Let me preface this post by saying that this list is far from scientific and based on no actual data other than my own bias. Actually, after browsing through several other top manly movie lists, I’ve found a surprising difference in what some consider man movies. So to start off… let’s define what a “man movie” is or should be. Man movies are not just good movies, they’re not just funny, violent, popular or filled with scantly clad women. Man movies are about men doing manly things.
What are manly things? Opinions may vary, but here’s a few things we consider manly: Saving villages, fighting crime, protecting, fighting in wars, battling evil, standing up for something, defending one’s country, defying all odds, beating the crap out of bad guys, taking justice into one’s own hands (vigilantes), and performing incredible feats of strength and courage.
So with that in mind, let’s get on to our top 21 Manly Movies List. Here they are:
Our manly movies list begins with Hoosiers, a timeless classic that should be part of every man movie collection. If you like sports, underdogs, last-second shots and rousing locker room speeches, you’ll love this one.
Famous Line: “If you put your effort and concentration into playing to your potential, to be the best that you can be, I don’t care what the scoreboard says. At the end of the game, in my book, we’re gonna be winners.”
Manly Takeaway: Learn the fundamentals.
Did you know? Jack Nicholson was the original choice to play Coach Norman Dale but had a scheduling conflict. - IMDb
Lone war veteran John Rambo takes on a hick police force and brings down a whole town with his knife and a bazooka. Do I even have to justify why this movie makes the list?
Famous Line: “Hunting? We ain’t huntin’ him, he’s huntin’ us!”
Manly Takeaway: If you see a guy like Rambo on the street, leave him alone!
Did you know? John Travolta was considered for the part of Rambo. - IMDb
Jedis, storm troopers, light sabers, and droids… need I say more? The original Starwars Trilogy deserves a spot on this list, however, the only place worthy of Jar Jar Binks and the latest Star Wars installment is Vader’s Carbonite Deep Freeze.
Famous Line: “These aren’t the droids you’re looking for.”
Manly Takeaway: Don’t underestimate the force.
Did you know? At one point, George Lucas planned for the characters of Luke Skywalker and his aunt and uncle, to be dwarves. - IMDb
This movie needs no introduction and certainly no explaining for it’s inclusion on this list. Bourne Identity has enough action, explosions, fight scenes and high speed car chases to be on a list of it’s own. If you haven’t seen this one, you haven’t reached full manhood.
Famous Line: “I can tell you the license plate numbers of all six cars outside. I can tell you that our waitress is left-handed and the guy sitting up at the counter weighs two hundred fifteen pounds and knows how to handle himself. I know the best place to look for a gun is the cab of the gray truck outside, and at this altitude, I can run flat out for a half mile before my hands start shaking. Now why would I know that? How can I know that and not know who I am?”
Did you know? Brad Pitt was offered the role of Jason Bourne, but turned it down to do Spy Game. Ouch… - IMDb
What guy doesn’t love a good martial arts movie? Bruce Lee (the only guy to face Chuck Norris and come out victorious) puts on a spectacular show of human strength, skill and discipline as he avenges the death of his sister and takes down a Chinese drug lord in this classic. This is definitely one of the best and easily kicks it’s way onto this list.
Famous Line: “boards… don’t hit back.”
Manly Takeaway: Bruce Lee lied… boards can hit back.
Did you know? Over 8,000 mirrors were used to setup the “Hall of Mirrors” where the climax duel takes place. - IMDb
Love the original, but this remake is much better. A classic heist movie and maybe the best of it’s kind. Oceans Eleven has everything you’d want in a man movie; the impossible heist, casinos, comedy, and a little payback.
Famous Line: “They might as well call it whitejack!”
Manly Takeaway: Planning is everything.
Did you know? Bruce Willis was originally cast as Danny Ocean, but had to pull out due to scheduling conflicts. - IMDb
Spartan King Leonidas and his army of 300 soldiers go head to head with the invading Persians in this manly masterpiece. A perfect underdog story with breath taking special effects, epic battles scenes, and more testosterone than one can handle. The Dojo gives this one 2 thumbs up and a spot on our manly movies list.
Famous Line: “A new age has come: an age of freedom. And all will know that 300 Spartans gave their last breath to defend it.”
Manly Takeaway: Freedom is worth dying for.
Did you know? The film was shot in just 60 days. - IMDb
Batman Begins takes first prize among bat movies and of course deserves a spot on our manly movies list.
Famous Line: “Why do we fall sir? So we might learn to pick ourselves up”
Manly Takeaway: If you fall… get back up! And if you feel like dressing up like a bat and fighting crime, go ahead and do that too.
Did you know? Much of Batman’s gear and apparel, including his cape and suit, is based on actual military technology. - IMDb
Liam Neeson uses his “particular” set of skills to exact justice on dirt bag criminals that have kidnapped his daughter. You may come away from this one with the overwhelming desire to beat up some bad guys.
Famous Line: “…what I do have are a very particular set of skills; skills I have acquired over a very long career. Skills that make me a nightmare for people like you. If you let my daughter go now, that’ll be the end of it. I will not look for you, I will not pursue you. But if you don’t, I will look for you, I will find you, and I will kill you.”
Manly Takeaway: Obtain some “particular” skills, you never know when you might need them.
Did you know? The martial art style used by Liam Neeson is Nagasu Do. It’s a hybrid martial art style that borrows from Judo, Aikido and Ju Jitsu. - IMDb
If you were to look up “manly movie” in the dictionary you’d find a definition that looked like this… man mov·ie: (n) Die Hard, Die Hard 2, Die Hard with a Vengeance, Live Free or Die Hard and any film starring Bruce Willis.
Famous Line: “Yippee-ki-yay!”
Did you know? Richard Gere was considered for the role of John McClane. - IMDb
Great battle scenes, great plot, and a must have for your man movie collection.
Famous Line: “My name is Maximus Decimus Meridius, Commander of the armies of the North, General of the Felix legions, loyal servant to the true Emperor, Marcus Aurelius. Father to a murdered son, husband to a murdered wife. And I will have my vengeance, in this life or the next.”
Did you know? Like modern day athletes, ancient Roman gladiators did product endorsements. The producers considered including this in the script but discarded the idea as unbelievable. - IMDb
Allied P.O.W.s hatch an enormous escape plan to free themselves from an inescapable Nazi prison camp. One of the best escape movies ever produced. Steve McQueen, James Garner, Charles Bronson and James Coburn are just a few of the big names featured in this WWII classic. An old school manly movie, but one worth your time and definitely worth a spot in your movie collection.
Famous Line: “You’re crazy. You oughta be locked up… Two hundred and fifty guys just walkin’ down the road, just like that? ”
Manly Takeaway: Always have a backup plan
Did you know? During the climatic motorcycle chase, John Sturges allowed Steve McQueen to ride (in disguise) as one of the pursuing German soldiers, so that in the final sequence, through the magic of editing, he’s actually chasing himself. - IMDb
With a heavy dose of action, explosions, cool gadgets and a renegade millionaire out to rid the world of evil, Iron Man makes this list with ease.
Famous Line: “I am Iron Man.”
Manly Takeaway: You’ll never be as cool as Tony Stark.
Did you know? Nicolas Cage and Tom Cruise were interested in playing Iron Man. Cruise in particular was going to act in and produce the film. - IMDb
You can’t have a list of man movies without James Bond. Casino Royale earns the nod for being the first Bond movie with more action scenes than sex scenes. It’s also the best cast 007 film of the popular series.
Famous Line: “The name is Bond… James Bond.”
Did you know? In one afternoon’s shooting, three Aston Martin DBS cars valued at $300,000 each were destroyed for the car roll sequence. - IMDb
Yes, we’re cheating a little with this one, but this entire trilogy is worthy of a spot on our list. Indiana Jones is the man we all wish we were. He’s a treasure hunter by trade, a chick magnet, a Nazi beater and carries a whip like most guys carry their cell phones.
Famous Line: “Germany has declared war on the Jones boys.”
Manly Takeaway: Choose wisely…
Did you know? Harrison Ford cut his chin in a car accident in Northern California when he was about 20. In the movie, this cut is explained by young Indiana Jones cutting his chin with a whip. - IMDb
This classic prison escape movie actually flopped in the theaters. However, it’s now considered one of best movies ever made. We couldn’t agree more.
Famous Line: “…hope is a good thing, maybe the best of things, and no good thing ever dies.”
Manly Takeaway: Get busy living!
Even with the growing popularity of MMA, boxing is still the manliest sport. Few films get you fired up like Rocky and there’s no question this and the entire Rocky series belong on this list.
Famous Line: “Adrian!”
Manly Takeaway: Go the Distance!
Did you know? When shooting the scenes in the meat-locker where he punches the slabs of beef, actor Sylvester Stallone punched the meat so hard for so long that he flattened out his knuckles. To this day, when he makes a fist, his knuckles are completely level. - IMDb
Western movies and manliness go hand in hand. If you like gun fights, saloons, outlaws, and great story lines, you’ll love Tombstone. No manly movies list would be complete without it.
Famous Line: “…You tell ‘em I’m coming! And Hell’s coming with me you hear! Hell’s coming with me!”
Manly Takeaway: Don’t mess with brothers
Did you know? When the Earps first enter Tombstone, a grave marker can be seen in the cemetery that reads “Here lies Lester Moore, Four slugs from a .44, No Les No more.” There is an actual tombstone in Tombstone, Arizona that has that epitaph. - IMDb
One of my personal favorites. This Civil War classic gives us a glimpse of some of the great sacrifices that were made to keep our country free from slavery. Don’t question your manliness if you shed a few tears in this one, it’s 100% man movie!
Famous Line: “…Gonna come a time when we all gonna hafta ante up. Ante up and kick in like men. LIKE MEN!”
Manly Takeaway: Ante up!
Did you know? In order to simulate realistic shell bursts, Edward Zwick and his effects crew used lycopodium powder, which, when puffed into a naked flame, instantly ignites producing a phosphorescent ball of light for a split second. - IMDb
A near impossible rescue mission, war heroes, tanks, heavy artillery and plenty of action make Saving Private Ryan another easy pick for our list.
Famous Line: “…if you was to put me and this here sniper rifle anywhere up to and including one mile from Adolf Hitler… with a clean line of sight… Pack your bags, fellas. War’s over. Amen.”
Manly Takeaway: Don’t let the bad guy get away!
Did you know? All the principal actors underwent several days of grueling army training – except for Matt Damon, who was spared so that the other actors would resent him, and would convey that resentment in their performances. - IMDb
Although dubbed historically inaccurate and even offensive to most native Scots, this manly saga will go down in history as one of the best movies of all time and certainly makes a case for being the #1 man movie on our list. William Wallace and his stand against King Longshanks is nothing short of spectacular and makes one appreciate more deeply the freedoms we all enjoy. This blockbuster has all the elements of a classic man movie including epic battle scenes, stirring speeches, men in kilts and even some comic relief.
Famous Line: “…it’s our wits that make us men.”
Manly Takeaway: They can take our lives… but they’ll never take our freedom!
Did you know? The mechanical horses designed for the battle sequences weighed 200 pounds and were fueled by nitrogen cylinders propelling them at 30 mph on 20-foot tracks. - IMDb