The 10 best action Hollywood movies derive from different decades and contain very diverse story lines. Regardless of their distinctions, however, the 10 best action movies all have one thing in common: the ability to amaze with stunts, ideas and, of course, the need for survival.

  1. "Top Gun." Daring flight scenes based on a story of dedication and turmoil makes this one of the best action movies of all time. While today fighter jets are rather commonplace in movies, at the time "Top Gun" was revolutionary. Great performances and awe-inspiring flights make this movie one of the best Hollywood action movies.

  2. "Gladiator." Dramatic scenes and a real life-or-death battlefield make Gladiator one of the best action movies. Set against a backdrop of the struggle for power over Rome, this movie’s realistic fighting makes the story line come alive. With Russel Crowe at his best, "Gladiator" is one of the best Hollywood action films.

  3. "The French Connection." This great action movie follows two police officers as they try to intercept a heroin shipment from arriving in the U.S. The car chase in this movie has been critically acclaimed as one of the best; the dichotomy between crook and hero, good and bad is not to be missed, either.

  4. "Ben-Hur." Enslaved by Romans, "Ben-Hur" returns to seek vengeance on the friend who betrayed him – through a death defying chariot race. The race is the pivotal point and best evidence of the films exceptional action sequences. At the time of its making, the action movie was the most expensive ever made and saved MGM from bankruptcy.

  5. "The Great Escape." Based on a true story, "The Great Escape" follows POW’s as they outwit their guards to escape from a Nazi concentration camp. The second half of the movie takes viewers on the thrilling ride of planes, trains and plain ol’ running to escape occupied Europe. With its portrayal of fighting to survive, "The Great Escape" is one of the best action movies of all time.

  6. "The Dark Knight." The action in this relatively recent movie pretty much doesn’t stop. From the first minute the Joker appears until Batman saves the day The Dark Knight amazes with an intricate but believable plot. With car, motorcycle and mack-truck chases alongside exploding hospitals and busses driving through banks, this movie displays why it more than deserves the title of one of the 10 best Hollywood action movies.

  7. "The Bourne Ultimatum." The final of the trilogy, "The Bourne Ultimatum" thrills with foot and car chases, explosions and Jason Bourne standing in government buildings that are supposedly impenetrable. As Bourne becomes more desperate to find the truth, the action scenes become more violent and engaging. "The Bourne Ultimatum" is one of the best action movies.

  8. "Raiders of the Lost Ark." By expertly combining humor with daring stunts, Raiders of the Lost Ark managed to do what previous action movies were unable to accomplish – coolness. Even toda Indiana Jones is one of the most suave action heroes.

  9. "Aliens." Do aliens exist? Well, according to this movie, yes. Moreover, aliens are evil. This groundbreaking movie thrilled audiences with the fear on knowing what is actually out there; Sigourney Weaver shines in this action movie – well, as much as any woman escaping alien terror can shine.  

  10. "Die Hard." What is not incredible about a single man not wearing shoes and dressed only in a tank top fighting off an entire troupe of murderous villains? And when it all happens on Christmas Eve the action becomes even more intense. The moment that corpse sailed out the window to land on the police vehicle, "Die Hard" more than proved its worthiness of being labeled one of the 10 best action movies.