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20 Best Action Movies Of 2016 – Guide

New: Top 10 Best Action Movies 2016 (inc. Netflix)Boom. Let’s take a look at the biggest and best action movies of 2016 with a Top 20 countdown. It’s another huge year for superhero movies (‘Batman v Superman’, ‘Civil War’, ‘Dr.Strange’ etc), there are some long-awaited returns (‘Bourne 5’, ‘Independence Day 2’, ‘Kickboxer’) and prepare yourself for another ‘Star Wars’. I’ll update titles with a Netflix icon when they become available to watch there.

20th – Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon: Sword Of Destiny
Starring: Donnie Yen, Michelle Yeoh, Harry Shum, Jr. Jason Scott Lee
Director: Woo-ping Yuen
Released: February 26, 2016 (U.S. Dates)
Best Action Movies 2016

A story of lost love, young love, a legendary sword and one last opportunity at redemption set against an epic martial arts battle which will decide the fate of the Martial World. Sequel to the Ang Lee-directed 2000 epic which won Best Foreign Language Film at the Oscars. Michelle Yeoh reprises her role as Yu Shu-Lien, with Donnie Yen (‘Ip Man’, ‘Monkey King 3D’) as Silent Wolf. ‘Glee’ star Harry Shum Jr. joins as Tie-Fang. Lee is not involved in this adaptation of the fifth and final book in the Crane-Iron Pentalogy (‘Crouching Tiger’ was the fourth). Instead it’s directed by renowned martial arts choreographer (‘The Matrix’ trilogy, ‘Kill Bill’) and director (‘Tai Chi Master’), Yuen Wo-Ping. The veteran screenwriter brought us ‘Forbidden Kingdom’ and ‘Marco Polo’. It seems they’ve dropped the Mandarin Chinese and are filming entirely in English. The project represents a distribution landmark as it was the first movie to be funded by Netflix. It will premiere on there and be available in IMAX theaters the same day. Normal cinemas have refused to show it as they’re worried about this new business model. Taken on its own, the movie feels quite unnecessary but if you’ve missed the high-wire sword fighting, this has got some talent behind it.

19th – Ben Hur
Starring: Jack Huston, Morgan Freeman, Toby Kebbell, Rodrigo Santoro
Director: Timur Bekmambetov
Released: February 26, 2016
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Falsely accused nobleman Judah Ben-Hur (Huston), a Palestinian Jew, survives years of slavery in the Roman Empire hoping to take vengeance on his best friend (Kebbell) who betrayed him, and rescue his suffering family. An inspirational encounter with Jesus (Brazilian Rodrigo Santoro) changes his life, before he finally meets his rival in a famous and deadly chariot race… Morgan Freeman features as Sheik Ilderim. Relative unknown Jack Huston was in ‘Boardwalk Empire’ and is part of a Hollywood dynasty being the nephew of Anjelica Huston and Danny Huston and the grandson of great director John Huston. The 1959 version of ‘Ben-Hur’ is one of the cinematic greats, winner of 11 Oscars. It’s a classic no one thought they’d dare to remake (what next, ‘Citizen Kane’?), but as new director Bekmambetov (‘Wanted’, ‘Day Watch’) points out, it was itself a remake of the 1926 version, “there was also a Broadway stage version, there have been a lot of TV versions. The ‘Ben-Hur’ story reminds me of ‘Romeo and Juliet’, ‘Hamlet’. It is timeless, so every new generation wants to go back to it in order to adapt it for the new world.” This has no hope of living up to the ’50s version but should be an enjoyable epic in its own right, complete with the dazzling kinetic visuals the director is known for.

18th – London Has Fallen
Starring: Gerard Butler, Aaron Eckhart, Morgan Freeman, Mehdi Dehbi
Director: Babak Najafi
Released: March 4, 2016
Netflix Action Movies 2016

In London the British Prime Minister has passed away under mysterious circumstances. His funeral is a must-attend event for leaders of the Western world. But what starts out as the most protected event on Earth turns into a deadly plot to kill the world’s most powerful leaders and unleash a terrifying vision of the future. Only three people have any hope of stopping it: the U.S. President (Aaron Eckhart), his formidable Secret Service head (Gerard Butler), and an English MI-6 agent (Charlotte Riley, ‘Edge of Tomorrow’) who rightly trusts no one. Sequel to 2013’s ‘Olympus Has Fallen’. The terrific supporting cast of Morgan Freeman (as Vice President), Angela Bassett (Director of Secret Service), Robert Forster (US Army General), and Melissa Leo (Secretary of Defense) all return, while Jackie Earle Haley joins as Deputy Chief. ‘Olympus Has Fallen’ was the best ‘Die Hard’ movie since ‘Die Hard 3’, and had the balls to be appropriately violent, but that had a lot to do with director Antoine Fuqua. This time, after Fuqua felt he didn’t have the London experience to make an authentic film set there, duties have been passed to a European director of little action stature (although ‘Easy Money II: Hard to Kill’ was reportedly ok). The notion of the U.S. President and his Secret Service agent saving London for the British is dancing on jingoistic ground, and it’s easy to underestimate Butler’s action-thriller chops after a sea of lame romantic-comedies, but actually his track record in the genre is good. Fingers crossed.

17th – The Legend Of Tarzan
Starring: Alexander Skarsgård, Margot Robbie, Christoph Waltz, Sam Jackson, Djimon Hounsou
Director: David Yates
Released: July 1, 2016
Best 2016 Action Films

It has been years since the man once known as Tarzan (Skarsgård, ‘True Blood’) left the jungles of Africa behind for a gentrified life in London as John Clayton III, Lord Greystoke, with his beloved wife, Jane (Robbie, ‘Focus’) at his side. Now, he has been invited back to the Congo to serve as a trade emissary of Parliament, unaware that he is a pawn in a deadly convergence of greed and revenge, masterminded by the a corrupt Belgian Captain (Waltz). Djimon Hounsou plays the local African chief who opposes the Captain, and Samuel L. Jackson is a U.S. Civil War vet who helps Tarzan… WB’s long in development project finally makes it to the big screen. Despite having the capable director of the last four Harry Potter movies, it represents perhaps the biggest gamble of the summer with its $180 million production budget. Its barely-known leading man doesn’t seem like a star in the making, and the brand is just not as appealing as, say, ‘The Jungle Book’. But while the financials are likely to be the big story, at least the money is there on screen, with an ambitious plethora of epic vistas and grand-scale period action-adventure, all with a more adult-orientated, darker tone than has typically been the case with the character.

16th – Bastille Day (aka The Take)
Starring: Idris Elba, Richard Madden, Charlotte Le Bon, Eriq Ebouaney
Director: James Watkins
Released: November 18, 2016
good action movie 2016

Bastille Day (which is French National Day on July 14th) sees a gruff former CIA agent (Elba) enlisting a young artist/occasional pickpocket (Madden, ‘Game of Thrones’) to help him on an anti-terrorist mission in France… Despite being completed in December 2014, what the characters are up against, and where, couldn’t be more timely. The British director is switching to the action genre after chillers ‘The Woman In Black’ and ‘Eden Lake’. ‘Bastille Day’ looks cliched but might just be carried by Edris’ charm. It feels like something of a Bond audition for him.

Action Movies 2016 (15th Place) >

Best Action Films 2016

Action Movies 2016

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