11. The Raid: Redemption
Director: Gareth Huw Evans
Stars: Iko Uwais, Joe Taslim, Doni Alamsyah, Yayan Ruhian, Pierre Gruno, Ray Sahetapy, Tegar Satrya, Iang Darmawan, Eka "Piranha" Rahmadia, Verdi Solaiman
The Raid: Redemption is the best video game you’ll, unfortunately, never get to play, because, obviously, it’s a feature film. But that’s the coolest and most irresistible thing about Welsh writer-director Gareth Huw Evans’ balls-to-the-wall action movie, an unstoppable barrage of fight scenes and insane hand-to-hand choreography (in the form of the Indonesian mart art style known as Silat) that’s easily the best film of its kind in years.
The bare-bones plot would make for a great first-person console title: a team of heavily armed police officers is sent into an apartment building overrun with drug dealers and criminals, and it doesn’t take long for the doors to lock and the proverbial shit to hit the fan. Amidst the chaos, The Raid’s central hero, Rama, a rookie cop (Iko Uwais, who deserves to be Hollywood’s next big action hero), gets separated from his colleagues and has to brawl his way to the top floor and take out the bad guys’ overlord.
And that’s all the story that Evans’ phenomenally violent and tightly executed cinematic knockout needs, really. It’s basically 100 minutes of uninterrupted, expertly presented action, with authentic physical combat instead of any distracting CGI trickery. Get ready to knuckle up.