the the eighties It was a classic era for the film industry that gave us classic movies like Batman, E.T., And commandos. While today’s movies may lure us in with their stunning special effects and intricate cinematography, the allure of ’80s nostalgia never fades. In fact, we might even say that it was the 1980s movies that made today’s movies possible.

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Updated: June 27, 2023: To keep this article current and relevant by adding more information and entries, this article has been updated by Timothy Lindsey.

to an act Lovers, it’s impossible to forget the golden age of Arnold Schwarzenegger, Sylvester Stallone, and Bruce Willis in the 1980s. Blockbuster masterpieces, starting with Robocop And finisher to first blood And predator, are still some of the most memorable films of the decade. But there’s a lot more to the ’80s thriller than these classics. A slew of underappreciated (but very fun) floaties are obscured by the shadows of Stallone, Schwarzenegger, and Van Damme. So for this list, let’s highlight some of the most exciting and underrated action movies of the ’80s.

14 Black Rain (1989)

Paramount Pictures Studios

Directed by Ridley Scott and starring Michael Douglas. black rain It falls short of a good story with its flat characters and inaccurate representation of Osaka. However, it does make for a good watch thanks to its exceptional action scenes and visuals. Charlie (Andy Garcia) and a New York policeman (Michael Douglas) witness a horrific murder in a bar but manage to catch the killer on the spot.

Then they learn that the killer, Sato, is a member of the notorious Japanese yakuza. Because of this, he must be taken to Japan to stand trial, where the tables turn as the Yakuza releases him from custody. Nick and Charlie have to work together to search the underworld of the Yakuza for the criminal, fighting off many enemies on the way.

13 Freak Cop (1988)

Crazy cop
Paramount Pictures
studio channel
Twentieth Century Studios

Crazy copStarring Bruce Campbell and Tom Atkins, it’s a great watch for fans of the campy ’80s action. The plot involves a young New York City officer who is framed for the city’s increasing number of murders. His girlfriend teams up with a detective to catch the crazed cop and save her boyfriend from going behind bars. The film’s ridiculously low budget doesn’t stop it from acknowledging some shockingly gruesome scenes, classic car chases, and a recent police massacre that’s lingered in the mind for some time (we’ll see if it ends up in the next remake). William Lustig shows off his impressive acting skills. The movie is well directed, offering equal parts horror, suspense, mystery, and clever dialogue, which will keep fans entertained throughout.

12 Cobra (1986)

Sylvester Stallone as Lieutenant Marion
Warner Bros.

You might be wondering how a Sylvester Stallone movie from the ’80s could be so underrated, but man, put it down a lot of films during the decade. Some of them, like CobraAnd It is bound to slip under the radar. This makes him on the list by virtue of his calm rule, and he hardly gets cooler than Stallone in the shadows.


Supporting action figures that deserve their own movies

He plays a hard-boiled street cop who goes after a radical sect that styles itself as the “New World.” What we get from clashing with Stallone and this cult is absolutely brutal. The movie even had to be censored to avoid the dreaded X rating from the MPAA. Although we may never see the original cut, Cobra Still worth checking out.

11 The Best of the Best (1989)

The best of the best
Twentieth Century Studios

A widowed father (Eric Roberts) of his five-year-old son has to represent the USA in a karate tournament against a Korean team. Roberts gives viewers some of the most action-packed action sequences in the entertainment industry, making this movie a hidden gem of the ’80s. Accompanied by just the right amount of emotion and perfect martial arts sequences, The best of the best It is, in fact, one of the best. The dialogue can be a little cheesy (even for an action movie), and the acting doesn’t fall short at some moments; However, melodrama is essential for any movie looking to be an emotional force.

10 Project A (1983)

project a
Golden Harvest Media Asia Group

Jackie Chan is a legendary action star known worldwide for his mind-boggling stunts and choreography. While some of Chan’s films from the 1980s such as detective story, have become classics of the action genre, and some are still appreciated gems from one of the actor’s most prolific periods. 1983 project a He is one such film, an action comedy set in 19th century Hong Kong led by Chan and frequent collaborator Sammo Hung. The two make a perfect pair to take on the pirates (yes, pirates) struggling with Hong Kong’s maritime police force. The film strikes a nice balance between comedy and martial arts-based action, and includes one of the most dangerous stunts of Chan’s career in a scene involving a clock tower.

9 Action Jackson (1988)

Action Jackson
Lorimar TV

Starring Carl Weathers, Craig T. Nelson, and Sharon Stone Action Jackson is one of the best action comedies of the 1980s (although famous critic Roger Ebert didn’t quite agree). As a representation of stereotypes at the time of its release, this movie was mostly reviewed as too absurd to be amazing.

Action Jackson Full of absurd action from start to finish, it hits just the right levels of cheesiness to make it a truly undiscovered ’80s gem. Another important thing to note is that this movie was about the return of the black hero in Hollywood, which was an important feat to achieve, considering that the past wasn’t always kind to Black Hollywood actors in lead roles.

8 Watch (1985)Harrison Ford in Witness

Harrison Ford’s Most Underrated Film (His Only Academy Award Nomination), a witnessAnd is one of the most interesting detective films of the past forty years. Ford portrays Detective Sergeant John Book, who protects an Amish mother named Rachel (Kelly McGillis) and her son Samuel, who witnesses a murder in a Philadelphia train station bathroom. Samuel is able to help identify the killer in a newspaper clipping. The killer happens to be a crooked police officer named James McPhee (Danny Glover).

This leads Bok to travel with Rachel and Samuel to Amish country in an effort to protect them from McPhee and other corrupt cops. The film won Best Original Screenplay at the Academy Awards. This is one of the most interesting detective films ever made because of its thrilling setting and Ford’s outstanding performance.

7 Streets of Fire (1984)

Streets of fire
Universal Pictures

This little-known film from director Walter Hill is sure to become a guilty pleasure for new fans. Visually, this masterpiece is ahead of its time. It’s also one of the few movies that kicks off the rock and roll romance genre. Starring Dianne Lane as a kidnapped rock and roll singer, Willem Dafoe as a gang leader, and Michael Barry as the ex-boyfriend who sets out to rescue the singer, Streets of fire He developed a cult following.


The most emotional scenes in action movies, ranked

From stunning sets and colorful costumes to groovy rock performances and action sequences, this movie leaves no room for dull moments. There are, of course, things to criticize about this movie, like the ridiculous dialogue and terrible posters, but those things only represent the subtleties that most viewers tend to overlook. When the story flows as it flows in Streets of fireyou can excuse a lot of small problems.

6 Police Story 2 (1988)

Police story 2
  • Golden Harvest Media Asia

while the original detective story Widely regarded as a masterpiece, its sequel, Police story 2, did not receive the same attention. While fans of Jackie Chan may pay tribute to it, it is still a lesser known movie among the general public. Despite its mediocre reputation, Police story 2 It’s all as fun and frantic as the original. Chan returns as the heroic cop Chan Ka-kui, who can’t seem to stay out of trouble with both rival gangs and his superiors in the police force. The story follows a similar pattern to the first detective story, but here the stakes are higher; The comedy is quieter, and the action more brutal. Of course, Chan’s stunt work is the real star of the show, and an explosive scene near the end of the movie is guaranteed to leave you squealing.

5 The Untouchables (1987)

the intangible
Paramount Pictures

The 1987 crime classic by Brian De Palma the intangible It is one of the most action packed movies of the 80’s. this is the truth. Kevin Costner leads a stacked team that includes Sean Connery, Robert De Niro, Andy Garcia, and Charles Martin Smith. Costner portrays Prohibition Bureau agent Eliot Ness, who is tasked with leading a team of men in an effort to stop Chicago mob boss Al Capone (De Niro) from illegally selling liquor and inflicting his crime-ridden ways on the city.

With the help of Irish-American cop Jimmy Malone (Connery; won an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for the role), police trainee George Stone (Garcia) and government accountant Oscar Wallace (Smith), the team overcomes corrupt police officers, bribing jurors, and gang shootouts in an effort to to put Capone in jail. Not only was this one of the most underrated action movies of the 1980s, but it is one of the best crime movies of all time.

4 The Killer (1989)

the killer
Photo – workshop film

Although the action genre was dominated by American studios throughout the 1980s, there were flashy, violent films being made all over the world. Some of them, like the killer From legendary Hong Kong filmmaker John Woo, it was masterful and hugely influential. Woo is notable for its cinematic mastery of gunfights. In some of his most dramatic scenes, entire groups are torn to pieces by gunfire, explosions, and shrapnel.

His suave use of slow motions and acrobatic stunts has made his films legendary among action fans. the killer is a particularly fine example; With its killer vs. cop storyline and heartbreaking ending sequence, it’s up there with the best of the ’80s. Although it is highly regarded among fans of world cinema, it has not always received the recognition it deserves in the United States.

3 Big Trouble in Little China (1986)

Big problem in little China
Twentieth Century Studios

An absurd adventure with an absurdly amazing story, Big problem in little China Steals the top spot for Most Underrated Action Film of the ’80s. Set in a world of green-eyed suitors, Chinese street gangs, a powerful evil sorcerer, magic and martial arts, a truck driver and his Chinese underground friend explore Chinatown and end up on the biggest adventure of their lives.

Only director John Carpenter seems to be able to pull off such an interesting action movie. The sly humor, clever dialogue, roaring action, and thrilling scenes make for a hit Big problem in little China An outstandingly enjoyable movie. Kurt Russell, the film’s protagonist, plays a gutsy guy who’s afraid of nothing – and lets us find out with his slick but charming dialogue. It is a movie that could appeal to any generation and is one of the best action movies of the 80s.

2 Road House (1989)road house

When fans think of the late, great Patrick Swayze and his best movies, road house Well deserved claim to the fore. Swayze plays James Dalton, a recently hired security guard at a club called “The Double Deuce” in Jasper, Missouri. One of the loudest, wildest and most rowdy bars in the South. As the club’s “cooler”, it is Dalton’s job to rid the place of shoplifting, bad behaviour, drug dealing, and violence.

Despite battling many of his henchmen in his efforts to keep the tavern free and safe from violence, Dalton discovers that his true enemy and the true enemy of the city is a local business capitalist by the name of Brad Wesley (Ben Gazara). Despite a low rating of 41% on Rotten Tomatoes, this is the perfect movie for movie fans who appreciate violence, heart-pounding action, and some romance.



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