Honorable Mentions:

  • The Hitman’s Bodyguard, by Patrick Hughes
  • Wonder Woman, by Patty Jenkins
  • Kong: Skull Island, by Jordan Vogt-Roberts

 

#10: Free Fire

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A high-concept dark comedy where dumb people with big guns shoot each other inside a warehouse. 90 minutes of jokes, gunshot wounds, and people crawling in dirt to avoid dying.

 

#9: Headshot

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Indonesian action extravaganza with a weak story but terrific gory action, featuring plenty of actors from the acclaimed The Raid movies by Gareth Evans.

 

#8: Atomic Blonde

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A convoluted spy-thriller with some cartoonish action scenes that, while well choreographed, lack tension. However, its central set-piece (a long-take brutal fight inside an apartment complex) is one for the ages.

 

#7: Manhunt

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John Woo goes back to its action roots in a film featuring chases on every vehicle imaginable, extravagant shootouts, and self-aware story.

 

#6: Dunkirk

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This World War II epic by Christopher Nolan excels technically, with terrific sound design, gorgeous cinematography, and extensive use of practical effects, immersing you into one of the most infamous moments of the war.

 

#5: Logan

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The Wolverine film that fans wanted, with a more serious tone, western atmosphere, fantastic acting, and R-rated bloody action that shows the toll that killing has on Logan.

 

#4: Brawl in Cell Block 99

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The first hour sets up the characters and makes you learn to like and understand them. The second hour is non-stop brutal action, with excellent choreography and long-takes. The last 20 minutes will leave you shaken to the core. One of the best exploitation homages since Grindhouse.

 

#3: Blade of the Immortal

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An immortal soldier helps a girl take revenge against those who killed her father. In 2 hours and 21 minutes, our hero will literally slaughter hundreds and hundreds of people in this Takashi Miike samurai-fantasy.

 

#2: Baby Driver

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An action film with music driving it. Each scene follows the rhythm of the song being played, and the excellent editing, sound design, cinematography, acting, attention to detail, and storytelling, make this one of the most rewatchable films of the year.

 

#1: John Wick: Chapter 2

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The best action film of the year, with inventive shootouts, excellent soundtrack, compelling and straight-forward story, a powerful lead performance by Keanu Reeves, and outstanding stunt team and choreography.

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