As a red-blooded American male, you are required to enjoy watching big explosions, gun fights and crazy stunts. Getting older, I find myself not having the patience to watch dramatic films (that are often pretentious and depressing) but opting for the adrenaline-packed movies.

Many actors have made their mark in Hollywood through their work in this genre and although many want to be “respected thespians” and win Academy Awards, how many movie viewers would opt to watch The King’s Speech over Bloodsport? Who would watch Slumdog Millionaire and Birdman over Terminator and Rambo?

No one you’d want to have a beer with.

With action movies, you get action stars and there has been no shortage of iconic badasses on film. But who are the best? Who should be on the Mount Rushmore of action movie stars? We’re going to combine Sci-Fi and Action just to avoid the complications.


Arnold Schwarzenegger

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Resume: Conan the Barbarian, Predator, Commando, Total Recall, Terminator franchise, True Lies, and Last Action Hero.

Sylvester Stallone

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Resume: Rocky, Rambo, Cobra, Over the Top, Tango & Cash, Over the Top, Demolition Man, and The Expendables

John Wayne

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Resume: True Grit, The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance, The Alamo, Rio Bravo, The Sons of Katie Elder, Sands of Iwo Jima, I’m just going to quit. There’s way too many.

Harrison Ford

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Resume: Indiana Jones, Star Wars, The Fugitive, Air Force One, Blade Runner, and Patriot Games.

Bruce Willis

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Resume: Die Hard, The Last Boy Scout, Pulp Fiction and Sin City.

Tom Cruise

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Resume: Mission Impossible, Top Gun, Minority Report, Collateral, Jack Reacher, The Last Samurai, etc.

Jean Claude Van Damme


Resume: Bloodsport, Kickboxer, Double Impact, Lionheart, Sudden Death, Time Cop and several other straight to DVD films.

Mel Gibson


Resume: Lethal Weapon, Mad Max, Braveheart, The Patriot, and We are Soldiers

Clint Eastwood

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Resume: The Outlaw Josey Whales, Dirty Harry, Hang ‘Em High, Man With No Name trilogy, Pale Rider, Unforgiven

Keanu Reeves

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Resume: Point Break, Speed, The Matrix, John Wick, Street Kings, The Man of Tai Chi


That’s a loaded class with some resumes much more impressive than others. However, all of them satisfy the thirst for a cinematic thrill ride of machismo. We could have added Bruce Lee to the mix or made a case for The Rock being on here eventually but felt these 10 are the top of their class.

Wayne and Eastwood make it a bit difficult for their place due to their dominance of westerns and if fans consider westerns to belong in its own genre or can be included in the action movie field. At Dirtfork, anything goes. If you don’t like it, well…



Schwarzenegger, Stallone, Reeves and Eastwood.