The 20 Best Action Movies/Films of All Time

for the intelligent person.

There are a lot (and I mean a lot!) of bad action movies. In my life, I've seen far too many actions films where the director thinks that by just putting lots of very big explosions, fight sequences and car chases that they have made a good film. Unfortunately, it doesn't.

Although a good action film doesn't have to be Shakespeare, it does need to be intelligent and gripping. For me personally, it's the storyline of the film which is the most important factor in making a good action movie, not the explosions, fights etc...

I love watching action movies where the main character is flawed and human (and in some cases funny too). I want to be surprised and sometimes shocked at how they overcome the challenges they are up against. And as you know yourself, very few action movies do this.

So, after over 30 years of watching action films, below is a list of my 20 favourite action movies of all time which manage to both do this and do this well.

This list doesn't contain action movies which have a war, science fiction theme. If you want to see action movies which do, check out my lists of the:

20 best war movies
20 best science fiction movies

Film Title Director
1. Die Hard John McTiernan
2. Batman Begins Christopher Nolan
3. From Russia with Love Terence Young
4. The Bourne Supremacy (2004) Paul Greengrass
5. Get Carter (1971) Mike Hodges
6. Raiders of the Lost Ark Steven Spielberg
7. The Bourne Ultimatum (2007) Paul Greengrass
8. Mission Impossible (1996) Brian De Palma
9. Casino Royale (2006) Martin Campbell
10. Die Hard with a Vengeance John McTiernan
11. The Bourne Identity (2002) Doug Liman
12. Goldfinger Guy Hamilton
13. Straw Dogs (1971) Sam Peckinpah
14. Mad Max 2 George Miller
15. First Blood (1982) Ted Kotcheff
16. The Dark Knight Christopher Nolan
17. Gladiator Ridley Scott
18. The Lord of the Rings: The Twin Towers Peter Jackson
19. Deliverance John Boorman
20. Point Blank John Boorman