As difficult as it must be to construct and film a compelling action scene, it takes more than just punching, kicking, car chases and explosions to create a truly memorable sequence that will stick in the minds of moviegoers forever.

In a new video, CineFix explores five of those sequences — action scenes that are just as smart and impressive as they are thrilling and explosive.

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Mad Max: Fury Road is the most recent movie on the list, so we’ll start with it. In one minute of action, director George Miller manages to give more than half a dozen characters something important to do. In lesser movies, there are times when we find ourselves wondering why certain characters are in the movie at all if they aren’t going to contribute to the story. Not so in Mad Max.

Speaking of giving everyone something to do, Peter Jackson was able to direct enormous armies in the The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers without ever letting us lose track of what exactly was happening. CineFix calls it “pyramid action,” which means that we can see every level of the fight taking place all at once, from the massive battle between two sides to the strategies deployed by each side all the way down to the individual skirmishes between characters we recognize.

The video is a fascinating critique on some of the most brilliant conceived and perfectly executed action scenes in modern filmmaking. If you want to see all of them, you can watch the video below:

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