Did you know? Arnold Schwarzenegger received a whopping $15 million for his role in Terminator 2. He spoke around 700 words in the movie, that translates to $21,429 per word!
Action movies is one of the most loved, most watched and top grossing genres. One of the reasons this genre of movies is so popular among the masses is that it takes you far from your mundane life and transports you to a new world with exciting new possibilities and challenges. As the name implies, action movies are filled with thrill, excitement, suspense and spectacle. The gamut of action movies is a wide one - adventure, science fiction, fantasy - all falls under its scope. Jaw-dropping action sequences, eye-popping visual effects, and a fast-paced story makes these movies high on the entertainment quotient and keeps the audience glued to the edge of their seats. In this article, we present to you some of the most loved, successful, and the best action movies of all time.These movies have been arranged in the order of their year of release and are based on the author's personal choice.
Die Hard (1988)
Based on the best-selling novel, Nothing Lasts Forever by Roderick Thorp, Die Hard is a fast-paced action flick directed by John McTiernan. Bruce Willis plays an NYPD cop - John McClane, who travels for a Christmas reconciliation with his wife to Los Angeles. The party building, 'Nakatomi Plaza' is held up by a group of terrorists and McClane tries to save his wife and others. The movie has been followed by four sequels: Die Hard 2 (1990), Die Hard with a Vengeance (1995), Live Free or Die Hard (2007) and A Good Day to Die Hard (2013). Die Hard set the standard for many other action movies that came in its wake. Any lover of action flicks would love the movie.
Terminator 2 - Judgment Day (1991)
This is the sequel to the original Terminator (1984), directed by James Cameron starring Arnold Schwarzenegger & Linda Hamilton. An advanced terminator-the shape shifting T-1000 is sent from the future to kill John, son of Sarah Connor (Hamilton), who would grow up to lead a human revolution against the anarchic machines. Arnold Schwarzenegger, a less advanced terminator is also sent from the future to protect John. Sounds a little implausible, but the movie is absolutely brilliant. Watch Schwarzenegger at his very best in this movie. Applauded as one of the best crafted Hollywood action flicks, it has won many accolades including 4 Academy Awards. It was also one of the first movies to have a partially computer-generated character in a lead role. Terminator 2 - Judgment Day is succeeded by two more sequels, Terminator 3 - The Rise of the Machines (2003) and Terminator Salvation (2009).
This movie directed by Jan de Bont starred Keanu Reeves and Sandra Bullock and really threw Reeves into the public spotlight. Any lover of action movies will remember this legendary movie, which is still popular after 19 years of its release. Reeves plays a LAPD cop who is on the trail of a mad bomber. The bomber places a bomb on a bus full of people, and if the bus slows down below the speed of 50 miles/hour, the bomb will go off. Sandra Bullock plays an innocent passenger who gets embroiled in the plot. Watch it simply for the thrilling nature of the movie.
The Matrix (1999)
A full blown sci-fi action movie directed by Larry and Andy Wachowski, starring Keanu Reeves and Laurence Fishburne, is set in a dystopian future where the world is taken over by machines, which harvest humans to derive energy. The humans are left in an embryo of sorts where they are programmed to believe that they are living a normal life. Neo, a computer programmer (played by Keanu Reeves) comes to know of this startling fact and joins hands in the rebellion against machines. The Matrix has been a grand success and has been followed by two sequels - The Matrix Reloaded (2003) and The Matrix Revolutions (2003). It has been praised for the innovative use of special visual effects and cinematography. It has won many accolades including four Academy Awards. Surely, you can't miss this one!
Kill Bill: Vol.1 (2003)
Directed by Quentin Tarantino, Kill Bill: Vol.1 is first of the two series movie. When "The Bride", a skilled member of The Deadly Viper Assassin Squad leaves the group for a normal life; she is shot on her wedding day by her ex boss. The revenge spurs on as she destroys everyone on her way to kill Bill. It is an intensely stylized revenge movie. If you like to see kung-fu fights, swords play, and samurai flicks, you are going to enjoy it.
Casino Royale (2006)
When it comes to action movies, one name that ought to come to your lips is James Bond, a fictional MI6 agent created by the novelist Ian Fleming. In Casino Royale, Daniel Craig plays the character of James Bond for the first time and he really redefines what 007 is all about. In this critically acclaimed movie, he is all set to uncover an illegal financial operation and also finds his lady love. It was the highest grossing Bond film of all time until the release of Skyfall (2012).
Bourne Ultimatum (2007)
Directed by Paul Greengrass and based on Robert Ludlum's novel on the same title, Bourne Ultimatum is the third movie of the Bourne Series, preceded by Bourne Identity (2002) and Bourne Supremacy (2004). Matt Damon plays the character of Jason Bourne, a former CIA assassin, suffering from extreme memory loss. He tries to gather information related to his past, before he was a part of Operation Treadstone but, in the process he becomes a target for a similar assassin program. Matt Damon is a delight to watch on the big screen. In a time when most action films use computer generated imagery extensively, this series has been noted for its realism. A fourth movie in the series, The Bourne Legacy was released in 2012.
The Dark Knight (2008)
Directed by Christopher Nolan, The Dark Knight is a sequel to The Batman Begins (2005), starring Christian Bale for the lead role of Bruce Wayne/Batman. Gotham city is under the threat of a criminal mastermind who calls himself Joker (played by Heath Ledger). The city police and the district attorney join hands with the Batman to deal with the rising menace. The Dark Knight is acclaimed as the best superhero movie ever made. It has won 8 Academy Awards and is one of the highest grossing films of all time. Sequel to The Dark Knight is The Dark Knight Rises (2012), which has been a great success as well. If you are a lover of super hero films, you have to watch this trilogy.
Set in the mid 22nd century, Avatar by James Cameron is an epic science fiction film. The year is 2154, and humans have depleted most of Earth's natural resources. The Resources Development Administration (RDA) is mining for a valuable mineral - Unobtainium on Pandora. Jake Sully (Sam Worthington) is sent on the mission on Pandora by RDA. Soon he finds himself torn between his mission and his feelings for the inhabitants of Pandora. This movie is a extravagant spectacle for the senses. No wonder, it has set a number of box office records, including the feat of being the highest grossing film of all time in USA and Canada.
The Avengers (2012)
Directed by Joss Whedon, The Avengers is a superhero film based on marvel comics superhero team of the same name. It has been a huge hit and is the fastest film to gross $1 billion and the third highest grossing film of all times. Planet Earth is facing a threat from Loki and to combat that Nick Fury, the director of S.H.I.E.L.D recruits Iron Man, Hulk, Thor and Captain America and what the movie culminates to, is nothing less than a spectacle for the audience. You can imagine the entertainment quotient of the movie by its cast. A must watch!
This was a small list of the best action movies of all time. Still, there are quite a few more titles that come to mind that could give a close competition to the above-mentioned movies. If you are an action movie lover, you can surely add these to your to-see movie list:
The Lord of the Rings Series (2001-2003)
Mission: Impossible (1996)
Iron Man (2008)
X-Men (film series)
Pirates of the Caribbean Series (2003-2011)
Star Trek (2009)
Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981)
Hard Boiled (1992)
Star Wars: Episode V - The Empire Strikes Back (1980)
To make a list of popular and the best action movies of all time is a humongous task in itself. Over the years, Hollywood has released so many action flicks, that it would be impossible not to miss out on a few of them. The concept of compiling a list of top movies is inherently flawed as somewhere the author's bias towards some movies is bound to come in. The ones listed here are a few of the many movies that have done well at the box office and been applauded by the audience. If you feel that we have missed out any action movie worth mentioning, please let us know through your comments.