You know what really gets our blood pumping? A great action flick. Fight scenes, chase scenes, race scenes — all the hallmarks of a cinematic adrenaline rush. Live vicariously through your favorite heroes (or villains) by streaming one of the best action movies on Netflix right now.
Craving something more culinary? Check out the best food documentaries and series streaming on Netflix right now. If you like all kinds of docs, we’ve got you covered (or maybe you’re just really into crime docs and adventure flicks). Our brother site, Digital Trends, also has an overall guide on the best movies and shows.
Quentin Tarantino’s classic ’90s thriller starring Pam Grier focused on the titular character who is caught up in the many schemes of smugglers, law enforcement, double crossings, and more.
We use the term “crime” pretty loosely on this one, only because being part of a resistance group is technically a crime. The Age of Shadows showcases a tense time in Korean-Japanese history. A Korean resistance fighter turned snitch for the Japanese government is being courted once again by the resistance group. What entails is a very intense dance of wits, betrayal, and loyalties. Oh, and lots of guns.
Bad Boys (1995)
Bad Boys 3 (aka Bad Boys for Life) is hitting the theaters in January 2020. Catch up with Mike Lowery and Marcus Burnett by watching Bad Boys 1 and 2, both streaming now on Netflix.
Triple Frontier is a new-ish Netflix film that came to the streaming service in March. An ensemble cast — Ben Affleck, Oscar Isaac, Pedro Pascal, Charlie Hunnam, and Garrett Hedlund — stars as a crew of ex-military Americans who plan on robbing a known cartel member and setting themselves up with the retirement funds their jobs did not provide.
This relatively recent new-noir action flick also comes from Indonesia. Ito, a deadly and powerful gangster, 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 battling his former gang members to save one girl and, in some ways, himself.
Black Hawk Down is based on the true story of a 1993 failed military raid in Somalia. The conflict, both physical and emotional, makes for a riveting action film that will have you thinking about the toll that war takes on countries and individuals.
Another Tarantino pick? Not surprising, given the director’s mastery of brutality. In an alternate history, we watch as Shosannaa, a Jewish woman who lost her family, and a group of Amerian soldiers led by the quotable Lieutenant Aldo Raine hunt Nazis and, ultimate, Hitler himself.
This stylistic telling of the real Spartan king Leonidas’ stand against a Persian invasion is a modern classic. The violence is as gritty as it is poetic.
We’re back in ancient times again with Troy, the movie based on Homer’s Illiad that details the fall of the titular city. There’s romance, there’s political intrigue, there’s history, there’s plenty of sword-fighting, and there’s Brad Pitt. What else do you need?
The Ip Man trilogy is the story 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. 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.
The Legend of the Drunken Master (1994)
First, a history lesson: Wong Fei-hung was a Chinese folk hero and renowned master of the Hung Ga martial arts at the turn of the 20th century. Drunken boxing, a fighting style that imitates the movements of a drunk person, can be found in several forms of martial arts, notably Hung Ga. Jackie Chan portrays Wong Fei-hung in this action/comedy film depicting Wong’s (albeit fictionalized) origins as a famous practitioner of the drunken arts.
The acclaimed movie has it all: Hand-to-hand combat, swordplay, drama, romance, intrigue, and more. If you haven’t seen it yet, definitely add it to your queue. If you’ve already seen it, add it to your queue anyways; Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon stands up to repeated viewings.
Science Fiction and Fantasy
Train to Busan, which hails from South Korea, is one of the more refreshing zombie films to come out in recent years. The makeup effects are convincing and the terror palpable. Watch as divorced father Seok-Woo struggles to protect his daughter and other passengers from a swarm of zombies as they all travel by train to the city of Busan, a supposed safe zone. An American remake and a South Korean sequel are both in the works.
Welcome to the future, where the United Kingdom is lead by neo-fascists and the only one brave enough to stand up to them is a mysterious man in a Guy Fawkes mask. The film is as much a psychological thriller as it is a physical one. This is technically based on a comic book, but we separated V for Vendetta from the following section due to the lack of “classic” superheroes.
The second (The Two Towers) and third (The Return of the King) installments of the Lord of the Rings trilogy are streaming now. Even if you’re not a fantasy fan, you can appreciate the realism and intensity of the battle scenes, which don’t rely as heavily on CGI as modern movies (don’t forget that The Two Towers was released all the way back in 2002).Start with The Two Towers
The entire Indiana Jones series — the original trilogy and the less-than-satisfactory fourth installment — are available on Netflix. Obviously, you should start with Raiders of the Lost Ark, but whether you follow Indy from The Last Crusade on to The Kingdom of the Crystal Skull … well, that’s up to you.
We’re currently in the Golden Age of comic book movies. If you can get behind superhero action, Netflix hosts an entire lineup of flicks.
- Black Panther (2018)
- Ant-Man and the Wasp (2018)
- Avengers: Infinity War (2018)
- Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse
- Thor: Ragnarok (2017)
- Sin City (2005)
- Hellboy (2004)
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