The rule of action movies: whoever breaks the most stuff wins. Sure, there might be this "writer" who throws in a "plot," but everyone knows that action movies are really about seeing people get kicked, shot, punched, thrown through glass, thrown off buildings, or otherwise creatively disemboweled. On this front, our choice of the top 5 action movies to rent will not disappoint. They all involve fights, guns, more fights, bigger guns, and if you're lucky, a gunfight.

But before you go on to read our reviews, we have to add a disclaimer. Action movies, by definition, cut across all genres of movie films. Blade Runner, The Matrix, and the Terminator flicks could all arguably be called sci-fi flicks. But we think that they're more about the action than the sci-fi, so we'll call them action movies. You don't like it? Then start your own website!

So sit back, relax, and enjoy our top recommendations for testosterone-filled entertainment. Be sure to have plenty of beer handy... it makes the brain-deadening process all the more pleasurable.

1. BLADE RUNNER (1982)

Most of us assume that everything from the eighties - and the early eighties in particular - is a hokey mess. Absurd hair, ridiculous rock groups, and a bottomless pit of cheesy teen flicks. True, many of us who lived in the eighties are pretty embarrassed about the whole episode. But it could have been worse. First, it could have been the seventies. Second, it could have come and gone without Blade Runner. This movie redeems much of the eighties, wiping off the phony feel-good vibe of the whole decade. Ridley Scott presents his vision of the future - and he's not a half-full kind of guy. Tapping into the lineage of profound pessimism (and with a little help from Philip K. Dick, whose novel Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? provides the basis for the film), Scott joins Hobbes and Macchiavelli as another brilliant amigo who's taken a gander into humanity's crystal ball and seen nothing but filth. And now we can enjoy that depressing feeling perpetually by watching this movie again and again.

While other directors were conceiving of the future as an updated version of the fifties a la Back to the Future, Ridley used his brain. Things are not going to get better, they're going to get a lot worse. He sets Blade Runner in 2020 L.A., replete with impenetrable smog, massive skyscrapers ringed by third-world shantytowns, and gargantuan billboards everywhere. A lot like L.A. today but with fewer cell phones and, if you can believe it, even more smog. Harrison Ford is the Blade Runner - a former cop whose job it is to hunt down androids (or as they're known in this flick, replicants). A handful of replicants have mutinied on an outer planet and have returned to Earth to exact a little revenge on their maker. Harrison proposes an intervention. Look for cameos by questions of humanity and creation.

We're not going to lie to you and tell you that this movie will make you feel warm and fuzzy. Hell, you may not even like the characters very much. But you'll quickly learn why this movie was nominated for Oscars in Best Art Direction and Best Effects. Before Blade Runner, the American cinematic vision of the future was a cross between Pleasantville and The Jetsons; Ridley's bad day changed all that forever.


  • Nominated for 2 Academy Awards in technical categories

  • Got squished at the box office because it premiered the same day as E.T.