Netflix is one of the best premium streaming services, with thousands of movies to choose from. That list includes some of the best action movies ever made, with lots of thrills, spills and high-adrenaline sequences. However, there are also a lot of so-called action movies on Netflix that don’t fulfill our need for cool characters, massive stunts, and big explosions. That’s why we have picked the 10 best action movies on Netflix that you can currently stream.
As you can see, there’s quite a variety to choose from, from current super-hero epics to modern-day crime dramas and some truly classic films, action or otherwise.
Best action movies on Netflix:
Editor’s note – This list will be updated as action films leave, and other films debut, on Netflix
1. Avengers: Infinity War
The Marvel Cinematic Universe took 10 years and 19 movies to reach just the first part of its concluding story. Released in 2018, Avengers: Infinity War pits nearly all of the superheroes of the MCU, including Iron Man, Hulk, Captain America, Black Panther, the Guardians of the Galaxy, and more against the Mad Titan, Thanos. This guy is collecting the six Infinity Stones so that when he has them all, he can snap his fingers to kill off half the universe’s population (it’s all in a good cause, at least according to Thanos). The Avengers want to stop him from making the big snap, and we get to see some of the biggest superhero action sequences of all time, and it all leads up to . . . well, we won’t spoil it.
Chris Hemsworth plays Thor in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. However, for the recently released Netflix action movie Extraction, he plays the very human Tyler Rake. Rake is a highly skilled mercenary with a dark past. He’s recruited by India’s biggest drug lord to rescue his son from kidnappers. The film is has tons of great action set pieces, and the setting of India makes for a very different look. Sam Hargrave, the stunt coordinator for both Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame, makes his directorial debut with Extraction. Another Avengers: Infinity War connection is that its co-director, Joe Russo, wrote the script for this movie.
3. The Matrix
The Matrix changed films, and indeed all of entertainment, when it was released in 1999. It had a Japanese manga and anime-inspired setting and art direction. It had over-the-top gun battle sequences and huge kung-fu fights. The visual effects were so innovative they were copied in tons of future action movies, TV shows and video games. Above it all, The Matrix is one of the best action movies on Netflix because it used all these things to create a real story. It’s all about technology taking over mankind, and that message is still something that resonates today.
Goldeneye was considered a risk when it was first released in 1995. It had been six years since the last film starring MI-6 super spy James Bond. However, there was no need for worry. The combination of Pierce Brosnan as the new 007 and Martin Campbell as director turned Goldeneye into a huge critical and box office hit. This time, Bond has to stop one of his former colleagues, 006, played perfectly by Sean Bean, from creating a massive financial crisis. It’s one of the best James Bond films and one of the best Netflix action movies.
5. Raiders of the Lost Ark
The 1981 film may have officially renamed as Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark, but we all know the true title of this film. Harrison Ford seems born to play the role of Indiana Jones. He’s an archeologist who risks life and limb to find the greatest historical relics in the world. In this debut film of the series, directed (as all of them are) by Steven Spielberg, Jones has been recruited to find The Ark of the Covenant in 1936. He has to grab it before the Nazis get a hold of the container where the Ten Commandments were kept. This was described as a homage to the Saturday afternoon serials of the 1930s. In truth, this film blows all of them away in action, humor, and entertainment.
Netflix also has the three other films in this series for streaming currently; Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, and Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull.
6. Starship Troopers
This 1997 film is on our best action movies on Netflix list for a big reason: big, nasty, alien bugs. These invaders have attacked the Earth of the future, and now it’s up to the Mobile Infantry and Fleet to take them down. However, while there are some spectacular battles against the bugs in this movie, there are also some satirical elements to Starship Troopers. It comments, in a funny way, on how military governments might take over, and how they might use an invasion to spread their propaganda. Be warned, this movie is rated R for lots of violence, gore and more.
7. Air Force One
A case could be made for Harrison Ford as the actor who gives the best performance of a fictional US president based on this 1997 movie. President James Marshall is on board his 747 which is heading back the US after a successful summit in Moscow. Unfortunately, he and the rest of the people on the plane have to deal with a group of outlaw Russian terrorists, who have taken over Air Force One. Ford goes into full action mode as he tries to defeat the terrorists, including its leader, played perfectly by Gary Oldman.
8. Olympus Has Fallen
2013 had two “White House under siege” movies, but this one is the better one. That’s due in part to its R-rating as a rogue group of North Korean terrorists take over 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. It’s up to US Secret Service agent Mike Banning, played by 300’s Gerald Butler, to almost singlehandedly save the White House and rescue the President, played by Aaron Eckart. There are tons of great set pieces in this movie, and it’s definitely one of the best action movies on Netflix. This film was popular enough to spawn two sequels; London has Fallen, and the recently released Angel has Fallen, which is also now on Netflix.
9. Ip Man
The IP Man film series is one of the best in the action-martial arts. The first film, released in 2008, sets up the rest of the series. Donnie Yen, best known for US audiences for his role in Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, plays the title character. Ip Man’s most well-known achievement is that he was reportedly was the martial arts teacher of Bruce Lee. Ip Man (the movie) takes place in the 1930s, as he becomes a grand master of the martial art Wing Chun. You can also check out the second and third movies in the Ip Man saga on Netflix, and you can buy or rent the fourth and final movie on Vudu.
10. The Hurricane Heist
Here’s another more recent action movie from the same director as xXx. The 2018 movie is set in Alabama at the Gulf Coast, where a Category 5 hurricane is about to make landfall. However, that’s the perfect cover for a group of thieves who want to steal old US cash that’s supposed to be shredded from a US Treasury stronghold. Naturally, just a few people stand in this groups way, and the oncoming hurricane is not making anyone’s lives easier. It’s a heist movie with a big weather twist, and that’s why it’s one of the best action movies on Netflix.
Plenty more including scary, comedy, war movies, and the list goes on
These are the best action movies you can watch on Netflix. We’ll update this post with new titles once they are released. However, there’s a ton of content you can stream on the service. Here are some of our other Netflix guides worth checking out: