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February 7, 2017

The 50 Best Action Movies of the 21st Century Thus Far

Written by The Film Stage

Since the dawn of the 21st century, action cinema has undergone a bigger change than perhaps any other genre. As the tools with which filmmakers craft their works have continually advanced, a sort of renaissance has begun wherein action films stepped firmly into their own. Often put in the same category as horror — not taken seriously as a form of artistic expression outside of its core fanbase — action has had to boldly announce itself as a viable medium through which big set pieces, but also big ideas, can be presented and explored.

With the highly anticipated John Wick: Chapter 2 arriving in theaters this Friday, we’ve set out to reflect on the millennium’s action films that have most excelled. To pick our top 50, we’ve reached out to all corners of the globe, choosing an array of films ranging from grand to gritty, brutal to beautiful. The result is a showcase of what action cinema can do at its peak presentation: knock you flat on your back while igniting ideas and emotions with explosive, lasting impact.

Check out our top 50 below and let us know your favorites in the comments. One can also see the full list on Letterboxd.

1. Miami Vice
2. Kill Bill: Vol. 1
3. Kill Bill: Vol. 2
4. Mad Max: Fury Road
5. Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol
6. Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon
7. The Bourne Ultimatum
8. Haywire
9. John Wick
10. The Grandmaster
11. Collateral
12. The Raid
13. Minority Report
14. Apocalypto
15. The Dark Knight
16. Hot Fuzz
17. Spider-Man 2
18. Crank
19. Crank: High Voltage
20. Blackhat
21. Why Don't You Play in Hell?
22. Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation
23. Inception
24. Time and Tide
25. Non-Stop
26. Sleepless Night
27. Man on Fire
28. A Bittersweet Life
29. Jack Reacher
30. Exiled
31. Casino Royale
32. SPL: Kill Zone
33. SPL 2: A Time for Consequences
34. The Guest
35. Ip Man
36. 300
37. Hero
38. Drug War
39. The Bourne Identity
40. Unleashed
41. District B13
42. Skyfall
43. 13 Assassins
44. District 9
45. Elite Squad
46. Edge of Tomorrow
47. Dredd
48. The Good, The Bad, The Weird
49. Fast Five
50. Three

Photo: _ladyblood


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