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Your Top Ten Action Movies of the 90's!

Hunter Rider

Staff member
Oct 24, 2004
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Same premise as the 80's thread!

10. The Long Kiss Goodnight

Charlie Baltimore should have been the next great female action heroine, the script is tight and the action is some of Harlin's most assured and imaginative.

9. The Last Action Hero

This was ahead of it's time, clever and witty with some great set pieces.

8. Speed

High concept action at it's best, the tension building and set pieces are nicely balanced with the great chemistry between Keanu and Miss Sandy.

7. The Rock

Bay's best, Cage and Connery make for a fun odd couple as the leads, Ed Harris is a conflicted villain and the action is fantastic, from car chases to two cool infiltration sequences and a number of shoot-outs.

6. Air Force One

Take two great actors, make one a salt of the Earth leader of the free world and the other zealot-esque terrorist, stick em both aboard the worlds most famous aircraft in a Die Hard structured action thriller and you have a winner.

5. Cliffhanger

Stallone's Die Hard, set on one of the most beautiful mountain ranges in the world, visually grand set pieces taken to greater heights thanks to the location, are the perfect accompaniment to a cat & mouse game between Sly's blue collar mountain climber and Lithgow's sneering, sociopathic mercenary.

4. True Lies

Arnie and Cameron make a Bond movie, the action set pieces are incredible with the Harrier Jet sequence still standing out even today, plus there is a healthy dose of humour amid the mayhem.

3. Face/Off

John Woo finally fully unleashed in the US, Cage and Travolta at the top of their charismatic games, a high concept set up and some stunning bullet ballet shootouts combine to make an action classic.

2. Hard Boiled

One of the most influential action films ever made, the ballistic gunplay is just astounding while Tony Leung and Chow Yun Fat play the leads in Woo's classic two hander formula as a renegade cop and undercover agent who is losing his grip on who is. The hospital sequence at the end packs in more money shots than 5 regular action films put together, yet I think the warehouse raid sequence is even better, just a perfectly cut and constructed action sequence.

1. Terminator 2: Judgment Day

To this day it remains Cameron's best film IMO, groundbreaking effects, a great sci fi story, a strong performance from Arnie and some of the most stunning chases and shoot-outs ever committed to film.
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No Total Recall? But nice to see The Last Action Hero on your list, underrated IMO.
T2: Judgment Day
Hard Boiled
The Matrix
Jurassic Park
Total Recall
True Lies
Die Hard with a Vengeance
Leon the Professional
Face Off
The Rock
Con Air
1. The Rock
2. Speed
3. Con Air
4. Die Hard With A Vengeance
5. The Last Boy Scout
6. The Long Kiss Goodnight
7. Face/Off
8. True Lies
9. Broken Arrow
10. Cliffhanger
1. The Matrix
2. Die Hard With a Vengeance
3. Terminator 2: Judgment Day
4. The Mask of Zorro
5. Face/Off
6. The Fifth Element
7. True Lies
8. Blade
9. Mission: Impossible
10. Bad Boys

The 90s had some fantastic films. This was harder than I thought.

I totally forgot about The Matrix. :wow:

Bad Boys, Con Air, DHWAV and LW4 were close to the 10 and 9 spots on my list.

Goldeneye and Zorro are good choices, I've never really considered Jurrasic Parek an action movie but interesting choice.

I love Mission Impossible but like The Fugitive I consider it a thriller with a couple of set pieces as opposed to an action movie.

No Total Recall? But nice to see The Last Action Hero on your list, underrated IMO.

I like Total Recall but it's not amongst my absolute favourites. Agreed on The Last Action Hero, it came out just a bit too soon.
1. Jurassic Park
2. Terminator 2
3. GoldenEye
4. The Mask of Zorro
5. The Matrix (How is this seriously not on the top list)
6. Mission: Impossible
7. Face/Off
8. The Rock (the one Michael Bay movie that I like)
9. True Lies
10. Speed

I left off Leon and The Fugitive because I do not think they are true action movies, though they are amazing.
1. Jurassic Park
2. Terminator 2
3. GoldenEye
4. The Mask of Zorro
5. The Matrix (How is this seriously not on the top list)
6. Mission: Impossible
7. Face/Off
8. The Rock (the one Michael Bay movie that I like)
9. True Lies
10. Speed

I left off Leon and The Fugitive because I do not think they are true action movies, though they are amazing.

Like I said I forgot about The Matrix but if i edited my post I'd actually have it at number 5 the same as you lol.
Great top 10 list Hunter :up:. Just like the 80's, the 90's had some of the best action movies. I always really liked The Last Action Hero, Air Force One, Cliff Hanger, and True Lies. Love Speed, and Terminator 2. I can't remember The Long Kiss Goodnight, and Hard Boiled, I need to try to find them.
Special mention:The Specialist
Stallone's best decade was the 80's, and his only noteworthy 90's actions films were Demolition Man, Assassins and this but dammit being the action movie god that he is, he deserves a spot on this list! It could be any of those three films really, but I still remember my teenage boy heart skip a beat at the unbearable sexiness of Sharon Stone in this film, so it makes the 'guilty pleasure' runner-up spot.

10. Predator 2
I just love, love, love the first two Predator films. Love'em to death. And though the original was the superior film, the sequel was darker, edgier and even more violent. That scene where the Predator takes out the voodoo drug lord in the alley is so ominous and foreboding, it absolutely terrified me when I first saw it. The score is simply chilling. And of course, we got to see a lot more of the Predator's cool new toys, which is always a good thing.

9. Enemy of the State
I was just completely on the edge of my seat throughout this whole film. Yeah yeah, it is more 'thriller' than 'action' but even then, few genuine action films could match the adrenaline rush this movie delivered.

8. Desperado
It may not have a great plot or awesome acting but damn did this thing have style. Antonio Banderas' guitar-case gunslinger was by far one of the coolest action heroes of his time, and his crazy posse with their own musical instruments of destruction only sharpened the slick attitude of this film.

7. Face Off
It is pretty much tradition for a John Woo film to make a Top Action movie list. I love Chow Yun Fat in Woo's Hong Kong films and both The Killer or Hardboiled could have easily been in this place but the problem was that those films didn't really have great memorable villains, and this one did.

6. The Rock
If there is one thing that makes this film truly unique to this day, it is Ed Harris' soulful character, General Frank Hummell. By any other measure, The Rock is just another action film with an interesting premise, but it is the conflicting machinations of the misguided patriotic antagonists that give it a real heartbeat.

5. Die Hard With A Vengeance
Call me sacrilegious, but I still maintain to this day that Die Hard With A Vengeance was every bit the equal of its lofty original predecessor. It is the holy trinity of the supremely entertaining interplay between Willis', Jackson's and Iron's characters that really make this film. It was clever, funny, thrilling, unpredictable and a complete no-brainer for this list.

4. The Legend of Drunken Master
You don't need guns to have mindblowing action, and with this awesome film Jackie Chan proved to the world that his tough-guy credentials were just as strong to rub shoulders alongside the likes of Hollywood heavyweights like Stallone, Schwarzenegger and Willis. And the unspeakable brilliance of the climactic fight...:wow:

3. The Matrix
It might not seem like such a big deal today, no thanks to the subpar sequels tainting the reputation of the series, but the original in its day was simply put, groundbreaking. This was a film that throws so many curveballs at you that it is overwhelming the first time you watch it. And subsequent viewings only accentuate how well put-together this film was.

2. Terminator 2: Judgment Day
If there is one film that defines my childhood, it is this. I wore out three VHS tapes when it came out on home video. A lot of people consider Die Hard to be the quintessential action movie, but I say it is this. Not one single aspect of this movie can in any way be considered weak or mediocre. T2 is perhaps the only action movie in film history that exhilarated you with its story and set pieces, scared the living daylights out of you with its seemingly unstoppable villain and just when you think you grew a new set of balls after all that testosterone-filled action, it makes you cry like a little girl in the end. All hail James Cameron!

1. Heat
Alright, you might say that Heat is more crime-drama than a thoroughbred action film, but when a movie has what I consider the greatest shootout in all of film history, it has more than rightfully earned its place in the genre. If I had compiled this list five or ten years ago, T2 would have been in this spot instead, but the more I watch Mann's seminal masterpiece, the more enamored I become of it, to the point that there is scarcely a time when someone asks me about the best films I've ever seen and I don't mention Heat in less than a minute. Truly a modern classic and gem of American cinema.
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^^^ I don't agree with everything you said but I enjoyed reading your reasoning's behind your picks. :up:
1. T2 - Like others I saw this movie multiple times in theater and wore out the VHS tape and it pushed me into becoming a home theater enthusiast as a teen.

2. The Crow - I saw this movie multiple times in theaters as well. It held the title of my favorite comic book film until The Avengers.

3. Strange Days - It's probably the most overlooked action film of the 90's. The opening scene blew my mind when I saw it in theaters. Love the soundtrack as well.

4. Tombstone - If it weren't for Unforgiven it would be my favorite western of the 90's.

5. In the Line of Fire - Clint Eastwood still had it going on in the 90's and John Malkovich made a great villain. He and Eastwood had great chemistry.

6. Fist of Legend - widely regarded as Jet Li's best

7. Mask of Zorro

8. Blade - I didn't expect to enjoy this movie as much as I did. Right after the first time I saw it my friend and I jumped right back in line and saw it again. The blood bath scene is still one of my favorite opening scenes to this day.

9. Die Hard With a Vengeance

10. Outbreak - I'm a sucker for doomsday kind of films, especially ones with all-star casts with some of my favorite actors.

Honorable mentions...

Under Siege - Before Seagal became an out of shape joke I thought he was poised to break out as the next great action star with this movie. He had done mostly low budget action movies prior to this one.

Breakdown - An underrated gem starring Kurt Russell. I can't believe it's still not on bluray :cmad:
1. Blade
2. The Matrix
3. T2: judgement Day
4. The Long Kiss Goodnight
5. Starship Troopers
6. Total Recall
7. Iron Monkey
8. Fist of Legend
9. Die Hard with a Vengeance
10. Speed/Under Siege
In no particular order:

1) Terminator 2: Judgment Day
2) Face/Off
3) Speed
4) The Matrix
5) Con Air
6) Total Recall
7) Die Hard With A Vengeance
8) Breakdown
9) Cliffhanger
10) Demolition Man

honorable mention: Trespass - Bill Paxton and William Sadler as two firemen that discover the location of buried treasure in a rundown building complex when they run into gang memebers Ice-T and Ice Cube.

I've never seen any of John Woo's HK films so I can't comment on them.
I forgot all about Con Air, Cliffhanger, and Demolition Man.

All very fun action movies.

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