The 26 best adventure movies of all time!

If there is one film genre that encompasses others and appeals to different audiences, it is adventure. For those who enjoy more action, for those who enjoy a mix of drama and comedy, or for big sci-fi fans, several types of film productions combine adventure with their plots to ensure even more excitement. Check out a list of 26 incredible adventure films. There is something for everyone!

The list below does not follow a ranking order.

1. Star Wars: Episode V – The Empire Strikes Back (1980)

adventure movies

In 1977, George Lucas released the first Star Wars film , a franchise that would go on to become one of the most popular (and most profitable) of all time. But Episode V (2nd) of the saga is still one of the fans’ favorites.

Three years after the war, Darth Vader’s Galactic Empire follows the search for Luke Skywalker and the Rebel Alliance. Luke’s training with Master Yoda, Han’s imprisonment in carbonite, and the revelation of Vader’s true identity are some of the classic scenes that the film brought to the big screen.

2. Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981)

adventure movies

Archaeologist Indiana Jones takes on the mission of finding the Ark of the Covenant, a biblical relic that holds the Ten Commandments. But he will have to face a Nazi group, who are also interested in the power and value that the artifact brings.

Directed by Steven Spielberg, the film was the first in the franchise that conquered the world. From the soundtrack to the breathtaking action scenes, from the historical references to the energy that Harrison Ford brought to the role, the film was well-received by critics and audiences. The film was even classified as one of the greatest action and adventure films of all time by The Telegraph.

3. Apollo 13: From Disaster to Triumph (1995)

Apollo 13: From Disaster to Triumph

Directed by Ron Howard, this film immortalized the phrase “Houston, we have a problem here”. Based on the book Lost Moon: The Perilous Voyage of Apollo 13 by Jim Lovell and Jeffrey Kluger, the film adapted the true story of the catastrophic Apollo 13 mission, carried out in 1970, to the big screen.

With names like Tom Hanks, Kevin Bacon and Bill Paxton in the cast, the film took the breath away from many viewers who followed the mission of the three astronauts to bring the damaged ship back to Earth.

4. Avengers: Endgame (2019)

adventure movies

After a timeline spanning more than 10 years, Avengers: Endgame concluded what Marvel called the Infinity Saga . The final battle with Thanos, the reunion of all the heroes already introduced in the saga’s 23 films, and the adaptation of several scenes from the comics ensured the production achieved the highest box office in cinema history.

The battles between all these heroes and villains would already be more than enough to classify the film as an adventure. Add to that not one, but several time travels. The heroes return to crucial moments from previous films to get the Infinity Stones.

26 Best Animated Films That Fans of the Genre Need to See

5. Interstellar (2014)

adventure movies

Directed by Christopher Nolan and with a cast including Matthew McConaughey, Anne Hathaway, Jessica Chastain and Matt Damon, Interstellar made history in cinema for many other reasons. In addition to moving viewers with the incredible difficulties these astronauts go through on a space mission, the film also left many people scratching their heads.

The plot takes place in a period when the Earth is deteriorating, and humanity investigates viable planets to survive. The film was nominated for 5 Oscars, winning in the category of Best Visual Effects.

6. The Good, the Bad and the Ugly (1966)

Three Men in Conflict

A great representative of the genre that became known as spaghetti western or Italian bang-bang, the film follows Tuco, Lourinho and Angel Eyes, three gunmen who search for buried treasure in a cemetery.

With lots of violence and shooting, the setting is the American Civil War, its battles, prison camps, hangings and all the chaos and fear. Directed by Sergio Leone, with Ennio Morricone on the soundtrack and starring Clint Eastwood, everyone should see this film once in their life.

7. Avatar (2009)

Avatar

For nearly 10 years, Avatar was the highest-grossing film in history. It only fell to second place with the release of Avengers: Endgame . The plot follows explorers in a new land. Among them are those who are enchanted by the local nature and the culture of the inhabitants, as well as those whose only interest is in the profit they can make.

The story could be that of any film about colonization, but Avatar addresses this on another planet. Being one of the first to reach the cinema with 3D technology, the film brought a fantastic world, full of animals, plants and beings of species never seen before. The plot develops when the soldier who was sent to infiltrate among the natives and discover their secrets decides to fight alongside them against the Earth armies.

8. Ben-Hur (1959)

Ben Hur

This film once again adapted the story of the novel Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ , which follows a Jewish merchant condemned to live as a slave by his childhood friend. The film follows the adversities that the protagonist goes through until he has an opportunity for revenge.

But the story of Ben-Hur is far from the only epic feature of the film. The film had one of the largest budgets and sets ever built, with over 200 camels, 2,500 horses and 10,000 extras for filming. The result: the film won 11 Oscars, in categories such as Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actor, Best Supporting Actor and Best Color Cinematography, among others.

9. Jurassic Park (1993)

thrillers

In 1993, we went to the movies and were left breathless by both the incredible and beautiful scenes that brought the dinosaurs back to life and the moments in which the protagonists were in danger after the beasts escaped from the park. The plot follows a businessman who, with a team of scientists, manages to recreate dinosaurs from DNA found in prehistoric insects. But something goes wrong during the test visit.

Directed by Steven Spielberg, the film was a milestone in the special effects scene and also topped the list of highest-grossing films in the world, being surpassed by Titanic in 1997. It won Oscars for Best Sound, Best Sound Editing and Best Visual Effects.

10. Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle (2017)

thrillers

The 1995 Jumanji , starring Robin Williams, left many children impressed with the dangers of the board game that comes to life with the most different dangers. But in 2017, we got a sequel with a whole new style. Mixing adventure, fantasy and much more comedy than the first film, Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle modernized the proposal and presented us with a video game that “sucked” four teenagers.

In the game, young people take on the appearance of characters played by Dwayne Johnson, Kevin Hart, Jack Black and Karen Gillan, and must face near-death situations in a dense forest. The film was a box office success and spawned a sequel, Jumanji: The Next Level .

11. Captain America: Civil War (2016)

adventure movies

Another of the best films in the so-called Infinity Saga, Captain America: Civil War brought to the big screen the adaptation of one of the most beloved story arcs by Marvel comic book fans. Directed by the Russo Brothers (who also directed Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame ), the film presented the conflict that divided our heroes into two opposing teams.

On one side, Iron Man, Black Widow, War Machine, Black Panther and Vision were in favor of the Sokovia Accords, which provided for government control over the heroes. On the other, Captain America, Scarlet Witch, Winter Soldier, Hawkeye and Falcon were against the treaty. But the conflict between Tony Stark and Steve Rogers only worsens after the discovery of those responsible for the death of Iron Man’s parents.

12. Back to the Future (1985)

Back to the future

If traveling through time, meeting your parents as teenagers, fighting for your own existence, racing to save your mentor and even changing your present reality isn’t an adventure, we don’t even know what is. The plot of the film introduces us to young Marty McFly, who travels from 1985 to 1955 in the time machine created by scientist Emmett Brown.

In 2008, the American Film Institute recognized the production as the 10th best American science fiction film. A true landmark in cinema, it is truly one of those films that you need to see at least once in your life (or several times!).

13. Ready Player One (2018)

adventure movies

Action, adventure, fantasy and a combo of many, many nerdy references. Based on the book written by Ernest Cline and directed by Steven Spielberg, Ready Player One is set in 2045, a period during which humanity tries to escape the harsh reality through the OASIS, a virtual reality game.

The creator of this popular game hid an Easter egg in this virtual world, guarded by three keys. Whoever finds the keys and the Easter egg will become the owner of the OASIS. In this context, we meet Wade, an orphaned teenager who tries to find this Easter egg and teams up with other players to do so, overcoming unimaginable obstacles.

14. The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (2001)

The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring

This film practically needs no explanation. Winner of 4 Oscars and 5 BAFTAs, The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring was the first film in the historic franchise, was voted the 50th best American film on the American Film Institute list, and is still considered one of the best book-to-film adaptations.

The plot introduces us to a fantastic world, in which the hobbit Frodo must destroy a powerful and evil ring. To do so, he must face a difficult path, full of dangers and other beings who try to take possession of the artifact. Other hobbits, an elf, a dwarf, a powerful wizard and two humans join Frodo for the mission, forming the Fellowship of the Ring.

15. Wonder Woman (2017)

adventure movies

Probably one of the best DC films, Wonder Woman was a pleasant surprise for fans of superhero films. Played by Gal Gadot, the warrior Diana Prince ends up in the world of ordinary humans, after saving pilot Steve Trevor, determined to stop World War I.

With breathtaking scenes, the film shows the heroine not only overcoming military forces, but also breaking different stereotypes about women at the time. The film made history in cinema, with different testimonies from viewers about the effect of female representation in this universe of heroes.

16. The Secret Life of Walter Mitty (2013)

adventure movies

Walter Mitty works as a photo negative manager at Life magazine. Leading a monotonous life, he often dreams of living different adventures. When the magazine is about to print its last issue before becoming an online-only publication, photojournalist Sean O’Connell sends Mitty a package of negatives, stating that negative 25 captures the “Quintessence” of Life and should be the last cover printed. But the negative is not there.

Desperate, Mitty discovers from the other negatives that Sean is in Greenland, and travels there in search of the photographer to recover the negative. But this journey held more adventures than Mitty could have imagined.

17. The Neverending Story (1984)

adventure movies

A film that marked the childhood of many children who grew up in the 1990s. The Neverending Story follows the young Bastian Balthazar Bux, a boy full of dreams who uses his imagination to escape from real-life problems, especially the death of his mother.

When he finds the book The Neverending Story , he finds himself completely transported to the fantasy world of the work, having to deal with gliding bats, elves, warriors and a lucky dragon. Now he imagines himself helping a young warrior save the empress from an illness and, consequently, the fantasy world.

18. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 1 (2017)

adventure movies

Probably one of the best adaptations of the Harry Potter book series , this first part of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows follows the beginning of the battle against the forces of the feared dark wizard Voldemort.

Harry, Ron and Hermione do not return to Hogwarts for their final year at school. The trio sets off, just the three of them, on journeys around the world in the difficult search for the Horcruxes that Voldemort created to achieve his immortality. In addition to the dangers and persecutions they suffer from the wizard’s followers, the three still have to deal with the discovery of new and confusing information, with the fear of losing their family members and with the uncertainty of the final confrontation with the villain.

19. Life of Pi (2012)

adventure movies

Young Pi’s family owned a zoo in Pondicherry, India. After deciding to move to Canada, however, they ended up being victims of a shipwreck on the cargo ship they were traveling on. Only Pi survived and managed to save himself in a small boat.

But some of the animals were also on the ship, and one of them also survived, a dangerous tiger with whom Pi will have to share space on the boat. Now he must find a way to survive while he is lost in the middle of the Pacific. The film was critically acclaimed and nominated for 11 Oscars, winning Best Director, Best Score, Best Cinematography and Best Visual Effects.

20. Finding Nemo (2003)

adventure movies

Acclaimed worldwide by audiences and critics, Finding Nemo made history in animated cinema, becoming the most profitable of all time. The Disney/Pixar production enchanted and moved adults and children with the story of a father’s desperate search for his son.

Due to the trauma of losing his wife and other eggs, Marlin is extremely protective of little Nemo, who was born with one fin smaller than the other. At one point, Nemo defies this overprotection and ends up being caught by a diver. Marlin and his new friend Dori cross the ocean and live adventures that the clownfish could never imagine, all to recover Nemo.

21. Blade Runner 2049 (2017)

Adventure movies

Denis Villeneuve directed the sequel to the 1982 classic Blade Runner . Harrison Ford returns as Rick Deckard, while Ryan Gosling plays Officer K, who investigates the dangerous secrets behind the companies that manufacture so-called replicants, artificial human beings created through bioengineering.

Being a replicant himself, a new model created to obey orders, K works as a blade runner, hunting down and retiring old rebel models. But the discoveries he makes along the way lead him to search for Rick Deckard, who has been missing for over 30 years.

22. Onward (2020)

adventure movies

Another one of those films that seems to be for children, but that will thrill the whole family, Onward follows the story of the elves Barley and Ian. Years after their father’s death, the two receive a magic staff left by him as a gift. Ian tries to cast a spell that will allow his father to return to life for 24 hours, but something goes wrong and only the bottom half of him returns.

Now, the two brothers must go on an unexpected adventure to find a new diamond to use on the staff and finish the spell correctly before the 24 hours are up. With original voices by Tom Holland and Chris Pratt, the film makes the viewer laugh and feel emotional, while addressing themes that any family can relate to.

23. The Wizard of Oz (1939)

The Wizard of Oz

An almost timeless adventure that continues to captivate new generations. The classic The Wizard of Oz tells the story of Dorothy, who ends up being carried away by a cyclone, accompanied by her dog Toto, to the magical land of Oz.

There, she meets a Scarecrow who is looking for a brain, a Tin Man who wants a heart, and a Cowardly Lion who dreams of finding courage. Together, they try to reach the Emerald City to ask for help from the legendary Wizard of Oz. The film has been remade several times and even an acclaimed Broadway musical, Wicked , which tells the story before Dorothy arrived in Oz.

24. Viva (2017)

Viva - Life is a Party

Oh, Pixar, you know how to make us cry. Based on Mexican culture and the tradition of the Day of the Dead, this film follows Miguel, a young man who hides his passion for music from his family, who have long banned any kind of music in their home.

Dreaming of proving his talents and perhaps changing his family’s mindset, Miguel ends up involved in a strange phenomenon that takes him to the colorful Land of the Dead. Alongside his new friend, the rogue Héctor, Miguel embarks on a great adventure to uncover the truth about his family’s past.

25. Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation (2015)

adventure movies

The fifth film in the Mission: Impossible franchise , the film features Tom Cruise once again in the role of IMF (Impossible Mission Force) agent Ethan Hunt. This time, Ethan ends up being captured by a terrorist group of spy agents from several countries, known as the Syndicate. After managing to escape, he discovers that the IMF has been disbanded and that the agents must report to the CIA.

Knowing that the CIA does not believe in the existence of the Syndicate, Hunt goes on the run to try to stop the terrorist organization on his own. But when a new attack occurs, the former IMF agents are seen as suspects and are hunted by the CIA.

26. Justice League: Flashpoint (2013)

adventure movies

When young Barry Allen decides to use his powers to go back in time and prevent his mother’s murder, he returns to a completely transformed present. In this new reality, he never gained super powers, his wife Iris is married to someone else, the Justice League does not exist, and Batman is more violent and different.

In this new present, it was not Bruce Wayne’s parents who died, but Bruce himself, which caused his father to become Batman, while his mother went mad and became the Joker. The animated film was well received by the public, who were already fans of the story arc written by Geoff Johns and Andy Kubert.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *