15 Best Kurt Russell Movies Of All Time

POSTED BY Usama Shaikh, UPDATED ON March 27th, 2024
15 Best Kurt Russell Movies of All Time

Kurt Russell is a great actor. He may be slightly away from the mainstream now and regrettably unknown for an entire generation, but Generation X still truly appreciates him. His films have a classic vibe. He wasn’t ever chosen for a film, but he chose them. Kurt Russell is the actor who works in the movies for the love of it, not for the money or for appearing on the screen. Today, Kurt Russell is known and appreciated for his unforgettable performances that his fans still match the vibe with. Following are the best Kurt Russell movies of all time:


15. Escape from L.A. (1996)

Escape from L.A. 1996

Written and directed by John Carpenter, Escape from L.A. is one of many collaborations between Russell and Carpenter. The story follows an imported soldier who is assigned to save the country from destruction. 

The film didn’t get much attention, and didn’t do well at the box office, but gained some loyal cult audiences.


14. Poseidon (2006)

Poseidon 2006

This is the third film based on the famous novel The Poseidon Adventure by Paul Gallico. The film story is about an ocean liner named Poseidon that falls prey to the merciless ocean. In this survival film, Kurt Russell plays the character named Robert Ramsey who is a former New York City mayor and firefighter.

The performance of Kurt Russell was praised but it performed average at the box office.


13. Breakdown (1997)

Breakdown (1997)

Breakdown is an action-packed thriller directed by Jonathan Mostow who also wrote its screenplay with Sam Montgomery. The plot follows the journey of a man whose wife goes missing in the middle of a desert.

It mostly got positive reviews and did well at the box office.


12. Elvis (1979)

Elvis (1979)

Image Source: IMDb

Though this film is slightly underrated, it had a deep impact on the career of Kurt Russell. It marked the first-ever collaboration of Carpenter and Russell.

Elvis was released back in 1979 and the story follows the life story of a popular musician Elvis Presley. The film competed against blockbusters at the box office and received critical acclaim.


11. Bone Tomahawk (2015)

Bone Tomahawk (2015)

Bone Tomahawk is Russell’s Western horror drama written and directed by S. Craig Zahler. The story follows Sheriff Franklin (Kurt Russell) who leads a group of people to save his friends from human-eating cannibalistic men.

Although this was Zahler’s directorial debut, still the film received critical acclaim. 


10. The Hateful Eight (2015)

The Hateful Eight 2015

In this film, Kurt Russell has a chance to work with one of the most anticipated directors of this era. The story is about eight brutal strangers sharing a stagecoach to survive a snowstorm. Russel has had a popular background in Western movies, which is the reason The Hateful Eight would’ve been incomplete without him.

The Hateful Eight was written and directed by Quentin Tarantino, who is best known for his violent movies. The movie got positive reviews, was nominated for three Academy Awards, and did well at the box office.


9. Soldier (1998)

Soldier (1998)

Directed by Paul W.S. Anderson, Soldier is one of the best movies of Kurt Russell for many reasons as he prepared for 18 months for this film and never took any other project during this entire period.

The writer of The Soldier also wrote Blade Runner, so this film has a strong connection with the Blade Runner franchise. The plot follows a civil war between normal soldiers and mutated soldiers.

Despite positive reviews from audiences and critics, at the time of its release, the film flopped at the box office. Over time though it has gained some cult following.


8. Winter People (1989)

Winter People (1989)

Winter People is all about old family clashes. The plot follows a single mother and a widower, who helps the single mom save her child. This film is based on the novel of the same name by John Ehle.

Ted Kotcheff directed Winter People. Neither the film got positive reviews nor did it do well at the box office. However, Kurt Russell fans consider this film to be Russell’s most underrated movie so far.


7. Backdraft (1991)

Backdraft (1991)

Backdraft is a great action-packed thriller directed by Ron Howard. The story follows two firefighter brothers who don’t talk to each other but both of them have to work together.

Backdraft was one of the most anticipated movies of 1991 and upon release, was well received by critics. It was nominated for 3 Academy Awards in various categories. It included a lovely cast of Kurt Russell, Robert De Niro, William Baldwin, and others. 


6. Tango & Cash (1989)

Tango & Cash (1989)

Tango & Cash follows the story of two detectives in a war against a police department that has wrongfully imprisoned them. The cast includes Kurt Russell and Sylvester Stallone among others.

Tango & Cash was directed by multiple directors which caused several script rewrites and led to clashes among the filmmakers and producers. However, the film is loved for the actors’ performances and it’s always a blessing to watch two action heroes fighting and planning together. The film got mixed reviews but was successful at the box office. Despite Stallone being super excited about a sequel, so far Russell hasn’t shown any interest.


5. Stargate (1994)

Stargate (1994)

Stargate is one of the most loved movies featuring Kurt Russell. It is an adventurous science fiction film based on some original concepts of its writers. The story follows some curious people who find a teleportation device that teleports them to an ancient civilization.

The film was directed by Roland Emmerich. The ideas introduced by this film were influential and led to many television series and films adapting similar concepts. The movie did great at the box office and was praised for its concepts, visuals, story, and acting from the great cast including Russell.


4. Tombstone (1993)

Tombstone (1993)

Tombstone is Russell’s one of many Western movies. The interesting thing about this film is that it has an all-star cast. Frankly speaking, most of the actors have played their best which makes this film fantastic.

The story is based on some real events that took place in Tombstone, Arizona; hence the film was named Tombstone. The film was directed by George P. Cosmatos who is well-known for his action classics.


3. Overboard (1987)

Overboard (1987)

Overboard is one of the most influential love stories of all time. This masterpiece was released back in 1987 and to this day, it has been subject to numerous film remakes and adaptations. The entire credit goes to its makers and Russell’s performance.

Overboard was directed by Gary Marshall who has most of his life directing romantic comedies and relationships. The film got mixed reviews, but the actor’s performance was praised. The film couldn’t get mainstream attention but gained a loyal cult following.


2. Big Trouble in Little China (1986)

Big Trouble in Little China (1986)

Big Trouble in Little China was released in 1986, and this is the second time both of the underrated legends collaborated after The Thing which was an absolute classic.

The film tells the tale of Jack Burton (Kurt Russell) who saves his friend from an ancient magician. The film didn’t do well at the box office, but over time gained some cult following, and Kurt Russell’s performance was praised.


1. The Thing (1982)

The Thing 1982

The Thing defined the entire career of Kurt Russell. This film has a deep historical impact. The Thing is one of three movies where the director John Carpenter and Kurt Russell have worked together.

The film story is based on a short novel written by John W. Campbell Jr. named What Goes There? Shortly after its release, The Thing got mostly negative reviews, but over time this masterpiece gained some cult audience.


Honorable Mentions

  • The Computer Wore Tennis Shoes (1969)
  • The Mean Season (1985)
  • Tequila Sunrise (1988)

What are the best Kurt Russell flicks of all time in your opinion? Let us know in the comments!

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