The new millennium and the year 2000, brought with it new energy and some much-needed changes to the style of filmmaking. Whether it be the high-definition picturizing of the movies or the improvisational camera use, the decade or so after the year 2000 has been a revolutionizing one for Hollywood. It gave way to diverse storylines and unconventional plots with movies like Into the Wild, Zodiac, and, of course, The Dark Knight breaking the glass ceiling.
The action genre too, has been redefined to something which goes beyond the usual gunslinging and bullet showering to something which surpasses all expectations of the audience. These movies turn themselves into a bloodbath or a serene butchering depending on the mood. In the celebration of that new era, we bring to you the list of top action movies of the 2000s. You can watch several of these best 2000s action movies on Netflix, Hulu or Amazon Prime.
15. Blood and Bone (2009)
Isaiah Bone is an ex-convict trained in all of the deadly fighting styles of the world including Muay Thai, Krav Maga, Shotokan, Taekwondo, and Kobudo. On a revenge mission to get justice for his friend wronged by a wannabe mafia thug, Bone goes out and challenges best fighters of Los Angeles’ underground fighting. By defeating all the supposed best fighters of the world and walking away with the title, he liberates his friend’s wife from the sewers and brings back some semblance of peace in the neighborhood.
14. Casino Royale (2006)
The latest James Bond enters the Bond franchise with a third cinematic adaptation of Ian Fleming’s novel of the same name. Casino Royale follows 007, the fiercest of secret agents in the world, on a trip through the streets of Uganda, Madagascar and then Montenegro. To find out what precisely the banker slash terrorist Le Chiffre and his goon partners are up to, Bond must participate in a high stakes poker game and win. However, the catch lies in the fact that Bond has fallen in love with his supposed partner Vesper Lynd. At the same time, it is highly probable that winning the game and apprehending Le Chiffre may end up in Bond and Vesper’s death. Will 007 be able to survive his first mission?
13. Taken (2008)
How far can a father go to rescue his daughter? Bryan Mills (Liam Neeson) is an ex-military man with a special set of skills. He can kill anyone and anything that moves. Sadly for the perpetrators, his daughter is kidnapped by an East European gang which specializes in girl trafficking. Intent on bringing his baby girl back to her mother, Bryan wreaks havoc on entire Paris and a better part of Europe.
12. Live Free or Die Hard (2007)
The famous Police detective with a death wish, John Mcclane (Bruce Willis) inadvertently ends up in another save-the-world scenario, even when he wants nothing to do with the world. After getting stuck in shielding a young hacker who might have been involved in creating a Fire Sale -a strategy to halt all US government utilities to a standstill- John realizes he must confront the reality and stop whoever is behind this conspiracy. Die Hard series is popular for the gun battles and violence it depicts, and the fourth installment is yet another reminder that Bruce Willis is one of the best action heroes alive.
11. The Transporter (2002)
Frank Martin (Jason Statham) is a simple man who prefers to live in his home, cook his own food and not create any fuss. Also, he is a ruthless and merciless mercenary who the worst of the worst criminals can hire to transport any goods they deem too dangerous to be sent alone. However, Frank has some rules which he never breaks and doesn’t allow anyone else to break. One of them is never to open the package. Frank’s problems start when he breaks his own rules and opens the package entrusted upon him, to reveal a beautiful girl. Will the Transporter be able to unravel the web of conspiracy weaved against him and emerge alive at the end of it all?
Read More: Best Action Movies of 2017
10. Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon (2000)
A love story of epic proportions, this movie is the story of Master Li Mu Bai who is a great warrior of the 18th Century Qing dynasty. One day he decides to entrust his mysterious and powerful sword Green Destiny to a close friend of his. However, to his dismay, the sword is stolen by a young warrior and at the same time, his master is killed by the evil master Jade Fox. In a quest to retrieve his sword and avenge his loving master, watch as Li fights unbelievable battles on treetops, waterfalls, and air to get the justice he deserves. A famous action and fantasy movie this is Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon.
9. Mission Impossible III (2006)
Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise) is back with his death-defying stunts and unbelievable luck. On an assignment to extract a dangerous nuclear weapon called the Rabbit’s Foot, Ethan inadvertently pisses off an international terrorist named Davian (Phillip Seymour Hoffman). Davian vows revenge after escaping with help from the agency’s unknown mole. He turns back and rains hell on the supposedly tough agent. Hunt’s mission is going to become a whole lot impossible with a psycho bent on destroying him and his family. Watch as one of the strongest field agents of IMF is broken to his core and then killed brutally.
8. Mr. and Mrs. Smith (2005)
John Smith and Jane Smith are a beautiful couple who fell head over heels when they met on holiday in Paris. Little do they know that each of them is an assassin for two clandestine corporations, who secretly work against each other as competitors. When the bosses of these entities come to know that their best assets are living under the same roof as husband and wife, they announce a hit on their head. Unaware of these developments, when the couple accidentally identifies each other on a job they become thirsty for each other’s blood. With the couple bent on killing each other will they see in time the impending danger against their life? A movie filled to the brim with action, thrill, and bullets raining down the street this is Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie’s Mr. and Mrs. Smith.
7. Iron Man (2008)
The prince of action and sarcastic comedy is here. After getting stranded in a desert with terrorists who are forcing him to build weapons of mass destruction, the genius billionaire Tony Stark instead creates the most dangerous weapon world has ever seen: an Ironman suit. Full of machine guns, grenades, missiles, thrusters, and all good things, the Iron Man suit is not only able to take Tony out of his captivity but also neutralize all kinds of threats around the planet. What will Tony do when he is attacked from inside and what takes him down is a fault in his own castle? The first movie of the Marvel Cinematic Universe is a bundle of joy for those interested in superhero action.
6. IP Man (2008)
Everyone knows Bruce Lee, but few know the brilliant master who was behind all his success. Based on the true story of Bruce Lee’s calm yet ferocious teacher IP Man, this movie is full of some breathtaking and entertaining action from Donnie Yen. The film traces the origins of IP Man and how he developed a fighting style of his own which although looks quite feminine is as effective as any other, if not more. Arriving in a new city, IP Man is challenged by every local master of whom he defeats all. This is undoubtedly one of the best Chinese action films ever produced.
Read More: 1980s Action Movies
5. 300 (2006)
A goldmine of action with swords swinging and shields clashing in each breathtaking scene, this is the story of the famous Battle of Thermopylae. It’s 479 BC, and the Spartans have rebelled against the oppression of Xerxes and his vast Persian army. The Persians after conquering half of Asia ar marching beyond Hellespont into Ancient Greece, under the leadership of Xerxes the Great. The Spartan King Leonidas (Gerard Butler) decline Persians’ offer to surrender by killing their emissaries. Now the Persian army has attacked with its full force on the small nation of Sparta. Due to ugly politics and superstitions, the brave king of Sparta is not allowed to attack the Persian army with his full soldier strength. Bent on teaching Xerxes a lesson or two in the battlefield, Leonidas marches towards a million Persians with only 300 of his loyal soldiers. This is the story of those 300 soldiers who smiled in the face of death.
4. Kill Bill (2003)
A movie divided into two parts, Kill Bill, is a result of Quentin Tarantino’s genius. Famous for his perplexing slasher movies, Tarantino let himself go with this one and created something which is considered a cult favorite when it comes to the action and martial arts genre. Fed up with her life of an assassin, Beatrix Kiddo aka the Bride (Uma Thurman) tries to give her unborn child a better life away from all the violence. However, her lover Bill and the leader of the deadly assassins she works for, finds her and kills everybody including her daughter. Surviving the rain of bullets Beatrix trains hard, and one by one kills all the members of Bill’s goon squad to exact revenge for her dead child.
3. Gladiator (2000)
Maximus (Russell Crowe) is a servant of the Roman empire fiercely loyal to the emperor Marcus Aurelius. Due to him being one of the favored generals of the emperor, the emperor’s son Commodus to seize power kills his father and pins the blame on Maximus. Hunted to his death by the Roman army, Maximus is forced to live in hiding and become a gladiator to stay alive. Fighting in the darkest corners of the empire, Maximus proves his penchant for killing people brutally at the tip of his sword and returns to the capital to serve a swift justice to the perpetrators.
2. The Dark Knight (2008)
One of the best movies of the century, ‘The Dark Knight’ is a masterpiece created by Christopher Nolan. Joker, a murdering psychopath who is ahead of the curve, has turned his sights to Gotham in an effort to teach the people of Gotham a lesson. Before he turns the white knight of Gotham into a psychotic criminal, Batman must decide whether he needs to keep his reputation as a superhero, or whether he wants to take all blame to keep the faith of Gotham in good intact. A dense plot filled with marvelous acting and violence, it goes without saying that this is a must 2000s see.
1. Bourne Series (2002, 2004, 2007)
Jason Bourne is a man who can handle a gun the way no one can, can speak many international languages, and displays advanced combat abilities. In short, he has every quality you would want in a secret agent or a spy. The only catch? He has no memory whatsoever of who he is or where does he come from. To unravel the secrets of his part and to find out how he came to be the way he is, Jason Bourne inadvertently challenges a clandestine super-soldier program of the U.S. government called Treadstone. When the layers of deceit are peeled it turns out several such programs are running which have the motive of turning an ordinary man into a weapon capable of toppling regimes. Will Jason Bourne be able to find out the truth about his past?
Read More: Best Action Movies of 2016