Action Movies for Date Night

1
Kill Bill
Kill Bill
Miramax via Everett Collection
This Quentin Tarantino classic blends the revenge tale with a non-stop murder-fest. It has hardcore sword fights but also has a very elaborate relationship story. The Bride (Uma Thurman) must enact vengeance on her ex, Bill (David Carradine) and his assassins. Not only is Thurman great as a hardcore assassin but the films also feature strong performances by Lucy Liu, Vivica A. Fox, and Daryl Hannah. It blends many genres including kung fu movies, samurai films, and a revenge stories in the spirit of “Enough” or “Sleeping with the Enemy.” Plus, they have that unique Tarantino feel.
2
The Avengers Movies
The Avengers Movies
Columbia Pictures via Everett Collection
The Avengers and the other Marvel films including “Thor” and the “Iron Man” movies bring superheroes to life. These films not only incorporate the comic book heroes fans love but they also set them in today’s times and give them a sense of realism that makes them fun to watch. The talented (and very attractive) Robert Downey Jr., Chris Hemsworth, Chris Evans, Mark Ruffalo, Scarlett Johansson, and Jeremy Renner bring these characters to life. Let’s also not forget the amazing visual effects.
3
Point of No Return
Point of No Return
Warner Bros. Pictures via Everett Collection
This American version Luc Besson’s La Femme Nikita found the humanity in assassin Maggie (Bridget Fonda), a junkie who is caught in an armed robbery and “erased” from society. She gets drafted in an underground organization and trained to be a spy. It follows a “Pygmalion”-esque transformation as Maggie becomes an accomplished woman. However, what happens when she falls in love? This film blends the action and intrigue of the killing game with a love story, and includes strong female characters played by Fonda and Anne Bancroft. The soundtrack is also chock full of Nina Simone.
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4
The Hunger Games
The Hunger Games
Lionsgate via Everett Collection
These films not only bring the wildly addictive books to the screen, but they also showcase the acting gifts of the utterly lovable Jennifer Lawrence. Set in a dystopian future where the lion’s share of humanity is subjugated and forced to sacrifice their children to war games, the films lay on the intensity. But, like most movies based on young adult fiction, they also center on a love triangle. The films bring human struggle to the extreme with people pitted against each other, and their government, for survival. Plus, there’s an amazingly hilarious character played by Elizabeth Banks.
5
True Lies
True Lies
20th Century Fox Film via Everett Collection
Schwarzenegger plays Harry Tasker, who lives a double life as family man and globetrotting secret agent. His wife, played by Jamie Lee Curtis, is looking for more adventure in her life and edges her way into his line of work. This film was unique in bringing the family dynamics into the world of international espionage. As is the James Cameron M.O., it brings major action and a uniquely relatable storyline.
6
The Professional
The Professional
Columbia Pictures via Everett Collection
This film by Luc Besson is Natalie Portman’s first; she plays the daughter of a low-level criminal who betrays his boss (Gary Oldman) and gets taken out. Orphaned, she befriends her neighbor Leon (Jean Reno), a lonely contract killer. It’s exciting to revisit Portman’s earlier work as a foul-mouthed, smoking orphan. The film blends a violent action movie with a story about how two loners can connect and grow together.
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7
Colombiana
Colombiana
TriStar Pictures via Everett Collection
This film is an unofficial sequel to The Professional, but rather than try to return to the original story too many years later, it reboots the franchise. In this version, Cataleya (Zoe Saldana) loses her family and devotes her entire life to vengeance. She becomes a contract killer bent on getting the man who killed her parents. She also has a secret relationship with Danny (Michael Vartan), who puts her secrecy in jeopardy. This film has the same human touch as The Professional with a Latin spin. Plus, it’s great to see Saldana as such a strong and smart character.
8
Lara Croft Tomb Raider
Lara Croft Tomb Raider
Paramount via Everett Collection
Angelina Jolie has all the makings of a super hero. Her body is on point, she’s a world traveler, and she has a love for knives. This remake of the popular video games Lara Croft to life. The film plays out as Indiana Jones meets Alias as Lara must use her unique set of skills to track down artifacts and save the world. Not only is she a strong heroine but the film does have some camp value. Her British accent is questionable, but the reunion between Jolie and her estranged father Jon Voight is legendary.
9
Casino Royale
Casino Royale
Sony Pictures via Everett Collection
This film revolutionized the James Bond franchise. Suddenly, it wasn’t just targeted to fans of 007. Suddenly, this film broke the mold and presented a more human Bond (Daniel Craig). It also presented Bond girls as more than just sexpots. Vesper Lynd (Eva Green) is a complex character with multiple-levels and motivations. The film presents a love story with a few references to the original bond. Judi Dench also plays M the spymaster and head of the organization. Plus, James Bond gets delightfully objectified in a memorable beach scene of him wearing very tight swimming trunks.
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10
Charlie's Angels 1 & 2
Charlie's Angels 1 & 2
Columbia Pictures via Everett Collection
These films are a smart and savvy take on the popular 1970s crime series. Cameron Diaz, Lucy Liu, and producer Drew Barrymore play the angels in question. These girls don’t use guns and instead use ingenuity and superhuman fighting skills to take down their enemies. This film has a strong can-do spirit and incorporates feminism without beating you over the head with it. The film blends elaborate action and fighting sequences with humor and a cheesy Blockbuster plot. Plus, the second film includes a pretty bad-ass appearance by Demi Moore.
11
300
300
Warner Bros. Pictures via Everett Collection
Based on Frank Miller’s comic book, this film plays out more like a music video than an action movie. Three hundred Spartan soldiers lead by Leonidas (Gerard Butler) try and take on the entire Persian empire. The result is a bunch of half naked soldiers fighting to the death. Not only does it feature Butler but it has Rodrigo Santoro and Michael Fassbender. Plus, Game of Thrones star Lena Headey proves that it isn’t only Spartan men that kick ass.
12
The Big Hit
The Big Hit
TriStar Pictures via Everett Collection
This movie is amazing thanks to three words: Antionio Sabato Jr. Not only is the Calvin Klein model in this film in all his glory but it also stars Mark Wahlberg in his prime, Lou Diamond Phillips, and Bokeem Woodbine. This action film tried to for a comedic spin. Wahlberg plays an assassin caught between two demanding girlfriends and a plot to kidnap a client’s daughter. This film blends comedy, action, and a notable nude scene in a locker room. It’s also cheesy enough it can be enjoyed ironically
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13
The Fifth Element
The Fifth Element
Columbia Pictures via Everett Collection
This sci-fi film creates a futuristic world and a high concept plot with tons of action and a relatable love story. Milla Jovovich plays Leeloo, an ancient super being with the power to save the world. Bruce Willi) plays a cab driver and former military man who has sworn to protect her. Meanwhile, Gary Oldman plays an eccentric villain bent on destroying the world. The film has a little something for everyone an amazing opera sequence, stunning visuals, and the comedy stylings of Chris Tucker. If you aren’t a Tucker fan at least you can see him in mortal peril for most of the film.
14
Terminator 2: Judgement Day
Terminator 2: Judgement Day
TriStar Pictures via Everett Collection
A modern classic, Sarah Conner (Linda Hamilton) is no longer the target of the Terminator (Schwarzenegger). Instead, a new model the T-1000 (Robert Patrick) is after her son John (Edward Furlong). The film has action, seeds of a post-apocalyptic plot, and Hamilton as a heroine that will go down in history. It also shows a more human side to Schwarzenegger’s robotic character. This James Cameron epic is not only a great date movie but a definite must see for film fanatics.
15
Rush Hour
Rush Hour, Chris Tucker, Jackie Chan
New Line Cinema via Everett Collection
This film, and to a lesser extent its sequels, took the buddy cop comedy to a new level. There’s a culture clash between Jackie Chan’s martial arts expert and Chris Tucker’s loud-mouthed cop. There are some delightfully funny moments while still blending the requisite action and gun fights. Some of the racial humor does not stand up but if you are looking for an action movie that provides the laughs this is a definite contender.
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16
The Indiana Jones Films
The Indiana Jones Films
Paramount via Everett Collection
These films, save for the latest installment which featured Shia LaBeouf and a lot of bad CGI, transcend the action genre. They have suspense, elaborate stunt sequences, the entire world in harms way, and a wise-cracking archeologist (Harrison Ford). The film incorporates exotic visuals, historical elements, and an overall sense of fun. Indiana Jones is a thinker’s action hero. These films opt for MacGyver-like saves over a ton of shooting. These are also more than just date night entertainment but part of film history.
17
Run Lola Run
Run Lola Run
Sony Pictures via Everett Collection
Tom Twyker’s classic German film can best be described as a high-stakes heist film meets Sliding Doors. Lola has 20 minutes to get the money her boyfriend needs to save his life. However, the film explore three vastly different scenarios. This film is as action-packed as it gets, as Lola is literally running for the majority of the film. It’s also well shot and incorporates a memorable soundtrack.
18
The Matrix
The Matrix
Warner Bros. Pictures via Everett Collection
This action movie changed the way we see action movies. The first film is best as a standalone film since the sequels didn’t do much with the original plot. It incorporates cutting edge special effects, elaborate fighting scenes, and a reality-bending premise that will make you question upgrading your iPhone. The film seems like your typical action movie at first and then it quickly develops into one of science-fiction and film history’s most memorable films.
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19
Lethal Weapon
Lethal Weapon
Warner Bros. Pictures via Everett Collection
There was a time when Mel Gibson was an American treasure. The Lethal Weapon films delved a little deeper than most action films at the time, exploring the unique motivations of an odd couple of cops. This sense of humanity combined with comedy and memorable lines made opened up action movies to a whole new audiences. If you’re not feeling “too old for this s**t” check out why Gibson was such a huge star.

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