The Best Action Movies on Netflix Right Now

Looking for a little adrenaline jolt to your Netflix viewing? We’ve got you covered. Below we’ve curated a list of the best action movies currently available to stream on Netflix, from the more adventure-tinged playful flicks to big-budget superhero movies to straight-up kung fu films. It’s the perfect antidote to the same-old same-old, and Netflix has a pretty swell and diverse library of action films to spice up your night.

So behold, below are the best action movies on Netflix.

The Bourne Ultimatum

Image via Universal Pictures

Director: Peter Greengrass

Writers: Tony Gilgroy, Scott C. Burns, and George Nolfi

Cast: Matt Damon, Julia Stiles, David Strathairn, Joan Allen, Scott Glenn, Egar Ramirez, Paddy Considine, Albert Finney, Daniel Bruhl

You can always count on a Bourne movie for some of the best fight scenes and chase sequences in the biz, and The Bourne Ultimatum is arguably the best of the bunch. Matt Damon returns for the third film in the franchise as the titular secret agent whose amnesiac investigations keep rubbing him up against the wrong government agencies. When his own government tries to kill him, he takes the fight to them, uncovering yet another sinister conspiracy. Bourne’s daredevil stunts and Paul Greengrass’ signature shakey-cam make for some dizzying displays of ass-kicking — the Bourne vs. Desh fight is a franchise best — while clever sequences like the train station assassination use editing and cat-and-mouse to build breathless tension. The Bourne franchise is a premiere destination for all things that punch, kick, and ride chase motorcycles through big cities and in that regard, Ultimatum certainly doesn’t disappoint, pitting Bourne against the deadliest series of trained assassins yet. — Haleigh Foutch


Image via Paramount Pictures

Directed by: John Woo

Written by: Mike Werb and Michael Colleary

Cast: Nicolas Cage, John Travolta, Joan Allen, Gina Gershon, and Alessandro Nivola

Face/Off is one of those insane 90s action movies that not only reminds you how ridiculous 90s action movies could be, but that they also attracted big, A-list talent. The film is basically an excuse for Nicolas Cage and John Travolta to have a field day with their performances, as Travolta plays FBI Agent Sean Archer, a man with a tortured past who is hell bent on apprehending a homicidal sociopath named Castor Troy, played by Cage, and putting an end to his reign of terror. Archer finally captures Troy, but Troy refuses to reveal the location of a bomb. The solution? Archer undergoes a face transplant, has his face replaced with Troy’s, and goes undercover. The problem? Troy wakes up faceless and takes Archer’s face in return. As a result, Travolta gets to play a serial killer pretending to be an FBI agent while Cage plays an FBI agent pretending to be a serial killer. If you think about it too hard your head will almost certainly hurt, but if you sit back and watch the slo-mo delights and ACTING! theatrics, you’ll have a blast. – Adam Chitwood

Scott Pilgrim vs. The World

Image via Universal Pictures

Director: Edgar Wright

Writers: Michael Bacall & Edgar Wright

Cast: Michael Cera, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Alison Pill, Mark Webber, Johnny Simmons, Ellen Wong, Kieran Culkin, Anna Kendrick, Aubrey Plaza, and Jason Schwartzman.

Edgar Wright’s adaptation of Bryan Lee O’Malley’s outstanding comic didn’t find much of an audience upon its release, but over the years it has grown into a cult classic. The movie follows Scott Pilgrim (Cera), a sweet if slightly selfish and misguided young man who falls for delivery girl Ramona Flowers (Winstead). He can only continue to date her if he defeats her seven evil exes. Scott’s comfortable with the video game framework, but the film is really about two people discovering they have to get over their own baggage if they’re going to find new love. Wright decorates the whole picture with video game tropes and fun little nods, but never loses sight of the core romantic story. Scott Pilgrim vs. the World is funny, effervescent, and only gets better on repeat viewings. – Matt Goldberg

Black Panther

Image via Marvel

Director: Ryan Coogler

Writers: Ryan Coogler and Joe Robert Cole

Cast: Chadwick Boseman, Michael B. Jordan, Lupita Nyong’o, Danai Gurira, Martin Freeman, Daniel Kaluuya, Letitia Wright, Winston Duke, Sterling K. Brown, Angela Bassett, Forest Whitaker, Andy Serkis

In case you had any doubts left after CreedRyan Coogler definitely knows his way around a fight scene. Though nothing in Black Panther matches the elegance or intimacy of the boxing ring, Coogler stages the hell outs of a number of crowd-pleasing set pieces, which are always just that much better when they involve the women of Wakanda kicking ass. Though the final fight is unfortunately a muddled CGI production, there’s still plenty of great action to love in Black Panther, which also happens to be one of the boldest and most emotional MCU movies yet. — Haleigh Foutch

Hot Fuzz

Image via Universal Pictures

Director: Edgar Wright

Writers: Simon Pegg and Edgar Wright

Cast: Simon Pegg, Nick Frost, Jim Broadbent, Timothy Dalton, Paddy Considine, Olivia Colman, Rafe Spall

Filmmaker Edgar Wright certainly turned heads with his work on the beloved UK series Spaced and then broke out in a big way with the “zomromcom” Shaun of the Dead, but how to follow up that success? With a whip-smart twist on the action genre, of course. With Hot Fuzz, Wright captures the world of everyday police work with the same urgency and explosiveness as Michael Bay shoots his big chase sequences, resulting in a hilarious action film all its own that never delves into parody. Simon Pegg and Nick Frost are excellent as the two lead policemen, but the entire ensemble truly shines as the film moves towards a delightful turn at the top of the third act. Kick back, relax, and enjoy the fun. – Adam Chitwood

Ip Man

Image via Mandarin Films

Director: Wilson Yip

Writer: Edmond Wong

Cast: Donnie Yen, Simon Yam, Lynn Hung, Siu-Wong Fan, Hiroyuki Ikeuchi

This 2008 martial arts essential stars Donnie Yen as Ip Man, the legendary Wing Chun master who went on to train Bruce Lee. A wealthy martial artist living the dream life, Ip Man’s life is thrown into chaos when the Japanese occupy his hometown during wartime. On the surfae level, Ip Man is in opportunity to watch one of the best living martial artists play one of the most famed Kung Fu masters of all time – and it certainly delivers on the fight scenes that come with that premise, including an instantly iconic Wing Chun vs. Black Belts set-piece. But Ip Man is also a fantastic character-driven period drama rooted in history and apparent affection for the martial arts genre, and Yen is extraordinary, not just for the athleticism and showmanship of his choreography work but for his charismatic, commanding performance. – Haleigh Foutch

The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring

Image via New Line Cinemal

Director: Peter Jackson

Writers: Fran Walsh, Philippa Boyens, Peter Jackson

The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Rings may not be quite as action-packed as its sequels, but Peter Jackson‘s first Rings film remains one of the most lovingly and impeccably-crafted fantasy epics ever put to screen, and when it delivers the action, boy does it deliver. The first in a trilogy faithfully adapted from J.R.R. Tolkien‘s seminal series of novels, Fellowship of the Rings introduces audiences to Frodo and his Fellowship, the far-flung reaches of Middle Earth, and a classic battle of good and evil with a sweeping, engrossing high fantasy drama. Every actor is perfectly cast to his role, each location is a new journey, and as if by magic itself, the effects by-and-large still hold up despite the rapid advancements in technology over the last two decades. A classic hero’s tale, full of sword fights and deadly creatures, Fellowship of the Rings is one of the great fantasy adventures. — Haleigh Foutch


Image via Universal Pictures

Writer-Director: Joss Whedon

Cast: Nathan Fillion, Summer Glau, Alan Tudyk, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Morena Baccarin, Gina Torres, Adam Baldwin, Sean Maher, Jewel Staite, Ron Glass

Joss Whedon‘s Firefly spinoff film is the best space adventure you can find this side of Star WarsA tightly-wound, self-contained tale of good and evil, spun out of the mythology tapped in Whedon’s sadly short-lived series, Serenity travels to through the wonders and terrors of space with the easy ensemble chemistry that proved Whedon the right guy to take the MCU to the next level in The Avengers. Packed with plenty of one-liners, Serenity‘s also got heart where it counts and plenty of kick-ass action beats thanks to the strapping Captain Mal (pre-Castle Nathan Fillion) and some killer fight scenes from the telepathic wunderkind River (ex-ballerina Summer Glau turning in a very physical performance). As far as romps through the galaxy go, you can’t ask for much more, just be prepared for the wave of sadness when you realize we haven’t seen the Firefly gang together on screen since 2005. – Haleigh Foutch


Image via Netflix

Director: Jeremy Rush

Writer: Jeremy Rush

Cast: Frank Grillo, Garret Dillahunt, Caitlin Carmichael, Shea Whigam, Wendy Moniz

Frank Grillo should be one of cinema’s leading action stars. Cut from 1970s cloth, Grillo is an old-school everyman tough guy; a real blue-collar badass. Grillo can grimace and load a gun with the best of ‘em, but unlike the dominant figures in the Western action hero tradition, Grillo is also a trained martial artist who brings impressive physical command to his street-smart charisma. With Wheelman, Grillo takes on a different kind of challenge for an action star — a performance told almost entirely in close-up, from the confines of a single vehicle. That doesn’t leave a lot of room to throw punches or fire heavy artillery, but Grillo and writer-director Jeremy Rush make the most of the minimalist set-up, turning out a gripping, wisely calibrated B-movie about one high-octane night of crime that blasts off from the word go and never taps the brakes. — Haleigh Foutch

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story

Image via Lucasfilm

Directors: Gareth Edwards

Writers: Chris Weitz, Tony Gilroy

Cast: Felicity Jones, Diego Luna, Riz Ahmed, Ben Mendelsohn, Donnie Yen, Alan Tudyk, Wen Jiang, Forest Whitaker, Mads Mikkelsen

The first of Disney’s planned anthology films, Rogue One: A Star Wars Storytravels back to a time between the original trilogy and the much-maligned prequel trilogy to tell a tale of rebellion. Nestled between the rise of the Empire as we know it and the improbable destruction of their space-based super-weapon is this contained story about a group of anti-heroes and their risky mission to obtain the Death Star blueprints. It’s this key piece of information that allows the rebellion to not only kick off in earnest but to thrive for generations.

Rogue One is part heist film and part war movie, as if Ocean’s Eleven and The Dirty Dozen came together in what’s arguably the best space drama ever to unfold. Edwards’ tale doesn’t succeed fully in either regard, but it does offer up plenty of fan service for the Star Wars faithful who want to see connective tissue strung together between existing films. It introduces a handful of colorful characters, including some referenced outside of the cinematic universe, but ultimately only uses them for this solitary film since the rebellion’s greatest victory also comes with their greatest sacrifices. - Dave Trumbore

Battle Royale

Image via Toei Company

Director: Kinji Fukasaku

Writer: Kenta Fukasaku

Cast: Tatsuya Fujiwara, Aki Maeda, Tarô Yamamoto, Takeshi Kitano, Chiaki Kuriyama, Takashi Tsukamoto, Sôsuke Takaoka

Battle Royale was doing YA dystopia before it was cool. Following a class of middle schoolers pitted against each other in a government-mandated battle to the death, Kinji Fakasaku‘s adaptation of the popular manga is brought up most often these days in comparison to The Hunger Games, which is a shame because it’s an extraordinary piece of filmmaking deserving of a fate much better than becoming a footnote to a popular phenomenon. Where The Hunger Games goes macro with a sweeping tale of warfare and propoganda, Battle Royale goes micro, focusing on coming-of-age melodrama and hyper-violent satire set during a single round of the twisted teenage gladiator games. Fukasaku pulls no punches and the film still packs a hell of a wallop nearly two decades later, full of twists and surprises, and searing moment of humanity amongst the blood-spattered pitch-black humor. — Haleigh Foutch

Thor: Ragnarok

Image via Marvel Studios

Director: Taika Waititi

Writers: Eric Pearson, Craig Kyle, Christopher Yost

Cast: Chris Hemsworth, Tom Hiddleston, Mark Ruffalo, Cate Blanchett, Tessa Thompson, Taika Waititi, Karl Urban, Rachel House

Marvel’s zaniest movie yet, Thor: Ragnarok takes the MCU formula and projects it through the candy-colored lens of Taika Waititi, bringing a healthy serving of his goofy humor along for the ride. Picking up with Thor (Chris Hemsworth) and Hulk (Mark Ruffalo) after they sat out Captain America: Civil War, Ragnarok galavants through the galaxy like a big-budget buddy comedy staged against the foretold fall of Asgard. Along with the fan-favorite Avengers, Rangnarok introduces Tessa Thompson’s scene-stealer Valkyrie, Cate Blanchett’s deliciously deviant (if inconsequential) villain Hela, and Jeff Goldblum’s hedonistic Grandmaster. It’s an action-packed delight from start to finish with a real sense of personality and it all comes together like a live-action Saturday Morning Cartoon. — Haleigh Foutch


Image via Warner Bros.

Director: Wolfgang Peterson

Writer: David Benioff

Cast: Brad Pitt, Eric Bana, Orlando Bloom, Diane Kruger, Brian Cox, Sean Bean, Brendan Gleeson, Peter O’Toole, Rose Byrne, and Garrett Hedlund

Troy as a very big deal when it was released in 2004. They don’t really make these kinds of period epics anymore, but director Wolfgang Peterson chose to tackle Homer’s iconic Iliad in the wake of scuttling his planned Batman vs. Superman movie, and he did so in grand fashion. Brad Pitt is godlike as Achilles, Eric Bana is noble as Hector, and Orlando Bloom is pretty—and pretty useless—as Paris, whose love for Helen of Troy (Diane Kruger) incites a war. Like most period epics Troy is a little bloated, but it’s well worth a watch for the fight scenes alone. And it’s written by Game of Thrones co-creator/co-showrunner David Benioff! – Adam Chitwood

Beyond Skyline

Image via XYZ Films

Writer/Director: Liam O’Donnell

Cast: Frank Grillio, Jonny Weston, Bojana Nvakovich, Iko Uwais, Yayan Ruhian, Antonio Fargas, Lindsey Morgan, Betty Gabriel

Beyond Skyline is a special kind of WTF. Of all the movies to spawn a franchise, I never would have guessed the much-derided 2010 sci-fi pic Skyline could pull it off, much less that the follow-up film would be such a gleeful, globe-trotting action-packed adventure. A proud, pulpy B-movie featuring aliens that rip the brain right out of your skull, Beyond Skyline stars Frank Grillo as a cop at odds with his son (Jonny Weston) when an alien attack sends them scrambling for their lives. Once the aliens make contact, the film ricochets through settings and characters at a breakneck pace, packing in a paperback book series worth of sci-fi lunacy into a single feature film that travels from subterranean tunnels to the nuclear wasteland of Los Angeles to an alien ship, and all the way to Laos, where Mark teams with rebels to battle the alien threat. You’ve got Frank Grillo playing hero with a baby in one hand and a space-blaster on the other, Antonio Fargas as a Vietnam vet who calls everybody “bitch”, Iko Uwais and Yaya Ruhain beating the shit out of giant aliens, and there’s even an honest-to-god Kaiju battle. Beyond Skyline won’t be for everyone, but if you love a bananas B-movie, the feature debut from writer-director Liam O’Donnell ticks all the right boxes. – Haleigh Foutch

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2

Image via Marvel Studios

Written and Directed by: James Gunn

Cast: Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Kurt Russell, Dave Bautista, Michael Rooker, Elizabeth Debicki, Pom Klementieff, Bradley Cooper, and Vin Diesel

Yes, all Marvel movies are technically “action movies”, but if you’re in the mood for a space-set adventure, Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 2 is a great pick. Writer/director James Gunn doubled down on the riskiness of the first Guardians movie by crafting a sequel that’s essentially a hangout movie, where the villain and plot don’t really become crystal clear until well over halfway into the flick. That allows you to sit back and soak up the eye-popping visuals, and indeed while this is very much a hangout movie, that doesn’t mean there aren’t also massive (and massively colorful) space battles and gun fights. – Adam Chitwood

Kill Bill Vol. 1 & Vol. 2

Image via Miramax

Writer/Director: Quentin Tarantino

Cast: Uma Thurman, Lucy Liu, Vivica A. Fox, Daryl Hannah, Michael Madsen, David Carradine, Julie Dreyfus, Sonny Chiba, Chiaki Kuriyama

Uma Thurman has never done more rigorous or impressive work than her turn as Beatrix Kiddo, aka The Bride, in Tarantino’s martial arts homage Kill Bill. The first film follows The Bride’s bloody warpath to revenge after her assassin squad turned against her on the day of her wedding, and Vol. 2 dives deep into Kiddo, who she was before the betrayal and who she wants to be once her revenge is complete. Both films are packed to the brim with stunning action sequences, for which Tarantino recruited legendary martial arts choreographer Yuen Woo-ping and sword fight choreographer Tetsuro Shimaguchi. Kinetic, relentless, and consummately stylish, the Kill Bill movies are some of the most artful, intense action movies in cinema history because they’re pulled from the very DNA of that history. — Haleigh Foutch

National Treasure

Image via Disney

Directed by: Jon Turteltaub

Written by: Jim Kouf and Cormac Wibberley & Marianne Wibberley

Cast: Nicolas Cage, Diane Kruger, Justin Bartha, Sean Bean, Jon Voight, and Harvey Keitel

If The Da Vinci Code was fun, it would be National Treasure. The plot follows Benjamin Franklin Gates (Nicolas Cage in an action hero role that suits him), a treasure hunter who discovers there’s a map on the back on the Declaration of Independence and goes on a mad dash to steal the document and find (or, in his view, protect) the treasure before unscrupulous billionaire Ian Howe (Sean Bean) does. The movie is fun from start to finish as it makes a mad dash through various points of American History with ample comedy and earnest adoration for our nation’s past. Also, Justin Bartha’s throwaway joke about the preservation room is an all-timer. – Matt Goldberg


Image via Buena Vista Pictures

Directed by: Michael Bay

Written by: Jonathan Hensleigh and J.J. Abrams

Cast: Bruce Willis, Billy Bob Thornton, Ben Affleck, Liv Tyler, Will Patton, Steve Buscemi, William Fichtner, Owen Wilson, Michael Clarke Duncan, and Peter Stormare

This is the kind of action bombast where Michael Bay is at his best. The plot is lovably ludicrous—a team of oil drillers is sent up into space to put a bomb into the middle of an incoming asteroid so they can blow it up and save the Earth, a premise so silly that star Ben Affleck openly mocked it on the commentary track—but it works through Bay’s unabashedly hyped up tone. Everything is cranked to 11, from the sentiment to the set pieces to the comedy, and it somehow works. Armageddon may not be Bay’s best movie (that would be The Rock) or the most Bay movie (that would be Bad Boys II), but it’s quintessential Michael Bay. – Matt Goldberg


Image via Warner Bros.

Writer/Director: Michael Mann

Cast: Al Pacino, Robert De Niro, Val Kilmer, Jon Voight, Tom Sizemore, Ashley Judd, Amy Brenneman, Natalie Portman

Michael Mann perfected the heist movie with his 1995 thriller Heat. Impeccably paced and tightly scripted, Heat is all lean muscle thanks to Mann’s unadorned approach to action, nuanced character portraits and an on-screen showdown for the ages between two acting legends. Al Pacino and Robert De Niro both starred in The Godfather Part II, but they never shared the screen until the iconic diner scene in Heat, an intellectual and machismo battle of equals played in quiet stillness over a cup of coffee. Their rich dynamic — the obsession of two workaholics on opposite sides of the law — is the spark that fuels Heat, making it a tense and bracing watch, even in its quietest moments. Of course, there’s also that famed shootout sequence, a near ten minutes of pulse-pounding perfection set in the streets downtown Los Angeles. It’s one of the best pieces of action filmmaking in movie history. –Haleigh Foutch


Image via Paramount

Director: Matthew Vaughn

Writers: Jane Goldman and Matthew Vaughn

Cast: Claire Danes, Charlie Cox, Robert De Niro, Peter O’Toole, Sienna Miller, Michelle Pfieffer, Ben Barnes, Henry Cavill, Mark Strong, Rupert Everett

Adapted from Niel Gaiman‘s enchanting and delightful novella of the same name, Matthew Vaughn’s Stardust is a classic, swashbuckling fantasy adventure bubbling over with charm. Charlie Cox stars as Tristan Thorn, a lovesick young man who dares to cross over to a magical land in order to capture a fallen star and win the love of his village beauty. There’s just one problem — the fallen star takes the form of a headstrong young woman (Claire Danes) and a trio of wicked witches are hot on their trail, eager to carve out her heart. They don’t often make adventure movies like they used to these days, but Stardust is a brilliant throwback in the vein of The Princess Bride that delivers on all fronts and stands as one of the best Neil Gaiman adaptations yet. — Haleigh Foutch

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