Action movies are among the most exciting and profitable movies in the world. Great action movies offer high-octane thrills and escapist excitement that you simply can’t get in any other way. Over the last five years, the following five actors have been among the most entertaining and have starred in most of the best action movies during that period.

Top 5 Action Heroes of the Past 5 Years:

  • Robert Downey Jr.
  • Joseph Gordon-Levitt
  • Jason Statham
  • Sylvester Stallone
  • Liam Neeson

Robert Downey Jr.

It might surprise many people to see Downey make this list, but just think of the movies he’s made in the last several years. Since 2010, he’s made two Iron Man movies, two Avengers movies, and was a major highlight of “Captain America: Civil War.” In the latter movie, he did a great job of showcasing the difficult emotions boiling in Stark, as he seemingly betrayed his superhero friends.

Of course, Downey wasn’t necessary performing a lot of high-action stunts in the movie, but his skill at portraying the always amusing, but complex, Tony Stark helps him make this list with ease. What Downey brings to the action genre is true acting skills and razor-sharp comedic timing.


  • Iron Man 2
  • Iron Man 3
  • The Avengers

Joseph Gordon-Levitt

Who would have thought that Gordon-Levitt would have a major career after his debut on the silly sitcom “Third Rock From The Sun?” Gordon-Levitt has become one of Hollywood’s most dependable actors, and has made a great impact with roles in “The Dark Knight Rises,” “Premium Rush,” and the thriller “Inception.”

Gordon-Levitt’s spot on this list is perhaps another potentially controversial point. After all, he has starred in romantic comedies and other non-action movies. However, his movies have been consistently entertaining and his success in the genre, along with Downey’s, illustrate the ways that Hollywood action movies have learned to attract great actors.


  • The Dark Knight Rises
  • Premium Rush
  • Inception

Jason Statham

In the world of action movies, there’s a lot to say for someone who consistently brings the goods. Jason Statham is one of those actors. While he doesn’t possess much range or chops as an actor, he almost always stars in something entertaining. Statham’s brand of “no-frills” action is extreme and brutal, and in the case of the “Crank” series, sometimes comically over the top.

His most recent movie “Mechanic: Resurrection,” may not have received rave reviews, but it was still fun to watch Statham do his stoic, stolid thing. It was also great to see him strut his stuff alongside Hollywood’s action legends in the engaging “The Expendables” series.


  • The Mechanic
  • Furious 7
  • The Expendables

Sylvester Stallone

Over the years, Stallone’s career has been written off a dozen times. After his success with “Rocky,” many claimed he was a one-movie actor. However, he rebounded with the incredibly successful “Rambo” series and multiple action roles through the 80s and 90s, though some of these movies (“Cobra”) may have dated a little more than others.

Along the way, Stallone has turns to more serious roles and comedies with mixed success. The skilled Stallone is secretly one of Hollywood’s most intelligent men and he knows where his bread is buttered. That’s why he could once again remake his career with the wild and loose “The Expendables” movies. Just like Rocky, Stallone always seems to get back on his feet after suffering a knockout blow.


  • The Expendables 2
  • Creed
  • Escape Plan

Liam Neeson

Neeson is one of the most versatile actors in Hollywood, having stared in serious dramas and in Sam Raimi comic book insanity like “Dark Man.” Some of his most memorable roles have been in movies like “Schindler’s List,” showcasing that Neeson has serious acting ability. In many ways, he is probably the most accomplished actor on this list.

However, he’s also carved out a name as one of the most dependable and exciting action stars of the last five years. Each “Taken” movie ups the ante from the previous entry, while movies like “The Grey” and “Non-Stop” show that Neeson not only brings action, but serious acting pathos to each role. Neeson is also not afraid to bring the necessary intensity to each role, never underacting or slumming.


  • Taken 3
  • Run All Night
  • Unknown


Action fans can’t go wrong with these five actors over the last five years. While some of them have had their best work in the past, they remain consistent, engaging, and entertaining. Don’t be afraid to pick up one of their movies the next time you and some friends need a little burst of popcorn movie fun. You won’t be disappointed.