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The Best Action Movies Of The 1980s

Updated October 8, 2020 75.0k votes 5.6k voters 179.2k views112 items

List RulesVote up your favorite action films that were released in the 1980s.

Here is a list of the best '80s action movies that arguably represents a list of the greatest action movies of all time. The Terminator, Die Hard, and Raiders of the Lost Ark were all released in the 1980s, after all. Those three films are just the tip of the iceberg. You also have Lethal Weapon, Beverly Hills Cop, Aliens, and many more good 1980s action movies. What do you think are the top '80s action movies? Vote up your favorites from the list of 1980s action-adventure films below.

With all of these amazing choices, it may be tough to narrow down the very best '80s action movies. What do you believe defines the greatest action movies of the '80s? Should they be non-stop action from start to finish like Commando or can they build tension slowly like Predator? Are the top '80s action movies ultra-violent like RoboCop or do you prefer something a bit goofier like Big Trouble in Little China? Good 1980s action films can even be more serious-minded fare like Platoon or First Blood. You get to decide the best and the rest with your votes.

This '80s action movie list is sure to start some heated debates, so get voting! And if we somehow missed a great 1980s action movie, don't hesitate to rerank the the list!

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  • 1
    Die Hard
    2,080
    538

    ActorsBruce Willis, Alan Rickman, Bonnie Bedelia, Robert Davi, Kym Malin

    Directed byJohn McTiernan

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  • 2
    The Terminator
    1,923
    406

    ActorsArnold Schwarzenegger, Bill Paxton, Linda Hamilton, David Hyde Pierce, Michael Biehn

    Directed byJames Cameron

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  • 3
    Predator
    1,886
    297

    ActorsArnold Schwarzenegger, Jesse Ventura, Carl Weathers, Bill Duke, Peter Cullen

    Directed byJohn McTiernan

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  • 4
    Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark

    ActorsHarrison Ford, Alfred Molina, Karen Allen, Frank Welker, Denholm Elliott

    Directed bySteven Spielberg

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  • 5
    Aliens
    1,477
    391

    Aliens

    1986

    ActorsSigourney Weaver, Bill Paxton, Michael Biehn, Paul Reiser, Lance Henriksen

    Directed byJames Cameron

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  • 6
    First Blood
    1,463
    455

    ActorsSylvester Stallone, Brian Dennehy, David Caruso, Bruce Greenwood, Chris Mulkey

    Directed byTed Kotcheff

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  • 7
    Lethal Weapon
    1,452
    459

    ActorsMel Gibson, Gary Busey, Danny Glover, Joan Severance, Darlene Love

    Directed byRichard Donner

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  • 8
    Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade

    ActorsHarrison Ford, Sean Connery, River Phoenix, Denholm Elliott, Alison Doody

    Directed bySteven Spielberg

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  • 9
    Commando
    1,150
    367

    ActorsArnold Schwarzenegger, Alyssa Milano, Bill Paxton, Bill Duke, Dan Hedaya

    Directed byMark L. Lester

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  • 10
    Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back

    ActorsHarrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, Mark Hamill, James Earl Jones, Alec Guinness

    Directed byIrvin Kershner

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  • 11
    Lethal Weapon 2
    1,036
    360

    ActorsMel Gibson, Joe Pesci, Danny Glover, Patsy Kensit, Darlene Love

    Directed byRichard Donner

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  • 12
    Big Trouble in Little China

    ActorsKurt Russell, Kim Cattrall, John Carpenter, James Hong, Kate Burton

    Directed byJohn Carpenter

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  • 13
    The Running Man
    870
    266

    ActorsArnold Schwarzenegger, Jim Brown, Jesse Ventura, María Conchita Alonso, Mick Fleetwood

    Directed byPaul Michael Glaser

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  • 14
    Full Metal Jacket

    ActorsVincent D'Onofrio, R. Lee Ermey, Adam Baldwin, Matthew Modine, Dorian Harewood

    Directed byStanley Kubrick

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  • 15
    Escape from New York

    ActorsJamie Lee Curtis, Kurt Russell, Ernest Borgnine, Isaac Hayes, John Carpenter

    Directed byJohn Carpenter

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  • 16
    RoboCop
    1,155
    471

    ActorsAlex Van Halen, Peter Weller, Leeza Gibbons, Nancy Allen, Paul Verhoeven

    Directed byPaul Verhoeven

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  • 17
    Ghostbusters
    921
    308

    ActorsBill Murray, Sigourney Weaver, Dan Aykroyd, Bill Walton, Ron Jeremy

    Directed byIvan Reitman

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  • 18
    Beverly Hills Cop
    1,052
    343

    ActorsEddie Murphy, Damon Wayans, Paul Reiser, Jonathan Banks, Judge Reinhold

    Directed byMartin Brest

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  • 19
    Road House
    765
    291

    ActorsSam Elliott, Terry Funk, Kelly Lynch, Keith David, Jeff Healey

    Directed byRowdy Herrington

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  • 20
    Rambo: First Blood Part II

    ActorsSylvester Stallone, Charles Napier, Richard Crenna, Steven Berkoff, Julia Nickson-Soul

    Directed byGeorge P. Cosmatos

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  • 21
    The Road Warrior

    ActorsMel Gibson, Bruce Spence, Vernon Wells, Virginia Hey, Arkie Whiteley

    Directed byGeorge Miller

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  • 22
    Star Wars: Episode VI - Return of the Jedi

    ActorsHarrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, Mark Hamill, James Earl Jones, Alec Guinness

    Directed byRichard Marquand

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  • 23
    Rocky IV
    821
    297

    ActorsSylvester Stallone, James Brown, Mr. T, Dolph Lundren, Brigitte Nielsen

    Directed bySylvester Stallone

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  • 24
    Top Gun
    990
    454

    ActorsTom Cruise, Meg Ryan, Val Kilmer, Tim Robbins, Michael Ironside

    Directed byTony Scott

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  • 25
    Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom

    ActorsHarrison Ford, Steven Spielberg, Dan Aykroyd, George Lucas, Amrish Puri

    Directed bySteven Spielberg

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