The Best Action Scenes of the 21st Century

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Tom Cruise's terrifying climb up the tallest building in the world and other sequences that made our hearts stop

FilmDistrict/Universal/Miramax/Paramount/Sony

The fourth and best Mission: Impossible movie, Ghost Protocol, is out on DVD this week. The film racked up strong reviews and commercial success upon its December release, and it's worth re-watching not only because it's a smooth, confident, masterfully executed spy thriller. It's also deserving of recognition for having one of the single finest action sequences ever put to film (see below).

Which got us thinking: What are some of the other astonishing action sequences of recent movie history? In the interest of brevity, we decided to confine ourselves to films released in the current century. The picks:

This post also appears on Flavorpill, an Atlantic partner site.

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Jason Bailey is the film editor at Flavorwire, and has also written for Slate, Salon, and the Village Voice.

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