando 

    Behind-The-Scenes Stories From The Making Of 'Commando'#217 of 314 The Funniest '80s Movies

  • 3
    True Lies
    45
    13

    True Lies

    Arnold Schwarzenegger, Eliza Dushku

    Released1994

    Directed byJames Cameron

    True Lies is a 1994 American action-comedy film written and directed by James Cameron, and... more on Wikipedia
  • 4
    Independence Day
    34
    8

    Independence Day

    Will Smith, Jeff Goldblum

    Released1996

    Directed byRoland Emmerich

    Independence Day is a 1996 American science fiction disaster film co-written and directed by... more on Wikipedia

    More Independence Day 

    13 Things That Prove Pacific Rim And Independence Day Are The Exact Same Movie#437 of 1,189 Every Oscar Winning Film Ever

  • 5
    Face/Off
    44
    20

    Face/Off

    John Travolta, Nicolas Cage

    Released1997

    Directed byJohn Woo

    Face/Off is a 1997 American science fiction action thriller film directed by John Woo and... more on Wikipedia

    More Face/Off 

    #8 of 14 14 Movies That Sounded Like Terrible Ideas But Somehow Turned Out Great#65 of 92 The Most Rewatchable Action Movies

  • 6
    The Running Man
    36
    15

    The Running Man

    Arnold Schwarzenegger, Jim Brown

    Released1987

    Directed byPaul Michael Glaser

    The Running Man is a 1987 American science fiction action film loosely based on the 1982 novel... more on Wikipedia

    More The Running Man 

    #13 of 50 The Best Movies Based on Short Stories#24 of 94 The 35+ Greatest Dystopian Action Movies

  • 7
    Rambo: First Blood Part II
    32
    12

    Rambo: First Blood Part II

    Sylvester Stallone, Charles Napier

    Released1985

    Directed byGeorge P. Cosmatos

    Rambo: First Blood Part II is a 1985 American action film directed by George P. Cosmatos and... more on Wikipedia
  • 8
    Con Air
    34
    15

    Con Air

    Nicolas Cage, John Malkovich

    Released1997

    Directed bySimon West

    Con Air is a 1997 American action film directed by Simon West and produced by Jerry... more on Wikipedia

    More Con Air 

    14 Turbulent Behind-The-Scenes Stories From ‘Con Air’#264 of 456 The Most Quotable Movies of All Time

  • 9
    Armageddon
    41
    25

    Armageddon

    Ben Affleck, Bruce Willis

    Released1998

    Directed byMichael Bay

    Armageddon is a 1998 American science fiction disaster thriller film, directed by Michael Bay,... more on Wikipedia

    More Armageddon 

    #32 of 276 The Top Tearjerker Movies That Make Men Cry#411 of 836 The Greatest Chick Flicks Ever Made

  • 10
    Deep Blue Sea
    36
    20

    Deep Blue Sea

    Samuel L. Jackson, LL Cool J

    Released1999

    Directed byRenny Harlin

    Deep Blue Sea is a 1999 science fiction horror film, starring Saffron Burrows, Thomas Jane, LL... more on Wikipedia

    More Deep Blue Sea 

    #6 of 136 The Scariest Animal Horror Movies Ever Made#155 of 554 The Greatest Guilty Pleasure Movies

  • 11
    The Fast and the Furious
    36
    20

    The Fast and the Furious

    Vin Diesel, Michelle Rodriguez

    Released2001

    Directed byRob Cohen

    The Fast and the Furious is a 2001 American street racing action film directed by Rob Cohen... more on Wikipedia

    More The Fast and the Furious 

    The Coolest Cars from the Fast and the Furious MoviesThe Best Fast and Furious Memes Ever Made

  • 12
    Mortal Kombat
    20
    9

    Mortal Kombat

    Bridgette Wilson, Frank Welker

    Released1995

    Directed byPaul W. S. Anderson

    Mortal Kombat is a 1995 American fantasy martial arts film written by Kevin Droney, directed... more on Wikipedia

    More Mortal Kombat 

    The Greatest Mortal Kombat CharactersThe Best Mortal Kombat Games

  • 13
    Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines
    33
    27

    Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines

    Arnold Schwarzenegger, Claire Danes

    Released2003

    Directed byJonathan Mostow

    Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines is a 2003 American science fiction action film, directed by... more on Wikipedia

    More Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines 

    #126 of 164 The Best Science Fiction Action Movies#68 of 102 The Best Third Films In A Movie Series

  • 14
    Last Action Hero
    26
    19

    Last Action Hero

    Arnold Schwarzenegger, Tina Turner

    Released1993

    Directed byJohn McTiernan

    Last Action Hero is a 1993 American action-comedy-fantasy film directed and produced by John... more on Wikipedia

    More Last Action Hero 

    'Last Action Hero' Is A Bizarre Fever Dream#164 of 252 The Funniest '90s Movies

  • 15
    XXX
    26
    19

    XXX

    Samuel L. Jackson, Vin Diesel

    Released2002

    Directed byRob Cohen

    xXx, pronounced "Triple X", is a 2002 American action film directed by Rob Cohen and starring... more on Wikipedia

    More XXX 

    #8 of 20 20 Bad Action Movies That Are Actually Good#11 of 20 20 Action Movies That Are Way Better Than The Oscar Winners That Beat Them

  • 16
    I, Robot
    26
    22

    I, Robot

    Will Smith, Shia LaBeouf

    Released2004

    Directed byAlex Proyas

    I, Robot is a 2004 American dystopian science fiction action film directed by Alex Proyas. The... more on Wikipedia

    More I, Robot 

    #111 of 364 The Best Movies Based On Books#31 of 165 Live Action Movies With The Best CGI Effects

  • 17
    Transformers
    32
    30

    Transformers

    Megan Fox, Shia LaBeouf

    Released2007

    Directed byMichael Bay

    Transformers is a 2007 American science fiction action film directed by Michael Bay, based on... more on Wikipedia

    More Transformers 

    Dark Secrets Behind The Making Of 'Transformers'All the Transformers In The Michael Bay Transformers Movies

  • 18
    Timecop
    17
    10

    Timecop

    Jean-Claude Van Damme, Mia Sara

    Released1994

    Directed byPeter Hyams

    Timecop is a 1994 science fiction action film directed by Peter Hyams and co-written by Mike... more on Wikipedia

    More Timecop 

    #23 of 54 The Best Time Loop Movies#11 of 14 'Stupid' Action Movies That Are Secretly Brilliant

  • 19
    Primeval
    27
    23

    Primeval

    Dominic Purcell, Brooke Langton

    Released2007

    Directed byMichael Katleman

    Primeval is a 2007 American horror film which was released on January 12, 2007. The film,... more on Wikipedia

    More Primeval 

    #46 of 56 The Best Monster Movies of the Modern Era#25 of 78 The Best Natural Horror Films

  • 20
    Batman Forever
    27
    25

    Batman Forever

    Nicole Kidman, Drew Barrymore

    Released1995

    Directed byJoel Schumacher

    Batman Forever is a 1995 American superhero film directed by Joel Schumacher and produced by... more on Wikipedia

    More Batman Forever 

    Tommy Lee Jones Hated Jim Carrey, And Other Stories From The Making Of 'Batman Forever'#46 of 50 The 50 Highest Grossing '90s Movies, Ranked

  • 21
    Lake Placid
    26
    24

    Lake Placid

    Betty White, Mariska Hargitay

    Released1999

    Directed bySteve Miner

    Lake Placid is a 1999 American monster horror comedy film. The film was written by David E.... more on Wikipedia

    More Lake Placid 

    #167 of 175 The Greatest Animal Movies Ever Made#6 of 29 The Greatest Horror Movies Set on the Open Sea

  • 22
    Waterworld
    30
    31

    Waterworld

    Kevin Costner, Jack Black

    Released1995

    Directed byKevin Costner, Kevin Reynolds

    Waterworld is a 1995 American post-apocalyptic science fiction action film directed by Kevin... more on Wikipedia

    More Waterworld 

    Not Only Was 'Waterworld' A Complete Flop, It Was An Utter Disaster During Production#445 of 553 The Greatest Epic Movies Ever Made

  • 23
    Species
    13
    11

    Species

    Michelle Williams, Ben Kingsley

    Released1995

    Directed byRoger Donaldson

    Species is a 1995 American science fiction horror film directed by Roger Donaldson, and... more on Wikipedia

    More Species 

    #60 of 186 The Best Alien Movies Ever Made#96 of 114 The Best Horror Movie Franchises

  • 24
    Death Wish
    9
    7

    Death Wish

    Jeff Goldblum, Charles Bronson

    Released1974

    Directed byMichael Winner

    This film is a 1974 American vigilante action film loosely based on the novel of the same name... more on Wikipedia

    More Death Wish 

    #53 of 553 The Best '70s Movies#114 of 480 The Greatest Movies For Guys

  • 25
    Street Fighter
    16
    20

    Street Fighter

    Kylie Minogue, Jean-Claude Van Damme

    Released1994

    Directed bySteven E. de Souza

    Street Fighter is a 1994 American action film written and directed by Steven E. de Souza. It... more on Wikipedia

    More Street Fighter 

    #13 of 15 15 Bad Video Game Movies That Are Actually Good#11 of 22 The Most Unlikely Cartoons Based on Live-Action Movies