’90s Action Movies: These are twenty of the best to watch first

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Some consider the ’90s the golden era for action movies, delivering a plethora of pulse-pounding, adrenaline-fueled films that have left an indelible mark on pop culture. From explosive blockbusters to gritty thrillers, the decade was a playground for iconic characters, explosive stunts, and unforgettable one-liners. Let’s take a journey back in time and revisit the top twenty action movies to watch first, from the ’90s.

Estimated reading time: 7 minutes

As with all of our twenty best lists, these action movies are in no particular order. But you are welcome to list your favorite ’90s action movies in any of the comments sections on social media.

Twenty Amazing ’90s Action Movies

'90s Action Movies: These are twenty of the best to watch first

Die Hard with a Vengeance (1995)

The third installment in the Die Hard series teamed up Bruce Willis’ John McClane with Samuel L. Jackson for a high-octane adventure through New York City, complete with bomb threats and riddles. John McClane and a Harlem store owner are targeted by German terrorist Simon in New York City, where he plans to rob the Federal Reserve Building.

Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991)

James Cameron’s sci-fi masterpiece saw Arnold Schwarzenegger returning as the iconic Terminator, this time as a protector, alongside Linda Hamilton’s fierce Sarah Connor, battling a more advanced model. A cyborg, identical to the one who failed to kill Sarah Connor, must now protect her ten-year-old son John from an even more advanced and powerful cyborg.

The Matrix (1999)

The Wachowskis’ mind-bending cyberpunk film combined groundbreaking special effects, martial arts choreography, and philosophical undertones, redefining action cinema for the new millennium. When a beautiful stranger leads computer hacker Neo to a forbidding underworld, he discovers the shocking truth–the life he knows is the elaborate deception of an evil cyber-intelligence.

Speed (1994)

Keanu Reeves and Sandra Bullock starred in this high-speed thriller where a bomb-rigged bus must maintain a minimum speed to prevent an explosive disaster. A young police officer must prevent a bomb exploding aboard a city bus by keeping its speed above 50 mph.

Lethal Weapon 2 (1992)

Mel Gibson and Danny Glover reprised their roles as mismatched cops in this explosive sequel that combined action, comedy, and drama with a thrilling edge. Riggs and Murtaugh are on the trail of South African diplomats who are using their immunity to engage in criminal activities.

True Lies (1994)

James Cameron’s action-comedy featured Arnold Schwarzenegger as a secret agent leading a double life, blending domestic comedy with espionage thrills. A fearless, globe-trotting, terrorist-battling secret agent has his life turned upside down when he discovers his wife might be having an affair with a used-car salesman while terrorists smuggle nuclear warheads into the United States.

Point Break (1991)

Keanu Reeves infiltrates a group of extreme-sports-loving bank robbers led by Patrick Swayze in this surfing-themed action classic. An F.B.I. Agent goes undercover to catch a gang of surfers who may be bank robbers.

Die Hard 2 (1990)

John McClane finds himself battling terrorists once again, this time in an airport during a snowstorm, in another explosive entry in the Die Hard series. John McClane attempts to avert disaster as rogue military operatives seize control of Dulles International Airport in Washington, D.C.

Face/Off (1997)

John Woo’s mind-bending thriller had John Travolta and Nicolas Cage exchanging faces and identities in a battle of wits, guns, and high-octane action. To foil a terrorist plot, an FBI agent assumes the identity of the criminal who murdered his son through facial transplant surgery, but the crook wakes up prematurely and vows revenge.

Total Recall (1990)

Arnold Schwarzenegger stars in this sci-fi action film about memory manipulation and a journey to Mars, filled with twists, turns, and intense action sequences. When a man goes in to have virtual vacation memories of the planet Mars implanted in his mind, an unexpected and harrowing series of events forces him to go to the planet for real – or is he?

Bad Boys (1995)

Will Smith and Martin Lawrence’s buddy cop chemistry brought humor and action together in this Michael Bay-directed film that kick-started a franchise. Two hip detectives protect a witness to a murder while investigating a case of stolen heroin from the evidence storage room from their police precinct.

The Fugitive (1993)

Harrison Ford portrays Dr. Richard Kimble, a man wrongly convicted of murder, who becomes a fugitive on a quest to clear his name while relentlessly pursued by Tommy Lee Jones’ U.S. Marshal. Dr. Richard Kimble, unjustly accused of murdering his wife, must find the real killer while being the target of a nationwide manhunt led by a seasoned U.S. Marshal.

Desperado (1995)

Antonio Banderas takes on drug lords with his guitar case full of weapons in this stylish and action-packed follow-up to “El Mariachi.” Former musician and gunslinger El Mariachi arrives at a small Mexican border town after being away for a long time. His past quickly catches up with him and he soon gets entangled with the local drug kingpin Bucho and his gang.

Under Siege (1992)

Steven Seagal plays a former Navy SEAL who must save a battleship from terrorists, led by a memorable performance from Tommy Lee Jones. An ex-Navy Seal turned cook is the only person who can stop a group of terrorists when they seize control of a U.S. battleship.

Independence Day (1995)

Starring Will Smith, Bill Pullman, Jeff Goldblum, and many more, this alien action movie brought the genre to a whole new level. The aliens are coming, and their goal is to invade and destroy Earth. Fighting superior technology, mankind’s best weapon is the will to survive.

Mission: Impossible (1996)

Tom Cruise leads a team of secret agents in Brian De Palma’s adaptation of the popular TV series, featuring daring stunts, espionage, and intrigue. An American agent, under false suspicion of disloyalty, must discover and expose the real spy without the help of his organization.

Hard Boiled (1992)

John Woo’s Hong Kong action masterpiece stars Chow Yun-fat as a tough cop taking on criminals with intense gun battles and mesmerizing choreography. A tough-as-nails cop teams up with an undercover agent to shut down a sinister mobster and his crew.

The Rock (1996)

Michael Bay’s action-packed thriller features Nicolas Cage and Sean Connery teaming up to stop a rogue General from launching chemical weapons from Alcatraz. A mild-mannered chemist and an ex-con must lead the counterstrike when a rogue group of military men, led by a renegade general, threaten a nerve gas attack from Alcatraz against San Francisco.

Blade (1998)

Wesley Snipes bursts through the big screen as a vampire killing machine. Stephen Dorff and Kris Kristofferson deliver great supporting performances. In the colorful future, a cab driver unwittingly becomes the central figure in the search for a legendary cosmic weapon to keep Evil and Mr. Zorg at bay.

The Fifth Element (1997)

Luc Besson’s visually stunning sci-fi adventure stars Bruce Willis and Milla Jovovich in a quirky and action-packed tale set in a futuristic universe. In the colorful future, a cab driver unwittingly becomes the central figure in the search for a legendary cosmic weapon to keep Evil and Mr. Zorg at bay.

The 1990s blessed us with an array of action movies that continue to captivate audiences until now. These films combined gripping plots, larger-than-life characters, and groundbreaking visuals, making them the cornerstone of action cinema history. Whether you’re a fan of explosive set pieces, heart-stopping chases, or intricate espionage, the 1990s had something unforgettable for every action aficionado.

What are your favorite ’90s action movies? Please share your thoughts on any of the social media pages listed below. You can also comment on our MeWe page by joining the MeWe social network. And subscribe to our RUMBLE channel for more trailers and tech videos.


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