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55 Best Action Movies Streaming

Action is perhaps one of the broadest genres after the almost all-encompassing "drama." There are so many different kinds of action movies that it can sometimes be difficult to know what counts (or doesn't count) as an action movie. In our look at the best action movies on streaming, we've taken a big umbrella approach to the genre.

From superheroes to superspies, from high-concept science fiction and fantasy to true stories, there's something here for everyone wanting to get their heart and fists pumping while sitting on the couch. So whether you're looking for something to watch with your grandparents or your kids or totally solo, you'll be able to find a crowd-pleaser here.

Updated on April 7, 2023: We've looked at Netflix, Hulu, HBO Max, Prime — all the big streamers that you know and love, and we've brought you the very best action flicks these sites have to offer.

Air Force One - AMC+

U.S. president James Marshall finds himself at the mercy of terrorists on the titular presidential jet. Having just made a public declaration of his country's stance against negotiating with terrorists, Marshall's resolve in the face of adversity is truly put to the test; his own life — as well as the lives of his family and colleagues — are at risk. While it sometimes fails to soar above the clichés of the genre, "Air Force One" is nonetheless a thrilling spectacle that uses the confines of its setting to create palpable suspense and tension. There are unavoidable moments of silliness, but as unabashed popcorn entertainment, it's hard to beat.

  • Starring: Harrison Ford, Gary Oldman, Glenn Close
  • Director: Wolfgang Petersen
  • Year: 1997
  • Runtime: 124 minutes
  • Rating: R
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 78%

Akira - Hulu

"Akira" is often cited as one of the most influential anime movies, and it's easy to see why. The movie follows a biker gang and the government as they both try to find a member of the gang who was exposed to a military experiment that grants him superhuman abilities. It's beautifully animated and brings the post-apocalyptic Neo-Tokyo to life with incredible detail that draws the viewer into the world of the movie. The action scenes — which range from motorcycle chases and shootouts to a jaw-dropping, body horror-inspired finale — are all equally thrilling and gorgeous.

  • Starring: Mitsuo Iwata, Nozomu Sasaki, Mami Koyama
  • Director: Katsuhiro Otomo
  • Year: 1988
  • Runtime: 125 minutes
  • Rating: R
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 90%

Ambulance - Amazon Prime

Michael Bay's "Ambulance" is his best movie in years. The simple premise — bank robbers hijack and make their getaway in an ambulance that's then chased all over Los Angeles — allows Bay to focus on delivering riveting action scene after riveting action scene without too much attention to plot development. But that doesn't mean we don't care about the characters, as all the actors in the ambulance do a fantastic job of making their characters feel like fully realized people even when they're driving down the L.A. River being chased by a helicopter. It's a joy to watch and a movie that gets the action started within the first 20 minutes and never slows down.

  • Starring: Jake Gyllenhaal, Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, Eiza González
  • Director: Michael Bay
  • Year: 2022
  • Runtime: 136 minutes
  • Rating: R
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 69%

American Ultra - HBO Max

"American Ultra" begins when stoner Mike Howell has a very strange conversation with a woman at the convenience store where he works, and shortly thereafter, he's attacked by assassins sent to kill him who. And to Mike's great surprise, he defeats handily. 

It turns out that the woman was a CIA agent and that Mike is a dormant CIA asset who has serious fighting abilities, but now, another CIA operative is trying to wipe out every last member of the program Mike belonged to. Good thing Mike has a dedicated girlfriend by his side, Jason Bourne skills, and a ton of weed. "American Ultra" plays its somewhat wild premise straight, but it's also very much a comedy. And it features fantastic lead performances from Jesse Eisenberg and Kristen Stewart, who both fully commit to the comedy and action of the movie.

Assault on Precinct 13 - Roku, Tubi

An early film from iconic writer-director John Carpenter, "Assault on Precinct 13" was inspired by the John Wayne classic "Rio Bravo," and in turn inspired the new cult classic "Green Room." The film centers around a group of people, including a cop and a convicted murderer, who find themselves holed up in a police precinct. They come under fire from the gangs of the city, who have sworn revenge upon the police. "Assault on Precinct 13" is a small-scale wonder, full of gripping tension and thrilling action set pieces. This cult classic deserves everyone's time.

  • Starring: Austin Stoker, Darwin Joston, Laurie Zimmer
  • Director: John Carpenter
  • Year: 1976
  • Runtime: 91 minutes
  • Rating: R
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 96%

Bad Boys - Netflix, Sling

Centering the dynamite pairing of Will Smith and Martin Lawrence, "Bad Boys" is a slick, cool, and explosive action comedy. Having previously locked away $100 million of confiscated heroin, detectives Mike Lowrey and Marcus Burnett must locate the contraband again when it's stolen from headquarters. Threatened with the closure of the narcotics department if they fail, they have just 72 hours to find the missing drugs and the people responsible. Although the film favors spectacle over storytelling, the leads' chemistry more than makes up for it. Few directors are as committed to big set pieces as Michael Bay, and "Bad Boys" is one of his best showcases.

  • Starring: Martin Lawrence, Will Smith, Téa Leoni
  • Director: Michael Bay
  • Year: 1995
  • Runtime: 119 minutes
  • Rating: R
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 43%

The Batman - HBO Max

Tasked with cleaning up the streets of Gotham City, masked vigilante Batman — aka Bruce Wayne — faces a new threat in the form of a sadistic prankster who litters his crime scenes with riddles and clues. With the killer targeting some of Gotham's most powerful figures, our hero must uncover the deep-seated corruption that has made the city a hotbed of criminal activity. Starring Robert Pattinson as the latest incarnation of Gotham's caped crusader, "The Batman" favors a grim and gritty approach with hard-hitting action scenes and a truly unhinged villain.

Birds of Prey - HBO Max

"Birds of Prey (and the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn)" isn't just one of the best movies to come out of the DC Extended Universe (DCEU), it's hands down the best action movie to come out of the DCEU. The story of Harley Quinn joining forces with Huntress, Black Canary, Renee Montoya, and Cassandra Cain to take on crime lord Black Mask delivers on multiple levels. It's a team-up movie that shows the women's individual stories and how they come together, a superhero/villain story with great costumes and well-used superpowers, and a hard-hitting action flick with hand-to-hand combat scenes that are downright exhilarating and incredibly colorful.

Black Panther - Disney+

While we'll sadly never get to see Chadwick Boseman in another solo outing as T'Challa, we'll always have 2018's "Black Panther." It's the rare Marvel Cinematic Universe movie that doesn't require significant knowledge of the other installments and instead centers on its own story of a king who's challenged for the throne by his militant cousin. The action throughout is a joy to watch as we see car chases in Korea and battles on the plains of the fictional country of Wakanda with some warriors riding rhinos. But what really makes "Black Panther" special is how it engages with serious topics of Blackness and colonial history.

Casino Royale - HBO Max

"Casino Royale" didn't just introduce a new Bond in Daniel Craig, it fully reinvented the character and literally went back to the beginning. The movie opens with Bond completing a mission that earns him double-0 status and then follows him through his first mission as 007 to stop a terror-funding financier by beating him at poker. It's kind of amazing how much tension director Martin Campbell wrings out of the card-playing scenes in "Casino Royale," but the real treat is, of course, the action. The movie offers an incredible parkour sequence that does just as much to thrill as it does to introduce us to the kind of man this new Bond is, as well as a stairwell fight that's become the stuff of Bond legend.

Castle in the Sky - HBO Max

"Castle in the Sky" is one of the best fantasy action movies that's both for kids and about kids. When young orphan Pazu sees a girl falling slowly from the sky one night and catches her, he sets himself in the middle of an incredible adventure full of airships, ancient myths, giant robots, and, you guessed it, a castle in the sky. The story follows Pazu and Sheeta as they attempt to find the fabled land of Laputa, but they have to contend with the villainous government agent Muska, who wants to find Laputa and use its mystical powers for evil. "Castle in the Sky" is a thrilling adventure movie, full of exciting action that's sure to please viewers of every age looking for something fun and out of this world.

  • Starring (Japanese dub): Mayumi Tanaka, Keiko Yokozawa, Kotoe Hatsui
  • Starring (English dub): James Van Der Beek, Anna Paquin, Cloris Leachman
  • Director: Hayao Miyazaki
  • Year: 1986
  • Runtime: 124 minutes
  • Rating: PG
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 96%

Commando - Hulu

"Commando" is certainly one of the best Arnold Schwarzenegger action movies, and in fact, it may be the most Arnold Schwarzenegger action movie. The story centers on Johnny Matrix whose daughter is kidnapped by a dictator who uses her to force Johnny to commit a political assassination for him. Of course, Johnny won't take that lying down and instead launches a rescue mission that leads him on an investigation and ultimately into a battle with an entire army. It's a straightforward story with awesome '80s action scenes that treat Arnold as an absolute god of combat, and he's entirely up to performing the role.

Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon - Amazon Prime, The Criterion Channel

Taking place in the Qing Dynasty in 19th-century China, "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon" is both a thrilling action movie and a heart-stopping, emotional drama that still resonates more than 20 years later. Chow Yun-Fat plays Master Li Mu Bai, a warrior who entrusts his precious sword to Michelle Yeoh's Yu Shu Lien, whom he harbors secret romantic feelings for. When the sword is stolen, however, they must do whatever it takes to retrieve it. While not his first feature film, "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon" was the movie that put Ang Lee on the map towards his Oscar-winning future, and it remains a dazzling, spectacular technical achievement that perfectly blends exquisite martial arts choreography with compelling drama.

  • Starring: Chow Yun-Fat, Michelle Yeoh, Zhang Ziyi
  • Director: Ang Lee
  • Year: 2000
  • Runtime: 120 minutes
  • Rating: PG-13
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 98%

Deadbeat at Dawn - Tubi

One of the best movies made on a tiny budget by a group of friends, "Deadbeat at Dawn" tells the story of gang leader Goose whose girlfriend is killed by members of a rival gang just as he's trying to leave his life of crime behind. The movie's focus on the grimy world of street gangs combined with its low budget gives it a real sense of danger as we watch Goose and his friends seek revenge. That's especially true in the movie's finale, as actors perform seriously dangerous stunts without any regard for their safety but with a commitment to making the most exciting movie they could.

Death Race 2000 - Tubi

"Death Race 2000" literalizes the morbid "hit someone with your car for 100 points" joke in a movie that focuses almost entirely on the absolutely ridiculous "Transcontinental Road Race." Based on the short story "The Racer" by Ib Melchior, the movie centers on racers Frankenstein and Machine Gun Joe who are each determined to win the race, which awards drivers points for a variety of tasks including taking down pedestrians with their souped-up vehicles. It's a silly movie but one that has fun with its ridiculous premise and is wildly entertaining from start to finish.

Django - Tubi, Pluto TV, Peacock

While Quentin Tarantino's "Django Unchained" is a fantastic revenge action Western, we want to highlight the original spaghetti Western "Django" movie that launched a series of official and unofficial sequels throughout the late '60s and '70s. The movie follows the titular Django, who finds himself in the middle of a conflict between Mexican revolutionaries and Confederate soldiers near the U.S.-Mexico border. It's a loose remake of Akira Kurosawa's "Yojimbo" but turns the action up to the max and was considered shockingly violent when it was released in 1966. It's not so shocking anymore, but it's still an absolute thrill ride.

  • Starring: Franco Nero, Lorendana Nusciak, José Bódalo
  • Director: Sergio Corbucci
  • Year: 1966
  • Runtime: 91 minutes
  • Rating: R
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 93%

Doctor Strange - Disney+

Perhaps the least like its Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) franchise siblings, "Doctor Strange" is a story more focused on world-building and perception-altering magic than on super strength or any other superpower. And that's exactly why we're highlighting it here. The story follows arrogant superstar surgeon Stephen Strange who, after a career-ending car accident, discovers a world of mysticism in his quest to heal. Over the course of the movie, Strange is trained in sorcery and ultimately comes into conflict with a group of "zealots" who've betrayed the established magical order. The action in the movie is more awe-inspiring for its incredible breaking and bending of reality than any punches or kicks, and that makes it a truly one of a kind action movie.

  • Starring: Benedict Cumberbatch, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Rachel McAdams
  • Director: Scott Derrickson
  • Year: 2016
  • Runtime: 116 minutes
  • Rating: PG-13
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 89%

Dragon Ball Super: Broly - Starz

A lot of anime movies based on existing TV shows require significant knowledge of the show's history, lore, and characters, but "Dragon Ball Super: Broly" functions as a fantastic entry point into the storied "Dragon Ball" franchise. The story, loosely based on a 1993 non-canon direct to video "Dragon Ball Z" movie, centers on heroes Goku and Vegeta who are attacked by the titular Broly after he's been recruited by the evil lord Frieza to defeat the heroes. That simple story allows the film to focus almost the entirety of its back half on a large-scale fight between these characters that may well be the best fight in all of "Dragon Ball" history.

  • Starring (Japanese dub): Masako Nozawa, Ryō Horikawa, Ryūsei Nakao
  • Starring (English dub): Vic Mignogna, Christopher Sabat, Christopher Ayres
  • Director: Tatsuya Nagamine
  • Year: 2018
  • Runtime: 101 minutes
  • Rating: PG
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 82%

Drunken Master - Amazon Prime, Tubi

"Drunken Master" features one of Jackie Chan's earliest starring roles. The martial artist, director, and actor plays Wong Fei-hung, a young troublemaker who's sent by his father to train with the famous Beggar So. This martial arts master can teach Wong the style known as "the eight drunken immortals." "Drunken Master" is a perfect mix of comedy and action, as only Chan can deliver. The movie's action scenes are as awe-inspiring in their beautiful choreography as they are hilarious. This classic inspired a sequel, launched Chan into super-stardom, and remains a must-see for any martial arts movie fan.

Everything Everywhere All At Once - Showtime

"Everything Everywhere All At Once" was an unexpected hit in 2022, but when you watch it, it's hard to imagine its success coming as a surprise. Evelyn Quan Wang, a Chinese American immigrant and laundromat owner, is pulled into a battle over the fate of the multiverse. Within that epic story of interdimensional conflict, a heartfelt and emotionally resonant tale blooms about family, tenderness, and the importance of human connection. This is the rare action movie with martial arts sequences that hit just as hard as the emotional beats.

  • Starring: Michelle Yeoh, Stephanie Hsu, Ke Huy Quan
  • Director: Daniel Kwan, Daniel Scheinert
  • Year: 2022
  • Runtime: 140 minutes
  • Rating: R
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 95%

The Fugitive - HBO Max

Dr. Richard Kimble finds himself on the run from the law after he is wrongfully accused of murdering his wife. Eager to clear his name and identify the real killer, Kimble must outrun the determined Deputy U.S. Marshal Samuel Gerard, who won't rest until Kimble is brought to justice. Packed with eye-popping stunts and action sequences, "The Fugitive" is a high-octane thriller featuring a pair of terrific performances from Harrison Ford and Tommy Lee Jones. While the film is filled with memorable moments and set pieces — including the breathtaking dam showdown — the thrills are never at the expense of character development, and "The Fugitive" remains one of the very best action movies.

  • Starring: Harrison Ford, Tommy Lee Jones, Sela Ward
  • Director: Andrew Davis
  • Year: 1993
  • Runtime: 127 minutes
  • Rating: PG-13
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 96%

GoldenEye - HBO Max

Marking Pierce Brosnan's first outing as 007, "GoldenEye" sees the spy square off against Alec Trevelyan, the rogue Agent 006, who has acquired a powerful satellite weapons system. The stakes are high in "GoldenEye," as the bad guys hold the key to a weapon that could destroy the Earth. But at the same time, the movie is rooted in a deeply personal battle between Bond and his former friend. Brosnan effortlessly brings the cool factor as the slick and debonair secret agent, and this 1995 entry in the expansive franchise utilizes the era's technology to great effect. Packed with enjoyable action set pieces, "GoldenEye" is a pacey and fun spy thriller that still packs a punch.

  • Starring: Pierce Brosnan, Sean Bean, Izabella Scorupco
  • Director: Martin Campbell
  • Year: 1995
  • Runtime: 130 minutes
  • Rating: PG-13
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 80%

Heat - Hulu

"Heat" is an explosive crime drama that focuses on two people on opposite sides of the law. Neil McCauley is a notorious criminal mastermind planning one final heist before retiring for good. Trailing him is Lieutenant Vincent Hanna, a former Marine who struggles to balance his dedication to his work with his complicated family relationships. While "Heat" has all the trademarks of a thrilling action movie, De Niro and Pacino's performances do incredible work selling the mutual respect that exists between the two men, despite their opposition. This adds an enticing extra layer to this cat-and-mouse thriller, elevating it to one of the best action movies ever made.

  • Starring: Al Pacino, Robert De Niro, Val Kilmer
  • Director: Michael Mann
  • Year: 1995
  • Runtime: 170 minutes
  • Rating: R
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 88%

The Incredibles - Disney+

If you're looking for an action movie to watch with the family, then why not an action movie about a family? "The Incredibles" centers on the Parrs, a family where each member has a different superpower. Too bad they have to keep it quiet, as being a superhero has been outlawed. Of course, things take a turn once family patriarch Mr. Incredible is drawn into a plot by the scheming Syndrome. The result is a movie about family bonds and learning to revel in what makes you special, and that's a lovely message for any movie. "The Incredibles" also happens to be a super fun action flick that's equally inspired by "James Bond" movies and superhero comics from the 1960s. 

  • Starring: Craig T. Nelson, Holly Hunter, Sarah Vowel
  • Director: Brad Bird
  • Year: 2004
  • Runtime: 116 minutes
  • Rating: PG
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 97%

Ip Man - Netflix, Tubi, Peacock

"Ip Man" introduces audiences to the eponymous man, who would go on to train Bruce Lee. But this movie takes place long before Lee was born, and centers instead around Ip Man's experiences during the Sino-Japanese War. "Ip Man" is a surprisingly brutal movie, more for portraying the realities of war than its action sequences. The action choreography definitely dazzles, however, especially in the fighting arena where Chinese martial artists fight Japanese soldiers for bags of rice. Donnie Yen shines as the world-renowned martial artist; "Ip Man" might be the most incredible showcase of talent in his filmography.

  • Starring: Donnie Yen, Lynn Hung, Hiroyuki Ikeuchi
  • Director: Wilson Yip
  • Year: 2008
  • Runtime: 108 Minutes
  • Rating: R
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 86%

John Wick - Peacock

15 years after "The Matrix," Keanu Reeves re-teamed with his stunt double from those movies, Chad Stahelski, who'd moved from working as a stuntman to the director's chair where he brought his years of expertise as a stunt performer in front of the camera. "John Wick" is a simple story of a man who seeks revenge on the son of a powerful Russian gangster because that son killed his dog. That set up gives way to some of the best action scenes of the 21st century in a movie that was supposed to be a one-off but is so good that it birthed a franchise.

  • Starring: Keanu Reeves, Michael Nyqvist, Alfie Allen
  • Director: Chad Stahelski and David Leitch
  • Year: 2014
  • Runtime: 101 minutes
  • Rating: R
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 86%

Lady Snowblood - Criterion Channel, HBO Max

Meiko Kaji is a beloved Japanese star for her appearances in a variety of genre movies in the 1970s, and "Lady Snowblood" may be the best of those. The film, based on the manga series of the same name by Kazuo Koike and Kazuo Kamimura, follows the assassin Yuki as she attempts to find and kill the criminals who raped her mother and murdered her father. It's a simple premise that gets more complicated as the film goes on, but from start to finish it's one of the most stylish and beautifully made revenge movies of all time. In fact, it was a huge inspiration on "Kill Bill."

  • Starring: Meiko Kaji, Toshio Kurosawa, Masaaki Daimon
  • Director: Toshiya Fujita
  • Year: 1973
  • Runtime: 97 Minutes
  • Rating: TV-MA
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 100%

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The Matrix - HBO Max

"The Matrix" tells the story of hacker Neo who is one day told his whole world is an illusion and that, in reality, humanity is at war with machines who wish to keep them enslaved. This philosophical set-up offers some big questions about reality that the movie seriously engages with, but it never becomes dry or overly intellectual because between (and sometimes during) the thematic conversations, "The Matrix" delivers action scenes that literally changed the course of action movie history – from its gun-fu battles to its kung-fu showdowns. It's a must see for any action fans interested in the genre's history and for anyone who just wants to see high-flying kicks, massive shoot-outs, and the now-iconic "bullet time" cinematography.

  • Starring: Keanu Reeves, Laurence Fishburne, Carrie-Anne Moss
  • Director: Lana and Lily Wachowski
  • Year: 1999
  • Runtime: 136 minutes
  • Rating: R
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 88%

Minority Report - Netflix

Buoyed by a winning combination of Tom Cruise and Steven Spielberg, "Minority Report" is a thought-provoking and action-packed thriller. Set in 2054, it follows Chief Paul Anderton,  head of the high-tech Precrime unit, which is tasked with arresting murderers before they commit their unlawful deeds. When Anderton learns that he's been accused of a murder he has not yet committed — of a man he's never met, no less — he races to clear his name and discover whether the unit's new tech can be trusted. "Minority Report" never stops being an enjoyable and fast-paced action movie, despite its high concepts. The result is a film that is exciting to watch and will linger long after the credits roll.

  • Starring: Tom Cruise, Colin Farrell, Samantha Morton
  • Director: Steven Spielberg
  • Year: 2002
  • Runtime: 144 minutes
  • Rating: PG-13
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 90%

The Night Comes for Us - Netflix

"The Night Comes for Us" mixes the chaotic and hard-hitting martial arts action of "The Raid" with the slick, neon lit aesthetic of "John Wick" to deliver a one-of-a-kind action thrill ride. The story centers on Ito, an organized crime enforcer who saves a young girl he was supposed to kill. As a result, they're now both being hunted by Ito's former gang. The simple set-up allows the movie to focus on delivering almost non-stop action that includes some wonderfully over-the-top sequences like a fight in a butcher shop where animal carcasses are used as weapons and a fight in the back of a fast-moving van.

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

The Northman - Amazon Prime

No one expected the director of the super small-scale horror movies "The Witch" and "The Lighthouse" to deliver a movie with some truly epic fight scenes, but Robert Eggers has made a truly killer action film with his tale of Viking revenge, "The Northman." The story follows Amleth who, after years as a marauding berserker, returns to his quest for revenge against the uncle who killed his father. The movie includes some amazing action that's visceral and brutal as Eggers uses tracking shots to show the full scale of the violence. The stand-out scenes are an assault on a village by Amleth and his fellow berserkers and a final fight in a volcano — that's right, inside a volcano.

  • Starring: Alexander Skarsgård, Nicole Kidman, Anya Taylor-Joy
  • Director: Robert Eggers
  • Year: 2022
  • Runtime: 136 minutes
  • Rating: R
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 89%

Pirates of the Caribbean: Curse of the Black Pearl - Disney+

The first "Pirates of the Caribbean" movie remains the best for a lot of reasons. The (relatively) small-scale story of a cursed ship and the crew's quest to break the ghostly spell allows the characters to shine. And with a cast as good as this one, centering on the characters and their great banter makes for a delightful watch. But "Pirates of the Caribbean: Curse of the Black Pearl" also delivers the action, from an acrobatic sword fight through a blacksmith's shop to battles with immortal cursed pirates to some good old-fashioned boat battles, resulting in a movie full of fun and memorable action set-pieces.

Point Break - HBO Max

Before he became Neo or John Wick, Keanu Reeves was Johnny Utah in "Point Break." Utah is a young FBI agent who goes undercover with a group of surfers and adrenaline junkies who may just also be responsible for a spate of bank robberies throughout Los Angeles. But things get more complicated when Johnny grows to care for Bodhi, the leader of the surfers, and struggles with his own sense of morality and justice. The movie is memorable for the relationship that develops between Utah and Bodhi, as well as its many thrilling action scenes that range from shootouts to skydiving.

  • Starring: Patrick Swayze, Keanu Reeves, Gary Busey
  • Director: Kathryn Bigelow
  • Year: 1991
  • Runtime: 121 minutes
  • Rating: R
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 70%

Police Story - Criterion Channel, HBO Max

Jackie Chan is a beloved for his incredible acting and martial arts talent in front of the camera, but he's also one of the best directors of action-comedies the world has ever seen. For proof, watch "Police Story," which follows Chan's Ka-Kui, a cop tasked with protecting the beautiful Salina who's going to testify against a crime lord in court. The movie offers a lot of exciting and hilarious action scenes as gangsters attack the duo, but it also delivers some hilarious jokes about Ka-Kui's girlfriend thinking he's pursuing Salina. It's a light movie that's sure to put a smile on anyone's face, and it includes some stunning stunts that may just put your jaw on the floor. It's certainly one of the best kung fu movies of all time.

A Prayer Before Dawn - HBO Max

The rare action movie that's based on a true story, "A Prayer Before Dawn" is based on Billy Moore's autobiographical book "A Prayer Before Dawn: A Nightmare in Thailand" and tells the story of his time in a Thai prison where he discovers competitive Muay Thai. A British boxer, Billy is able to learn the new style of fighting and eventually catches the eye of the prison's warden, who then enrolls him in a national prison competition. "A Prayer Before Dawn" is an inspiring biopic, a harrowing prison drama, and a thrilling action movie all at once. It's not for the faint of heart as there are significant disturbing moments in the prison, but it's absolutely worth seeking out for action fans who like their action movies to be brutal.

  • Starring: Joe Cole, Cherry Miko, Panya Yimmumphai
  • Director: Jean-Stéphane Sauvaire
  • Year: 2017
  • Runtime: 118 minutes
  • Rating: R
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 92%

Prey - Hulu

"Prey" is a prequel to 1987's "Predator" and includes some fun Easter eggs for fans of the franchise, but because it's a prequel and set hundreds of years before any of the other movies in the series, it's a great entry point for viewers who've never encountered a Predator before. 

The film follows Naru, a young Comanche woman, as she takes on a Predator that's been ravaging the local wildlife and hunting her community's warriors. The setting in the early 18th century and focus on Indigenous characters makes the movie distinct not just in the "Predator" franchise but also among other action movies. Luckily, it's not just different — it's also one of the best sci-fi action movies made in the last decade.

  • Starring: Amber Midthunder, Dakota Beavers, Dane DiLiegro

  • Director: Dan Trachtenberg

  • Year: 2022

  • Runtime: 100 minutes

  • Rating: R

  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 93%

The Princess - Hulu

Joey King has established herself as a talented actor and a genre icon, and "The Princess" is a testament to just how much she deserves that status. The film follows King's Princess (she's never given a name beyond her title), who's been locked in a tower and now must fight her way out to take down a villainous lord who's attempting to take over the kingdom by force. It's a small-scale movie, but the fights are thrilling and the mixture of European medieval fighting styles with East Asian martial arts makes for some unique action sequences.

  • Starring: Joey King, Dominic Cooper, Veronica Ngo

  • Director: Le-Van Kiet

  • Year: 2022

  • Runtime: 94 minutes

  • Rating: R

  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 60%

Princess Mononoke - HBO Max

"Princess Mononoke" tells the story of Ashitaka, a young man who leaves his village to investigate why a demon attacked and to seek a cure for the curse the demon placed on him. But things become much more complicated when he finds himself at the center of a conflict between the people of an industrial town and the gods of the nearby forest. "Princess Mononoke" offers some fantastic, beautiful animated action, but what makes it really special is the way that it treats its environmental story with nuance and doesn't characterize any of its characters as purely good or evil.

  • Starring (Japanese dub): Yōji Matsuda, Yuriko Ishida, Yūko Tanaka
  • Starring (English dub): Billy Crudup, Claire Danes, Minnie Driver
  • Director: Hayao Miyazaki
  • Year: 1997
  • Runtime: 133 minutes
  • Rating: PG-13
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 93%

Promare - HBO Max, Hoopla

There aren't too many action movies about firefighters, but then again, there aren't too many firefighters like the ones in "Promare." The film centers on Galo Thymos, a member of a firefighting team that responds to fires but not just any fires — fires created by superhumans known as "Burnish" who have pyrokinetic abilities. But over the course of the movie, Galo learns that maybe the Burnish aren't as dangerous or villainous as he's been led to believe. It's a story of overcoming prejudice and fighting unjust authority, but what really makes "Promare" so special is the incredible animation from famed anime studio Trigger that combines 3D and 2D animation to create a world and action sequences that are like nothing else.

  • Starring (Japanese dub): Kenichi Matsuyama, Taichi Saotome, Masato Sakai
  • Starring (English dub): Billy Kametz, Johnny Yong Bosch, Crispin Freeman
  • Director: Hiroyuki Imaishi
  • Year: 2019
  • Runtime: 111 minutes
  • Rating: PG-13
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 97%

The Quick and the Dead - Netflix

Sam Raimi is best known for his horror and superhero movies, but in the 1990s, he tried his hand at a variety of genres, including the Western. "The Quick and the Dead" centers on the mysterious Ellen (aka "The Lady") who comes into a town holding a quick draw tournament. The movie largely plays out like a sports movie as we watch different matches take place until our heroes and villains reach the final showdowns. But it's unlike any other sports movie, Western, or action movie because the ensemble cast (including a young Leonardo DiCaprio, Lance Henriksen, and Keith David) are all such unique characters and Raimi injects the entire movie with his energetic style.

Raiders of the Lost Ark - Paramount+

A lot of action movies are great because of their epic punch-outs, but others are classics for their unique adventure set pieces. "Raiders of the Lost Ark," the first Indiana Jones movie from Steven Spielberg and Harrison Ford, is one of the latter. The movie follows Jones in 1936 as he's recruited by U.S. intelligence to find and secure the mythical Ark of the Covenant before the Nazis. The adventure takes him across the world from Nepal to Cairo and Greek islands, with a new obstacle in every location. It's a fast-paced old-school adventure movie that offers some great thrills, serious scares, and a good amount of comedy.

Road House - Paramount+

"Road House" tells a simple story about a man who takes a job cleaning up a road house and encounters significant obstacles along the way. But these obstacles are anything but routine — in fact, they provoke some of the most exciting and ridiculous fight scenes ever set to film. There are huge bar brawls, more explosions than expected, and even some absolutely incredible car stunts in "Road House." This film also shows that Patrick Swayze's history and talent as a dancer adapts well to action choreography, as he high-kicks his foes in the face with equal parts grace and violence.

  • Starring: Patrick Swayze, Ben Gazzara, Kelly Lynch
  • Director: Rowdy Herrington
  • Year: 1989
  • Runtime: 114 Minutes
  • Rating: R
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 39%

Robocop - Paramount+

"Robocop" follows police officer Murphy who, after a near fatal run in with a gang of criminals, is turned into the titular Robocop — part man, mostly machine. The movie then centers on Robocop's exploits stopping crimes around a dystopian Detroit and his investigation into the gang that killed his former self. "Robocop" is a thrilling action movie full of big explosions and huge shootouts, but what makes it really stand out is the fact that it's also an incredibly potent satire of America in ways that are just as poignant today as they were when the movie was released.

  • Starring: Peter Weller, Kurtwood Smith, Nancy Allen
  • Director: Paul Verhoeven
  • Year: 1987
  • Runtime: 102 minutes
  • Rating: R
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 91%

RRR - Netflix

"RRR" took the action movie world by storm for a reason. It tales the tale of two men on the opposite sides of the political aisle in early 20th-century India who become friends, only to find their friendship tested as they battle British colonialists. And in the middle of this bromance, you're going to witness some of the most amazing action scenes we've ever seen. From a one vs. hundreds fight scene to a sequence that includes loosing wild animals on a party, "RRR" delivers several absolutely astounding action set-pieces. And as it's a big Indian blockbuster, it also has some great song-and-dance numbers that sometimes overlap with the action.

  • Starring: N. T. Rama Rao Jr., Ram Charan, Ajay Devgn
  • Director: S. S. Rajamouli
  • Year: 2022
  • Runtime: 185 Minutes
  • Rating: TV-MA
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 91%

Scott Pilgrim vs. the World - Netflix

Based on the series of "Scott Pilgrim" comics by Bryan Lee O'Malley, "Scott Pilgrim vs. the World" centers on titular hipster Scott Pilgrim who, after he begins dating the beautiful Ramona Flowers, must fight his way through her seven evil exes. It's a very silly premise, and the movie doesn't take itself too seriously, instead opting to pitch everything from its humor to its fight scenes at the level of a live-action cartoon or video game. It's a super fun watch that's helped along by an all-star cast including Chris Evans, Brie Larson, Aubrey Plaza, and Anna Kendrick.

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

Shaft - HBO Max

A classic Blaxploitation flick with one of the greatest theme songs ever written, "Shaft" packs a punch and oozes cool. Detective John Shaft is hired by mobster Bumpy Jonas to find his kidnapped daughter. As well as the Oscar-winning theme song, "Shaft" is packed with memorable dialogue and characteristically over-the-top fight scenes. Richard Roundtree's charismatic screen presence is the secret to the film's success; through his portrayal of the titular hero, a cinema icon was born. While it only had a meager budget of $500,000 (via The New York Times), "Shaft" looks distinctly better than many other films of the era, to the point that it holds up for modern audiences.

  • Starring: Richard Roundtree, Moses Gunn, Christopher St. John
  • Director: Gordon Parks
  • Year: 1971
  • Runtime: 100 minutes
  • Rating: R
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 87%

Shogun Assassin - Criterion Channel

"Shogun Assassin" is a strange movie. It's based on the manga "Lone Wolf and Cub" by Kazuo Koike, but more than that, it includes no original footage and is entirely made up of footage from the first two movies in the Japanese "Lone Wolf and Cub" film series with original English dubbing added. Far from becoming incomprehensible though, "Shogun Assassin" streamlines the story of samurai Ogami Itto, who was betrayed by his shogun, and his adventures wandering with his son Daigoro. The two are constantly under attack from assassins, and the film includes some of the most beautifully choreographed action in any Japanese genre movie from the 1970s.

  • Starring: Tomisaburo Wakayama, Kayo Matsuo, Akiji Kobayashi
  • Director: Kenji Misumi, Robert Houston
  • Year: 1980
  • Runtime: 85 minutes
  • Rating: R
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 80%

Sin City - HBO Max

Based on the comic series of the same name by Frank Miller, "Sin City," which Miller co-directed with Robert Rodriguez, is one of the most unique movies ever made. It's almost entirely black and white but not in the way that black and white movies are normally black and white. The light and dark here are ratcheted up to their absolute highest contrasts in every frame so that every image from the movie is striking. The movie follows a number of different noir-inspired crime stories that take place in Basin City, and each offers something different visually and in its action, from gun fights to fist fights to a ninja taking out a group of cops.

Source Code - Showtime

Captain Colter Stevens finds himself on a speeding train with no idea how he got there. He speaks to fellow passenger Christina, a woman who seems to know exactly who he is, even though he has no recollection of ever meeting her. Following an explosion, Stevens learns that he's the subject of a program that places him in the position of "Sean," the real train commuter, and that he's been tasked with finding the identity of the bomber who blew up the train. Facing a nerve-wracking race against time, "Source Code" utilizes the time-loop trope in a thrilling and inventive way.

  • Starring: Jake Gyllenhaal, Michelle Monaghan, Vera Farmiga
  • Director: Duncan Jones
  • Year: 2011
  • Runtime: 89 minutes
  • Rating: PG-13
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 92%

Terminator 2: Judgment Day - HBO Max

The first "Terminator" is a great movie, don't get us wrong, but "Terminator 2: Judgment Day" turns everything about that first movie up to the max. Here, we're introduced to teenage John Connor — the future savior of humanity — who's being hunted by a shapeshifting robotic assassin from the future. Fortunately, he's got a robo-body guard (also from the future) and his survivalist expert mom, Sarah Connor, on his side. "Terminator 2" manages to deliver almost non-stop large-scale action scenes — from motorbike chases to metal foundry shootouts — while also offering a surprisingly emotional story about John's relationship with his protector and mother.

Top Gun: Maverick - Paramount+

Legacy sequels are always a dangerous game. Sometimes, like "Mad Max: Fury Road," they become instant classics. Other times, like "Space Jam: A New Legacy," they're laughably bad and immediately forgotten. "Top Gun: Maverick" lands firmly in the classic camp, with many critics agreeing that this legacy sequel is actually better than the original. The film follows the titular Maverick from the original film as he's brought on to train a new group of Top Gun graduates for an important and dangerous mission. Absolutely breathtaking aerial action scenes ensue, during both the training sequences and the movie's thrilling finale.

  • Starring: Tom Cruise, Miles Teller, Jennifer Connelly
  • Director: Joseph Kosinski
  • Year: 2022
  • Runtime: 130 minutes
  • Rating: PG-13
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 96%

Train to Busan - Amazon Prime

"Train to Busan" has one of the simplest and most brilliant premises ever: Zombies on a train. Now, a great premise only gets you so far — but luckily, the cast and crew of this film deliver so thoroughly that "Train to Busan" was instantly recognized as an action-horror classic. Divorced Seok-woo and his daughter Su-an are on the titular train to Busan, so that birthday girl Su-an can see her mother. That's when the zombies strike. After the initial attack, father and daughter make alliances with the other passengers and embark on a struggle to survive. A focus on family gives "Train to Busan" a lot of heart, while its bonkers action sequences make it one of the most exciting action movies of the 21st century so far.

  • Starring: Gong Yoo, Jung Yu-mi, Ma Dong-seok
  • Director: Yeon Sang-ho
  • Year: 2016
  • Runtime: 118 minutes
  • Rating: NR
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 94%

Tron: Legacy - Disney+

A legacy sequel to 1982's "Tron," "Tron: Legacy" follows Sam, the son of long-lost computer programmer and video game creator Kevin Flynn, who receives a mysterious message from his father and is transported into the gameworld known as "The Grid." Once there, Sam must work with his father, who's been stuck in the game for decades, and a sentient algorithm to stop a malicious program that wants to invade the real world. The story follows from the original movie, but it's not required viewing to enjoy the super-stylized, neon-lit action that makes "Tron: Legacy" such a joy to watch.

  • Starring: Garrett Hedlund, Jeff Bridges, Olivia Wilde
  • Director: Joseph Kosinski
  • Year: 2010
  • Runtime: 128 minutes
  • Rating: PG
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 51%

Watchmen - HBO Max

The original graphic novel "Watchmen" by Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons isn't exactly action-packed, but with the movie adaptation, director Zack Snyder manages to bring to life the heady themes of the book and add some fantastic action scenes for more flavor. The story centers on a group of ex-superheroes who investigate the murder of one of their old colleagues, an investigation that leads them to a major discovery. The movie engages with some serious concepts, such as human frailty, cosmic insignificance, and the cruelty of war, and the fact that it's able to do those ideas justice while also delivering heart-pounding action scenes is what makes it such a great adaptation and a great movie on its own.

  • Starring: Jackie Earle Haley, Patrick Wilson, Billy Crudup
  • Director: Zack Snyder
  • Year: 2009
  • Runtime: 162 minutes
  • Rating: R
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 65%

Zack Snyder's Justice League - HBO Max

There's no denying that "Zack Snyder's Justice League” (or "ZSJL") has an intimidating runtime (4 hours is long), but the movie is so full of great characters, awe-inspiring action sequences, and surprisingly thought-provoking conversations that the time seems to fly by. The story follows Bruce Wayne and Diana Prince as they work to bring together a team of metahumans to take on the threat of Steppenwolf, an emissary of the even more dangerous villain Darkseid. Along with some of the most epic action scenes in any superhero movie, "ZSJL" has a real emotional impact thanks to the time it spends developing the members of the team as rich characters and offers a real thematic interest in faith and hope.