15 Best Chuck Norris Movies of All Time

Chuck Norris started his movie career with a role as a villain in the famous Bruce Lee movie The Way of the Dragon (1972). If we’re talking about the best Chuck Norris movies in a non-lead/supporting role, then this was certainly the best.

Norris’ first starring role was in Breaker! Breaker! (1977). It was a low-budget movie that turned out to be very successful, grossing over 48 times more than its initial investment. He also starred in a few other movies during the ’70s, including A Force of One and Good Guys Wear Black, which Norris considers to be his first significant lead role. This propelled him to become an action film star.

The ’80s were a golden decade for Chuck Norris’s movie career. He made all of his best movies during this decade and became an international celebrity. Almost all the best Chuck Norris movies in the list below are from the ’80s, including Lone Wolf McQuade, Code of Silence, and the Missing in Action trilogy.

In the ’90s, he continued to take lead roles in action movies like Delta Force 2 and The Hitman, but it was the television series Walker, Texas Ranger that marked this decade for Chuck Norris.

He made his last movie appearance in Sylvester Stallone’s The Expendables 2 in 2012.

Let’s take a look at the list of the best Chuck Norris movies of all time (ordered by release date):

1. The Octagon (1980)

Genre: Action, Drama, Romance
Director: Eric Karson
Starring: Chuck Norris (40), Karen Carlson, Lee Van Cleef

In his first movie of the 80s and fourth starring role, Chuck Norris plays a martial arts expert who needs to stop a group of terrorists trained in the ninja style by his half-brother.

Thirteen years later, the word “Octagon” is used as the name of the cage in the mixed martial arts organization UFC.

2. Forced Vengeance (1982)

Genre: Action, Adventure, Crime
Director: James Fargo
Starring: Chuck Norris (42), Mary Louise Weller, Camila Griggs

Josh Randall is the man responsible for security at the Dragon casino in Hong Kong. The owner treats him like a son. When he is approached by a mob to take over the business, the offer is refused, and the casino owner is killed. Now Randall is determined to track down the people who killed his boss. Along the way, he must protect his daughter and avoid the police.

3. Silent Rage (1982)

Genre: Action, Crime, Horror
Director: Michael Miller
Starring: Chuck Norris (42), Ron Silver, Steven Keats

In a secret experiment, three scientists have created a maniacal murderer who has the ability to self-heal. He starts to kill everyone who crosses his path. The town sheriff (Chuck Norris) must stop him somehow.

It’s the first horror film in Chuck Norris’s filmography. He later made two more, but they were not as successful as this one.

4. Lone Wolf McQuade (1983)

Genre: Action, Crime, Drama
Director: Steve Carver
Starring: Chuck Norris (43), David Carradine, Barbara Carrera

Chuck Norris is a respected Texas Ranger named McQuade, known as the Lone Wolf because he prefers to work alone. When the weapon dealer Wilkes (David Carradine) kidnaps his daughter, he will go to war against him. The final showdown between the criminal and the ranger, both martial arts masters, is inevitable.

The film was a worldwide hit and is the best-rated Chuck Norris movie in a lead role on IMDb. Apparently, the movie later inspired the popular TV show Walker, Texas Ranger.

5. Missing in Action (1984)

Genre: Action, Adventure, Drama
Director: Joseph Zito
Starring: Chuck Norris (44), M. Emmet Walsh, David Tress

Missing in Action is one of Chuck Norris’s most popular movies. He plays Colonel Braddock, who spent seven years in a North Vietnamese camp. Now, 10 years after the escape, he will return to post-war Vietnam to find and free the American soldiers who are still held captive. The film is the first installment of the Missing in Action franchise.

6. Missing in Action 2: The Beginning (1985)

Genre: Action, Drama, Thriller
Director: Lance Hool
Starring: Chuck Norris (45), Soon-Tek Oh, Steven Williams

Missing in Action 2: The Beginning is a prequel to the first installment. It is set in the 70s during the Vietnam War. It tells the story of Colonel Braddock’s captivity in a brutal camp run by the sadistic Colonel Yin. After being tortured for years, Braddock and his fellow prisoners plot to escape and destroy the camp in the process.

7. Code of Silence (1985)

Genre: Action, Crime, Drama
Director: Andrew Davis
Starring: Chuck Norris (45), Henry Silva, Bert Remsen

Chuck Norris is a Chicago cop who gets trapped in the middle of a gang war, and he needs to face them alone. Nobody in the police force wants to help him because he broke the code of silence by testifying against another cop. The only help he gets is a police robot called “Prowler”.

There are many fans who consider this to be the best Chuck Norris movie.

8. Invasion U.S.A. (1985)

Genre: Action, Thriller
Director: Joseph Zito
Starring: Chuck Norris (45), Richard Lynch, Melissa Prophet

During the Cold War era, a group of Latin American communist mercenaries led by a Soviet operative invades the unprepared United States from the sea and turns it into a war zone. Martial law is declared, and one-man army Chuck Norris is the one who will stop them.

9. The Delta Force (1986)

Genre: Action, Adventure, Drama
Director: Menahem Golan
Starring: Chuck Norris (46), Lee Marvin, Martin Balsam

The Delta Force is another well-known Chuck Norris movie. He plays Maj. Scott McCoy, who leads a U.S. Army Delta Force unit, together with Col. Nick Alexander (Lee Marvin), to resolve the crisis after the plane has been hijacked by Lebanese terrorists.

The film was inspired by an actual plane hijacking that happened in 1985.

10. Firewalker (1986)

Genre: Action, Adventure, Comedy
Director: J. Lee Thompson
Starring: Chuck Norris (46), Louis Gossett Jr., Melody Anderson

You don’t really get to see Chuck Norris in comedies. If you want to, this is the one. In fact, besides Top Dog, which was made later in 1995, it’s the only other comedy in his filmography.

He plays Max Donigan, who is on a quest for a treasure hunt. He teams up with his friend Leo (Louis Gossett Jr) and a newly-acquired partner Patricia (Melody Anderson), who has actually provided the treasure map. In this adventure, they will encounter obstacles like bar fights, coyotes, and of course, the Firewalker, who is the guardian of the treasure.

11. Braddock: Missing in Action III (1988)

Genre: Action, War
Director: Aaron Norris
Starring: Chuck Norris (48), Aki Aleong, Roland Harrah III

Twelve years after the Vietnam War ended, Colonel Braddock finds out from a Reverend that his Asian wife is not dead but alive in Vietnam and that he has a son. Braddock decides to go and fight his way to save them, but there are some orphans held in a prison camp that he also must save. A sadistic Vietnamese general is on his way.

12. Hero and the Terror (1988)

Genre: Action, Crime, Drama
Director: William Tannen
Starring: Chuck Norris (48), Brynn Thayer, Steve James

Danny O’Brien is a cop who manages to track down a serial killer named Simon Moon, known as Terror. After they engage in a fight, O’Brien is almost killed, but luckily for him, Moon falls from the ladder and knocks himself unconscious. He is arrested, and Danny gets called a hero. Now, three years later, Moon has escaped from prison and started killing again. Now O’Brien needs to find and face him once more.

13. Delta Force 2: The Colombian Connection (1990)

Genre: Action, Adventure, Crime
Director: Aaron Norris
Starring: Chuck Norris (50), John P. Ryan, Billy Drago

In a sequel to the 1986 film, McCoy and his Delta team are heading to the fictional country of San Carlos to rescue hostages and stop the drug kingpin from importing cocaine into the United States.

14. The Hitman (1991)

Genre: Action, Crime, Thriller
Director: Aaron Norris
Starring: Chuck Norris (51), Michael Parks, Al Waxman

Chuck Norris is a cop who has survived an attempt on his life by a corrupt partner in a drug bust. Now, with a new identity as a hitman, he infiltrates a criminal organization to bring down the mob boss and his rival. On this quest, he will run into his ex-partner who is working with the mob.

15. Top Dog (1995)

Genre: Action, Comedy, Crime
Director: Aaron Norris
Starring: Chuck Norris (55), Michele Lamar Richards, Erik von Detten

In a rare Chuck Norris comedy, he plays a cop named Jake Wilder, who is partnered with a police dog. While Jake does all the work, the dog doesn’t do much, but somehow he always turns out to be a hero.

15 Best Chuck Norris Movies According to IMDb

According to IMDb, these are the 15 best Chuck Norris movies in a lead role:

  • Lone Wolf McQuade (1983) – 6.4
  • Code of Silence (1985) – 6.1
  • Forced Vengeance (1982) – 5.7
  • The Delta Force (1986) – 5.6
  • Missing in Action (1984) – 5.5
  • Invasion U.S.A. (1985) – 5.5
  • Silent Rage (1982) – 5.5
  • The Hitman (1991) – 5.4
  • Missing in Action 2: The Beginning (1985) – 5.4
  • Hero and the Terror (1988) – 5.3
  • Firewalker (1986) – 5.2
  • The Octagon (1980) – 5.2
  • A Force of One (1979) – 5.2
  • Good Guys Wear Black (1978) – 5.1
  • The Cutter (2005) – 5.0

11 Best Chuck Norris Movies According to Box Office

  • A Force of One (1979) – $23 million
  • Missing in Action (1984) – $22 million
  • Code of Silence (1985) – $20 million
  • The Octagon (1980) – $19 million
  • Invasion U.S.A. (1985) – $18 million
  • The Delta Force (1986) – $18 million
  • Good Guys Wear Black (1978) – $18 million
  • Firewalker (1986) – $12 million
  • Breaker! Breaker! (1977) – $12 million
  • Lone Wolf McQuade (1983) – $12 million
  • Missing in Action 2: The Beginning (1985) – $11 million

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