Sometimes you just wanna watch some tough guys kick butt and take names. Netflix has got you covered with some high-octane action movies that really get the blood pumping.
If you find yourself slouched on the couch without energy, it’s about time you treated yourself to a lineup of films that will get your heart racing and palms sweating.
Here’s our list of the best action movies on Netflix right now that promise to give you an adrenaline rush…
Our list features movies on Netflix U.S. only. Some films may not be available on international Netflix platforms. We frequently update this article to remove and replace action films that are currently on Netflix.
1. Anon (2018)
In a near future, the government has put a system in place that records people’s memories, a procedure that has reduced crime to nearly 0%. In this ‘ideal’ society, a detective must face a series of crimes that prove this system has a flaw. This tense, ambitious thriller is the perfect adrenaline provider for a cozy night in, and a puzzle you’ll be eager to solve just as much as the protagonists!
2. Inglourious Basterds (2009)
If you think you might enjoy a story about a team of Jewish soldiers defeating Nazis, then this one’s for you! One of Tarantino’s best movies, Inglourious Basterds blends action, humor, captivating characters and riveting drama in two hours of pure adrenaline that you will definitely want back!
3. Goldeneye (1995)
Although it’s not the best James Bond movie, it’s still worth a watch – especially if you’re a fan of 007! Pierce Brosnan takes the lead role as the famous British secret agent in Goldeneye who attempts to save the world from space weapon that can destroy the Earth. Want a thrilling ride? Goldeneye is a top action movie on Netflix that won’t disappoint – plus, it will make you want to watch the entire popular film series!
4. Gun City (2018)
This tense, dark Spanish crime action movie is set in 1921 and tells the story of a cop heading to Barcelona to investigate the theft of military weapons. Gritty and filled with raw talent, this film will transport you into a whole other time and make you shudder at every turn. Although it’s in another language, Gun City is truly one of the best action movies Netflix has to offer right now.
5. Extraction (2020)
Starring Chris Hemsworth as Tyler Rake, book-turned-movie, Extraction tells the story of a mercenary who’s hired to save the kidnapped son of an Indian drug lord. Action cliches and manic sequences, this 2020 original Netflix movie offers that adrenaline rush you’re craving to wake up on a Friday evening.
6. Snowpiercer (2013)
During the world’s second Ice Age, a train divided by social classes shelters the last survivors of our species. Tired of their condition, the poorest, neglected residents decide to change the system by overtaking the engine room. This sombre, intelligent and thought-provoking post-apocalyptic thriller is intense and fast-paced enough to keep you glued to your screen until the end credits start rolling. And did we mention Chris Evans is in it?
7. I Am Mother (2019)
In this latest post-apocalyptic thriller, a teenage girl was raised alone by a motherly robot to repopulate the Earth, but their bubble is threatened by the arrival of a wounded woman, the first human being the ‘daughter’ has ever seen. This tense, minimalist but gripping blockbuster is by far one of the best things Netflix has given us, and every second of it is worth your time.
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8. Scott Pilgrim vs. The World (2010)
In this daring, incredibly fun movie, a young man who thinks he might have met the love of his life must also defeat her seven evil exes to get himself to the dating stage. A perfect blend of humor, action, and comic book aesthetics, this funny film is filled with arresting, comic-inspired visuals, plus some hilarious and amazing fight scenes that you won’t forget anytime soon.
9. Bad Boys (1995)
This buddy cop movie has everything you need – action, comedy, and friendship! All of it led by the phenomenal duo that are Will Smith and Martin Lawrence. Bad Boys gives you a ride you’re unlikely to forget as the two cops try to track down stolen drugs and get into a whole lot of shenanigans along the way. It’s especially a good time to watch it since the third opus, Bad Boys For Life was recently released!
10. The Matrix (1999)
Another 90’s classic, The Matrix is a sci-fi adventure in which a young man realizes our world is but an illusion overrun by robots. Keanu Reeves’ memorable performance as Neo is not the only great thing about this movie – you can also look forward to impressive choreographed fights in black leather costumes and epic special effects that have somehow withstood the test of time. A must-watch (or re-watch!)
11. Indiana Jones Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981)
If you’ve been alive for more than a decade, then you’ve heard about the Indiana Jones franchise whether you remember it or not. One of Harrison Ford’s best roles, but also one of the most entertaining action films of the last century, the first opus, Raiders of the Lost Ark will take you on a journey around the world to retrieve a precious object before Nazis get their hands on it. It doesn’t get much better than that!
12. Underworld (2003)
For those who want to dive into an action thriller on Netflix, Underworld might just be the way to go. With elements of fantasy and themes of horror, this story follows a vampire warrior who’s on a mission to destroy the Lycans – werewolves – who are said to have killed her family. Dark and gothic, this movie’s ideal for a thrilling night in.
13. Inception (2010)
An adrenaline rush movie like no other. Inception was released 10 years ago and yet, it seems it was only yesterday its moving buildings and trippy upside down shots were making our jaws drop in cinemas. Even a decade later, Christopher Nolan’s incredible dream-heist film is still proving just as effective. Fantastic cinematography, a delirious plot, plus a star-studded cast make Inception a must-watch among the many blockbusters Netflix has to offer.
14. Kung Fu Hustle (2004)
Need more martial arts in your life, but don’t want to break a sweat yourself? Say no more! Kung Fu Hustle is an action-packed, hilarious gem telling the story of a young man who dreams of becoming part of an infamous gang… but can only do so if he commits murder. If you’re looking for impressive visuals, mind-blowing fights, and a whole lot of silly, cartoonish humor, you are absolutely in for a treat!
15. The Mask of Zorro (1998)
This take on the famous Wild West vigilante follows the great tradition of 1990s period blockbusters, with just enough melodrama, action and costumes to keep you hooked. It will also steal your hearts thanks to the earnest performances of Antonio Banderas, Catherine Zeta-Jones and Anthony Hopkins! Press play right now and enjoy the unique energy and fun swordplay this action movie has to offer!
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16. Triple Frontier (2019)
Action blockbuster, Triple Frontier has an all-star cast as well as an A-star story. Available on Netflix only, this film observes the tale of five friends and operatives who plan a heist in South America. Things take an unexpected turn and get out of hand, forcing the men to question their friendship, skills and morals.
17. Bright (2017)
Ever watched a movie taking place in a contemporary society where fairies and other mythological creatures are hanging out with humans? No? Same here. Well, if that’s the type of strange, interesting universe you’re looking for, Bright definitely has it all. What’s more? Will Smith is here to lead the story as a cop working with an orc to protect a young elf. He’ll make you laugh at every turn and you’ll definitely thank us!
18. Olympus Has Fallen (2013)
Some movies are meant to be watched with little to no expectations, except that of having a fun time. Olympus Has Fallen is exactly that. There is no masterpiece hidden between this blockbuster facade in which the president gets kidnapped and a service secret agent must save him. What you’re seeing is precisely what you’re getting, but isn’t this just what you need on a Friday night as you unwind from work? Yeah, we think so too.
19. Minority Report (2002)
If only we could prevent criminals from committing their crimes, right? Well, gripping action flick, Minority Report gives you a taste of a world where that could actually happen. Tom Cruise stars as Chief John Anderton who works in a secret police unit that arrests murderers before they commit their crimes. Plot twist – he’s soon accused of being a future murderer, too.
20. Jurassic Park (1993)
In this Steven Spielberg masterpiece, cloned dinosaurs become the main attraction of a revolutionary themed park. What could possibly go wrong when putting a bunch of apex predators in an amusement park… we don’t need to paint you a picture. This classic action film is must-watch for anyone who has ever wondered what it would be like to walk alongside dinosaurs (Scary, it would be scary).
Those are our top picks for some edge-of-your-seat action with a few laughs and thrills thrown in for good measure.
Netflix’s offerings are changing all the time, so watch these movies while you can! If you see something new or you have a favorite we didn’t mention in our list, feel free to tell us in the comments below.
Looking for series instead? Here’s our list of the most recommended original Netflix series!