The 25 Greatest Action Stars of All-Time!

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Lionsgate/Dimension Films/20th Century Fox/MGM/20th Century Fox

Regardless of what you thought of the first 'Expendables' film, or how high or low you’ve set your expectation levels for its sequel, it really cannot be denied that 'The Expendables 3' truly has assembled a cast of Earth’s mightiest heroes. In celebration of this bounty of testosterone, we felt now was the time to assemble a list of the greatest action movie stars of all-time.

We fed a complex algorithm through our Etch-a-Sketch-O-Meter, and then backed up the findings with our Hungry-Hungry-Hippo-Gram to bring you this definitive list. Compiling a list like this requires some guidelines to be valid, so here are a few of our criterion for the actors/actresses on the list (you know, for the algorithm).

  • Actor is unquestionably badass.
  • Actor should be the lead or main supporting character of at least four or five films that are clearly defined as action films.
  • Actor most likely hails from the generations where “action” cinema was formed, primarily from the 1970s to today. (Our Hippo-Gram wasn’t around in the earliest days of cinematic badassery.)
  • No one will be penalized for having a “serious” reputation outside of his or her action film repertoire.

Ed Travis has been a film critic for nine years and currently is the Editor-in-Chief for Action Fest, a yearly celebration of the artistry of explosions, the glory of gun-battles and the brilliant ballet of martial arts on film.

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