The 10 best action movies ever made (according to AFI)

Due to their spectacle-oriented nature, action movies generally don’t get much respect as art. But action-oriented stories can be a great vehicle for themes and commentary, as evidenced by RoboCop, First blood, and The matrix. The genre can also be used to tell human stories about universally relatable motivations like caring for a child, as seen in Aliens, Taken, and Netflix The night is coming for us.

RELATED: 10 Most Memorable Action Movie Soundtracks

The American Film Institute’s 100 Years … 100 Thrills list includes a few subgenres of thrillers, such as thriller thrillers and horror films (including supernatural films like The Exorcist), but it also includes a handful of simple action movies that AFI has deemed worthy of recognition.

ten Golden finger (1964)

Sean Connery in Goldfinger

By Sean Connery’s third James Bond film, 1964 The golden finger, the producers had perfected the formula. Over half a century (and 22 films) later, the 007 trio remains a high benchmark for the franchise.

Director Guy Hamilton has nailed all the franchise’s signature tropes: Gold-obsessed titular megalomaniac Gert Fröbe is one of Bond’s greatest villains, Oddjob is one of Bond’s greatest henchmen , the drug lab explosion is one of Bond’s biggest openings, and the Fort Knox battle is one of Bond’s biggest finals.

9 The Matrix (1999)

The Matrix Lobby Shooting

The Wachowskis combined the stylized cyberpunk visuals of Ghost in the shell with the thematic subtext of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland in their revolutionary masterpiece of 1999 The matrix.

With both stimulating themes and explosive sets, The matrix is the pinnacle of the sci-fi action subgenre. It forces viewers to question their own reality without sacrificing a single explosion or shootout.


8 The Terminator (1984)

Thanks to the thrills of Judgment Day, the Terminator the franchise is defined by the spectacle of full-scale action. But the charm of the 1984 original was its small-scale retelling of a story with global consequences. James Cameron said to the original Terminator story as a mix of tech-noir and slasher.

Widely, The TerminatorThe plot of s determines the fate of the human race, as Sarah Connor is destined to raise the man who will lead the Resistance against the cyborgs. But Cameron defines global issues through the intimate horror story of an unstoppable killing machine in relentless pursuit of a woman turned badass through the streets of Los Angeles.

seven Dirty Harry (1971)

Clint Eastwood in Dirty Harry

Perhaps Don Siegel’s strongest influence on the New Hollywood movement has been his brutal reinvention of action cinema. the years 1971 Dirty Harry is a prime example of Siegel’s distinctly avant-garde action cinema style.

RELATED: 5 Ways Dirty Harry Is Clint Eastwood’s Best Character (& 5 Alternatives)

Clint Eastwood’s eponymous renegade Harry Callahan is a grim subversion of the heroic cops seen previously in the film noir. His moral compass is askew, and Siegel’s minimalist direction throws a harsh light on Harry’s decidedly despicable font.

6 Die Hard (1988)

Bruce Willis in Die Hard

When a film is acclaimed and influential enough, it inspires a whole subgenre. John McTiernan’s action-packed classic Die hard launched the “Die hard in a sub-genre. Speed is “Die hard in a bus,” Passenger 57 is “Die hard in an airplane ”, etc.

After a decade of action movies starring muscular superheroes like Sylvester Stallone and Arnold Schwarzenegger, Bruce Willis’ John McClane offered a refreshing change of pace as everyone cutting their feet, doing a lot of work. mistakes and fight against self-loathing.

5 Bullitt (1968)

Bullitt Steve McQueen car chase

Peter Yates’ Bullitt is one of the early classics that laid the foundation for modern Hollywood action film. Steve McQueen gives one of the most iconic performances of his career in the title role.

The most notable streak in the film is, of course, the car chase. Bullitt a the car chase on which all subsequent car chases were judged. It won the Oscar for Best Film Editing for Frank P. Keller.

4 Jurassic Park (1993)

The attack of the T rex in Jurassic Park

Apparently, Steven Spielberg didn’t just break the record for the highest grossing film ever made twice with Jaws and HEY, so he did it again with the years 1993 jurassic park.

RELATED: 10 Things That Made The Original Jurassic Park Great (That The Sequels Missed)

As the film delves into the ethics of cloning and the pervasiveness of commercialism (John Hammond brings dinosaurs back to life so he can get rich quick with a theme park), Spielberg also finds time for plenty of footage. action infested with dinosaurs. like the escape of T. rex and the attack of the velociraptors in the kitchen.

3 The Fugitive (1993)

Harrison Ford in The Fugitive

Adapted from the television series of the same name, The fugitive stars Harrison Ford as a doctor who runs away after being accused of murdering his wife and Tommy Lee Jones as the United States Marshal who relentlessly pursues him as he tries to clear his name.

This film is widely acclaimed as one of the greatest TV adaptations ever made. If anything, the premise of The fugitive works best as a feature film as a tense, fast-paced cat-and-mouse thriller.

2 Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981)

Four years after introducing the world to an iconic and timeless modern pulp hero with Han Solo in Star wars, George Lucas and Harrison Ford started again with archaeologist-turned-explorer Indiana Jones at The Raiders of the Lost Ark.

From Steven Spielberg’s old-fashioned action direction to John Williams’ energetic musical score, everything in Raiders comes together to perfectly rediscover the feeling of old adventure series.

1 The French Connection (1971)

Gene Hackman as Popeye Doyle at the end of The French Connection

Like Dirty Harry, by William Friedkin The French connection is a quintessential black New Hollywood cop who challenges the traditional Hollywood portrayal of cops as noble, law-abiding heroes. Like Bullitt, it features one of the biggest car chases ever to appear onscreen (recklessly filmed through the busy streets of New York).

Gene Hackman stars as “Popeye” Doyle, a tough, morally gray detective who loses sight of the law in his close pursuit of a French heroin trafficker.

NEXT: The 10 Best Comedies Ever Made (According to AFI)

Split image of Alfred Molina as Doc Ock and Zendaya as MJ in Spider-Man No Way Home

Spider-Man: No Way Home – 10 Best References To Previous Spidey Movies

About the Author

About Norman Griggs

Check Also

Use these quick tricks to ripen bananas

When you see a bunch of unripe bananas on the table, there are usually only …