There’s nothing like the thrill of watching a good adventure movie. Set in the regency era, piracy era or contemporary, fiction or fantasy, whatever it is, we love a good adventure film that can make us feel the adrenaline rush. Adventure movies keep viewers on their toes and bring out the eager kid in all of us.
The thrill of exploring and discovering, the excitement in trekking, climbing a boulder, diving into the ocean…Ah, the euphoria of going on those adventures!
Check out Adventures of a Lifetime: 38 Impressive Adventurous Things to do if you are a real-life adventure junkie. But if you are someone who loves adventure but not quite enough to go experience all of it, adventure films are your buddy!
It will give you the perfect excitement and thrill and hauls your mind to exotic, adventurous locations.
But not all movies in the adventure genre give you that experience, does it? Nope. It takes the best to make you feel like you’re there for it. And we are here to recommend to you the best adventure movies ever to bless your adventure-seeking soul.
So, let’s look at some of the best adventure movies.
30 Best Adventure Movies to Watch
1. Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981)
Well, we can’t create a list of best adventure movies without mentioning Indiana Jones, can we? This movie and the iconic character took the meaning of archeology to another level.
Directed by Steven Spielberg, Raiders of the Lost Ark revolves around Indiana Jones, an archeology professor who competes with a troop of Nazis to find the Ark of the Covenant. This biblical artifact supposedly has the power to make an army invincible. He has to stop his rival archeologist Dr. René Belloq from guiding the Nazis to the Ark of Covenant and its power, thus embarking on an adventurous journey.
And folks, this is just a start! Raiders of the lost ark are the first film of the Indiana Jones franchise. Steven Spielberg has given us an iconic character whose story has been shown in many adventure movies.
2. The Wizard of Oz (1939)
This masterpiece is an essential one when listing the best adventure films ever! Young or old, you cannot watch The Wizard of Oz and be excited. This American musical fantasy film sweeps us away to a magical land and keeps us entertained with its fun adventure story.
It is an adaptation of L. Frank Baum’s 1900 children’s fantasy novel The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. The film follows the story of Dorothy and Toto, her dog, who gets whisked away to a magical land.
3. Back to the Future (1985)
Set in 1985, this film follows the life of Marty McFly, a teenager who gets accidentally sent back to 1955 in a time-traveling DeLorean automobile built by his friend Emmett “Doc” Brown.
He somehow meddles with the past, which prevents his parents from falling in love which essentially erases his existence. We see him trying to reconcile with his parents and finally return to the future.
Sounds fun and adventurous, right?
4. The Goonies (1985)
1985 had some pretty adventure movies, don’t you think?
This 1985 American adventure comedy film, based on a story by Steven Spielberg, is about two kids living in the “Goon Docks” neighborhood of Astoria, Oregon. They attempt to save their homes from foreclosure and, in the process, discover an old treasure map that takes them on an adventure to find the long-lost fortune of a legendary 17th-century pirate, One-Eyed Willy.
Starring Sean Astin, Josh Brolin, and Jeff Cohen, this movie is a perfect choice for a fun adventure film.
5. Aliens (1986)
This science fiction action film written and directed by James Cameron is the sequel to the 1979 science fiction horror film Alien.
Sequel to the very effective 1979 film, Alien, which introduced Ellen Ripley, who’s the only survivor after an alien attack on her ship, this movie is set 57 years later. Ellen and her fellow space voyagers, who are exploring a newly discovered planet, find an abandoned spaceship. A spaceship that contained surviving alien life-form whose only function was to eat anything and everything warm and moved.
Aliens, that are adamant about eating humans? Now that’s an adventure you should experience.
6. The Princess Bride (1987)
The Princess Bride is an American fantasy adventure comedy film directed and co-produced by Rob Reiner, adapted from the novel of the same name by William Goldman. A farmhand named Westley and his companions must rescue his true love Princess Buttercup from Prince Humperdinck.
Now, don’t think this is a children’s movie. It is both fun as well as adventurous.
7. The Lord of the Rings Trilogy
The Lord of the Rings is a film series consisting of three epic fantasy adventure films based on the novel The Lord of the Rings by J. R. R. Tolkien.
Subtitled The Fellowship of the Ring, The Two Towers, and The Return of the King, these films surely are the best adventure movies of all time. Set in the fictional world of Middle-earth, the films follow the hobbit Frodo Baggins as he embarks on a quest to destroy the One Ring, and thus the destruction of its maker, the Dark Lord Sauron.
We can’t list the best adventure movies and not add The Lord of the Rings movies in it, can we? Find the One ring, destroy it…Yep, this movie captivates you with its story and the adventure in it.
8. Pirates of the Caribbean Franchise
Well, well, well. No best adventure movie list exists without our beloved Captain Jack Sparrow’s movies.
From Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl to the latest Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales, all five Caribbean movies are excellent adventure films.
This franchise, perfectly cast, revolves around the iconic, most beloved character ever-Captain Jack Sparrow, portrayed to perfection by Johnny Depp! This film series takes you on a rollercoaster of adventures with our eccentric pirate being the main key to it. The first three movies also focus on the characters Will Turner (played by Orlando Bloom) and Elizabeth Swann (played by Keira Knightley), who embark on an adventure with Jack Sparrow.
Hmm, let’s see. Johnny Depp, Orlando Bloom, and Keira Knightley in an adventure movie of pirates? Hip, hip, hurray!
9. Romancing the Stone (1984)
SStarringMichael Douglas, Kathleen Turner, and Danny DeVito, this movie show us what happened to a dowdy romantic-adventure writer who s hurled into a real-life adventure. Joan Wilder, a romance novelist, must survive the Columbian jungle to save her sister, whose life is at stake if a treasure map is not delivered to her captors.
With the help of a brash mercenary, she searches for the priceless gem located on the map.
Sounds good, right? A classic story of jungle adventure!
10. Star Wars Franchise
Star Wars is an epic American space opera franchise with millions of fans worldwide.
Consisting of two trilogies, this franchise depicts the adventures of characters in a faraway galaxy in which humans and many species of aliens and robots exist.
The franchise is now expanded into various films, television series, video games, novels, comic books, and theme park attractions. Because why not? From spacecraft to space travel, these movies give you both space opera and adventure!
11. Night at the Museum (2006)
If you’re a fan of fun and adventure, you will know there’s no adventure movie more entertaining than Night at the Museum.
This fun movie directed by Shawn Levy is about a night watchman (Ben Stiller) at a natural history museum who discovered the craziest thing ever- everything in the museum comes alive at night!
Well, you can imagine the rest. The thrill, the adventure, the fun… Night at the Museum is one of the most entertaining adventure movies ever!
12. Jurassic Park Franchise
Steven Spielberg directs this 1993 American sci-fi adventure film. The first installment of the Jurassic Park franchise is based on the 1990 novel of the same name by Michael Crichton. It is set on the fictional islet Isla Nublar, located off Central America’s Pacific Coast, where a rich philanthropist and his team of genetic scientists have managed to create a wildlife park of cloned dinosaurs.
Jurassic Park films are one of the most popular franchises in the world, and of course, because of the dinosaurs, a popular adventure movie as well.
13. The Mummy (1999)
The Mummy is a 1999 American fantasy action-adventure film written and directed by Stephen Sommers, it is a remake of the 1932 film of the same name, revolving around a group of treasure-seeking explorers in the Sahara Desert in 1925.
The real adventure starts when they stumble upon an ancient tomb and accidentally awaken Imhotep, a cursed high priest with supernatural powers.
An expedition that ends up with a mummy and supernatural powers? It’s indeed one of the best adventure movies. Also, this movie has sequels that are adventurous as well.
14. Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle (2017)
If you’ve seen the original Jumanji movie (1995), loosely based on Chris Van Allsburg’s picture book of the same name, you know it’s the peak of adventure!
In this second installment, four high school kids discover an old video game console, which whisks them away to the game’s jungle setting. They must tackle several adventurous tasks and stay alive through a wild journey, or they will get stuck in the game- forever.
15. Up (2009)
Who said animated movies are only for children? Some of the animated movies are in the adventure genre, and one such film is Up.
This movie is about Carl Fredricksen and Wilderness Explorer Russell, who embark on a journey to South America to fulfill his promise to his late wife, Ellie. This is absolutely one of the tear-jerking adventure films.
16. King Kong (2005)
In this adventure film, director Carl Denham (Jack Black) and his crew go from New York City to Skull Island to film a new movie. And guess who they find?
Yep, King Kong, aka a monstrous ape existing and humans approaching his home? A great way to start an adventure, right?
King Kong is actually a movie series of sorts. It has sequels coming after you with more adventures!
17. Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe (2005)
There’s no way we can’t add this masterpiece to the list of best adventure movies of all time!
Four kids stepping into a magical wardrobe that leads to the fantasy world of Narnia? That is an epic adventure, especially when they have to form an alliance with Aslan and fight against the evil White Witch.
If you liked Narnia, a couple of sequels to the movie will take you to Narnia again.
18. Star Trek (2009)
This American sci-fi action film follows James T. Kirk (Chris Pine) and Spock aboard the USS Enterprise, embarking on its maiden voyage. Then they collide with Nero (Eric Bana), a Romulan from their future who threatens the United Federation of Planets.
With time travel and space adventure, this easily takes hold of the adventure movie title.
19. James Bond Series
Starting with Dr.No, all the James Bond movies are adventure movies. Following the story of agent 007, James Bond, this film series gives us action and adventure.
If you’re a 007 fan, there are 27 movies packed with adventure and action!
20. Cast Away (2000)
This 2000 adventure movie, starring Tom Hanks, is also a survival drama film directed by Robert Zemeckis.
On his way to Malaysia, FedEx executive Chuck Nolan’s plane crashes into the Pacific Ocean during a storm. He gets stranded on an uninhabited island, surviving on his own.
On a lonely island, surviving itself seems adventurous, right? That’s what makes this film one of the best adventure movies ever.
21. Harry Potter Film Series
No movie buff or bookworm in the world doesn’t know about Harry Potter movies. There’s no need to say more, is there?
This epic fantasy film series, an adaptation of the novel series by JK Rowling, follows the story of a young boy who finds out he’s a wizard and thus the adventures that follow him.
From magic to dark magic, monsters to the big bad Voldemort, this series is easily one of the best adventure movies ever!
22. Jaws (1975)
This American thriller film, based on the 1974 novel by Peter Benchley, is almost a horror movie as well.
The terrifying adventure begins when a young woman, while skinny dipping, is killed by a shark.
Need I say more Sharks, killing, surviving, attacking… That’s an adventure for sure!
23. The Last of the Mohicans (1992)
In this movie, the last members of a dying Native American tribe, the Mohicans’ peaceful living, are destroyed when their ally, British Colonel’s daughters, are abducted by a traitorous scout.
The Mohicans must rescue them from a military conflict, the French and Indian War!
24. Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (2000)
This story is set in 19th-century China during the Qing dynasty and follows the adventures of female machete warrior Yu Shu Lien and her swordsman friend.
They have to battle other warriors over the 400-year-old sword Green Destiny. This is an underrated yet one of the best adventure movies.
25. Free Guy (2021)
This recent film is one of the best adventure movies, telling the story of a bank teller who discovers that he is a non-player character in a multiplayer online game.
Guy then partners with a player to find evidence against a gaming company’s CEO for stealing the codes.
26. Life of Pi (2012)
This is another film without which the list of best adventure movies remains unfinished.
Adapted from the 2001 novel by Yann Martel, this fantasy adventure follows the journey of Pi, who has to survive on a lifeboat with a Bengal tiger.
This film has every ounce of adventure in it!
27. Inception (2010)
This sci-fi adventure film shows us the story of a professional thief who enters people’s subconscious and makes use of it. But he’s offered a deal.
Criminal history is erased if he manages to implant ideas into a target’s subconscious. Get ready for adventure because this movie is going to blow your mind!
28. Ghostbusters (1984)
Fan of horror movies and adventure movies? This movie is perfect for you!
Following the story of three parapsychologists who decides to investigate ghosts with technology and make it into a business.
But a mishap floods the city with captured ghosts and supernatural beings. Sounds awesome, right?
29. Independence Day (1996)
In this epic adventure film, an unimaginable thing happens- the sky ignites. As events unfold, everyone realizes that a powerful extraterrestrial race is planning for annihilation on July 4.
Hang on for this epic adventure!
30. Marvel Cinematic Universe
Last but definitely not least, we have a whole universe of sci-fi adventure movies!
Based on the characters and story of Marvel comics, the Cinematic Universe’s most of the movies are the best adventure movies. From Ironman and Captain America to Spiderman and Moonknight, this universe has some of the best adventure movies ever!
Adventure in space, with sorcery, witchcraft, technology…say it, and you have it. Marvel cinematic universe covers almost all areas, don’t they?
Now that you have the recommendations and know what to watch, grab your popcorn and have fun with adventure!