Believe me, I know how difficult it can be to find a movie to watch with your special lady friend when you’re craving something with a lot of action.  My wife says women require something a little smarter and it has to include some humor.  I’m not sure if each of the movies in this list are necessarily smart, but these films are guaranteed to please.  (Warning, not actually guaranteed)  If you know of any additional lady-friendly action films, please leave them in the comments to help us all!

10) The Mission Impossible films

Let’s do everyone a favor and immediately disqualify the 2nd film, leaving us with some star-driven action fare that fancies itself a little smarter than your typicalMichael Bay popcorn film.  If your lady hasn’t seen any of them, start with Ghost Protocol and work backwards.

Why She’ll Love It:  It’s both smart and funny, and the ladies still seem to like this Tom Cruise fellow.

9) True Lies

I’m not going to lie.  There was a year in college where I watched this movie weekly.  It’s possible that my love for this film might cloud my ability to predict whether your loved one is going to enjoy it.  (SHE BETTER!)  With a great cast and plenty of humor and action, this one is rewatchable and fun.

Why She’ll Love It:  True Lies actually has a great set-up and the story moves along briskly, always interesting and often hilarious.  She’ll love the arc of the Jamie Lee Curtis character while wondering why Tom Arnold was never this funny again.

8) Taken

Short and sweet, Taken simply doesn’t mess around.  Liam Neeson slides into the role of action hero easily and naturally.  And this isn’t your typical action film.  The good guy succeeds without the obligatory hero missteps you see in other films.  He doesn’t get beat up, shot, stabbed, embarrassed, slowed, or surprised.  He just does what heroes do: kicks all sorts of bad guy tush.(Actually, he may get shot – but he doesn’t flinch!)

Why She’ll Love It:  She’ll love that it stars an academy award nominator actor (which really shouldn’t matter) and she’ll love that the entire premise is based on love of family (though I prefer to look at it as a revenge tale). 

7) Pirates of the Caribbean

We’ve been bombarded with so many sequels that it’s hard to remember when the first Pirates movie was released.  It’s also hard to remember how magical it felt.  It was both whimsical and adventurous.  Funny and thrilling.  It was a fantastic mix of what makes movies special, and it should be enjoyed by all.

Why She’ll Love It:  Do I really have to type it out?  J.O.H.N.N.Y. D.E.P.P.

6) The Bourne Movies

While some are better than others, Bourne is the rare action series where each entry is entertaining and competent.  It’s easy to cheer for Matt Damon as Jason Bourne even while the tone of the films is always very serious.  There’s some romance at times, but make no mistake – this is a story of survival.

Why She’ll Love It:  This is a smart series with touches of romance and humanity mixed between the globe-trotting action sequences.  And to quote Team America, “MATT DAMON!”  

5) Armageddon

People pretend not to love-the-crap out of Armageddon, but this is a ridiculously fun film that evenCriterion recognized in one of their deluxe DVD releases.  Full of exaggerated colorful characters and a film soundtrack that made Aerosmith relevant again,Armageddon really does have something for everyone.

Why She’ll Love It:  Humor, Love, and Sacrifice are 3 of the main themes of the film, and honestly who wasn’t moved by the Liv Tyler/Ben Affleck animal cracker scene?  (I’m Kidding!)  Trust me though, she won’t want to miss a thing.  (See what I did there?)

4) National Treasure

Sure, I’ll admit that I have a weakness for Jerry Bruckheimer films.  There’s a reason he’s been so successful across different mediums.  He understands how to reach both men and women like few others do.  Like Pirates and Armageddon above, National Treasure has the perfect mix of adventure, humor, and romance.  It’s far-fetched and fun, and it has an amazing orchestral score.

Why She’ll Love It:  This is another film with universal appeal.  It taps into the magic that made the original Indiana Jones films fun, and it does it with plenty of laughs and just enough romance.

3) Mr and Mrs Smith

I wasn’t in love with this one when it was released.  In fact I avoided it assuming it was simply a vehicle to take advantage of the Angelina Jolie/Brad Pitt paparazzi popularity.  A funny thing happened though.  My wife watched it without me!  And she loved it!!

Why She’ll Love It:  Perhaps deep down they all want to blow up the house to make a point.  And as much as I didn’t want to enjoy it, Angelina and Brad are both terrifically talented, and their obvious chemistry serves them well in this one.

2) The Italian Job

The Italian Job was a runaway hit when it was released in 2oo3.  There have been plenty of rumors of a sequel since then, but I fear it’ll likely be difficult to pull off now that the film’s cast have all become huge stars.  Mark Wahlberg, Edward Norton, Charlize Theron, Jason Statham, Seth Green, and Mos Def (ok, so they aren’t ALL huge stars).  With a pretty cast and a fun premise, I’ve never met anyone who didn’t enjoy this film.

Why She’ll Love It:  Let’s face it, she’s already seen it.

1) Top Gun

Top Gun is the ultimate guilty-pleasure film.  It’s big and dumb with a great cast, some amazing fighter jet action sequences, a few heart-felt melodramatic story moments, romance, a musical number, and a ridiculously out of place volleyball sequence.  It may be another Bruckheimer produced spectacle, but no list of action movies would be complete without a film by the late great Tony Scott.

Why She’ll Love It:  Melodrama, romance, and eye candy.  Plus, it’s as much fun to mock as it is to watch.

About The Author

By day I’m a producer/director at a video game development studio. By night, I’m… um… yeah, i’m usually just a more tired producer/director at a video game development studio. BUT, by weekend I’m a husband, father, and critic of all things.

  • MasterCritic

    Raiders of the Lost Ark deserves an honorable mention. What else?

  • J.C. King

    Not gonna’ lie… I hated “The Italian Job.” Not sure why exactly – maybe I was a little burnt out on heist films when I saw it, maybe I couldn’t see past Mark(y Mark) Wahlberg’s bad, empty acting. Even the Mini Coopers didn’t really do it for me.

    I’ll put some of the more recent Bond films up for consideration. Also “Crouching Tiger…”

    • Leslie Bundick

      WHAT?!? I love The Italian Job! I’m bummed your hating on Marky Mark.

      • J.C. King

        No hate, just “critiquing.” I liked him in Transformers 4. Hated the first three and most of the fourth one, but he was pretty good.

        • Leslie Bundick

          I was mostly being sarcastic. I’m under no illusion that Marky Mark would be even half the Jason Borne Matt Damon is. But I am amazed that you made it to Transformers 4. I stopped at 2.

          • J.C. King

            I SHOULD have stopped at “Directed by Michael Bay.”

    • Tim

      Very interesting J.C. I think you’re the first person I’ve heard that didn’t enjoy The Italian Job. Have you given it another chance since your first viewing? I’m thinking maybe you ate some bad cheese beforehand or something.

      • J.C. King

        Challenge accepted. I’ll track down a copy and give it another go.

        • Tim

          Wellllll???? Any luck tracking down The Italian Job? 🙂

          • J.C. King

            It’s on my to-do list.

          • J.C. King

            Hey Tim. Sorry this is A BIT LATE…
            Rebekah and I watched “The Italian Job” in our stateroom on our cruise back in November. I find that I loathe it LESS than I did at the theater, but am perhaps MORE perplexed that I don’t like it more than I do, given the fantastic cast. I just couldn’t get behind the characters like I could the crew in “Ocean’s Eleven” or “Ant Man” or pretty much ANY heist film from the last 15 years. There was nothing noble or admirable in their motivations, except maybe Edward Norton’s (playing himself.) He wanted his cable to work, which is one of perhaps five universal human longings. For contrast, see “Heat” or “Inside Man” – both films brimming over with character AND emotional investment.