Instant classic action movies like Sound of Freedom and Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny premiered earlier this year, adding to an already-impressive collection of beloved films from the established genre. Fans looking for similar exhilarating viewing experiences will be glad to know that IMDb users’ votes have made it possible to find the best action movies ever made.
The highest-rated action movies on the platform are often award-winning and genre-defining masterpieces. The top 10 action movies on IMDb should be considered must-see action films for fans of the genre.
1. ‘The Dark Knight’ (2008)
Nolan’s second installment in the titular trilogy, The Dark Knight, is still among the best live-action portrayals of Batman. The dark and gritty movie is centered on Batman’s (Christian Bale) attempts at working with district attorney Harvey Dent (Aaron Eckhart) and police Lieutenant James Gordon (Gary Oldman) to beat organized crime in Gotham. An enigmatic villain known as the Joker (Heath Ledger) complicates his efforts in disastrous ways.
2. ‘The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King’ (2003)
Based on J. R. R. Tolkien’s eponymous 1955 novel, director Peter Jackson’s The Return of the King masterfully weaves together the major storylines depicted in the first two movies of the trilogy. The endearing Frodo Baggins is closer to the heart of Mount Doom than ever before, while Gandalf (Ian McKellen) and the rest of the group gather their forces to distract Sauron and give the Hobbit a fighting chance.
3. ‘Inception’ (2010)
Often cited alongside the best sci-fi movies of all time, director Christopher Nolan’s Inception follows a group of professional thieves led by Dom Cobb (Leonardo DiCaprio). Cobb and his group are “extractors” who have been tasked with the unprecedented goal of implanting an idea instead of stealing information. Along the way, it becomes obvious that the unexpected high security in their victim’s subconscious and Cobb’s own past could compromise the mission.
4. ‘The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring’ (2001)
The film that first transported countless fans to Middle-earth, The Fellowship of the Ring depicts the fantastical story of Frodo, whose fate becomes intertwined with the One Ring. Once lost for centuries, the powerful Ring forged in the fires of Mordor has found its way into the hands of the humble Hobbit, who soon embarks on a life-changing quest to destroy it in the only place where it can be destroyed – Mount Doom.
5. ‘The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers (2002)
It’s hard to call any one of director Peter Jackson’s The Lord of the Rings movies bad, but if there’s an entry that falls behind the other two in the acclaimed trilogy, it would be The Two Towers. The second installment in the LotR trilogy follows three distinct storylines: Frodo’s (Elijah Wood) and Sam’s (Sean Astin) challenging journey to Mordor, Aragorn (Viggo Mortensen), Legolas (Orlando Bloom), and Gimli’s (John Rhys-Davies) trek to Rohan, and Merry (Dominic Monaghan) and Pippin’s (Billy Boyd) encounter with Treebeard (voiced by Rhys-Davies).
And yet, despite often being the lowest-rated film among the three, The Two Towers is still a remarkable display of the fantasy, action, and adventure genres that undoubtedly hold a special place in fans’ hearts. No doubt viewers still remember lining up for the film when it first premiered and being stunned by the epic story and gorgeous visuals it offered fans.