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The Greatest Guilty Pleasure Action Movies

Updated August 14, 2019 1.6k votes 134 voters 3.8k 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!

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  • 1
    Predator is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Greatest Guilty Pleasure Action Movies
    57
    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

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  • 2
    Commando is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Greatest Guilty Pleasure Action Movies
    42
    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

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  • 3
    True Lies is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Greatest Guilty Pleasure Action Movies
    43
    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 is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Greatest Guilty Pleasure Action Movies
    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

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  • 5
    Face/Off is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Greatest Guilty Pleasure Action Movies
    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
  • 6
    The Running Man is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Greatest Guilty Pleasure Action Movies
    35
    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

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  • 7
    Rambo: First Blood Part II is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Greatest Guilty Pleasure Action Movies
    31
    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

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  • 8
    Armageddon is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Greatest Guilty Pleasure Action Movies
    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
  • 9
    Con Air is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Greatest Guilty Pleasure Action Movies
    33
    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
  • 10
    Deep Blue Sea is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Greatest Guilty Pleasure Action Movies
    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

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  • 11
    The Fast and the Furious is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Greatest Guilty Pleasure Action Movies
    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

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  • 12
    Mortal Kombat is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Greatest Guilty Pleasure Action Movies
    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

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  • 13
    Terminator 3: Rise of the Mach is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Greatest Guilty Pleasure Action Movies
    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

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  • 14
    XXX is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Greatest Guilty Pleasure Action Movies
    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

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  • 15
    Last Action Hero is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Greatest Guilty Pleasure Action Movies
    24
    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

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  • 16
    I, Robot is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Greatest Guilty Pleasure Action Movies
    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

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  • 17
    Transformers is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Greatest Guilty Pleasure Action Movies
    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

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  • 18
    Timecop is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Greatest Guilty Pleasure Action Movies
    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

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  • 19
    Primeval is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Greatest Guilty Pleasure Action Movies
    27
    23

    Primeval

    Dominic Purcell, Brooke Langton

    Released2007

    Directed byMichael Katleman

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  • 20
    Batman Forever is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Greatest Guilty Pleasure Action Movies
    27
    25

    Batman Forever

    Nicole Kidman, Drew Barrymore

    Released1995

    Directed byJoel Schumacher

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  • 21
    Lake Placid is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Greatest Guilty Pleasure Action Movies
    26
    24

    Lake Placid

    Betty White, Mariska Hargitay

    Released1999

    Directed bySteve Miner

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  • 22
    Waterworld is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Greatest Guilty Pleasure Action Movies
    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
  • 23
    Species is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Greatest Guilty Pleasure Action Movies
    13
    11

    Species

    Michelle Williams, Ben Kingsley

    Released1995

    Directed byRoger Donaldson

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  • 24
    Death Wish is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Greatest Guilty Pleasure Action Movies
    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

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  • 25
    Man of Steel is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Greatest Guilty Pleasure Action Movies
    20
    25

    Man of Steel

    Henry Cavill, Amy Adams

    Released2013

    Directed byZack Snyder

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