Top 10 Action Movies of the 2000s

Script written by Richard Bush. With the millennium came bigger guns, bigger action and bigger CGI spectaculars. Instead of dodging cheesy bad guys who hurl cheesy sendoff lines, action stars of the 2000s had to dodge more gritty and realistic villains. And bullets. They still dodged tons of bullets. In this video, WatchMojo.com counts down our picks for the top 10 action movies of the 2000s. These are the films from the 2000s that delivered particularly memorable and iconic thrills when it came to action sequences. And just to be clear, we’ve taken all genres of action into consideration for this list. Special thanks to our user Andrew A. Dennison for submitting the idea on our Suggestions Page at WatchMojo.comsuggest
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Script written by Richard Bush.

Top 10 Action Movies of the 2000s


With the millennium came bigger guns, bigger action and bigger CGI spectaculars. Welcome to WatchMojo.com, and today we’re counting down our picks for the top 10 action movies of the 2000s.

These are the films from the 2000s that delivered particularly memorable and iconic thrills when it came to action sequences. And just to be clear, we’ve taken all genres of action into consideration for this list.

#10: “The Transporter” (2002)

This movie gave fans of the action genre a new outnumbered hero to root for. With the job of transporting anything – from weapons to people, Statham’s character naturally hits a few speed bumps. But thanks to his athletic tendencies, which led him to work as a professional diver and to develop an interest in martial arts, Statham masterfully executes even the most intricate fight scenes. Jackie Chan much?

#9: “300” (2007)

This flick took war epics to a whole new visual level. With the help of bluescreens, director Zack Snyder was able to completely meticulously re-create Frank Miller’s graphic novel. Yet, it’s the ornate, atmospheric and downright eerie quality to the killer battle scenes that helps immerse you in this story, and makes each scene feel like a piece of art. Amazing what you can do with a computer, huh?

#8: “Bad Boys II” (2003)

This Will Smith and Martin Lawrence shooter helped cement the comeback of cool buddy cop films that started with the first film in the franchise. Even beside elaborate car chases and drug busts, the real selling point of this action flick is the chemistry between its two protagonists. Much like “Lethal Weapon,” the personalities constantly clash, but in most cases that results in crime solving.

#7: “Fast & Furious” (2009)

Car movies have always been cool, but the “Fast and the Furious” franchise gave them all-new clout. Sure, the fourth addition to the lineup has awesome cars; but it gets its smooth feel from explosive chases and scenes set in the underbelly of the racing world. The characters are also so layered they could practically carry the film alone; but then it wouldn’t be much of an action flick, would it?

#6: “Mission: Impossible III” (2006)

Ethan Hunt attempts the impossible for a third installment, this time setting out to defeat an arms dealer and save his future wife. In addition to bringing back agent Hunt in all of his action-packed glory, the film also manages to pull off a killer movie MacGuffin with the infamous “Rabbit’s Foot.” That means we get both heart-stopping action as well as a psychological game of cat-and-mouse that keeps us guessing.

#5: “Taken” (2008)

The great thing about “Taken” is that nobody expected such a gritty and realistic, with Liam Neeson (of all people) as a downright hard nut. Neeson plays a former CIA agent who must track down the people who kidnapped his holidaying daughter – thus beginning a series of dark and violent scenes as he delves into the world of human trafficking. Tense, slick and – at times – incredibly scary, “Taken” may put you off going to Paris – period.

#4: “Kill Bill: Vol. 1” (2003)

Taking clear inspiration from the 1973 revenge film “Lady Snowblood,” “Kill Bill: Vol. 1” merges the surreal violence of anime with spaghetti western-inspired standoffs, all executed with trademark Tarantino direction. Based around a disgruntled Bride who’s out for blood, this movie makes us see how a plethora of styles and themes can be bundled together to create something both visually unique and totally badass. It also gives us a new type of female protagonist.

#3: “The Bourne Ultimatum” (2007)

Jason Bourne is back yet again to avoid certain death at the hands of assassins and to try to remember his past. The combination of Bourne’s intricate knowledge of combat, survival and battle tactics results in a complex plot that feels like it can twist at any moment. Much like the “Mission impossible” films, watching Bourne outwit the bad guys is enthralling. But with his shadowed past, who knows what he’ll do next?

#2: “Casino Royale” (2006)

The twenty-first addition to the Bond story ultimately spawned the rebirth of the British secret agent. Based on Ian Fleming’s very first Bond book, the film features a portrayal of 007 that’s much more accurate to the source material than its predecessors, with Daniel Craig’s version less focused on gadgets and more concerned with the brute force of one man’s determination. But let’s not forget the cool free-running sequences and overtly violent fight scenes. Simply great cinema.

Before we unveil our top pick, here are a few honorable mentions:
- “Live Free or Die Hard” (2007)
- “The Matrix Reloaded” (2003)
- “Equilibrium” (2002)
- “Black Hawk Down” (2001)

#1: “The Dark Knight” (2008)

After making a first attempt in 2005 with the “Batman Begins” reboot, Christopher Nolan nailed his atmospheric directing style with “The Dark Knight.” He also marked a first in the movie industry by shooting several scenes in IMAX. This meant scenes like the Joker’s bank robbery and the epic car chase presented audiences with glorious visuals. Add this to Heath Ledger’s anarchic portrayal of the trench coat-wearing psychopath The Joker, and you’ve got one helluva movie.

Do you agree with our list? What is your favorite action flick of the noughties? For more awesome Top 10s published daily, be sure to subscribe to WatchMojo.com.
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