Netflix is one of the best premium streaming services, with thousands of movies to choose from. That list includes some of the best action movies ever made, with lots of thrills, spills and high-adrenaline sequences. However, there are also a lot of so-called action movies on Netflix that don’t fulfill our need for cool characters, massive stunts, and big explosions. That’s why we have picked the 10 best action movies on Netflix that you can currently stream.
As you can see, there’s quite a variety to choose from, from current super-hero epics to modern-day crime dramas and some truly classic films, action or otherwise.
Best action movies on Netflix:
Editor’s note – This list will be updated as action films leave, and other films debut, on Netflix
1. Avengers: Infinity War
The Marvel Cinematic Universe took 10 years and 19 movies to reach just the first part of its concluding story. Released in 2018, Avengers: Infinity War pits nearly all of the superheroes of the MCU, including Iron Man, Hulk, Captain America, Black Panther, the Guardians of the Galaxy, and more against the Mad Titan, Thanos. This guy is collecting the six Infinity Stones so that when he has them all, he can snap his fingers to kill off half the universe’s population (it’s all in a good cause, at least according to Thanos). The Avengers want to stop him from making the big snap, and we get to see some of the biggest superhero action sequences of all time, and it all leads up to . . . well, we won’t spoil it.
2. Black Panther
Black Panther was the biggest box office movie in the US in 2018. It also won three Academy Awards and it’s certainly one of the best action movies on Netflix. What makes this movie different than other Marvel Cinematic Universe movies, or indeed any other superhero movie? Well, it only establishes Chadwick Boseman’s T’Challa as a worthy character but it also brings us the advanced African country of Wakanda.
Yes, we have seen other worlds in MCU films, but Wakanda is unique in that it has highly advanced technology. However, it still clings to very traditional leadership roles, and it wants to also remain isolated from the rest of the world. It’s this kind of setup that’s at the heart of the movie. Michael B. Jordan’s character of Killmonger wants to only claim the throne of Wakanda. He also wants to use its tech to strike back at the rest of the world for its history of oppressing black people.
Black Panther shows us a villain in Killmonger who might have some good reasons for his actions. At the same time, the leadership of Wakanda might have some ethical problems. It’s this reversal that really makes the movie different than the normal superhero epic. Oh, and it has some awesome action sequences and fights, too.
3. The Matrix
The Matrix changed films, and indeed all of entertainment, when it was released in 1999. It had a Japanese manga and anime-inspired setting and art direction. It had over-the-top gun battle sequences and huge kung-fu fights. The visual effects were so innovative they were copied in tons of future action movies, TV shows and video games. Above it all, The Matrix is one of the best action movies on Netflix because it used all these things to create a real story. It’s all about technology taking over mankind, and that message is still something that resonates today.
4. The Dirty Dozen
This 1967 World War II epic was unlike other war movies of its time. It was more like a fun, if more adult, adventure romp than a movie about soldiers on the battlefield. Indeed, the “Dirty Dozen” in the movie’s title are prisoners of the US Army. They are given one shot at redemption by Lee Marvin’s character. They have to go behind enemy lines just before D-Day to destroy a Nazi fortress. It’s great to see actors like Donald Sutherland, Charles Bronson and Telly Savalas battle each other as much as they battle the Nazi. It’s definitely one of the best action movies on Netflix that you can stream.
5. Raiders of the Lost Ark
The 1981 film may have officially renamed as Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark, but we all know the true title of this film. Harrison Ford seems born to play the role of Indiana Jones. He’s an archeologist who risks life and limb to find the greatest historical relics in the world. In this debut film of the series, directed (as all of them are) by Steven Spielberg, Jones has been recruited to find The Ark of the Covenant in 1936. He has to grab it before the Nazis get a hold of the container where the Ten Commandments were kept. This was described as a homage to the Saturday afternoon serials of the 1930s. In truth, this film blows all of them away in action, humor, and entertainment.
Netflix also has the three other films in this series for streaming currently; Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, and Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull.
6. Vantage Point
This 2008 film is on our best action movies on Netflix list for a big reason. It’s unique plot structure keeps you interested and guessing what happens next. The plot revolves around an attempted assassination of the US President, played by William Hurt. However, the film sometimes goes back in the movie’s timeline to see events from other character’s points of view. The final result is a movie with lots of action, plot twists, and people who sometimes are not who they first appear.
7. Hellboy (2004)
Don’t go see that new Hellboy movie reboot that came out earlier in 2019. Instead, watch the original 2004 movie adaptation of Mike Mignola’s comic book creation, and one of the best action movies on Netflix. Directed perfectly by Guillermo del Toro, the first Hellboy movie stars Ron Perlman as the title character. A demon-like creature who sounds like he was born in New York City rather than in Hell, Perlman’s performance is excellent, and the movie is the perfect mix of comic book action and supernatural themes.
8. Olympus Has Fallen
2013 had two “White House under siege” movies, but this one is the better one. That’s due in part to its R-rating as a rogue group of North Korean terrorists take over 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. It’s up to US Secret Service agent Mike Banning, played by 300’s Gerald Butler, to almost singlehandedly save the White House and rescue the President, played by Aaron Eckart. There are tons of great set pieces in this movie, and it’s definitely one of the best action movies on Netflix. This film was popular enough to spawn two sequels; London has Fallen, and the recently released Angel has Fallen.
No, this is not an adult movie, but a 2002 super-spy action film. Vin Diesel stars as Zander Cage, an extreme sports and stunt performer who gains fame on the internet. He’s recruited to become a spy by a super-secret against, lead by Samuel L. Jackson. Cage uses his fame and skills to infiltrate a suspected terrorist group who has plans to kill the city of Prague with chemical weapons. Diesel is having tons of fun in this role, and most of the stunt and action sequences are well done. You can also watch the sequel to this movie, xXx: State of the Union, on Netflix, but it ditches Diesel for Ice Cube in the leading role.
10. The Hurricane Heist
Here’s another more recent action movie from the same director as xXx. The 2018 movie is set in Alabama at the Gulf Coast, where a Category 5 hurricane is about to make landfall. However, that’s the perfect cover for a group of thieves who want to steal old US cash that’s supposed to be shredded from a US Treasury stronghold. Naturally, just a few people stand in this groups way, and the oncoming hurricane is not making anyone’s lives easier. It’s a heist movie with a big weather twist, and that’s why it’s one of the best action movies on Netflix.
These are the best action movies you can watch on Netflix. We’ll update this post with new titles once they are released.