A great action movie is not just about the action. There are several other factors that determine whether a movie is worthy of a viewer’s attention. We have compiled the 25 best action movies on Netflix to help viewers find a great pick without spending too much time browsing.
A good action film can get your heart racing and have you on the edge of your seat the entire time. Netflix is well-known for its original movies and TV shows, but it also has a trove of action films that can be watched at any time. We have compiled a list of the 25 best action movies on Netflix right now.
How We Chose Our Rankings
In considering which movies should be included on this list, we looked at several elements of action movies. For instance, every action movie needs a protagonist that viewers can root for. Without the protagonist, there is no hero for viewers to root for and most people would lose interest.
We also looked at the villains. Ideally, the movie should give viewers the reason for the villain’s actions, but it is not necessarily important to the plot. What is most important is how efficiently the villain can spread chaos. The more chaos, the better.
Of course, the most important factor in our list was the action. The action scenes must work. If the camera is shaky or the characters look like they are simply doing carefully choreographed movies, the quality of the movie is greatly diminished.Top 25 Best Action Movies on Netflix
2010’s remake of the original “13 Assassins” follows a gang of Samurai who are on a mission to take out a feudal lord. The movie features swordplay and spectacular fight scenes that are as good as the original. It is directed by Takashi Miikie, who is one of the best action directors in the business. Whereas many remakes fall short, this one is an instant classic like the 1963 remake.
“Captain America: Civil War” is the 13th movie in the Marvel Universe and continues the story of the Avengers and their fight to protect the world. The movie offers a more in-depth analysis of Captain America and gives viewers a look into the differences between him and Iron Man. The movie also introduces Black Panther to the universe.
The Netflix Original “The Siege of Jadotville” is about Irish troops who are sent to Africa to keep the peace after the United Nations is formed. The movie focuses on an actual six-day fight between the Irish and the Katangese forces. The movie starts with the assassination of the Congolese Prime Minister Patrice Lumumba, which leads to chaos. Without action, the world could be thrown into a third world war.
Even though “Face/Off” was released in 1997, it still ranks high among the action movies available to watch on Netflix. The movie features John Travolta playing the role of an FBI agent who swaps appearances with a terrorist played by Nicholas Cage. Switching appearances backfires on Travolta’s character and he soon finds himself having to fight for his life. The movie not only has entertaining plot twists, but there is plenty of jaw dropping action.
“Turbo Kid” might not feature the blazing shootouts and spectacular explosions that the other movies on the list do, but it does have action. The movie is the story of a comic book fan who has a magical gauntlet who gets into his own fair share of skirmishes while trying to fight a water-obsessed tyrant. The movie is campy and the dialogue is cheesy at times, but there is enough gore throughout to keep viewers entranced. At the very least, Gen Xers and older viewers will have a chance to relieve the 80s through this movie.
“Men in Black” combines action and comedy to deliver a clever and thrilling movie. The movie follows two agents who are tasked with tracking intergalactic visitors from other planets. When one visitor arrives with chaos and mayhem, it is up to Agent K and Agent J to rope him in. The movie features legendary makeup effects and was one of the first to take CGI effects to the next level in the 90s. Although it was released in 1997, MIB still ranks as one of the best sci-fi movies ever made.
Quentin Tarantino is considered a master when it comes to action movies, and his “Inglourious Basterds” ranks high on his list of masterpieces. The movie tells the story of several groups of people during World War II. Each group is aiming to kill Adolph Hitler but are unaware of each other’s attentions. The movie is not only packed with action, but it cleverly juggles several storylines at once. The movie does have some lighthearted and comic moments, but it is heavy on action.
2016’s “Rogue One” is a standalone Star Wars story. The storyline focuses on the Rebel Alliance and its attempt to take control of the Death Star. The protagonist, Jyn Erso, is the daughter of one of the officers who developed the weapon and she wants to help save the galaxy by seizing it. The movie falls between the original three movies and the prequels that were subsequently released.
“Wheelman” follows the story of a getaway driver who has just been released from prison. The driver is forced to work for mobsters to repay an old debt. However, he is betrayed while working one job and ends up having to fight to save his daughter and his ex-wife. Unfortunately, time is limited, and he must quickly determine who he can and cannot trust. The movie is mostly shot behind the wheel, but does not lack in action.
In “Kill Bill Vol. 1”, viewers are introduced to The Bride. She is a trained assassin who survives a murder attempt on her wedding day. After spending four years in a coma, she awakens in a hospital to discover that the child she was pregnant with is gone. Assuming the baby is lost, she decides to exact revenge on those who are responsible—her former murder squad.
The second movie in the “Kill Bill” series continues The Bride’s quest for revenge for the loss of her baby and the assassination attempt on her life. The movie centers on other surviving members of the murder squad, and has a heart stopping showdown with the man who heads the squad.
Top cop Nicholas Angel is reassigned to a rural area after his commanders fear that he is showing up his London co-workers. Angel finds himself stuck in a seemingly quiet area, but soon learns that there is far more to the area than meets the eye. Eventually, he must dig beneath the surface to learn why there are so many accidents in the area that lead to several deaths.
“Skin Trade” is a throwback to classic action movies with revenge plots. A New York cop ends up taking down members of a Russian mob, but they retaliate by killing his wife and daughter. The cop decides to go outside of the law to make them pay. He ends up working with a Thai detective in his bid to completely wipe out the mob and its business.
1983’s “Scarface” tells the story of a Cuban immigrant who is on the rise in the drug world. Tony Montana quickly moves from an underling in a drug organization to heading it. With his rise comes a new level of violence to the Miami drug scene. At the top, he quickly learns that being the head puts a target on him and the ones he loves. Montana soon finds that he cannot trust everyone and struggles to maintain his position.
“Armageddon’s” storyline is far-fetched, and at times, it is hard to avoid a sigh or two, but it is still one of the best action movies on Netflix. The movie features a team of oil drillers who are recruited by NASA to help stop a planet-ending asteroid that is headed straight for the earth. The movie even has a sappy sub-plot that has been known to bring tears to even the most hardened viewer.
In “Battle Royale”, a group of high school students are forced to choose a weapon before being sent to battle each other to the death. The students are given just three days to kill each other. At the end, there can only be one survivor or everyone who remains will be killed. Some of the students resist and try to leave the game without killing anyone. However, it quickly becomes evident that they might not have a choice but to play the game, if they want to survive.
The second volume of “Guardians of the Galaxy” picks up after Star Lord and his friends save Xander. They are now regarded as heroes and want to use that clout to find out the true heritage of Star Lord. As they search for the truth, they are each met with old allies and begin to doubt whether they are the heroes that everyone thinks they are.
The first movie in the wildly popular series features epic gun battles, explosions, and class comedic lines. The movie pairs an older police officer who is steadily working towards retirement and a suicidal officer who has few restraints. The two uncover a drug smuggling operation that forces them to work together despite their differences.
“The Bourne Ultimatum” follows Jason Bourne as he is once again pushed out of hiding. The trained killer must finally deal with his past after a reporter starts to dig into the secretive spy operation that Bourne worked for. Once again, Bourne is forced to fight for his life as his former squad attempts to kill him.
Quentin Tarentino’s “The Hateful Eight” is set in a post-Civil War Wyoming. A bounty hunter and his captive are headed the town of Red Rock. Along the route, they face another bounty hunter and the new sheriff of the town. As they travel, their party grows, and they are faced with several dangers that could prevent them from making it to their destination.
Spike Lee’s “Inside Man” is an action movie with a twist. A gang of robbers take hostages in a Manhattan bank and proceed to rob the bank. Seemingly trapped inside, the robbers are forced to negotiate with the police to escape. What seems like an ordinary bank robbery on the surface turns out to be much more.
Boyka is a boxer who is attempting to go big league, faced with a moral dilemma after a horrific accident in the ring. While struggling with the ramifications of the accident, he learns that he must go back to the ring to help free someone from a life of servitude. If he fails, the innocent will lose her right to live freely.
“Sin City” features four different tales of crime, including the story of a many who is fed up with the corruption that has taken over law enforcement in the city. Another tale features the story of a police officer who is willing to risk it all to protect an innocent. The dark action-packed movie is not for the faint of heart.
In “The Wave”, a family is faced with fighting to survive a monstrous tidal wave. The family and other townsfolk only have 10 minutes to escape. The movie features underwater scenes that draw in viewers and heighten the action.
As young filmmakers are on the hunt for an alleged poacher, they learn that he is not hunting bears. He is hunting trolls. They are doubtful of the existence of trolls, but soon learn that they not only are real, but horrifying. The movie is quick-paced and packed with action.
Besides looking at the protagonist and villains, pay close attention to the actual action in the movie. The movies on this list amp up the action, but if you are selecting a movie outside of the listing, read reviews and check out the movie rating. After all, lots of action can make even the worst plot watchable.