PopZette

Four Action Movies Every American Needs to See

Never mind the great stories they tell — the great actors who starred displayed rugged individualism and unrelenting courage

A great action movie can be as American as baseball and apple pie. Some of the finest movies of the genre follow an individual who goes up against a group or a power structure connected to authoritarianism and violence.

The idea of one man or woman taking a stand and stopping what he or she sees as the atrocities of society is about as American as it gets.

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Here’s a look at four action movies every American should take the time to watch. (And if you feel we’ve missed any, email us at [email protected] with your recommendations!)

1.) “Die Hard,” 1988. John McClane is the perfect American hero. He’s flawed, politically incorrect, and agitated by authority, but he never leaves a job unfinished or an innocent person at risk.

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“Die Hard” remains one of the best action films of all time, not just because of its impressive set pieces, stunt work, and lack of computer-generated imagery (CGI) — but because of the performance of Bruce Willis as New York City detective John McClane. An actor originally from New Jersey, Willis brought an attitude and a toughness to the character that made him believable and charming.

He’d always do the right thing, but he’d be sure to curse the whole time through and complain about why he was there in the first place — and that’s what any average Joe would do. He wasn’t the hero because he wanted to be; he saved the day because there wasn’t anyone else around to do it. What’s more American than that?

It may have been released in 1988, but no action film since has quite topped the lightning in a bottle that was “Die Hard.”

Plenty have tried to mimic the film’s success by taking the same basic concept of “wrong guy in the wrong place at the right time” — but few viewers remember those copycats. Everybody remembers “Die Hard.” (go to page 2 to continue reading) [lz_pagination]

meet the author

PopZette editor Zachary Leeman can be reached at [email protected].