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Top 20 Best Action Movies of the 2000s

Updated on May 9, 2014

Here is a list of what I think are the best and most intense action movies of the 2000s. That means from the year 2000 up until now. During the last 12 years, there have been many action films released but only the most violent, intense, action packed movies made the cut. Hand to hand combat, shootouts, high speed chases and explosions are all factors that helped me decide which films to add to this list. So without further ado, I give you the 20 best and most intense action movies of the 2000's. Enjoy.

1. Gladiator (2000)

This is the story of Maximus, a powerful Roman general who is loved by the people and the current Emperor. Before the Emperor dies, he appoints Maximus as the heir to the throne instead of his own son, Commodus. Filled with hatred and envy for his father's decision, Commodus orders the death of Maximus' family. Maximus is then captured and put into the Gladiator games until he dies. Maximus however, has a bigger plan. He will fight his way to the top in order to seek revenge on the man who destroyed everything he loved.

Rating: R

Run time: 155 min.

2. The Fast and The Furious (2001)

Brian O'Connor is a respected officer for the LAPD. He is ordered to go undercover as a street racer in order to bring down a gang of hi-jackers. But when he falls for the leader of the gang's sister, he finds himself unable to pick sides. Soon, he will have to choose where his loyalties really lie before everything comes crashing down on him.

Rating: PG-13

Run time: 106 min.

3. The Bourne Identity (2002)

This action packed movie is about a wounded man who is picked up by fishermen and nursed back to health. He has no memory of how he became wounded or even his identity. He soon realizes that he is being hunted by assassins. On the run and not knowing why, the fugitive picks up a woman and they both must race to elude the attackers and recover from his amnesia. Luckily for him, he has amazing reflexes and great combat skills. Now if only he knew why.

Rating: PG-13

Run time: 119 min.

4. Kill Bill vol.1 (2003)

This film is about an assassin called "The Bride". She is a member of the Deadly Viper Assassination Squad which is lead by her lover, Bill. When she realizes that she has become pregnant with Bill's child, she decides to leave the life of killing, move to Texas and get married to a young man. On the day of their wedding rehearsal, a jealous Bill and the Deadly Viper Assassination Squad kill her soon to be husband. Four years later, she awakes from a coma only to find that her baby is gone. She then devotes her life to seeking revenge on every member of the DVAS and Bill.

Rating: R

Run time: 111 min.

5. Once Upon a Time in Mexico (2003)

When General Marquez works with a drug cartel to develop a scheme to overthrow the Mexican President, Sands, a corrupted CIA agent must intervene. He forcefully recruits El Mariachi, a retired hit man who already has a score to settle with the General. Sands also recruits former FBI agent, Ramirez whom also has a score of his own to settle. At the end of the day, their will surly be a massacre. The question is, who will be left standing?

Rating: R

Run time: 102 min.

6. The Bourne Supremacy (2004)

After escaping the pain and suffering he encountered in the first film, he and his girlfriend move as far away as possible to begin a new life. When an assassination attempt on Bourne goes wrong, he must re-enter his old life and find out why they are still following him. In the first film, he warned them to stay out of his life or he would be back for revenge. They really should have listened.

Rating: PG-13

Run time: 108 min.

7. Kill Bill vol.2 (2004)

In this action filled sequel, The Bride is still hunting Bill. She is continuing her vengeance on the remaining members of the Deadly Viper Assassination Squad including Bill's younger brother, Budd and the one-eyed Elle. It all leads up to her final confrontation with her former lover and master, Bill. Will she finally kill Bill?

Rating: R

Run time: 136 min.

8. Mr. and Mrs. Smith (2005)

This is a great movie about a married couple who live in quiet suburbia, working normal jobs. Both of them are keeping a huge secret from one another and that is, they are both assassins for separate agencies. Coincidentally, these agencies are rivals and when Mr. and Mrs. Smith are given their next targets, they are surprised to find out that they are to kill each other! While the two pull out every weapon in their arsenals to kill each other, they end up learning more about each other than they ever did as a married couple. It's funny that after this movie was filmed, the two actually got married in real life.

Rating: PG-13

Run time: 120 min.

9. 300 (2006)

This is a story of how King Leonidas leads a small Spartan army of only 300 soldiers to fight the massive Persian army led by King Xerxes. Although Xerxes army outnumbers the Spartans by hundreds of thousands, the Spartan army wins many battles due to skill and strategy. King Leonidas takes the fight to a narrow canyon where the Persians can't take advantage of there large numbers. However, a rejected Spartan betrays Leonidas and tells King Xerxes of a secret passage through the canyon where they will be able to flank the Spartan army. Meanwhile, the Spartan Queen Gorgo stays in Sparta to convince the council to send the Spartan army to the King's aid.

Rated: R

Run time: 117 min.

10. Casino Royale (2006)

This is James Bond's first ever mission as a 00. He is ordered to compete in a poker tournament in Montenegro. Le Chiffre is a banker to the world's terrorists and is also playing in the tournament. Bond's mission is to make sure he doesn't win. Agent Vesper is also sent to pose as Bond's wife. But even if Bond does manage to win the tournament, will he and Vesper be safe from harms way?

Rating: PG-13

Run time: 144 min.

11. Crank (2006)

Chev Chelios is a hit man who plans to leave his life of killing to spend more time with his girlfriend. When he finds out that he has been injected with a poison called "The Beijing Cocktail", he learns that in order to stay alive, he must keep his heart rate up at all times. If it drops, he dies, so needless to say, this film is full of action and adrenaline. If it wasn't, there would be no Chev Chelios. He races to seek revenge on the ones that betrayed him before he dies from the poison.

Rating: R

Run time: 88 min.

12. Running Scared (2006)

When a drug operation goes wrong, Joey, a low level mob grunt is ordered to dispose of the gun that shot a dirty cop. When son's best friend notices him hiding the weapon in his wall, he steals the gun and shoots his abusive stepfather with it. As if things couldn't get any worse, it turns out that the stepfather is also the nephew of a Russian mob boss who is also in cahoots with Joey's gang. Now the hot gun is changing hands on the black market and Joey is is running out of time. He must find the gun before he loses his family and his own life.

Rating: R

Run time: 122 min.

13. Shoot Em Up (2007)

After Mr. Smith rescues a pregnant woman and helps deliver her newborn baby, he vows to protect the baby when he realizes that a whole gang is out to kill the it. Smith is determined to find out why the gang wants the baby. Now, Smith with baby in hand and a lactating stripper are on the run for the baby's safekeeping. If you don't like the story, it's ok, the constant action and completely unbelievable stunts will keep you glued to the screen.

Rating: R

Run time: 86 min.

14. Live Free or Die Hard (2007)

After the FBI's computer systems have been breached, John McClane is called in to bring in a hacker named Matt Farrell who is one of the hackers suspected of the attack. When John arrives at Farrell's apartment, a mysterious group of men show up and start shooting at the both of them. It turns out that a group of terrorists led by Thomas Gabriel are shutting down the United States' computer infrastructure and trying to cripple the economy. Gabriel wants John and Matt out of the way and decides to kidnap John's daughter, Lucy. However, Gabriel is completely unaware of how far John will go to rescue her.

Rating: PG-13

Run time: 128 min.

15. The Bourne Ultimatum (2008)

Jason Bourne is brought out of hiding once again to interview with a reporter who is trying to unveil project Operation Blackbriar, an upgrade to Project Treadstone. When Bourne attends the meeting, a new set of memories are stirred up and he is forced to finally uncover his dark past. While running from the CIA organization who made him what he is and a new generation of super assassins, he has support from his previous enemies. Jason Bourne will finally come to grips with his true identity.

Rating: PG-13

Run time: 115 min.

16. Taken (2008)

When retired CIA agent, Brian Mills reluctantly lets his daughter, Kim, travel to Paris with her friend, they are both kidnapped by an Albanian gang of human traffickers. Kim temporarily escapes and manages to call her father and give some information of her whereabouts. When one of the kidnappers finds Kim, he holds the phone to his ear. Brian then warns the kidnapper that if he doesn't let his daughter go, he find him and kill him. The kidnapper responds,"good luck". Big mistake! The highly trained Brain Mills travels to Paris and wreaks havoc on everyone in his path.

Rating: PG-13

Run time: 93 min.

17. Quantum of Solace (2008)

James Bond is back an this time, he's seeking revenge for the death of his love. After a failed assassination attempt on "M", all signs point to Dominic Greene who is hell-bent on taking control of a country's natural resource. As Bond pursues Greene, "M" worries that Bond cannot be trusted and fears that he is filled with vengeance. Will Bond be able to stop Greene before his own department stops him?

Rating: PG-13

Run time: 106 min.

18. Eagle Eye (2008)

When Jerry Shaw and Rachel Holloman are forced to follow directions from an unknown female voice over their cell phones, they are put through a series of incredibly dangerous situations in order to fulfill one suicidal task. The voice that leads them can somehow track them and control everyday technology in order to make sure they stay on track. Jerry is threatened with life imprisonment and Rachel is threatened with her son's life if they don't cooperate. Who is this voice that seemingly knows everything and why has it chosen Jerry and Rachel?

Rating: PG-13

Run time: 118 min.

19. The Expendables (2010)

This action packed movie is about a team of highly skilled mercenaries. First we have Ross, the leader. Next we have Lee Christmas, who is more deadly with a knife than a gun. Third, we have the martial art expert, Yin Yang. Fourth is Hale Caesar, a specialist in heavy weaponry. Fifth is the demolitionist, Toll Road and the sixth is the hot headed sniper named Gunner Jensen. The team is sent to assassinate an evil dictator of a small South American island. When they arrive, they meet Sandra, a rebel who informs them of the true conflict that has engulfed the city. When they escape the city, Ross has a choice to leave and save his own life or stay and attempt a suicide mission that might save his soul.

Rating: R

Run time: 113 min.

20. The Expendables 2 (2012)

The highly trained Expendables are back and this time, Mr. Church sends them on what they think should be an easy mission. But when Ross loses one of his men during the mission, the Expendables go on a bloody quest for revenge that puts them deep into enemy territory. They soon will have to face a powerful and unexpected enemy. Hopefully, they will live to tell the tale.

Rating: R

Run time: 103 min.


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