20) Death Wish 3 (1985)

Director: Michael Winner

Writers: Don Jakoby, Brian Garfield

Stars: Charles Bronson, Deborah Raffin, Ed Lauter

Action Sub-genre: Vigilante

Synopsis: “Architect/vigilante Paul Kersey arrives back in New York City and is forcibly recruited by a crooked police chief to fight street crime caused by a large gang terrorizing the neighborhoods.”

19) Big Trouble in Little China (1986)

Director: John Carpenter

Writers: Gary Goldman, David Z. Weinstein, W.D. Richter

Stars: Kurt Russell, Kim Cattrall, Dennis Dun

Action Sub-genre: Comedy, Martial Arts, Adventure

Synopsis: “A rough-and-tumble trucker helps rescue his friend’s fiance from an ancient sorcerer in a supernatural battle beneath Chinatown.”

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18) Road House (1989)

Director: Rowdy Herrington

Writers: R. Lance Hill, Hilary Henkin

Stars: Patrick Swayze, Kelly Lynch, Sam Elliott

Action Sub-genre: Drama

Synopsis: “A tough bouncer is hired to tame a dirty bar.”

UAMC Reviews: Why No One Is ‘Cooler’ Than Patrick Swayze in ‘Road House’

17) No Retreat No Surrender (1986)

Director: Corey Yuen

Writers: See-Yuen Ng, Corey Yuen, Keith W. Strandberg

Stars: Kurt McKinney, Jean-Claude Van Damme, J.W. Fails

Action Sub-genre: Martial Arts

Synopsis: “Jason, a Bruce Lee fan, sees his karate instructor/dad beaten by martial art thugs. They move to Seattle where, after humiliations, he trains with Bruce Lee’s ghost so he can defend himself and others against thugs.”

 

16) Point Break (1991)

Director: Kathryn Bigelow

Writers: Rick King, W. Peter Iliff

Stars: Patrick Swayze, Keanu Reeves, Gary Busey

Action Sub-genre: Buddy Cop, Thriller

Synopsis: “An F.B.I. Agent goes undercover to catch a gang of surfers who may be bank robbers.”

How ‘Point Break’ Perfectly Balances Ironic and Sincere Awesomeness

15) Robocop (1987)

Director: Paul Verhoeven

Writers: Edward Neumeier, Michael Miner

Stars: Peter Weller, Nancy Allen, Dan O’Herlihy

Action Sub-genre: Cop, Sci-Fi, Cyborg

Synopsis: “In a dystopic and crime-ridden Detroit, a terminally wounded cop returns to the force as a powerful cyborg haunted by submerged memories.”

The Universal Appeal of the Sci-Fi Action Classic Robocop (1987)

14) Under Siege (1992)

Director: Andrew Davis

Writer: J.F. Lawton

Stars: Steven Seagal, Gary Busey, Tommy Lee Jones

Action Sub-genre: Thriller

Synopsis: “An ex-Navy Seal turned cook is the only person who can stop a group of terrorists when they seize control of a U.S. battleship.”

A Case for Under Siege Being Seagal’s Greatest Action Movie

13) Over the Top (1987)

Director: Menahem Golan

Writers: Gary Conway, David Engelbach, Stirling Silliphant, Sylvester Stallone

Stars: Sylvester Stallone, Robert Loggia, Susan Blakely

Action Sub-genre: Drama, Competition, Sports

Synopsis: “Tough trucker Lincoln Hawk is determined to win back his son and triumph at the world arm wrestling championships.”

Sylvester Stallone’s Top 5 Movies About Arm Wrestling Truck Drivers

12) Invasion USA (1985)

INVASION U.S.A., Chuck Norris, 1985. ©Cannon Films

Director: Joseph Zito

Writers: James Bruner, Chuck Norris, Aaron Norris

Stars: Chuck Norris, Richard Lynch, Melissa Prophet

Action Sub-genre: Invasion

Synopsis: “A one-man army comes to the rescue of the United States when a spy attempts an invasion.”

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11) Out for Justice (1991)

Director: John Flynn

Writer: R. Lance Hill

Stars: Steven Seagal, William Forsythe, Jerry Orbach

Action Sub-genre: Cop

Synopsis: “The gruesome murder of a Brooklyn Detective will turn the case into a personal vendetta when the deceased’s best friend and fellow officer will unleash an all-out attack against a psychotic Mafia enforcer’s brutal gang.”

7 Times Seagal Proves He’s The Ultimate Action Tough Guy

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