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The 10 best action movies on Netflix you can watch now
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 ten best action movies on Netflix that you can currently stream.
Read: What’s new on Netflix
As you can see, there’s quite a variety to choose from, from current superhero epics to modern-day crime dramas and some truly classic films, action or otherwise. You can sign up for Netflix at the link below.
Best action movies on Netflix
Editor’s note: This list will be updated as action films leave and other films debut on Netflix
The New Guard
This Netflix original action movie is a comic book-inspired film starring Charlize Theron. She plays the leader of a four-person warrior team that secretly fights evil. Oh, and all four also happen to be immortal. When the team discovers a young woman who might be another immortal, they must protect and train her. They are also on the run from a group that wants to capture them to learn the secret of their immorality.
Chris Hemsworth plays Thor in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. However, he plays the very human Tyler Rake in the recently released Netflix action movie Extraction. Rake is a highly skilled mercenary with a dark past. India’s biggest drug lord recruits him to rescue his son from kidnappers.
The film has lots 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 its co-director, Joe Russo, who wrote the script for this movie.
Here’s another of Netflix’s original action movies. This one comes from the action director, Michael Bay. Ryan Reynolds leads a super-rich team that wants to do more to help the world than just donate money to charity. The team members fake their deaths to operate under the radar, and above the law, to take out terrorists.
As in most of Bay’s movies, the plot doesn’t matter; what matters is some excellent action set pieces filmed around the world. You won’t get bored.
Army of the Dead
Zack Synder, who directed the excellent action-packed remake of Dawn of the Dead, returns to the zombie genre with this Netflix original film. Zombies have taken over Las Vegas, but a casino owner still wants to get the hundreds of millions of dollars in cash locked up below his casino. He recruits a team of mercenaries to enter the zombie-infested city, break into the vault, take out the money, and depart. As you might expect, things don’t go according to plan.
The Mask of Zorro
Zorro, the mask-wearing rebel from 19th century California, got an excellent reboot in this 1998 movie. Anthony Hopkins plays the original Zorro, looking to seek revenge on the man who killed his wife. He trains a somewhat inept successor, played by Antonio Banderas, and both are trying to stop a plan by California’s governor to turn it into its own country, via illegally mined gold.
There are lots of great action sequences and sword fights, and Catherine Zeta-Jones is just as strong as the male leads, as Hopkins’ daughter and Banderas’ love interest.
This Netflix exclusive action movie is a different take on the superhero genre. In New Orleans, a new drug has hit the streets. Instead of getting you high or making you see things, the drug, named “Power,” somehow activates a specific superhuman ability. You can fly, become invulnerable, or get super-strong while taking Power. The catch? It only lasts for five minutes at a time.
Jamie Foxx plays one of the first test subjects for Power, and he teams up with a New Orleans cop, played by Joseph Gordon-Levitt, to try to stop the distribution of the drug.
Last Action Hero
This 1993 film wasn’t a huge critical or commercial hit on its release, but it has since become a cult classic. A young boy is a fan of Arnold Schwarzenegger, especially his action movie character Jack Slater. Thanks to a magic ticket, the boy travels to Jack Slater’s world, where all the action tropes are real. It’s a very meta-movie, released at a time when “meta” didn’t mean what it does today, and a lot of fun while also commenting on action film cliches at the time.
Olympus Has Fallen
2013 had two “White House under siege” movies, but this one is the better one. That’s partly due to its R-rating, as a rogue group of North Korean terrorists takes over 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. It’s up to US Secret Service agent Mike Banning, played by 300’s Gerard Butler, to almost singlehandedly save the White House and rescue the President, played by Aaron Eckart.
There are many great set pieces in this movie, and it’s 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.
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 to US audiences for his role in Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, plays the title character.
Ip Man’s most notable achievement is that he was reportedly the martial arts teacher of Bruce Lee. Ip Man (the movie) takes place in the 1930s, as he becomes a grandmaster of the martial art Wing Chun.
21 Jump Street
TV revivals as films don’t always do well. 21 Jump Street is an exception because it turns the original show’s premise into a great action-comedy. Channing Tatum and Jonah Hill play two cops who get recruited into a new mission because of their youthful looks. They go undercover as high school students to find out who’s running a drug ring at the local school.
It’s one of the best action movies on Netflix, and it’s funny as well.
Here are a few more entertaining action movies on Netflix that just missed making our list.
- Stargate — The original movie that started this big sci-fi franchise is also a great action flick.
- The Last Boy Scout — Bruce Willis plays a private detective caught up in a murder case centering on pro football.
- Gunpowder Milkshake — Karen Gillan plays an assassin on the run from the mob so she can protect a young girl.
- Minority Report — In the near future, where psychics predict murders before they happen, a cop (Tom Cruise) tries to evade his colleagues after the psychics claim he will kill a stranger.
- Code 8 — A man wants to raise money using his superpowers in a world where such abilities are officially banned.
These are the best action movies you can watch on Netflix. We’ll update this post with new titles once they are released.