Top 10 Action Movies that Will Become Classics in the Future
VOICE OVER: Rebecca Brayton
Written by Nathan Sharp
Action movies and films that have struck such a chord in pop-culture that it's only a matter of time before they are hailed as classics and become staples of every cinephiles collection. WatchMojo presents the top 10 action movies that will become classics in the future. But what will take the top spot on our list? James Bond's Skyfall, Mad Max: Fury Road, or Inception? Watch to find out!
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Action movies just keep getting better and better! Welcome to WatchMojo.com, and today we’re counting down our picks for the Top 10 Action Movies That Will Become Classics in the Future.
For this list, we’re looking at action movies released in or after the year 2010, that we believe will be revered in the years to come due to the significant critical acclaim and public attention they’ve received.
#10: “Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol” (2011)
If we had to find fault with “Ghost Protocol,” we’d say it’s almost TOO ambitious; it’s basically wall-to-wall action, and while that sometimes gets in the way of a clever story, it always makes for amazing eye candy. “Ghost Protocol” takes the “Mission: Impossible” formula and turns every dial up, resulting in some truly hilarious moments, sweeping cinematography and countless eye-popping set pieces, like the explosion at the Kremlin and Tom Cruise scaling the tallest structure in the world. This series needed some fresh blood, and that’s what director Brad Bird delivered. The result is the best and most exhilarating “Mission: Impossible” movie to that point.
#9: “Edge of Tomorrow” (2014)
Hey, what can we say? Tom Cruise is one hell of an action star. Aliens invade Earth and humans need to stop it: sure, that plot might sound like a cliché, but the storytelling and script of “Edge of Tomorrow” take it above and beyond. Even with the time-looping nature of the story, the action is always fresh and inventive, it’s tongue-in-cheek, and above all else, it’s rooted in the touching, complex relationship between two great and well-acted characters. Not only was “Edge of Tomorrow” a refreshing relief from the movies of the overcrowded summer season, it’s also one of the most original action movies in years.
#8: “Captain America: Civil War” (2016)
This Marvel movie reunites nearly all the superheroes from 2012’s also-fantastic “Avengers” film, and does something different: pits them against each other in a battle of might and will. While the repercussions may be predictably limited and the movie is a little overstuffed, it more than makes up for these flaws with entertainment value to spare, thoughtful and mature themes, and sheer spectacle. In a time when superhero movies are taking themselves a little too seriously - ahem DC - “Civil War” reminds us that these movies are meant to be fun. When looking back on the phenomenon that wasthe superhero genre, we’re sure to be discussing “Civil War.”
#7: “John Wick” (2014)
Serving as a “Matrix” reunion of sorts, “John Wick” may not reach that series’ philosophical depths, but it does give us some fine-looking action. The story is barebones: Wick goes on a quest for vengeance after his dog is killed and his precious car is stolen. But this plot is simply an excuse for Keanu Reeves to ominously grumble and stylishly shoot bad guys in the face. Co-directed by a member of the “Matrix” stunt team, “John Wick” forgoes quick cuts and shaky cam in favor of fluid and beautiful action. And let’s not forget the expanded reunion with Laurence Fishburne in the equally good “Chapter 2.”
#6: “Deadpool” (2016)
At a time when superhero movies were becoming a little predictable, along came “Deadpool,” a violent and profane film that was meant to satirize the genre and inject some fresh blood into the proceedings. It succeeded, and will undoubtedly be remembered fondly for it, as the R-rating allowed the filmmakers to experiment and take risks rather than adhere to the inoffensive nature of the genre. Ryan Reynolds also gives the performance of his career as Deadpool, not only by nailing the character’s personality and sense of humor, but also by clearly portraying his fears and his heart – something the movie take surprisingly seriously. “Deadpool” was the phenomenon that no one was expecting.
#5: “The Raid” (2011)
This little movie from Indonesia may not have much of a story or budget, but it capitalizes on its concept with absolutely thrilling results. In fact, the lack of a real story or deep characterizations is not a problem here, as the movie’s about showing off Iko Uwais and the stunt team’s talents above all else. Luckily for us, the action is breathtaking, complete with complex choreography that’s expertly captured by Gareth Evans. What can we say: sometimes you just wanna see a man running around with a light bulb sticking out of his neck, and there ain’t nothing wrong with that!
#4: “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story” (2016)
While 2015’s “The Force Awakens” was certainly exciting, many people took issue with the fact that it retread the same old “Star Wars” tropes. “Rogue One,” on the other hand, redefined what a “Star Wars” movie could be, and for the first time since “The Empire Strikes Back,” we got an entry in the series that wasn’t afraid to take huge risks with its characters or take the story in thematically challenging directions. We also have to mention the third act, which not only features a staggering battle sequence, but also perfectly ties the movie into “A New Hope.” Well done, Disney.
#3: “Skyfall” (2012)
If “Casino Royale” redefined James Bond for a new generation, then “Skyfall” perfected the formula. “Skyfall” all but eliminated the Bond tropes, with fewer gadgets and less world hopping, and a more personal story, which helped develop Bond and his relationships. Those changes add to the dramatic intensity of the film and make “Skyfall” something special. Craig humanizes Bond with a subtle performance, the action set pieces are spectacular, and the cinematography from Roger Deakins is magnificent. There’s also the chill-inducing title song from Adele, which is sure to go down as one of the all-time greats. Future filmmakers take note: THIS is how you do Bond right.
#2: “Mad Max: Fury Road” (2015)
If adrenaline could take the form of a movie, that movie would be “Fury Road.” The first “Mad Max” film since 1985 sees the titular Max and heroine Furiosa driving across the desert to find – whoa, did you see that car crash!? How did they do that!? You’ll be asking yourself that question a lot throughout this movie, as it contains some of the wildest and most adrenaline-fueled stunts ever put to film, mostly without the help of CGI. Couple the insane practical action with some amazing makeup work, imaginative production design, deep world building, and surprising depth from the key characters, and you have an instant classic.
Before we get to our top pick, here are a few honorable mentions.
- “Guardians of the Galaxy” (2014)
- “Looper” (2012)
- “X-Men: Days of Future Past” (2014)
#1: “Inception” (2010)
Christopher Nolan certainly has an imagination! This movie’s story revolves around a thief and his team as they enter the mind of a businessman in order to plant an idea into his subconscious. This plays out on screen with some of the most extravagant visuals ever put to film. The movie also has a heart at its core, presenting us with fulfilling characters and an award-worthy performance from Leonardo DiCaprio. If the entertainment factor and sheer ambition don’t interest you, there’s also enough complexity and thematic material here to write numerous essays full of five dollar words. Simply put, this movie is unquestionably a future classic.