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30 Best Action Movies On Netflix [October 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 September 30, 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.

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%

Beowulf

Based on the Old English epic poem of the same name, "Beowulf" is an animated masterpiece that follows the legendary hero and his quest to defeat Grendel. Unfortunately for our hero, Beowulf must deal with the aftermath of killing the demon when its mother exacts some messed-up revenge. The film was praised for its unique visuals and retelling of the poem, although there are some differences that might confuse your younger self who was forced to read the work in high school.

  • Starring: Ray Winstone, Anthony Hopkins, Angelina Jolie
  • Director: Robert Zemeckis
  • Year: 2007
  • Runtime: 114 minutes
  • Rating: PG-13
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 71%

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%

Cliffhanger

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.

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%

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%

Free Fire

From the wonderfully twisted mind of Ben Wheatley (the same guy who brought us messed-up gems like "Kill List" and "High-Rise"), "Free Fire" is basically one long gunfight. In the incredibly stylish 1970s, a group of IRA agents flies to Boston and, along with a couple of middlemen brokering the deal, meet up with a shady gunrunner and his crew. The deal is supposed to be pretty simple — cash for guns — but when things get personal, that's when the lead starts flying. Featuring an all-star cast, incredible costumes, and more bullets than you can possibly count, "Free Fire" is the ultimate cinematic shoot-out.

  • Starring: Brie Larson, Cillian Murphy, Armie Hammer
  • Director: Ben Wheatley
  • Year: 2016
  • Runtime: 90 minutes
  • Rating: R
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 69%

Gladiator

Maximus is a beloved Roman general who loses everything when a jealous Commodus — the son of dying Emperor Marcus Aurelis — has his wife and child murdered. Despite being named heir to the throne, Maximus is thrust into the gladiator games where he must fight for his life at every event. In 2001, the film won Best Picture at the Academy Awards while Russell Crowe also walked away with an Oscar for his portrayal of Maximus. And trust us, this award-winning film will definitely leave you entertained.

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%

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%

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.

The Losers

An elite group of Special Forces operatives are sent to Bolivia on a search and destroy mission. They are subsequently betrayed by their superiors and left stranded in the South American country with only revenge on their minds. "The Losers" was generally disliked by critics upon release, but those who did praise it had nothing but good things to say about Chris Evans' performance. This film is a must-see for comic book movie fans who'd like to see Evans, Zoe Saldana, and Idris Elba before their days in the MCU, alongside a pre-"Walking Dead" Jeffrey Dean Morgan.

  • Starring: Chris Evans, Zoe Saldana, Jeffrey Dean Morgan
  • Director: Sylvain White
  • Year: 2010
  • Runtime: 97 minutes
  • Rating: PG-13
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 48%

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 Outlaw Josey Wales

Clint Eastwood has made some truly amazing Westerns over the course of his career, but none of them are quite as action-packed as "The Outlaw Josey Wales." Eastwood plays the titular farmer who gives up his peaceful life when Union guerillas slaughter his family. But even after the Civil War is over, Wales isn't willing to set down his guns, and he sets off down the outlaw path — leaving a trail of bodies (and copious amounts of tobacco juice) in his wake.

  • Starring: Clint Eastwood, Sondra Locke, Chief Dan George
  • Director: Clint Eastwood
  • Year: 1976
  • Runtime: 135
  • Rating: PG
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 90%

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%

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%

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%

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%