Excitement on Screen: Top Five Action Movie Directors

Photo Credit: Various
March 10th, 2014

Action movies come in all shapes and sizes, from war to fantasy to science fiction. Within this broad range of action, many directors have stepped up to the plate and consistently produced some of the best action films available. These directors produce summer blockbusters and memorable series. They turn favorite comics and books into brilliant movies that immerse audiences in a new world filled with wonder and entrancing action. Take a look at these great action directors and find the best action movies available.



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James Cameron

James Cameron is one of the best the genre has to offer. He is filmography is long and impressive, but "The Terminator" franchise is one of his first action hits. "The Terminator" was released in 1984 and was an instant sci-fi action classic, and its sequel in 1991 further cemented his place in action movie history.

The one-off 1994 movie "True Lies" is another hit action movie he directed, pitting Arnold Schwarzenegger against terrorists and a suspicious wife in the action-packed flick. More recently, Cameron stunned the world with the visually impressive film "Avatar," which earned over $77 million during its first weekend in theaters. This prolific director is sure to stay at the top of the action game as he continues to put out more action films, such as sequels to "Avatar."



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Steven Spielberg

In 1975, Spielberg dived into the action scene with the scary action hit "Jaws." His filmography is filled with a huge range of genres he is remembered for, but his action movies put him at the top of the action directors list. His classic series "Indiana Jones" includes multiple action favorites that include a bit of mysticism and magic, as well.

1991's "Hook" is a great example of his versatility, and the return to the world of Peter Pan takes advantage of the action history of the story, as well as the comic themes typically included. "Jurassic Park" also shows great flexibility as a science-fiction hit that brings deadly dinosaurs back to life. He is also quite capable of realistic action, as seen in "Saving Private Ryan."



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George Lucas

Lucas has worked with Spielberg on a number of films, such as the "Indiana Jones" series and "Hook," but is best known for his work in his capstone project, "Star Wars." He directed the original film, "Star Wars IV: A New Hope," wrote the following sequels, then returned to directing with the trilogy of prequels released between 1999 and 2005.

His science-fiction world of "Star Wars" is filled with multiple new races, worlds and, most importantly, weapons and fighting styles. The fight scenes in these movies are rife with acrobatics and futuristic weaponry, including the blaster and the famous light saber. The two main weapons satisfy both the urge for epic gun battles and awesome sword fights.



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Michael Bay

"Pearl Harbor" and the "Transformers" films are Michael Bay's crown jewels in terms of action films. Although he is commonly teased among movie fanatics for the frequency of explosions in his movies, he nonetheless hits all the right notes for a blockbuster action flick. 2001's "Pearl Harbor" was a realistic action film that focused on World War II and the attack on Hawaii by the Japanese, but in "Transformers" he takes a different turn.

"Transformers" is based off of a set of classic cartoon superheroes that are robots who transform from their human-like form into various electronic devices, such as cars and radios. The action sequences in these films are huge and over-the-top due to the sheer size of the heroes and villains. Of course, no action lover is going to complain about the destruction of a few bridges when giant robots are fighting through the streets.


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Peter Jackson

Peter Jackson takes action to the fantastical land of Middle Earth in his most famous achievement, which is his "The Lord of the Rings" series. He filmed the three movies of the trilogy all at once, a huge undertaking that resulted in one of the best fantasy adaptations around. The movies include small, one-on-one fights, small-scale battles and skirmishes, and huge battles involving thousands of individuals.

Other films that keep Jackson in line with the other action greats are "The Hobbit," which continues in the world of "The Lord of the Rings" with a prequel storyline and multiple movies, and "King Kong." "King Kong" is a traditional supermonster film that retells the classic story of a captured great ape released upon New York City.

These directors are wonderful choices for anyone interested in watching some of the best action movies available. These men push the envelope and toe the line of what makes an action movie great or a flop, and their successes outweigh their failures, making them the best around.