Best to Worst: Jean-Claude Van Damme

by lnvicta | created - 23 Jan 2017 | updated - 1 month ago | Public

JCVD's material ranked best to worst.

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1. JCVD (2008)

R | 97 min | Action, Comedy, Crime

64 Metascore

Jean-Claude Van Damme gets involved in a bank robbery with hostages situation and reflects about his life during it.

Director: Mabrouk El Mechri | Stars: Jean-Claude Van Damme, Valérie Bodson, Hervé Sogne, Rock Chen

Votes: 36,259 | Gross: $0.47M

Equal parts satirical and sincere, JCVD gives us a peek into Van Damme's psyche, and it's a beautiful, poignant sight indeed.

2. Hard Target (1993)

R | 97 min | Action, Adventure, Drama

A woman hires a drifter as her guide through New Orleans in search of her father, who has gone missing. They discover a deadly game of cat and mouse behind his disappearance in the process.

Director: John Woo | Stars: Jean-Claude Van Damme, Lance Henriksen, Yancy Butler, Chuck Pfarrer

Votes: 41,065 | Gross: $32.59M

Campy, explosive, stylishly made, and a lot of fun. Certainly one of Van Damme's best, elevated by the fact that he's up against a pair of ruthless, charismatic villains in Henriksen and Vosloo.

3. Sudden Death (1995)

R | 111 min | Action, Crime, Thriller

A former fireman takes on a group of terrorists holding the Vice President and others hostage during the seventh game of the NHL Stanley Cup finals.

Director: Peter Hyams | Stars: Jean-Claude Van Damme, Powers Boothe, Raymond J. Barry, Whittni Wright

Votes: 30,044 | Gross: $20.35M

Die Hard in a hockey stadium. Is it derivative? Of course. Is it fun? You bet your ass.

4. Bloodsport (1988)

R | 92 min | Action, Biography, Drama

29 Metascore

Follows Frank Dux, an American martial artist serving in the military, who decides to leave the army to compete in a martial arts tournament in Hong Kong where fights to the death can occur.

Director: Newt Arnold | Stars: Jean-Claude Van Damme, Donald Gibb, Leah Ayres, Norman Burton

Votes: 69,839 | Gross: $11.81M

His starring debut; this is what put JCVD on the map. His acting wasn't great, naturally as he was still learning English, but the real focus here is on the martial arts. And Van Damme's legs.

5. Kickboxer (1989)

R | 97 min | Action, Sport, Thriller

33 Metascore

Kurt Sloane must learn the ancient kick boxing art of Muay Thai in order to avenge his brother.

Directors: Mark DiSalle, David Worth | Stars: Jean-Claude Van Damme, Dennis Alexio, Dennis Chan, Michel Qissi

Votes: 45,170 | Gross: $14.70M

The bar scene alone is enough to make this a martial arts classic. It's campy and silly at times but it has heart, and the fights are well-choreographed and exciting.

6. The Expendables 2 (2012)

R | 103 min | Action, Adventure, Thriller

51 Metascore

Mr. Church reunites the Expendables for what should be an easy paycheck, but when one of their men is murdered on the job, their quest for revenge puts them deep in enemy territory and up against an unexpected threat.

Director: Simon West | Stars: Sylvester Stallone, Liam Hemsworth, Randy Couture, Jean-Claude Van Damme

Votes: 278,499 | Gross: $85.02M

JC makes a great villain here. He milks the few scenes he has for all they're worth.

7. Jean-Claude Van Johnson (2016–2017)
Episode: Pilot (2016)

TV-MA | 30 min | Action, Comedy, Drama

A famous action movie hero and martial arts star comes out of retirement to assume his alter ego as undercover private contractor named Jean-Claude Van Johnson. He must also deal with aging and his handler Vanessa, the ex he still loves.

Director: Peter Atencio | Stars: Kat Foster, Moises Arias, Phylicia Rashad, Bar Paly

Votes: 4,513

A promising start to a promising series. It's always fun to see JCVD poke fun at himself, and it's a brilliant outlet for him to flex his martial arts, comedic, and dramatic chops all at once.

8. Assassination Games (2011)

R | 101 min | Action, Crime, Drama

Two assassins agree to work together as one tries to avenge his wife and the other collect a reward for a job.

Director: Ernie Barbarash | Stars: Jean-Claude Van Damme, Scott Adkins, Ivan Kaye, Valentin Teodosiu

Votes: 15,791

Van Damme and Scott Adkins team up to fight baddies. Sound badass enough? Well, it is. And the action is surprisingly top-notch for a DTV release.

9. In Hell (2003)

R | 98 min | Action, Thriller, Drama

A man must survive a prison where hardened criminals battle to the death for the wardens' entertainment.

Director: Ringo Lam | Stars: Jean-Claude Van Damme, Lawrence Taylor, Lloyd Battista, Carlos Gómez

Votes: 17,526

A dramatic turn for Van Damme, showcasing his newly developed dramatic chops for the first time. It's a standard prison-movie story elevated by Van Damme's heartfelt performance and a few genuinely moving scenes.

10. Lionheart (1990)

R | 108 min | Action, Crime, Drama

An Ex-French Soldier begins participating in underground street fights in order to make money for his brother's family.

Director: Sheldon Lettich | Stars: Jean-Claude Van Damme, Harrison Page, Deborah Rennard, Lisa Pelikan

Votes: 30,109 | Gross: $24.08M

Van Damme's first attempt at drama. His line delivery is occasionally laughable, but it only adds to the charm of this underdog story fighting his way to the top.

11. Universal Soldier: Regeneration (2009)

R | 97 min | Action, Sci-Fi, Thriller

70 Metascore

Terrorists kidnap the Russian Prime Minister's 2 kids, take Chernobyl nuclear power plant and threaten to blow up a reactor. 4 Universal Soldiers go in but are no match to a Next Gen. UniSol. Luc/JCVD goes in but faces 2 NGUs.

Director: John Hyams | Stars: Dolph Lundgren, Jean-Claude Van Damme, Andrei Arlovski, Mike Pyle

Votes: 23,812

The asinine storyline takes a backseat to superb action sequences with an oddly fitting, icy horror atmosphere. It lacks the comedic charm of the original, but Regeneration is a surprising sequel that aims for something different than its predecessor and succeeds.

12. Timecop (1994)

R | 99 min | Action, Crime, Sci-Fi

48 Metascore

Max Walker, an officer for a security agency that regulates time travel, must fend for his life against a shady politician who's intent on changing the past to control the future.

Director: Peter Hyams | Stars: Jean-Claude Van Damme, Mia Sara, Ron Silver, Bruce McGill

Votes: 51,925 | Gross: $44.85M

Campy '90s action flick. It's no Terminator, but it's superficial fun.

13. Universal Soldier (1992)

R | 102 min | Action, Sci-Fi

35 Metascore

Private Luc Deveraux and his sadistic sergeant, Andrew Scott, got killed in Vietnam. The army uses their bodies for a secret project - reanimating dead soldiers as deadly obedient cyborgs. However, their memories come back too.

Director: Roland Emmerich | Stars: Jean-Claude Van Damme, Dolph Lundgren, Ally Walker, Ed O'Ross

Votes: 77,836 | Gross: $36.30M

Retro-futuristic, action-packed, often funny (both intentionally and otherwise), and thoroughly entertaining. "Are we having fun yet!?"

14. Wake of Death (2004)

R | 91 min | Action, Adventure, Drama

After his wife is brutally murdered, club enforcer Ben Archer wages war against the Chinese triads.

Director: Philippe Martinez | Stars: Jean-Claude Van Damme, Simon Yam, Philip Tan, Valerie Tian

Votes: 8,361

Van Damme's performance is what makes this film; he's absolutely fantastic. He plays a Punisher-esque vigilante out to avenge his wife, and while the production value is shoddy, Van Damme pours enough soul into this role to overshadow everything else.

15. Double Impact (1991)

R | 110 min | Action, Crime

Twin brothers are separated when their parents are murdered but 25 years later they re-unite in order to avenge their parents' death.

Director: Sheldon Lettich | Stars: Jean-Claude Van Damme, Geoffrey Lewis, Alonna Shaw, Corinna Everson

Votes: 35,159 | Gross: $30.10M

The first of many movies featuring Van Damme in dual roles, this time as twins separated at birth and reunited as adults. It's unconscionably silly but you will be entertained. For a time, at least. The almost two-hour runtime does the movie no favors.

16. Death Warrant (1990)

R | 89 min | Action, Crime, Mystery

In a violent and corrupt prison, decorated cop Louis Burke must infiltrate the jail to find answers to a number of inside murders. What he finds is a struggle of life and death tied in to his own past.

Director: Deran Sarafian | Stars: Jean-Claude Van Damme, Robert Guillaume, Cynthia Gibb, George Dickerson

Votes: 15,735 | Gross: $16.85M

More of a mystery than an action movie, but it has all the trademarks of an early Van Damme flick - cringe-worthy dialogue, a nonsensical plot, a gimmicky villain, all held together by Van Damme's inherent likability.

17. Replicant (2001)

R | 100 min | Action, Sci-Fi, Thriller

Scientists create a genetic clone of a serial killer in order to help catch the killer, teaming up with two cops.

Director: Ringo Lam | Stars: Jean-Claude Van Damme, Michael Rooker, Catherine Dent, Brandon James Olson

Votes: 12,932

Another of Van Damme's double role films, this time as a serial killer and his genetically engineered replica. It's a preposterous premise but Van Damme is surprisingly convincing in his dual personas.

18. No Retreat, No Surrender (1986)

PG | 85 min | Action, Comedy, Crime

30 Metascore

Jason, a Bruce Lee fan, sees his karate instructor/dad beaten by martial art thugs. They move to Seattle where, after humiliations, he trains with Bruce Lee's ghost so he can defend himself and others against thugs.

Director: Corey Yuen | Stars: Kurt McKinney, Jean-Claude Van Damme, J.W. Fails, Kathie Sileno

Votes: 14,247 | Gross: $4.66M

The first JCVD film to be released, this one has him as a Russian henchman with about three lines of dialogue total. The movie itself is an over-the-top '80s cheese-fest, but the showdown at the end is worth the wait. Somewhat.

19. Universal Soldier: Day of Reckoning (2012)

R | 114 min | Action, Horror, Mystery

58 Metascore

John looks to take down Luc Deveraux after a home invasion claims his wife and daughter. The fight pits John against Andrew Scott and an army of genetically enhanced warriors; meanwhile, he must contend with a UniSol in relentless pursuit.

Director: John Hyams | Stars: Jean-Claude Van Damme, Dolph Lundgren, Scott Adkins, Mariah Bonner

Votes: 18,267 | Gross: $0.01M

Excellent fight choreography all around with Adkins taking the center stage. Sadly, the story itself is tonally jarring, attempting to legitimize a mystery that gets more confusing the more it's explained.

20. 6 Bullets (2012)

R | 115 min | Action, Crime, Drama

An ex-mercenary known for finding missing children is hired by a mixed martial arts fighter whose daughter has been kidnapped.

Director: Ernie Barbarash | Stars: Jean-Claude Van Damme, Joe Flanigan, Anna-Louise Plowman, Charlotte Beaumont

Votes: 13,215

A serviceable DTV "Taken" knockoff starring Van Damme as a badass butcher.

21. Until Death (2007)

R | 101 min | Action, Crime, Drama

Stowe is a dirty cop who is hooked on heroin, and everyone dislikes him. Because of an accident he is put into a coma, and comes out of it a better person. He wakes up wanting to put things right.

Director: Simon Fellows | Stars: Jean-Claude Van Damme, Stephen Rea, Selina Giles, Mark Dymond

Votes: 8,878

The first act is moody and engaging. Then the movie loses all steam before devolving into a third act so riddled with cliches it's as if the screenwriters were plagiarizing from the action-movie-trope handbook, complete with a superfluous villain monologue, a damsel in distress, and a laughable Mexican standoff.

22. Maximum Risk (1996)

R | 101 min | Action, Crime, Mystery

A cop/flic discovers that he had a twin who just got murdered in Nice, France. In order to find out who did it, he takes his place including the cute girlfriend in Little Odessa, NYC.

Director: Ringo Lam | Stars: Jean-Claude Van Damme, Natasha Henstridge, Jean-Hugues Anglade, Zach Grenier

Votes: 18,777 | Gross: $14.50M

Boring and cliche from beginning to end, but not without its charms.

23. The Hard Corps (2006 Video)

R | 110 min | Action, Thriller

An Army veteran assembles a team of bodyguards to protect a former boxer. Complications arise when the boxer suspects his sister may be romantically involved with the bodyguard.

Director: Sheldon Lettich | Stars: Jean-Claude Van Damme, Razaaq Adoti, Vivica A. Fox, Peter Bryant

Votes: 5,405

There's a promising story here, but its potential is squandered by absurd dialogue and general stupidity. The action scenes are choppily cut and over too quickly. It's also way too long. But it's not terrible.

24. Enemies Closer (2013)

R | 85 min | Action, Thriller

49 Metascore

Deep within a forest on the U.S.-Canadian border, two sworn enemies must work together to escape a ruthless drug cartel hell-bent on retrieving a drug shipment which went missing there.

Director: Peter Hyams | Stars: Tom Everett Scott, Jean-Claude Van Damme, Orlando Jones, Linzey Cocker

Votes: 5,193

It's a joy to watch Van Damme when he is on screen. When he's not on screen, the life is sucked right out of the movie. It's like watching a stage play where Van Damme is the hammy, over-the-top lead dancing gleefully across the stage while everybody else is sulking in the background reading off of cue cards.

25. Nowhere to Run (1993)

R | 94 min | Action, Drama, Romance

Escaped convict Sam Gillen single handedly takes on ruthless developers determined to evict Clydie - a widow with two young children. Nobody knows who Sam is.

Director: Robert Harmon | Stars: Jean-Claude Van Damme, Rosanna Arquette, Kieran Culkin, Ted Levine

Votes: 20,311 | Gross: $22.19M

Aside from a few unintentional laughs, there's nothing to this movie other than Van Damme playing a romantic lead for once (and showing off his perfectly sculpted ass). It's unfortunate because Ted Levine is the villain, and him going up against Van Damme could've been a sight to see. But the dialogue is excruciatingly dumb and that constitutes 80% of the movie. Not great.

26. The Quest (1996)

PG-13 | 95 min | Action, Adventure, Drama

A group of gentlemen of fortune visits a legendary "Lost City", located in Tibet. They plan to steal a priceless statue "Golden Dragon" during the martial arts tournament.

Director: Jean-Claude Van Damme | Stars: Jean-Claude Van Damme, Roger Moore, James Remar, Janet Gunn

Votes: 22,494 | Gross: $21.60M

His first stab at directing. It's essentially Bloodsport but worse in every way. And what the hell is Roger Moore doing in this?

27. The Shepherd (2008 Video)

R | 95 min | Action, Crime, Thriller

A former New Orleans cop battles drug cartels and ex-Army Special Forces who are smuggling drugs from Mexico into U.S. through a Texas border town.

Director: Isaac Florentine | Stars: Jean-Claude Van Damme, Stephen Lord, Natalie J. Robb, Gary McDonald

Votes: 6,054

Poorly written, badly paced, clunky action fiasco. The one thing this movie has going for it is the Van Damme vs Adkins fight, which is quite thrilling while it lasts, but even that's bastardized by overused slo-mo and choppy editing. The villain is lame, the story is stupid; this one is for hardcore JCVD fans only.

28. Legionnaire (1998)

R | 99 min | Action, Adventure, Drama

Alain is a boxer in 1925 Marseille, France. When he doesn't take the dive paid to take by a mob boss, he has to split. He joins the Foreign Legion and is sent to Morocco. He makes 3 friends and they watch each other's backs.

Director: Peter MacDonald | Stars: Jean-Claude Van Damme, Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje, Steven Berkoff, Nicholas Farrell

Votes: 21,318


29. Pound of Flesh (2015)

R | 104 min | Action, Thriller

41 Metascore

A man's heroic attempt to help a woman in distress ends up with him waking up the next day without a kidney and plotting his revenge.

Director: Ernie Barbarash | Stars: Jean-Claude Van Damme, John Ralston, Aki Aleong, Charlotte Peters

Votes: 5,558

Has one of the laziest, laughable car chase sequences I've ever seen.

30. Kickboxer: Vengeance (2016)

Not Rated | 90 min | Action, Crime, Drama

37 Metascore

A kick boxer is out to avenge his brother.

Director: John Stockwell | Stars: Dave Bautista, Alain Moussi, Gina Carano, Jean-Claude Van Damme

Votes: 9,515

An inferior reboot in every way. Van Damme is fine in his mentor role and there are some exciting, testosterone-fueled fight scenes scattered around, but the heart and charm of the original is all but gone.

31. Black Eagle (1988)

R | 93 min | Action, Drama

CIA agent must outrace KGB agent in searching of super weapon lost in Mediterranean.

Director: Eric Karson | Stars: Shô Kosugi, Jean-Claude Van Damme, Doran Clark, Bruce French

Votes: 6,039

A James Bond movie without James Bond; an action movie with practically no action. The biggest takeaway you get from Black Eagle is that Van Damme could play a great Bond villain henchman.

32. Double Team (1997)

R | 93 min | Action, Comedy, Sci-Fi

An international spy teams up with an arms dealer to escape from a penal colony and rescue his family from a terrorist.

Director: Hark Tsui | Stars: Jean-Claude Van Damme, Dennis Rodman, Mickey Rourke, Paul Freeman

Votes: 29,338 | Gross: $11.44M

A cinematic atrocity with plenty of laughs, mostly unintentional. The climactic explosion and divine intervention of product placement near the end is hysterical. And Mickey Rourke does a fine job as the villain.

33. Street Fighter (1994)

PG-13 | 102 min | Action, Adventure, Comedy

Col. Guile and various other martial arts heroes fight against the tyranny of Dictator M. Bison and his cohorts.

Director: Steven E. de Souza | Stars: Jean-Claude Van Damme, Raul Julia, Ming-Na Wen, Damian Chapa

Votes: 61,321 | Gross: $33.42M

Ridiculous one-liners, over-the-top performances, and a half-ass story. Is it a good movie? Hell no. But there are plenty of laughs.

34. Inferno (II) (1999)

R | 95 min | Action, Comedy, Drama

A man (JCVD) drives out in the desert where some men steal his motorcycle and leave him for dead. He survives and no longer thinks of suicide as he now has a purpose in life: revenge and getting his bike back.

Director: John G. Avildsen | Stars: Jean-Claude Van Damme, Pat Morita, Danny Trejo, Gabrielle Fitzpatrick

Votes: 8,293

It's watchable. You won't understand what the hell is going on and why you should care, but it's watchable. Memorable sex scene, too.

35. Second in Command (2006 Video)

R | 92 min | Action, Thriller, War

The new military attache is also second in command at the US embassy in "Moldavia". The loser at the recent presidential election isn't letting that stop him. The president seeks protection at the US embassy bringing it under attack.

Director: Simon Fellows | Stars: Jean-Claude Van Damme, Julie Cox, Alan McKenna, Razaaq Adoti

Votes: 5,929

It's like Argo except tedious and bereft of production value.

36. Dragon Eyes (2012)

R | 91 min | Action, Crime, Drama

In St. Jude, drug dealers and corrupt cops have destroyed an urban neighborhood. But newcomer, Hong, has the fighting skills and moral vision to save this town from itself.

Director: John Hyams | Stars: Cung Le, Jean-Claude Van Damme, Johnny Holmes, Peter Weller

Votes: 5,345

Uninteresting protagonist? Check. Criminally underused Van Damme in a mentor role? Check. Loud, annoying, and inconsequential action scenes? Check, check, check. This movie sucks.

37. The Order (2001)

R | 89 min | Action, Adventure, Comedy

A playboy criminal contacts his dad after stealing a Faberge egg. Later it seems his dad has gone missing in Israel so he heads there. His disappearance is linked to the religious sect: The Order. Lots of fight and chase scenes.

Director: Sheldon Lettich | Stars: Jean-Claude Van Damme, Sofia Milos, Charlton Heston, Brian Thompson

Votes: 7,420

It's like Indiana Jones except terrible.

38. Knock Off (1998)

R | 91 min | Action, Crime, Thriller

37 Metascore

A fashion designer who must join forces with a C.I.A. agent to combat terrorism.

Director: Hark Tsui | Stars: Jean-Claude Van Damme, Rob Schneider, Lela Rochon, Paul Sorvino

Votes: 13,102 | Gross: $10.08M

Aggressively awful. There were a handful of moments where I went, "Whoa, this is actually cool," but they lasted only a couple seconds before something unbearably stupid happened and made me hate myself again.

39. Welcome to the Jungle (2013)

Not Rated | 95 min | Action, Adventure, Comedy

25 Metascore

A company retreat on a tropical island goes terribly awry.

Director: Rob Meltzer | Stars: Jean-Claude Van Damme, Adam Brody, Rob Huebel, Megan Boone

Votes: 11,558

Van Damme is funny in a few scenes but overall this is a painfully unfunny exercise in idiocy.

40. Swelter (2014)

R | 96 min | Action, Crime, Drama

Ten years after their casino heist, four escaped convicts trace their former partner to a desert town, where he is now a lawman with no memory of his criminal past.

Director: Keith Parmer | Stars: Jean-Claude Van Damme, Lennie James, Peter Vack, Alfred Molina

Votes: 2,549

Between Ambien and Swelter, I'm betting Swelter will put you to sleep first.

41. Cyborg (1989)

R | 86 min | Action, Sci-Fi, Thriller

A martial artist hunts a killer in a plague-infested urban dump of the future.

Director: Albert Pyun | Stars: Jean-Claude Van Damme, Deborah Richter, Vincent Klyn, Alex Daniels

Votes: 27,156 | Gross: $10.17M

So, so very bad.

42. Universal Soldier: The Return (1999)

R | 83 min | Action, Sci-Fi

24 Metascore

The "universal soldiers" must fight the whole army, when the military's supercomputer S.E.T.H gets out of control.

Director: Mic Rodgers | Stars: Jean-Claude Van Damme, Bill Goldberg, Heidi Schanz, Michael Jai White

Votes: 26,634 | Gross: $10.43M

Painful to watch. It has one of the worst final fights I've ever seen in an action movie. Just pitiful.

43. Derailed (2002)

R | 89 min | Action, Thriller

On an out of control train holding hostages and high-tech bio-weapons agent Kristoff (Van Damme) becomes a one man army to derail the terrorists and save the lives of everyone on board!

Director: Bob Misiorowski | Stars: Jean-Claude Van Damme, Tomas Arana, Laura Harring, Susan Gibney

Votes: 6,866

The anti-Die Hard. Worst action movie ever. Seriously, don't watch it.

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