The Top 10 Hollywood Action Films of All Time

The Top 10 Hollywood Action Films of All Time

The realm of Hollywood action cinema is a testament to the industry’s capacity for spectacle, innovation, and storytelling! And as long as there are movies, there will be action movies. Because no young girl or boy grows up pretending to be a damsel in distress or a sidekick. They all want to punch, draw swords, and run toward the danger. So let’s sit back and reminiscence the Top-10 Hollywood Action Flicks of all times.

Die Hard Series (1988 Onwards)

Based on ex-cop Roderick Thorpe’s 1979 novel ‘Nothing Lasts Forever’, ‘Die Hard’, directed by John McTiernan, showed how action movies should be made! The film not only delivered relentless action but also introduced a new archetype for action heroes: the vulnerable, relatable everyman.
The first of the series, ‘Die Hard-1’ starred Bruce Willis, Alan Rickman, Bonnie Bedelia, Reginald Veljohnson, Alexander Godunov and went to make over $100 million in profit at the box office alone.

The film later had a series of sequels (5 films in total that grossed a combined $1.4 billion worldwide).

All five films revolve around the main character of John McClane, a police detective who continually finds himself in the middle of a crisis where he is the only hope against disaster.

Bruce Willis’s portrayal of the NYPD Detective, who battles the baddies, one after the other, brought humour and humanity to the action hero mould.

Terminator Series

The Terminator is a 1984 American science fiction action film, co-written and directed by James Cameron.
The film was inspired by the works of Harlan Ellison, an American author who was known for New wave speculation fiction writings. The film played much like a horror movie as a sci-fi action flick. Linda Hamilton plays Sarah Connor, a mild-mannered waitress who doesn’t realized she’s been targeted for extermination by a high-tech robot from the future, played by a terrifyingly cold Arnold Schwarzenegger.
It is Kyle Reese (Michael Biehn), a fiercely dedicated soldier from the future, who saves her.
Bold, violent, idea-driven filmmaking, with special effects so impressive you’d hardly know it was a low-budget production. Everything about “The Terminator” felt epic. Or at least it did, until the sequel came along and redefined what “epic” could be.
Terminator -2 Judgment is till date the most prolific of all Terminator films. Dialogs such as ‘I will be back’ and ‘Hasta la Vista, baby’ were rendered unforgettable by Arnold in and as the ‘Terminator’. Released in 1991, this sequel elevated the narrative with its exploration of themes like destiny and technology’s impact on humanity. The transformation of Schwarzenegger’s Terminator from villain to protector offered a compelling dynamic, while the introduction of the T-1000, played by Robert Patrick, showcased revolutionary visual effects that have influenced countless films since.

All in all 6 movies under the franchise were produced and had earned over 3 Billion dollars by 2010.

Mad Max: Fury Road (2015)

An apocalyptic story set in the furthest reaches of our planet, in a stark desert landscape where humanity is broken, and almost everyone is crazed fighting for the necessities of life. Within this world exist two rebels on the run who just might be able to restore order. There’s Max, a man of action and a man of few words, who seeks peace of mind following the loss of his wife and child in the aftermath of the chaos. And Furiosa, a woman of action and a woman who believes her path to survival may be achieved if she can make it across the desert back to her childhood homeland. The film was directed by George Miller and the character ‘Furiosa’ played by Charlize Theron still remains one of the most iconic action characters played by a female lead till date.

The film’s practical effects, real stunts, and minimal CGI usage created a tactile, immersive world. The film also starred Tom Hardy and Nicholas Hoult.

The Matrix Series

The Matrix was an American cyberpunk media franchise consisting of four feature films, beginning with The Matrix (1999) and continuing with three sequels, The Matrix Reloaded, The Matrix Revolutions (both 2003), and The Matrix Resurrections (2021).

The is a seminal work that questions reality and perception through its narrative and innovative visual style. The film is a mystery about what the Matrix is and as it unravels you see a dystopian future unlike any we as a race would want.

This movie is so well written that you can’t prove that the movie is wrong about our world. This movie makes you believe in a world that can be just a reflection, a fake. It’s not just about the war between AI and humanity. It’s more about questioning the reality.

And years later the idea is never gets old. It’s philosophical underpinnings, combined with ground breaking action sequences like the bullet time effect, created a multifaceted film that resonates with audiences on multiple levels.

Indiana Jones Franchise

Indiana Jones is an American media franchise consisting five films and a prequel television series, along with games, comics, and tie-in novels. The franchise depicts the adventures of Dr. Henry Walton AKA Indiana Jones Jr. portrayed by Harrison Ford a fictionalised professor of archaeology.
The first film of the series is ‘Raiders Of The Lost Ark’ (1981), ‘Indiana Jones And The Temple Of Doom’ (1984), ‘Indiana Jones And The last Crusade’ (1989), ‘Indianan Jones And The Kingdom Of The Crystal Skull’ (2008) and the final film ‘Indiana Jones And The Dial Of Destiny’ (2023).

Spielberg’s creation of Indiana Jones a hero who was both a scholar and an adventurer was a hit from the word go! The blend of historical mystique, charismatic performance by Ford, and a perfect balance of action, humour, and suspense set a new standard for adventure cinema.

Alien franchise

Directed by Ridley Scott, ‘Alien’ was a 1979 Sc-fi horror flick starring Sigourney Weaver, Tom Skerritt Veronica Cartwright and John Hurt.

The film follows the crew of the commercial space tug Nostromo, who, after coming across a mysterious derelict spaceship, find themselves up against a deadly extra-terrestrial loose on the ship.
The film was met with mixed reviews but was declared a box-office success. But it was its sequel ‘Aliens’ released in (1986), that blew our minds.

Not often is a follow up as good as the original (and better in some ways,) but Aliens became one of the best movies of all time. A cinematic Masterpiece, a space horror, which is dramatic, action packed and funny at times.

Aliens changed the Sc-fi genre

It expanded on the horror elements of the original, “Alien” infused the story with intense action and a deeper look into the character of Ellen Ripley. Cameron’s decision to add a maternal theme, paired with relentless tension and innovative creature effects, enriched the narrative depth.

John Wick (2014)

The film centers around the titular character, John Wick played by Keanu Reeves, a legendary hitman who is reluctantly drawn back into the criminal underworld after retiring. Though he no longer has a taste for wet work, he has suffered a personal tragedy that’s left a huge void in his life. When he and his dog (really the last meaningful thing he has left) fall victim to a scummy group of Russian mobsters, he emerges from his shell with vengeance on his mind. Visceral action scenes, an impressive arsenal of weaponry, plus sly direction and editing give the franchise a look and feel like no other.

The franchise began with the release of John Wick in 2014, followed by three sequels: Chapter-2 in 2017, Chapter 3- Parabellum in 2019 and Chapter 4 in 2023.

Gladiator (2000)

‘Gladiator’ resurrected the historical epic genre with its stirring story of revenge and redemption. The film is story of Maximus, played by Russel Crowe, a powerful Roman general, loved by the people and the aging Emperor, Marcus Aurelius. Before his death, the Emperor chooses Maximus to be his heir over his own son, Commodus, and a power struggle leaves Maximus and his family condemned to death. The powerful general is unable to save his family, and his loss of will allows him to get captured and put into the Gladiator games until he dies. The only desire that fuels him now is the chance to rise to the top so that he will be able to look into the eyes of the man who will feel his revenge

The film’s authenticity in recreating ancient Rome, combined with Crowe’s commanding performance and a poignant musical score, delivered an emotionally and visually stunning cinematic experience.

Leon: The Professional (1994)

After her father, step-mother, step-sister and little brother are killed by her father’s employers, the 12-year-old daughter of an abject drug dealer manages to take refuge in the apartment of a professional hitman who at her request teaches her the methods of his job so she can take her revenge on the corrupt DEA agent who ruined her life by killing her beloved brother.
Jean Reno as Leon and Natalie Portman as Mathilda in the lead roles do a fabulous job!
This film balances intense action with moments of tenderness and humour, creating a unique dynamic between its leads. Reno’s portrayal of Léon as a lethal yet lonely hitman, and Portman’s debut performance, added layers of complexity to this action-packed narrative.

Inception (2010)

Nolan’s “Inception” is a cerebral heist film that unfolds within the landscape of dreams, challenging perceptions of reality. Its inventive plot, alongside spectacular visual effects and action sequences that defy physics, make it a thought-provoking exploration of the subconscious mind.
The film follows Dom Cobb, played by Leonardo DiCaprio, a skilled thief and the absolute best in the dangerous art of extraction, stealing valuable secrets from deep within the subconscious during the dream state, when the mind is at its most vulnerable.

Cobb’s rare ability has made him a coveted player in this treacherous new world of corporate espionage, but it has also made him an international fugitive and cost him everything he has ever loved. Now Cobb is being offered a chance at redemption. One last job could give him his life back but only if he can accomplish the impossible, inception. Instead of the perfect heist, Cobb and his team of specialists have to pull off the reverse: their task is not to steal an idea, but to plant one. If they succeed, it could be the perfect crime. But no amount of careful planning or expertise can prepare the team for the dangerous enemy that seems to predict their every move. An enemy that only Cobb could have seen coming

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Most Popular

To Top