10 Most Influential Action Movies Ever Made

High-octane masterpieces that redefined the genre.

20th Century Fox

When done right, there are few better forms of entertainment than an action movie.

The perfect definition of escapism, the best of the genre allows audiences to switch their brains off, sit back and enjoy a couple of hours worth of punch-ups, shoot-outs, car chases, explosions and a fair share of cheesy one-liners. It may not be high art, but it sure as hell leaves you with a smile on your face when the end credits start rolling.

Unfortunately, the 'Golden Age' of the action movie seems to be a thing of the past as $200m comic book blockbusters and CGI-fuelled destruction now seem to be the order of the day, with studios hedging their bets on multi-billion dollar franchises at the expense of more modestly-budget fare that used to be the bread and butter of the genre, although classics like John Wick, Mad Max: Fury Road and The Raid can still manage to slip through the cracks every now and again.

Superheroes, space operas and digital creations are now more likely to put butts in seats than a gun-toting guy named John that's having a bad day, but many of the current crop of big-budget studio movies are clearly inspired by the genre-defining greats that came before, even if not all of them are willing to wear those influences on their sleeve.

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