ByRicky Derisz, writer at
Staff Writer at MP. "Holy cow, Rick! I didn't know hanging out with you was making me smarter!" Twitter: @RDerisz.
Ricky Derisz

With both new hits and returning franchises, 2017 has illustrated that the action genre is still thriving; from old-style, no nonsense shootouts, car chases and explosions, to epic, CGI-fuelled disaster blockbusters — this year has had its share of fast-paced moments to remember.

As this list suggests, can be found in many forms. While some are popcorn-munching, visual feats of destruction, others are more subtle, below-the-surface encounters. Some even manage to find time to add humor into the mix.

If you're unsure whether this year really did pack a punch, let's take a look at the best of 2017's action movies below:

10. 'King Arthur: Legend of the Sword'

Release date: May 12, 2017

It's hard to know what to expect from a grand epic based on King Arthur, especially considering gangster flick connoisseur Guy Ritchie is at the helm. However, the director's work with the Sherlock Holmes franchise does illustrate his flair at adapting different stories, giving them a new angle while retaining authenticity.

The narrative will focus on the King during his earlier years, with Sons of Anarchy actor Charlie Hunnam starring in the role.

9. 'Fast 8'

Release date: April 14, 2017

The nitrous-fuelled juggernaut of the Fast and the Furious franchise keeps on driving along at high speed, with Fast 8 the eighth film in the franchise. Considering 2015's Furious 7 earned an eye-watering $1.5 billion at the box office, there are no signs of the series slowing down, with The Fate of the Furious also joining the billion dollar club.

The original crew return, minus one tragic omission, following the death of regular cast member Paul Walker in 2013.

8. 'Ghost in the Shell'

Release date: March 31, 2017

Much of the discussion surrounding the adaptation of the Japanese manga has centered around the whitewashing controversy, with Hollywood A-lister Scarlett Johansson chosen for the lead role, despite the character being Japanese in the comic.

Regardless of the uproar, is an intriguing film to watch, especially due to the added pressure of Johansson's involvement. The film centers around The Major, a cyborg policewoman who tackles cyber criminals and hackers.

7. 'Power Rangers'

Release date: March 24, 2017

Go, go Power Rangers! The popular franchise returned to the big screen after almost 20 years out of the limelight, focusing on the origin story of the group of unlikely teenagers who have to protect the Earth from a serious alien threat.

Although certainly repackaged for a modern audience, there's enough nostalgia intertwined with the story to make it a watch for fans young and old.

6. 'Logan'

Release date: March 3, 2017

It's difficult to not enjoy Hugh Jackman's last appearance as the iconic Wolverine, considering the movies R-rating and director James Mangold stuck the middle finger to expected superhero norms by avoiding a "hyper choreographed, gravity defying, city-block destroying, CG fuckathon."

may not fit any of those criteria, but what it provides is an unflinching, brutal and action-packed take on Wolverine.

5. 'John Wick: Chapter 2'

Release date: February 10, 2017

Keanu Reeves's return to form as John Wick was one of the surprise new action movie hits of 2014. Playing the titular hitman, Reeves returns for the sequel, returning from retirement to tackle a mysterious collection of assassins from all over the world. It's even bloodier, even more stylish, and even more badass than the first.

4. 'xXx: Return of Xander Cage'

Release date: January 19, 2017

Vin Diesel is one of the most commanding action stars of the millennium, with the xXx series perhaps the purest action series he has been involved in. The third addition to the franchise, Return of Xander Cage, follows on from 2005's xXx: State of the Union.

However, the narrative follows the 2002 original, seeing the return of the titular hero as he tackles a worldwide, governmental conspiracy.

3. 'Sleepless'

Release date: January 13, 2017

With elements remnant of Denzel Washington action classics Training Day (2001) and Man on Fire (2004), Jamie Foxx stars in the leading role of this crime thriller. The story sees a pair of corrupt Las Vegas cops attempting to save one of their sons following a dangerous kidnapping.

The new action movie is an American remake of the 2001 French thriller Nuit Blanche.

2. 'Assassin's Creed'

Release date: December 21, 2016

The Assassin's Creed video game series is immensely popular, so the adaptation is both drenched with anticipation and pressure to live up to expectations. The movie doesn't directly adapt storylines from the series, but is set within the same universe of ancient secret societies.

Bringing the game to life is an A-list cast including Michael Fassbender, Marion Cotillard, Jeremy Irons, Brendan Gleeson and Michael K. Williams.

1. 'Rogue One: A Star Wars Story'

Release date: December 16, 2016

Delving further into the vast universe, Rogue One is an anthology spinoff which explores the events leading up the original A New Hope (1977). Although closely linked, Gareth Edwards's movie is more akin to a war movie than a sci-fi, with gritty and unflinching action sequences that could be in contention for best of 2016.

Those who aren't huge fans of Star Wars will find something to enjoy with Rogue One, while those already accustomed to the way of the Jedi will find the movie enhances the original trilogy. It's a win, win.


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