We all watch movies, and which is the “best” is a matter of opinion really. Here are the top 10 action movies released from 1980-1990. Don’t forget to check out other lists throughout Thought for Your Penny.
10. Lethal Weapon (1987) 83% at Rotten Tomatoes
Veteran cop Murtaugh is teamed with Riggs, an officer with a death wish, with a mission to take down a drug smuggling ring.
Director: Richard Donner
Starring: Danny Glover, Mel Gibson, Gary Busey
9. First Blood (1982) 87% at Rotten Tomatoes
Vietnam Special Forces vet John J. Rambo is tracked through the woods of Hope, Washington by a group of sheriffs looking to kill him.
Director: Ted Kotcheff
Starring: Sylvester Stallone, Brian Dennehy, Richard Crenna
8. The Terminator (1984) 100% at Rotten Tomatoes
A killer android from 2029 is sent back in time to 1984 to assassinate the woman who gives birth to the leader of the human resistance.
Director: James Cameron
Starring: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Linda Hamilton, Michael Biehn
7. Big Trouble in Little China (1986) 82% at Rotten Tomatoes
A truck driver tears through San Francisco’s Chinatown searching for his friend’s fiance, who’s been kidnapped by a street gang at the orders of an evil sorcerer.
Director: John Carpenter
Starring: Kurt Russell, Kim Cattrall, Dennis Dun
6. 48 Hrs. (1982) 92% at Rotten Tomatoes
A cop paroles a convict for 48 hours to help him track down a cop killer who’s searching for his hidden stash of money.
Director: Walter Hill
Starring: Nick Nolte, Eddie Murphy, Annette O’Toole
5. The Professional: Golgo 13 (1983) 80% at Rotten Tomatoes
The best assassin in the world suddenly finds a contract on himself and must fight his way through super-powered assassins from the CIA, FBI, and the Pentagon.
Director: Osamu Dezaki
Starring: Tetsuro Sagawa, Goro Naya, Toshiko Fujita
4. Bloodsport (1988) 33% at Rotten Tomatoes
A soldier leaves the army to participate in the ultimate martial arts tournament, where the fighters must compete to the death.
Director: Newt Arnold
Starring: Jean-Claude Van Damme, Donald Gibb, Leah Ayres
3. Tron (1982) 70% at Rotten Tomatoes
A computer hacker gets sucked into a video game and must team with a security program to fight his way through a series of brutal competitions.
Director: Steven Lisberger
Starring: Jeff Bridges, Bruce Boxleitner, David Warner
2. The Running Man (1987) 63% at Rotten Tomatoes
In the year 2017, the biggest game show in the world pits convicted criminals in a fight for their lives against bounty hunters set on killing them.
Director: Paul Michael Glaser
Starring: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Maria Conchita Alonso, Jesse Ventura
1. Commando (1985) 70% at Rotten Tomatoes
A retired special agent is forced back into action when an enemy gang kidnaps his daughter.
Director: Mark L. Lester
Starring: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Rae Dawn Chong, Alyssa Milano