Best Movies

The Top 25 Must-See Quintessential Adventure Movies  

Ranker Film
173 votes 49 voters 25 items

List Rules Vote up the adventure movies that define the genre and should be required viewing for beginners in an Intro to Adventure Films Class.

When it comes to adventure, most of us could probably use a little more of it in our lives. Hollywood knows this, which is why adventure movies are a successful film genre that tend to generate big box office numbers. In fact, some of the most popular movies of all time fall under the adventure film umbrella. This is no surprise. Some of the earliest stories in human history, passed down via oral traditions, are adventure stories. From Homeric epics like The Odyssey to epic poems like The Inferno, the human desire for watching heroic journeys always needs to be satisfied. These must-see adventure movies do just that! 

Many of these adventure movies are so famous that pop culture is saturated with references, so these are truly films everyone should watch to keep up. What would our lives be like without the likes of Indiana Jones or James Bond? We can't all go on adventures looking for love, lost treasure, and magical artifacts, so we live vicariously through these larger than life heroes. If you're unfamiliar with the genre, below you'll find some adventure movies for beginners to get you used to the tropes and convention of these types of films. 

Give yourself an intro to adventure movies by watching some of these essential films. Then, give your favorites a thumbs up below! 

Ranker Video
Video: YouTube

The Indiana Jones franchise is an American media franchise based on the adventures of Dr. Henry "Indiana" Jones, a fictional archaeologist. It began in 1981 with the film Raiders of the Lost Ark. A prequel, Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, followed in 1984, and a sequel, Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, was released in 1989. A fourth film, Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, was released in 2008, and was the last in the series to be distributed by Paramount Pictures. The series was created by George Lucas; the films star Harrison Ford and are directed by Steven Spielberg. The Walt Disney Company has owned the Indiana Jones intellectual property since its acquisition ...more on Wikipedia

More Indiana Jones Franchise

#12 of 119 on The Very Best Movie Franchises #7 of 58 on The Best Movies for Boys to Watch featuring 47 Things You Might Not Know About the Indiana Jones Movies What The Cast Of 'Indiana Jones' Thinks Of The Classic Adventure Series

Is this a must-see?
see more on Indiana Jones Franchise
Ranker Video
Video: YouTube

The James Bond film series is a British series of spy films based on the fictional character of MI6 agent James Bond, "007", who originally appeared in a series of books by Ian Fleming. It is one of the longest continually-running film series in history, having been in on-going production from 1962 to the present (with a six-year hiatus between 1989 and 1995). In that time Eon Productions has produced 24 films, most of them at Pinewood Studios. With a combined gross of over $7 billion to date, the films produced by Eon constitute the fourth-highest-grossing film series. Six actors have portrayed 007 in the Eon series, the latest being Daniel Craig. ...more on Wikipedia

More James Bond Franchise

#10 of 119 on The Very Best Movie Franchises #4 of 371 on The Greatest Movie Themes #4 of 29 on The All-Round Greatest Action Film Franchises, Ranked #19 of 20 on Movie Franchises You Need To Stop Watching

Is this a must-see?
see more on James Bond Franchise
Ranker Video
Video: YouTube

The Adventures of Robin Hood is a 1938 American swashbuckler film directed by Michael Curtiz and William Keighley, and starring Errol Flynn, Olivia de Havilland, Basil Rathbone, and Claude Rains. Written by Norman Reilly Raine and Seton I. Miller, the film is about a Saxon knight who, in King Richard's absence in the Holy Land during the Crusades, fights back as the outlaw leader of a rebel guerrilla army against Prince John and the Norman lords oppressing the Saxon commoners. The Adventures of Robin Hood was filmed in Technicolor. In 1995, The Adventures of Robin Hood was deemed "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant" by the United States Library of Congress and selected ...more on Wikipedia

Actors: Olivia de Havilland, Errol Flynn, Claude Rains, Basil Rathbone, Ian Hunter, + more

Released: 1938

Directed by: Michael Curtiz, William Keighley

More The Adventures of Robin Hood

#98 of 271 on The Best Movies for 10 Year Old Kids #57 of 204 on The Best Adventure Movies #48 of 126 on The Best Oscar-Winning Scores #15 of 187 on The Best Medieval Movies

Is this a must-see?
see more on The Adventures of Robin Hood
Ranker Video
Video: YouTube

The Treasure of the Sierra Madre is an American dramatic adventurous neo-western written and directed by John Huston. It is a feature film adaptation of B. Traven's 1927 novel of the same name, about two financially desperate Americans, Fred C. Dobbs and Bob Curtin, who in the 1920s join initially reluctant old-timer Howard in Mexico to prospect for gold. The Treasure of the Sierra Madre was one of the first Hollywood films to be filmed on location outside the United States, although many scenes were filmed back in the studio and elsewhere in the US. The film is quite faithful to the source novel. In 1990, the film was selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry by ...more on Wikipedia

Actors: Humphrey Bogart, Walter Huston, Barton MacLane, Tim Holt, Bruce Bennett, + more

Released: 1948

Directed by: John Huston

More The Treasure of the Sierra Madre

#46 of 406 on The Best Western Movies Ever Made #82 of 204 on The Best Adventure Movies #12 of 20 on Wild West Movies That Are Probably More Fun Than Going Out On A Friday Night #3 of 50 on The Best 1940s Western Movies

Is this a must-see?
see more on The Treasure of the Sierra Madre