100 Greatest Hollywood Action Movies of 70s, 80s, 90s, 2000s and 2010s

100 Greatest Hollywood Action Movies: 70s 80s 90s 2000s and 2010s

100 Greatest Hollywood Action Movies of 70s, 80s, 90s, 2000s and 2010s
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Action is one of the most popular film genres. The non-stop excitement in the form of physical feats of fighting and spectacular chases and stunts makes action films hugely popular with audiences. This article showcases a list of the best Hollywood action movies from various decades.

The entertainment quotient in Hollywood action movies is at another level, and that’s the reason people globally swear by Hollywood action flicks. A typical action movie has loads of action sequences in the form of fights, stunts, and nail biting chases. It’s the protagonist in action films that is made to overcome incredible odds and dangerous situations which are life threatening. The hero and villain face-offs are an integral part of action movies. In many Hollywood action movies it’s the lone hero that goes up against the bad guys, and you guessed right… in majority of films in this genre it’s the hero that emerges victorious.

Different Elements in Action Movies

Action is a broad genre that encompasses elements of adventure, spy fiction, comedy, and thrillers. The action genre began to flourish in the 70s and since has become one of the most popular mainstream movie genres.

Professional stunt crews are required to perform death-defying stunts or action sequences in movies. The spectacular stunts and action sequences often leave audiences open-mouthed with surprise and excitement.

With advances in technology, creating action sequences has certainly become a lot easier. A number of present-day big budget Hollywood movies make use of spectacular CGI (Computer-generated imagery) to bring spectacular action sequences and other visual effects to life. Over the years special effects have become an integral aspect of films. While the use of CGI in modern action movies has had its share of criticism, the praises in regard with CGI and special effects have been significantly higher. Filmmakers are incorporating varied elements in action films to ensure a complete entertainment package.

A number of big budget Hollywood action adventure films are amongst the highest-grossing films of all time. While there have been quite a number of action films that have fared poorly at the box-office, a large number of Hollywood films in this genre have become blockbusters. Since the early 80s, martial art sequences have become rather popular in Hollywood films. In the 90s new forms of action sequences in films enthralled audiences. Elements commonly showcased in action movies are

  • Fighting
  • Gunplay
  • Shootouts
  • Car Chases
  • Explosions
  • Hostage Situations
  • Stunts
  • Complex Plots

The action hero trend gained momentum in the 80s with actors such Bruce Wills, Arnold Schwarzenegger, and Sylvester Stallone being idolized by fans. While in the past female characters in action films were merely eye candy for audiences, in recent years a number of filmmakers have portrayed strong female characters through action movies. The feminist approach is getting bigger in action flicks. Different types of action movies are made in Hollywood. A number of subgenres are associated with action the action genre.

The different types of Action Films are

  • Action Adventure
  • Action Horror
  • Action Comedy
  • Martial Arts
  • Spy Films
  • Buddy Cop
  • Superhero Movies
  • Action Thriller
  • Sci-Fi Action
  • Disaster Film

Since the year 2000, a number of superhero films have been made using CGI and special effects. Needless to say superhero action movies have become a visual treat for audiences in different age groups. Thanks to technology, the imagery and action in modern movies is spectacularly beyond belief. A new-wave of action movies and action adventure movies that have emerged in the 2000s and post 2010s have gone onto becoming the highest grossing films. The box-office collections say a lot about commercial accessibility of films. The fact that a number of action movies have astounding box-office collections worldwide is testimony to the popularity of this genre. Action will only get bigger in the days ahead.

The lines below showcase a diverse list of Hollywood action movies of the 70s, 80s, 90s, 2000s, and 2010s.

100 Greatest Hollywood Action Movies (2010- 2017)

  1. Logan (2017)
  2. Mad Max: Fury Road (2015)
  3. Thor: Ragnarok (2017)
  4. Inception (2010)
  5. Guardians of the Galaxy (2014)
  6. The Avengers (2012)
  7. Star Wars: The Force Awakens (2015)
  8. Jason Bourne (2016)
  9. The Equalizer (2014)
  10. Iron Man 3 (2013)
  11. Rogue One (2016)
  12. Deadpool (2016)
  13. Nightcrawler (2014)
  14. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 (2017)
  15. The Dark Knight Rises (2012)
  16. Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015)
  17. Spider-Man: Homecoming (2017)
  18. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 (2017)
  19. Captain America: Civil War (2016)
  20. Star Trek: Into Darkness (2013)
  21. Kill Bill: The Whole Bloody Affair (2011)
  22. Iron Man 2 (2010)
  23. X-Men: Days of Future Past (2014)
  24. Thor (2011)
  25. Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2014)
  26. Kingsman: The Golden Circle (2017)
  27. John Wick: Chapter 2 (2017)    
  28. The Amazing Spider-Man 2 (2014)
  29. Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (2016)
  30. Thor: The Dark World (2013)
  31. Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation (2015)
  32. Justice League (2017)
  33. The Revenant (2015) 
  34. Brawl in Cell Block 99 (2017)
  35. Edge of Tomorrow (2014)  
  36. Skyfall (2012)
  37. X-Men: First Class (2011)
  38. The Nice Guys (2016)
  39. Baby Driver (2017) 
  40. Kong: Skull Island (2017)
  41. Kingsman: The Secret Service (2014) 
  42. Sicario (2015)
  43. Blade Runner: 2049 (2017)
  44. 22 Jump Street (2014)
  45. Doctor Strange (2016)
  46. Fury (2014)
  47. Fast & Furious 6 (2013)
  48. The Raid 2 (2014)
  49. Dunkirk (2017)
  50. Kick-Ass (2010)
  51. John Wick (2014)
  52. War for Planet of the Apes (2017)
  53. The Accountant (2016)
  54. Dredd (2012)
  55. Star Trek: Beyond (2016)
  56. Elite Squad: The Enemy Within (2010)
  57. Ip Man 2 (2010)
  58. Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows (2011)
  59. Ghost in the Shell (2017)
  60. Warcraft (2016)
  61. Non Stop (2014)
  62. The Fate of the Furious (2017)
  63. Star Wars: The Last Jedi (2017)
  64. Captain America: The First Avenger (2011)
  65. The Lone Ranger (2013)
  66. Batman Vs. Superman (2016)
  67. The Magnificent Seven (2016)
  68. X-Men: Apocalypse (2016)
  69. Spectre (2015)
  70. The Hitman’s Bodyguard (2017)
  71. The Man from U.N.C.L.E. (2015)
  72. World War Z (2013)
  73. Mission Impossible – Ghost Protocol (2011)
  74. The Hunger Games: Changing Fire (2013)
  75. American Assassin (2017)
  76. The Finest Hours (2016)
  77. The Raid: Redemption (2011)
  78. King Arthur: Legend of the Sword (2017)
  79. Ant-Man (2015)
  80. Oblivion (2013)
  81. Divergent (2014)
  82. The Foreigner (2017)
  83. Ender’s Game (2013)
  84. The Wolverine (2013)
  85. Bastille Day (2016)
  86. The Bourne Legacy (2012)
  87. 2 Guns (2013)
  88. Okja (2017)
  89. Jack Reacher (2012)
  90. Free State of Jones (2016)
  91. The Maze Runner (2014)
  92. Escape Plan (2013)
  93. Starship Troopers: Traitor of Mars (2017)
  94. Jack Reacher: Never Go Back (2016)
  95. Olympus Has Fallen (2013)
  96. Elysium (2013)
  97. London Has Fallen (2016)
  98. The Expendables 3 (2014)
  99. Gangster Squad (2013)
  100. The Last Stand (2013)

100 Greatest Hollywood Action Movies of the 2000s

  1. Casino Royale (2006)
  2. The Bourne Ultimatum (2008)
  3. The Dark Knight (2008)
  4. Live Free Or Die Hard (2004)
  5. 300 (2006)
  6. Iron Man (2008)
  7. Star Trek (2009)
  8. The Bourne Identity (2002)
  9. Gladiator (2000)
  10. Kill Bill Volume 1 (2003)
  11. Minority Report (2002)
  12. Spider-Man 3 (2007)
  13. Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen (2009)
  14. Mission Impossible 3 (2006)
  15. District 9 (2009)
  16. Spider Man (2002)
  17. The Matrix Reloaded (2003)
  18. Collateral Damage (2002)
  19. The Incredible Hulk (2008)
  20. Batman Begins (2005)
  21. Taken (2008)
  22. The Hurt Locker (2008)
  23. Black Hawk Down (2001)
  24. Bad Boys 2 (2003)
  25. Mission Impossible 2 (2000)
  26. Pitch Black (2000)
  27. Serenity (2005)
  28. V for Vendetta (2005)
  29. X- Men 2 (2003)
  30. The Bourne Supremacy (2004)
  31. I, Robot (2004)
  32. The Sum of All Fears (2002)
  33. Paycheck (2003)
  34. X- Men (2000)
  35. Children of Men (2006)
  36. Hellboy: The Golden Army (2008)
  37. Elite Squad (2007)
  38. Spider-Man 2 (2004)
  39. X2 (2003)
  40. Kill Bill Volume 2 (2004)
  41. The Fast and the Furious (2001)
  42. Quantum of Solace (2008)
  43. Man On Fire (2004)
  44. 2 Fast 2 Furious (2003)
  45. X- Men Origins: Wolverine (2009)
  46. Avatar (2009)
  47. Watchmen (2009)
  48. The Forbidden Kingdom (2008)
  49. Training Day (2001)
  50. Star Wars Episode 3: Revenge of Sith (2005)
  51. Equilibrium (2002)
  52. Charlie’s Angels: Full Throtle (2003)
  53. Rush Hour 3 (2007)
  54. Transformers (2007)
  55. Cellular (2004)
  56. The Mummy Returns (2001)
  57. Inglorious Bastards (2009)
  58. Hitmen (2007)
  59. X- Men: The last Stand (2006)
  60. The Rundown (2003)
  61. The Transporter (2002)
  62. Apocalypto (2006)
  63. Hot Fuzz (2007)
  64. Sherlock Holmes (2009)
  65. Kill Zone (2005)
  66. The Island (2005)
  67. S.W.A.T. (2003)
  68. Rush Hour 2 (2001)
  69. Hellboy (2004)
  70. Eagle Eye (2008)
  71. Undisputed 2: Las t Man Standing (2006)
  72. Blade 2 (2002)
  73. The Kingdom (2007)
  74. Get Carter (2000)
  75. District B13 (2004)
  76. Mr. & Mrs. Smith (2005)
  77. Shoot ‘Em Up (2007)
  78. Death Sentence (2007)
  79. Shanghai Noon (2000)
  80. Fighting (2009)
  81. The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift (2006)
  82. Transporter 2 (2005)
  83. Body of Lies (2008)
  84. Vertical Limit (2000)
  85. Deja Vu (2006)
  86. Bad Company (2002)
  87. Proof of Life (2000)
  88. National Treasure (2004)
  89. The Last Samurai (2003)
  90. Blood and Bone (2009)
  91. The Art of War (2000)
  92. Behind Enemy Lines (2001)
  93. Gone in 60 Seconds (2000)
  94. District 13 (2004)
  95. Rambo (2008)
  96. Out of Time (2003)
  97. Miami Vice (2006)
  98. Wanted (2008)
  99. The Tuxedo (2002)
  100. Romeo Must Die (2000)

100 Greatest Hollywood Action Movies of the 90s

  1. Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991)
  2. Mission Impossible (1996)
  3. The Matrix (1999)
  4. Speed (1994)
  5. Die Hard 2 (1990)
  6. The Fugitive (1993)
  7. Cliffhanger (1998)
  8. Broken Arrow (1996)
  9. Face/Off (1997)
  10. Air Force One (1997)
  11. The Crow (1994)
  12. Rush Hour (1998)
  13. Terminal Velocity (1994)
  14. Independence Day (1996)
  15. Point Break (1991)
  16. Last Boy Scout (1991)
  17. Enemy of the State (1998)
  18. Golden Eye (1995)
  19. Lethal Weapon 3 (1992)
  20. Last Action Hero (1993)
  21. Blade (1998)
  22. Con Air (1997)
  23. Die Hard With A Vengeance (1995)
  24. Total Recall (1990)
  25. Desperado (1995)
  26. The Big Hit (1998)
  27. Bad Boys (1995)
  28. Ronin (1998)
  29. True Lies (1994)
  30. The Rock (1996)
  31. Demolition Man (1993)
  32. El Mariachi (1992)
  33. Darkman (1990)
  34. The World is Not Enough (1997)
  35. The Mask of Zorro (1998)
  36. The Hunt for Red October (1990)
  37. Leon: The Professional (1994)
  38. Volcano (1998)
  39. Passenger 57 (1992)
  40. The Mummy (1999)
  41. Clear and Present Danger (1997)
  42. Executive Decision (1996)
  43. Showdown in Little Tokyo (1991)
  44. The Long Kiss Goodnight (1996)
  45. Hard Target (1993)
  46. Lethal Weapon 4 (1998)
  47. The 13th Warrior (1999)
  48. Backdraft (1991)
  49. Eraser (1996)
  50. Metro (1997)
  51. Three Kings (1999)
  52. Conspiracy Theory (1997)
  53. Patriot Games (1992)
  54. Time Cop (1994)
  55. Breakdown (1997)
  56. Hard Rain (1998)
  57. U.S. Marshals (1998)
  58. Tomorrow Never Dies (1997)
  59. Waterworld (1995)
  60. Dante's Peak (1997)
  61. Rapid Fire (1992)
  62. Small Soldiers (1998)
  63. The Jackal (1997)
  64. The Rocketeer (1991)
  65. Under Siege (1992)
  66. Deep Blue Sea (1999)
  67. The Replacement Killers (1998)
  68. Blue Streak (1999)
  69. Double Impact (1991)
  70. The Hard Way (1991)
  71. Assassins (1995)
  72. Hard To Kill (1990)
  73. Drop Zone (1994)
  74. Harley Davidson and the Marlboro Man (1991)
  75. Marked For Death (1990)
  76. Chain Reaction (1996)
  77. The Siege (1998)
  78. Dick Tracy (1990)
  79. Judgment Night (1993)
  80. No Escape (1994)
  81. Predator 2 (1990)
  82. Money Train (1995)
  83. Daylight (1996)
  84. Blown Away (1994)
  85. Money Talks (1997)
  86. Air America (1990)
  87. Point of No Return (1993)
  88. The Shadow (1994)
  89. The Peacemaker (1997)
  90. Fire Down Below (1997)
  91. Surviving the Game (1994)
  92. Bird on a Wire (1990)
  93. The Corruptor (1999)
  94. Deep Rising (1998)
  95. I Come in Peace (1990)
  96. Toy Soldiers (1991)
  97. Out for Justice (1991)
  98. Trespass (1992)
  99. Soldier (1998)
  100. Escape from L.A. (1996)

100 Greatest Hollywood Action Movies of the 80s

  1. Aliens (1986)
  2. Die Hard (1988)
  3. Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981)
  4. A Better Tomorrow (1986)
  5. Lethal Weapon (1987)
  6. Predator (1987)
  7. Final Score (1986)
  8. Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (1989)
  9. Mad Max 2 (The Road Warrior) (1981)
  10. The Terminator (1984)
  11. The Goonies (1985)
  12. Beverly Hills Cop (1985)
  13. Robocop (1987)
  14. Bloodsport (1988)
  15. The Killer (1989)
  16. Lethal Weapon 2 (1989)
  17. Back To The Future (1985)
  18. First Blood (1982)
  19. Escape from New York (1981)
  20. A Better Tomorrow 2 (1987)
  21. Rambo: First Blood Part 2 (1985)
  22. Full Metal Jacket (1987)
  23. Romancing the Stone (1984)
  24. Star Wars Episode 5: The Empire Strikes Back (1980)
  25. Big Trouble in Little China (1986)
  26. Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom (1984)
  27. Commando (1985)
  28. 48 Hrs. (1982)
  29. Blade Runner (1982)
  30. The Untouchables (1987)
  31. Highlander (1986)
  32. Top Gun (1986)
  33. Conan the Barbarian (1982)
  34. Road House (1989)
  35. Tiger on Beat (1988)
  36. Tron (1982)
  37. Ghostbusters (1984)
  38. Star Trek 2: The wrath of Khan (1982)
  39. Return of Jedi (1983)
  40. Rambo 3 (1988)
  41. Witness (1985)
  42. Revenge of the Ninja (1983)
  43. Beverly Hills Cop 2 (1987)
  44. American Hunter (1989)
  45. Ghostbusters 2 (1989)
  46. The Karate Kid (1984)
  47. Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome (1985)
  48. The Running Man (1987)
  49. To Live and Die in L.A. (1985)
  50. Licence to Kill (1989)
  51. Death Wish 2 (1982)
  52. Batman (1989)
  53. Red Heat (1988)
  54. The Stabilizer (1986)
  55. Over The Top (1987)
  56. Cobra (1986)
  57. Sudden Impact (1983)
  58. Tightrope (1984)
  59. Code of Silence (1985)
  60. The Jewel of the Nile (1986)
  61. Cyborg (1989)
  62. Heartbreak Ridge (1986)
  63. For Your Eyes Only (1981)
  64. F/X (1986)
  65. Superman 2 (1980)
  66. Kickboxer (1989)
  67. Tango & Cash (1989)
  68. Back to the Future Part 2 (1989)
  69. The Young Master (1980)
  70. The Dead Pool (1988)
  71. Star Trek 4: The Voyage Home (1986)
  72. Black Rain (1989)
  73. Above the Law (1988)
  74. Octopussy (1983)
  75. The Delta Force (1986)
  76. Midnight Run (1988)
  77. Frantic (1988)
  78. Tequila Sunrise (1988)
  79. Shoot to Kill (1988)
  80. American Ninja (1985)
  81. A Better Tomorrow III: Love and Death in Saigon (1989)
  82. The Punisher (1989)
  83. Star Trek 3: The Search for Spock (1984)
  84. Lone Wolf McQuade (1983)
  85. They Live (1988)
  86. Pale Rider (1985)
  87. Invasion U.S.A. (1985)
  88. Conan the Destroyer (1984)
  89. Forced Vengeance (1982)
  90. Missing in Action (1984)
  91. Red Dawn (1984)
  92. The Beastmaster (1982)
  93. A View To Kill (1985)
  94. Lock Up (1989)
  95. The Protector (1985)
  96. Action Jackson (1988)
  97. Death Wish 3 (1985)
  98. Missing in Action 2: The Beginning (1985)
  99. Dune (1984)
  100. The Octagon (1980)

100 Greatest Hollywood Action Movies of the 70s

  1. Emperor of the North (1973)
  2. Dirty Harry (1971)
  3. The Italian Connection (1972)
  4. Caliber 9 (1972)
  5. The Mechanic (1972)
  6. Duck, You Sucker! (1971)
  7. Two Mules for Sister Sara (1970)
  8. The Spy Who Loved Me (1972)
  9. Magnum Force (1973)
  10. The Yakuza (1974)
  11. Keoma (1976)
  12. The French Connection (1971)
  13. The Tough Ones (1976)
  14. Truck Turner (1974)
  15. Last Hurrah for Chivalry (1979)
  16. Mad Max (1979)
  17. Get Carter (1971)
  18. Violent Naples (1976)
  19. Enter the Dragon (1973)
  20. The Big Racket (1976)
  21. Trouble Man (1972)
  22. Convoy (1978)
  23. The Big Boss (1971)
  24. Vanishing Point (1971)
  25. The Way of the Dragon (1972)
  26. Across 110th Street (1972)
  27. The Chinese Connection (1972)
  28. Death Wish (1974)
  29. Shaft (1971)
  30. The Cynic, the Rat and the Fist (1977)
  31. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Garcia (1974)
  32. A Touch of Zen (1971)
  33. The Wild Geese (1978)
  34. Drunken Master (1978)
  35. Prime Cut (1972)
  36. The Getaway (1972)
  37. The Street Fighter (1974)
  38. Blindman (1971)
  39. Violent City (1975)
  40. The Man with the Golden Gun (1974)
  41. Gordon's War (1973)
  42. Dirty Mary Crazy Larry (1974)
  43. Walking Tall (1973)
  44. Gone in 60 Seconds (1974)
  45. Live and Let Die (1973)
  46. Brute Corps (1971)
  47. Three Days of the Condor (1975)
  48. A Man Called Blade (1977)
  49. Rolling Thunder (1977)
  50. Diamonds Are Forever (1971)
  51. Hannie Caulder (1971)
  52. Cotton Comes to Harlem (1970)
  53. Dragon Flies (1975)
  54. Macon County Line (1974)
  55. The Enforcer (1976)
  56. Mr. Majestyk (1974)
  57. The Last Hard Men (1976)
  58. Coffy (1973)
  59. The Gauntlet (1977)
  60. The Eiger Sanction (1975)
  61. Foxy Brown (1974)
  62. White Lightning (1973)
  63. Shaft's Big Score! (1972)
  64. The Groundstar Conspiracy (1972)
  65. Darker Than Amber (1970)
  66. When Eight Bells Toll (1971)
  67. Thriller: A Cruel Picture (1973)
  68. The Godfather Squad (1974)
  69. The Driver (1978)
  70. Summertime Killer (1972)
  71. Blackjack (1978)
  72. 99 and 44/100% Dead (1974)
  73. Stone (1974)
  74. The Master Touch (1972)
  75. Cannon for Cordoba (1970)
  76. Black Belt Jones (1974)
  77. White Line Fever (1975)
  78. Hit! (1973)
  79. Slaughter (1972)
  80. Telefon (1977)
  81. Fear Is the Key (1972)
  82. Scorpio (1973)
  83. Thunderbolt and Lightfoot (1974)
  84. Cleopatra Wong (1978)
  85. The Outside Man (1972)
  86. Shamus (1973)
  87. Rolling Thunder (1977)
  88. Framed (1975)
  89. Race with the Devil (1975)
  90. Three the Hard Way (1974)
  91. Dolemite (1975)
  92. Hell Up in Harlem (1973)
  93. The Seven-Ups (1973)
  94. Karate Warriors (1976)
  95. Assault on Precinct 13 (1976)
  96. The Return of the Bionic Boy (1979)
  97. Black Sunday (1977)
  98. Newman's Law (1974)
  99. The Streetfighter's Last Revenge (1974)
  100. The Warriors (1979)

Also Read:

100 Greatest Zombie Movies

100 Best Hollywood Thriller Movies


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Post Your Comment

Now that is what I am talking about, I just suggested it yesterday and here it is. Maybe you were working on it before my suggestion because it takes me days to get an article looked at. I especially liked how you sorted the movies by the year they were made. Action is one of my interests and it pleases me to see that many movies listed in one place. Good work on this one.

2

Thank you. Precisely. I was working on action movies before my list of thrillers. At first I thought of it as a list of 100 movies. However, every decade had memorable action movies. And so, I came up with the best of every decade starting with the 70s.

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