The Top 10 80’s Action Movies – g33kWatch Podcast

We decided that this week we wanted to talk about something that was fun, controversial, and would keep you entertained for about an hour of Podcast time. It was with that in mind, that we tackled the monumental task of trying to come up with our Top 10 Action Movies of the 1980’s. We know, it’s a topic of great importance. Listen in and let us know what you thought of the topic. What did we forget? Where would you make changes to our list? What movies on the list are your favorite? Let us know in the comment section down below!

If you liked this format for us, let us know what topics you would like us to tackle in future episodes and / or livecasts.


The g33kWatch Top 10 80’s Action Movies
RoboCop (1987)

#10 – RoboCop (1987)

Director: Paul Verhoeven
Writers: Edward Neumeier, Michael Miner
Stars: Peter Weller, Nancy Allen, Ronny Cox, Kurtwood Smith

Tagline: Part man. Part machine. All cop. The future of law enforcement.

Storyline: In a dystopic & crime ridden Detroit, a terminally wounded cop returns to the force as a powerful cyborg with submerged memories haunting him.

Highlander (1986)

#9 – Highlander (1986)

Director: Russell Mulcahy
Writers: Gregory Widen
Stars: Christopher Lambert, Sean Connery, Clancy Brown

Tagline: There can be only one.

Storyline: An immortal Scottish swordsman must confront the last of his immortal opponent, a murderously brutal barbarian who lusts for the fabled “Prize”.

The Running Man (1987)

#8 – The Running Man (1987)

Director: Paul Michael Glaser
Writers: Stephen King, Steven E. de Souza
Stars: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Richard Dawson, Maria Conchita Alonso, Jim Brown, Jesse Ventura

Tagline: Welcome to America in 2025, when the best men don’t run for president, they run for their lives.

Storyline: A wrongly-convicted man must try to survive a public execution gauntlet staged as a TV game show.

Big Trouble in Little China (1986)

#7 – Big Trouble in Little China (1986)

Director: John Carpenter
Writers: Gary Goldman, David Z. Weinstein
Stars: Kurt Russell, Kim Cattrall, Dennis Dun, James Hong, Victor Wong

Tagline: Some people pick the darnedest places to start a fight!

Storyline: An All-American trucker gets dragged into a centuries-old mystical battle in Chinatown.

First Blood (1982)

#6- First Blood (1982)

Director: Ted Kotcheff
Writers: David Morrell, Michael Kozoll
Stars: Sylvester Stallone, Richard Crenna, Brian Dennehy

Tagline: A one man war.

Storyline:  A mentally unstable Vietnam war vet, when abused with a small town’s police force, begins a one man war with it.

Predator (1987)

#5 – Predator (1987)

Director: John McTiernan
Writers: Jim Thomas, John Thomas
Stars: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Carl Weathers, Jesse Ventura

Tagline: Part man. Part machine. All cop. The future of law enforcement.

Storyline: A team of commandos, on a mission in a Central American jungle, find themselves hunted by an extra-terrestrial warrior.

Aliens (1986)

#4 – Aliens (1986)

Director: James Cameron
Writers: James Cameron, David Giler
Stars: Sigourney Weaver, Michael Biehn, Paul Reiser, Lance Henriksen, Bill Paxton

Tagline: Part man. Part machine. All cop. The future of law enforcement.

Storyline: The planet from Alien has been colonized, but contact is lost. This time, the rescue team has impressive firepower, but will it be enough?

Lethal Weapon (1987)

#3 – Lethal Weapon (1987)

Director: Richard Donner
Writers: Shane Black
Stars: Mel Gibson, Danny Glover, Gary Busey

Tagline: If these two can learn to stand each other … the bad guys don’t stand a chance.

Storyline: A veteran cop, Murtaugh, is partnered with a young suicidal cop, Riggs. Both having one thing in common; hating working in pairs. Now they must learn to work with one another to stop a gang of drug smugglers.

The Terminator (1984)

#2 – The Terminator (1984)

Director: James Cameron
Writers: James Cameron, Gale Anne Hurd
Stars: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Linda Hamilton, Michael Biehn

Tagline: The thing that won’t die, in the nightmare that won’t end.

Storyline: A human-looking, apparently unstoppable cyborg is sent from the future to kill Sarah Connor; Kyle Reese is sent to stop it.

Die Hard (1988)

#1 – Die Hard (1988)

Director: John McTiernan
Writers: Roderick Thorp, Jeb Stuart
Stars: Bruce Willis, Alan Rickman, Reginald VelJohnson, Alexander Godunov, William Atherton

Tagline: It will blow you through the back wall of the theater!

Storyline: John McClane, officer of the NYPD, tries to save wife Holly Gennaro and several others, taken hostage by German terrorist Hans Gruber during a Christmas party at the Nakatomi Plaza in Los Angeles.

Show Topics By Time

  • Opening RantMr. Khon’s NYCC schedule, MEM3, JK Rowling and more | 00:01:23
  • MoviesMr. Khon & Joey V try and narrow down the Top 80s Action Movies list with Katie V| 00:33:39
  • MoviesThe Top 10 is decided and revealed!| 01:19:00


Joseph Valenti

Founder of g33kWatch, Joe is the guy who makes sure nobody hurts themselves. Connect with me on Google+


  1. I am not sure that J.K. Rowling will get half of her audience automatically on the new book. Its and Harry Potter is aimed to school age children. I think she is likely to automatically get at least half of her adult audience but I don’t know that it is half of her overall audience.

    Mr Khon, I totally love The Running Man, one of my favorite 80’s action movies as well. Joey, you can’t over Schwarzenegger an 80’s action movie list.

    As this Top 10 goes on I reminded again why top 10 lists are kind of absurd. The segment is entertaining, just silly 🙂

    Fun show 🙂 Thanks.

    • Thanks for listening!

      I think what JK Rowling has going for her, is that while the Potter books started off with a young audience, as the series went on they grew up. It’s possible that those fans will continue on even though they are older. Should be interesting to see the reaction.

  2. I love your debating format on this one. Mine shakes out pretty similarly.
    10. Police Story
    9. Red Dawn
    8. Robocop
    7. Bloodsport
    6. Predator
    5. Lethal Weapon
    4. Highlander
    3. Top Gun
    2. Terminator
    1. Die Hard

    I HATE Stallone, so First Blood is easy enough for me to knock off. I recognize it kind of epitomizes the genre, but I can’t tolerate him long enough to finish it. I’ll drop Aliens, because I can write it off as more sci-fi. I’m not much of a Russell fan, either, and while I like The Running Man, it’s easy enough for me to bounce, in favor of…

    Top Gun. I know it’s not constant action in the guy-with-a-gun-on-the-cover sense, but it is pretty much one of THE 80s movies for me. I had to have Bloodsport, too, and as much as I love BotB, Bloodsport is the quintessential fighting tourney movie. Red Dawn had to be on there for me, if only for the cold war nostalgia I’m currently reliving through Airwolf on Netflix. And I don’t think you mentioned it, but I had to put Police Story on there, because in terms of broken glass, it leads the action pack.

    The MEM3 prizes are pretty much off the hook. Like, usually there’s one thing I really want, but this year I’m all over the place. WANT WANT WANT.

    Katie, if you end up going to Mr. K’s gigapalooza, let me know. I’m intrigued, but can’t see myself going by… myself. It kinda bumps into the Mass Effect anime screening at NYCC, but I guess I could tear myself away from animated Vega.

    • I should have left Aliens on, but it was never as near and dear to my heart as the rest of these. And I actually just looked at the big list… I hadn’t considered To Live and Die in LA. It’s not quite enough action to make the list, but is definitely among my fave 80s movies. And oh man, American Ninja…

    • I’m right there with you, I hate Stallone as well, but First Blood is important and had to make it onto the list. It’s just an important 80s action film, at least in our minds. It was tough to leave off some of the other movies, but I really like your list! Glad to see Top Gun is on yours. We couldn’t justify it, but man, whenever that movie is on I drop everything I’m doing to watch it.

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