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50 Best Action-Comedy Movies Of All Time Ranked

Action-comedies are almost as old as the movie industry itself, but the genre hit its stride in the late '70s and early '80s with movies like "48 Hrs" and "Lethal Weapon." The best action-comedies usually feature two contrasting leads with strong chemistry that leads to thrilling action and sharp humor. Movies from the '70s usually followed renegade lawmen and fast-talking outlaws, while buddy cop movies of the '80s introduced the concept of two mismatched officers; one was usually an uptight stickler for the rules, while the other was often a free-spirited jokester. 

Over the years, the action-comedy has evolved to fit with the times, often mixing in different genres, whether it's secret agent adventures, horror stories, or sci-fi epics. Everyone has their favorites, and the best have become all-time movie classics. If you're looking for big, explosive action and some uproarious laughs, poke around for something on this list. You've probably heard of most of them but may never have seen them. Whether it's a movie you haven't watched in a while or something entirely off your radar, every entry on this list of the best 50 action-comedies is sure to entertain.

50. Rush Hour

Though it wasn't Jackie Chan's first American film, nor the first Chan film that was widely seen domestically (that would be 1995's import "Rumble in the Bronx"), the 1998 action-comedy "Rush Hour" marked the first major Hollywood outing for Chan after decades as a superstar icon in Hong Kong. Paired with comedian Chris Tucker ("The Fifth Element"), the film crosses the classic mismatched buddy cop formula with a fish-out-of-water story. Here, Chan plays an uptight law officer from China who is forced to work with a looser, wilder partner in the streetwise American cop Tucker. In addition to their differing attitudes, the cultural and language barriers add a new twist to the time-tested format.

In the film, Royal Hong Kong Police officer Lee (Chan) is assigned a case in Los Angeles after a visiting Chinese diplomat's daughter is kidnapped there by a nefarious criminal underboss. Ordered to work with him is LAPD detective James Carter (Tucker). The two must cross their cultural and personal divides to complete their mission. Between Tucker and Chan's impeccable comedic chemistry and the high-speed action, "Rush Hour" proved to be an unexpected delight — especially for Chan — that spawned two sequels.

49. Smokey and the Bandit

Described as an "action road comedy," the 1977 adventure film "Smokey and the Bandit" starred one of Hollywood's leading tough guys, Burt Reynolds, alongside America's sweetheart, Sally Field. Reynolds is Bo "Bandit" Darville, whose skill behind the wheel of a souped-up Trans Am helps his bootlegger buddies haul 400 cases of illegal booze across state lines. Bo has just over 24 hours to get the beer from Texarkana to Atlanta so that Texas tycoon Enos Burdette can celebrate his team's racing win in style.

With an $80,000 prize paycheck waiting for him, Bo is aided by his friend Cledus Snow (Jerry Reed). The two start their run, but unwittingly draw the attention of Sheriff Buford Justice, AKA "Smokey the Bear" (Jackie Gleason), when they take on a young woman nicknamed "Frog" (Field) as a passenger. Frog was due to marry Smokey's son but left him at the altar, and now the three runaways find themselves making a fast getaway to Texas with the law in hot pursuit. As our heroes speed their way cross-country, more police join the chase, but they get help from people they encounter who have no love of the law. A full-tilt adventure full of riotous laughs and stunt driving, it became a massive hit, and was the second highest-grossing movie of 1977, behind a certain sci-fi epic.

48. The Fifth Element

The science-fiction comedy "The Fifth Element" might be seen today as a precursor to the likes of "Guardians of the Galaxy" as an epic space adventure with a smarmy leading man on an interstellar mission to save the day against an intergalactic threat. Directed by Luc Besson ("The Professional"), the film has action hero Bruce Willis star as Korben Dallas. Dallas is a taxi driver in the 23rd century who gets pulled into a plot to stop an ancient cosmic evil from returning to destroy planet Earth after a chance encounter with a mysterious young woman.

The woman, Leeloo (Milla Jovovich), only speaks an indecipherable alien language and seems to be a trained killer. Dallas' desire to help her only gets him in deeper trouble. A group of ancient monks reveals that Leeloo is a human recreation of a so-called 'Fifth Element' needed to stop the cosmic evil from returning from its ancient slumber. Along with Leeloo, Dallas must track down four ancient stones to save the world. 

A rollicking space fantasy adventure, Willis injects the over-the-top story with his customary tongue-in-cheek style. Luc Besson's unique direction turns what might otherwise have been a forgettable sci-fi adventure into a stylish romp packed with action and unexpected laughs. In addition to its leads, the film also found room for Gary Oldman, Luke Perry, and Ian Holm, and helped turn relative newcomers Milla Jovovich and Chris Tucker into stars.

47. Pineapple Express

"Pineapple Express" comes from the slacker dream team of Seth Rogen and James Franco. It doesn't start out like your typical action-comedy, but it quickly turns the dial to 11 when two friends' love for marijuana sets them out on an action-packed adventure. Rogen is Dale Denton, a process server whose marijuana dealer Saul (Franco) has gotten him into Pineapple Express, a rare and powerful strain of pot that he gets from a supplier named Red (Danny McBride). 

While visiting a friend, Dale witnesses a brutal murder at the hands of a corrupt cop and accidentally drops his joint at the scene. Before long, police use this evidence to track down Dale and Saul. The two friends are now on the run from both a dirty cop and a powerful drug kingpin and his gang of hitmen. A sky-high mix of an action movie and a stoner comedy, "Pineapple Express" is a unique adventure. A surprise hit, it even did well with critics, who loved its genre-hopping blend of cheap laughs, oddball action, and drug-induced, off-the-wall zaniness.

46. Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle

Dwayne Johnson, Kevin Hart, Karen Gillan, and Jack Black teamed up for "Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle" in 2017, a soft reboot of the 1995 family fantasy adventure film starring Robin Williams. Instead of being pulled into a board game, four kids are thrust into the world of a video game version of "Jumanji" and take on the roles of four larger-than-life characters within the game. Now inside the dangerous jungle world, the four teens — in new and different adult bodies, each with their own unique sets of abilities and skills — must fight their way through the game to stay alive.

Along the way, they encounter non-player characters in the game who help and hinder them, as well as meet the avatar of a young boy who's been trapped in the game for more than 20 years. The sequel to a fondly remembered family fantasy movie, this new version proved just the right fit for modern audiences with its video game update. A thrill-a-minute joyride from start to finish, "Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle" may not offer anything groundbreaking, but it's a grand, light-hearted comedy mixed with a wild jungle adventure. The charming performances from its four leads make it a worthy inclusion on any "best of" list in either genre.

45. RED

"RED" isn't an all-time classic, and doesn't offer up the biggest action or the most uproarious comedy. Instead, it delivers just the right amount of both to complement its impressive all-star cast. Bruce Willis takes top billing, but there are no scrubs here, as he's surrounded by Karl Urban, Morgan Freeman, John Malkovich, Helen Mirren, Brian Cox, and Richard Dreyfuss. 

In the film, Willis plays Frank Moses, a long-retired intelligence agent who is surprised when he's suddenly the target of an assassination attempt. Hunted by an unknown enemy, he's also being tracked by CIA agent William Cooper (Urban), who has orders to kill him. To stay alive, Moses gets help from fellow retired agents from the good old days, including his old mentor (Freeman), an ex-Soviet spy (Cox), and a woman assassin (Mirren). A comedic thriller, "RED" is a return to action-comedies of the '80s; a rich man's "Expendables," if you will. It's a high-concept film full of Hollywood legends that gives you everything you could want in a movie of its type... and then a little more.

44. Bad Boys for Life

It may be surprising to some, but the belated sequel "Bad Boys for Life" is actually the highest-rated of the three movies in the series. Released a whopping 17 years after the first sequel, "Bad Boys 2" in 2003, the third film reunited original stars Will Smith and Martin Lawrence. Since the last film in the series, Will Smith had become a global megastar, and a follow-up may have seemed increasingly unlikely, but following years of stops and starts, "Bad Boys for Life" finally landed in theaters in January of 2020.

The original director, Michael Bay, was replaced by the Belgian-Moroccan duo of Adil & Bilall. New cast members also joined the fun, including Vanessa Hudgens and DJ Khaled. In the film, Miami detectives Mike Lowrey (Smith) and Marcus Barnett (Lawrence) are back on the beat together. The two cops are joined by a group of commandos called AMMO (Advanced Miami Metro Operations), led by Mike's ex-girlfriend. A family of a ruthless Mexican drug cartel leader starts looking for payback when he's finally put in prison, and lots of explosive action and wisecracking one-liners ensue. "Bad Boys for Life" doesn't just live up to the first two films in the series, it surpasses them.

43. Big Trouble in Little China

One of Kurt Russell's best films, "Big Trouble in Little China" saw the action star reunite with "Escape from New York" director John Carpenter. Though many of Carpenter's celebrated films had comedic elements, this one is the only real, bonafide action-comedy of any note. Here, Russell stars as Jack Burton, a truck driver who gets caught up in an adventure after his best friend's girl is taken captive by a band of thugs. After following the gang to Chinatown, Burton soon uncovers a long-lost world of mystic warriors. It turns out that the street toughs kidnapped his friend's fiancée (Suzee Pai) to sacrifice her to an ancient wizard called Lo Pan. According to legend, sacrificing a woman with green eyes will keep the ageless sorcerer alive.

One of the sillier films on this list, "Big Trouble In Little China" is almost slapstick in its level of humor and outlandish and comical visual style, something that in its day prevented it from getting better reviews. Over the years, audiences and critics alike have come around to appreciate it for its absurdist humor and high levels of bizarre fantasy action. Now an '80s classic, it sits near the top of Russell's incredible filmography, and is lovingly remembered as a low-budget gem.

42. Jumanji: The Next Level

With massive box office results for "Jumani: Welcome to the Jungle," it wasn't long before a sequel was back in theaters. The 2020 follow-up, "Jumanji: The Next Level," continued the big action and big laughs for the core stars, now joined by "Crazy Rich Asian" star Awkwafina. Danny Glover and Danny DeVito also turn up in a movie that takes the first film's greatness and brought it to "the next level."

This time around, the gang heads back into the Jumanji video game to find Spencer, who's gotten lost inside. The kids swap avatars and two new players join them, giving the cast a chance to show off different personas. A rare blockbuster sequel that outdoes the first film, "Jumanji: The Next Level" does everything just a little bit better, while the avatar swaps are a clever way to give the four lead action heroes some fresh new material to chew on. In particular, having Danny DeVito's character inhabiting the avatar of The Rock provided for a number of hilarious moments for him to show off his considerable comedic talents.

41. The Other Guys

From "Rush Hour" to "Lethal Weapon," buddy cop stories have been a tried and true concept for a great action-comedy for decades. Mark Wahlberg and Will Ferrell proved that there was still life in it when they made the 2010 hit "The Other Guys." Like the best in the sub-genre, pairing action star Wahlberg with comedy icon Ferrell as two NYPD detectives proved to be a winning formula. Ferrell plays Allen Gamble, a level-headed, by-the-book officer, while Wahlberg is the fiery, hot-headed Terry Hoitz. They're a great team but are outcasts in the department for their idiosyncratic partnership. Allen and Hoitz aren't the best, brightest, or most distinguished cops on the force. They aren't the heroic brave cops who get the most exciting cases. They're...the other guys.

But a seemingly ordinary investigation into permit violation at a construction site leads Allen and Hoitz down a rabbit hole that exposes a vast conspiracy and becomes the case of their careers. Now in the middle of the action, the pair of mismatched detectives prove their worth, all while cracking one-liners and jumping from big explosions in the nick of time. Nearly a full-throated spoof of the buddy cop premise, it deftly straddles the line between action and farce, but is ultimately more of a faithful and loving homage than a straight-up satire.

40. Kingsman: The Secret Service

The best action-comedies find clever ways to turn the formula on its head and mix different movie genres to create something new. For the 2015 adaptation of the acclaimed graphic novel series by Mark Millar, "Kingsman: The Secret Service," it was blending the high-tech world of espionage thrillers with a touch of dry wit. Part James Bond, part coming of age teen comedy, the movie followed young street punk Gary "Eggsy" Unwin (Taron Egerton) as he's recruited into the secret intelligence service that his father served in before dying in the line of duty.

Mentored by his father's old partner Harry Hart (Colin Firth), Eggsy is forced into the role of superspy when an evil genius and criminal mastermind called Richmond Valentine (Samuel L. Jackson) threatens to kill billions across the globe in a bid to stop global warming. A charming, fun, and funny action thriller, "Kingsman: The Secret Service" doesn't lampoon spy thrillers; it lovingly attempts to be one, but with a tongue-in-cheek self-awareness that draws plenty of laughs. And it succeeds. It's become one of the best new spy franchises, with both a sequel and a prequel already released, another on the way in 2023, and a television spinoff ordered for Netflix.

39. The Blues Brothers

Though its two stars play a pair of musical malcontents rather than police officers, the 1980 John Landis classic "The Blues Brothers" still feels like a buddy cop movie. Instead of a pair of mismatched, outsized personalities, Jake Blues and his brother Elwood (John Belushi and Dan Aykroyd, respectively) are dry, deadpan, and straight-faced. Based on a series of "Saturday Night Live" sketches starring the same duo, the movie tells the bigger story of Jake, recently paroled from prison and "on a mission from god" to save the orphanage they grew up in. They'll need to raise enough money to pay off an enormous tax bill before the year's deadline, and to do it they plan to reform their old blues band and hold a massive benefit concert.

Unfortunately, no good deed goes unpunished, and along the way the brothers make enemies on practically every street corner. Chased by the police, a rival band, a group of Neo-Nazis, and a vengeful ex-fiancée (Carrie Fisher), the brothers manage to make one narrow escape after another. Possibly the funniest movie on this list, it's almost a straight comedy if not for the enormous explosions, wild shopping mall car chases, big brawls, and violent crashes for which the movie became famous.

38. Free Guy

Like both "Jumanji" movies, "Free Guy" takes place inside the world of a popular fictional video game, this time a Massive Multiplayer Online game called "Free City." "Deadpool" star Ryan Reynolds stars as Guy, a citizen of Free City, who discovers he's not a person at all, but merely a non-playable character within a video game environment. In the real world, Millie (Jodie Comer) is a computer programmer and player of "Free City" who believes the game ripped off the source code of a game she created called "Life Itself." While inside the game and looking for proof that they've stolen her code, Millie comes into contact with Guy, who is somehow defying his programming and acting of his own free will.

Eventually, Guy agrees to help Millie find the source code and expose the game's creators. But to do it, he'll have to level up within the game, make allies within the system, and break into The Stash, a heavily guarded compound in Free City where they believe the source code is kept. And he'll have to complete his mission before the game's creators shut "Free City" down to make way for its sequel, "Free City 2." This rip-roaring adventure did well with critics, who praised its "clever concept, sweet, self-aware humor, and charming cast." 

37. Romancing the Stone

Though many see this as a rip-off of "Raiders of the Lost Ark," the original script for the 1984 romantic comedy action-adventure "Romancing the Stone" predates the Harrison Ford classic by at least a couple of years. A classic pulp-inspired jungle adventure, the Michael Douglas/Kathleen Turner picture embraces romance and comedy much more than "Indiana Jones," and it flips the two main roles by making the woman the hero, and her male love interest the adventuring sidekick. 

Kathleen Turner stars as Joan Wilder, a New York author known for her series of romance novels. When she comes into possession of a mysterious map, and her sister-in-law is abducted by a drug kingpin named Zolo, she sets out on a wild adventure through the Colombian jungle. There she meets smuggler Jack Colton (Douglas), whom she hires to help her find her sister-in-law. As the two survive car chases, deadly shootouts, and crocodile-infested jungles, they use the map to seek an incredible treasure while being pursued by Zolo's men. In the process, sparks fly between Wilder and Colton, and the bickering pair eventually fall in love. Driven by the chemistry of its two charismatic leads, "Romancing the Stone" harkened back to classic adventure serials, but with a livelier sense of humor to boot.

36. Kick-Ass

Based on the popular comic book series by Mark Millar ("Kingsman: The Secret Service"), the superhero action crime comedy "Kick-Ass" featured then-rising stars Aaron Taylor-Johnson and Chloë Grace Moretz. Nicholas Cage, Mark Strong, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, and Evan Peters also appeared in the movie, which offered a violent and visceral spin on street vigilante superheroes. 

Taylor-Johnson plays downtrodden teen Dave Lizewski, who loves comic books and is inspired to become the vigilante "Kick-Ass." Creating his own costume, his early adventures leave him beaten and stabbed. After he gains notoriety thanks to a viral video online, he gets bolder and confronts a criminal thug to defend a friend. He meets fellow young hero Hit-Girl (Moretz), and her father Big Daddy (Cage). With new allies, Kick-Ass sets out to take down Frank D'Amico (Strong), a drug lord with a murderous vendetta. Filled with graphic, over-the-top violence, "Kick-Ass" was a combination of buddy comedy and teen drama against the backdrop of superhero action. On paper, it probably shouldn't have worked, but it did. It remains one of the best low-fi comic book superhero movies ever made, with critics giving it high marks for its colorful mix of characters, and a breakout performance from Moretz as the deadly teenage superhero vigilante Hit-Girl.

35. Game Night

The 2018 dark comedy action thriller "Game Night" starred Jason Bateman and Rachel McAdams as married couple Max and Annie, who host a regular weekly game night with friends. One week however, Max's brother Brooks (Kyle Chandler) arrives with a plan for a murder mystery game. But there's no board here: this will be an interactive live-action role-play, and he says it will kick off when one of them is kidnapped. Nobody is all that alarmed when armed men arrive and abduct Brooks. They just assume it's part of the game.

To begin the "game," Max and Annie find clues that lead them to a handgun, but when they find Brooks and accidentally shoot him, they realize this is no game after all. Brooks comes clean and reveals he's actually a black market dealer, and one of his clients is looking for revenge following a sale gone bad. On the run from dangerous criminals, the suburbanites find themselves in a real-life game of life and death. Garnering accolades for its original and novel concept, "Game Night" was praised for its sharp script, strong comedic performances, and plenty of twists and turns, making it a satisfying murder mystery comedy to rival classics like "Clue" and "Knives Out," but with a lot more action.

34. Ant-Man

Following two massive super-team movies in "Guardians of the Galaxy" and "Avengers: Age of Ultron," Marvel went small in the summer of 2015 with the superhero origin story "Ant-Man," starring Paul Rudd, Michael Douglas, Evangeline Lilly, and Michael Pena. Originally developed by Edgar Wright (who will pop up again on this list later), "Ant-Man" was ultimately helmed by Peyton Reed, and told the story of ex-con Scott Lang (Rudd), who, after leaving prison, is hired to steal a superhero suit once worn by the now-retired superhero Ant-Man. The suit gives Lang the power to shrink to the size of an insect, but is soon tracked down by its original owner, the former SHIELD agent and one-time superhero Ant-Man, Hank Pym (Douglas), whose company created the technology.

Pym and his daughter Hope (Lilly) have been trying to stop his former employee Darren Cross from stealing his tech's secrets and selling them to a group of terrorists. Pym agrees to let Lang keep the suit if he'll use it to become the next Ant-Man and help them stop Cross. To do it, Lang will need to call in his old criminal cohorts, led by Luis (Pena), his former prison cellmate. With comic masters Rudd and Pena, and based on a clever and fast-paced script from Edgar Wright, "Ant-Man" soared as one of Marvel's first true comedies, and with plenty of the usual big (or small, in this case) action that the MCU is known for. 

33. True Lies

King of blockbuster action movies, director James Cameron had become a major player in the industry after "Aliens" and two "Terminator" films with star Arnold Schwarzenegger. In 1994, the duo got back together to mix impeccable action with a healthy dose of comic wit. Arnold starred opposite veteran scream queen Jamie Lee Curtis as married couple Harry and Helen Tasker, whose relationship is strained under the apparent boredom of suburban life. But Helen is in for a rude awakening when she learns that Harry's career as a computer salesman is a lie, and he's actually a covert government operative working for an elite counterintelligence agency. 

Drawn into a plot by a foreign terrorist group to steal a stash of nuclear weapons, Helen becomes a pawn in the villain's diabolical plans, and Harry is forced to reveal his secret double life. Now, the pumped-up secret agent must pull double duty trying to save the world and his marriage at the same time. Schwarzenegger had proved his comedic chops already with movies like "Twins" and "Kindergarten Cop," but "True Lies" was Cameron's first real entry into the genre, and it didn't disappoint. An underrated classic in his long and impressive career, it was full of memorable action sequences and unforgettable comic gags.

32. American Made

Tom Cruise has made a number of classic action movies over the years, but they typically fell more on the serious side, while his array of top-notch comedies had rarely veered into the action genre. That would all change with "American Made," a far better movie than his first stab at an action-comedy (the disappointing "Knight and Day"). The 2018 Doug Liman film was based on the true story of airline pilot Barry Seal, who became a CIA asset when he began flying secret missions over Central America in a small plane outfitted with high-tech surveillance equipment.

Eventually, Seal's clandestine flights escalated to become courier trips to deliver goods back and forth between the US government and Manuel Noriega. But the local drug cartels turned Seal into a double agent, hiring him to traffic cocaine illegally back to the United States on his return trips. The money Seal made brought him unwanted attention, so he ran from the CIA, the DEA, and the cartels he had been working for. Turning action star Tom Cruise into an everyman in over his head was an unexpected but inspired choice that helped make "American Made" a breezy, charming rollercoaster ride with enough action and laughs to last. 

31. Black Dynamite

1970s throwback "Black Dynamite" shined a light on an overlooked movie subgenre thanks to the efforts of Michael Jai White, who wrote and starred in the 2009 film. Black Dynamite is a former CIA agent, Vietnam vet, and kung fu fighter who takes to the streets in a one-man war on crime. After the death of his brother, Black Dynamite seeks vengeance and uncovers a massive conspiracy to taint the city's liquor supply. As he reassembles his old team of elite operatives to help him, he finds evidence of a government-run drug ring that reaches all the way to the Nixon White House.

An absolutely ridiculous action-comedy, "Black Dynamite" wholeheartedly embraces the often bizarre nature of the Blaxploitation movies that it pays homage to. With its tongue firmly planted in cheek, it boasts over-the-top gun battles and schlocky kung fu fighting, including a bare-knuckled showdown between Black Dynamite and Mr. Nixon himself. Perhaps surprisingly, critics like Entertainment Weekly loved the film, writing, "'Black Dynamite' blends satire, nostalgia, and cinema deconstruction into a one-of-a-kind comedy high." A hit with audiences too, the film was spun off into an equally trippy animated series in 2011, with Michael Jai White reprising his role as Black Dynamite and continuing the vigilante's kung fu quest for justice. 

30. Lock, Stock, and Two Smoking Barrels

Produced by future director Matthew Vaughn, first-time director Guy Ritchie came out of the gate with a gem: the 1998 British crime comedy "Lock, Stock, and Two Smoking Barrels," which would also serve as the debut for actor Jason Statham. The film focuses on Eddy (Nick Moran), a London card shark, and his three friends, who all get together to take on criminal kingpin Hatchet Harry in a high-stakes game of poker in the hopes of winning a fortune. Things backfire when Eddy loses and he finds himself owing the mob boss a sum he can't possibly pay.

To get the money, Eddy and his gang hatch a plan to rob a gang of thieves who've just stuck up a group of local drug dealers themselves. Unfortunately, the various schemes simply make them new enemies, and they're soon in far deeper than they ever expected. A gritty, stylish British noir action film with a moody, atmospheric setting in the seedy outskirts of London and a healthy dose of black humor, "Lock, Stock, and Two Smoking Barrels" was a raucous debut for Ritchie and Statham both.

29. Shanghai Noon

Jackie Chan followed up "Rush Hour" with another buddy cop movie of sorts, this time partnering with Owen Wilson in the 2000 Western comedy "Shanghai Noon." Like the aforementioned film, it's a clash of cultures, as the Imperial Guardsman Chong Wang (Chan) is sent to the United States by the Emperor of China when Princess Pei Pei leaves for its shores to escape an arranged marriage. There, Wang meets Roy O'Bannon (Wilson), the classic thief with a heart of gold. After spending time in a Nevada prison together following a barroom brawl, O'Bannon offers to help Wang find the Emperor's daughter.

Despite its simplistic script, clichéd characters, and easy jokes, "Shanghai Noon's" good-natured tone and witty stars, combined with some fantastic action that mixed kung fu with the Wild West, made it a hit with audiences. Critics too were impressed, with Roger Ebert overlooking its flaws to call it "a wink at Westerns, martial arts and buddy movies — enriched by a goofy performance by Owen Wilson, who would steal the movie if [Jackie] Chan were not so clever at sharing it with him." As a revival of the kung fu Western previously made famous by Charles Bronson and Toshiro Mifune, the movie gave it a new twist by injecting it with comedy. 

28. 22 Jump Street

Following the success of "21 Jump Street" — which appears a little higher on this list — it wasn't long before a sequel brought Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum back together. This time, Morton Schmidt and Greg Jenko (Hill and Tatum, respectively) are finally out of high school operations and on to college. They go undercover at a local university, where a deadly new street drug has just taken the life of a student. Taking on the identity of a pair of party-going college frat boys is easy for the oddball officers. While tracking their suspects, they get into a series of wacky college hijinks, including Schmidt sleeping with a young woman who turns out to be his boss's daughter, and Jenko joining the football team.

When Jenko becomes more accepted among his "peers" than Schmidt — he even considers accepting a football scholarship he's been offered — their partnership begins to unravel, threatening to throw off their investigation. Like the first film, "22 Jump Street" works because of Tatum and Hill, who bring a real sense of friendship and camaraderie that's often missing in these kinds of movies. Highly rated for adding a touch more earnestness and drama than its predecessor, it did so while still maintaining all the over-the-top action and lowbrow laughs. 

27. The Italian Job

The British crime caper comedy "The Italian Job" may be better known to audiences today from its 2007 remake starring Ed Norton, but the original is a far better — and funnier — film. While the remake was more of an action movie, the original, starring Michael Caine, Noel Coward, and Benny Hill, was a bonafide comedy heist movie. Caine stars as cockney ex-con Charlie Croker, recently out of prison, who inherits an old friend's brilliant and complex plan to knock off an armored truck filled with gold bullion in Turin, Italy. To do the job, though, Croker has to convince crime boss Mr. Bridger to fund the operation and recruit a crack team of expert thieves to help him.

To get their target, the team plans to shut down the city's traffic system by sabotaging the computers that control it. But their plans are complicated when a local mob boss named Albatani becomes aware of the operation and wants it called off. A true classic comedy adventure, "The Italian Job" was the spiritual precursor to the likes of "The Fast & the Furious" with its high-speed action, car crashes, and slick street criminals competing for a big score.

26. Tropic Thunder

You're unlikely to find a lot of good war movies in the action-comedy category. After all, there's very little to laugh at about war. But "Tropic Thunder" managed to find a clever way to blend the two genres, and the result is a hysterical excursion through the jungle, complete with big blockbuster action. It begins when a group of fictional big-name Hollywood actors, played brilliantly by comedy vets Ben Stiller, Robert Downey Jr., and Jack Black, head overseas to film their latest production, a war movie set in Vietnam. When they get there, they're mistaken for a group of real mercenaries and are promptly targeted by a group of ruthless warlords.

Rather than a satire of war movies, "Tropic Thunder" pokes fun at the movie business itself, including its many stereotypes and cliches. From asinine agents and obnoxiously egotistical method actors, the film — and its stars — are unafraid to laugh at the absurdity of their own industry. Perhaps the fact that the movie was willing to make fun of Hollywood explains why critics loved it, but it takes nothing away from how funny and action-packed the picture is.

25. 21 Jump Street

Adapted from the 1985 television drama of the same name, "21 Jump Street" took the original teen crime drama (which starred a young Johnny Depp) and turned it into a rip-roaring action farce. Accepting the silliness of its premise — that a pair of adult men well into their 30s — go undercover to bust drug dealers in a high school, the movie ditches the seriousness of the TV show and makes it all about high-energy action and tongue-in-cheek laughs. 

The 2012 film adaptation of the buddy cop comedy stars Channing Tatum and Jonah Hill as a pair of typical mismatched police partners Morton Schmidt and Greg Jenko. One is smart and awkward, the other dim-witted and suave, but together they make a good team. Sillier than perhaps it had any right to be, its all-star cast (that included Brie Larson, Ice Cube, Ellie Kemper, Jake Johnson, and Nick Offerman) gave the movie plenty of great comedic performances, while an unexpected cameo from Depp — reprising his original role — put a bow on it. A send-up of '80s action movies and teen dramas, it found success as a broad action-comedy thanks to its many loving homages and its two witty stars.

24. Lethal Weapon 2

Though many diehard fans of the franchise have argued the sequel actually outdid the first film, "Lethal Weapon 2" can't quite match the uniqueness of the original for us, no matter how much we love it. No matter how you rank them, there's no denying that the 1989 sequel is among the best action-comedies out there. This time, stars Danny Glover and Mel Gibson are joined by series newcomer Joe Pesci, who appears as Leo Getz, a smarmy, fast-talking accountant and money launderer who's turned federal witness. Riggs and Murtaugh are brought in to protect Getz, who is promptly targeted for assassination by a pair of vicious villains working for a foreign government.

"Lethal Weapon 2" brings back the same manic energy and frantic pace while upping the stakes with a more intense storyline and introducing a couple of memorable new characters to the series. Getz, played brilliantly by Pesci, adds a new dynamic to the buddy cop blueprint, and is the biggest reason the film works so well, rather than being a simple soft remake of the first movie. Funny, fast, and more intense, the action-comedy sequel delivers everything fans want in a follow-up without deviating too far from the time-tested formula.

23. Ant-Man & the Wasp

Scott Lang and Hope van Dyne made a good team in the 2015 MCU entry "Ant-Man," but in the sequel, Hope takes on a superhero identity of her own, and the two become bonafide crime-fighting partners. After the events of "Captain America: Civil War," Lang finds himself back in trouble with the law for having violated the Sokovia Accords and acting as a super-powered vigilante alongside Captain America. Hank Pym (Michael Douglas) and his daughter Hope (Evangeline Lilly) aren't happy, but give him a chance to atone when Pym learns that Lang may hold the key to bringing his wife back from the Quantum Realm, a microscopic dimension where she'd been lost nearly 30 years before.

To go back into the Quantum Realm to find her, they need the help of a black-market arms dealer named Sonny Burch (Walton Goggins), who promptly betrays them, hoping to get his hands on Pym's powerful shrinking tech. Meanwhile, a jilted ex-partner of Pym's resurfaces with a powerful new and mysterious ally who threatens to destroy everything they've built. An even more exciting adventure than the first film, its bigger story and better villains make this one sequel that definitely outdid the original.

22. Scott Pilgrim vs. the World

Part romantic action-comedy, part coming-of-age teen drama, the 2010 indie comic book adaptation "Scott Pilgrim vs. the World" was co-written and directed by auteur British filmmaker Edgar Wright. Known for his tight scripts and clever visual comedy, Wright enlivened the tale of young love with his own unique wit and flair. The film starred Michael Cera as Scott Pilgrim, bassist in a Toronto garage band, who meets Ramona Flowers, the literal girl of his dreams.

To be her boyfriend, Pilgrim will have to do more than just impress her; he'll have to defeat her six evil exes, too. From a super-powered vegan (Brandon Routh) to a killer ninja (Mae Whitman), Pilgrim's fights with Flowers' exes are presented like video game showdowns, complete with power-ups and extra lives. With a quirky premise and a cast of oddball characters, there's really nothing else like it, in this or any genre. Critic Michael Phillips put it best when he said, "the battles are inventive, the film is very quick on its feet ... a fantasy with a deadpan comic edge." Reviewer A.O. Scott likewise heaped it with praise, calling it "original, imaginative, and inventive."

21. Shazam!

For decades, it seemed like Batman and Superman had the monopoly on DC superhero movies, but other heroes finally got their due when the likes of "Wonder Woman" and "Aquaman" began hitting the big screen. But it was "Shazam!" that truly broke the mold of superhero blockbuster action movies, giving audiences a genuine comedy instead. Starring Zachary Levi, who'd proven his action-comedy chops on TV's "Chuck," the film didn't shy away from the colorful, old-fashioned nature of the character, instead using it to its advantage. Horror director David F. Sandberg somehow crafted one of the best DC Comics films to date, deftly mixing action and comedy that beautifully captured the childlike enthusiasm of comic books of old.

In the film, young orphan Billy Batson discovers an ancient wizard, who gives him tremendous abilities so he might become this realm's newest champion. When he speaks the word "shazam," the 14-year-old Batson is turned into the mighty red-and-white-clad adult superhero with powers to rival Superman. But when the evil Dr. Sivana — who had been rejected by the wizard before — learns of Batson's new identity, he seeks to destroy him using the powers of the wizard's greatest enemy. In some ways, it's a superhero version of Tom Hanks' "Big," but this is one fun and funny adventure that's also wholly unique as a near pitch-perfect adaptation of classic superhero comics.

20. Kiss Kiss Bang Bang

Before he made his career resurgence as Iron Man, Robert Downey Jr. starred in the 2005 crime noir black comedy "Kiss Kiss Bang Bang" in a role that allowed him to make a few jokes at his own expense. Written and directed by action-comedy veteran Shane Black ("Lethal Weapon" and "Last Action Hero"), it served as his directorial debut. The film put Downey Jr. in the role of Harry Lockhart, an ex-con turned aspiring actor. After impressing a casting director for an upcoming crime thriller, Lockhart is mentored by real private investigator Perry Van Shrike (Val Kilmer). 

While learning the ropes, Lockhart reconnects with an old high school girlfriend (Michelle Monaghan) who draws him into a complex web of deception, murder, and betrayal. Cleverly inspired by old hard-boiled crime movies of the '40s, "Kiss Kiss Bang Bang" updates the genre with humor and class, with a plot complex enough that it can only be an intentional jab at the many twists and turns of old detective flicks. Propped up by its impressive cast, who all give strong performances, the film seems to delight in taking risks. Thanks to Shane Black's script and Downey's indomitable Lockhart, these risks pay off.

19. The Nice Guys

Another Shane Black joint — this one a buddy comedy and neo-noir action movie with Ryan Gosling and Russell Crowe — "The Nice Guys" also plays with tropes and sets its action in the late 1970s. Gosling is Holland March, a middling private investigator and alcoholic still recovering from the death of his wife. March finds himself with a new case when he's hired to look into the apparent death of adult film star Misty Mountains, whose mother thinks may still be alive. His investigation leads him to one of Misty's former associates, a woman named Amelia, who has paid for hired muscle in the form of enforcer Jackson Healy (Crowe) to get March off her trail.

When Amelia goes missing, the pair of mismatched manhunters begrudgingly decide to work together. The case sends them down a dark rabbit hole leading to the underground world of adult films, corrupt automakers, and a possible government conspiracy. In "The Nice Guys," Gosling and Crowe prove to be another in a long line of comic action partners, and like most on this list, it's the top-billed stars and their electric chemistry that make the movie shine.

18. Deadpool 2

Once "Deadpool" became the biggest R-rated movie of all time, a sequel was inevitable. Ryan Reynolds — in classic sequel fashion — upped the ante and gave the wisecracking mutant assassin his own superhero team. Domino (Zazie Beetz), a highly trained mutant assassin with the power of good luck, joins Deadpool, Colossus, and Negasonic Teenage Warhead in the fight to protect an outcast child, because time-traveling mutant killer Cable (Josh Brolin) has arrived from the future to stop the boy from becoming a mass-murdering supervillain. 

For a second time, star Ryan Reynolds is at the top of his game as the violent anti-hero, full of new-and-improved razor-sharp jokes and pop-culture references. Brolin, as the near-villain of the film, plays off Reynolds as the straight-faced, morally complicated future warrior. With two similar but juxtaposed anti-heroes at odds, loads of riotous humor — and plenty of blood-soaked action — is mined from their verbal and physical sparring.

17. 48 Hrs.

The 1982 action-comedy "48 Hrs" was one of the first buddy cop comedy action thrillers–or, at the very least, it massively popularized the genre. The movie was also Eddie Murphy's big-screen debut. His smooth, irreverent performance and chemistry with Hollywood veteran Nick Nolte drove the film. It also turned him from an up-and-coming comedian and TV actor into a genuine leading man overnight. 

The film saw Nolte playing Jack Cates, a tough-as-nails San Francisco cop assigned to stop a convicted felon named Albert Ganz (James Remar), who's recently escaped from prison and already killed several people. To catch the escaped murderer, Cates tracks down Ganz's old criminal cohort, including Reggie Hammond (Murphy), a wisecracking punk doing a three-year stretch for armed robbery. Together, the mismatched team of hard-boiled cop and smart-aleck crook use their combined skills and inside knowledge to hunt Hammond's former partner before he can kill again. A trailblazing action-comedy that set the standard for the buddy cop formula, it wasn't just one of the first movies of its kind, it was also one of the best.

16. Zombieland

Mixing different kinds of movies seems to work well for action-comedies, and first-time director Ruben Fleischer impressed by injecting a healthy dose of scares into the mix. A full-blown horror-comedy, the action-packed "Zombieland" got as much attention for its impressive and eclectic cast as it did for its genre-bending antics. The cast was led by Woody Harrelson, Emma Stone, Jesse Eisenberg, and Abigail Breslin. 

Set after the outbreak of a zombie apocalypse, "Zombieland" is an outlandish comedic take on the zombie genre. Socially awkward college student Columbus (Eisenberg) teams up with a hard-nosed cowboy named Tallahassee (Harrelson) to find out if his family is still alive. An encounter with a pair of tough, zombie-killing sisters (Stone and Breslin) adds two to their group of survivors, and they soon set out west to Los Angeles, where they've heard rumors of a safe haven. As they cross the country, the foursome bonds and gets into wilder and crazier misadventures. Electric action, wacky post-apocalyptic shenanigans, and a memorable celebrity cameo by Bill Murray helped "Zombieland" stand out and become a modern horror-comedy classic.

15. The Suicide Squad

In the quasi-sequel to the disappointing David Ayer film, incoming director James Gunn ("The Guardians of the Galaxy") upped the comedy and the action and added a few big names to its cast. "The Suicide Squad" brought over Joel Kinnaman, Margot Robbie, and Viola Davis from the first film and added Idris Elba, John Cena, Daniela Melchior, and David Dastmalchian, among many others. In the bombastic sequel, government agent Waller (Davis) recruits a new team of supervillains, including two highly trained elite killers, Bloodsport (Elba) and Peacemaker (Cena); the oddly powered Polka Dot Man (Dastmalchian) and Ratcatcher (Melchior); the hulking, always-hungry King Shark (voiced by Steve Agee); plus Rick Flagg (Kinnaman) and Harley Quinn (Robbie). She dispatches them on a mission to a remote island nation where a mad scientist (Peter Capaldi) is experimenting on a giant mind-controlling monster from outer space.

When they find their target, however, Bloodsport and his team realize that Waller has manipulated them. As the monster Starro is unleashed on the city, the Suicide Squad defies their orders and fights to save the unsuspecting populace. Packed to the gills with explosive, graphic violence that is as much part of the fun as the jokes and sight gags, "The Suicide Squad" delivers humor, heart, action, adventure, and plenty of blood-soaked mayhem. Critically acclaimed, it was one of the DCEU's highest-rated films, and garnered a spin-off television series, "Peacemaker," before it even hit theaters.

14. Spy

An unconventional spy movie directed by Paul Feig ("Bridesmaids"), the simply titled 2015 action-comedy "Spy" stars Melissa McCarthy as an unlikely secret agent, the desk-riding CIA analyst Susan Cooper (McCarthy). Cooper works from the CIA offices, remotely assisting field agent Bradley Fine (Jude Law) on his missions. While tracking a nuclear arms dealer supplying weapons to terrorists, Fine is killed and Cooper is helpless to stop it. After realizing that the terrorists have a list of the agency's undercover operatives, Cooper must join the fray and enter the field to complete his mission and save her colleagues.

Top agent Rick Ford (Jason Statham) doesn't believe that Cooper is up to the task, but when she saves his life in an attempted assassination, he realizes he may have underestimated her. Now working together, Cooper and Ford track the terrorists halfway around the world. A rambunctious comedy that delivers plenty of "Mission Impossible"-style action with McCarthy's usual sarcastic edge, Rotten Tomatoes said the movie is "simultaneously broad and progressive [and] offers further proof that Melissa McCarthy and writer-director Paul Feig bring out the best in one another — and delivers scores of belly laughs along the way."

13. Lethal Weapon

Writer Shane Black's debut, "Lethal Weapon" raised the bar for action-comedies with a pair of mismatched police partners that set a new standard for buddy cop movies. In the 1985 film, "Mad Max" star Mel Gibson played LAPD detective Martin Riggs, a wild and outrageous officer who seems to relish in other people thinking he's halfway insane. His partner, Roger Murtaugh, played by Danny Glover, is the strait-laced, by-the-book veteran who is nearing retirement and who always seemed to be grousing about being "too old for this s***."

When the film begins, the death of Riggs' wife sets the already out-of-control officer down a dark path of recklessness and destruction. Now reassigned, he and his new partner Murtaugh clash over their polar opposite natures while on a case to take down drug smuggling operations. A landmark film in the genre, there would be many copycats, but few that could match the original's sheer audaciousness and unpredictability. The film was a big hit and a favorite of audiences, garnering strong reviews. It spawned a franchise that included three sequels and a television remake that ran for three seasons on the Fox Network in the late 2010s.

12. Logan Lucky

Some of the best action-comedies are heist films, and "Logan Lucky" lands right in that category. Director Steven Soderbergh's 2017 action-comedy boasted an all-star cast. Aside from the leads, Katie Holmes, Seth McFarlane, Sebastian Stan, Jack Quaid, and Hilary Swank all appear. 

The story follows a down-on-his-luck construction worker named Jimmy Logan (Channing Tatum), who conspires with his brother Clyde (Adam Driver), his sister Mellie (Riley Keough), and an expert safe-cracker named Joe Bang (Daniel Craig) to rip off the Charlotte Motor Speedway while its new subterranean tunnels are still being constructed. Using his knowledge of the tunnels, Jimmy concocts a scheme to break into their vault and vacuum the stash of cash into garbage bags (explosive gummy bears are involved). When they learn the construction is ahead of schedule, they're forced to step up their timetable, complicating their plans. A hillbilly version of "Ocean's 11" (which Soderbergh also directed), "Logan Lucky" is just as slick, but with more humor and even more colorful oddball characters.

11. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2

After the surprise box-office success of the first film, "Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2" went even further, introducing bizarre new heroes and strange new cosmic villains. Kurt Russell played the lead villain of the picture, the human form of the living planet called Ego. The movie begins with the team of interstellar heroes escaping a fleet of alien starships when they're saved by the giant planet being. Russell's Ego is a seemingly friendly character who tells them that he's Peter Quill's alien father, who had visited Earth decades before and fallen in love with his mother. Ego reveals that Peter is in fact gifted with his race's incredible powers, and wants to teach him how to use them so that they can travel the galaxy together.

Not all is as it seems, however. When Ego's motives come into question, Quill is forced to re-evaluate his past and his parentage. An even more heartfelt emotional journey, it also sees the assassin Gamora make peace with her estranged sister Nebula and Rocket come to terms with his own tragic backstory. A near-perfect sequel, it had everything that made the first one great and continued pushing the envelope for Marvel's most far-out heroes.

10. Beverly Hills Cop

Following his breakout role in "48 Hrs" in 1980, Eddie Murphy was cast as smart-aleck, daredevil lawman Axel Foley in the 1984 action-comedy "Beverly Hills Cop." Originally envisioned as a more serious action film with Sylvester Stallone as the lead, it was eventually overhauled into a starring vehicle for Murphy, then an emerging box-office draw. Celebrated for its joyful unpredictability and wild antics, the film saw Murphy in the role of a streetwise,  out-of-control Detroit cop who pursues a murder suspect all the way to Beverly Hills. Foley experiences culture shock when he's partnered with mediocre detective Billy Rosewood in the wealthy southern California city while hunting a gang of murderous car thieves. 

Though it received some mixed reviews on its release, it was recognized by some as an elevation of the buddy cop genre, with The Hollywood Reporter's review calling it a "lickety-split action comedy." They praised Eddie Murphy for what they called a "silver-bullet performance ... that's practically criminal in its accuracy." "Beverly Hills Cop" made Murphy a superstar.

9. Men in Black

A clever combination of sci-fi procedural and buddy cop comedy, "Men in Black" features rising box office star Will Smith alongside crime drama veteran Tommy Lee Jones. Playing off pop culture conspiracy theories, it follows rebellious, free-wheeling New York cop Jay (Smith), who unwittingly chases down an extraterrestrial fugitive and comes to the attention of the titular Men in Black, a clandestine government agency that oversees aliens living secretly among mankind on Earth. Selected as a recruit, he has his identity erased and is partnered with Agent K (Jones), an uptight, by-the-book officer who helped found the agency more than 30 years before.

With his new partner, Jay becomes Agent J, and together they hunt down an elusive alien insect who's looking for a powerful artifact hidden somewhere on Earth. With futuristic technology at their disposal, they must find the artifact before he does. While a massive starship in orbit threatens to destroy the planet if their relic is not returned to them before the day is out, Agents J and K have less than 24 hours to save the human race from cosmic armageddon. This off-the-wall action-fest is the perfect starring vehicle for comic actor Will Smith, whose chemistry with the totally deadpan Tommy Lee Jones makes this one of the best action-comedies ever.

8. The World's End

After "Hot Fuzz," writer and director Edgar Wright took some years away from his collaborations with Simon Pegg before returning in 2013 with the science-fiction action-comedy "At World's End." Co-written by Pegg and once again matching the actor up with jovial goofball Nick Frost, the pair were this time joined by Martin Freeman, Rosamund Pike, and Pierce Brosnan.  

While they faced zombies in "Shaun of the Dead" and a violent cult in "Hot Fuzz," Pegg and Frost now face aliens in "At World's End." Pegg's character Gary King and his four friends reconnect on a visit back to their hometown to try an epic pub crawl that they famously failed at years earlier. Just as things get going, the friends realize something is rotten in their old burg: the town has been invaded by monsters from outer space. What at first looks like it's going to be a tender mid-life comedy-drama suddenly becomes an outrageous, over-the-top sci-fi action flick as King and his friends must thwart the alien takeover to stay alive. Pegg and Frost are their usual hilarious selves, yet again playing a pair of bumbling blokes in way over their heads. 

7. Three Kings

The 1999 satirical black comedy war film "Three Kings" was written and directed by David O. Russell, better known for his later works like "I Heart Huckabees" and "American Hustle." George Clooney, Mark Wahlberg, and Ice Cube starred as three U.S. Army officers fighting during Operation Desert Storm during the Gulf War in Iraq in 1991. As the war to stop Saddam Hussein's invasion of Kuwait is winding down, the three men conspire to raid a secret bunker full of Kuwaiti gold bullion stolen by Hussein's regime.

The rare action-comedy with a lot to say about politics and the state of foreign affairs, "Three Kings" doesn't make heroes of its thieves, even if we're rooting for them to succeed. A modest hit in theaters, it was lavished with praise from critics, with Roger Ebert awarding it a perfect four stars, saying the film had a fairly paint-by-numbers story, but that its blend of action, political commentary, and comedy made it extraordinary. "[It] bounces lots of distinct characters against one another and isn't afraid to punctuate the laughs with moments of true observation and emotion," the critic wrote. 

6. Ghostbusters

Though it boasts a bit less action than most action-comedies, its premise puts it firmly on this list. Essentially, "Ghostbusters" is a quirky workplace comedy about three eccentric scientists: Peter Venkman (Bill Murray), Ray Stantz (Dan Aykroyd), and Egon Spengler (Harold Ramis), who start a ghost-catching business. Each member has a motive for starting the venture: Egon is propelled by science, Ray is obsessed with proving his paranormal theories, and Peter just wants to get rich and attract women. At first, they're the laughing stock of New York City, but after their fledgling business makes some high-profile ghost busts, they soon need help keeping up with demand, and recruit Winston Zeddemore (Ernie Hudson) as the fourth member of their team.

Dotted with some high-fantasy action sequences, "Ghostbusters" may not have the explosive run-and-gun thrills of an outer space epic or the action of a hard-nosed police thriller. Still, when it comes to '80s action-comedies, "Ghostbusters" is tough to top. The foursome of Dan Aykroyd, Bill Murray, Harold Ramis, and Ernie Hudson may not be high-flying superheroes, but they remain among the best team of do-gooders ever assembled on screen.

5. Thor: Ragnarok

Stylish comedic director Taika Waititi ("What We Do in the Shadows") was brought on board to give Thor a facelift, turning the character from a dour, brooding warrior to a sly, good-humored adventurer in this wild reinvention of the series. "Thor Ragnarok" is a wild romp with plenty of laughs and big comic book action that few expected after the first two lackluster films

As the movie begins, Thor (Chris Hemsworth) and Loki (Tom Hiddleston) discover that their father Odin's life is nearing its natural end. His death unleashes a malevolent villain named Hela (Cate Blanchett), who wants revenge for centuries of imprisonment by bringing Thor's home, Asgard, to ruin. After their first clash, Thor finds himself marooned on the planet Sakaar, where he meets the Hulk, and the two are forced into gladiatorial combat before leading a rebellion and escaping to save Thor's home. In "Ragnarok," the confident and brash hero is juxtaposed against both the timid, awkward scientist Bruce Banner (Mark Ruffalo) and his alter ego, the childish monstrosity of the Hulk, making it a double dose of buddy comedy that reinvigorated the character ahead of "Avengers: Infinity War."

4. Midnight Run

Though more known for his intense dramatic roles at this point in his career, Hollywood icon Robert De Niro teamed up with comedian Charles Grodin for the 1988 action road comedy "Midnight Run." As Jack Walsh, De Niro plays an enforcer working for a local bondsman who helps bring in fugitives who are trying to skip bail. Walsh is hired to bring in Jonathan Mardukas (Grodin), who's embezzled $15 million from a Chicago crime boss. Meanwhile, FBI agent Alonzo Mosely (Yaphet Kotto) wants Mardukas for himself in the hopes of turning him into a federal witness against the mobster.  

With a $100,000 paycheck on the line, though, Walsh can't quit the chase. After stealing Mosely's ID and posing as an FBI agent to capture Mardukas, Walsh suddenly finds himself on the run from both federal agents and the mobsters who want his prisoner dead. During their run for their lives, the unlikely pair remain handcuffed to each other through a number of scrapes, squeezes, and deadly encounters. They ultimately form a friendship that transcends their differences. Critics called it "uncommonly entertaining," and chalked up much of the film's success to the chemistry between the two leads. 

3. Deadpool

A disappointing appearance as the character in "X-Men: Origins: Wolverine" couldn't stop star Ryan Reynolds from pursuing a more faithful Deadpool solo movie. In 2016, it finally came to fruition after years in development hell. Spearheaded by Reynolds and helmed by first-time director Tim Miller, "Deadpool" was a labor of love for those involved, and it shows. A breakneck comic onslaught of high-octane action propped up by Reynold's irreverent performance as the snarky, wisecracking, fourth-wall-breaking anti-hero, the film is a genuine thrill ride from start to finish. 

Mostly told in flashback, it tells the story of Wade Wilson, a former special forces agent who volunteers for an experimental procedure to cure his terminal cancer. Instead of a cure, he actually becomes part of a secret program designed to turn him into a living weapon by unlocking his hidden mutant genes. Now equipped with a logic-defying healing factor, Deadpool becomes an unstoppable killing machine. When he refuses to become the program's pawn, they kidnap his girlfriend. He embarks on a relentless quest to save her, killing everyone who gets in his way. At the same time, Colossus and Negasonic Teenage Warhead — a pair of wayward X-Men — assist him in an effort to convince him to join their superhero team.

A pioneering superhero action-comedy, its massive box office haul sparked a wave of R-rated big-budget action films, forcing studios to reconsider adult-oriented superheroes, which used to be seen as verboten.

2. Guardians of the Galaxy

Former Troma Pictures filmmaker James Gunn graduated to the big time in 2014 when Marvel Studios hired him to make their offbeat science-fiction comedy "Guardians of the Galaxy." The 10th film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, it was the first to go truly cosmic, and was a key stepping stone in the studio's so-called "Infinity Saga" that culminated in the 2019 record-smasher "Avengers: Endgame." In the film, we meet Peter Quill, a human raised in outer space who is now an interstellar outlaw called Star-Lord. Quill is hired to retrieve a mysterious orb of incredible power. During his hunt for the relic, he finds himself imprisoned with other renegades who seek the same prize: Gamora, a deadly alien assassin and the daughter of the mad Titan Thanos; Rocket, a gun-toting raccoon; his sidekick, Groot, a massive talking tree; and Drax, a muscle-bound bruiser with a vendetta. 

The five team up to escape and stop the orb from falling into the hands of Ronan, a brutal tyrant intent on galactic conquest. A much funnier film than audiences expected, the outlandishness of the movie's diverse cast of characters was a perfect fit for director Gunn's strange sensibilities. A massive box-office success that many saw as a big risk at the time, it turned star Chris Pratt into an action hero and Gunn into one of Hollywood's most sought-after new directors.

1. Hot Fuzz

"Hot Fuzz" is perhaps a surprising pick for the top spot, but take a look at its critical and audience response on various aggregator sites and you'll find that it takes the lead. It's not just the best action-comedy in Edgar Wright's prolific filmography; it might just be his best, period. Simon Pegg, who co-wrote the script, also plays highly respected London Metro Police officer Nicholas Angel. His accolades make him a near-celebrity, but his colleagues resent him for hogging the limelight. Always at the center of the action, Angel is devastated to be reassigned to the quiet, quaint rural village of Sandford, Gloucestershire, where he won't get to see much excitement... or so he thinks.

Angel teams up with a bumbling clod named Danny Butterman (Pegg's frequent co-star Nick Frost). A series of mysterious deaths get Angel's attention. When the townsfolk attempt to downplay them, Angel is convinced that something more is afoot. He and Butterman investigate further and discover frightening goings-on in the town, making for one of the best twists in movie history. We won't spoil it here. It's enough to say that nothing is what it seems. What follows is some of the funniest, most graphically violent humor that will make you howl with both laughter and astonishment.