Action is the ‘king’ of genres in the entertainment industry. Every year, hundreds of action movies are released and do great business.
And why not?!
Action movies offer almost everything; from great stories to adventures fight sequences. Over the years, we have seen great movies in this genre.
If you’re looking for movie-recommendations in this genre, you’re at the right place.
Here, we’ve made a list of 56 best action movies of all time till 2020. You’ll see great movies from all around the world in this list.
To top all that,
We’ve carefully selected and ranked these 56 movies based on the audience preferences and overall watching experience. Some movies were released quite long ago while other may have been released just a few years back.
But one thing is for sure, you’re bound to have a lot of fun watching these movies.
So why wait?
Let’s check it out right away!
- 56: Under Siege (1992)
- 55: Pacific Rim: Uprising (2018)
- 54: Blade (1998)
- 53: Death Race 2000 (1975)
- 52: From Russia With Love (1963)
- 51: The Expendables (2010)
- 50: Kill Bill: Volume 1 (2003)
- 49: Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle (2017)
- 48: Lethal Weapon (1987)
- 47: Ong-Bak: Muay Thai Warrior (2003)
- 46: Gonin (1995)
- 45: Drunken Master II (1994)
- 44: Resident Evil (2002)
- 43: Kingsman: The Golden Circle (2017)
- 42: Police Story (1985)
- 41: Spider-Man 2 (2004)
- 40: Speed (1994)
- 39: Commando (1985)
- 38: Tomb Raider (2001)
- 37: First Blood(1982)
- 36: Sudden Impact (1983)
- 35: Apocalypse Now (1979)
- 34: The Fast And The Furious (2001)
- 33: Black Hawk Down (2001)
- 32: The Transporter (2002)
- 31: Enter The Dragon (1973)
- 30: Bahubali: The Beginning (2015)
- 29: Platoon (1986)
- 28: Cobra (1986)
- 27: Full Metal Jacket (1987)
- 26: The Bourne Ultimatum (2007)
- 25: Ant-Man (2015)
- 24: A Taxi Driver (2017)
- 23: Dunkirk (2017)
- 22: Kick-Ass (2010)
- 21: Iron Man (2008)
- 20: Equilibrium (2002)
- 19: Saving Private Ryan (1998)
- 18: Die Hard (1988)
- 17: Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2014)
- 16: John Wick (2014)
- 15: Taken (2008)
- 14: The Avengers (2012)
- 13: The Matrix (1999)
- 12: Black Panther (2018)
- 11: Heat (1995)
- 10: Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation (2015)
- 9: Kingsman: The Secret Service (2014)
- 8: Avengers: Endgame (2019)
- 7: Baby Driver (2017)
- 6: Terminator 2: Judgement Day (1991)
- 5: Mad Max: Fury Road (2015)
- 4: The Wild Bunch (1969)
- 3: Shao Lin Si ‘Shaolin Temple’ (1982)
- 2: Rampage (2018)
- 1: Leon: The Professional (1994)
56: Under Siege (1992)
A terrorist group take over the largest and most powerful ship of the U.S. Navy; the USS Missouri. One man rises to the occasion of a crisis that could lead to nuclear weapons and, in the worst case, an all-out nuclear war. The intense action scenes set in the ocean are breathtaking. The film is part of the hit “Silence” series starring Steven Seagal.
55: Pacific Rim: Uprising (2018)
This movie is a sequel to Guillermo del Toro’s sci-fi monster film ‘Pacific Rim’ released in 2013.
Ten years after the last film, the threat of monsters strikes again before humanity. We can see Jake and Mako, sons of Stacker, who were died in the last film. They work to train young pilots to fly the sixth generation Jaeger Gypsy Avenger.
The director passed the baton to Stephen S. DeKnight. This time, the powerful KAIJU and the others, with even more power than in the previous game, attack the city of Tokyo!
54: Blade (1998)
Wesley Snipes plays the main character in this offbeat action film of vampire horror. Born a hybrid of a vampire and a human, Blade puts up a fight against Freud, the vampire who drove his mother to her death and is plotting to take over the world. Gothic horror action.
53: Death Race 2000 (1975)
When the film was released, it was in the near future, 2000 AD. In the United States, which has become a dictatorship as a result of the war and the Great Depression, what the people are enthusiastic about is the “Death Race”, a transcontinental race.
A ridiculous race in which points are added by killing humans while driving. This is a cult movie that depicts a fierce battle to the death between racers who have a habit of participating too much.
52: From Russia With Love (1963)
This is the second installment of the “007” series starring Sean Connery. This movie is known to be particularly popular in Japan. A Russian woman who wants asylum in exchange for the Soviet Union’s handover of a codebreaker approaches Bond. It depicts the battle between Spectre and Bond, the global criminal organization behind it.
51: The Expendables (2010)
This movie features Sylvester Stallone, Jason Statham, Jett Lee, Bruce Willis, and other gorgeous action stars! The Expendables, the most daredevil and invincible military force in history, will take on the biggest operation in history to overthrow a military dictatorship.
50: Kill Bill: Volume 1 (2003)
The film follows the revenge of a female agent who is attacked by her former boss on her wedding day. She’s after him because the boss killed her husband and even her child. With Yuma Thurman as the cool heroine, the action scenes reflect Tarantino’s love of Japanese cinema.
49: Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle (2017)
This movie is a reboot of Jumanji, released in 1995. Twenty years after the last movie, the board game has been turned into a PC game and is back in front of boys and girls.
Four high school students are given detention in the basement of the school. He discovered the computer game Jumanji and started playing it, but he was sucked into the game world in his avatar form.
New rules have been added to the game, such as the inability to return to the real world once your three lives have been reduced to zero, and the avatars fight in the jungle on an even grander scale. Directed by Jake Kasdan, known for his comedies such as “Bad Teacher” (2011).
48: Lethal Weapon (1987)
Martin Riggs and Roger Murtaugh are transferred from the Narcotics Division to the Homicide Division because of their extreme investigation skills. Two completely different types of people team up to take on a vicious drug ring.
Mel Gibson and Danny Glover’s co-starring was a huge hit and was later made into a series.
47: Ong-Bak: Muay Thai Warrior (2003)
This action film became one of the biggest hits in its home country of Thailand. After it’s huge success, it was subsequently released around the world. Tony Jaa, who plays the new hero, bursts into action. Ting, a young man who takes on evil, shows off his powerful martial arts and Muay Thai skills.
46: Gonin (1995)
This is a violent action film directed by Ishii Takashi, who was active in Nikkatsu Roman Porno films such as Hana to Snake. With the bursting of the bubble economy, five men who have deviated from society go on a one-shot battle to rob a gang office’s safe. The unique characters, played by a gorgeous cast including Koichi Sato, Masahiro Motoki, Naoto Takenaka and Takeshi Beat, are well worth watching.
45: Drunken Master II (1994)
The film depicts a man struggling to master the strongest Chinese martial art, “Drunken Raise”. The film stars the familiar Jackie Chan. This is the first sequel in 16 years since the last film, which became a work of fame.
44: Resident Evil (2002)
A hugely popular movie series based on Capcom’s survival shooter game, which was released in 1996. A sixth film is currently in the works.
This book series follows the threat of a virus leaked by the military company Umbrella Corporation that turns infected people into zombies. A tough heroine who survives a situation where she has to fight to the death with shotguns of attacking zombies and even Umbrella Corporation fighters.
Enjoy the brilliant shooting action of Milla Jovovich, who plays the main character Alice throughout the entire film.
43: Kingsman: The Golden Circle (2017)
This is the sequel to the hit spy action movie “Kingsman”.
A year after the last film, Eggsy is a member of the British spy agency Kingsman, but their base is attacked by the Golden Circle, the world’s largest drug trafficking organization. The Kingsmen are devastated when Roxie and other members are killed. Having barely survived, Eggsy and Merlin turn to the Statesman, an American spy agency with which they are allied, for help.
The crisp action that was the charm of the previous film is even more powerful in the sequel. The scenes depicting the differences between the British and American cultures are also very unique.
42: Police Story (1985)
Directed, written and starring Jackie Chan in three roles, this is the first installment of the popular action series about the fight against the drug syndicate. The film tells the story of Detective Chen’s struggle to eradicate the drug cartel, and the turmoil that ensues when he is framed for murder by Chu, a businessman with a penchant for trafficking.
41: Spider-Man 2 (2004)
This sequel takes place two years after the last film, which had a fierce death match with the Green Goblin. As Peter struggles with love and friendship as a result of being Spider-Man, a new enemy confronts him with a metal tentacle to taunt him. Once again, set in New York City, the film was a huge hit, featuring the vivid exploits of Spider-Man.
40: Speed (1994)
Speed is a non-stop action movie with a geat plot. A bomb is planted inside a fully packed bus. Jack, played by Keeanu Reeves has to keep a bus speeding above 50 mph to prevent it from exploding.
Yang de Vong is a masterful director who makes it hard to believe that this is his first film. Also not to be missed is Annie, played by Sandra Bullock, who takes the place of a seriously injured driver.
39: Commando (1985)
Arnold Schwarzenegger, who maintains his absolute status as an action actor, plays a former special forces (commando) member in this film. When his daughter is taken for refusing to support the coup, he finally launches a counterattack. The action and power of this superhuman film is well worth watching.
38: Tomb Raider (2001)
Lara, a treasure hunter, embarks on an epic journey with the key to an ancient treasure stash. Angelina Jolie gives a passionate performance as the heroine. He also made a splash when he finally co-starred with his previously insulated biological father, Jon Voight, in the role of his missing father.
37: First Blood(1982)
Starring Sylvester Stallone, this is one of the most physical action films of the 80s. Rambo, who served as a special forces officer in the Vietnam War and returned home, is outraged by the police’s unreasonableness. The film is a must-see for the spectacular action as one person fights against hundreds of police officers.
36: Sudden Impact (1983)
This is the fourth film in the series in which Detective Harry Callahan is armed with a Magnum 44 and is directed by Clint Eastwood, who stars in the film himself. The heroine who takes revenge on the men who gang-raped her and her sister was played by Sondra Locke, who was Eastwood’s lover at the time. It’s also the memorable film that gave birth to Harry’s famous line “GO AHEAD, MAKE MY DAY”.
35: Apocalypse Now (1979)
Set in the 1960s Vietnam War, a wartime jungle, the film depicts the madness of war as Captain Willard, who is ordered to assassinate Colonel Kurtz, witnesses it with his men. Director Francis Ford Coppola poured his heart and soul into this masterpiece war film, which is a horrific and troubling film.
34: The Fast And The Furious (2001)
Crime is involved as young people risk their lives against the limits of speed. Anyway, the dynamic action scenes of modified cars driving on the public road is a sight to behold. This is the masterpiece of Paul Walker, who sadly died young.
33: Black Hawk Down (2001)
Ridley Scott (Blade Runner) adapted this film from a fierce 15-hour urban war that actually took place in Somalia in 1993. A chaotic battle is waged in Somalia’s capital, involving multinational forces, including U.S. special forces, guerrilla militias and even civilians.
32: The Transporter (2002)
Frank, a taciturn and strong man in a black suit, is a “courier” who makes sure that any commissioned item gets to its destination. The film depicts the exploits of professionals who strictly observe the three rules of “strict adherence to contracts,” “no names asked,” and “no openings of requested items.
The masculine charm-packed Jason Statham has made him an instant global star.
31: Enter The Dragon (1973)
Starring Bruce Lee, this is a masterpiece of kung fu action film that, along with its popularity, has taken the world by storm. After the murder of his sister by Han’s underworldly subordinates, Lee enters a martial arts tournament organized by Han to seek revenge. This is the masterpiece of Bruce Lee, the man who created a worldwide boom in karate and kung fu films and who died young.
30: Bahubali: The Beginning (2015)
The legendary film was the number one grossing film of all time in India when it premiered in 2015 and has since become a global hit.
Set in ancient India, “Bahubali Legend Born” is a two-part epic film about an orphan boy who learns the secret of his birth and becomes the legendary warrior Bahubali, and “Bahubali The Triumphant King” is an episode of his grandparents and parents 50 years ago.
The film is a must-see for its spectacular and powerful action sequences, which are the most expensive to produce in Indian cinema history.
29: Platoon (1986)
Based on his own raw, real-life experiences, Oliver Stone portrays the hell out of soldiers struggling on the front lines of the Vietnam War. It is a shocking drama that highlights the truth of war, including the struggles and murders between soldiers. Willem Defoe’s masterful performance is a must-see.
28: Cobra (1986)
Marion Cobretti is played by Stallone, a loner who is nicknamed “Cobra” throughout the United States. The film follows a female model who stands up to protect her life after she witnesses a murder.
27: Full Metal Jacket (1987)
In his first new film in seven years since The Shining, director Stanley Kubrick tells the story of a rookie soldier’s grueling training and subsequent epic battlefield experiences in the Vietnam War. This is a scathing look at the process of gradually breaking down the spirit of a young man who is drafted.
26: The Bourne Ultimatum (2007)
Matt Damon plays Jason Bourne, who loses his memory and becomes a fighting machine, in this third and final installment of the blockbuster action film. His journey to his own memory and identity is finally coming to an end, as he descends from Europe, through Morocco, and finally into New York.
25: Ant-Man (2015)
The film follows the exploits of the world’s smallest hero, who is only 1.5 cm tall. Scott Lang, a convicted burglar, is discovered by the genius scientist Dr. Pym in the mansion he stole from, and he goes on to become the world’s smallest superhero Ant-Man, wearing the body-shrinking suit he developed.
Ant-Man is able to manipulate not only his body, but also the size of all things by controlling the Pym Particle, which was discovered by Dr. Pym. The action is very poignant, using unexpected things as weapons and kicking away one big enemy after another with a small body.
24: A Taxi Driver (2017)
In May 1980, the military mobilized in South Korea in response to a demonstration by citizens demanding democracy. There were numerous casualties. The story is based on a true story about the bond between Peter, a German reporter who told the world about the Gwangju incident, which is considered the greatest tragedy in Korean history, and Manseop, a taxi driver who drove him to the scene.
Man-sook and Peter manage to get to Gwangju after passing the checkpoint. What did they see there…? The climactic car chase with the government pursuers who try to take away Peter’s camera will leave you in awe.
23: Dunkirk (2017)
A war film from Christopher Nolan, known for Inception (2010) and the Dark Knight trilogy. The Great Dunkerque Retreat of World War II is depicted from three perspectives: land, sea, and air.
In 1940, besieged by the Germans on the coast of Dunkerque, France, the Allied forces decided to withdraw with Operation Dynamo. Tommy, a young soldier in the British Army, and his comrades board a rescue ship, determined to stay alive, but they are attacked and sunk by the Germans.
Meanwhile, in England, a rescue operation was underway that called for the cooperation of civilian sailors. Air Force pilots also make the decision to engage in combat with the Germans, which inhibits withdrawal operations.
This is how the thoughts of the people on land, sea, and in the air are connected and the biggest rescue operation in history is a truly spectacular sight.
22: Kick-Ass (2010)
It’s the story of an average nerdy boy in New York who becomes a superhero “Kick-Ass” in a hand-me-down costume. Also, look out for the cuteness of Chloe Grace Moretz, who played the real-life hero, Hit-Girl.
21: Iron Man (2008)
Tony Stark, a genius inventor forced to develop a weapon by a terrorist organization, uses cutting-edge technology to develop his own combat powered suit. You have to become “Iron Man” and fight against the terrorists. The film adaptation of Marvel’s popular comic book was a phenomenal hit around the world.
20: Equilibrium (2002)
The main character is a man who is awakened by his emotions in a police state that controls even his personal feelings. A man, once a bloodless warrior, takes on a nation in a lonely struggle. It’s a dynamic and stylish action sequence that mixes martial arts and guns.
19: Saving Private Ryan (1998)
The film follows Captain John Miller and others on their way to the rescue of Private Ryan in the middle of World War II. The film portrays the bonds and friendship between men in a harsh war zone with a human touch in the manner of director Steven Spielberg. The realistic and powerful images that resemble those of a documentary film have also become a hot topic of conversation.
18: Die Hard (1988)
A high-rise Japanese trading company building that has been taken over by terrorists. A detective who gets caught up in it by accident takes the fight to a single person. With his wild charm, lead actor Bruce Willis has become a huge international star.
17: Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2014)
The film follows the further exploits of one of the most popular Marvel Comics characters, “Captain America”. Captain America, along with Nick Fury and the red-headed Black Widow, takes on the mysterious enemy that appears again. It is also noteworthy that the famous actor Robert Redford is reluctantly cast as Pierce, an executive of an international peace organization.
16: John Wick (2014)
John is a former assassin who is no longer interested in marriage. But he also lost his beloved wife to illness, his house and car to his former boss, and his dog, his only hope of survival, was killed. Vengeful for the loss of everything, John returns to the underworld and takes revenge on his cunning boss, Vigo, and his son, Joseph.
This is the directorial debut of Chad Staelski, who has worked as a stunt coordinator in numerous action films, including The Matrix (1999). Starring and executive producer Keanu Reeves, who reportedly took his cues from Shinichi Chiba’s acting and action, the sequel, John Wick: Chapter 2, was also released in 2017.
15: Taken (2008)
Liam Neeson plays the father, a former CIA undercover operative, who single-handedly takes on the human trafficking mafia that has kidnapped his daughter. The highlight is the special skills of the secret agent. This is a thrilling suspenseful action film in the style of Luc Besson, who made “Leon” a huge hit.
14: The Avengers (2012)
Seven heroes rise up as the “Avengers” to protect the peace of the planet. It’s a gorgeous film that features a number of characters, not to mention familiar heroes such as Robert Downey Jr. of “Iron Man,” Mark Ruffalo of “The Incredible Hulk” and Chris Evans of “Captain America.
13: The Matrix (1999)
The film is the gold standard of science fiction action films, depicting a man who fights against a computer that creates a virtual reality space and controls the world in the near future.
Keanu Reeves as Neo, who was formerly a talented hacker, is the coolest. The kung fu-infused shooting scene with the latest SFX was like never before.
A future like this is just around the corner!
12: Black Panther (2018)
The film, played by Chadwick Boseman, follows the exploits of a two-faced protagonist, the King of Wakanda and a superhero.
T’Challa, who lost his father, the former king, in a bombing, is enthroned as King of Wakanda. Confront Killmonger, the merchant of death who is terrorizing the world.
Dressed in a jet-black suit, enhanced with secret mystical herbs to enhance his physical abilities, and even more lucid, Black Panther’s stylish action is just like a real black leopard.
11: Heat (1995)
Starring two of America’s greatest acting stars, Al Pacino and Robert De Niro, the film is a remake of the 1989 TV movie Made in L.A. The film follows the struggles of the LAPD as they hunt for the perpetrators of a cash truck robbery.
10: Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation (2015)
The fifth installment of the hit spy action series starring Tom Cruise follows the exploits of Ethan Hunt, an agile agent of the IMF, as he pursues a multinational spy organization that seeks to destroy the IMF. The thrilling action scenes don’t disappoint at all this time around.
9: Kingsman: The Secret Service (2014)
Kingsman, a high-end tailor’s clothing store in London’s Savile Row. Its true identity is the world’s most powerful spy agency that doesn’t belong to any country. The story centers on Harry, a tailor and elite spy, as he confronts a vicious enemy who is plotting the extermination of humanity.
8: Avengers: Endgame (2019)
This film marks the end of the MCU, which began with 2008’s Iron Man. Five years after the last Infinity War, our heroes had lost a lot of friends, but they were still hopeful. Captain America and his heroes want to somehow return to the world before the Infinity Stones, so they come up with a plan.
The Avengers cast members Robert Downey Jr. and Chris Evans have announced their graduation from MCU, making it the last appearance in the series for the two. The action scene at the end of the film, when the heroes gather in a big way, is heartwarming.
7: Baby Driver (2017)
The main character, Baby, suffers from severe tinnitus as a result of a childhood car accident, but her tinnitus is drowned out by listening to music, and she demonstrates a genius driving technique. Baby has been assigned a job by Doc, the underworld boss, but he meets Deborah, a waitress, and is determined to get out of the way of crime…
The brilliant car action by the genius driver, Baby, and the music he listens to are a perfect match and very cool.
6: Terminator 2: Judgement Day (1991)
A sequel to the previous film, directed by James Cameron (Titanic). It’s set in 1994, ten years after the last film. Two Terminators, the old T-800 and the new T-1000, are sent to L.A. to take aim at Sarah and Kyle’s son, John.
Of course, Arnold Schwarzenegger, co-starring Linda Hamilton and Edward Furlong, is the world’s biggest hit.
5: Mad Max: Fury Road (2015)
Starring Mel Gibson, this is the fourth film in the worldwide blockbuster series, a violent megaplex that is renowned as a masterpiece. Director George Miller’s skill is brilliant, and you can’t take your eyes off Furiosa, played by Charlize Theron.
This new masterpiece of spectacle action follows two rebels as they struggle for survival in a devastated desert land.
4: The Wild Bunch (1969)
Set in early 20th century Mexico, this western action movie masterpiece depicts the epic battle between five middle-aged robbers and a bandit. Directed by Sam Peckinpah, also known as the master of violent films. It is said that Peckinpah’s unique staging of slow-motion and fine-cut insertions had a great influence on later action films.
3: Shao Lin Si ‘Shaolin Temple’ (1982)
Shaolin Ken is said to be the root of all martial arts. It is an action film about a group of young monks who fight to protect the Shaolin Temple from the clutches of evil by using their many secret skills. The period was the end of the turbulent Chinese Sui dynasty. After his father was killed by the king’s general, Xiao Tora was taken into hiding in the Shaolin Temple and became a respectable fighter.
The main character was played by Lee Linchay.
2: Rampage (2018)
A panic action movie based on the American arcade game “Rampage”.
Ordinary animals suddenly begin to evolve due to a failed genetic experiment. Ferocious alligators and wolves that are not only huge, but also as strong and agile as any other creature, take over the city of Chicago. The way the animals, transformed into giant beasts, wreak havoc on the city is truly a sight to behold.
1: Leon: The Professional (1994)
Luc Besson’s Hollywood debut film set in New York City. Matilda, a girl whose family has been murdered, and Leon, a neighbor’s hitman, take revenge. Aside from the coolness of Jean Reno as Leon, the adorableness of the young Natalie Portman, who makes her film debut in this film, is a must-see.
These were some of the finest action movies of all time. All these films are sure to give you goosebumps if you happen to watch them for the first-time. And besides, many action movies are still thrilling even after watching them numerous times.
As there are so many popular action movies to choose from, we might have missed a few. If you think we missed one of your favorite action movies, please let us know down in the comments below. We’d love to hear your opinions on this article.