10 Best Action Movies Starring James Bond Actors

From Goldfinger to GoldenEye to The Man with the Golden Gun, the classics of the James Bond franchise rank among the most iconic action movies ever made. Once an actor has appeared in a Bond movie, either as 007 himself or as one of his villains or love interests, Hollywood views them as an action star and tends to cast them in other action-oriented roles.

The cast of the Bond franchise has starred in many non-Bond action movie classics. Sean Connery played Indiana Jones’ dad, Halle Berry played weather-altering X-Man Storm, and Christoph Waltz played a dentist-turned-bounty hunter in Quentin Tarantino’s Django Unchained.


10/10 The Rock (1996) – Starring Sean Connery

Nicolas Cage and Sean Connery in The Rock

Dubbed “Die Hard on Alcatraz Island,” The Rock is one of the most rollicking, explosive action-adventures of Michael Bay’s career. Two mismatched action heroes infiltrate Alcatraz to stop a terrorist plot to attack San Francisco with a bioweapon.

The original James Bond, Sean Connery, stars as SAS Captain John Mason, who is basically “Old Man Bond” with a different name. Connery is perfectly paired with an early-career Nicolas Cage and his quirky deadpan line deliveries in the role of the FBI’s top chemical weapons specialist, Dr. Stanley Goodspeed.

9/10 X2 (2003) – Starring Halle Berry

Halle Berry as Storm in X2

In addition to playing one of the most memorable “Bond girls” with her badass turn as Jinx Johnson in Die Another Day, Halle Berry helped to make comic book movie history with her portrayal of iconic Marvel mutant Storm in the groundbreaking X-Men franchise.

Of the many great X-Men movies that Berry starred in (and a couple of not-so-great ones), 2003’s action-packed gem X2 is arguably the greatest. X2 created the template for superhero team-up movies.

8/10 The Cannonball Run (1981) – Starring Roger Moore

Roger Moore fights a biker in The Cannonball Run

In between Bond films, Roger Moore appeared amongst the star-studded ensemble cast of stuntman-turned-filmmaker Hal Needham’s farcical car chase comedy The Cannonball Run. Moore played the self-parodying role of Seymour Goldfarb alongside such fellow screen icons as Burt Reynolds, Jackie Chan, Dom DeLuise, Farrah Fawcett, and Dean Martin.

The oft-homaged plot involves a cross-country outlaw road race. Critics didn’t take to the film’s wacky sense of humor, but it was a huge hit with audiences.

7/10 Ronin (1998) – Starring Sean Bean & Jonathan Pryce

The crew assembled in Ronin

Bond fans get two actors for the price of one in the ensemble cast of John Frankenheimer’s classic crime thriller Ronin, and they both played villains opposite Pierce Brosnan. Sean Bean, better known as Alec Trevelyan, plays an ex-SAS firearms specialist, while Jonathan Pryce, better known as Elliot Carver, plays a rogue operative.

Ronin has some of the most thrilling car chase sequences ever put on film, and its gritty realism and minimalist MacGuffin-driven storytelling hark back to the French crime films of Jean-Pierre Melville.

6/10 Guardians Of The Galaxy (2014) – Starring Dave Bautista

Drax is processed at the Kyln in Guardians of the Galaxy

A year before he played Mr. Hinx, the most formidable and memorable henchman from the Daniel Craig era of the Bond series, wrestler-turned-actor Dave Bautista first earned his movie star stripes with his nuanced, captivating performance as Drax the Destroyer in James Gunn’s Guardians of the Galaxy.

The first Guardians movie struck the perfect balance between lighthearted humor, moving character drama, and action-packed spectacle.

5/10 Escape From New York (1981) – Starring Donald Pleasence

Donald Pleasance as the US President on Air Force One in Escape from New York

Over the years, a bunch of different actors have taken on the role of Bond’s nemesis, Ernst Stavro Blofeld. But Donald Pleasence’s portrayal of the character opposite Sean Connery’s 007 is arguably still the most iconic. After his tenure in the Bond franchise, Pleasance became a regular collaborator of John Carpenter’s.

In Carpenter’s dystopian sci-fi actioner Escape from New York, Pleasance plays U.S. President John Harker, whose plane is shot down over a futuristic Manhattan that’s been rebuilt as a maximum-security prison for America’s most dangerous criminals. Kurt Russell’s eyepatch-clad antihero Snake Plissken is sent in to save him in exchange for a reduced sentence.

4/10 Hot Fuzz (2007) – Starring Timothy Dalton

Timothy Dalton as Simon Skinner smiling in Hot Fuzz

The second installment of Edgar Wright’s genre-homaging “Three Flavors Cornetto Trilogy,” Hot Fuzz, tackled the “buddy cop” genre in hysterical fashion. Simon Pegg and Nick Frost, perfectly matched as always, star as a big-city cop and a small-town cop who team up to take down a ruthless band of killers in a sleepy English village.

Timothy Dalton, famous for his dark and brooding portrayal of 007, gives a hilarious supporting turn as the suspicious supermarket manager Simon Skinner.

3/10 Django Unchained (2012) – Starring Christoph Waltz

Jamie Foxx and Christoph Waltz on a hill in Django Unchained

Before Christoph Waltz was cast to play Blofeld opposite Daniel Craig’s Bond, the two-time Oscar winner was first introduced to worldwide audiences with his back-to-back performances in Quentin Tarantino movies. After winning his first Academy Award for playing the sinister S.S. Col. Hans Landa in Inglourious Basterds, Waltz won his second one for playing the much more likable role of dentist-turned-bounty hunter Dr. King Schultz in Django Unchained.

Tarantino’s first foray into the spaghetti western genre, Django Unchained stars Jamie Foxx as an ex-slave that Dr. Schultz takes under his wing and trains in the trade of killing.

2/10 Midnight Run (1988) – Starring Yaphet Kotto

Yaphet Kotto and Robert De Niro in Midnight Run

15 years after being inflated like a balloon with a gas bullet in the final battle of Live and Let Die, Yaphet Kotto starred alongside Robert De Niro and Charles Grodin in the pitch-perfect action comedy Midnight Run. The tale of a mismatched duo being chased across the United States by the feds, the mob, and a legion of hired killers provides the ultimate combination of hysterical laughs and visceral thrills.

Kotto gives a hilariously deadpan turn as Alonzo Mosely, the FBI agent that De Niro’s bounty hunter impersonates in his quest to get Grodin’s mafia accountant across the country in time to collect a $100,000 reward.

1/10 Indiana Jones And The Last Crusade (1989) – Starring Sean Connery

Harrison Ford and Sean Connery in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade

Steven Spielberg always envisioned Indiana Jones as American cinema’s answer to the James Bond franchise. So, when George Lucas introduced Indy’s father in The Last Crusade, it was a no-brainer to cast the original 007, Sean Connery.

Connery shares authentic father-son chemistry with Harrison Ford as the Jones boys bicker their way across Nazi-occupied Europe in a quest to find the Holy Grail.

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