We polled over 50 experts in the field, from essential directors like Die Hard’s John McTiernan to the actual folks in the line of fire, such as Tarantino favorite Zoë Bell (the fearless stuntwoman behind Uma Thurman in the Kill Bill movies). The result: The 100 best action movies, a definitive look at the genre from the earliest silent classic short film of 1896's “Arrival of Train at La Ciotat” to Marvel's big-screen fighting force of 2012's The Avengers.
Sure, there are finer points to the action film: the grizzled, Eastwoodian stare; a well-lobbed catch-phrase; the brotherly bonding of cops under fire. But if we're being honest, sometimes we just go for the kabooms. An essential piece of the action formula since 1957's The Bridge on the River Kwai, the not-so-humble explosion puts an exclamation point on stories that often require them. Have a look at our 10 favorites—and be warned, many of these are plot climaxes. Then again, if you haven't already seen Star Wars, we have no words for you.
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