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The 15 Best Action Movies of 2023

From Fast X, to Dungeons and Dragons, and John Wick: Chapter 4, here are the best action movies 2023 had to offer.

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John Wick Chapter 4, Godzilla Minus One, Mission: Impossible Dead Reckoning Part 1

2023 has been a sensational year for movies. From critically acclaimed comedies, dramas and horror movies, to the unforgettable Barbenheimer double bill, we, as cinephiles, have been blessed with one of the best years of film in recent memory. But one genre in particular has been killing it (no pun intended) all year round. Whether its John Wick taking out swarms of bad guys, Ethan Hunt cliff diving onto a movie train, or Godzilla returning to the big screen in one of his best outings ever, few years have delivered a heap of excellent action movies like 2023. So with that in mind here are the best action movies of 2023.

15. Fast X

The latest entry into the increasingly ridiculous, but continuously thrilling Fast and Furious franchise, Fast X is simply a ton of fun. Its action is high octane, and its story is as thin as ever, but as always, its films the cast that help Fast X drift its way onto the list.

While the entire cast have great chemistry – despite some shoddy performances – its Jason Mamoa who effortlessly stole the show. His portrayal of the sociopathic villain Dante is easily one of the most intoxicating performances of the year.

14. Plane

Kicking the year off right was the explosive action movie, Plane, starring Gerald Butler and Mike Colter. Its story is simple, and so is its action, but that doesn’t stop it from being one of the years most entertaining movies. Gerald Butler and Mike Colter were engaging as the two leads, both selling the action with the physicality and their on screen prowess. For those 80s action movie fans out there, Plane is the film for you.

13. The Equalizer 3

Concluding the beloved Equalizer trilogy, The Equalizer 3 is another visceral and captivating entry into the franchise, that reunites Denzel Washington and Dakota Fanning. Robert McCall (Denzel Washington) is as deadly as ever, nonchalantly butchering waves of the Italian Mafia by plunging revolver’s into their eyes, and breaking their bones in ways that shouldn’t even be possible. While it may not be as great as the first, Washington’s badass performance topped with some awesome action sequences make for a great action movie experience.

12. Kill Boksoon

11. Fist of the Condor

Harkening back to classic martial arts movies like Drunken Master, and Fists of Fury, Fist of the Condor is an underrated modern martial arts movie gem. Starring underapreciated martial artist, Marko Zaror – who many will recognise from this years John Wick: Chapter 4 Fist of the Condor is packed with jaw-dropping fight sequences that see’s the martial artist at his best. The story is familiar and a little silly in places, but what classic martial arts movie isn’t. At least by todays standards. Fist of the Condor is the perfect film for all the martial arts movie fans out there.

10. Silent Night

Legendary action movie filmmaker John Woo, returns after a 20 year hiatus with the relentless festive action movie, Silent Night. In true John Woo style, the action is explosive. From the movies numerous shoot outs, exhilarating car chases, and gnarly brawls, audiences will be hurled into a blood-pumping action movie that once again proves why John Woo is a master when it comes to action filmmaking. Joel Kinnaman delivers an enthralling performance, enhancing the impact and authenticity of the action with his impressive physicality.

Deriving its name from the films lack of dialogue – a gimmick that works surprisingly well – Silent Night is an explosive action movie from one of the leading masters in action filmmaking.

Silent Night is now in cinemas, and will begin streaming on Sky December 23rd.

9. The Killer

Not to be confused with the David Fincher action thriller of the same name – which also released the same year – the Korean action movie The Killer is a criminally underrated action film that demands your attention. The Killer mixes the poetic action of John Wick, with a story very similar to the Liam Neeson thriller, Taken, to deliver one of the best action movie experiences of the year. Jang Hyuk is ferocious as the films lead effortlessly tearing through waves of bad guys in some of the years best action sequences.

Whilst it technically released in 2022 in South Korea, the film later hit American, and European screens in early 2023.

8. Extraction 2

The first Extraction movie starring Chris Hemsworth is one of Netflix’s best action movies, and since it dropped on the platform in 2020, audiences have been clambering for a sequel. Thankfully, in 2023 our wish was answered with its outstanding sequel – aptly named – Extraction 2.

The sequel is bigger, better, and bolder than the first, with Chris Hemsworth turning up his performance and physicality to eleven in the films many action sequences. The almost 30 minute long ‘oner’ is a feast for action movie fans which effortlessly flows from a prison riot, to an explosive car chase before culminating into an epic train sequence. Its a brilliant piece of action cinema, and Sam Hargrave – the films director – has proven himself as one of the best modern day action movie directors around.

7. Sisu

Theres nothing more rewarding then seeing Nazi’s getting their arses handed to them. Whether its Indiana Jones punching his way through a plethora of Nazi soldiers, or the Inglorious Bastards gleefully setting a blaze to a theatre full them in the Quentin Tarantino classic. However, no where is it more satisfying than in 2023s Sisu.

Few movies this year top the gloriously gory violence of Sisu, nor does any movie revel in its carnage more than this World War II action epic. Nazi’s get mines thrown at their faces, slaughtered underwater, and get dropped out of the sky strapped to a bomb. Sisu is wild.

6. Polite Society

Oozing with the style and flair of an Edgar Wright film, Polite Society kicks a ton of ass. Not just with its action, but also how the film tackles its heartwarming tale of sisterhood, the importance of never giving up on your childhood dreams, as well as its beautifully poignant representation of South Asian culture.

Deriving a lot from classic martial arts flicks – which is surprisingly important to the narrative – the films action is simply stunning. Its full of effective humour, and the chemistry between the entire cast is deeply infectious.

5. The Three Musketeers Part 1: D’Artangan

As the first of an upcoming trilogy, The Three Musketeers: Part 1: D’Artangan is a jaw-dropping adaptation of the classic novel. Sporting a plethora of expertly crafted one takes, with very fast sword play, audiences will be fully immersed into the films stellar action. But thanks to its cast, D’Artangan similarly excels at being a charming flick, capturing the magic of novel and the Musketeers relationship, and unloading it onto the big screen. D’Artangan is hands down the best Three Musketeers movie ever made. Not forgetting the animated Disnet classic starring Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck and Goofy.

4. Dungeons and Dragons: Honor Among Thieves

Despite being a hilarious action-packed fantasy adventure elevated by a fantastic cast, Dungeons and Dragons: Honor Among Thieves was criminally one of the most underrated movies of the year. Its packed with gut-busting humour – as one might expect from the writer/director behind Game Night – as well as many thrilling action sequences. Some of the best the year had to offer. Chris Pine, Rege-Jean Page, Justice Smith and Sophia Lillis all gave great performances, but it was Michelle Rodriguez who stole the show with her comedic timing, and action hero presence.

3. Godzilla: Minus One

Smashing its way into the tail end of the year (get it?) is the surprising blockbuster hit everyones talking about, Godzilla: Minus One. This Japanese flick – with an impressive budget below $15 million dollars – is the best Godzilla film… perhaps ever. Seperate from Warner Bros. successful Monsterverse franchise, Godzilla: Minus One sports colossal action, stunning CG – especially considering its budget – and human characters, who, unlike the Warner Bros. Monsterverse, aren’t irritating. Its a spectacle that has to be witnessed on the big screen.

Godzilla Minus One is now in cinemas.

2. Mission: Impossible: Dead Reckoning Part One

The Mission: Impossible franchise continues its recent streak of outstanding action movies with Mission: Impossible Dead Reckoning Part 1. The film – much like every entry in the franchise – boasts thrilling action sequences, jaw-dropping stunts, as well as the franchises synonymous blood-pumping score. Hayley Attwell makes a brilliant addition to the cast, enhancing the already brilliant roster of female characters, and Tom Cruise as always impresses with his physicality and stunt work.

1. John Wick Chapter 4

Taking the cake for Coastal House Media’s best action movie of 2023… is John Wick Chapter 4. As the best film in a franchise full of equally phenomenal action movies, John Wick Chapter 4 takes the franchises already stellar action to a whole new level. By throwing in nunchucks, a Dragon Breath shotgun, an endless staircase, and a blind Donnie Yen, John Wick Chapter 4 puts other action movies to shame.

Keanu Reeves is a relentless as ever, with Ian McShane and Laurence Fishburne returning to their beloved roles. Action movie legends Donnie Yen, Scott Adkins, Hiroyuki Sanada, Marko Zuror and Shamier Anderson enhance the already rich assassin underworld of John Wick, and Bill Skaarsgard offers a captivating performance as the films antagonist. This nearly 3 hr movie is a breathtaking action extravaganza, with an emotional finale that beautifully caps of this collection of astonishing action movies.

FILM RATING

Olly Dyche is an accomplished Film, TV, and Video Game Journalist from the UK. As a member of the International Film Society of Critics, the self-appointed professional nerd has earned his place as an established critic, writer, and interviewer.

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Bad Boys: Ride Or Die Review – Smith and Lawrence Deliver Explosive Entertainment.

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Bad Boys: Ride or Die [credit: Sony Pictures Releasing]

Hollywood has been struggling as of late and a lot is riding on the success of the fourth installment of this beloved franchise. The directors Adil and Bilall have had a tough time after their last feature Batgirl was shelved, Sony is looking to move on from the Madame Web debacle and Smith is gearing up for his big comeback after the slap. Hollywood history also tells us that there aren’t a lot of franchises that are able to deliver blockbuster business in their fourth installments.

 

I went into this movie cautiously optimistic with Adil and Bilall returning to direct. They also directed the last entry, which turned out not only the highest-grossing movie in this franchise but also the highest-grossing movie of 2020, which are quite the achievements. This franchise is almost 30 years old now, but these two directors found a way to give it a modern touch while staying loyal to the legacy of these characters. In this entry, they take it up a notch and give us some of the most creative camera work and they never seem to run out of ideas throughout this movie.

Bad Boys: Ride or Die [credit: Sony Pictures Releasing]

The main attraction of these movies has always been the chemistry between Smith and Lawrence. Smith brings the style, and Lawrence brings the charm. As always, they are unreal together on screen and the movie is at its strongest when it is focusing on both of them. I was curious to see if the slap would affect Smith’s screen presence or his comic timing, but he seemed cool for the most part. Although, I did sense a hint of nervousness a couple of times. On the other hand, Martin Lawrence was having a blast.

 

Eric Dane is menacing as our main villain here, which is also thanks to the directors’ presentation of his character. Jacob Scipio is awesome in action sequences, while Alexander Ludwig and Vanessa Hudgens are great together. Rhea Seehorn and Ioan Gruffudd are our other new additions to this entry, but both of them seemed nowhere near their best. It was mostly due to the fact that they were portraying unlikeable, cliche, and predictable characters. But the real MVP here is Reggie. He gets his moment and it is awesome. There are also quite a few cameos which are all well-handled.

Bad Boys: Ride or Die [credit: Sony Pictures Releasing]

BAD BOYS: RIDE OR DIE

The story is easily the weakest part here with not a lot of character development, especially for the supporting cast. The plot is thin and doesn’t have too many layers to it and even the twists mostly fail to surprise. But that doesn’t mean that the adventure that our characters are on isn’t fun. One can clearly see that the focus in the structuring of this movie was to make it as fun as possible. There are also some questionable editing choices, but the pacing of the narrative is really good.

 

Bad Boys: Ride Or Die delivers an explosively entertaining ride in one of the franchise’s best entries. It embraces its outrageousness and gives some wild action sequences. Smith and Lawrence’s chemistry is unreal, while Adil and Bilall bring their A-game. Audiences will eat up this hilarious ride that will surely be one of the best movie-going experiences of the year. A treat for fans of the franchise. Hopefully, we get more of these.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hRFY_Fesa9Q&pp=ygUSYmFkIGJveXMgNCB0cmFpbGVy

FILM RATING
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Bad Boys: Ride or Die | Official Trailer – Sony Pictures Entertainment

Miami’s finest end up on the run.

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Genre:

Action, Adventure, Comedy

Release Date:

2024

Director:

Adil El Arbi, Bilall Fallah

Cast:

Will Smith, Martin Lawrence, Vanessa Hudgens

Plot Summary:

Miami’s finest end up on the run

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Kung Fu Panda 4 Review: Po and Co are Back to Pack Hilarious Punches.

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I’ve seen too many great animation franchises deliver diminishing returns with more and more sequels. To name some recent examples one could include How to Train Your Dragon, Despicable Me, Cars, etc. Kung Fu Panda is another franchise that unfortunately falls in this category. The threequel that released in 2016, was most people’s choice for the weakest entry in the beloved franchise. So that made me pretty skeptical whether the world was ready for this franchise to return and gave us good cause not to have expectations set too high, especially given the weak marketing campaign and smaller production budget. To make things worse, it was being reported that the furious five would not be a part of the story.

So I went in with my expectations in check but I was pleasantly surprised. It’s been 8 years since the last Kung Fu Panda movie, but the characters are somehow still fresh and fun. One of the best things that the makers are able to do is remind the viewers what makes Po such a darling and why we love him so much. Jack Black is such a natural fit for his voice and makes this character special with his wit and wisdom in this latest entry. 

This entry is notably structured in a very different way from the other 3 entries. This one focuses on Po’s search for a successor and his ascension to the Master of Peace. The main characters are split up pretty early in the movie and are sent on separate adventures in a sort of buddy-cop-style scenario. On one side we have Po and Awkwafina’s Zhen, and on the other, we have Bryan Cranston and James Hong as Po’s dads. These two duos are a lot of fun in their own ways.

(from left) Po (Jack Black) and Zhen (Awkwafina) in Kung Fu Panda 4 directed by Mike Mitchell.

Po and Xen have more of a good boy-bad boy dynamic, while the dads have more of a light-hearted brotherhood between them. Both pairs of misfits deliver a string of humorously entertaining sequences that will have you laughing your heart out. The humor here works for most parts apart from one or two instances and the dialogue in particular is very smartly written. The story, on the other hand, is where the movie is at its weakest.

The structuring is pretty generic with a very cliche twist at the beginning of the second half and the script mostly fails to provide significantly fresh plot points. But credit to it for executing the successor plotline better than a lot of movies that have tried it, especially Cars 3. The writers make sure to put their entire focus on humor and entertainment value, but they do come up with a couple of charming moments and some subplots that come full circle.

The animation here is surprisingly really good, especially given the significantly lower budget. The trailers didn’t get too many people encouraged about the quality of animation, but I can tell you that even though it’s not DreamWorks’ best, it’s still really well done. The background score also hits the right spot where it’s able to compliment the scene and lift it at the same time. The voice work here is also pretty solid. Jack Black is amazing as always and Awkwafina Ke Huy Quan are welcome additions.

(Center) Chameleon (Viola Davis) in Kung Fu Panda 4 directed by Mike Mitchell.

Apart from Po, the best part of the movie is Li and Ping. They are the heart of this movie. The two of them have incredible chemistry and Mike Mitchell finds a way to bring out the best from the both of them. They play off of each other in the most silly, but whimsical manner which is just a joy to watch. We could do with a spin-off of them. Ian McShane’s return as Tai Lung is another highlight here. He is nicely integrated and fits well into the story being told. On the other hand, Viola Davis’ Chameleon is somewhat of a disappointment. For a villain that has the powers of all the previous villains, she was a rather tame antagonist.

Overall, Kung Fu Panda 4 is a return to form for the beloved franchise. It has a lot of elements that made the franchise successful and is a much-needed reminder of how much we love these characters and in particular, Po. Jack Black knocks it out of the park with Bryan Cranston and James Hong emerging as surprise standouts. It lacks the emotional depth of the first two entries and has a disappointingly tame villain. But it is a major improvement from the last entry and unsurprisingly very very entertaining.

Kung Fu Panda 4 releases in cinemas on March 8.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_inKs4eeHiI&pp=ygUXa3VuZyBmdSBwYW5kYSA0IHRyYWlsZXI%3D

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