Top Ten 80s Action Movies


So I’m doing my first assignment from The League of Extraordinary Bloggers and the topic is Top Ten Movies of all time in general or any genre of your choosing.

I’ve done a top ten list of movies for myself in the past and the same handful stay in there with others rotating in and out but I wanted to narrow my scope a little bit. I’m a fan of action movies but particularly 80s action movies. It’s the decade where action movies really became a genre and birthed stars such as Chuck Norris, Jean Claude Van Damme, and Sylvester Stallone. I recognize that the quality of filmmaking in some of these movies aren’t extraordinary, but that doesn’t mean I don’t get a kick out of them. Here are my go-to action movies from the 80s.

10: Mad Max 2: The Road Warrior (1981)

I prefer Mad Max but since that came out in ’79 I have to go with its sequel. Mad Max 2 is a more straight laced narrative but I still think the world and style is different and entertaining. I’m not sure Mel Gibson could wear more leather.

9: RoboCop (1987)

This is my second favorite Paul Verhoeven film after Starship Troopers.

8: Big Trouble in Little China (1986)

Such a wacky story that’s bizarre and fun. Also, you can’t go wrong with the awesomeness that is Kurt Russell.

7: The Delta Force (1986)

Chuck Norris’ badassness shines in this film and Lee Marvin’s appearance is welcomed. This may be Chuck’s best.

6: A View to a Kill (1985)

This is my favorite Roger Moore Bond film. Christopher Walken is one of my favorite villains and I love the Eiffel Tower chase scene.

5: Cobra (1986)

This movie is pure fun and cracks me up. The number of one-liners Stallone throws out there in the first 15 mins of the movie had me hooked.

4: The Terminator (1984)

One of James Cameron’s best and the role that made Arnold an icon. Such a great sci-fi story filled with great action that it really set the bar for action movies.

3: Die Hard (1988)

The greatest Christmas movie ever made. Watching John McClane take down the terrorists one by one is a delight.

2: Predator (1987)

I was always fascinated with this movie growing up. It’s really two movies in one. One before the characters know their hunted, and one after they know. Predator gave me nightmares for years after seeing it. The final act with Arnold vs. the predator is so nerve-wracking. There’s no way this one man can take down this unstoppable force, but somehow he gets the job down.

1: First Blood (1982)

First Blood in some ways really kicked off the action genre. Although the amount of action in First Blood is limited, watching the ticking time bomb inside Rambo go off is fun to watch. He’s a super soldier surviving on nothing who has to find ways to defend himself without killing anyone.

I just noticed that my top two films have part of the movie where the lead is forced to survive on the land in order to protect themselves. Maybe I’m drawn to that survivalist aspect of these stories and how they can use pure instinct to overcome a foe.

Any other favorites that you would put in your top ten?

Also go check out these other blogs from the League.

1. Pax over at Calvacade of Awesome goes through his top ten time travel movies.

2. Brian from Cool and Collected tells us what his 10 favorite monkey movies are.

3. And also check out CT’s list of his top ten movies he can’t wait to watch with his kids over at Nerd Lunch.

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12 responses to “Top Ten 80s Action Movies”

  1. TJ says :

    Commando…The Running Man….I guess really any Arnold or Stallone flick.

  2. Brian (Cool and Collected) says :

    I probably would have had Red Dawn on my list in place of A View to a Kill. Great list!

    • moviehodgepodge says :

      Hey Brian, thanks for stopping by! I actually had never seen Red Dawn until recently. I had this idea that Red Dawn would actually make a better TV series than a movie since the movie jumps through so much time. Anyway, glad you liked the list.

  3. Paxton says :

    Great list. The 80s was replete with awesomely terrible action movies. And awesomely awesome action movies. Commando is a good call. I think Van Damme’s Bloodsport deserves a mention.

    Great list Aaron. Seriously, really great.

  4. mlblogsyankeesjetsfan says :

    Great list of 80’s action movies.

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