The 10 Best Action Stars Of All Time, According To Reddit

Fans were disappointed when Tom Cruise’s rumored cameo came through Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness didn’t happen, but the actor has once again proven himself to be one of the best action stars of recent times thanks to his performance in the critically acclaimed film Top Gun: Maverick. And the trailer for mission impossible 7 has also shown that the star has a lot more to offer.

But how highly is Cruise rated by action film fans? He’s rated pretty highly according to Reddit, but so are a few other actors. Several action stars have wowed fans over the past few decades, but Redditors feel not all big names have been impressive. Only a few people are referred to in the threads.


Arnold Schwarzenger

Arnold Schwarzenegger in command

Dao-Jarlen argues that Schwarzenneger is the undisputed action star because of his physique. They write, “He looks better than anyone in the role of a larger-than-life hero.”

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The Redditor is right about Schwarzenneger’s physique, since in his prime he could take part in a lot of stunts and be seen as that stereotypical “action man” (it probably helped that he also had a history as a bodybuilder, too). And since the former California governor is always handsome, his characters tend to be very believable. No one can doubt the ability of Major Alan “Dutch” Schaefer to take on an alien predator, or the courage of Colonel John Matrix to take on a hundred men alone.

Jackie Chan

Redditor rgragan has a crush on Jackie Chan because he “does his own stunts and is charmingly funny.” As most of the actor’s fans know, Chan has been starring in action movies for over 5 decades.

Chan easily sets himself apart from other stars by combining action with humor (and he doesn’t have to come up with funny statements). Like the comedians of the Silent Era, he makes the audience laugh with his facial expressions and mannerisms. But as the Redditor puts it, Chan deserves the most credit for his stunt work. That he’s broken over 10 bones over the course of his career (via Kotaku) and never stops, just shows how dedicated he is to his craft.

Bruce Willis

Bruce Willis in Die Hard

Though Willis recently retired due to ill health (via The Guardian), fans will always appreciate his work. Redditor justanothernakedred thinks Willis revolutionized the action genre. They argue that he “broke the muscle-bound trend of the ’80s of Schwarzenegger, Stallone and Lundgren etc,” adding, “His characters rely largely on wit and he never really seems to be the toughest guy in a fight.”

In fact, Willis has always been likable because he looks more like your average guy. Unlike action stars like Steven Seagal and Chuck Norris, it’s generally not easy to predict the outcome of fights involving Willis’ characters. Nor does he live off violence alone. Willis is also always granted brilliant dialogue and as such is responsible for some of the best action film one-liners.

Tom cruise

Ethan Hunt on a bungee cord in Mission Impossible.

Speaking of Cruise, LowCarbCracker states that “nobody on the list is anywhere near his level in terms of acting skills” and that “he’s been doing it for over 25 years.” The correct number is 40 since Cruise had his first film role in 1981.

When it comes to longevity, Cruise trumps all the others. Most of the popular action stars have hit the box office for at most 2 decades, but Cruise continues to do so to this day. Also, he has a wider range as an actor because he has appeared in dramatic roles and is also quite a go-getter. Some of the wildest Impossible Mission Stunts have not been topped to this day (and they were all done by the actor himself).

Bruce Lee

Bruce Lee fights with nunchucks in Return Of The Dragon

Although Lee died at the age of 33, he left a lasting legacy. One person who will strongly vouch for ColtLee992 is that the actor’s work deserves applause for “really bringing kung fu and martial arts to Hollywood” and “being a superstar.”

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At a time when most action stars rely on stunt doubles for fight scenes, Lee’s work feels even more special. He is one of the few actors who can boast of being the founder of a martial arts philosophy, Jeet Kune Do. He also deserves credit for campaigning for more roles to be made available to the Asian community while deconstructing the racial stereotypes promoted by Hollywood.

Keanu Reeves

Picture John Wick vs. Miss Perkins

Schnitzel129 picks Reeves because he also started a long time ago and is once again “redefining the action genre […] with the John Wick Series.” Initially falling out of the limelight in the 2000s, Reeves reemerged in the 2010s and became one of the actors making big comebacks.

It’s impossible to argue with the skills of an actor who was recently named the world’s best martial artist Taekwondo Life Magazine. Fans don’t even have to look far to see just how good he is. through the John Wick film series, Reeves revolutionized the genre through the use of techniques such as gun-fu, salat and ninjutsu.

Jason Statham

The image of the van oil battle

Skey91 believes Statham is the quintessential modern-day action star because “he has the look, the attitude and the voice.” The British star has been in the spotlight since the early 2000s.

Though Statham doesn’t have a large physique, there’s never any doubt as to whether or not his characters are going to kick ass. It’s all thanks to his trust. While most action stars prefer to play characters who defeat villains, Statham has portrayed both heroes and villains with ease. He was also very consistent.

Vin Diesel

Dominic Toretto wants to shoot Shaw in The Fate of the Furious

CocoNew thinks Vin Diesel deserves credit because “he can actually act.” And that’s not an empty claim, as Diesel has actually been nominated for over 30 awards in various organizations throughout his career.

Diesel isn’t one to hop around too much and has mostly stuck to it Fast & Furious Franchise and fans wouldn’t wish he was anywhere else. His character, Dominic Toretto, has pretty much everything that audiences would expect from a storyline here. His status as an action star is also bolstered by the fact that he’s also one of the all-time best drivers in the movies (a skill many other action stars can’t boast of).

Sylvester Stallone

Sylvester Stallone firing a machine gun in a still of John Rambo

MovieLuv778 simply writes, “Stallone is pretty cool.” That’s pretty accurate, because the actor’s name pops up whenever people talk about the action movies of the ’80s and ’90s.

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Stallone wasn’t always a critics’ favourite, but fans adore him because his films never lack entertainment value. No matter how bad the script, fans can relax, knowing that Stallone will make up for the poor dialogue and plot with jaw-dropping gunplay and unforgettable slow-motion footage.

Iko Uwais

Iko Uwais aims his gun while leaning against a wall in The Raid.

Redditor akoyaseishu describes Uwais as having “tons of personality,” adding, “He’s amazing in fight scenes.” The actor is best known for playing the protagonist in The raid ffilm series.

Many critics agree that the fight choreography and Uwai’s performance in The raid is hard to top. In both films, Uwais’ character rarely takes a break from breathing villains. And the “personality” part is also correct because the actor never plays mere blanks. His characters are kind, smart, and principled.

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