The UAMC best picks for the 100 greatest ultimate action movies ever.

Best Action Movies
UAMC presents the 100 best action movies of all time

The Ultimate Action Movie Club is about two things.

  1. Appreciating ultimate action movies for all their ultimate awesomeness. (What makes an action movie an “ultimate” action movie – you ask? Read this article).
  2. Arguing our butts off about which ultimate action movies are our favorites of all time.

That’s pretty much all we do. Oh, you know, besides blog consistently about action movies day in and day out with the ultimate goal of covering every action movie ever known to man on this site. (If you want to contribute to our cause, check out our “write for us” page here.)

We also have some pretty ultimate fanpage communities going on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Reddit, if you’d like to blast your opinions across all channels – we certainly do.

But enough about us – let’s talk about the ultimate action movie greats! There has never been a genre more ultimate or awesome known to mankind than that of the ‘80s/’90s action movie genre.

Lead by legends like Arnold Schwarzenegger, Bruce Willis, Chuck Norris, Sylvester Stallone and Jean-Claude Van Damme, there are literally thousands of ultimate action movies which all deserve absolute appreciation and consideration for this list. And if you’re curious, here are our top 10 lists for some of your favorite stars:

Unfortunately, we’ve had the task of whittling down a mega-list of over 1,000 action movies to find this top 100. Many of these ultimate action movies have been written about (several at great lengths) on this site. And we highly encourage you to read up on any that sound interesting that you might not have been lucky enough to watch yet.

But now, for your ultimate action movie reading pleasure, after months of soul-searching, gut-wrenching, and binge-watching, we have our 100 BEST ULTIMATE ACTION MOVIES list to share with the world. Enjoy – and feel free to fire back full blast!

100) Waterworld (1995)

Director: Kevin Reynolds

Writers: Peter Rader, David Twohy

Starring: Kevin Costner, Dennis Hopper, Jeanne Tripplehorn

Action Sub-genre: Sci-Fi, Wasteland, Adventure

Synopsis: “In a future where the polar ice-caps have melted and Earth is almost entirely submerged, a mutated mariner fights starvation and outlaw “smokers,” and reluctantly helps a woman and a young girl try to find dry land.”

Why ‘Waterworld’ Failed and How to Make it Ultimate

99) The Challenge (1982)

Director: John Frankenheimer

Writers: Richard Maxwell, John Sayles

Stars: Scott Glenn, Toshiro Mifune

Action Sub-genre: Samurai, Martial Arts, Kung-Fu

Synopsis: “A down-and-out American boxer becomes involved in a feud between two Japanese brothers.”

An Introduction to the Samurai Way in ‘The Challenge’ (1982)

98) Remo Williams (1985)

Director: Guy Hamilton

Writers: Christopher Wood, Richard Sapir, Warren Murphy

Stars: Fred Ward, Joel Grey, Wilford Brimley

Action Sub-genre: Adventure, Spy, Comedy

Synopsis: “An officially “dead” cop is trained to become an extraordinary unique assassin in service of the US President.”

Remo Williams: Fred Ward as America’s James Bond

97) The Soldier (1982)

Writer: James Glickenhaus

Stars: Ken Wahl, Alberta Watson, Jeremiah Sullivan

Action Sub-genre: Thriller, Spy

Synopsis: “Terrorists take over a plutonium bomb and threaten to detonate it in a Saudi Arabian oil field. A special anti-terrorist unit is sent in to stop them.”

The Soldier: The Greatest Arthouse Action Movie Ever Made

96) Kickboxer Retaliation (2018)

Director: Dimitri Logothetis

Writers: Jean-Claude Van Damme (based on characters created by), Mark DiSalle (based on characters created by), Dimitri Logothetis (screenplay by), Jim McGrath (screenplay by)

Stars: Alain Moussi, Christopher Lambert, Jean-Claude Van Damme

Action Sub-genre: Martial Arts, Tournament

Synopsis: “Right after winning a fight in Las Vegas, Kurt Sloane is sedates and taken to a prison in Bangkok, where he’s forced to fight a 6’10” giant for freedom and $1M – but this will require some intense training.”

Kickboxer: Retaliation — The Ultimate Action Movie Reboot Sequel of All Time?

95) Shootfighter: Fight to the Death (1993)

Director: Patrick Ala

Writers: Judd Lynn, Larry Felix Jr., Peter Shaner

Stars: Bolo Yeung, Maryam d’Abo, William Zabka

Action Sub-Genre: Martial Arts, Tournament

Synopsis: “Fight matches, that end when a man is either unconscious or dead, are fought in Tijuana. 2 naive friends, hoping to make a quick buck, go there. One owes money to a loan shark – giving them plenty of practice in no rule fights.”

Shoot to Fight in Shootfighter: Fight to the Death (1993)

94) The Killer (1989)

Director: John Woo

Writer: John Woo

Stars: Yun-Fat Chow, Danny Lee, Sally Yeh

Action Sub-genre: Cop, Shoot ’em Up

Synopsis: “A disillusioned assassin accepts one last hit in hopes of using his earnings to restore vision to a singer he accidentally blinded, only to be double-crossed by his boss.”

The Understated Legacy of John Woo’s The Killer (1989)

93) Street Knight (1993)

STREET KNIGHT, Jeff Speakman (left), 1993. ©Cannon Films

Director: Albert Magnoli

Writer: Richard Friedman

Stars: Jeff Speakman, Christopher Neame, Lewis Van Bergen

Action Sub-Genre: Cop, Martial Arts, Kenpo

Synopsis: “A former cop returns to challenge a plot to escalate gang violence in the streets of Los Angeles.”

‘Street Knight’ and the Rise of Jeff Speakman as an Action Movie Star

92) Kickboxer 2: The Road Back (1991)

DirectorAlbert Pyun

Writers: Mark DiSalle (characters), Jean-Claude Van Damme (characters), David S. Goyer

Stars: Sasha Mitchell, Peter Boyle, Dennis Chan

Action Sub-genre: Martial Arts, Tournament

Synopsis: “Asian villains pick a fight with a Los Angeles kickboxer (Sasha Mitchell) whose brother beat them in Bangkok.”

3 Ways Kickboxer 2 is Better Than the Original Kickboxer

91) Commando Ninja (2018)

Director: Benjamin Combes

Stars: Eric Carlesi, Philippe Allier, Stéphane Asensio

Action sub-genre: Special Forces, Rescue, Thriller

Synopsis: “John Hunter is Vietnam Green Beret Veteran, Half Commando, Half Ninja, whose daughter has been abducted by a secret Ninja Organization, led by a Central-American dictator, who wants to create a new-world order – through time.”

UAMC Review: The Ultimately Awesome ‘Commando Ninja’ (2018)


  1. wow this is one screwed up list, cobra #1 really? this movie never even got a sequel because it was one of stallones worst ever, picking it over terminator and die hard, again WOW

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