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.
2. Black Panther
Black Panther was the biggest box office movie in the US in 2018. It also won three Academy Awards and it’s certainly one of the best action movies on Netflix. What makes this movie different than other Marvel Cinematic Universe movies, or indeed any other superhero movie? Well, it only establishes Chadwick Boseman’s T’Challa as a worthy character but it also brings us the advanced African country of Wakanda.
Yes, we have seen other worlds in MCU films, but Wakanda is unique in that it has highly advanced technology. However, it still clings to very traditional leadership roles, and it wants to also remain isolated from the rest of the world. It’s this kind of setup that’s at the heart of the movie. Michael B. Jordan’s character of Killmonger wants to only claim the throne of Wakanda. He also wants to use its tech to strike back at the rest of the world for its history of oppressing black people.
Black Panther shows us a villain in Killmonger who might have some good reasons for his actions. At the same time, the leadership of Wakanda might have some ethical problems. It’s this reversal that really makes the movie different than the normal superhero epic. Oh, and it has some awesome action sequences and fights, too.
3. The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King
Avengers: Infinity War has been called an epic movie. The truth is no film, before or since, has come close to Peter Jackson’s final film in his Lord of the Rings fantasy movie adaptation trilogy. Clocking in at 3 hours and 20 minutes, this 2003 release has it all; a massive battle between armies, combined with a personal story of two hobbits trying to destroy the greatest evil in Middle Earth. It won the Academy Award for Best Picture a few months later, and it’s easy to see why. It’s a huge movie with lots of visual effects, but in the end, it was all about Frodo, Sam, Gollum, and their battle to posses The One Ring that makes it one of the best action movies on Netflix.
Director Zack Snyder’s adaptation of the acclaimed comic by Frank Miller was a surprise hit when it was released in 2006. Part of the reason was that it looked like no other movie that had been released before. Snyder used mostly virtual sets to create the world of ancient Sparta and the Battle of Thermopylae. It also used a special photographic chroma key effect that made the film look as close to Miller’s artwork as possible within. The final result was a film that used stylized action to show the 300 Spartan warriors as they go into battle against an overwhelming Persian army. It’s definitely one of the best action movies on Netflix that you can stream.
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. Road House
Is this 1989 film a good movie or an “It’s so bad it’s good” movie? Whichever side of this argument you fall under, there’s no doubt that Road House is highly entertaining. The late Patrick Swayze plays Dalton, a man who is hired to be the head bouncer at a popular bar in a small Midwestern city. The problem is that the bar is in a town run by a totally corrupt businessman. Dalton is an unlikely hero who manages to stands up for both the bar and, as it happens, the entire town against this threat. It also helps that he is a master martial artist; he can dish it out and he can take it. Just ignore the plot holes and enjoy this campy action movie on Netflix; you will be glad you did.
7. Hellboy (2004)
Don’t go see that new Hellboy movie reboot that came out earlier in 2019. Instead, watch the original 2004 movie adaptation of Mike Mignola’s comic book creation, and one of the best action movies on Netflix. Directed perfectly by Guillermo del Toro, the first Hellboy movie stars Ron Perlman as the title character. A demon-like creature who sounds like he was born in New York City rather than in Hell, Perlman’s performance is excellent, and the movie is the perfect mix of comic book action and supernatural themes.
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.
No, this is not an adult movie but a 2002 super-spy action film. Vin Diesel stars as Zander Cage, an extreme sports and stunt performer who gains fame on the internet. He’s recruited to become a spy by a super-secret against, lead by Samuel L. Jackson. Cage uses his fame and skills to infiltrate a suspected terrorist group who has plans to kill the city of Prague with chemical weapons. Diesel is having tons of fun in this role, and most of the stunt and action sequences are well done. You can also watch the sequel to this movie, xXx: State of the Union, on Netflix, but it ditches Diesel for Ice Cube in the leading role.
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.
These are the best action movies you can watch on Netflix. We’ll update this post with new titles once they are released.