Like most 90s kids, I grew up watching movies way above my actual age, with content and themes that were probably inappropriate for me. That said, I loved them, hence the discussion around must-see action movies of the 80s and 90s…While these days kids will grow up on superhero movies left, right and down. center, the dominant genre at the box office for us. then was definitely the action movie.
During the 80s and 90s we were treated to thousands of action movies, most of them absolutely terrible, some absolutely fantastic that stood the test of time, and then some that were so bad they were in does pretty good.
Here are the must-see action movies of the 80s and 90s…
A time cop who needs to hunt down a serial killer from his past in a now crime-free, swear-free society? Sign me up! Starring Sylvester Stallone and Wesley Snipes, Demolition Man is everything you remember from 80s and 90s action movies, guns, explosions and terrible dialogue.
Need I say more? All the gym muscles running through a jungle being chased by an invisible alien… Infinitely quotable and still massive in pop culture even today the movie started a mediocre franchise that peaked with Prey from the origin.
An action movie that’s also a Christmas movie? Guns blazing, jumping out of buildings, one-liners galore, and a man who just wants his wife back make this an easy suggestion for must-see action movies of the 80s and 90s. Launching Bruce Willis’ film career and prove he wasn’t just another romance lead on TV, die hard spawned a franchise that declined fairly quickly. Nothing can be taken away from the first though…
Related: ‘A True Blue Action Star’: Bruce Willis Returns to Nakatomi Plaza to Celebrate 34 Years of Die Hard Despite Being Diagnosed with Aphasia
The first and second films are must-have action films from the 80s and 90s, but for different reasons. They both also play Arnie with very different acting abilities… the sequel could be considered one of the best sci-fi movies of all time, let alone one of the best of the 80s and 90s .
Tom Cruise being Tom Cruise but in a very fast jet. Spawned an equally good sequel some three decades later. Always willing to go the extra mile, Cruise has spent a lot of time on jets to gain real-world experience to translate to the screen. Safe to say it’s a trait he’s taken on in several films over the years.
Related: ‘It Was A Show’: Quentin Tarantino Says Top Gun: Maverick Was A Cinematic Experience He Didn’t Expect To Rewatch
Future marines battling a horde of unstoppable acid-blooded aliens? Why not? The sequel to one of the scariest horror films of its time, aliens takes everything from the first movie and builds on it multiple times. More action than the first, more aliens, more blood and more Sigourney Weaver badassery.
Once again, Arnie arrives to wipe out an entire mercenary battalion on his own, but this time showing off his log-carrying abilities as well. More muscle on a man than most movies have accumulated is another easy suggestion for must-see action movies of the 80s and 90s.
A disgruntled Vietnam War veteran in Stallone must face being the one cast out upon returning from the war. Fresh off of a few stints as his other most recognizable character, Rocky, Stallone is spending his time this time righting what he believes to be wrongs against him, in traditionally bloody and impressive fashion.
The film that arguably saved Marvel and enabled what we have today with the deluge of superhero movies, watching Wesley Snipes growl and smash his way through vampires never gets old. Many don’t like the sequel, and pretty much everyone hates the third one for a good reason, but it won’t be the perfect fit for a biting vampire movie.
Mourning the loss of his wife, Mel Gibson finds himself in a relationship with soon-to-retire Danny Glover, who tries to stop his new partner’s goofy and suicidal antics before he kills them both. Disturbing personal life aside, Mel Gibson crushes it in this sequel and the following three sequels, albeit with diminishing returns each time, but the first is and always will be a favorite of many.
It’s my go-to action flick from the 80s and 90s, but what did I miss?