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30 Best Action Movies On Netflix [July 2021]

With thousands of titles to choose from, it's no wonder Netflix is a streaming giant. The platform is home to countless action films, one of the most popular genres in all of Hollywood. They boast a hefty catalog of incredible original movies in addition to hosting some of the biggest action classics of all time. If you're a fan of high-octane flicks, Netflix should be your go-to for your next movie night.

While they're loaded with a plethora of great films, Netflix is even further saturated with some serious misses. While some of these films might be entertaining for their explosions and gunfire — ahem, "6, Underground" — more than a handful of action flicks on the platform lack good storytelling. To help you out find the best Netflix has to offer this month while weeding out the bad apples, we've compiled the 30 best titles for your viewing pleasure. Take a scroll through our list for some suggestions, which are sure to pump up your adrenaline.

Updated on July 21, 2021: When it comes to movies with car chases, fist fights, and insane stunts, Netflix is constantly changing its catalog. In order to keep things current, we'll be updating this list each month so you can stay informed on all the crazy action happening over on Netflix.

Air Force One

After delivering an anti-terrorism speech in Moscow, Air Force One is hijacked by terrorists. A room full of hostages is assembled on board, with one set to be killed every half hour until the terrorists' demands are met. With his wife and daughter among the hostages, President James Marshall must do whatever it takes to protect all those on board — and fortunately, he's a former helicopter rescue pilot and Medal of Honor recipient, making him the last person to be messed with.

American Assassin

Twentysomething Mitch Rapp suffers a devastating loss when his new fiancee is murdered in a terrorist attack while they're on vacation. Swearing vengeance on those who took his love from him, Mitch is recruited by Cold War vet Stan Hurley to train as a black ops agent. Together, the pair track a mystery man whose goal is to create an all-out war in the Middle East. Underrated by critics, "America Assassin" has awesome shootouts and a great breakout role for Dylan O'Brien, who was stuck in a slew of teen flicks for too long.

  • Starring: Dylan O'Brien, Taylor Kitsch, Michael Keaton
  • Director: Michael Cuesta
  • Year: 2017
  • Runtime: 111 minutes
  • Rating: R
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 34%

Army of the Dead

Zombies have overrun las Vegas, and the walled-off city is just days away from being destroyed by nukes. Casino bigwig Bly Tanaka has $200 million in cash left in one of his vaults and needs a team to go in and recover it before it's turned to ash. Tanaka enlists the help of Scott Ward, who builds a team to go into the chaos for $50 million. Ward and his team soon find out these zombies are more intelligent than they appear, giving them a literal run for their money.

The Bank Job

Terry Leather is pulled from his dull car-dealing life to participate in a bank heist that promises to net him a nice profit. While the bank's alarm system is down, Terry and a team overtake the vault and leave with a nice chunk of change and jewelry. He also snags incriminating photos of royals in precarious situations — and Terry becomes a target as anyone and everyone wants to get their hands on those pictures.

  • Starring: Jason Statham, Saffron Burrows, Richard Lintern
  • Director: Roger Donaldson
  • Year: 2008
  • Runtime: 112 minutes
  • Rating: R
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 80%

Casino Royale

MI6 agent James Bond is sent on his first mission: Prevent terrorist banker Le Chiffre from winning a high-stakes poker game at the Casino Royale in Montenegro. Le Chiffre's business will crumble if he loses the game, and it's up to 007 to make sure that's precisely what happens. No matter who wins, Bond is in imminent danger as he discovers the treacherous business behind his adversary.

  • Starring: Daniel Craig, Eva Green, Mads Mikkelsen
  • Director: Martin Campbell
  • Year: 2006
  • Runtime: 144 minutes
  • Rating: PG-13
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 94%

Da 5 Bloods

Four Vietnam veterans travel back to the South Asian country to exhume their fallen leader's body — and the gold treasure they buried while they were there. Finding the gold proves less difficult than moving it out of Vietnam, as the vets battle one another and outside forces keen on stealing the treasure.

Defiance

Four Jewish brothers are on the run in Belarus as World War II rages on across Europe. The brothers escape into the woodlands, where they fight for their survival every day. Soon they're joined by other fleeing Jews as a small camp begins to form in the harsh woods, but the two eldest brothers disagree on how to navigate this new life and choose different pathways. Based on a true story, this film is worth watching for any history buff.

  • Starring: Daniel Craig, Liev Schreiber, Jamie Bell
  • Director: Edward Zwick
  • Year: 2008
  • Runtime: 136 minutes
  • Rating: R
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 58%

The Departed

Two cops working on opposite sides of the law find themselves trying to uncover one another's identities. As the Massachusetts State Police cracks down on organized crime, an undercover cop working with a crime boss and a mole in the police department finds themselves enthralled in their double lives. Once each organization realizes they have a rat, the two men fight to reveal the other in an effort to save their own lives.

Extraction

Black-market mercenary Tyler Rake is commissioned to extract the kidnapped son of a drug lord in Bangladesh by a competing crime boss. As to be expected, the mission goes awry when Tyler is successful in his mission but is not compensated. Refusing to leave the child, Tyler must navigate the city of Dhaka while being chased down by every bad guy on site. The directorial debut of stuntman Sam Hargrave, "Extraction" is beautifully shot and delivers heart-pounding action sequences for genre fans.

  • Starring: Chris Hemsworth, David Harbour, Patrick Newall
  • Director: Sam Hargrave
  • Year: 2020
  • Runtime: 117 minutes
  • Rating: R
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 67%

Hardcore Henry

Viewed entirely through the protagonist's first-person perspective, "Hardcore Henry" follows an amnesic man who must take down a telekinetic warlord. On the hunt for his kidnapped wife, whom he was just reintroduced to minutes earlier, Henry must travel through the city of Moscow with seemingly no one on his side. It might not have been a favorite of critics, but this movie's unique perspective is unlike anything you've seen in a film and worth the watch — as long as you don't suffer from motion sickness.

  • Starring: Sharlto Copley, Danila Kozlovsky, Haley Bennett
  • Director: Ilya Naishuller
  • Year: 2015
  • Runtime: 96 minutes
  • Rating: R
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 52%

Headshot

In a film with a "Bourne Identity" vibe, "Headshot" follows the story of a man who washes up on a shore with no memory of his life. Shortly after being nursed back to health by the doctor that discovered him, the man starts to slowly remember his past, all of which include ruthless violence.

  • Starring: Iko Uwais, Chelsea Islan, Sunny Pang
  • Directors: Timo Tjahjanto & Kimo Stamboel
  • Year: 2016
  • Runtime: 118 minutes
  • Rating: -
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 74%

Ip Man

Following the life of Wing Chun grandmaster Ip Man, this film details his life at the start of the Sino-Japanese War. Removed from his home and forced into a life of survival, Ip Man finds himself avoiding fights with a Japanese general's men, which are staged to prove Japan's superiority. When one of his friends is killed, Ip Man can no longer hide in the shadows. This film's three sequels are also available on Netflix, each of which has a stellar rating.

  • Starring: Donnie Yen Ji-Dan, Simon Yam, Siu-wong Fan
  • Director: Wilson Yip
  • Year: 2008
  • Runtime: 106 minutes
  • Rating: R
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 86%

Mad Max

Set in the "not too distant future," "Mad Max" finds Max Rockatansky dealing with the devastating loss of his wife and son. Navigating the desolate highways of post-apocalyptic Australia, he must battle violent motorcycle gangs that rule the streets. In a world where resources are limited, Max will do whatever it takes to seek revenge on those who took everything from him.

Mosul

A Nineveh SWAT unit in Mosul rescues a young police officer about to be killed. The only force fighting against ISIS, the unit was comprised of men who have a painful history with the terrorist organization. The officer joins his heroes as they fight back against the group. Not to be confused with the documentary film with the same name released the same year, "Mosul" highlights the heroes fighting for freedom in Iraq.

  • Starring: Thaer Al-Shayei, Mohamed Attougui, Ben Affan
  • Director: Matthew Michael Carnahan
  • Year: 2019
  • Runtime: 102 minutes
  • Rating: -
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 84%

The Night Comes For Us

Ito, one of the enforces of the South East Asian Triad, turns away from his dangerous lifestyle and rescues a little girl after his group massacres a village. Now on the run from the group he used to manage, Ito must do whatever it takes to keep himself and the girl alive. While it was praised for its action scenes, "The Night Comes For Us" also has excessive violence, which may not suit all viewers.

  • Starring: Joe Taslim, Iko Uwais, Julie Estelle
  • Director: Timo Tjahjanto
  • Year: 2018
  • Runtime: 120 minutes
  • Rating: TV-MA
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 91%

The Old Guard

Andy leads an immortal group of mercenaries who have been protecting humanity for hundreds of years. During a mission, the Old Guard's unique abilities are discovered, and the group becomes the target of those wanting to replicate their powers for monetary gain. They must do whatever it takes to keep from being exposed further while balancing life with a newly discovered member.

  • Starring: Charlize Theron, Chiwetel Ejiofor, KiKi Lane
  • Director: Gina Prince-Bythewood
  • Year: 2020
  • Runtime: 125 minutes
  • Rating: R
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 80%

Olympus Has Fallen

Secret Service Agent Mike Banning finds himself on desk duty after a tragic incident that resulted in the First Lady's death. After the White House comes under attack by North Korea, Mike's the only person who can get inside and save the President and his son — and if he fails, the terrorists will obtain nuclear codes. Despite the problems critics had with "Olympus Has Fallen," it performed well enough at the box office to spin off a franchise, so if you enjoy this, there's more where that came from.

The Patriot

Benjamin Martin was a hero of the French and Indian War but avoided the American Revolution, preferring the life of a farmer with his family. When his home state of South Carolina joins the fight, his son Gabriel enlists; after his home is burned down by the brutal commander Colonel Tavington and one of his children is lost, Benjamin has no choice but to join the fight alongside his son.

  • Starring: Mel Gibson, Heath Ledger, Jason Isaacs
  • Director: Roland Emmerich
  • Year: 2000
  • Runtime: 165 minutes
  • Rating: R
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 62%

Project Power

In this Netflix original, a pill finds its way onto the streets of New Orleans which gives users temporary superpowers. Those taking the drug have no idea which power they'll get, but they range from mild to deadly. A local cop, former soldier, and teenage dealer join forces to stop the pills' production and battle with taking it themselves in order to reach their full potential.

  • Starring: Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Jamie Foxx, Dominique Fishback
  • Directors: Henry Joost & Ariel Schulman
  • Year: 2020
  • Runtime: 113 minutes
  • Rating: R
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 61%

Real Steel

Robot boxing is all the rage in the future, but retired boxer Charlie Kenton suffers loss after loss with his failing tech. After he takes in his 11-year-old son Max for the summer, the pair discover an old defunct robot named Atom and fix him up, after which he ends up being one of the top-performing robots in the ring. All that's left is for Atom to take down the best of the best: Zeus.

  • Starring: Hugh Jackman, Evangeline Lilly, Anthony Mackie
  • Director: Shawn Levy
  • Year: 2011
  • Runtime: 127 minutes
  • Rating: PG-13
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 60%

Rush

Based on actual events, "Rush" follows the story of two Formula 1 racing stars. James Hunt and Niki Lauda couldn't be more opposite regarding racing strategy and life off the track, but when Niki almost loses his life at the 1976 Grand Prix in Nürburgring, the tense air between the two men changes.

  • Starring: Chris Hemsworth, Daniel Brühl, Olive Wilde
  • Director: Ron Howard
  • Year: 2013
  • Runtime: 122 minutes
  • Rating: R
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 89%

Savages

Chon and Ben run a successful underground marijuana business, producing some of the best quality weed around. The duo shares girlfriend Ophelia, and their throuple seems to work without any hiccups. When Ophelia is kidnapped after the men turn down a drug cartel that wants in on their business, they'll do whatever it takes to get their love back. Despite not being well received by critics, "Savages" has built a cult following thanks to its stellar cast and great action sequences.

  • Starring: Blake Lively, Taylor Kitsch, Aaron Taylor-Johnson
  • Director: Oliver Stone
  • Year: 2012
  • Runtime: 130 minutes
  • Rating: R
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 50%

Scott Pilgrim vs. the World

Based on the "Scott Pilgrim" graphic novels, this distinctive action-comedy follows Scott as he tries to navigate a problematic love life. Wanting to dump his girlfriend for the lovely Ramona Flowers, he's met with resistance in the form of the latter's seven ex-boyfriends, and must fight the evil exes to the death in order to win Ramona's heart.

  • Starring: Michael Cera, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Kieran Culkin
  • Director: Edgar Wright
  • Year: 2010
  • Runtime: 112 minutes
  • Rating: PG-13
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 82%

Snowpiercer

In 2031, the world is frozen, and the only survivors live aboard a constantly moving train known as Snowpiercer. The train is divided into classes, with the economically disadvantaged living in squalor at the back, while the upper class lives the high life up front. Fed up with their living conditions, those in the back decide to work their way up the train car by car, starting a revolution that will reveal treacherous secrets.

  • Starring: Chris Evans, Tilda Swinton, Song Kang-ho
  • Director: Bong Joon-ho
  • Year: 2013
  • Runtime: 126 minutes
  • Rating: R
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 94%

Star Trek

This reboot of the popular franchise follows the life of James Kirk just after he joins Starfleet. Along with Spock and Uhura, Kirk and the crew of the USS Enterprise take on Romulan leader Nero, who's arrived from the future to seek revenge for the destruction of his home planet. Kirk and Spock must put aside their differences to take down the villain, who proves his ruthlessness when he obliterates Vulcan. The film's events push Kirk to his full potential, but does he have what it takes to captain the Enterprise?

  • Starring: Chris Pine, Zachary Quinto, Zoe Saldana
  • Director: J.J. Abrams
  • Year: 2009
  • Runtime: 127 minutes
  • Rating: PG-13
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 94%

Terminator 2: Judgement Day

Set 10 years after the events of the original "Terminator," "Terminator 2: Judgment Day" sees Sarah Connor and her 10-year-old son John Connor on the run from the T-1000 — a new, more advanced Terminator from the future. Hellbent on assassinating Sarah and John, the T-1000 stops at nothing to complete his mission. Luckily, Sarah and John have some help on their side. Ranked as one of the greatest ever sequels by TIME, "T2" is not a movie to be missed.

Total Recall

In 2084, construction worker Douglas Quaid ponders what life on colonized Mars might be like. To experience a thrill, he ventures to Rekall Inc. — a company that implants false memories in your mind so you can remember Mars without ever going. During the procedure, Douglas realizes the life he knows was just one big embedded memory and not real at all. Now on the run, he must escape those who implanted it and now want him dead.

  • Starring: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Sharon Stone, Michael Ironside
  • Director: Paul Verhoeven
  • Year: 1990
  • Runtime: 114 minutes
  • Rating: R
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 82%

Triple Frontier

This Netflix original follows five former Special Forces operatives as they attempt to pull off a dangerous heist in South America. In an effort to steal $75 million from a cartel leader, the men face near-impossible odds against getting out of their secret mission alive — and when things go awry, the team clashes over their different ideas on how to proceed. "Triple Frontier" is the definition of an action film, with impressive shootouts and stunts sure to satisfy adrenaline junkies.

  • Starring: Ben Affleck, Charlie Hunnam, Oscar Isaac
  • Director: J.C. Chandor
  • Year: 2019
  • Runtime: 125 minutes
  • Rating: R
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 71%

Under Siege

A battleship that's on its way to being decommissioned is commandeered by a group of terrorists led by a CIA operative. The terrorists kill the captain of the ship and intend to steal the nuclear weapons on board — but unfortunately for them, the captain's cook is an ex-Navy SEAL who thwarts their plan at every turn.

Wheelman

This Netflix original follows the protagonist known as the Wheelman, who serves as a getaway car driver for criminals. When he shows up to drive bank robbers after completing a heist, he's double-crossed and left running — or driving — for his life. Wheelman must figure out who's done him wrong, or he risks losing his wife and daughter.

  • Starring: Frank Grillo, Caitlin Carmichael, Garret Dillahunt
  • Director: Jeremy Rush
  • Year: 2017
  • Runtime: 82 minutes
  • Rating: TV-MA
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 88%