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30 Best Action Movies On Netflix

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 December 22, 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.

American Ultra

We know what you're thinking. Jesse Eisenberg? An action hero? Come one. But wait — hear us out on this one.

Believe it or not, Eisenberg is a fantastic action hero, blending "The Big Lebowski" with "The Bourne Identity" to give us Mike Howell, a convenience store clerk who just wants to get high and spend time with his super cool girlfriend, Phoebe. But his laidback life gets turned upside down when a couple of assassins show up ... and Mike kills them with combat skills he didn't know he possessed.

Now, as the government descends upon Mike's little town, he and Phoebe have to fight off killers as they investigate the source of Mike's newfound skills. The action here is a ton of fun, but the real heart of the movie is the romance between Mike and Kristen Stewart's Phoebe. The result is sweet, stoned, and slick with blood.

  • Starring: Jesse Eisenberg, Kristen Stewart, Walton Goggins
  • Director: Nima Nourizadeh
  • Year: 2015
  • Runtime: 95 minutes
  • Rating: R
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 44%

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.


Scott Adkins is perhaps the most underrated action star ... ever? For proof, look no further than "Avengement," a brutal little thriller with a surprising amount of heart.

This 2019 flick finds the British martial artist playing Cain Burgess, an escaped convict who finds himself a shotgun and decides to hold some toughs hostage in a London pub. He's got unfinished business with the bar owner, and as he waits for his "friend" to arrive, Cain regales his prisoners with his tragic, brutal story.

As he explains to his captive audience, after a crime gone very wrong, Cain wound up behind bars, but life in prison was far worse than he expected. For some reason, everyone was out to kill him, forcing Cain to sharpen his fighting skills if he wanted to make it out alive. It all leads up to a truly bonkers beatdown after Cain discovers the author behind his pain.

  • Starring: Scott Adkins, Craig Fairbrass, Thomas Turgoose
  • Director: Jesse V. Johnson
  • Year: 2019
  • Runtime: 87 minutes
  • Rating: TV-MA
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 84%


If you want historical accuracy, look elsewhere. If you want gory action, beautiful romance, and an epic story, you've come to the right place.

"Braveheart" recounts the tale of William Wallace, the Scottish freedom fighter who led his people in rebellion against England's cruel Edward Longshanks. With his blue war paint, broken heart, and massive blade, Wallace fights against staggering odds, all while delivering the most stirring speeches you'll ever hear.

Mel Gibson won a Best Director Oscar for his impressive work on the flick — one that features multiple mind-blowing battle scenes — but he also should've nabbed an Academy Award for his performance. It's really that good. Sure, maybe the story doesn't completely jibe with the history books, but who cares? A story this sweeping and inspiring is why we go to the movies.

  • Starring: Mel Gibson, Sophie Marceau, Brian Cox
  • Director: Mel Gibson
  • Year: 1995
  • Runtime: 177 minutes
  • Rating: R
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 79%


Professional mountain climber and rescuer Gabe Walker is dealing with the loss of a friend on a climb that he blames himself for. He takes a break from his work but returns when a group of stranded men calls for help. However, Walker soon finds out these men are hijackers who just robbed a U.S. Treasury plane and want his guidance in getting off the mountain with $100 million in stolen cash. Fellow rescuer Hal also joins in, but his damaged past with Walker causes issues as they try and survive the criminals. If you're in the mood for some Sylvester Stallone goodness, then "Cliffhanger" is the perfect '90s action flick for you.

  • Starring: Sylvester Stallone, Michael Rooker, John Lithgow
  • Director: Renny Harlin
  • Year: 1993
  • Runtime: 112 minutes
  • Rating: R
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 67%

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.

The Debt Collector

One of the tried-and-true tropes of the action genre is the "mismatched partners" formula. It worked great for films like "Lethal Weapon," "48 Hrs.," and "The Nice Guys," and it definitely works for "The Debt Collector," a solid little flick that definitely deserves more fans.

As for the plot, French is a martial artist who's in debt and about to lose his dojo. Hard up for cash, he takes a job as a loan shark's enforcer, teaming up with the charming yet smarmy Sue, a boxer turned professional tough guy. Together, the two work their way down a list of debtors, none of whom are willing to just hand over their cash.

Of course, the job gets a lot more complicated when they discover there's more than meets the eye with one of their marks. Will these two bruisers keep their heads down and just do their jobs? Or will their consciences get the better of them? (If you're a fan of this film, you're in luck because there's an equally awesome sequel.)

  • Starring: Scott Adkins, Louis Mandylor, Tony Todd
  • Director: Jesse V. Johnson
  • Year: 2018
  • Runtime: 96 minutes
  • Rating: TV-MA
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 83%

Django Unchained

Are you a fan of Westerns? Do you love revenge flicks? Do you want to see Jamie Foxx and Christoph Waltz team up to outsmart and outgun Leonardo DiCaprio? Then, boy, do we have the film for you.

"Django Unchained" finds Foxx as the titular ex-slave, freed by Waltz's charming King Schultz, a dentist turned bounty hunter. The two form an alliance to track down a trio of thugs that Django's all too familiar with, but after helping Schultz with his bounty-hunting business, Django heads into the Deep South, hoping to free his wife from the clutches of DiCaprio's depraved Calvin Candie.

With Quentin Tarantino behind the camera, you know you're getting a ton of blood, an expertly curated soundtrack, and delightful performances from the likes of Don Johnson, Jonah Hill, Kerry Washington, and Samuel L. Jackson. The result is a film that's as cool as a pint of beer on a warm Southern day.

  • Starring: Jamie Foxx, Christoph Waltz, Leonardo DiCaprio
  • Director: Quentin Tarantino
  • Year: 2012
  • Runtime: 165 minutes
  • Rating: R
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 87%


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%

Gunpowder Milkshake

A Netflix original, "Gunpowder Milkshake," follows the story of Sam, a highly skilled assassin who works for crime syndicate, the Firm. Sam's mother, who also worked for the dangerous group, abandoned her when she was a young girl, leaving the Firm to raise her. But when a job goes wrong and an 8-year-old girl's life is on the line, Sam has to choose between good and evil and turns on the only family she's ever known. She must reunite with the mother who abandoned her to survive, in addition to other butt-kicking females known as the Librarians, who are keen on taking down the Firm.

  • Starring: Karen Gillan, Lena Headey, Carla Gugino
  • Director: Navot Papushado
  • Year: 2021
  • Runtime: 114 minutes
  • Rating: R
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 61%

The Harder They Fall

One of the most stylish Westerns ever made, "The Harder They Fall" pops with vibrant colors, explosive gunfights, and a pretty incredible soundtrack. But while the film's sensibilities feel modern, it tells a tale as old as the West itself — a tale of bloody revenge.

Two decades after his parents were murdered by notorious outlaw Rufus Buck, Nat Love learns that his old rival has gotten out of jail. Love has spent years picking off Buck's cohorts, so he's not going to let the villainous head honcho get away this time, and he assembles quite the crew to bring the bad guy down. Of course, Buck is holed up in his own private town, and he's got his own band of ruthless killers backing his every move.

In addition to the inevitable action-packed showdown, "The Harder They Fall" boast a killer cast who are all playing real-life (if highly fictionalized) Black cowboys and outlaws — from Cherokee Bill and Stagecoach Mary to legendary lawman Bass Reeves.

  • Starring: Jonathan Majors, Idris Elba, Zazie Beetz
  • Director: Jeymes Samuel
  • Year: 2021
  • Runtime: 139 minutes
  • Rating: R
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 87%


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%

Jet Li's Fearless

In this legendary biopic, Jet Li plays martial artist Huo Yuanjia — the cofounder of the Chin Woo Athletic Association. Huo retreats to the simple life after he suffers a personal tragedy, but he can't stay in this new secluded village for long. Often fighting for the honor of China, Huo gets pulled in a battle to the death to defend his country. Critics praised Li for his work in the film, with many suggesting it features the actor in his prime.

Léon: The Professional

In this truly unique action flick, after a corrupt DEA agent murders her family, a 12-year-old girl forms an unlikely partnership with the hitman who lives down the hall from her. Her young age doesn't stop her from seeking revenge, and she learns all she can from her new, stone-faced friend. Fans of Natalie Portman definitely need to check this film out if they haven't seen it yet, as it's the actress's first credited role ever and one of her very best.


If you like a side of sci-fi and a helping of time travel with your action flicks, they don't get any more timey-wimey than "Looper." 

In 2044, Joe works as a futuristic hitman — an assassin known as a "looper." Criminals in the even farther-off future have gotten their hands on time machines, and since it's incredibly hard to kill people and get away with it in 2074, these mobsters send their victims back to the past, where Joe finishes them off. Unfortunately, things get kinda complicated when the gangsters send back Joe as an old man ... but Old Joe isn't going to let this young whippersnapper just blast his head off. Now, it's the young hitman versus his older, wiser self. 

There's a lot more going on in this film, but we don't want to ruin it here. Just be prepared for a movie that grabs you by the collar and never lets up.

  • Starring: Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Bruce Willis, Emily Blunt
  • Director: Rian Johnson
  • Year: 2012
  • Runtime: 119 minutes
  • Rating: R
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 93%


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 Paper Tigers

Whether you've seen every Shaw Brothers movie ever made or you're brand new to the kung fu genre, "The Paper Tigers" is a ton of fun. The film follows three washed-up, middle-aged men. They're out of shape, getting gray, and pretty banged up ... but once upon a time, they were the revered "Three Tigers," martial artists beyond compare.

But hey, time is the greatest enemy of all, and that proves especially true when their master is murdered. The Tigers are forced to reunite to avenge his death, but it's hard to fight younger, faster enemies when you've got a bad leg, forgotten your kung fu moves, or have lost that killer instinct. If our heroes want to make it out of this alive, they'll have to put aside their petty squabbles, overcome their creaky joints, and remember the skills that made them so formidable in the first place.

  • Starring: Alain Uy, Ron Yuan, Mykel Shannon Jenkins
  • Director: Quoc Bao Tran
  • Year: 2021
  • Runtime: 110 minutes
  • Rating: PG-13
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 98%

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%


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%


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%

Terminator 2: Judgment 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 — an older, hulking Terminator programmed to keep the kid safe at all costs. 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%

True Grit

Adapted from Charles Portis' novel, "True Grit" follows 14-year-old Mattie Ross as she hunts down the man who killed her father. Unfortunately, this no-good outlaw has disappeared into Indian Territory, so Mattie recruits the meanest U.S. Marshal she can find — one-eyed, overweight, intoxicated Rooster Cogburn. Accompanied by a skeevy Texas Ranger, our heroes load up and ride out, and it's here that Mattie proves she might be the bravest of the bunch.

While the original John Wayne film is definitely a classic, this adaptation from the Coen brothers hews closer to the book, perfectly capturing its bleak yet beautiful tone. And while we can quibble about who played Cogburn better, the Duke or the Dude, we can all agree that Hailee Steinfeld deserved her Oscar nomination, as she creates a character who's at once naive and innocent yet vengeful, stubborn, and doggedly determined.

  • Starring: Hailee Steinfeld, Jeff Bridges, Matt Damon
  • Director: Joel and Ethan Coen
  • Year: 2010
  • Runtime: 110 minutes
  • Rating: PG-13
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 95%


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%