Top 10 Films: Action

Top 10 Action Films



Action films; they are that unique type that illicit the kind of response that strikes a definite jolt to a person’s core.  It is within that pure cinematic experience defined by one of a combination of from over-the-top sequences, choreographed/gritty fight scenes, gun battles, car chases and/or unforgettable characters (good or bad).  The truly great ones take all these elements, puts them in a unique or well developed story, and creates an experience that will create truly pure ‘memorable scenes’.  This is when it strikes that perfect chord for me, knowing that no matter how many times it has been watched, that pulse pounding sensation never fades.  This is how I define a pure action film.  Before I go forward with my top 10 list, I will warn there are some notable absences.  From this list there are going to be to exceptions; War inspired films (which will have its own list later) and films focusing majority of its time on fantastical elements (Lord of the Rings, Star Wars).   The sole purpose of this list will be defined by majority of the elements above.  Another reason for other notable absents is that they ‘may’ be on future lists.  Without further waiting, here are my top 10 action films




john wick

10. John Wick – This is a very recent film released; but that should never deter it from being added to this or any list. In the simplest term, this film was just damn good popcorn fun. From the wonderful shot gun/fight scenes, the ‘hit man’ style lore and overall ‘high octane’ thrill; this action film starring Keanu Reeves brings you that sensation of a raw action flick.  This film will not only make you believe in the return of Keanu; but also want you to see more of John Wick.




Hard Boiled9. Hard Boiled – A John Woo film from the early 90s; this is one of the most unique if not definite classics in the hardcore cop drama. Hard Boiled had it all; from the epic ‘slow motion’ shootouts, well developed criminal story, the car cases and deeply invoking characters; this is a foreign film that pushed beyond just its Asian roots. This film put both the director (John Woo) and lead actor (Chow Yun-Fat) on the Hollywood Map.  It also brought a new term to the action genre (John Woo style).  If you’re a big action junkie, this is definitely one to add and watch.




The Bourne Ultimatum8. The Bourne Ultimatum – Out of all of the Bourne films; this is the one that stood out from the pack. Not only do we get to see Matt Damon become complete within the role of Jason Bourne; we also (as an audience) find the whole journey of finding the ‘truth’ comes home. With a great mix of ‘hand to hand’ combat; modern espionage elements and a raw ‘cat-and-mouse’ game on a global scale; this film will keep you on the edge of your seat till the final scene.  With great focus on the action (and less shaky cam); this film is a definition of the modern ‘spy thriller’.




skyfall movie7. Skyfall – There have been a lot of James Bond throughout the decades, but this is the one that takes the cake. Not only is this the most financially successful out of the collection; it is the most thrilling, action pack and character driven James Bond film.  With a combination of the best actor in the role (Daniel Craig) combined with a down to earth approach to storytelling; this creates an espionage thriller that rises above the generalities of a spy film.  Skyfall gives us great sequences and visceral one-on-one confrontations between the ‘hero’ and the ‘arch nemesis’.  This is in my top 10 action films and the best James Bond film to date.




Fast Five6. Fast Five – The Fast and Furious films have always been entertaining in their own rights, but this is the one that ‘refocused’ the film’s purpose into the action genre. Fast Five introduced not only included more ‘action-oriented’ scenes; but with the inclusion of The Rock, a change of scenery (Brazil) and a ‘purposeful’ story for all the characters; you get a film that is rise above the typical high octane racing clichés and infuses it with pure adrenaline action.  This film redefined its own movie world; creating the best in the series.




die hard5. Die Hard – I’ll keep it short and sweet; this is the film that truly defined the meaning of ‘hard R’ action with pure entertainment. This first in the series had it all. From its memorable villainous antagonist, an ‘unbelievable’ kind of hostage situation, and the macho of all action heroes within the main character John McClane.  With some epic one-liners; hardcore action and an over-the-top climax, this is a film worthy of a Top 10 spot.  This is an action film that spawned many great ones after it; a classic.




MI Ghost Protocol4. Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol – There is no film that gave me such a deep adrenaline rush in the movie theater like this one. The fourth film in the series; Ghost Protocol is the best to date in the series.  With some of the most unique and intense set pieces, ‘death’ defining situations and overtly amazing spy technologies, Ethan Hunt and crew gives up an amazing ‘non-stop’  journey against time to stop a truly unforgettable villain.  Making it’s stop at number 4; this is a worthy film for the list, and will keep you watching it over and over.




T23. Terminator 2: Judgment Day – If there is one action film that forever pushed the limits of what it can be; this is the grand daddy of them all (with that definition). T2 not only gave me an aspect of film’s I have never seen; but in that different aspect I got to experience revolutionized ‘CGI’ with actions.  It also changed the game by its sophisticated/in depth story infused with crazy set pieces and amazing characters with memorable one-liners.  This is probably the best sequel ever to an original, and one that gave more defines to the genres.




the raid 22. The Raid 2 – Another recent released film, but one that completely changed the outlook on how everyone sees foreign action films. Straight to the point; not only does this sequel top the first one in the series; but takes the fights to a level of pure unique creativity. You get to see in The Raid 2 some of the most unpredictable, fast and bloodiest hand-to-hand combat in a film to date.  This film leaps all the others because of infusion of all the elements from above; creating a film that can stand the test the time in the action genre.  It only took the number two spot, but that is because there is another that did this better way before its time.




Fist of Legend1. Fist of Legend – Jet Li is my favorite action star; no question. With that being said, he has been in many films over the past few decades; both foreign and domestic. My favorite film of his is also what I use as the blue print against any other action film; which is why i consider it the best action film I have ever seen.  What makes Fist of Legend stand above the rest is not only in the genuinely ambiguous fights, but it is how they build up the characters in the film and add layers of depth to show human flaws.  In those flaws, it drives the characters and story to an a ironic intensity where you care about everything that happens.  You get to see the rise and pitfalls that beholden to Jet Li’s character, the Japanese take over and his brevity towards the whole situation. The slow build, combined with the best choreographed fights to date; this is a film that will keep you on the edge of your seat from beginning till the end.  This is why it is my number one action film.

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