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The 11 best action movies on Netflix

These binge-worthy action movies are waiting for you

The actual definition of an action movie varies more than you might think. Some feature the kinds of stunts that no mere mortal would ever dare to attempt, while others attempt to be more grounded. Still others have outlandish premises that take us to new, far-off worlds. It’s a genre that contains multitudes, but what makes an action movie great is its ability to thrill and captivate its audience. Over the course of its history as a streaming service, Netflix has been home to a number of great action titles. Some are funny, and others are deadly serious. The only thing we know for sure, though, is that all of these action movies are great. We’ve also rounded up some of the best action movies on Amazon Prime worth watching if you’ve seen all of these, as well as a few great action movies available on Hulu.

Looking for even more films to stream online? We’ve found the all-around best Netflix movies, Amazon Prime movies, Disney+ movies, and movies on Hulu to watch this month.

Mute (2018)
35 %
r 126m
Genre Science Fiction, Mystery, Thriller
Stars Alexander Skarsgård, Paul Rudd, Justin Theroux
Directed by Duncan Jones
Mute has all the pieces of a great sci-fi action movie, and while it’s far from perfect, it’s still pretty fun. Thanks to a great cast, some solid settings, and an above-average plot, it’s the kind of movie that might surprise you. The story follows a mute bartender who ends up taking on the city’s gangsters in an attempt to track down his missing partner. Oh, and did we mention it has Paul Rudd?
Pineapple Express (2008)
Pineapple Express
64 %
r 111m
Genre Action, Comedy, Crime
Stars Seth Rogen, James Franco, Gary Cole
Directed by David Gordon Green
In what is easily one of the best Seth Rogen movies, Pineapple Express is both hilarious and more action-packed than you might remember. In mixing the aesthetics of the stoner movie with blunt violence, the movie also defined a new era for the sub-genre. The film follows a process server named Dale Denton (Seth Rogen) who witnesses his next “client” brutally murder somebody in his home. When it turns out that “client” is actually the top dog of the local underground marijuana industry, Dale and his regular dealer have to get lost or face harsh consequences.
The Irishman (2019)
The Irishman
94 %
r 209m
Genre Crime, Drama, History
Stars Robert De Niro, Al Pacino, Joe Pesci
Directed by Martin Scorsese
This story follows Frank “The Irishman” Sheeran (Robert De Niro), a former labor union official and hitman as he tells the complicated story of his own past. With an emphasis on the disappearance of Jimmy Hoffa (Al Pacino), this biographical crime drama is tremendous, sad, and exceedingly violent at times. The Irishman was nominated for 10 Academy Awards in 2020, and it deserved every one of those nominations.

The Night Comes for Us (2018)
The Night Comes for Us
69 %
r 121m
Genre Action, Thriller, Crime
Stars Joe Taslim, Iko Uwais, Asha Kenyeri Bermudez
Directed by Timo Tjahjanto
This relatively recent neo-noir action flick comes from Indonesia. The film follows Ito, a deadly and powerful gangster, as he has a 180-degree change of heart after he rescues Reina, a young girl, from the remains of her massacred village. The resulting carnage — and there’s a lot of carnage — revolves around one man who battles his former compatriots to save one girl and, in some ways, himself.

Triple Frontier (2019)
Triple Frontier
61 %
r 125m
Genre Action, Thriller, Crime, Adventure
Stars Ben Affleck, Oscar Isaac, Charlie Hunnam
Directed by J.C. Chandor
This action-adventure movie follows a crew of ex-military Americans who plan on robbing a known cartel member in order to set themselves up for retirement in a way that their government work never could. It’s filled with great action, but what makes Triple Frontier most interesting is how sad it can often feel as we see its ensemble cast wrestling with their most violent and greedy impulses.

Da 5 Bloods (2020)
Da 5 Bloods
82 %
r 156m
Genre War, Drama
Stars Delroy Lindo, Jonathan Majors, Clarke Peters
Directed by Spike Lee
One of Spike Lee’s latest tells the story of four Black veterans who return to Vietnam decades after the war. Battling the elements, the group sets out in search of the remains of their fallen squad leader and the promise of buried treasure, and wind up battling one another as well as external enemies who are also after the gold.

Extraction (2020)
56 %
r 116m
Genre Drama, Action, Thriller
Stars Chris Hemsworth, Rudhraksh Jaiswal, Randeep Hooda
Directed by Sam Hargrave
Filled with plenty of violence of explosions, Extraction is a whole lot of fun and one of the best-choreographed action movies of the past decade. When black-market mercenary Tyler Rake (Chris Hemsworth) is hired to save an imprisoned warlord’s son, the stakes rise exponentially as more and more local gunrunners and traffickers learn of the situation. This is easily one of the best Chris Hemsworth movies outside the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and its stunt choreography stands in sharp contrast to what we often see from that franchise.

6 Underground (2019)
6 Underground
41 %
r 128m
Genre Action, Thriller, Comedy
Stars Ryan Reynolds, Mélanie Laurent, Manuel Garcia-Rulfo
Directed by Michael Bay
No need to add this to your list of best Ryan Reynolds movies, but 6 Underground offers plenty of visual spectacle the likes of which you’ll rarely see outside of Michael Bay’s filmography. Following six individuals with exceptional skills who are handpicked to delete their past and devote their lives to foiling the intent of supervillains, free from the restrictions of typical well-doers, 6 Underground is over the top, but it’s a great movie to watch if you want to turn off your brain.

The Old Guard (2020)
The Old Guard
70 %
r 125m
Genre Action, Fantasy
Stars Charlize Theron, KiKi Layne, Matthias Schoenaerts
Directed by Gina Prince-Bythewood

The Old Guard is a sci-fi movie dashed with plenty of action that’s worth watching. The story follows a warrior named Andy (Charlize Theron) and her covert group of immortal mercenaries who have been protecting the mortal world for centuries. When they recruit a new immortal to work among them, it forces a reckoning within the group over their long shared history.

Scott Pilgrim vs. the World (2010)
Scott Pilgrim vs. the World
69 %
pg-13 112m
Genre Comedy, Action, Romance, Fantasy
Stars Michael Cera, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Ellen Wong
Directed by Edgar Wright
This comedy movie isn’t exactly your traditional action film, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t a place for it in the genre. The story follows Scott Pilgrim, an aspiring bass guitarist, as he falls for a girl named Ramona Flowers. To be with her, however, he must first defeat her seven evil exes in battles to the death. Scott Pilgrim is funnier ad wilder than you might imagine, and that’s what has quickly made it a cult classic.

Ip Man (2008)
Ip Man
59 %
r 106m
Genre Drama, Action, History
Stars Donnie Yen, Simon Yam, Lynn Hung
Directed by Wilson Yip
The Ip Man series is the story of the real-life Chinese martial artist, Ip Man (also known as Yip Man), who is credited with bringing the practice of Wing Chun to the global stage. This is actually a trilogy of movies, and each of the three movies highlight different parts of his life, from his education in Wing Chun to the legacy of his own teaching in Hong Kong (which included Bruce Lee as one of his pupils). The Grandmaster (2013) is another interesting take on the legend of Ip Man and Ip Man 4: The Finale hit theaters in December 2019. For more like this, check out our list of the best fighting movies of all time.

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