The box office battle for the White House delivered two action-packed blockbusters in the summer of 2013. While Olympus Has Fallen may have lagged behind its crosstown rival, it remains our preferred pick of the duo. If you’re looking for another serving of big explosions, epic gunfights and of course – one man wrecking bands hell bent on taking down the bad guys, you’re in luck.
Check out our list or video below for the best movies like Olympus Has Fallen:
1. Die Hard
“Come out to the coast, we’ll get together, have a few laughs…”
While it’s one of the most obvious choices, it’s also only right that we start our list with Bruce Willis’ wisecracking cop John McClane in Die Hard. As the 1988 hit that forever changed the landscape of action-movies, this classic has inspired countless imitations since.
A big building that gets overrun by terrorists? Check. An unknown man on the inside with the skills to bring them down? Check. Sharing more than a handful of details with Olympus Has Fallen, why not pay homage to the movie that perfected the craft.
“Pop quiz, hotshot. There’s a bomb on a bus. Once the bus goes 50 miles an hour, the bomb is armed. If it drops below 50, it blows up. What do you do? What do you do?”
Olympus Has Fallen is not the only movie that managed to successfully recreate the Die-Hard formula. Starring Keanu Reeves and Sandra Bullock, Speed is another high-wire action spectacle that doesn’t take it’s foot off the gas (literally). It involves a bitter ex-police officer who outfits a bus with a custom C4 tune-up job that’s wired to go off if the vehicle drops below 50 miles per hour.
While you may think the story doesn’t have many places to go, it delights in defying all expectations. This 1994 action-thriller is filled with more than enough pulsating sequences to keep you engaged.
3. Mile 22
“I have information that proves my government is planning an attack on the United States. You have no idea how evil my government is.”
Next up we have Mark Wahlberg leading the line in the heavy hitting – Mile 22. While Gerard Butler muscled his way from the inside, this story focuses on an elite CIA group who must get an asset outside of a target hotspot and ready for extraction. They have to travel 22 miles as an assortment of petty criminals, corrupt cops and lethal hit men close in on their ranks.
With gritty fight scenes and some very unexpected twists and turns, there’s a very good chance you’ll enjoy this one.
4. The Mechanic
“Good judgment comes from experience, experience comes from bad judgment.”
The Mechanic is a rip-roaring action-thriller that’s high on adrenaline and low on the finer plot points. And that’s okay, because it’s not trying to be anything else. Here we have Arthur Bishop (Jason Statham) who may just be the most feared hit man in the field. When his friend and mentor Harry is killed, he makes a choice to bring the orphan son into the trade while seeking out revenge.
The action genre has been graced with a select group of leading men over the years. And Jason Statham has proved by now that he’s got the chops to be included among them. His excellent performance here in The Mechanic certaintly bolsters his claim.
5. Air Force One
“I know what you’re thinking, First Lady. You want me dead. Well, it might come to that. In the war, people die.”
Talking of leading men, next up we have Harrison Ford in the immensely entertaining – Air Force One. This time around, the bulk of the action takes place in the sky as the President’s own plane gets compromised (prior to takeoff) by an armed group of terrorists. While there is another vigilante who’s there to take them on one by one, in this instance, it happens to be the President himself who racks up the body count and rattles off the one-liners.
6. Mission: Impossible -Rogue Nation
“Set your watch, Brandt. Ethan Hunt’s living his last days as a free man.”
While we could have included a couple of Mission Impossible movies on this list, in the end we’ve gone with Rogue Nation. This spy-thriller was responsible for breathing fresh wind into the sails of the franchise and it makes for an especially great pairing with Olympus Has Fallen. Like Gerard Butler, Tom Cruise doesn’t take a backward step as he smashes through buildings, cars and just about anything else in an attempt to get to the bad guys.
7. The November Man
“You can be a human, or a killer of humans, but not both. Eventually one of those people will extinguish the other one.”
Moving along with another one-man army who defies all the odds and expectations, albeit a little more stylishly than the others up to now, we have Pierce Brosnan in The November Man. He plays a retired CIA operative who’s pulled back into the game after his former protege crosses the line and thus sets off a deadly chain of events.
It’s a well-worn look for Brosnan and one we’re used to see him pull of with effortless charm and appeal. He doesn’t disappoint here either.
8. White House Down
‘You don’t start out a politician, but you become one. Just once, though, I wanna do something that’s presidential. Something along the lines of Lincoln, Washington, and Jefferson.”
And last but not least, we’ll round off our list with the movie twin of Olympus Has Fallen – the Jamie Foxx and Channing Tatum led hit – White House Down. It’s pretty much as like for like as you can get without rewatching Olympus Has Fallen. So if you’re not set on anything up to this point, then maybe it’s the one you were looking for all along!