Hollywood action movies have always been the benchmark for film industries across the globe.
Even before the ascent of special effects and advanced technology in filmmaking, Hollywood has produced some amazing action flicks.
The Hollywood style of filmmaking is also the reason why most film industries experiment with special effects and unbelievable action sequences whether the scenes involve fighting, racing, or adventure.
Today, I would like to share our Favorite List of Greatest action Movies with FK readers. Hollywood action films are also Available in Hindi Dubbed versions and some of them are available in Multiple Indian Languages like Hindi, Tamil, Telugu, and Malayalam.
Note: We are also including some non-Hollywood films in this list.
Best Hollywood Action Movies of All Time
Over the years, it is the action genre that increased the fan following for Hollywood cinema across the globe. None of the other film industries across the world has matched up to the adrenaline-boosting action sequences that are normally found in Hollywood action movies.
Here are few of my best Hollywood action Films of all time. I recommend you to watch them once if you haven’t yet.
Best Old Hollywood Action Flicks
Dirty Harry (1971)
There’s no way I can make a list of best Hollywood action movies without mentioning a single Clint Eastwood film under the direction of Don Siegel.
The 1971 crime thriller Dirty Harry is the first in the Dirty Harry series. Clint Eastwood plays the titular character in the film who is an inspector at SFPD.
The film follows an investigation and a cat and mouse between Dirty Harry and a serial killer named Scorpio.
Also Read: All-Time Best Movies on Boxing
Goldfinger is a classic James Bond film featuring Sean Connery as Agent 007. Directed by Guy Hamilton, the film is the third installment in the Bond series.
The 1964 spy thriller film is based on Ian Fleming’s novel of the same name. Goldfinger follows an investigation led by Bond to uncover Auric Goldfinger’s plans to contaminate the United States Bullion Depository at Fort Knox.
This 1964 Bond film also became the first blockbuster film in the Bond series.
Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981)
There’s no better action than what you find in an action adventure film. Directed by Steven Spielberg, Raiders of the Lost Ark is the first installment in Indiana Jones film series.
The film features Harrison Ford as Indiana Jones, an archaeologist who faces a group of Nazis while searching for the Ark of the Covenant which Hitler needs to make his army invincible.
The instant popularity of Indiana Jones character and the theme of the film gave rise to three more films in the Indiana Jones franchise.
Directed by Mark L. Lester, the 1985 film Commando is a pure treat for action fanatics.
The film revolves around a father and a retired United States Special Forces Colonel who has 11 hours to rescue his daughter from a group of mercenaries.
Arnold Schwarzenegger plays the retired colonel and the father, whereas Vernon Wells plays the main antagonist in the film.
Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991)
Terminator 2: Judgment Day is the second installment in the Terminator franchise featuring a teen John Connor.
Directed by James Cameron, the film continues 10 years after the previous film with Sarah Connor and her 10-year old son John Connor.
As John Connor is destined to become the leader of the human resistance in the future, a more advanced Terminator T-1000 is sent back in the past to assassinate him.
To counter this attack, a less-advanced Terminator played by Arnold Schwarzenegger is sent to protect John Connor. The film is the epic battle between the two machines.
Directed by John McTiernan, Predator is a sci-fi horror film featuring Arnold Schwarzenegger as the leader of an elite group of Special Forces team sent to rescue hostages from the guerrilla-held territory.
Lest did they know that they are not pitted against any human soldier but a technologically advanced form of extraterrestrial life targeting the team. Whether they hunt the predator down or get hunted forms the crux of the story.
The Terminator (1984)
The Terminator is the first installment in the Terminator series. Directed by James Cameron, the film features Arnold Schwarzenegger as the titular antagonist who is sent in the past to assassinate Sarah Connor so she doesn’t give birth to John Connor.
Her son is the only hope of the human race and the leader of the human resistance against machines in a post-apocalyptic future.
The film also features Michael Biehn as Kyle Reese, John’s biological father and Linda Hamilton as Sarah Connor. The Terminator is One of the greatest Time Travel Movies of All Time.
Directed by James Cameron, Aliens is a second installment in the Alien franchise. The 1986 film Aliens is the sequel to the events and the first encounter with the Alien in the previous movie.
In the film, Ellen Ripley returns to the exomoon LV-426 that she barely escaped in the previous film. She has to fight her worst nightmares and help rescue everyone again from the Alien attack.
A sequel to the film and third installment in the Alien franchise was released in 1992 with Sigourney Weaver reprising her role as Ellen Ripley.
Also Read: Best Hollywood Movies on Aliens
Lethal Weapon (1987)
Lethal Weapon is a cop drama featuring Mel Gibson and Danny Glover in the lead roles. Directed by Richard Donner, the story of the film revolves around two distinctive LAPD cops roped in as partners.
While one is a former Green Beret who has turned suicidal after his wife’s death, the other is a veteran 50-year old. You can watch the other Lethal Weapon films also, all others are great Hollywood action flicks.
Face/Off is an interesting sci-fi action film featuring Nicholas Cage and John Travolta in the lead roles.
Directed by John Woo, the film tells an attention-grabbing tale of rivalry between a terrorist and an FBI agent.
The interesting part of the movie is the face transplant procedure that allows the FBI agent to impersonate the terrorist first and later the terrorist uses the same procedure to impersonate the FBI agent.
A series of cat and mouse begins with the tables turned this time.
The Rock (1996)
The Rock is a 1996 action thriller film featuring Sean Connery and Nicholas Cage in the lead roles.
Directed by Michael Bay, the film follows a rescue mission led by FBI chemist and a former SAS captain to save the hostages and San Francisco city from rogue US Force Recon Marines who have seized Alcatraz Island.
Whether they succeed in the rescue mission or not forms the crux of the film.
Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon (2000)
Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon is an Oscar-winning Taiwanese film which became one of the most influential films in the United States.
With over 4 Oscar Awards in the bag, there’s no way I would leave this film out of our top Hollywood action films of all time.
Directed by Ang Lee, the film is based on the fourth novel of the same name from the Wuxia book series Crane-Iron Pentalogy.
Directed by Mel Gibson, Braveheart tells the story of William Wallace who united Scots to fight the First War of Scottish Independence against King Edward I of England.
The film is based on the epic poem penned by Blind Harry titled The Actes and Deidis of the Illustre and Vallyeant Campioun Schir William Wallace. Mel Gibson also plays the main lead as William Wallace in the film.
Speed is a 1994 action thriller film starring Keanu Reeves and Sandra Bullock in the lead roles. The title is purely justified as the entire plot of the film revolves around speed.
When a bomber rigs a city bus to plant a bomb and programs the bomb to explode if the speed of the bus goes below 50 mph, an LAPD cop gets inside the moving bus in order to rescue the passenger.
Whether he rescues everyone or becomes bomber’s next victim forms the crux of the rest of the film.
Gladiator is a 2000 historical drama film set in AD 180. Directed by Ridley Scott, the film features Russell Crowe in the titular character.
Initially a Hispano-Roman general, the loyal Maximus is betrayed when Commodus seizes the throne after murdering Emperor Marcus Aurelius.
Maximus is enslaved but eventually rises through the Gladiator ranks to avenge the death of his family and emperor. Whether he is successful or not forms the crux of the story.
The Bourne Identity (2002)
The Bourne Identity is the first installment in The Bourne film series. Based on Robert Ludlum’s novel of the same name, The Bourne Identity follows the life of Jason Bourne suffering from extreme memory loss.
As he struggles to discover his identity, he finds himself amidst a larger conspiracy involving CIA. The success of the film turned it into a series comprising of five movies with an anticipated sixth film.
Kill Bill: Series (2003)
Directed by Quentin Tarantino, Kill Bill – Volume 1 is the first chapter of the two-part Kill Bill franchise.
The American martial arts film is a revenge story of the Bride, portrayed by Uma Thurman who battles a league of assassins led by Bill, portrayed by David Carradine.
A sequel and Volume 2 of the series was released the subsequent year, both films were full of action sequences and loved by the Tarantino fans. Kill Bill Films are on the list of Greatest Hollywood Action Movies by Filmy Keeday.
Best Hollywood Action Films of Recent Times
Casino Royale (2006)
Casino Royale is the 21st James Bond film and the first to feature Daniel Craig as Agent 007.
Unlike other actors who played James Bond in the past, Daniel Craig brings elements of speed and agility into the game. The parkour chase scene in the film is one such example.
The film is based on Ian Fleming’s novel of the same name and follows James Bond’s early days as a 00 Agent. The film also features Eva Green as James Bond’s love interest and Mads Mikkelsen as the lead antagonist.
Mad Max: Fury Road (2015)
Although a part of Mad Max franchise, the 2015 action film Mad Max: Fury Road is a reboot of the film series. Directed by George Miller, the film features Charlize Theron and Tom Hardy in the lead roles.
The film is set in a dystopian era and follows a rescue mission led by Max Rockatansky, played by Hardy and Imperator Furiosa, played by Theron.
The main highlight of the film is the road battle as the cult leader and his army try to stop the rescue mission of the lead protagonists in the film.
The Avengers (2012)
The Avengers is the sixth installment in the Marvel film series produced under MCU banner.
Directed by Joss Whedon, the film brings in an ensemble cast of Marvel superheroes including Captain America, Iron Man, Hulk, Thor, Black Widow and Hawkeye pitted against Loki and his army of Chitauri.
The film becomes the first Marvel film under MCU banner featuring the first Avengers team.
The Bourne Ultimatum (2007)
Third, in the Bourne series, The Bourne Ultimatum is a 2007 American-German action film directed by Paul Greengrass.
Like the previous films, The Bourne Ultimatum is also based on Robert Ludlum’s novel of the same name. In this film as well, Jason Bourne is still trying to find his past as a CIA assassin and digs deep into CIA’s various operations including Operation Treadstone and Operation Blackbriar.
Matt Damon reprises his role as Jason Bourne in the third installment as well.
John Wick (2014)
Directed by Chad Stahelski and David Leitch, John Wick is a 2014 neo-noir action film featuring Keanu Reeves in the titular character.
The film follows the life of the titular character who is a retired hitman. After his wife’s death, the only thing precious to him is his vintage car and a puppy which was a gift from his deceased wife.
When some Russian gangsters steal his car and kill his puppy, John Wick returns to his old means to seek vengeance.
300 is an American epic war film directed by Frank Miller and Lynn Varley.
Based on the comic book series of the same name, the film tells the story of 300 Spartans who fought against more than 300,000 Persian invaders led by Persian King Xerxes.
Gerard Butler plays King Leonidas, the Spartan leader whereas Rodrigo Santoro plays King Xerxes. In order to mimic the comic book imagery, the entire film is shot with super-imposition chroma key technique.
Directed by Pierre Morel, Taken is a 2008 rescue drama featuring Liam Neeson in the lead role.
The film tells the story of a former CIA operative who has to use all his combat skills, contacts, and techniques to find his recently kidnapped daughter by the Albanian sex traffickers.
The film is known for its epic dialogue where Liam Neeson’s character threatens the kidnappers.
The Dark Knight (2008)
Undoubtedly the best superhero movies of all time, The Dark Knight actually set the tone for the current breed of Marvel and DC movies.
Directed by the great Christopher Nolan and featuring Christian Bale as Batman, the film tells the story of the Gotham’s Knight and his rivalry with the Joker, played by Heath Ledger.
The film is highly known for its cinematography, intense action scenes, and gripping dialogues.
The Matrix (1999)
The 1999 film The Matrix is undoubtedly one of the best examples of what special effects can do for an action-packed film.
Directed by The Wachowski Brothers, the movie draws inspiration from martial art films, especially the Wire-fu techniques and fight choreographers used in Hong Kong action cinema.
The film features Keanu Reeves in the lead role and comprises of two subsequent sequels. The Matrix film series is one of the best Dystopian Films of Hollywood.
Best Action Movies Franchise
Die Hard Series
Arnold Schwarzenegger and Sylvester Stallone are the two names that pop up while talking about action movie stars. Well, here’s one more who redefined the whole persona of action movie stars.
Yes, I am talking about Bruce Willis and his film franchise started with 1988 film Die Hard. Bruce Willis plays John McClane, an NYPD officer caught in the middle of a heist at a Los Angeles skyscraper where he goes to meet his estranged wife.
The rest of the movie shows how John McClane saves all the hostages and his wife, All other parts of the Die Hard Series are quite similar where hero and villains meet at the end and they talk on radio or phones but all other parts are equally interesting except the 5th part A Good Day to Die Hard.
Mission Impossible Series
Mission: Impossible Films are Hollywood spy thriller movies based on a television series of the same name. Directed by Brian De Palma, the film focuses on Ethan Hunt as a young IMF agent who is framed for murdering the entire IMF team during a mission.
Now, it is Hunt’s mission to expose the mole and clear his name before it’s too late. Tom Cruise plays Ethan Hunt in the film and eventually reprises his role as the same in the 5 films to follow in the Mission: Impossible franchise.
All Films are full of action scenes and you must watch them if you love Hollywood action Cinema.
Fast and the Furious Franchise
Fast and The Furious franchise starts with the first installment The Fast and the Furious and it was a great success after that so many films are made on same. Fast Five is one of the best films based on Racing and heist.
Fast Five is the fifth installment in The Fast and the Furious franchise. Directed by Justin Lin, the film is yet another heist drama film in the series featuring Vin Diesel, Paul Walker, and Dwayne Johnson in the lead roles.
The story of the film revolves around a heist plan led by Dominic Torreto to steal $100 million from a corrupt businessman while being pursued by Luke Hobbs, a DSS agent.
Rambo Series starts with First Blood. First Blood is a 1982 action thriller featuring Sylvester Stallone for the first time as Rambo, a character that went on to become legendary over the years.
Directed by Ted Kotcheff, the film tells the story of Rambo, a troubled and misunderstood Vietnam veteran who is mistreated by the abusive law enforcement in a small town. He decides to take on the abusive system all by himself using his combat skills and survival techniques he learned during his training and military experience.
The popularity and fame of the film at the Box Office made way for the Rambo film franchise followed by 3 other films in the series.
The Expendables (film series)
The Expendables is an American action film franchise written by Sylvester Stallone and created by David Callaham.
The films under The Expendables series are multi starter and you can see almost all action superstars of Hollywood in these films and The Expendables is not a critics films it is made to pay a homage of the 80s and 90s action films and most of the stars in these films were part of them.
So If you are an action film lover then You must watch all the Movies of The Expendables series, these are one of the Best Hollywood Action Movies of All Time.
Over to you!
Well, that’s my list of top Hollywood action films. If you think I missed any of your favorites, then let me know in the comments section below.