The 5 best action adventure movies of the '80s are whirlwind, free-spirited movie making at its best. In the '80s, budgets for such films grew, allowing imaginative filmmakers to put their cinematic fantasies on the screen for all to see. The result of that was the films on our list of the 5 best action adventure movies of the '80s, films that transcend time and are favorites to this day. Here are the 5 best action adventure movies of the '80s.
- "Raiders of the Lost Ark" (1981). One of the first action adventure blockbusters is also the best action adventure movie of the '80s, maybe of all time. Drawing on serial films from the forties, Steven Spielberg created, with the help of Harrison Ford, one of cinema's most iconic heroes, Indiana Jones, sending him to fight his hated Nazi enemies in the chase for a biblical artifact. Humor, stunts, action, and gorgeous filmmaking all combine in this epic adventure, an easy choice to top the list of 5 best action adventure movies of the '80s.
- "Die Hard" (1988). While "Raiders" was epic in scope, "Die Hard" was limited to one setting, a skyscraper taken over by terrorists on the eve of Christmas. Luckily, Detective John McClane (Bruce Willis) happened to be trapped in the building as well. "Die Hard" has been an influence on many of the best action adventure films, for example, "Speed" was often referred to as "Die Hard on a bus."
- "Lethal Weapon" (1987). "Lethal Weapon" is the seminal buddy cop movie, making it an essential entry on the list of the 5 best action adventure movies of the '80s. Mel Gibson is the rogue cop who's a little bit over the edge and Danny Glover is his partner, on the verge of retirement and totally by the book. It's a match made in movie making heaven as they clash and eventually bond to solve their big case, while blowing holes in about half of Los Angeles' population along the way.
- "Beverly Hills Cop" (1984). "Beverly Hills Cop" redefined the action comedy, going even further into the comedic realm than Eddie Murphy's breakout role in "48 Hours." Great music, a great cast, and great jokes, along with solid action, make this an easy choice for the best action adventure movies of the '80s list.
- "Conan the Barbarian" (1982). "The Terminator" may have made Arnold a household name, but "Conan" was his breakout. An indulgent sword-and-sorcery epic, the film embodies '80s filmmaking excess while remaining entertaining enough to spawn a much inferior (but more unintentionally funny) sequel. "Crom! Tell me the Riddle of Steel!" "Conan the Barbarian" closes out the top 5 best action adventure movies of the '80s.