The Manliest Action Movie Heroes Of All Time

Over 700 Ranker voters have come together to rank this list of The Manliest Action Movie Heroes Of All Time
Voting Rules
Vote up the action heroes that make you say, 'Man, that's a MAN!'

Manly action heroes are a staple of most action films. They're confident, smooth with the ladies, unafraid of violence, and (according to this list) often named John. Most aptly described by the phrase, "Men want to be them and women want to be with them," these masculine action heroes carry entire plots on the rippling muscles of their shoulders. 

Often blessed with over-the-top names and plot armor so thick they can survive a torrent of bullets, our favorite macho action heroes boast the type of superhuman masculinity us regular folks can only dream of. Take a look below at the manliest action movie heroes of all time and vote up the most undeniably manlike personalities.

Most divisive: John Shaft II - 'Shaft'

  • 1
    359 VOTES

    Dutch - 'Predator' 

    Who Is He? Dutch is a former US Army Special Operations soldier and Vietnam veteran turned mercenary military leader. His elite team is hired to carry out a mission for the CIA and the US military in Guatemala when they come into contact with an alien being known as the Predator. 

    Manly Characteristics: Dutch is skilled in combat, unafraid of violence, incredibly physically fit, confident, and resistant to pain. He has a gruff, no-nonsense manner that has been hardened by years of battle experience. 

    Manliest Moment: He faces off against the Predator alone, using improvised traps and weapons of his own creation to try to take down his prey. While his initial charge fails to take out the beast, Dutch refuses to give up and even faces the alien being in hand-to-hand combat until he finally manages to lure the Predator into a trap that mortally wounds it.  

    Played By: Arnold Schwarzenegger

    359 votes
  • 2
    409 VOTES
    John Wick   
    Photo: John Wick Chapter 2 / Lionsgate

    Who Is He? John Wick is a former assassin and hitman who left the business when he married his wife. After his wife perishes of cancer, John goes on a bloody spree to take down the man who offed his dog, his last present from his wife. 

    Manly Characteristics: In addition to his incredible physical strength and stamina, John is aggressive and fearless. When it comes to his assassin duties, he can complete nearly impossible tasks, such as taking out all the enemies of the Tarasov Mob in one night. Not only is he skilled in almost every kind of weapon, but he can also turn ordinary household items into lethal tools. When provoked, there's nothing to stop him from taking revenge, and his anger is feared by anyone who knows him. He is a master marksman and a proficient student of martial arts. 

    Manliest Moment: While on a mission to take down Italian gangster Santino D'Antonio in John Wick: Chapter 2, Wick approaches his target in the middle of a crowded museum. Unafraid of anyone around him, Wick draws his piece and takes down dozens of D'Antonio's cronies in seconds. He then makes his way through room after room of the museum, hunting his prey. He's surrounded by adversaries, but he takes them all out one by one, barely sustaining a scratch himself. 

    Played By: Keanu Reeves 

    409 votes
  • 3
    331 VOTES
    John Rambo 
    Photo: First Blood / Orion Pictures

    Who Is He? John Rambo is a Vietnam veteran who returns from battle a decorated hero. Unfortunately, he also has to deal with the traumatic side effects that result from his years in battle.

    Manly Characteristics: After surviving torture from North Vietnamese soldiers, John himself is prone to aggression. He is hardened, gruff, and rarely opens up to people. He's a survival expert trained in a variety of weapons. His muscular physique, stealth, and intelligence all make him a master combatant able to take down his opponents with ease. 

    Manliest Moment: In First Blood Part II, Rambo is taken captive by Soviet soldiers. After learning that American bureaucrat Murdoch framed Rambo for a crime he didn't commit, Rambo tells Murdoch over the radio that he's on his way to get him. Then, he fights his way through a Soviet prison and makes his escape, taking down guard after guard along the way with little help from his accomplice. 

    Played By: Sylvester Stallone

    331 votes
  • John McClane - 'Die Hard' Franchise
    Photo: Die Hard / 20th Century Fox

    Who Is He? John is a seasoned detective with the New York City Police Department. 

    Manly Characteristics: Talented and well-trained, John knows how to keep his cool no matter what's happening around him. He has an aggressive streak and doesn't cringe in the face of danger. He's innovative, smart, and determined. Even when the odds are stacked against him, he still believes he can succeed on sheer force of will. His strength and endurance are almost inhuman, as is his cocky nature. 

    Manliest Moment: As the roof of Nakatomi Plaza is set to explode, John McClane decides to make his great escape. He wraps a fire hose around his waist and climbs up to jump. Terrified, but determined to survive, McClane throws himself off the roof just as it bursts into flames. The fire hose just manages to keep McClane from crashing to the ground. He then uses his gun to blow open a window and swing his bloody feet into the building, saving his life. 

    Played By: Bruce Willis 

    340 votes
  • Who Is He? Leonidas is the violent and brutal king of Sparta. 

    Manly Characteristics: King Leonidas is savage and aggressive. Though he wants to protect his own people, he certainly has a bloodthirsty streak. He finds satisfaction in angering his enemies, as shown by his decision to build a wall with Persian corpses. He is self-assured, confident, and refuses to take no for an answer. No matter how the odds may be stacked against him, he believes in his own abilities. His pride and sense of self-importance dictate much of his actions. 

    Manliest Moment: When a messenger demands a token of submission from a neighboring king, Leonidas weighs his options. Proud and concerned about the safety of his people and his family, he draws his blade. Knowing that it will be an act of war that may lead to his own demise, Leonidas kicks the messenger into the well, screaming, "This is Sparta!" 

    Played By: Gerard Butler 

    324 votes
  • Who Is He? John Matrix is a retired United States Army Special Forces colonel. Although he's no longer in active duty, he steps back into action when a mercenary takes out the members of his former team and kidnaps his daughter. 

    Manly Characteristics: While Matrix is certainly aggressive, he doesn't enjoy violence. He cares about his family and will do whatever it takes to save his daughter. He is intelligent and knows how to outsmart his opponents. All these qualities are paired with an incredible combat ability and skills with all kinds of weaponry. 

    Manliest Moment: When Matrix finally learns where his daughter is being held, he storms into the facility on his own and takes down his enemies to reach his little girl. Eventually, he comes face-to-face with a former member of his team who was instrumental in the kidnapping of his daughter. He fights the man in hand-to-hand combat, each struggling to gain the upper hand since they underwent similar training.

    While his adversary gains the upper hand for a long moment, Matrix manages to find his strength and forces his foe to back off. At that moment, his opponent pulls a side arm. Instead of stopping in fear, Matrix grabs a steam pipe and hurls it forward with enough strength to impale his former friend. 

    Played By: Arnold Schwarzenegger

    249 votes