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, from current super-hero epics to modern day crime dramas and some truly classic films, action or otherwise.
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Editor’s note – This list will be updated as films leave, and other films debut, on Netflix.’
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.
Watch this movie in preparation for checking out the second half of this story, Avengers: Endgame, when it hits movie theaters in late April.
In addition to this great action movie on Netflix, the service has some other MCU movies to check out, like Guardians of the Galaxy: Volume 2, Thor: Ragnarok, Ant-Man and the Wasp and our next selection.
Black Panther was the biggest U.S. box office movie in the U.S. in 2018, and it just won three Academy Awards, and it’s certainly one of the best movies on Netflix. What makes this movie different than other Marvel Cinematic Universe movies, or indeed any other superhero movie is that it not 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, but 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, as Michael B. Jordan’s character of Killmonger wants to not only claim the throne of Wakanda but 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, while 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.
It’s now time to leave the world of superheroes for this next great action movie on Netflix. The 1995 crime drama from director Michael Mann got a lot of attention before its release because it was the first film to have acting legends Robert De Niro and Al Pacino on the screen at the same time. The truth is while that long-awaited meeting of the two actors is memorable, there’s also a lot of great action sequences as De Niro’s crew of thieves attempt a huge bank heist in the middle of Los Angeles, while Pacino’s police detective tries to stop them. That sequence alone puts Heat on this list.
There are a lot of great James Bond action movies currently streaming on Netflix, but arguably none of them are as good as the 2006 debut of Daniel Craig as 007. This incarnation of Bond may not rattle off a bunch of funny one-liners, but he is tough as nails and will do almost anything to catch or kill his targets, from smashing through walls to fighting in close quarters. His main target in this movie is Le Chiffre, who helps terrorists fund their activities. This movie has some great action scenes, but it also has a romantic theme as well, as Bond falls for Vesper Lind, who has been tasked with keeping the U.K.’s money safe as Bond and Le Chiffre battle in perhaps the biggest and best poker scenes ever filmed.
There are other James Bond films that are currently streaming on Netflix, including The World is not Enough, Goldfinger, Die Another Day, You Only Live Twice, The Spy Who Loved Me, Diamonds are Forever, Live and Let Die, The Living Daylights, Octopussy, and The Man with the Golden Gun.
This 1984 film is truly one of the best action films on Netflix. Indeed, this film, co-written and directed by James Cameron, established a new high in how action movies are filmed and paced. Arnold Schwarzenegger portrays the cyborg Terminator, who time travels from a nuclear holocaust future to the present. His mission: to kill the mother of the human resistance leader that has managed to defeat the AI that started this mess. Cameron almost never lets up with the action, and he’s helped by Schwarzenegger’s performance as a killing machine who will never stop, even when it looks like he’s been beaten. It’s a must see for any action movie fans.
Netflix also has one of the inferior sequels to this movie for streaming, Terminator Salvation, if you really want to see more of the future world, plus watch Christian Bale’s performance as John Conner.
If you are an action movie fan on Netflix, but also want some humor, you have to check out this 2007 British film from director Edgar Wright. Simon Pegg co-wrote the film and stars as London Police Sergeant Nicholas Angel, who is so good at his job, his superiors want to get rid of him because he makes them look bad. As a “reward” for his hard work, Angel is shipped out of the big city and to the small country town of Sandford, where he quickly discovers that there’s a very dark secret in this community that only he and his partner Danny, played by Nick Frost, can discover and stop. Along the way they meet some interesting characters, including former James Bond Timothy Dalton, who plays a grocery store manager who wants to do more than be “a slasher . . . of prices”.
Hot Fuzz is the rare action comedy that can hold its own with the best straight action movies, while also being a love song to the entire genre.
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, 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 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 but 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.
The Mummy (1999)
There have been many films named The Mummy over the decades, but none of them are as entertaining as the 1999 version from writer-director Stephen Sommers. In many ways similar to the Indiana Jones movies, with with a bit more humor and action, this first film in the series stars Brendan Fraser as an adventurer who gets caught up in an expedition to find the City of the Dead in Egypt. He managed to help resurrect Imhotep, an evil and ancient Egyptian priest who wants to not only bring the world to his knees but also to bring back his lost love as well. Arnold Vosloo plays the title character with a mix of power and arrogance that’s a perfect foil for Fraser’s over-the-top Rick O’Connell.
Enter The Dragon
For some truly old school action film fun on Netflix, check out this 1973 flick that made Bruce Lee a true star. Released in the U.S. just one month after his death, Enter The Dragon remains a great martial arts epic. There is a story here, about Lee’s character being recruited to go to a martial arts tournament while also investigating a drug kingpin’s activities. However, it’s the action sequences with Lee’s moves and skills that are the true highlight of Enter The Dragon. It’s also fun to watch American actor John Saxon’s character, a man who has some questionable moral attitudes, navigate through this movie and finally prove he’s one of the good guys.
Kill Bill Volume 1/Volume 2
Yes, we are cheating a little bit with our “top 10” best action movies on Netflix list. The truth is that the two Kill Bill films (the first came out in 2003, and the second in 2004) are really just one big long action epic from writer-director Quentin Tarantino. This film, which is heavily influenced by classic martial arts movies (including Enter the Dragon) centers on The Bride, the assassin character played in both films by Uma Thurman, who is attacked and left for dead by her formed team of killers. She managed to come back from her injuries and the film chronicles her journey to take out those team members one at a time, with the final film showing her last battle with her former leader Bill.
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The movies have some incredible action sequences, including a final battle in Volume 1 as The Bride takes on an entire Japanese yakuza clan single-handed.
What action movies on Netflix would you put on your own top 10 list? Let us know in the comments!