Foreign Films The Best French Action Movies  

Ranker Film
508 votes 196 voters 15.6k views 30 items

Who knew the French had created so many iconic action films? Here’s a list of the best French action movies, ranging from the avant-garde to the simply kick-ass, or sometimes both at once. The French have put their own special twist on the action genre formula, and you’ll be sure to find the film on this list that will have you booking the next flight to Paris.

Parkour, or the sport of traversing urban obstacles on foot, gained a wider audience thanks to District B13, a French film directed by Pierre Morel. The film stars David Belle, considered to be the founder of parkour.

Leon: The Professional, starring Jean Reno, was the motion picture debut of Natalie Portman. It is considered the spiritual successor to director Luc Besson’s previous film, La Femme Nikita. This list of French action movies is perfect for beginners who aren't unexperienced with French cinema, so use it to find some amazing films that aren't as mainstream as the Taken series.

Which of these French action movies is your favorite? Give them an upvote if you would recommend them to others movie lovers.

list ordered by

1
39 10
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Leon: The Professional

2
25 10
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Marion Cotillard, Emma Wiklund, Bernard Farcy
Taxi is a 1998 French action-comedy film starring Samy Naceri, written by Luc Besson, and directed by Gérard Pirès. It has three sequels, Taxi 2, Taxi 3, Taxi 4 and one remake, ...more

3
6 0
La Haine is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best French Action Movies
yeti added Vincent Cassel, Saïd Taghmaoui, Benoît Magimel
La Haine is a 1995 French black-and-white drama/suspense film written, co-edited, and directed by Mathieu Kassovitz. It is commonly released under its French title in the English-speaking world, ...more

4
23 12
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Jean Reno, Jeanne Moreau, Anne Parillaud
Nikita, also called La Femme Nikita, is a 1990 Franco-Italian action thriller film written and directed by Luc Besson. Nikita is a teen who robs a pharmacy and takes out a policeman. She is ...more

5
14 5
Dobermann is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best French Action Movies
Monica Bellucci, Vincent Cassel, Tchéky Karyo
Dobermann is a French film directed by Jan Kounen starring Tchéky Karyo, Vincent Cassel and Monica Bellucci.

6
15 7
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Jean Reno, Carole Bouquet, Ryoko Hirosue
Wasabi is a 2001 French action-comedy film directed by Gérard Krawczyk and written and produced by Luc Besson. The film stars Jean Reno, Michel Muller and Ryōko Hirosue. In France, it was ...more

7
17 9
Brotherhood of the Wolf is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best French Action Movies
Monica Bellucci, Vincent Cassel, Gaspard Ulliel
Brotherhood of the Wolf is a 2001 French historical horror-action film directed by Christophe Gans, written by Gans and Stéphane Cabel, starring Samuel Le Bihan, Mark Dacascos, Emilie ...more

8
13 7
The Professional is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best French Action Movies
Mollevangsvagen added Jean-Paul Belmondo, Robert Hossein, Cyrielle Clair
Le Professionnel is a 1981 French action thriller film directed by French director Georges Lautner, starring Jean-Paul Belmondo, Jean Desailly and Robert Hossein, based on the award-winning 1976 ...more

9
11 6
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Jean Reno, Kad Merad, Marina Fois
"A retired gangster (Reno) is the target of a brutal assassination attempt. He survives to exact violent revenge on those who left him for dead ... but who were they? Produced by Luc ...more

10
12 7
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Jason Statham, Shu Qi, François Berléand
The Transporter is a 2002 French action thriller film directed by Louis Leterrier and Corey Yuen and written by Luc Besson, who was inspired by BMW Films' The Hire series. The film stars Jason ...more

11
10 5
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Bridget Fonda, Jet Li, Tchéky Karyo
Kiss of the Dragon is a 2001 English-language French action thriller film directed by Chris Nahon, written and produced by French filmmaker Luc Besson, and starring an international cast of Jet ...more

12
11 6
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The Nest

13
16 12
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Liam Neeson, Famke Janssen, Maggie Grace
Taken is a 2008 French action thriller film directed by Pierre Morel, written by Luc Besson and Robert Mark Kamen, and starring Leland Orser, Liam Neeson, Maggie Grace, Jon Gries, David ...more

14
8 5
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Marion Cotillard, Emma Wiklund, Bernard Farcy
Taxi 2 is a French film directed by Gérard Krawczyk and released in 2000. It is a sequel to Taxi written by Luc Besson and directed by Gérard Pirès in 1998. It was followed

15
8 5
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Unleashed

16
6 3
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Sylvester Stallone, Marion Cotillard, Bai Ling
Taxi 3 is a 2003 French comedy film directed by Gérard Krawczyk. It is the sequel to Taxi 2 and was followed by Taxi 4.

17
6 4
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Elodie Yung, Dany Verissimo, Cyril Raffaelli
District 13: Ultimatum, also known as D13-U, is a 2009 sequel to the 2004 French parkour-filled action film District 13. The film, directed by Patrick Alessandrin and written and produced by Luc ...more

18
2 0
Total Western is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best French Action Movies
yeti added Samuel Le Bihan, Jean-François Stévenin, Jean-Pierre Kalfon

19
10 9
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District B13

20
8 7
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Jason Statham, AnnaLynne McCord, Amber Valletta
Transporter 2 is a 2005 French action film directed by Louis Leterrier and produced by Luc Besson. It is the sequel to The Transporter. It is followed by Transporter 3. The film stars Jason ...more

21
8 8
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Emma Wiklund, Bernard Farcy, Jean-Christophe Bouvet
Taxi 4 is a 2007 French comedy film directed by Gérard Krawczyk and the fourth installment of the Taxi series. As with all the other films in the Gallic Taxi franchise, Samy Naceri plays ...more

22
7 7
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Zoe Saldana, Michael Vartan, Graham McTavish
Colombiana is a 2011 American action film, co-written and produced by Luc Besson and directed by Olivier Megaton. The film stars Zoe Saldana in the lead role with supporting roles performed by ...more

23
7 7
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Liam Neeson, Famke Janssen, Maggie Grace
Taken 2 is a 2012 action drama thriller film written by Luc Besson and Robert Mark Kamen and directed by Olivier Megaton.

24
5 5
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John Travolta, Kelly Preston, Jonathan Rhys Meyers
From Paris with Love is a 2010 French-American action film starring John Travolta and Jonathan Rhys Meyers and directed by Pierre Morel. The screenplay was co-written by Luc Besson. The film was ...more

25
3 4
Largo Winch is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best French Action Movies
Psydrow Nanashi added Kristin Scott Thomas, Gilbert Melki, Mélanie Thierry
Largo Winch is a 2008 French film based on the Belgian comic book Largo Winch. It was released in France and Belgium on 17 December 2008, and in the United States in November 2011, where it was ...more