50 Greatest Movie Action Heroes

Jericho 'Action' Jackson

The Action Hero: Fresh from Predator , Carl Weathers got his own action lead as Action Jackson , the disgraced Detroit cop investigating corruption.

Most Iconic Moment: Setting a flamethrower on a bad guy, before asking him….

Coolest Catchphrase: "How do you like your ribs?"

James Dalton

The Action Hero: Think Patrick Swayze is just a chick-flick heartthrob? Guess again: Road House's enigmatic bouncer is a true bad ass.

Most Iconic Moment: Ripping out evil henchman Jimmy's throat with his bare hands.

Coolest Catchphrase: "Pain don't hurt."

Lara Croft

The Action Hero: Leaving aside the quality of the actual films the character has appeared in, there are few action heroines of recent years as iconic as Angelina Jolie's denim-shorted archaeologists.

Most Iconic Moment: Fighting for her life against a multi-armed Cambodian statue that has come to life.

Coolest Catchphrase: "Everything lost is meant to be found."

Chance Boudreaux

The Action Hero: Jean Claude Van Damme as a homeless Cajun who is so down on his luck he's being hunted by wealthy madmen for fun? Well, he's also an ex-merchant seaman with some nifty martial arts moves, so that's OK. That's why he's a Hard Target .

Most Iconic Moment: Dispatching big bad Fouchon with the indignity the villain deserves, by dropping a grenade down his trousers.

Coolest Catchphrase: "Hunting season is over!"


The Action Hero: Unemployed drifter played by 'Rowdy' Roddy Piper in They Live , who inadvertently stumbles upon an alien conspiracy, and grabs a shotgun and a pair of E.T.-spotting shades to save the day.

Most Iconic Moment: His epic five-minute scrap with construction worker Frank to persuade his friend to try on the special sunglasses.

Coolest Catchphrase: “I have come here to chew bubblegum and kick ass…and I’m all out of bubblegum.”

Barney Ross

The Action Hero: As the leader of The Expendables , Sylvester Stallone's mercenary is providing the last chance saloon for old-school, guilty pleasure action.

Most Iconic Moment: The crowd-pleasing face-off with Jean-Claude Van Damme's villain in The Expendables 2 .

Coolest Catchphrase: "We are the shadows and the smoke, we rise. We are the ghosts that hide in the night."


The Action Hero: Pam Grier's star-making turn as the nurse seeking vengeance on the dealers who turned her sister into an addict offset accusations of blaxploitation by creating a feminist warrior.

Most Iconic Moment: Faking being drugged so that she can lure her captors into a false sense of security… and then wiping them out with a piece of glass.

Coolest Catchphrase: "This is the end of your rotten life, you motherfuckin' dope pusher!"


The Action Hero: Tony Jaa found fame playing as the Muay Thai-proficient villager who travels to Bangkok to rescue the titular head of the Ong-Bak statue.

Most Iconic Moment: How to get noticed - win an underground fight by defeating the champion with a single kick.


The Action Hero: Left for dead in Point Blank , Lee Marvin's enigmatic criminal stalks Los Angeles to get back the money he's owed from the mysterious Organisation.

Most Iconic Moment: Coldly watching Reese, the partner who betrayed him, take a fatal plunge from the balcony of his penthouse.

Coolest Catchphrase: "Somebody's got to pay."

Mallory Kane

The Action Hero: Privately contracted assassin who is on the run from her company after being set up in Haywire . Most fearsome weapon: herself. Well, she is played by real-life MMA champ Gian Carano.

Most Iconic Moment: Handing Michael Fassbinder's ass to him on a plate during a brutal hotel room fight.

Coolest Catchphrase: "I don't wear the dress. Make Paul wear the dress."