Entertainment
150 voters

The Greatest Guilty Pleasure Action Movies

Updated February 27, 2021 1.8k votes 150 voters 4.2k views100 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
  • Predator1
    66
    15

    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

    More Predator 

    Somehow, Making Predator Was WAY More Insane Than The Actual Movie#66 of 549 The Greatest Epic Movies Ever Made

  • Commando2
    49
    6

    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

    More Commando 

    Behind-The-Scenes Stories From The Making Of 'Commando'#214 of 305 The Funniest '80s Movies

  • True Lies3
    52
    14

    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

    More True Lies 

    #32 of 112 Movies That Need Sequels#306 of 1,137 The Absolute Funniest Movies Of All Time

  • Face/Off4
    50
    19

    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

    More Face/Off 

    #6 of 14 14 Movies That Sounded Like Terrible Ideas But Somehow Turned Out Great#67 of 92 The Most Rewatchable Action Movies

  • Independence Day5
    40
    13

    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

    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

  • The Running Man6
    41
    16

    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

    More The Running Man 

    #20 of 178 The Best Dystopian And Near Future Movies#23 of 93 The 35+ Greatest Dystopian Action Movies

  • Con Air7
    41
    16

    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

    More Con Air 

    14 Turbulent Behind-The-Scenes Stories From ‘Con Air’#243 of 456 The Most Quotable Movies of All Time

  • Fast and Furious Franchise8
    45
    24

    Fast and Furious Franchise

    Vin Diesel, Paul Walker

    Released2001 - Present

    Directed byRob Cohen, John Singleton, Justin Lin, James Wan

    The Fast and the Furious (also known as Fast & Furious) is an American franchise based on a...  more

    More Fast and Furious Franchise 

    15 Fast And The Furious Fan Theories That Are Just Crazy Enough To Be TrueThe Dumbest Decisions In The ‘Fast And Furious’ Saga

  • Rambo: First Blood Part II9
    37
    16

    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

    More Rambo: First Blood Part II 

    #230 of 374 The 50+ Best War Movies Ever Made, Ranked#155 of 512 The Greatest Movies Of The 1980s, Ranked

  • Deep Blue Sea10
    39
    21

    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

    More Deep Blue Sea 

    #155 of 541 The Greatest Guilty Pleasure Movies#7 of 136 The Scariest Animal Horror Movies Ever Made

  • Armageddon11
    44
    28

    Armageddon

    Ben Affleck, Bruce Willis

    Released1998

    Directed byMichael Bay

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

    More Armageddon 

    #174 of 557 The Greatest Film Scores of All Time#386 of 781 The Greatest Chick Flicks Ever Made

  • Mortal Kombat12
    28
    10

    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

    More Mortal Kombat 

    The Greatest Mortal Kombat Characters#234 of 372 'Old' Movies Every Young Person Needs To Watch In Their Lifetime

  • Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines13
    38
    26

    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

    More Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines 

    #48 of 167 The Best Science Fiction Action Movies#119 of 164 Live Action Movies With The Best CGI Effects

  • I, Robot14
    31
    21

    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

    More I, Robot 

    #97 of 369 The Best Movies Based On Books#38 of 247 The Best Whodunit Movies

  • Timecop15
    22
    12

    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

    More Timecop 

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

  • XXX16
    29
    20

    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

    More XXX 

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

  • Batman Forever17
    34
    27

    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

    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

  • Waterworld18
    36
    30

    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

    More Waterworld 

    Not Only Was 'Waterworld' A Complete Flop, It Was An Utter Disaster During Production#27 of 32 Blockbusters With No Cultural Impact Whatsoever, Ranked

  • Last Action Hero19
    29
    22

    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

    More Last Action Hero 

    'Last Action Hero' Is A Bizarre Fever Dream That's Way Smarter Than You Remember#164 of 252 The Funniest '90s Movies

  • Transformers20
    34
    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

    More Transformers 

    Dark Secrets Behind The Making Of 'Transformers'The Best Transformers Comic Book Series, Ranked

  • Lake Placid21
    28
    23

    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
  • Primeval22
    28
    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
  • Death Wish23
    13
    6

    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

    More Death Wish 

    #50 of 553 The Best '70s Movies#42 of 450 The Best Movies For Guys

  • Species24
    16
    10

    Species

    Michelle Williams, Ben Kingsley

    Released1995

    Directed byRoger Donaldson

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

    More Species 

    #207 of 722 The Best Horror Movies Of All Time#61 of 186 The Best Alien Movies Ever Made

  • Man of Steel25
    25
    26

    Man of Steel

    Henry Cavill, Amy Adams

    Released2013

    Directed byZack Snyder

    Man of Steel is a 2013 superhero film directed by Zack Snyder, based on the DC Comics...  more

    More Man of Steel 

    15 Subtle Details You May Have Missed From 'Man Of Steel'#57 of 177 The Greatest Comic Book Movies Of All Time