Top 20 90s Action Movies (Ranked)

The 90s brought a lot of great movies to our cinemas. One of the best genres produced during this decade is Action movies. This article has come up with the top 20 best 90s action movies ever produced. Check out if some of your favorites made a list.

1. The Matrix (1999)

English 2h 16m IMDb
The Matrix (1999)

Director: Lana Wachowski, Lilly Wachowski

Stars: Keanu Reeves, Laurence Fishburne, Carrie-Anne Moss

The first action movie on our list, and something that you wouldn’t want to miss, is the 1999 movie The Matrix. Starring Keanu Reeves, this film revolves around a specific Thomas A. Anderson and his interesting story. He’s been living his life with two identities: a regular programmer and an advanced hacker by night.

Follow his story as the police chase him after being contacted by a well-known computer hacker and legendary terrorist, Morpheus. This movie is known for its outstanding production design.

2. Blade (1998)

English 2h IMDb
Blade (1998)

Director: Stephen Norrington

Stars: Wesley Snipes, Stephen Dorff, Kris Kristofferson

If you want some action with a hint of fiction, Blade is a good movie choice. This movie follows the story of Blade, who is half-mortal and half-vampire. He’s trying to save the entire mortal race by killing all the evil vampires, one at a time. His character is based on a Marvel superhero comic with the same name.

Blade brings a stunning display to the initially dull story of the hero of this film. They gave depth to his story, which was not shown before by the comics, and made it attractive for the viewers to enjoy.

3. Enemy of the State (1998)

English 2h 12m IMDb
Enemy of the State (1998)

Director: Tony Scott

Stars: Will Smith, Gene Hackman, Jon Voight

Enemy of the State is a thrilling chase movie that will keep you on the edge of your seat. It revolves around the life of the character played by Will Smith whose name is Robert Clayton Dean. Dean is a lawyer who suddenly has his life turned upside down when he possesses a footage containing a political crime that can change a lot of lives.

The cast’s depth and impressive ability to act and bring the characters to life make this movie more significant than usual. The story builds up and creates an exciting way of getting the people more and more hooked with every scene.

4. Total Recall (1990)

English 1h 53m IMDb
Total Recall (1990)

Director: Paul Verhoeven

Stars: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Sharon Stone, Michael Ironside

Another fiction-action type of movie on the list is Total Recall. This film focuses on Douglas Quaid, an ordinary construction worker with recurring dreams about Mars.

He then bought a holiday memory at Rekall Inc. to get more ideas, but everything goes wrong when his memory starts to come back all at once. From then on, the movie goes on a roller ride of emotions, actions, and much more.

Total Recall is a movie that you would definitely want to watch with your friends or family that can make you want to question reality and facts.

5. Die Hard with a Vengeance (1995)

English 2h 8m IMDb
Die Hard with a Vengeance (1995)

Director: John McTiernan

Stars: Bruce Willis, Jeremy Irons, Samuel L. Jackson

Die Hard with a Vengeance is the third installment in the Die Hard series, which now has five films in total to date. It’s a thrilling action film starring Bruce Willis, who plays the role of John McClane, a drunkard suspended from the NYPD.

Everything goes haywire when a bomb goes off in a department store as a terrorist named Simon calls McClane to play “Simon Says” and finish all his tasks before another bomb goes off.

If you haven’t been kept on the edge of your seat before, then you will be doing it now with each scene.

6. Mission: Impossible (1996)

English 1h 50m IMDb
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Director: Brian De Palma

Stars: Tom Cruise, Jon Voight, Emmanuelle Béart

For those who are big fans of the hit tv show Mission: Impossible, you will undoubtedly enjoy this next film with the same title. It is considered a sequel to the tv show, the first film in the Mission: Impossible series, and is set six years after the latter’s end.

This movie follows the story of Ethan Hunt and his journey to clearing up his name and finding out who the real culprit was behind the death of his teammates. The storyline will sometimes make you feel dizzy and totally confuse you. Still, once it unravels, you’ll definitely be hooked.

7. Rush Hour (1998)

English 1h 38m IMDb
Rush Hour (1998)

Director: Brett Ratner

Stars: Jackie Chan, Chris Tucker, Ken Leung

Rush Hour is a great option to consider if you want to laugh at an action movie. This movie was a massive hit in the 90s that caused two films to follow as sequels.

It’s all about the duo of a loyal Hong Kong inspector played by Jackie Chan and a reckless LAPD detective played by Chris Tucker. They aim to rescue the abducted daughter of a Chinese diplomat in Los Angeles.

Rush Hour is a movie filled with the right amount of humor, action scenes, entertainment, martial arts, and camaraderie that you and your friends will definitely enjoy watching.

8. Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991)

English 2h 17m IMDb
Terminator 2 Judgment Day (1991)

Director: James Cameron

Stars: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Linda Hamilton, Edward Furlong

Terminator 2: Judgment Day is the next movie on our list with the right mix of science fiction and action. It’s the second movie in the Terminator franchise, with six films in total up to date.

The plot revolves around Sarah Connor and her son, John. A new and more advanced Terminator has been sent to kill the young boy. On the other hand, a Terminator, much like the one who tried to kill Sarah before, also comes back, but he aims to protect them.

It’s a great movie for people who like futuristic vibes and action movies.

9. Con Air (1997)

English 1h 55m IMDb
Con Air (1997)

Director: Simon West

Stars: Nicolas Cage, John Cusack, John Malkovich

Up next, we have the 1997 classic action movie Con Air. The story starts with Cameron Poe, played by Nicholas Cage.

He came back from Alabama only to accidentally kill a drunkard from his wife’s work. He was sentenced to seven years, and after all that time, he became eligible for parole. Follow his journey home as he is forced to ride home with America’s nastiest criminals.

Production and design-wise, Con Air is a very great movie. Mixed with a formidable casting, it was bound to be spectacular. It has the right amount of action scenes and special effects to keep you entertained.

10. Speed (1994)

English 1h 56m IMDb
Speed (1994)

Director: Jan de Bont

Stars: Keanu Reeves, Dennis Hopper, Sandra Bullock

Over here, we have a thrilling action movie called Speed. If you’re ready for a thrilling ride, this movie is the one for you.

Hop on board and keep yourselves on the edge of your seat with Jack Traven as he tries to save a group of passengers on a bus that’s planted with a bomb. Watch as he tries to maintain the right speed to keep the bomb from going off.

This movie will indeed keep your hearts racing with every scene, especially as you fear for the lives of everyone on board the bus and all the main leads.

11. Men in Black (1997)

English 1h 38m IMDb
Men in Black (1997)

Director: Barry Sonnenfeld

Stars: Tommy Lee Jones, Will Smith, Linda Fiorentino

Men in Black is one of the most successful franchises from the 90s. There are now four total films in the franchise, this movie being the first and an animated tv series.

For most of the film, they follow the story of the dynamic duo Kay and Jay, who is played by Tommy Lee Jones and Will Smith. They are part of a private agency that takes care of all extraterrestrial encounters on Earth.

This movie became a hit because of its on-spot adaptation of the comic books with the same title. It has the right mix of action, comedy, adventure, and science fiction.

12. Face/Off (1997)

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 FaceOff (1997)

Director: John Woo

Stars: John Travolta, Nicolas Cage, Joan Allen

Another movie that you must add to your action movie night list is Face/Off. The movie was bound for success with stars such as John Travolta and Nicholas Cage. These two great actors play the roles of Sean Archer and Castor Troy.

Archer switches his face with Troy to assume his identity and potentially ruin their plans. However, things go haywire when Troy wakes up and finds himself with Archer’s face.

The two lead actors showed impeccable acting to make the viewers believe and feel entertained with their switching faces. They were able to pull it off entirely and give a fantastic performance.

13. True Lies (1994)

English 2h 21m IMDb
True Lies (1994)

Director: James Cameron

Stars: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Jamie Lee Curtis, Tom Arnold

For those who want a good action film with the right amount of action scenes and a hint of comedy, True Lies is the movie for you. Starring Arnold Schwarzenegger and Jamie Lee Curtis, this movie focuses on the life of a man who lives a double life, his wife who wants to see some adventure in her life, and how their life mixes up.

This movie provides excellent entertainment for all its viewers with the right action scenes and impeccable characters. Although it may seem lacking at some point, the film hits the right spot regarding action and adventure.

14. Bad Boys (1995)

English 1h 59m IMDb
Bad Boys (1995)

Director: Michael Bay

Stars: Will Smith, Martin Lawrence, Lisa Boyle

Bad Boys is the one if you’re looking for a great movie that can keep you entertained. Acting as the first installment in the Bad Boys film franchise, the movie revolves around the story of two Miami police officers who aim to get their case done.

Because of this movie’s success, the franchise had two more sequel films to follow and one currently in the works.

Starring Will Smith and Martin Lawrence, this movie is nothing less than a spectacular action film. The addition of comedy makes it a hundred times better as you watch the two partners finish their case successfully.

15. Heat (1995)

English 2h 50m IMDb
Heat (1995)

Director: Michael Mann

Stars: Al Pacino, Robert De Niro, Val Kilmer

Heat is a thrilling crime action movie that you should watch if you enjoy a good chase type of film. The film starts with Neil McCauley, a leader of a professional criminal group played by Robert De Niro.

Because of a heist gone wrong, he and his group are hunted down by Lt. Vincent Hanna. Hanna is the leader of the Robbery/Homicide police division and is played by Al Pacino.

The lead casting alone is bound to ensure a fantastic film, but mixing it with the storyline and action scenes makes it a standard for crime-action cinema to follow.

16. Independence Day (1996)

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Independence Day (1996)

Director: Roland Emmerich

Stars: Will Smith, Bill Pullman, Jeff Goldblum

Over here, we have Independence Day, an alien action movie starring Will Smith. The film takes place in three days, from July 2nd to 4th. It tells the story of an alien invasion on Earth as survivors try to fight back and get rid of the extraterrestrial creatures. Independence Day is a sci-fi action movie you wouldn’t want to miss.

While the movie has several shortcomings, that does not hide the fact that it’s very entertaining. The film had many suspenseful moments that keep you hooked to your screens, waiting for what comes next and how the story unfolds.

17. Twister (1996)

English 1h 53m IMDb
 Twister (1996)

Director: Jan de Bont

Stars: Helen Hunt, Bill Paxton, Cary Elwes

Next on our list is the dramatic attacks of a natural disaster in the 1996 movie Twister. It revolves around the story of a couple nearing the end of their marriage, played by Helen Hunt and Bill Paxton.

They join a group of stormchaser to insert a measuring device that aims to change how people understand tornadoes work. Will they succeed or will their hopes be crushed by this disaster?

This movie is considered one of the most successful films released in the 90s. Their fantastic depiction of the dark side of nature and the story’s depth help contribute to the film’s success.

18. Air Force One (1997)

English 2h 4m IMDb
Air Force One (1997)

Director: Wolfgang Petersen

Stars: Harrison Ford, Gary Oldman, Glenn Close

The last movie on our list, but surely not the least of them all, is the 1997 film Air Force One. As the film’s title suggests, the movie is centered on the story of the President of America, President James Marshall, played by Harrison Ford.

The President’s private plane gets hijacked by terrorists on their flight back from Moscow, Russia. However, the President is a veteran and a former Medal of Honor awardee.

The movie is filled with a lot of suspense and thrilling action scenes that will surely keep you on the edge of your seats throughout the entire film.



Now that we’ve reached the end of this article, we hope that you enjoyed scrolling through our list of the top 20 best 90s action movies. Some movies can help make action movie night the best with your friends or loved ones. Do not forget to share this with all of your friends!

Top 20 90s Action Movies (Ranked)

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