Action: the best of the very best action movies

by waldojefferss | created - 20 Nov 2014 | updated - 6 days ago | Public
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1. Pulp Fiction (1994)

R | 154 min | Crime, Drama

94 Metascore

The lives of two mob hitmen, a boxer, a gangster and his wife, and a pair of diner bandits intertwine in four tales of violence and redemption.

Director: Quentin Tarantino | Stars: John Travolta, Uma Thurman, Samuel L. Jackson, Bruce Willis

Votes: 1,700,022 | Gross: $107.93M

2. Fight Club (1999)

R | 139 min | Drama

66 Metascore

An insomniac office worker and a devil-may-care soapmaker form an underground fight club that evolves into something much, much more.

Director: David Fincher | Stars: Brad Pitt, Edward Norton, Meat Loaf, Zach Grenier

Votes: 1,730,027 | Gross: $37.03M

3. Se7en (1995)

R | 127 min | Crime, Drama, Mystery

65 Metascore

Two detectives, a rookie and a veteran, hunt a serial killer who uses the seven deadly sins as his motives.

Director: David Fincher | Stars: Morgan Freeman, Brad Pitt, Kevin Spacey, Andrew Kevin Walker

Votes: 1,331,313 | Gross: $100.13M

4. Full Metal Jacket (1987)

R | 116 min | Drama, War

76 Metascore

A pragmatic U.S. Marine observes the dehumanizing effects the Vietnam War has on his fellow recruits from their brutal boot camp training to the bloody street fighting in Hue.

Director: Stanley Kubrick | Stars: Matthew Modine, R. Lee Ermey, Vincent D'Onofrio, Adam Baldwin

Votes: 628,456 | Gross: $46.36M

5. To Die For (1995)

R | 106 min | Comedy, Crime, Drama

86 Metascore

A beautiful but naïve aspiring television personality films a documentary on teenagers with a darker ulterior motive.

Director: Gus Van Sant | Stars: Nicole Kidman, Matt Dillon, Joaquin Phoenix, Casey Affleck

Votes: 41,142 | Gross: $21.28M

6. The Firm (1993)

R | 154 min | Drama, Mystery, Thriller

58 Metascore

A young lawyer joins a prestigious law firm only to discover that it has a sinister dark side.

Director: Sydney Pollack | Stars: Tom Cruise, Jeanne Tripplehorn, Gene Hackman, Hal Holbrook

Votes: 109,237 | Gross: $158.35M

7. Basic Instinct (1992)

R | 127 min | Drama, Mystery, Thriller

41 Metascore

A violent police detective investigates a brutal murder that might involve a manipulative and seductive novelist.

Director: Paul Verhoeven | Stars: Michael Douglas, Sharon Stone, George Dzundza, Jeanne Tripplehorn

Votes: 160,450 | Gross: $117.73M

8. Interview with the Vampire: The Vampire Chronicles (1994)

R | 123 min | Drama, Horror

59 Metascore

A vampire tells his epic life story: love, betrayal, loneliness, and hunger.

Director: Neil Jordan | Stars: Brad Pitt, Tom Cruise, Antonio Banderas, Kirsten Dunst

Votes: 279,823 | Gross: $105.26M

9. Catch Me If You Can (2002)

PG-13 | 141 min | Biography, Crime, Drama

75 Metascore

A seasoned FBI agent pursues Frank Abagnale Jr. who, before his 19th birthday, successfully forged millions of dollars' worth of checks while posing as a Pan Am pilot, a doctor, and a legal prosecutor.

Director: Steven Spielberg | Stars: Leonardo DiCaprio, Tom Hanks, Christopher Walken, Martin Sheen

Votes: 747,849 | Gross: $164.62M

10. Bellflower (2011)

R | 106 min | Action, Drama, Romance

72 Metascore

Two friends spend all their free time building flame-throwers and weapons of mass destruction in hopes that a global apocalypse will occur and clear the runway for their imaginary gang "Mother Medusa".

Director: Evan Glodell | Stars: Evan Glodell, Tyler Dawson, Jessie Wiseman, Rebekah Brandes

Votes: 7,388 | Gross: $0.17M

11. No Country for Old Men (2007)

R | 122 min | Crime, Drama, Thriller

91 Metascore

Violence and mayhem ensue after a hunter stumbles upon a drug deal gone wrong and more than two million dollars in cash near the Rio Grande.

Directors: Ethan Coen, Joel Coen | Stars: Tommy Lee Jones, Javier Bardem, Josh Brolin, Woody Harrelson

Votes: 788,475 | Gross: $74.28M

12. Goodfellas (1990)

R | 146 min | Biography, Crime, Drama

90 Metascore

The story of Henry Hill and his life in the mob, covering his relationship with his wife Karen Hill and his mob partners Jimmy Conway and Tommy DeVito in the Italian-American crime syndicate.

Director: Martin Scorsese | Stars: Robert De Niro, Ray Liotta, Joe Pesci, Lorraine Bracco

Votes: 937,857 | Gross: $46.84M

13. The Usual Suspects (1995)

R | 106 min | Crime, Mystery, Thriller

77 Metascore

A sole survivor tells of the twisty events leading up to a horrific gun battle on a boat, which began when five criminals met at a seemingly random police lineup.

Director: Bryan Singer | Stars: Kevin Spacey, Gabriel Byrne, Chazz Palminteri, Stephen Baldwin

Votes: 930,614 | Gross: $23.34M

14. L.A. Confidential (1997)

R | 138 min | Crime, Drama, Mystery

90 Metascore

As corruption grows in 1950s Los Angeles, three policemen -- one strait-laced, one brutal, and one sleazy -- investigate a series of murders with their own brand of justice.

Director: Curtis Hanson | Stars: Kevin Spacey, Russell Crowe, Guy Pearce, Kim Basinger

Votes: 503,928 | Gross: $64.62M

15. 127 Hours (2010)

R | 94 min | Biography, Drama

82 Metascore

A mountain climber becomes trapped under a boulder while canyoneering alone near Moab, Utah and resorts to desperate measures in order to survive.

Director: Danny Boyle | Stars: James Franco, Amber Tamblyn, Kate Mara, Sean Bott

Votes: 330,839 | Gross: $18.34M

16. The Sixth Sense (1999)

PG-13 | 107 min | Drama, Mystery, Thriller

64 Metascore

A boy who communicates with spirits seeks the help of a disheartened child psychologist.

Director: M. Night Shyamalan | Stars: Bruce Willis, Haley Joel Osment, Toni Collette, Olivia Williams

Votes: 863,339 | Gross: $293.51M

17. Mystic River (2003)

R | 138 min | Crime, Drama, Mystery

84 Metascore

The lives of three men who were childhood friends are shattered when one of them has a family tragedy.

Director: Clint Eastwood | Stars: Sean Penn, Tim Robbins, Kevin Bacon, Emmy Rossum

Votes: 396,431 | Gross: $90.14M

18. Death Proof (2007)

Not Rated | 113 min | Thriller

Two separate sets of voluptuous women are stalked at different times by a scarred stuntman who uses his "death proof" cars to execute his murderous plans.

Director: Quentin Tarantino | Stars: Kurt Russell, Zoë Bell, Rosario Dawson, Vanessa Ferlito

Votes: 253,283

19. Shutter Island (2010)

R | 138 min | Mystery, Thriller

63 Metascore

In 1954, a U.S. Marshal investigates the disappearance of a murderer who escaped from a hospital for the criminally insane.

Director: Martin Scorsese | Stars: Leonardo DiCaprio, Emily Mortimer, Mark Ruffalo, Ben Kingsley

Votes: 1,039,417 | Gross: $128.01M

20. Inglourious Basterds (2009)

R | 153 min | Adventure, Drama, War

69 Metascore

In Nazi-occupied France during World War II, a plan to assassinate Nazi leaders by a group of Jewish U.S. soldiers coincides with a theatre owner's vengeful plans for the same.

Director: Quentin Tarantino | Stars: Brad Pitt, Diane Kruger, Eli Roth, Mélanie Laurent

Votes: 1,165,645 | Gross: $120.54M

21. Miller's Crossing (1990)

R | 115 min | Crime, Drama, Thriller

66 Metascore

Tom Regan, an advisor to a Prohibition-era crime boss, tries to keep the peace between warring mobs but gets caught in divided loyalties.

Directors: Joel Coen, Ethan Coen | Stars: Gabriel Byrne, Albert Finney, John Turturro, Marcia Gay Harden

Votes: 120,196 | Gross: $5.08M

22. Django Unchained (2012)

R | 165 min | Drama, Western

81 Metascore

With the help of a German bounty hunter, a freed slave sets out to rescue his wife from a brutal Mississippi plantation owner.

Director: Quentin Tarantino | Stars: Jamie Foxx, Christoph Waltz, Leonardo DiCaprio, Kerry Washington

Votes: 1,252,846 | Gross: $162.81M

23. The Game (1997)

R | 129 min | Drama, Mystery, Thriller

61 Metascore

After a wealthy banker is given an opportunity to participate in a mysterious game, his life is turned upside down when he becomes unable to distinguish between the game and reality.

Director: David Fincher | Stars: Michael Douglas, Deborah Kara Unger, Sean Penn, James Rebhorn

Votes: 322,722 | Gross: $48.32M

24. The Departed (2006)

R | 151 min | Crime, Drama, Thriller

85 Metascore

An undercover cop and a mole in the police attempt to identify each other while infiltrating an Irish gang in South Boston.

Director: Martin Scorsese | Stars: Leonardo DiCaprio, Matt Damon, Jack Nicholson, Mark Wahlberg

Votes: 1,107,070 | Gross: $132.38M

25. After Hours (1985)

R | 97 min | Comedy, Crime, Drama

90 Metascore

An ordinary word processor has the worst night of his life after he agrees to visit a girl in Soho who he met that evening at a coffee shop.

Director: Martin Scorsese | Stars: Griffin Dunne, Rosanna Arquette, Verna Bloom, Tommy Chong

Votes: 52,176 | Gross: $10.60M

26. Jacob's Ladder (I) (1990)

R | 113 min | Drama, Horror, Mystery

62 Metascore

Mourning his dead child, a haunted Vietnam War veteran attempts to uncover his past while suffering from a severe case of dissociation. To do so, he must decipher reality and life from his own dreams, delusions, and perceptions of death.

Director: Adrian Lyne | Stars: Tim Robbins, Elizabeth Peña, Danny Aiello, Matt Craven

Votes: 92,971 | Gross: $26.12M

27. The Ninth Gate (1999)

R | 133 min | Mystery, Thriller

44 Metascore

A rare book dealer, while seeking out the last two copies of a demon text, gets drawn into a conspiracy with supernatural overtones.

Director: Roman Polanski | Stars: Johnny Depp, Frank Langella, Lena Olin, Emmanuelle Seigner

Votes: 156,340 | Gross: $18.66M

28. Storm of the Century (1999– )

PG-13 | 257 min | Drama, Fantasy, Horror

A dangerous blizzard hits an isolated town and brings along a mysterious stranger intent on terrorizing people for his own desires.

Stars: Becky Ann Baker, Kathleen Chalfant, Adam Zolotin, Adam LeFevre

Votes: 18,894

29. The Man Who Wasn't There (2001)

R | 116 min | Crime, Drama

73 Metascore

A laconic, chain-smoking barber blackmails his wife's boss and lover for money to invest in dry cleaning, but his plan goes terribly wrong.

Directors: Joel Coen, Ethan Coen | Stars: Billy Bob Thornton, Frances McDormand, Michael Badalucco, James Gandolfini

Votes: 98,833 | Gross: $7.49M

30. Dog Day Afternoon (1975)

R | 125 min | Biography, Crime, Drama

86 Metascore

A man robs a bank to pay for his lover's operation, which turns into a hostage situation and a media circus.

Director: Sidney Lumet | Stars: Al Pacino, John Cazale, Penelope Allen, Sully Boyar

Votes: 222,699 | Gross: $50.00M

31. The Machinist (2004)

R | 101 min | Drama, Thriller

61 Metascore

An industrial worker who hasn't slept in a year begins to doubt his own sanity.

Director: Brad Anderson | Stars: Christian Bale, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Aitana Sánchez-Gijón, John Sharian

Votes: 336,968 | Gross: $1.08M

32. Taxi Driver (1976)

R | 114 min | Crime, Drama

94 Metascore

A mentally unstable veteran works as a nighttime taxi driver in New York City, where the perceived decadence and sleaze fuels his urge for violent action by attempting to liberate a presidential campaign worker and an underage prostitute.

Director: Martin Scorsese | Stars: Robert De Niro, Jodie Foster, Cybill Shepherd, Albert Brooks

Votes: 664,095 | Gross: $28.26M

33. True Romance (1993)

R | 119 min | Crime, Drama, Romance

59 Metascore

In Detroit, a lonely pop culture geek marries a call girl, steals cocaine from her pimp, and tries to sell it in Hollywood. Meanwhile, the owners of the cocaine, the Mob, track them down in an attempt to reclaim it.

Director: Tony Scott | Stars: Christian Slater, Patricia Arquette, Dennis Hopper, Val Kilmer

Votes: 193,255 | Gross: $12.28M

34. Unforgiven (1992)

R | 130 min | Drama, Western

85 Metascore

Retired Old West gunslinger William Munny (Clint Eastwood) reluctantly takes on one last job, with the help of his old partner Ned Logan (Morgan Freeman) and a young man, The "Schofield Kid" (Jaimz Woolvett).

Director: Clint Eastwood | Stars: Clint Eastwood, Gene Hackman, Morgan Freeman, Richard Harris

Votes: 350,385 | Gross: $101.16M

35. American Hustle (2013)

R | 138 min | Crime, Drama

90 Metascore

A con man, Irving Rosenfeld, along with his seductive partner Sydney Prosser, is forced to work for a wild F.B.I. Agent, Richie DiMaso, who pushes them into a world of Jersey powerbrokers and the Mafia.

Director: David O. Russell | Stars: Christian Bale, Amy Adams, Bradley Cooper, Jennifer Lawrence

Votes: 426,023 | Gross: $150.12M

36. The Untouchables (1987)

R | 119 min | Crime, Drama, Thriller

79 Metascore

During the era of Prohibition in the United States, Federal Agent Eliot Ness sets out to stop ruthless Chicago gangster Al Capone, and because of rampant corruption, assembles a small, hand-picked team to help him.

Director: Brian De Palma | Stars: Kevin Costner, Sean Connery, Robert De Niro, Charles Martin Smith

Votes: 261,984 | Gross: $76.27M

37. The Devil's Advocate (1997)

R | 144 min | Drama, Mystery, Thriller

60 Metascore

An exceptionally adept Florida lawyer is offered a job at a high-end New York City law firm with a high-end boss - the biggest opportunity of his career to date.

Director: Taylor Hackford | Stars: Keanu Reeves, Al Pacino, Charlize Theron, Jeffrey Jones

Votes: 309,115 | Gross: $60.98M

38. Grindhouse (2007)

R | 191 min | Action, Horror, Thriller

77 Metascore

Quentin Tarantino and Robert Rodriguez's homage to exploitation double features in the 60s and 70s with two back-to-back cult films that include previews of coming attractions between them.

Directors: Robert Rodriguez, Eli Roth, Quentin Tarantino, Edgar Wright, Rob Zombie | Stars: Kurt Russell, Rose McGowan, Danny Trejo, Zoë Bell

Votes: 172,564 | Gross: $25.03M

39. Wild at Heart (1990)

R | 125 min | Comedy, Crime, Drama

52 Metascore

Young lovers Sailor and Lula run from the variety of weirdos that Lula's mom has hired to kill Sailor.

Director: David Lynch | Stars: Nicolas Cage, Laura Dern, Willem Dafoe, J.E. Freeman

Votes: 76,712 | Gross: $14.56M

40. From Dusk Till Dawn (1996)

R | 108 min | Action, Crime, Horror

48 Metascore

Two criminals and their hostages unknowingly seek temporary refuge in a truck stop populated by vampires, with chaotic results.

Director: Robert Rodriguez | Stars: Harvey Keitel, George Clooney, Juliette Lewis, Quentin Tarantino

Votes: 270,140 | Gross: $25.75M

41. Nightcrawler (2014)

R | 117 min | Crime, Drama, Thriller

76 Metascore

When Louis Bloom, a con man desperate for work, muscles into the world of L.A. crime journalism, he blurs the line between observer and participant to become the star of his own story.

Director: Dan Gilroy | Stars: Jake Gyllenhaal, Rene Russo, Bill Paxton, Riz Ahmed

Votes: 420,354 | Gross: $32.38M

42. The Hateful Eight (2015)

R | 168 min | Crime, Drama, Mystery

68 Metascore

In the dead of a Wyoming winter, a bounty hunter and his prisoner find shelter in a cabin currently inhabited by a collection of nefarious characters.

Director: Quentin Tarantino | Stars: Samuel L. Jackson, Kurt Russell, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Walton Goggins

Votes: 465,969 | Gross: $54.12M

43. Blue Velvet (1986)

R | 120 min | Drama, Mystery, Thriller

76 Metascore

The discovery of a severed human ear found in a field leads a young man on an investigation related to a beautiful, mysterious nightclub singer and a group of psychopathic criminals who have kidnapped her child.

Director: David Lynch | Stars: Isabella Rossellini, Kyle MacLachlan, Dennis Hopper, Laura Dern

Votes: 167,204 | Gross: $8.55M

44. The Warriors (1979)

R | 92 min | Action, Crime, Thriller

65 Metascore

In the near future, a charismatic leader summons the street gangs of New York City in a bid to take it over. When he is killed, The Warriors are falsely blamed and now must fight their way home while every other gang is hunting them down.

Director: Walter Hill | Stars: Michael Beck, James Remar, Dorsey Wright, Brian Tyler

Votes: 87,778 | Gross: $22.49M

45. Grosse Pointe Blank (1997)

R | 107 min | Action, Comedy, Crime

76 Metascore

Martin Blank is a professional assassin. He is sent on a mission to a small Detroit suburb, Grosse Pointe, and, by coincidence, his ten-year high school reunion party is taking place there at the same time.

Director: George Armitage | Stars: John Cusack, Minnie Driver, Dan Aykroyd,