1 First Blood (1982)
John Rambo would become increasingly cartoonish as the sequels went on, but in the original, he was just a scared veteran trying to survive out in the real world.
The second film is more dialogue-heavy, but the first half is essentially nonstop action … and it’s a good thing the Crazy 88 fight is in black and white, because it’d almost be too bloody to watch otherwise.
See Also – The 10 Scariest Horror Movies of 2019
3 The Raid 2: Redemption (2014)
The Raid was more frenzied, but the sequel (also written and directed by Gareth Evans) got grand, introducing an intricate crime-drama plot. Didn’t matter: Redemption is brilliantly violent, a ballet of broken bones, perfect punches and crazy car chases.
4 Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation (2015)
You can’t go wrong with any in this series – though it has only gotten better as the years have gone along – but the introduction of Rebecca Ferguson to this series just amped up the emotional stakes.
5 The Bourne Ultimatum (2006)
What should have been Jason Bourne’s final adventure is a thrilling, satisfying conclusion to this kinetic trilogy. Director Paul Greengrass and star Matt Damon permanently reshaped how we think of the globetrotting espionage thriller. James Bond is still playing catch-up.
Keanu Reeves’ first of two masterful franchises on this list, John Wick gave us a mournful 21st-century assassin who won’t let his grief get in the way of shooting every bad guy in the head at point-blank range.