The 10 best action drama movies include some of the most popular films and favorite films of many people that have ever been made. Covering both the action and drama categories helps with that, as they are both broad genres with many classic films included in them, with scenes that have moments of intense action as well as true emotion, making these scenes have more of an effect on the audience. What this 10 best list really proves at the end of the day is that some of the best stories on celluloid told have elements of both action and drama in them.

  1. "Bladerunner" is a science-fiction detective tale from director Ridley Scott. It takes place in Los Angeles in "the future," dealing with a Bladerunner trying to track down escaped Androids, who have killed a number of people. Despite a number of violent, action scenes throughout the movie, there are also a number of very emotional scenes, where characters come to grips with what it means to be human.

  2. "Top Gun" is a classic action drama starring Tom Cruise as a fighter pilot in an elite class of Air Force pilots. His love story with actress Kelly McGillis adds the heartthrob drama, while intensely film aerial action scenes add the action. "Top Gun" was also one of the most popular action drama movies of the 1980's.

  3. "The French Connection" is a cops and robbers action drama movie taken to a whole new level. It is directed by "The Exorcist" director William Friedkin and stars Gene Hackman and Roy Scheider. It's drama comes from the unraveling of both it's main characters and the smugglers they are pursuing. The action comes from the incredible car chases throughout the film. 

  4. "The Road Warrior" is Mel Gibson's futuristic action drama movie that garnered him true international acclaim for the first time and became a classic. It takes place in a post-apocalyptic world where people ar fighting over gasoline, which really isn't too distant from the way things are right now.

  5. "Gladiator" is another action drama movie classic from Ridley Scott which is simple in it's premise. A banished ex-soldier from the Roman military must fight his way out of slavery as a Gladiator, returning to take the throne which is rightfully his. "Gladiator" won Best Picture at the Academy Awards in 2000.

  6. "Lethal Weapon" is an action drama movie that was almost an instantaneous classic, cementing Mel Gibson and Danny Glover as bonafide movie stars in the 1980's. It also became one of the classic action films in the action genre, leading to a whole host of films similar to it, as well as a number of mediocre to bad movie sequels.

  7. "The Dark Knight" is an epic action drama movie from director Chris Nolan, which somehow managed to blow the excellent first Batman movie from Tim Burton out of the water. It again tells the story of Batman versus The Joker, but in an entirely new, noirish light and style. It is also Heath Ledger's last brilliant and haunting performance before his tragic death.

  8. "The Seven Samurai" is an action drama movie from film master Akira Kurosawa, that literally wrote the book on how to make a good action drama movie. Many different amazing films (like "The Magnificent Seven") have been reproduced from it's basic premise. If you are a true lover of action drama movies, "The Seven Samurai" is a must.

  9. "Die Hard" may be one of the greatest action movies ever made and the reason for this is due to it's attention to it's own dramatic elements, humor and themes. This is why it is arguably one of the greatest action dramas ever made, showing that action films can be believable and emotional all at the same time.

  10. "Terminator 2: Judgement Day" is an action drama movie that is both epic in scale, incredibly violent and incredibly emotional all at the same time. It is also from the master James Cameron, who delves deeper into the apocalyptic Terminator premise and the moral differences between man and machine.