These 10 action movie essentials refer to the best action based films in cinema history. These movies are the ones other action movies are based on. Whether old classic films or newer ones that changed the way we look at movies, these are the best action movies of all time.

  1. “Raiders of the Lost Ark” – Steven Spielberg and Harrison Ford team up for one of the best action movie essentials in cinema history. The movie sees Archeologist adventure Indiana Jones searching for the legendary Lost Ark of the Covenant. The movie had three sequels.

  2. “Terminator 2” – James Cameron took his original sci-fi movie and amped up the action creating one of the action movie essentials. Arnold Schwarzenegger returns in the role as the cyborg sent back in time but this time his mission is to save John Connor from being killed to save the future.

  3. “Lethal Weapon”Shane Black wrote the script for the action movie essential and created the template for all buddy cop comedies to come. Mel Gibson stars as the cop on the edge and Danny Glover is his polar opposite, the family man who is ready to retire.

  4. “The Matrix” – The Wachowski brothers changed the way action sequences are shot and transforms the traits of action movie essentials. The movie is a Biblical tale where computers take over the world and one man, a savior, is searched for to help lead the humans back to salvation.

  5. “The Dark Knight” – Christopher Nolan created the greatest superhero movie of all time, creating the template for action movie essentials in the comic book genre. Heath Ledger won an Oscar for his role as The Joker, an anarchistic villain who puts the entire city in danger.

  6. “Bourne Identity” – Matt Damon became a household name thanks to his role as Jason Bourne in a movie that changes the action movie essentials created by the “James Bond” franchise. With quick cuts and violent, realistic fight scenes, this movie helped the “James Bond” movies change their style a few years later.

  7. “Aliens” – James Cameron took over Ridley Scott’s horror film and added action movie essentials to change the course of the franchise. The movie morphed into an action sci-fi extravaganza with guns, explosions and all the action a fan could dream of.

  8. “Kill Bill: Volume 1” – Quentin Tarantino took his film style and added every drop of action he could squeeze out of his movie. Uma Thurman stars as “The Bride” who hunts down the man who shot her and left her for dead. This first edition of the two-part movie sees one of the most insane sword fights ever filmed.

  9. “First Blood”Sylvester Stallone stars in the first movie of this series as John Rambo, a former Vietnam vet who returns home to realize he can’t find anywhere to call home. In this action movie essential, an evil town sheriff brutally beats Rambo up and soon becomes the target of Rambo’s vengeance.

  10. “Mad Max” – This action movie essential introduces Mel Gibson to the cinema world. In a post-apocalyptic world, Gibson stars as Max, a police officer in a violent world where oil is a commodity to kill for. When his wife and child are murdered, he quits the force and sets out to find and kill everyone responsible.