Great Adventure Movies / The Best Adventure Movies

by jefaud | created - 22 Jun 2011 | updated - 6 days ago | Public

Adventure and Action movies often get lumped together as one genre. This is a list of Adventure movies that I have assembled. I really love some of them. Others are not so good. I add new ones as I remember them or find them. You won't find many sci-fi / fantasy movies on this list. (including LOTR, Harry Potter, Princess Bride etc...) I was really going for the whole Indiana Jones type genre.

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1. Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981)

PG | 115 min | Action, Adventure

85 Metascore

In 1936, archaeologist and adventurer Indiana Jones is hired by the U.S. government to find the Ark of the Covenant before Adolf Hitler's Nazis can obtain its awesome powers.

Director: Steven Spielberg | Stars: Harrison Ford, Karen Allen, Paul Freeman, John Rhys-Davies

Votes: 821,791 | Gross: $248.16M

The standard of all adventure movies.

2. Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom (1984)

PG | 118 min | Action, Adventure

57 Metascore

In 1935, Indiana Jones arrives in India, still part of the British Empire, and is asked to find a mystical stone. He then stumbles upon a secret cult committing enslavement and human sacrifices in the catacombs of an ancient palace.

Director: Steven Spielberg | Stars: Harrison Ford, Kate Capshaw, Jonathan Ke Quan, Amrish Puri

Votes: 410,645 | Gross: $179.87M

My son loves Short Round more than Indy.

3. Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (1989)

PG-13 | 127 min | Action, Adventure

65 Metascore

In 1938, after his father Professor Henry Jones, Sr. goes missing while pursuing the Holy Grail, Professor Henry "Indiana" Jones, Jr. finds himself up against Adolf Hitler's Nazis again to stop them from obtaining its powers.

Director: Steven Spielberg | Stars: Harrison Ford, Sean Connery, Alison Doody, Denholm Elliott

Votes: 641,161 | Gross: $197.17M

Probably the second best of the quadrilogy.

4. Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull (2008)

PG-13 | 122 min | Action, Adventure

65 Metascore

In 1957, archaeologist and adventurer Dr. Henry "Indiana" Jones, Jr. (Harrison Ford) is called back into action and becomes entangled in a Soviet plot to uncover the secret behind mysterious artifacts known as the Crystal Skulls.

Director: Steven Spielberg | Stars: Harrison Ford, Cate Blanchett, Shia LaBeouf, Karen Allen

Votes: 396,633 | Gross: $317.10M

Let's go for more adventures, Indy! Now that Disney owns this franchise, we'll probably be seeing more.

5. Untitled Indiana Jones Project (2021)

Action, Adventure | Announced

The plot is said to be based on one of the other books in the series.

Director: Steven Spielberg | Star: Harrison Ford

I've been waiting for this for a while.

6. The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles (1992–1993)

TV-G | 45 min | Action, Adventure, Family

The adventures of the archaeological treasure hunter in his youth as related by an elderly Indiana Jones.

Stars: Sean Patrick Flanery, George Hall, Corey Carrier, Ronny Coutteure

Votes: 6,637

I've been working my way through this series for over a year. The special features are like an education in history.

7. Romancing the Stone (1984)

PG | 106 min | Action, Adventure, Comedy

63 Metascore

A mousy romance novelist sets off for Colombia to ransom her kidnapped sister, and soon finds herself in the middle of a dangerous adventure hunting for treasure with a mercenary rogue.

Director: Robert Zemeckis | Stars: Michael Douglas, Kathleen Turner, Danny DeVito, Zack Norman

Votes: 76,455 | Gross: $76.57M

South American Adventure plus great chemistry between the sexes.

8. The Jewel of the Nile (1985)

PG | 106 min | Action, Adventure, Comedy

When Joan Wilder is abducted while on a trip along the Nile, her boyfriend, Jack Colton, and pal Ralph rush to rescue her and retrieve a fabled jewel.

Director: Lewis Teague | Stars: Michael Douglas, Kathleen Turner, Danny DeVito, Spyros Fokas

Votes: 46,985 | Gross: $75.97M

As much as I loved the original...maybe, just maybe...this one shouldn't have been made.

9. Sahara (2005)

PG-13 | 124 min | Action, Comedy, Thriller

41 Metascore

Master explorer Dirk Pitt goes on the adventure of a lifetime of seeking out a lost Civil War battleship known as the "Ship of Death" in the deserts of West Africa while helping a WHO doctor being hounded by a ruthless dictator.

Director: Breck Eisner | Stars: Matthew McConaughey, Penélope Cruz, Steve Zahn, Jude Akuwudike

Votes: 87,307 | Gross: $68.67M

Are they ever going to make a sequel for this great adventure movie? The author of these books needs to get over himself and allow some sequels for this fun movie.

10. Crocodile Dundee (1986)

PG-13 | 97 min | Adventure, Comedy

62 Metascore

An American reporter goes to the Australian outback to meet an eccentric crocodile poacher and invites him to New York City.

Director: Peter Faiman | Stars: Paul Hogan, Linda Kozlowski, John Meillon, David Gulpilil

Votes: 86,213 | Gross: $174.64M

Down under adventures. This one is more of a romantic comedy.

11. Crocodile Dundee II (1988)

PG | 108 min | Action, Adventure, Comedy

41 Metascore

Australian outback expert protects his New York love from gangsters who've followed her down under.

Director: John Cornell | Stars: Paul Hogan, Linda Kozlowski, John Meillon, Ernie Dingo

Votes: 50,379 | Gross: $109.31M

Now that's a knife! This is the one that has the most adventure.

12. Crocodile Dundee in Los Angeles (2001)

PG | 92 min | Adventure, Comedy, Crime

37 Metascore

Australian Outback adventurer Mick "Crocodile" Dundee travels to Los Angeles with his young son while his longtime companion suspects foul play at a movie studio.

Director: Simon Wincer | Stars: Paul Hogan, Linda Kozlowski, Jere Burns, Jonathan Banks

Votes: 22,411 | Gross: $25.64M

"Na, I left me knife at home. I just have me pocket knife." This one is pretty much just a straight up attempt at 'fish out of water' comedy.

13. National Treasure (2004)

PG | 131 min | Action, Adventure, Mystery

39 Metascore

A historian races to find the legendary Templar Treasure before a team of mercenaries.

Director: Jon Turteltaub | Stars: Nicolas Cage, Diane Kruger, Justin Bartha, Sean Bean

Votes: 286,980 | Gross: $173.01M

Revising American history adventure.

14. National Treasure: Book of Secrets (2007)

PG | 124 min | Action, Adventure, Mystery

48 Metascore

Benjamin Gates must follow a clue left in John Wilkes Booth's diary to prove his ancestor's innocence in the assassination of Abraham Lincoln.

Director: Jon Turteltaub | Stars: Nicolas Cage, Diane Kruger, Justin Bartha, Jon Voight

Votes: 206,665 | Gross: $219.96M

Number 3 is on the way.

15. The Goonies (1985)

PG | 114 min | Adventure, Comedy, Family

62 Metascore

A group of young misfits who call themselves The Goonies discover an ancient map and set out on a quest to find a legendary pirate's long-lost treasure.

Director: Richard Donner | Stars: Sean Astin, Josh Brolin, Jeff Cohen, Corey Feldman

Votes: 220,345 | Gross: $61.50M

Cussing Kids adventure. I love this movie, but shame on Richard Donner for requiring these children to swear. This movie would be sooo much better without the cursing youngsters.

16. Lara Croft: Tomb Raider (2001)

PG-13 | 100 min | Action, Adventure, Fantasy

33 Metascore

Video game adventurer Lara Croft comes to life in a movie where she races against time and villains to recover powerful ancient artifacts.

Director: Simon West | Stars: Angelina Jolie, Jon Voight, Iain Glen, Noah Taylor

Votes: 186,972 | Gross: $131.14M

Angelina did a pretty good job.

17. Lara Croft Tomb Raider: The Cradle of Life (2003)

PG-13 | 117 min | Action, Adventure, Fantasy

43 Metascore

Adventurer Lara Croft goes on a quest to save the mythical Pandora's Box, before an evil scientist finds it, and recruits a former Marine turned mercenary to assist her.

Director: Jan de Bont | Stars: Angelina Jolie, Gerard Butler, Chris Barrie, Ciarán Hinds

Votes: 122,907 | Gross: $65.66M

Another sequel gone wrong. Olivia Wilde in talks to do the next one.

18. The Librarian: Quest for the Spear (2004 TV Movie)

Not Rated | 92 min | Action, Adventure, Comedy

A bookworm becomes the librarian. Same night a magical spear gets stolen and he's off to get some real life experience around the globe on his quest for the spear - starting with being thrown off a plane over Amazonas by his cute helper.

Director: Peter Winther | Stars: Noah Wyle, Sonya Walger, Bob Newhart, Kyle MacLachlan

Votes: 17,199

One of the funnest made for TV movies plus two sequels. Very similar to National Treasure. Very cheezy special effects.

19. The Librarian: Return to King Solomon's Mines (2006 TV Movie)

TV-PG | 92 min | Action, Adventure, Comedy

Librarian-turned-adventurer Flynn Carsen endeavors to find King Solomon's mines.

Director: Jonathan Frakes | Stars: Noah Wyle, Gabrielle Anwar, Bob Newhart, Jane Curtin

Votes: 12,382

Love these made for TV movies!

20. The Librarian III: The Curse of the Judas Chalice (2008 TV Movie)

TV-PG | 90 min | Action, Adventure, Comedy

Losing his girlfriend because he was at an auction dramatically getting the magical philosopher's stone instead of a date, he needs a vacation - New Orleans but finds himself busy saving Earth from the curse of the Judas chalice/vampires.

Director: Jonathan Frakes | Stars: Noah Wyle, Bruce Davison, Stana Katic, Bob Newhart

Votes: 11,412

This one is also a favorite.

21. King Solomon's Mines (1985)

PG-13 | 100 min | Action, Adventure, Comedy

Fortune hunter Allan Quatermain teams up with a resourceful woman to help her find her missing father lost in the wilds of 1900s Africa while being pursued by hostile tribes and a rival German explorer.

Director: J. Lee Thompson | Stars: Richard Chamberlain, Sharon Stone, Herbert Lom, John Rhys-Davies

Votes: 11,586 | Gross: $15.06M

Cheezy "Indiana Jonesish" adventure.

22. Allan Quatermain and the Lost City of Gold (1986)

PG | 99 min | Action, Adventure, Comedy

Allan Quatermain once again teams up with Jesse Huston where the discovery of a mysterious old gold piece sends Quatermain looking for his long-lost brother, missing in the wilds of Africa after seeking a lost white race.

Director: Gary Nelson | Stars: Richard Chamberlain, Sharon Stone, James Earl Jones, Henry Silva

Votes: 8,239 | Gross: $3.75M

Pretty obvious rip off of Indiana Jones.

23. Jurassic Park (1993)

PG-13 | 127 min | Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi

68 Metascore

During a preview tour, a theme park suffers a major power breakdown that allows its cloned dinosaur exhibits to run amok.

Director: Steven Spielberg | Stars: Sam Neill, Laura Dern, Jeff Goldblum, Richard Attenborough

Votes: 791,920 | Gross: $402.45M

Prehistoric adventure.

24. The Lost World: Jurassic Park (1997)

PG-13 | 129 min | Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi

59 Metascore

A research team is sent to the Jurassic Park Site B island to study the dinosaurs there, while an InGen team approaches with another agenda.

Director: Steven Spielberg | Stars: Jeff Goldblum, Julianne Moore, Pete Postlethwaite, Vince Vaughn

Votes: 349,499 | Gross: $229.09M

Rumors of number 4 are getting stronger.

25. Jurassic Park III (2001)

PG-13 | 92 min | Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi

42 Metascore

A decidedly odd couple with ulterior motives convince Dr. Grant to go to Isla Sorna for a holiday, but their unexpected landing startles the island's new inhabitants.

Director: Joe Johnston | Stars: Sam Neill, William H. Macy, Téa Leoni, Alessandro Nivola

Votes: 277,088 | Gross: $181.17M

Better than 2.

26. Jurassic World (2015)

PG-13 | 124 min | Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi

59 Metascore

A new theme park, built on the original site of Jurassic Park, creates a genetically modified hybrid dinosaur, the Indominus Rex, which escapes containment and goes on a killing spree.

Director: Colin Trevorrow | Stars: Chris Pratt, Bryce Dallas Howard, Ty Simpkins, Judy Greer

Votes: 544,426 | Gross: $652.27M

27. Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom (2018)

PG-13 | 128 min | Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi

51 Metascore

When the island's dormant volcano begins roaring to life, Owen and Claire mount a campaign to rescue the remaining dinosaurs from this extinction-level event.

Director: J.A. Bayona | Stars: Chris Pratt, Bryce Dallas Howard, Rafe Spall, Justice Smith

Votes: 226,389 | Gross: $417.72M

28. Journey to the Center of the Earth (2008)

PG | 93 min | Action, Adventure, Family

57 Metascore

On a quest to find out what happened to his missing brother, a scientist, his nephew and their mountain guide discover a fantastic and dangerous lost world in the center of the earth.

Director: Eric Brevig | Stars: Brendan Fraser, Josh Hutcherson, Anita Briem, Seth Meyers

Votes: 105,521 | Gross: $101.70M

Sci-Fi Adventure

29. Journey 2: The Mysterious Island (2012)

PG | 94 min | Action, Adventure, Comedy

41 Metascore

Sean Anderson partners with his mom's husband on a mission to find his grandfather, who is thought to be missing on a mythical island.

Director: Brad Peyton | Stars: Josh Hutcherson, Dwayne Johnson, Michael Caine, Luis Guzmán

Votes: 84,583 | Gross: $103.86M

Where's Brendan?

30. The Mask of Zorro (1998)

PG-13 | 136 min | Action, Adventure, Comedy

63 Metascore

A young thief (Antonio Banderas), seeking revenge for the death of his brother, is trained by the once great, but aged Zorro (Sir Anthony Hopkins), who also pursues vengeance of his own.

Director: Martin Campbell | Stars: Antonio Banderas, Anthony Hopkins, Catherine Zeta-Jones, José María de Tavira

Votes: 157,773 | Gross: $94.10M

Latino folklore adventure.

31. The Legend of Zorro (2005)

PG | 129 min | Action, Adventure, Romance

47 Metascore

Despite trying to keep his swashbuckling to a minimum, a threat to California's pending statehood causes the adventure-loving Don Alejandro de la Vega (Antonio Banderas) and his wife, Elena (Catherine Zeta-Jones), to take action.

Director: Martin Campbell | Stars: Antonio Banderas, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Rufus Sewell, Alberto Reyes

Votes: 86,794 | Gross: $46.46M

adventure that makes zzzzzzzzzzzzzz's

32. The Mummy (2017)

PG-13 | 110 min | Action, Adventure, Fantasy

34 Metascore

An ancient Egyptian princess is awakened from her crypt beneath the desert, bringing with her malevolence grown over millennia, and terrors that defy human comprehension.

Director: Alex Kurtzman | Stars: Tom Cruise, Sofia Boutella, Annabelle Wallis, Russell Crowe

Votes: 157,434 | Gross: $80.10M

33. The Mummy (1999)

PG-13 | 124 min | Action, Adventure, Fantasy

48 Metascore

At an archaeological dig in the ancient city of Hamunaptra, an American serving in the French Foreign Legion accidentally awakens a mummy who begins to wreck havoc as he searches for the reincarnation of his long-lost love.

Director: Stephen Sommers | Stars: Brendan Fraser, Rachel Weisz, John Hannah, Arnold Vosloo

Votes: 369,781 | Gross: $155.25M

Scary adventure.

34. The Mummy Returns (2001)

PG-13 | 130 min | Action, Adventure, Fantasy

48 Metascore

The mummified body of Imhotep is shipped to a museum in London, where he once again wakes and begins his campaign of rage and terror.

Director: Stephen Sommers | Stars: Brendan Fraser, Rachel Weisz, John Hannah, Arnold Vosloo

Votes: 286,153 | Gross: $202.02M

More scary adventure.

35. The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor (2008)

PG-13 | 112 min | Action, Adventure, Fantasy

31 Metascore

In the Far East, Alex O'Connell, the son of famed mummy fighters Rick and Evy O'Connell, unearths the mummy of the first Emperor of Qin -- a shape-shifting entity cursed by a witch centuries ago.

Director: Rob Cohen | Stars: Brendan Fraser, Jet Li, Maria Bello, Michelle Yeoh

Votes: 142,489 | Gross: $102.49M

It even produced a spinoff trilogy.

36. The Scorpion King (2002)

PG-13 | 92 min | Action, Adventure, Fantasy

45 Metascore

A desert warrior rises up against the evil army that is destroying his homeland. He captures the enemy's key sorcerer, takes her deep into the desert and prepares for a final showdown.

Director: Chuck Russell | Stars: Dwayne Johnson, Steven Brand, Michael Clarke Duncan, Kelly Hu

Votes: 123,924 | Gross: $91.05M

Plus two sequels.

37. Chinese Zodiac (2012)

PG-13 | 109 min | Action, Adventure, Comedy

29 Metascore

A man searches the world for a set of mystic artifacts. The twelve bronze heads of the animals from the Chinese zodiac.

Director: Jackie Chan | Stars: Jackie Chan, Qi Shu, Xingtong Yao, Sang-Woo Kwon

Votes: 19,640

The third in the Armour of God trilogy due out this year.

38. Armour of God 2: Operation Condor (1991)

PG-13 | 80 min | Action, Adventure, Comedy

Jackie is hired to help the UN find Nazi gold hidden in Sahara. He's accompanied from Spain by 2 (later 3) cute women. As there are others wanting the gold, lots of kung fu fighting and comedy follows.

Director: Jackie Chan | Stars: Jackie Chan, Carol 'Do Do' Cheng, Eva Cobo, Shôko Ikeda

Votes: 17,083 | Gross: $10.44M

Jackie Chan's shot at "Indiana Jones" plus a prequel Operation Condor 2 (made first) and a new one on the way.

39. Armour of God (1986)

R | 88 min | Action, Adventure, Comedy

Asian Hawk (Jackie Chan) and his bumbling sidekick are sent on a quest through Europe to find a mysterious treasure held by a shadowy organization of monks.

Directors: Jackie Chan, Eric Tsang | Stars: Jackie Chan, Alan Tam, Rosamund Kwan, Lola Forner

Votes: 16,018

Jackie was just dying to make an Indiana Jones knock off.

40. The Da Vinci Code (2006)

PG-13 | 149 min | Mystery, Thriller

46 Metascore

A murder inside the Louvre, and clues in Da Vinci paintings, lead to the discovery of a religious mystery protected by a secret society for two thousand years, which could shake the foundations of Christianity.

Director: Ron Howard | Stars: Tom Hanks, Audrey Tautou, Jean Reno, Ian McKellen

Votes: 375,173 | Gross: $217.54M

I don't agree with the theories behind this one, but it is an entertaining movie.

41. Angels & Demons (2009)

PG-13 | 138 min | Mystery, Thriller

48 Metascore

Harvard symbologist Robert Langdon works with a nuclear physicist to solve a murder and prevent a terrorist act against the Vatican during one of the significant events within the church.

Director: Ron Howard | Stars: Tom Hanks, Ewan McGregor, Ayelet Zurer, Stellan Skarsgård

Votes: 254,958 | Gross: $133.38M

This one is a little better than the first.

42. Inferno (I) (2016)

PG-13 | 121 min | Action, Adventure, Crime

42 Metascore

When Robert Langdon wakes up in an Italian hospital with amnesia, he teams up with Dr. Sienna Brooks, and together they must race across Europe against the clock to foil a deadly global plot.

Director: Ron Howard | Stars: Tom Hanks, Felicity Jones, Irrfan Khan, Ben Foster

Votes: 140,782 | Gross: $34.34M

43. Anaconda (1997)

PG-13 | 89 min | Action, Adventure, Horror

37 Metascore

A "National Geographic" film crew is taken hostage by an insane hunter, who forces them along on his quest to capture the world's largest - and deadliest - snake.

Director: Luis Llosa | Stars: Jon Voight, Jennifer Lopez, Eric Stoltz, Ice Cube

Votes: 88,103 | Gross: $65.89M

Adventure on the river...with BIG snakes.

44. Anacondas: The Hunt for the Blood Orchid (2004)

PG-13 | 97 min | Action, Adventure, Horror

40 Metascore

A scientific expedition sets out for Borneo to seek a flower called the Blood Orchid, which could grant longer life. Meanwhile, they run afoul of snakes and each other.

Director: Dwight H. Little | Stars: Morris Chestnut, KaDee Strickland, Eugene Byrd, Johnny Messner

Votes: 26,467 | Gross: $32.24M

Plus a sequel.

45. Nim's Island (2008)

PG | 96 min | Adventure, Family, Fantasy

55 Metascore

A young girl inhabits an isolated island with her scientist father and communicates with a reclusive author of the novel she's reading.

Directors: Jennifer Flackett, Mark Levin | Stars: Jodie Foster, Gerard Butler, Abigail Breslin, Michael Carman

Votes: 31,781 | Gross: $48.01M

Where's dad?

46. Return to Nim's Island (2013)

PG | 90 min | Adventure, Family, Fantasy

Return to Nim's Island to see how things are going with Nim and her Father. One day they get a message that some people will be buying the island to build an attraction there, but Nim will ... See full summary »

Director: Brendan Maher | Stars: Bindi Irwin, Toby Wallace, John Waters, Matthew Lillard

Votes: 1,507

47. The Phantom (1996)

PG | 100 min | Action, Adventure, Comedy

The Phantom, descendent of a line of African superheroes, travels to New York City to thwart a wealthy criminal genius from obtaining three magic skulls which would give him the secret to ultimate power.

Director: Simon Wincer | Stars: Billy Zane, Kristy Swanson, Treat Williams, Catherine Zeta-Jones

Votes: 30,728 | Gross: $17.30M

Superhero adventure.

48. The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen (2003)

PG-13 | 110 min | Action, Adventure, Fantasy

30 Metascore

In an alternate Victorian Age world, a group of famous contemporary fantasy, science fiction, and adventure characters team up on a secret mission.

Director: Stephen Norrington | Stars: Sean Connery, Stuart Townsend, Peta Wilson, Jason Flemyng

Votes: 158,442 | Gross: $66.47M

Allan Quartermain. I liked this one more than the critics did.