Total Recall: The 20 Greatest Fights Scenes Ever

RT picks the 20 greatest fist fights of all time.

This week, The Forbidden Kingdom, the long-awaited pairing of Jackie Chan and Jet Li, hits theaters. These two action legends have participated in many a fight over the years, so we figured it was a good time to count down some of the greatest movie brawls of all time.

With so many noteworthy celluloid scuffles to choose from, we felt we had to lay down some ground rules: no weapons allowed, and we're looking for relatively even matches; we'll cover the greatest beatdowns another time. These clips are often not for the squeamish, and some contain a good deal of profanity, so we've tagged those as NSFW (or not safe for work, for those of you not up on the latest techno-speak). Without further ado, here are 20 of the greatest fight scenes of all time!

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20. Road House
Patrick Swayze vs. Ben Gazzara's thugs

One of the most surreal entertainments ever cast out for mainstream consumption, Road House stars Patrick Swayze plays an NYU philosophy grad (!) who becomes a nationally-recognized bouncer (!!).This delirious camp classic features several over-the-top fight scenes; in this one, Swayze is joined by Sam Elliot (who's sort of a Scottie Pippen to Swayze's Michael Jordan in the bouncer game), and together, they tangle with the goons of the town's evil plutocrat (Ben Gazzara) while the late, great Jeff Healy rocks out.

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Comments

Young Turk

Joe Massino

Great list, much better than the punching one. Isn't the "unnamed" assassin in Bourne called Desh?

Apr 16 - 05:35 PM

Matthew Stokell

Matthew Stokell

yes it is :) that was an amazing scene :D

May 4 - 01:14 PM

emoticant

big unit

this beat the swayze?

Apr 16 - 05:37 PM

ihatecarneys

Matt Lubisich

What about Mel Gibson and Gary Busey from Lethal Weapon? I think the fight scenes from the Bourne Identity were the best of the series. And the prison fight scene in Batman Begins rocks too.

Apr 16 - 05:38 PM

RT-Matchity

Matt Atchity

Yeah carneys, we argued about both Lethal Weapon and Batman Begins; they were both hard cuts. But we did put Lethal Weapon on the Honorable Mention list.

Apr 16 - 05:44 PM

smartmoviekid

jonathan ramirez

that star trek scene should have been in the list!! lmao!!

Apr 16 - 05:41 PM

Evan Pleasic

Evan Pleasic

hhahha yesss

Jul 21 - 02:56 PM

John Z. Delorean

John Street

I click on 20 greatest fight scenes and have to go thru this?! Get someone that know's fight scenes and redo this list pronto.

Apr 16 - 05:44 PM

bijibadness

Biji Badness

yo gangsta G fresh, why not go 2 ghettofights.com and quit complaining, word

Apr 18 - 02:18 PM

RT-Matchity

Matt Atchity

Yeah carneys, we argued about both Lethal Weapon and Batman Begins; they were both hard cuts. But we did put Lethal Weapon on the Honorable Mention list.

Apr 16 - 05:44 PM

jokerboy1991

jack giroux

YESSSS. I love the BRUCE vs The hand fight, "WHO'S LAUGHING NOW!"... LOL!

Apr 16 - 05:50 PM

jokerboy1991

jack giroux

AHHH. Wheres the fight in FIGHT CLUB where EDWARD NORTON beat himself up, also what about KUNG FU HUSTLE where CHOW fought all those dudes at the end, I also didnt see any RAGING BULL fights. Most of these are really good fights though, hey Matchity you guys should make a part 2 of best fights (that would be cool).

Apr 16 - 05:55 PM

RT-Ryan

RT-Ryan .

jokerboy1991 -

Although I wasn't involved in this article, I know that we determined the Fight Club fight you mention was sort of a spoiler for the movie, so we left that out, and I know we also talked about the Kung Fu Hustle fight. Not quite sure about Raging Bull, however.

Apr 16 - 06:02 PM

jokerboy1991

jack giroux

Yeah I know what you guys are saying but many of these fights you could say are spoilerish, but you guys did pick some really great fight scenes though.

Apr 16 - 06:51 PM

RT-Matchity

Matt Atchity

Hi Jokerboy,

We did consider that scene from Fight Club, but we thought Evil Dead 2 was a better example of that. We might do part 2 in a few months though.

Apr 16 - 06:03 PM

jokerboy1991

jack giroux

Yeah I would say the EVIL DEAD scene is a better scene to show u how to kick youre ***. Yeah that is a better scene.

Apr 16 - 06:53 PM

jokerboy1991

jack giroux

Oh I just thought about that great fight in CINDIRELLA MAN where that great music comes on when his mouth guard gets knocked out then he starts to smile, that was a cool one. Oh also that steem bath scene in EASTERN PROMISES, that was pretty cool. Or in WITNES when that guy puts ice cream on FORD'S face. Also GLADIATOR, that has a bunch of incredible fight scenes you could use.

Apr 16 - 06:57 PM

RT-Ryan

RT-Ryan .

And yeah, what Matchity said...

Apr 16 - 06:04 PM

MrStubert

Disco Stu

What about Oldboy? Oh Dae-Su vs. the hallway (and elevator) full of thugs...

Apr 16 - 06:09 PM

rockclmbr6

Sean Doherty

The lack of The Bride Vs. Elle Driver on this list is disturbing.

Apr 16 - 06:18 PM

k_dawg78

Kierre Stowes

rockclmbr6

They couldn't use the fight scene from Kill Bill because of the no weapon rule.I think they should do another list with weapons included. That would change the list completely. Troy, Kill Bill, Gladiator would all be included.

Apr 19 - 04:26 PM

k_dawg78

Kierre Stowes

rockclmbr6

They couldn't use the fight scene from Kill Bill because of the no weapon rule.I think they should do another list with weapons included. That would change the list completely. Troy, Kill Bill, Gladiator would all be included.

Apr 19 - 04:34 PM

theginsengtree

Nicolaas van Oss

sorry, but Fist of Legend beats the **** out of The Matrix and Rocky

Apr 16 - 06:21 PM

happyicecream

Dave B

that's absolutely true. In fact, loads of HK and manderin movies blow every one of these away - I'm not sure what RT was going for here. Campy fights? Funny Fights? Epic Fights? There's still much better out there than they've listed.

Apr 18 - 11:10 AM

ManofStee1

Alec G

Hm... interesting choices. Could have used less catfights and more martial arts though... what about that scene from The Matrix Reloaded in the mansion where Neo fights with the swords and axes? That movie as a whole sucked but a few of the fights were great.

And if you were going for brutality, Fight Club tops Snatch in that category. The scene where Edward Norton beats Jared Leto into the next galaxy is absolutely painful to watch. I've seen that movie countless times and still cringe at every punch.

I don't disagree with the top #3, but I would have put The Matrix at 1. Just my two cents.

Apr 16 - 06:21 PM

RT-Matchity

Matt Atchity

ManofStee1, that Matrix Reloaded scene is great, but gets a DQ because they're armed (We're planning on doing a swordfight/armed combat article at some point in the future)

And the Norton/Leto bout, although brutal, is way too one-sided to make it into the top twenty (in our opinion).

Apr 16 - 06:30 PM

Damon687

Damon I

Not sure why you had to add that Matrix Reloaded sucked, that's a truly ridiculous comment, it was a good movie. Just the highway and the fight scene you mentioned pull it out of suck category let alone the rest of the coolness in the movie. Not as good the first one but an easy 3/4 stars, I'd personally give it 3.5/4 (first one was 4/4) - yes, I've seen it multiple times. It was exactly what I expected, great action and Neo kicking serious ***. Everything is sucks or good these days, people should learn how to review properly, good thing you're not a real reviewer, what a waste of time that would be.

Apr 20 - 08:31 AM

Sputnik99

sputnik 99

How about Superman 2? I always liked the fight between those Kryptonians...

Apr 16 - 06:21 PM

Jen Yamato

Jen Yamato

Oh man. That Star Trek fight is the Worst. Fight. Ever! But I'm still partial to the legenday Spock-Kirk fight...Duh duh duuuh duuuh duuuh...!

Apr 16 - 06:22 PM

Hamboner

Brian Lorenzen

I really think coolfight scenes are the one thing Hollywood has done right throughout the years. Sure there are some bad ones, but if I go into a movie looking to see someone get pummeled it usually works out.

Oh yeah, no "Never Back Down" ? That newbie was a classic.

Apr 16 - 06:25 PM

TheHerald

David Dubie

The fight scenes in Rocky III and Rocky IV are a lot more intense then the first Rocky, even though the first Rocky would be more of an iconic fight

just my two cents

Apr 16 - 06:29 PM

kottke123456

craig roth

I'd have to agree that any one of the Raging Bull fights deserves a spot on this list. I would say round 13 in the final fight between Jake LaMotta and Sugar Ray, although to be fair it was sort of one-sided.

Apr 16 - 06:29 PM

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