40) Undefeatable (1993)

Director: Godfrey Ho

Writers: Robert Vassar, Steve Harper, Tai Yim, Timothy Le

Stars: Cynthia Rothrock, Don Niam, John Miller

Action Sub-genre: Martial Arts, Revenge

Synopsis: “Kristi Jones (Cynthia Rothrock) avenges her sister’s death at the hands of a crazed martial arts rapist.”

UAMC Interview: Don Niam talks about Undefeatable (1993)

39) Red Dawn (1984)

Director: John Milius

Writers: Kevin Reynolds, John Milius

Stars: Patrick Swayze, C. Thomas Howell, Lea Thompson

Action Sub-genre: Invasion, Militia

Synopsis: “It is the dawn of World War III. In mid-western America, a group of teenagers band together to defend their town, and their country, from invading Soviet forces.”

Red Dawn: Back When American High Schoolers Kicked Russian Butt

38) Demolition Man (1993)

Director: Marco Brambilla

Writers: Peter M. Lenkov, Robert Reneau, Daniel Waters

Stars: Sylvester Stallone, Wesley Snipes, Sandra Bullock

Action Sub-genre: Sci-Fi, Cop

Synopsis: “A police officer is brought out of suspended animation in prison to pursue an old ultra-violent nemesis who is loose in a non-violent future society.”

10 Things You Never Knew About Sylvester Stallone’s Demolition Man (1993)

37) Rumble in the Bronx (1995)

Director: Stanley Tong

Writers: Edward Tang, Fibe Ma

Stars: Jackie Chan, Anita Mui, Françoise Yip

Action Sub-genre: Martial Arts, Comedy

Synopsis: “A young man visiting and helping his uncle in New York City finds himself forced to fight a street gang and the mob with his martial art skills.”

How Jackie Chan Changed Action Movies For The Better

36) Missing in Action (1984)

Director: Joseph Zito

Writers: Arthur Silver, Larry Levinson, Steve Bing, James Bruner, John Crowther, Lance Hool

Stars: Chuck Norris, M. Emmet Walsh, David Tress

Action Sub-genre: War, POW, Special Forces

Synopsis: “Colonel Braddock launches a mission deep into the jungles of Vietnam to find the POW camp that he escaped from and free the Americans still held captive there.”

 

35) Kickboxer (1989)

Directors: Mark DiSalle, David Worth

Writers: Mark DiSalle, Glenn A. Bruce, Jean-Claude Van Damme

Stars: Jean-Claude Van Damme, Dennis Alexio, Dennis Chan

Action Sub-genre: Martial Arts, Tournament

Synopsis: “Kurt Sloane must learn the ancient kick boxing art of Muay Thai in order to avenge his brother.”

 

34) The Way of the Dragon (1972)

Director: Bruce Lee

Writer: Bruce Lee

Stars: Bruce Lee, Chuck Norris, Nora Miao

Action Sub-genre: Martial Arts

Synopsis: “A man visits his relatives at their restaurant in Italy and has to help them defend against brutal gangsters harassing them.”

Bruce Lee’s Ultimate Legacy Deserves Better than Birth of the Dragon (2016)

33) The Perfect Weapon (1991)

Director: Mark DiSalle

Writer: David C. Wilson

Stars: Jeff Speakman, John Dye, Mako

Action Sub-genre: Martial Arts, Revenge

Synopsis: “An expert (Jeff Speakman) in “kenpo” karate avenges his Chinatown friend, slain by a mobster in Los Angeles.”

Jeff Speakman is the Perfect Action Hero in The Perfect Weapon (1991)

32) They Live (1988)

Director: John Carpenter

Writers: Ray Nelson, John Carpenter

Stars: Roddy Piper, Keith David, Meg Foster

Action Sub-genre: Horror, Sci-Fi

Synopsis: “A drifter discovers a pair of sunglasses that allow him to wake up to the fact that aliens have taken over the Earth.”

UAMC Classics: How ‘They Live’ is Still Relevant Today

31) Rocky (1976)

Director: John G. Avildsen

Writer: Sylvester Stallone

Stars: Sylvester Stallone, Talia Shire, Burt Young

Action Sub-genre: Sports, Drama, Tournament

Synopsis: “A small-time boxer gets a supremely rare chance to fight a heavyweight champion in a bout in which he strives to go the distance for his self-respect.”

How Sylvester Stallone Shaped the History of Action Movies with Rocky (1976)

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