The 25 Greatest Action Films of All-Time

The adrenaline fuel of a fist fight, car chase, or mass warfare feeds audiences with infectious fervor. These are the 25 greatest action films of all-time.

25. Heat

Original Release — December 15, 1995

Though not an action film in totality, Michael Mann’s crime epic not only brought together acting legends Al Pacino and Robert De Niro, but gave its audiences one of the greatest shootouts in the history of action filmmaking. When De Niro’s master thief plunders a bank, Pacino’s detective is immediately on his tail. As the robbery becomes more and more botched, the firefight spills out onto the streets of Los Angeles.

Pitch perfect sound design lets the bullets ring in your ear, the sound waves ricocheting off the downtown skyscrapers. Just like any great action scene, the battle builds upon itself — just as more officers show up, De Niro’s gang pulls out bigger and more dangerous weapons. Escalation is a motif long forgotten in Hollywood — most action films are now content to let the same bullet duel rage back and forth without a chance in stakes.

Image Source: IMDb