The Top 10 Best Action Movies of the Decade (2010 – 2019).
This is it. After months of coordinating, collaborating, deliberating, and at times hyperventilating, the Top 50 Action Gems of the Decade list has dropped.
50 entries. 17 contributors. 5 sites. 1 idea: to shine a light on the action movies that more or less go ignored by the general public. A novel idea, if I shall say so myself. And now, we’re at the end of it. The top 10. I can’t believe it all came together as well as it did. Sometimes, I was in doubt it would work at all.
But here we are. I hope you all enjoyed seeing some of your favorite action movies of the decade on this list, and I also wanted to thank everyone who contributed to, and at the very least participated in, this massive undertaking (well for me anyways lol): Jourdan Aldredge, Chris Kacvinsky, Lee B Golden, Eoin Friel, John M Jerva, David J. Moore, Chad Law, Len Kabasinski, Shane Cronican, Jonathan Mark, Andrew Babcock John Acquavita, Braden D White, Mike Fury, Ian Young, Todd Gaines, Tuomas Lius, Jade Lindley, and the MVP of it all, Cameron Sullivan.
None of this would’ve been possible without you guys. The sheer knowledge, wit, and enthusiasm that every single one of you have for this genre we all love and adore made all of this happen, and I truly, truly thank all of you so much from the very bottom of my heart. God bless. – The Cinema Drunkie
10) BUYBUST (2018)
Eric Matti directs this brutally effective actioner inspired by a real-life campaign against illegal drugs in the Philippines. At times it feels more like a horror movie than an action flick and will have you on the edge of your seat as the tension builds to unbearable levels.
The first half hour actually doesn’t have much in the way of action as it sets everything up and establishes the characters but I urge you to stick with it as it’s worth the wait. Once the action kicks in it doesn’t let up with brutal fight scenes featuring knives, guns and whatever people can get their hands on.
Overall, BuyBust takes awhile to get going but it’s still one of the best action movies of the decade with brutally effective action scenes and a genuine sense of chaos and threat throughout. – Eoin Friel, The Action Elite editor & founder https://theactionelite.com/
9) TRIPLE THREAT (2019)
TRIPLE THREAT is really a treat for any martial arts film fan. Once you see the poster or look at the DVD/blu ray…..watch you would expect to get out of this film….you do and THEN SOME.
You get Iko Uwais from THE RAID and i really like where his career could be going in the US as he has shown versatility in playing both heroes and villains at this point. Heck even at this point you can easily say he is more polished in American releases than Tony Jaa is, who also shows up to do what you would expect of him in a movie called “triple threat”. You get a nice fight scene with UFC champion Michael Bisping as well and action-movie staple Michael Jai White comes in to play one of the heavies and i think he is another one who should be much more popular than he is.
The fight choreography is exciting and creative throughout and really the #1 reason to watch TRIPLE THREAT. – Len Kabasinski, Writer/Producer/Director https://www.patreon.com/killerwolffilms
8) BOYKA: UNDISPUTED IV (2017)
Any of the Scott Adkins / Isaac Florentine Undisputed sequels could rank with the top martial arts movies of the decade, pushing the envelope in what we’ve seen from tournament fight films. So why single out Undisputed IV? Let’s just say it brings together some of the best elements of the earlier movies and raises the stakes even higher for the iconic, anti-hero character of MMA fighter Yuri Boyka, played so well by Adkins.
In the fourth film, the action transitions from the confines of the prison ring to the outside world, with casinos and gun wielding gangsters, who’d just as easily put a bullet in Boyka before he costs them their betting money. Fight choreographer Tim Man raises the temperature with some incredibly physical and punishing fight scenes which gives Boyka a new purpose, and gives Adkins new moves and victories for his already packed highlight reel.
If you want to see how the modern fight film has continued evolving since its heyday in the 1970’s and 80’s, these guys are doing it. – Mike Fury, Author of Life of Action www.mikefury.net/shop
7) BKO: BANGKOK KNOCKOUT (2010)
BKO: Bangkok Knockout started the decade off with a collective bang. From Thai director Panna Rittikrai who is best known for delivering Tony Jaa to the world in the Ong Bak trilogy, this film is a rare treat as the action is over the top insane and all the actors are fighters, professional stuntmen or both.
The plot is easily forgettable and the acting is too but here it is all about the action and what makes it stand out is the heart pumping stunts and fight sequences that are on stage here. The film also features various disciplines like Muay Thai, Tai Chi, Capoeira, and Kung Fu and they are all used to full effect and the fighting is blistering and fast paced. This is a film that is made for the action loving crowd and to that extent, it delivers with some of the most jaw dropping scenes of mayhem ever captured on film.
It’s a wonder that no one was killed during the making of the movie as some of the stunts are extreme and downright dangerous but at the end of the day, it serves its purpose and for the action alone, it deserves to be on a list for some of the best of the decade. – John M. Jerva, Action-flix editor & founder https://action-flix.com/
6) UNDISPUTED 3: REDEMPTION (2010)
Florentine’s visual finesse with the fight scenes and the almost-cinematic qualities of the rest of the film really elevate this picture above most of the mundane action and kickboxing films that have come and gone over the years.
Along with Part 2, these Undisputed pictures remind us of what made movies like Bloodsport and Lionheart so special in the first place. Adkins is quite easily slipping into the “star” mode, and his subtle acting and powerhouse techniques as a martial artist are really interesting to watch. This is every bit the “B” movie, but “B” movies don’t get much better or more compelling than this.
Also featuring Capoeirista Lateef Crowder, who would play a significant part in the Michael Jai White film Falcon Rising. – David J. Moore, Author of WORLD GONE WILD: A SURVIVOR’S GUIDE TO POST-APOCALYPTIC MOVIES and THE GOOD, THE TOUGH, AND THE DEADLY: ACTION MOVIES AND STARS.
5) DREDD (2012)
I am the law! This movie is as brutal and total as its protagonist’s catchphrase. A blindingly violent 95mins full of all the high octane action and satire of the British comic. Brilliantly visualised from top to bottom, with some crazy original visuals, always giving the audience something fresh to look at.
Dredd is a grimdark, ’day in the life’ movie you won’t forget. Worth watching for Karl Urban’s performance alone. Completely worthy of being one of the best action movies of the decade. Welcome to Mega-City one perp! – Ian Young, Writer http://ultimateactionmovies.com/author/ian-young/
4) AVENGEMENT (2019)
Avengement isn’t only one of the best action movies of 2019 or even the last decade (although it is both of those things too), it’s also one of the best movies of 2019 period. And that’s no small feat given that 2019 had a surprisingly great number of movies in its 365 days.
Star Scott Adkins and director Jesse V. Johnson have made a number of good movies together now but Avengement is on a whole other level for both, separately or together. It by far boasts Adkins best performance to date, proving him to be a truly great actor as well as the bad ass action star. This is ultimately a performance piece for Adkins and he gets to show us the dark descent of how his character is forced to change in order to survive prison (think Eric Bana in Chopper or even Tom Hardy in Bronson). He becomes a grotesque product of a gruesome environment yet we can’t help but sympathize with him and his mission.
And Johnson gives the movie a gritty yet surreal realism to match, creating some amazing action scenes despite keeping them grounded, making them all the more brutal, and even slightly disturbing, for it. Credit must be given to its screenwriter, Stu Small, too who seems to take the movie’s potential limitations (you won’t feel there’s any) and instead use them as strengths. Avengement is a movie that’s bound by nothing, a movie that doesn’t need to make excuses for its lack of budget or any shortcomings, it’s just a really great no-holds-barred piece of pulp fiction cinema. – Chad Law, Writer/Producer
3) THE NIGHT COMES FOR US (2018)
Director Timo Tjahjanto followed Headshot (2016), his amazing collaboration with Kimo Stamboel, with The Night Comes for Us (2018). This one does everything Headshot did right, but on a bigger scale.
This epic crime story gives The Raid supporting actor Joe Taslim his first lead role, and he doesn’t disappoint. The action is absolutely insane, with a number of elaborately choreographed fight scenes in which Taslim takes on hordes of enemies. An extended fight scene between Julie Estelle and Hannah Al Rashid, as well as the payoff fight between Taslim and Iko Uwais, must be seen to be believed.
If this movie is any indication, Taslim’s future looks bright as a leading action star, starting with his portrayal of Sub-Zero in the upcoming 2020 Mortal Kombat movie. – Shane Cronican, Writer https://theactionelite.com/author/shane-cronican/
2) SPL 2: A TIME FOR CONSEQUENCES (2015)
SPL 2: A Time for Consequences bares no real resemblance to the first film but it’s every bit as awesome; the fight scenes are breathtaking and a welcome shot of adrenaline with spectacular choreography, with the final fight scene being a true all timer that is everything an action fan could want and desire in a cinematic fight. Although the lack of closure regarding the villain was disappointing and the ending so sudden,
SPL 2 is another great action film from the past decade that deserves to be seen, with Tony Jaa and Wu Jing making for a spectacular on-screen duo. – Eoin Friel, editor & founder of The Action Elite https://theactionelite.com
1) NINJA: SHADOW OF A TEAR (2013)
Dazzling. Spectacular. Sensational. Awesome. Exceptional. Badass. Epic. Phenomenal. Classic. These are words that can all be used to describe the ultimate awesomeness that is Ninja: Shadow of a Tear, and that’s still not enough to do this movie justice.
A flawless action masterpiece in every way, shape and form. In my opinion, not only the best movie Scott Adkins & Isaac Florentine have made so far, not only one of the best action movies of this past decade, but simply one of the best action movies ever made in any decade, bar none. The action genre does not get much better than this. – The Cinema Drunkie https://thecinemadrunkie.wordpress.com/
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