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The Best Action Movies of 2007: A Top Ten List

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Megan Fox TransformersComedies can win Oscars, or at least Golden Globes. Foreign films get their own category. So, aside from family films, the one genre that never gets much recognition other than through box office dollars is the action movie genre. Action films have become blurred with thrillers recently, as Hollywood has leaned more toward serious, realistic action-thrillers over kick-ass explosion-filled extravaganzas. This list includes some of those, but 2007 saw the reemergence of some bad ass action films.

And no, Spider-Man 3 is not on the list. Here are the top ten action movies of 2007:

  1. Transformers (2007)
    The top five action movies of 2007 are pretty close to one another, and the top three are almost interchangeable. But there’s no denying that the film with the biggest impact over the summer was an explosive action film that had fan boys salivating and even regular audience members blown away by spectacular visual effects and a finale that all but destroys Los Angeles. The movie was plagued with some annoying dialogue and other screenplay issues, but Michael Bay’s action sequences overcame those flaws to make Transformers the best action movie of 2007.
  2. 300 (2007)
    Coming in a very close second place is 300, a movie from Dawn of the Dead director Zach Snyder. 300 could have been a complete disaster, but Snyder made the movie a visual feast. Some people complained that the movie had a lot more talking than fighting, but I found it to have the perfect balance of politics, drama, visuals and action. 300 is by far and away the most visually original picture of 2007, and it’ll be interesting to see how the Visual Effects Oscar gets handed out – on the one hand, Transfomers offered seamless visuals; on the other, 300 was one long special effect that defied expectations and made the film the biggest hit of the first four months of the year.
  3. The Bourne Ultimatum (2007)
    The smartest action film in the top three, the third Bourne film places third simply because I thought The Bourne Supremacy was slightly better. The Bourne Ultimatum felt a bit like it was re-treading on the second film’s originality only with a less interesting plot, but I only say that because Supremacy is one of my all-time favorite action films. Ultimatum is still a great action movie, and continues to prove that Matt Damon can be an action hero, and a damn intimidating one to boot.
  4. Live Free or Die Hard (2007)
    Despite going way too over the top at times (the fighter jet blowing up a billion dollars worth of highway, for instance), the fourth Die Hard movie was everything fans were expecting and waiting for. People had all but given up on the chance that they would indeed make a fourth movie, but Bruce Willis brought his rugged John McClain back to theaters one more time. The movie is one long action sequence, and while it is hit a bit by the fact that it is rated PG-13, it is still a pretty brutal thrill ride. At the very least, it was refreshing to return to the action films of old, where tough guys did tough things.
  5. No Country for Old Men (2007)
    Who knew that a major Best Picture contender would end up on a Top Ten list for Best Action Movie? Regardless, No Country for Old Men, from the Coen Brothers, is one of the most exciting movies I’ve seen in a long time. Not your typical action film, the Coen Brothers fill their film with an impending sense of dread, and give us one of the scariest and most ruthless villains ever witnessed on the silver screen. Unfortunately, the movie doesn’t end the way most of us would have liked – otherwise, this film could have been a lot higher on this list.
  6. Shooter (2007)
    Items six through ten aren’t nearly as good as items one through five, but are still good entries for those looking for mindless entertainment. Shooter is a pretty mindless film that tries to cover some idiocies with a political assassination and conspiracy storyline, which, for the most part, works well enough. Mark Wahlberg does a good job in the lead, and Shooter offers plenty of action and intrigue. It’s not a great movie, but it’s still better than most action movies we get these days.
  7. 28 Weeks Later (2007)
    Okay, so 28 Weeks Later is technically a horror movie, or at the very least a zombie movie, but as far as excitement goes, it’s a great little film. The movie didn’t receive very good reviews nor box office revenues, but this zombie sequel is exciting and suspenseful from the first minute to the last. The opening sequence is great, and the film is full of exciting moments.
  8. Vacancy (2007)
    It’s been a while since I last saw this thriller, but I had to put it on the list anyway. It’s not an action movie per se, but it is action-packed, so I think it deserves a place. Starring the unlikely combination of Luke Wilson and Kate Beckinsale as a nearly divorced couple, Vacancy is about two people who find themselves trapped at the hotel from Hell. The movie is exciting from beginning to the end, minus the last two minutes, which are just dreadful. Still, I hadn’t sat on the edge of my seat like this in a long time.
  9. 3:10 to Yuma (2007)
    I wasn’t crazy about the ending of this one either, but there’s no denying that 3:10 to Yuma is still a thoroughly entertaining film. Starring the great combination of Russell Crowe and Christian Bale, the western remake offers a complicated and disturbing villain (Crowe), some good action scenes and several other exciting moments. If anyone still thinks that westerns are out of date, 3:10 to Yuma is just one of many recent westerns that proves them wrong.
  10. The Kingdom (2007)
    This one wasn’t as good as I was hoping it would be, but The Kingdom has some great action, especially toward the end. Somehow this movie, which featured some pretty spectacular trailers and a quality cast, flopped in theaters despite having everything that action audiences require. The shortcoming of the film is that the screenplay isn’t nearly as good as it should have been, given the material.

Other movies that almost made the list: Planet Terror, Death Proof and Smokin’ Aces. The two Grindhouse films were both thoroughly entertaining and offered some good action, while Smokin’ Aces was entertaining but not quite as action packed as I was hoping for.

Why wasn’t Spider-Man 3 on the list? Because it just wasn’t that good of a movie. Harry Potter? Not nearly as good as the other movies (and not really an action movie). Pirates of the Caribbean? That movie just sucked. Fantastic Four 2? Enough said.

By Erik Samdahl
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  • Wesman

    Hey Erik!
    List looks good, nice choices. You can stop knockin on Spidey 3 though. You yourself said No Country was “not your typical action film” and “items six through ten are not nearly as good” (mindless entertainment yes!) but c’mon! Spidey 3 was certainly “action packed”- more so than the first two Spidey flicks. If you want your list to truly reflect “Action” movies then keep the key word in mind!
    Love the site! Keep up the great commentary!

  • Erik Samdahl

    Hi Wesman,

    Thansk for the comments. Spider-Man 3 had more action than the previous two, but it wasn’t nearly as good as the other two movies. Honestly, I didn’t think it was very good at all. While yes, I do need to keep the keyword in mind (“action”), that would imply that movies such as Shoot ‘Em Up, The Condemned and Fantastic Four. They had a lot of action – but they weren’t all that good.

  • JayMike

    What happened to shoot em up?

  • Erik Samdahl

    Hi JayMike,

    Shoot ‘Em Up didn’t make the list because, frankly, it wasn’t a very good movie. Here’s my review: http://www.filmjabber.com/movie/preview/2825/

  • JayMike

    I thought the movie was fun. It kinda reminded me of The last action hero where the lame sayings were said to show you how lame they are when they are being serious. Of course the action parts were unbelievable but in an action movie has to have some far fetch stuff in it. I hate the bourne movies because i think it was a rip off of the long kiss goodnight but the action in there was a little unbelievable. Just my opinion though. Also, I liked Spidey 3 even though the sand man should have been left out.

  • Erik Samdahl

    Hi JayMike,

    Yeah, Shoot ‘Em Up had its moments and it definitely mocked itself most of the time, which is good, but the film just didn’t register for me. I found it entertaining enough, but would never watch it again. The movies in the list above I would watch again.

    Interesting about your thoughts on the Bourne movies. I absolutely love them… as for The Long Kiss Goodnight, I thought that movie sucked – and the Bourne franchise (and the original Bourne movie) came before The Long Kiss Goodnight, so if anything, that film was a rip-off of Bourne.

    Agree with you on Spidey 3 that Sandman should never have been added.

  • JayMike

    The Long Kiss Goodnight came out in 1996. The Bourne movies started in 2000’s. But that’s just nit picking. I guess movies borrow from each other all the time. Ideas and whatnot, but i just don’t believe Matt Damon(in Team America voice) LOL as an action hero. Anywho, That’s why that list is yours. Guess what? I can make a list too. LOL I just thought I’d ask about Shoot em up. Take care and keep us movie geeks posted on the new shit!!

    JayMike

  • Erik Samdahl

    Hi JayMike, sorry, I was referring to the Bourne books, which were written, I believe, in the 1970’s or 1980’s. BTW, they are some of the coolest books ever, and completely different from the movies (The Bourne Supremacy is awesome, but takes place in China and is about the United States government tricking Jason Bourne into attacking a man trying to take over China by kidnapping his wife and sending him off the deep end).

    So what’s your top ten action movie list of 2007?

    Thanks for the comments!

  • JayMike

    1. 300
    2. Transformers
    3. Live Free or Die Hard
    4. Spiderman 3
    5. Shoot em Up
    6. Planet Terror
    7. 3:10 to Yuma
    8. 28 Weeks Later
    9. Smokin’ Aces
    10. Death Proof

    Now I didn’t see a lot of movies especially action packed movies this year because I was deployed to Qatar (Im in the Air Force) from January-May and Nov- present i’m in South Korea so I’m unable to see a lot the movies you have on your list. I did see I am legend(not what i was expecting) and I saw Golden Compass(sucked)

  • Erik Samdahl

    Hi JayMike,

    Thanks. So our list isn’t all that different – I agree with most of your entries other than the ones we’ve already discussed. Good picks. How’s South Korea?

  • JayMike

    Cold, windy. It snows just about every day but it doesn’t stick. I thought smokin’ aces could have had more action and I’m not into westerns but 3:10 to Yuma was pretty good.

  • Bryan

    Oh come on. How in you right mind can you possibly rank Shooter over Planet Terror or Smoking Aces? Smoking Aces, for my money is #3, and No Country doesn’t really deserve to be on this list, imo, its more drama or thriller than action movie.

  • Erik Samdahl

    Hey roomie, I might have ranked Shooter somewhat higher than it deserved (Planet Terror probably should have been higher)… as for Smokin Aces, it was a good movie, but not nearly as good as I was expecting. It wasn’t as action packed as I was hoping; I’m sure if I watched it again and new what to expect I would like it more. Too bad I don’t own the film… Oh, wait, I do.

  • http://www.kogmedia.com patrick

    The first Pirates of the Caribbean was great, not too sure about the other two, tho the special effects were top notch of course. if they come out with a fourth will it maintain the quality of the first?

  • Janet

    I liked the lakehouse, that was wonderful :D :D *heart*

  • wtf

    holy shit your critic sucks spider man 3 a bad movie and 28 weeks later considered a good and action-packed movie ? pffff keep up the bad word dude btw spider man 3 is the film that made the most money in all history cuz its so good and 28 weeks later didnt win anything except my non-respect

  • http://www.filmjabber.com Erik Samdahl

    Hi wtf, since when does making a lot of money imply that a movie is good? Of course Spider-Man 3 had a great opening weekend, because everyone expected it to be as good as Spider-Man 2.

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  • karan

    well hello,
    Vacancy……. Action……
    Are you kidding………..

    Haven’t seen such a nonsensical movie ever..
    I mean what was the script writer and the director thinking…..

    Plz remove ‘Vacancy’ from the list so as not to degrade the standard of the website….

  • http://www.filmjabber.com Erik Samdahl

    HI Karan, I figured some one would complain about Vacancy. I’m sticking by it… at least I didn’t put it at #1.

  • kuntal

    i do appriciate you for putting spiderman 3 in the list, it was quite boring, not as good as last 2 parts.. but putting VACANCY into the list?? you need to rethink about it,vacancy was like some B grade movie of 1980.. i m thankfull to u as u didnt counted I M A LEGEND into the list, it was the worst movie of WILL’s entire carrier, i dont knw whn hollywood will drop this idea of making same movies again and again???

  • kuntal

    ooops sorry i forgot to include NOT before spidy 3

  • http://www.apnaysms.com waqas tasneem

    awesome collection

  • http://www.apnaysms.com Funny SMS

    cooooooool

  • kumar

    why residence evil 3 $ shoot’em up is not in the list…………

  • ashok

    i don’t understand how few ass holes make list of best movies and worst movies.
    give best movies to such which u would love to watch again
    my list include
    Transformers (2007)
    Live Free or Die Hard (2007)
    300
    Hitman
    Pirates of the Carribbean , jhony depp acting as usual is good and that make movie cool
    any movie of harry potter is really enjoyable

    these are good one
    The Kingdom (2007)
    Shoot ‘Em Up
    to yuma is ok to be watched once, no one can be so correct morally as christian bale in the movie

    few in the list i have not watched

  • umar javed

    3:10 to yuma it was not that good i was just a fun not an action movie

  • http://blog.filmjabber.com/2008/01/25/the-best-action-movies-of-2007-a-top-ten-list/ hassan

    hav a gud action nd stategy mith the reference of sniper gud directioall a nic emovie
    n of movie nd over

  • http://blog.filmjabber.com/2008/01/25/the-best-action-movies-of-2007-a-top-ten-list/ hassan

    SHOTTER NICE MOVIE WITH THE REFERENCE of sniper nd comanding stratigy

  • http://blog.filmjabber.com/2008/01/25/the-best-action-movies-of-2007-a-top-ten-list/ hassan

    hay shootr is nice mivie like the thriller

  • Jeffrey

    oh men VERY THANKS FOR THIS LIST…

  • JJ

    yeah…smokin aces should be first I lovee it!

  • abhi

    shoot em up is purely a shit……………..

  • http://www.newmp3music.blogspot.com takaddus

    live free or die hard shouldn’t be in this list buddy

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