Best Action Movies of All Time


Authored by Mike Bacon in Movies and Television 
Published on 10-22-2009

What makes a good action movie? Mainly a movie that keeps you on the edge of your seat. When you take your seat at the theater and are taken on a roller coaster ride of highs and lows for the next two hours, that is what makes a good action movie. The key word is of course action. Here’s a list of some of the best action movies of all time.

Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981)

For the second time in his career actor Harrison Ford created a character that would long be remembered by movie fans. In this case, it was Dr. Indiana Jones. From the beginning of the film when he is searching for a lost Incan idol in deep underground Peru, to the hair-raising climax, Jones is involved in one death-defying action-packed adventure after another. George Lucas produced and Steven Spielberg directed this film and its three sequels. The most recent film was released in 2008 after a nearly 20 year hiatus. The film won five of the nine Academy Awards it was nominated for.

The Adventures of Robin Hood (1938)

Errol Flynn provided the derring-do and swordplay while wooing Olivia de Haviland’s Maid Marian in the heart of Sherwood Forest. This is one of the earliest films done in color. The film is a retelling of the classic story of Robin Hood and his Merry men. Claude Rains and Basil Rathbone portrayed the heavies in the movie. The movie won three of the four Academy Awards it was nominated for, only missing best picture.

African Queen (1951)

Humphrey Bogart and Katharine Hepburn starred in this adventure/love story set during World War I era Africa. Hepburn’s Rose Sayer is the sister of a missionary played by Robert Morley. When her brother is killed, Rose has no choice but to accept passage on a rundown boat called the African Queen, owned and operated by cantankerous Charlie Allnutt played by Bogart. As they traverse a crocodile infested river and are nearly killed going over rapids, Rose hatches a plan to destroy the Louisa, a German ship that patrols a lake the river empties into. Allnutt is dead set against the plan. John Huston directed this film which garnered Humphrey Bogart his only Academy Award win out of three nominations.

Predator (1987)

Arnold Schwarzenegger, Carl Weathers, and Jesse Ventura starred in this sci-fi film about a group of commandos who find that their mission in the South American jungles turned into a deadly game of cat and mouse. An alien who has the ability to become invisible is hunting them. Who will emerge victorious – Arnie, or the deadly predator? The incredible special effects were nominated for an Academy Award. The film was followed in 1990 by Predator Two and a crossover sequel in the world of the movie “Alien” in 2004, followed by a sequel to that film in 2007.

Gladiator (2000)

Russell Crowe and Joaquin Phoenix starred in this Ridley Scott directed tale of ancient Rome. When victorious General Maximus (Crowe) is named son and heir to the Emperor Marcus Aurelius, Commodus (Phoenix) the son he disinherited orders the execution of Maximus. While Maximus escapes the assassination attempt he is captured and sold into slavery. Trained as a gladiator he waits for a chance at vengeance against Commodus who tried to kill him and destroyed his family. The film won five of 12 nominated Academy Awards including a best actor Oscar for Russell Crowe and best picture of the year.


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