Despite my often going for older and more outré selections in this category, I have a fondness for some of the bombastic action pictures to come from Hollywood in the 1980s, and this is one of the best. Die Hard is a non-stop rollercoaster, an exemplar example of perfectly structured action which gradually builds over the course of its running time, and from the opening bell doesn’t let go. Much like The Terminator, all exposition is told on the move; we are introduced to John McClane, played with engaging flavor by the mighty Bruce Willis (whose New York cop is a refreshing everyman amidst the onscreen musclemen of the period), as he is en-route to Nakatomi Tower in Los Angeles to meet with his estranged wife. What follows is a masterfully balanced heist film uniting strong characters (Alan Rickman’s Hans Gruber is hands down one of the all-time great villains) with some of the most memorable action set-pieces to grace the screen. Even today, Die Hard represents a gold standard of action cinema.