50 Greatest Movie Action Heroes

Bruce Wayne

The Action Hero: While most superheroes don't really count as action heroes because they have an unfair advantage, don't forget that Batman has no powers - just enormous self-discipline and all those incredible toys. In other words, he's a badass.

Most Iconic Moment: Taking down the juggernaut-driving Joker in The Dark Knight with a little help from his Batpod.

Coolest Catchphrase: "You're not the Devil. You're practice."

The Terminator

The Action Hero: A hero? Not at first. But one swift reprogramming (and Arnold Schwarzenegger's growing stardom) ensures that this T-800 cyborg returns in Terminator 2: Judgement Day not as John Connor's would-be assassin but his best hope for survival.

Most Iconic Moment: Taking on the juggernaut-driving T-1000 on a motorcycle to snatch Connor from certain death.

Coolest Catchphrase: "Hasta la vista, baby."

The Bride

The Action Hero: aka Beatrix Kiddo, aka Black Mamba, one-time member of the Deadly Viper Assassination Squad turned tracksuit-wearing vengeful widow hellbent on a rip-roaring rampage of revenge to kill her old colleagues.

Most Iconic Moment: Seeing off the Crazy 88 - as in, there are eighty-eight of them - in a flurry of lopped-off limbs at the end of Kill Bill, Vol. 1 .

Coolest Catchphrase: "Those of you lucky enough to still have your lives, take them with you! But leave the limbs you have lost. They belong to me now."


The Action Hero: Bruce Lee's signature role is this Shaolin martial artist, who is invited to a tournament in Enter The Dragon , and soon realises he'll have to fight for real to defeat a prostitution ring.

Most Iconic Moment: Lee disarms and kills henchman O'Hara when the latter ignores protocol by attacking him with a broken bottle.

Coolest Catchphrase: "Boards don't hit back."

John Rambo

The Action Hero: The Vietnam war might be over but nobody has told Sylvester Stallone's troubled vet, who is ready to pick a fight with everybody from a small town Sheriff to the entire Russian army.

Most Iconic Moment: Killing a Vietcong soldier with an explosive arrow in Rambo: First Blood Part 2 .

Coolest Catchphrase: "In town you're the law, out here it's me. Don't push it. Don't push it or I'll give you a war you won't believe."

Ellen Ripley

The Action Hero: Some heroes have action thrust upon them. So it goes for Sigourney Weaver's Weyland-Yutani freighter officer, whose experiences surviving and battling xenomorphs in Alien turns her into a bad-ass warrior and, eventually, a half-human/half-alien clone.

Most Iconic Moment: Donning an exo-suit cargo loader to go mano a mano with the Alien Queen in Aliens .

Coolest Catchphrase: "Get away from her, you bitch!"

Indiana Jones

The Action Hero: During term time, he's a mild-mannered archaeology professor. But once school's out… look out Nazis (and, to a lesser extent, Thuggees and Communists) because Harrison Ford's whip-cracking adventurer chasing the same all-powerful lost artefacts that you are.

Most Iconic Moment: Indy doesn't have time to have a fight with a fearsome swordsman in Raiders Of The Lost Ark . Just shoot him already.

Coolest Catchphrase: "It's not the years, honey; it's the mileage."

Jason Bourne

The Action Hero: Born David Webb, transformed into a killer via Operation Treadstone and now (as played by Matt Damon in The Bourne Identity and sequels) an amnesiac rogue with a conscience and the instinct to turn everyday objects into fearsome weapons.

Most Iconic Moment: Scampering through several blocks of apartments in Tangiers, leaping off a balcony and then using a book to incapacitate his opponent in The Bourne Ultimatum .

Coolest Catchphrase: "I can tell you the license plate numbers of all six cars outside. I can tell you that our waitress is left-handed and the guy sitting up at the counter weighs two hundred and fifteen pounds and knows how to handle himself. I know the best place to look for a gun is the cab of the grey truck outside, and at this altitude, I can run flat out for a half mile before my hands start shaking. Now why would I know that? How can I know that and not know who I am?"

John McClane

The Action Hero: Just your ordinary Bruce Willis-shaped blue-collar New York cop, until you stick him in a building/airport/city/hacked America/Moscow overrun with bad guys. Finds dying hard.

Most Iconic Moment: Saving the hostages from a rooftop slaughter and then abseiling to safety with a fire hose in Die Hard .

Coolest Catchphrase: "Yippee-kay-ay, motherfucker!"

James Bond

The Action Hero: MI6's finest. 50 years strong (all those facelifts must help) but still the guy you'd rely on to keep the British end up.

Most Iconic Moment: Skiing off a mountain to escape the Commies in The Spy Who Loved Me , only to reveal he's come prepared with a Union Jack parachute.

Coolest Catchphrase: "The name's Bond… James Bond."