Foreign Films The Best French Action Movies  

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488 votes 184 voters 14.6k 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
36 9
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Leon: The Professional

2
24 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
22 11
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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
16 8
Brotherhood of the Wolf is listed (or ranked) 5 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

6
14 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
11 5
Dobermann is listed (or ranked) 7 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.

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
11 6
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The Nest

12
15 11
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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

13
9 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

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
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.

16
8 6
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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

17
7 5
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Unleashed

18
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

19
2 0
Total Western is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best French Action Movies
yeti added Samuel Le Bihan, Jean-François Stévenin, Jean-Pierre Kalfon

20
7 6
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Liam Neeson, Famke Janssen, Maggie Grace Taken 2 is a 2012 Action Crime Drama Thriller film written by Luc Besson and Robert Mark Kamen and directed by Olivier Megaton.

21
9 9
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District B13

22
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

23
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

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

26
2 4
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Ruby & Quentin

27
4 7
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Jean Reno, Laura Morante, Arly Jover Empire of the Wolves is a 2005 movie directed by Chris Nahon, written by Christian Clavier, Jean-Christophe Grangé, Chris Nahon and Franck Ollivier, and starring Jean Reno, Arly Jover, ...more

28
2 7
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Salma Hayek, Penélope Cruz, Sam Shepard Bandidas is a 2006 French/Mexican/American Western action comedy starring Salma Hayek and Penélope Cruz directed by Norwegian directors Joachim Rønning and Espen Sandberg and ...more

29
6 13
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Scarlett Johansson, Morgan Freeman, Analeigh Tipton Lucy is a 2014 English-language French science fiction action film written and directed by Luc Besson and produced by his wife Virginie Silla for his company Europacorp. The film was shot in ...more

30
3 10
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Jason Statham, Robert Knepper, Semmy Schilt Transporter 3 is a 2008 French action film, and is the third installment in the Transporter franchise. Both Jason Statham and François Berléand reprised their roles, as Frank ...more