The 100 greatest movie fights

Let's fighting love

To quote what is possibly the least 'tough' lyric ever committed to song: "When the going gets tough, the tough get going, when the going gets rough, the tough get rough." Got that? Good, because this entire list is dedicated to that very type of scenario: a scenario in which all efforts at negotiation have failed - or in the case of most Arnold Schwarzannegger flicks - before they've even begun. Sometimes, that damned despicable bad guy just has to die, and what better way to make it happen than with a gloriously choreographed fight scene?

Some are contested with kung-fu kicks, while others are fought with fully-automatic machine guns. Whatever the case, these are the top 100 scenes that keep Hollywood's fake body bag manufacturers in business. Ready? Fight!

100. Watchmen (2009)

The Fight: Setting up the plot (and tone), this opening scene sees a bath-robed Comedian get attacked in his apartment by a shadowy assailant. It's a thumping tussle with absolutely no regard given to the Comedian's furniture.

Killer Move: The finishing touch - the battered Comedian is hurled through his window to the tune of slow motion shattered glass and falls to his death, smiley face badge an' all.

99. Jason And The Argonauts (1963)

The Fight: Arguably FX whiz Ray Harryhausens finest moment, Jason and his crew are forced to fight against a skeletal army risen from the Hydras teeth in what is still the pinnacle of stop motion action sequences.

Killer Move: While his men dont fare quite as well, Jason tackles on skeleton, managing to fend off his spear attack and decapitate him, leaving him briefly wandering while skull-less.

98. Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge Of The Sith (2005)

The Fight: Anakin, having turned to the dark side and now filled with jealousy and rage at Obi-Wan, begins the epic duel with his former master against the fiery backdrop of the volcanic planet of Mustafar.

Killer Move: Obi-Wan wins by default at having gained the higher ground but, in his arrogance, Anakin tries to leap over him anyway and gets his limbs lopped off for his efforts. He is then consumed by the lava surroundings that set him on the path to become the greatest movie villain of all time. God only knows what would have happened if they just fought on Naboo instead.

97. House Of Flying Daggers (2004)

The Fight: The blind Mei is ambushed in the middle of the bamboo forest and, while she valiantly defends herself against her attacker, she clearly needs help. Luckily, lone warrior Wind is at hand to save her

Killer Move: With one wodden spear thrown towards Mei from afar, Wind sees it just in time and throws his sword toward her too. With a split-second reaction played out in slow-mo, we see Mei step back just as the sword split the spear in two, with both ends flying safely away.

96. Bowfinger (1999)

The Fight: In an epilogue scene to the film, we catch a glipse at Jiff Ramseys hilarious ineptness during a fight sequence in made-up movie Fake Purse Ninjas, all played with a brilliant comic performance by Eddie Murphy.

Killer Move: Following a squeamish war-cry, Murphy proceeds to beat up attacking ninjas while obviously not really touching them. The finest moment comes when he kicks an opponent and he does several wire-assisted somersaults backwards as a result.

95. Eight Diagram Pole Fighter (1983)

The Fight: A Buddhist monk trained in martial arts must break his vows when his sister is kidnapped by the evil Khitan army. Thanks to his monastery not allowing blades, however, the monk is most skilled in fighting with a pole. Hence the slightly confusing title.

Killer Move: Its a chaotic rampage as the monk ambushes a group of men and fends them off with his impressive skills. The best moment comes when the monk is trapped by a stack of coffins, unable to move his arms but still manages to fend off several attackers and break free to continue the fight with ease.

94. The Adventures Of Robin Hood (1938)

The Fight: An epic duel and still to this day one of of cinemas finest swordfights, Errol Flynns Robin Hood jabs and parries with Basil Rathbones Sir Guy Of Gisbourne.

Killer Move: After much to-ing and fro-ing with their swords, Guy has Robin backed against a wall and sneakily tries to kill him with a hidden dagger. Robin narrowly avoids the blade however, fights Guy away and swiftly delivers a final, deadly thrust with his sword.

93. Transformers (2007)

The Fight: Its the showdown all anybody wants to see in a Transformers movie: Optimus Prime clashing metal fists with Megatron.

Killer Move: After demolishing half a city with their brutal skirmish, Optimus eventually overcomes Megatron when Sam Witwicky releases the AllSpark into the bad robots chest. Were not going to pretend that we understand how it all works, but it looked pretty cool.

92. The Warriors (1979)

The Fight: So many to choose from in this film, but were opting for the showdown between the Warriors and the Baseball Furies. When the sports-themed thugs chase down our anti-heroes, they are come to blows in Riverside Park, with the Warriors Ajax and Swan more than making up for the shortfall in numbers.

Killer Move: Having managed to win themselves a couple of their opponents bats, the two gangs engage in down and dirty thumps around the head and gut punches.

91. 300 (2006)

The Fight: Less a fight and more a small-scale war, as King Leonidas warriors take on Xerxes soldiers in a full bloody battle.

Killer Move: The 300 steel themselves with their shields and push the remaining Persians off the edge of the cliff.


George is GR's resident movie news person, based out of London. He understands that all men must die, but he'd rather not think about it.
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