I'm not going to remember 2016 as a stellar year for action set pieces. Likely, this is because a few of the heavy-hitter action movie franchises sat 2016 out, from the usually ridiculous (in a good way) Fast & Furious series to the reliably impressive Mission: Impossible movies. Tom Cruise, in particular, mailed in his 2016 effort with the disappointing Jack Reacher: Never Go Back, a sequel in desperate need of a signature action sequence to help it stand apart from the crowd.

So, which movies stepped up their game and replaced the flying Fast & Furious cars, or the rampaging dinosaurs of Jurassic World, two winners from last year? Marvel stepped up to the plate, as expected. And Star Wars continued its new streak of visually impressive action choreography. But unexpected names made it onto this year's list, too, from Clint Eastwood to Peter Berg. Here are our selections for the 10 Best Action Scenes of 2016. When possible, we included video.

10. Race to the Buoy, The Shallows

"This is my head start." Jaume Collett-Serra's tight-knit Blake-v-Shark thriller The Shallows is so compact, the whole movie could be considered the 10 spot on our Action Sequences list. Once Ms. Lively hits the water, the movie hardly pauses to take a breath until the credits roll. The shark is ever looming, so Lively's in perpetual motion -- and always fearing for her life. However, we'll single out one of these earlier encounters, where tasty surfer Nancy Adams realizes she has a few seconds to reach a nearby buoy before she becomes a swimming snack.

Read Our Review of The Shallows

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