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5.8k voters

The Best Action Movies Of The 1980s

Updated February 25, 2021 76.1k votes 5.8k voters 182.8k 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!

Several of these movies spawned sequels that can be found on our list of the best action movies from the '90s.

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  • Die Hard1
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    ActorsBruce Willis, Alan Rickman, Bonnie Bedelia, Robert Davi, Kym Malin

    Directed byJohn McTiernan

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  • The Terminator2
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    ActorsArnold Schwarzenegger, Bill Paxton, Linda Hamilton, David Hyde Pierce, Michael Biehn

    Directed byJames Cameron

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  • Predator3
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    ActorsArnold Schwarzenegger, Jesse Ventura, Carl Weathers, Bill Duke, Peter Cullen

    Directed byJohn McTiernan

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  • Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark4

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

    Directed bySteven Spielberg

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  • Aliens5
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    Aliens

    1986

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

    Directed byJames Cameron

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  • Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade6

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

    Directed bySteven Spielberg

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  • Lethal Weapon7
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    ActorsMel Gibson, Gary Busey, Danny Glover, Joan Severance, Darlene Love

    Directed byRichard Donner

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  • First Blood8
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    ActorsSylvester Stallone, Brian Dennehy, David Caruso, Bruce Greenwood, Chris Mulkey

    Directed byTed Kotcheff

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  • Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back9

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

    Directed byIrvin Kershner

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  • Commando10
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    ActorsArnold Schwarzenegger, Alyssa Milano, Bill Paxton, Bill Duke, Dan Hedaya

    Directed byMark L. Lester

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  • Lethal Weapon 211
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    ActorsMel Gibson, Joe Pesci, Danny Glover, Patsy Kensit, Darlene Love

    Directed byRichard Donner

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  • Big Trouble in Little China12

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

    Directed byJohn Carpenter

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    #41 of 305 The Funniest '80s Movies#81 of 913 The All-Time Greatest Comedy Films

  • Beverly Hills Cop13
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    ActorsEddie Murphy, Damon Wayans, Paul Reiser, Jonathan Banks, Judge Reinhold

    Directed byMartin Brest

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  • RoboCop14
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    ActorsAlex Van Halen, Peter Weller, Leeza Gibbons, Nancy Allen, Paul Verhoeven

    Directed byPaul Verhoeven

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    #60 of 512 The Greatest Movies Of The 1980s, Ranked#21 of 167 The Best Science Fiction Action Movies

  • The Running Man15
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    ActorsArnold Schwarzenegger, Jim Brown, Jesse Ventura, María Conchita Alonso, Mick Fleetwood

    Directed byPaul Michael Glaser

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  • Ghostbusters16
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    ActorsBill Murray, Sigourney Weaver, Dan Aykroyd, Bill Walton, Ron Jeremy

    Directed byIvan Reitman

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  • Rambo: First Blood Part II17

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

    Directed byGeorge P. Cosmatos

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  • Escape from New York18

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

    Directed byJohn Carpenter

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  • The Road Warrior19

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

    Directed byGeorge Miller

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  • Full Metal Jacket20

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

    Directed byStanley Kubrick

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  • Road House21
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    ActorsSam Elliott, Terry Funk, Kelly Lynch, Keith David, Jeff Healey

    Directed byRowdy Herrington

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  • Star Wars: Episode VI - Return of the Jedi22

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

    Directed byRichard Marquand

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  • Rocky IV23
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    ActorsSylvester Stallone, James Brown, Mr. T, Dolph Lundren, Brigitte Nielsen

    Directed bySylvester Stallone

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  • Top Gun24
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    ActorsTom Cruise, Meg Ryan, Val Kilmer, Tim Robbins, Michael Ironside

    Directed byTony Scott

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  • Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom25

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

    Directed bySteven Spielberg

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