Sure, streaming that remastered 1958 Russian drama will give you some clout when chatting film, but we’re here to tell you that watching Keanu mid-gunfight on horseback in a shopping mall is absolutely fine, just as staring aimlessly at Samuel L. Jackson fighting terrorists and snakes on a plane is, too.
It definitely seems the list of great action films popping up on Netflix is endless, so it can sometimes be a bit overwhelming when choosing one to commit to on your precious night off. Whether you’re keen on serious suspense, unexpected villains or just something to get your heart pumping, we’ve put together some of our favourites to take out the guesswork.
Read on for the best action movies on Netflix right now.
Batman has taken a few twists and turns over the years but with Robert Pattinson and Zoë Kravitz donning capes this time around you can expect a no nonsense homage to the dark knight. Directed by Matt Reeves, responsible for the likes of Cloverfield and Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes, The Batman is undeniably filled with action and a whole lot of artistic flair (for our absolute movie buffs out there). Watch it here.
This highly anticipated release featuring beloved Timothée Chalamet and Rebecca Ferguson explores the journey of a young man who travels to a dangerous unknown resource-rich planet where mysterious forces push him towards a foreboding destiny where a wild quest ensues. This part action, part sci-film film will take your mind on twists and turns, leaving you on the edge of your seat right until the very end. Watch it here.
A brand spanking new release topping the Netflix charts, Lesson Plan is a polish action crime film promising plenty of grit, darkness and suspense to keep you guessing what happens next. After a teacher dies, his best friend (also a former cop) makes it his mission to put together the pieces of who was responsible for taking his life. Mimicking a staff member, he eventually finds the gang he believes to be guilty and madness follows. Watch it here.
Better Call Saul’s lead man Bob Odenkrk heads this awesome cast in Nobody, a violent and dark film that follows apathetic husband and father Hutch Mansell as his family home is invaded. This frightening catalyst seems to awaken his lethal inner badass and the audience follows along the ways in which he manages to protect everything he values most before it’s too late. Watch it here.
Yet another fabulous 2022 Netflix Release starring Hollywood royalty Allison Janney, Lou takes you into the life of a mysterious loner living a quiet life with her dog before her dark past resurfaces after her neighbour’s little daughter gets kidnapped during a freakstorm and she takes it upon herself to make things right again. Highly suspenseful, this will keep you on the edge of your seat for sure. Watch it here.
The Gray Man
When a shadowy CIA agent uncovers some pretty damning agency secrets, he’s hunted across the globe by a sociopathic rogue operative who’s put a bounty on his head, so he has no choice but to survive by any means possible. In a massive cast featuring dreamboats Ryan Gosling and Chris Evans, this one guarantees plenty of action, explosions and crazy chase scenes. Watch it here.
Elsa Pataky aka Mrs. Hemsworth (jealous) leads this Australian military action film full of fast turns and unexpected moments that’ll keep you enthralled from start to end credits. When the last officer standing on a remote missile defense base wages if forced to go on with her comrades, she faces the ultimate battle of her life when faced with an extremely powerful and ruthless terrorist organisation trying to steal US nuclear weaponry that could put the entire globe at risk. We love a locally made film, and we know you will too. Watch it here.
The Old Guard
Based on a comic by the same name, The Old Guard flips stereotypical action hero stereotypes on its head with Charlize Theron at the helm in a seriously cool role demonstrating the power of women. The tale follows a team of immortal mercenaries on a revenge mission full of set ups, unexpected attacks and some pretty dicey situations. Watch it here.
Chris Hemsworth plays a hardened mercenary sent to the unknown shores of Bangladesh to rescue a renowned drug lord’s kidnapped son in a race against the clock. The mission becomes a journey of his own in his own voyage to find himself and work through some of his own trauma. A fast-paced, exciting and gritty watch, we’re big fans. Watch it here.
An American vigilante action thriller film with Ryan Reynolds running around like a badass on screen for a couple of hours? Yes please. This 2019 release takes you on a journey with six unique highly skilled individuals spread over the globe who have been chosen to delete their pasts in order to change their future. With a lot of blood and fight scenes, this one’s not for the faint hearted. Watch it here.
Screen goddess Jessica Chastain stars along Colin Farrell, John Malkovich and other big name celebs in this dramatic action piece where elite assassin Ava wrestles with doubts about her work while scrambling to protect herself and her estranged family after a hit goes dangerously wrong and she’s left fearing for her very existence. Watch it here.
This British action thriller set in South Sudan follows Sam Carlson, a close protection officer loosely based on Jacquie Davis (one of the world’s leading female bodyguards whose clients have included members of the British Royal Family and J. K. Rowling) as she saves two journalists she’s protecting when their vehicle becomes attacked by local insurgents. When they’re left without backup, Sam scrambles to teach her client to fight back in order to stay alive. Ominous and fast-paced, you’ll be left holding your breath in this one. Watch it here.
This fresh French action comedy is making waves around the universe with plenty of adventure and laughs following two mismatched cops that have been forced to reunite after a decade to investigate a murder in a small town where a wider conspiracy looms and their reputations are at stake. An easy watch perfect for a lazy Friday night in. Watch it here.
The John Wick Trilogy
John Wick, John Wick Chapter 2 and John Wick Parabellum is about as explosive as it gets. The plotline in all three films can be as simple or as difficult as you want them to to be depending on how much attention you pay, but all you really need to know is that Keanu Reeves plays a notorious ex-hitman who comes out of retirement for revenge after gangsters steal his whip and brutally murder his dog.
Plenty of stunts, plenty of explosions and plenty of Keanu at peak Keanu. Hands down three of the best action movies Netflix has to offer right now.
Sicario follows FBI agent Kate Macer (Emily Blunt) on an undercover mission targeting a Mexican drug lord. Joining a surly band of CIA agents and led by a gruff Josh Brolin, things begin to go awry when the idealistic Macer begins to pick up on her new teammate’s difficult relationship with the enemy.
It’s directed by visionary auteur Denis Villeneuve, who has a way of inducing an addictive anxiety throughout all of his films, and Sicario is no exception.
The Man From U.N.C.L.E
The sexiest action film on Netflix for at least a few reasons, those reasons being Henry Cavill, Alicia Vikander and Arnie Hammer. This one’s directed by Guy Ritchie, and while it strays from the usual sweet-talking Cockney characters of Snatch and Lock Stock, The Man From U.N.C.L.E is just as slick.
In this adaptation of the TV series of the same name, we join a CIA agent (Cavill) and a KGB Operative (Hammer) as they put their differences aside to take down a mysterious global criminal organisation. Do your eyes a favour and pop this in your streaming queue.
A struggling screenwriter (played by Coin Farrell) inadvertently becomes involved in the dealings of LAs underworld after his friends (Christopher Walken and Sam Rockwell) steal a gangster’s (Woody Harrelson) beloved shih tzu. Tom Waits also makes an appearance as a maniac with a pet rabbit. A lot to take in, right?
Seven Psychopaths is an endearing action flick that spends most of its runtime teetering the line of hilarious and heartbreaking, with plenty of guns, blood and guts in between. It also features just shy of two hours of Christopher Walken being Christopher Walken. What more could you want?
One of the latest action films Netflix has released, Project Power is in parts your classic action, at moments a thriller and occasionally a sci-fi. The film revolves around a pill that gives people unpredictable superpowers, but only for five minutes. Attempting to stop the wreak of havoc is a teenage drug dealer, a local cop and an ex-soldier.
Project Power brings with it a classic action cast lead by Jamie Foxx and Joseph Gordon-Levitt. Join the duo in this ballsy, no-brainer action film.
Da 5 Bloods
Visionary director Spike Lee will make you cry, before being sick to your stomach, then cry again in his latest work Da 5 Bloods. The plot takes us to Vietnam with four African American veterans who return to their stomping ground to retrieve the remains of a fallen soldier, and a stash of buried gold. This heartwrencher goes deep, dealing with undertones of greed, love, PTSD and kinship, it’s also one of the late Chadwick Boseman’s last films before his passing and arguably one of his finest performances.
An absolute 90s classic, The Fugitive follows the action film template to a tee, and it does so damn well. It features a young(ish) Tommy Lee Jones, who plays a seasoned US martial chasing down a respectively youthful Harrison Ford playing Dr Richard Kimble, who’s been wrongfully accused of his wife’s murder. It’s the ultimate man-hunt film which will have you sweating with stress and frustration as the real killer escapes his capture time and time again.
The Other Guys
For a peculiar take on the action film caper, chuck on The Other Guys. This one gives you a small dose of classic Samuel L. Jackson action and an intravenous drip worth of Will Ferrell knee-slapping moments.
The goofy cop thriller follows two unlikely partners (Will Ferrell and Mark Wahlberg) as they work against the odds to uncover corruption in the city of New York. Press play for plenty of gags and enough action to keep you entertained for at least until you crash out on the couch you’re slowly sinking in to.
We all knew Samuel L. Jackson would make a few appearances on this list. In Netflix’s iteration of Shaft, Jackson reprises the role of the same name. This time around, private detective John Shaft is joined by his the son he never knew he had (played by Usher) to uncover the truth behind his best friend’s untimely death.
Everyone needs at least one martial arts banger in the streaming queue, and Ip Man, featuring prodigy Donnie Yen, should be it. During the Japanese invasion of China, a martial artist is forced to flee after his city is occupied, what follows is the ultimate journey as Ip Man fights (a lot, like the whole film) for his survival.
Once you’re done, watch the best horror films on Netflix.
Image credit: Netflix