"These are the action movies whose influence can be seen in the films that followed. They spawned franchises, pushed back against time, defined and even expanded the genre. These are the badass movies that make audiences feel cooler from having seen them. In the interest of keeping the Essential Movies as tight and pure as possible, we excluded the genres of war, sports, Western, and samurai. Otherwise, a movie's Tomatometer score was not a factor, so long as the plot was kicked forward in a hail of bullets, car chases, fist fights, and martial arts wizardry.
Now, it's time to pound faces and popcorn, with the 140 Essential Action Movies to watch now!"