Curious about the 10 best '80s action movies? The 1980s were one of the best decades for action movies. The action movies of the '80s were highly original, iconic and groundbreaking. Many of them spawned different types of story platforms in the action genre; "Die Hard" was responsible for action movies like "Passenger 57" and "Under Siege," while "Lethal Weapon" gave birth to films like "The Last Boy Scout" and "Tango & Cash." This decade had it all, from funny one-liners to original scripts and huge explosions.
- "Die Hard" Step into the shoes of John McClaine. He's a lone New York City cop trapped inside of a Los Angeles high-rise that has been seized by terrorists. All he's got are his wits, a single pistol and his bare feet. Even worse, his wife is one of the hostages. "Die Hard" was an iconic '80s action movie that spawned its own action movie sub-genre.
- "Lethal Weapon" The very first adventure of Martin Riggs (Mel Gibson) and Roger Murtaugh (Danny Glover) was a huge '80s action movie which also created its very own sub-genre, known as the "buddy cop" film, resulting in similar action movies like "Tango & Cash" and "The Last Boy Scout," to name a couple.
- "Tango & Cash" This film was a result of the "buddy cop" sub-genre of action movies that was engineered by Richard Donner's "Lethal Weapon." Sylvester Stallone and Kurt Russell play policemen who are framed for murder by an evil mastermind. "Tango & Cash" is armed with enough action, explosives, guns and one-liners that it's too difficult to resist.
- "Raiders of the Lost Ark" This marked the very first adventure of Harrison Ford's iconic character, Indiana Jones, as he fights Nazis while in pursuit of the lost Ark, which has the power to make Hitler's empire invincible. If you're looking for an '80s action movie that has very little use for computerized special effects, look no further than this blockbuster, which happens to have one of the best chase sequences ever filmed.
- "Aliens" James Cameron hit a gold mine with this '80s action masterpiece. Following the events of "Alien," Ripley returns to the strange planet with a platoon of marines in this action-packed sci-fi version of Vietnam in space. "Aliens" is an adrenaline rush that never runs out of momentum; it's an '80s action roller coaster from start to finish.
- "RoboCop" He's part man, part machine, but all cop. "RoboCop" was the next best thing to happen after "The Terminator." It's an '80s sci-fi action movie that contains just as much dark humor and dread as it does explosions and violence. "RoboCop" paints an ultra-violent picture of the future and has since become a memorable icon of the '80s.
- "The Running Man" Arnold Schwarzenegger and his two innocent convict buddies escape from prison and eventually end up in the most popular live television show on Earth, where they must be hunted down by a group of professional gladiators. "The Running Man" has everything an '80s action flick should have: an awesome soundtrack, cool fights, explosions and Arnold Schwarzenegger himself.
- "First Blood" Sylvester Stallone is John Rambo, a war veteran who's suffering severely from war's after effects, a man-turned-killing machine. "First Blood," the first chapter in the "Rambo" series, pits Rambo up against authorities of a local township, but he ends up showing them the true definition of an army of one.
- "Beverly Hills Cop" This film marked the launching of the "fish-out-of-water" film sub-genre, where Eddie Murphy's Axel Foley is sent out of Detroit to unfamiliar territory (Beverly Hills), where he finds himself in more trouble than he bargained for as he investigates a murder. Many films have followed this sub-genre since "Beverly Hills Cop," such as the "Rush Hour" series.
"Red Dawn" In the midst of the Cold War in the 1980s, many films were released that based their themes around the topic, including "Red Dawn," a dramatic teen action film which depicted a group of eight high school kids taking a stand against the Soviets after they had landed in the backyard of the United States to invade.
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