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.
Read: What’s new on Netflix
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
The Old 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 discovered a young woman who might be another immortal, they must both protect and train her. They are also on the run from a group that wants to capture the team to learn the secret of their immorality.
Chris Hemsworth plays Thor in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. However, in 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.
Here’s another of Netflix’s original action movie. This one comes from the action director master Michael Bay. Ryan Reynolds leads a team that is super-rich but wants to do more to help the world than just donate money to charity. The members of the team fake their own deaths so they can operate under 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 that are filmed around the world. You won’t get bored.
Daniel Craig made his debut as British superspy James Bond with this 2006 film. It remains one of the best, if not the best, of the Bond movies ever made. The film first shows how Bond got his 007 designation and then jumps ahead to his next mission, which involves stopping a terrorist banker from blowing up a plane, and then competing with him in a very high stakes poker game. There are also some great action sequences in this movie as well.
Before Steven Seagal’s career went down to making cheap direct-to-video films, he was actually a solid action movie actor. By far his best film was Under Siege, which is basically “Die Hard on a ship.” This 1992 movie rises above the usual action fair thanks to, ironically, Seagal’s performance as a former Navy SEAL who is serving out the last days of his tour as a cook on the battleship USS Missouri.
However, the ship on is final voyage is taken over by terrorists. Tommy Lee Jones is terrific as the leader of the group, as is Gary Busey as the traitorous first officer. There are some great action sequences, and a final fight between Seagal and Jones that’s pretty cool as well.
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, this drug, named “Power,” somehow activates a specific superhuman ability. Yes, you can fly, become invulnerable, or get super-strong while taking Power. The catch? The super ability 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.
This 1990 film is a true action movie classic. It combines some great set pieces with a storyline that actually makes you think at times. Arnold Schwarzenegger plays a man in the near future who keeps having dreams about being on Mars. He decides to go to a company that offers virtual vacations inside a person’s head so he can experience a Mars trip. The twist? The folks at Rekall, and the audience, soon realize that Schwarzenegger’s character is not who he first appears to be, even to himself.
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.
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 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 grandmaster 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.
John Travolta and Hugh Jackman are sometimes reluctant allies, but most of the time enemies, in this 2001 action film. Travolta plays a mysterious criminal who recruits Jackman’s computer hacker character to help him break into a bank. However, there are lots of twists and turns in this movie that you may not see coming. Halle Berry is also excellent as a woman who seems to be one of Travolta’s allies but also may not be what she first seems. There are some big shootouts in this film and a final sequence that involves a bus and . . . well, we won’t give it all away. It’s one of the best action movies on Netflix.
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
- S.W.A.T. – A new team of officers from LA’s elite police force has to keep a rich criminal from escaping in this solid film.
- 2012 – This is pure disaster porn as a father tries to keep his family safe while the entire Earth self-destructs.
- Army of the Dead – This Netflix original movie has a team of mercenaries trying to rob a casino in Vegas that’s also surrounded by zombies.
- Battle: Los Angeles – A US Army unit has to fight off, and survive, an alien invasion of LA in this action flick.
These are the best action movies you can watch on Netflix. We’ll update this post with new titles once they are released.