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 that promise to give you an adrenaline rush…
Note: This list includes movies that are available on Netflix USA.
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
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. The Dark Knight
The second opus of Christopher Nolan’s take on the Batman franchise is by far one of the most thrilling, well-written superhero movies to have blessed our screens this century. Being closer to action thriller than the superhero genre, The Dark Knight surprises you at every turn and by the end of it, you’ll find yourself as breathless as the hero himself.
4. Gun City
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. Kill Bill
Quentin Tarantino gives us the revenge movie at its finest. The nameless Bride goes after her former boss, Bill, after he kills the entire wedding party, including the bride’s unborn child. All because she ran away from him and his harem of assassins. She was Bill’s best, and she’s sworn to kill him and every one of his associates in close combat, with her katana or her bare hands. You won’t be wasting your time – this action film’s got scenes that will make you jump out of your seats whether you’re ready or not!
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
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.
8. Scott Pilgrim vs. The World
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. Batman Begins
It isn’t quite as good as The Dark Knight, but it’s still one hell of a ride! Batman Begins is one of the top action movies on Netflix for a reason. This gripping tale gets into the roots of the Batman story, and though we all know it by heart, Chirstopher Nolan brings his usual magic touch to the DC universe. You’ll be on the edge of your seats as with any superhero film, if not more! Tune in for an epic adrenaline rush only Batman can offer.
10. Bad Boys
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!
11. The Matrix
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!)
12. Indiana Jones Raiders of the Lost Ark
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!
13. Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon
There is very little to dislike about this epic drama filled with unforgettable martial arts battles and gripping action. The story takes place in 19th century China and sees a warrior lend his sword to his beloved to keep it safe, only for it to be stolen. Although some of the fights seem a little over the top — people kind of fly— the beauty of the cinematography and heart-stopping fight choreography will keep you on the edge of your seat until the very end.
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.
15. Kung Fu Hustle
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!
16. The Mask of Zorro
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!
17. Spy Kids
If you haven’t had enough of Antonio Banderas, you can take another look at him here, as he plays a spy being rescued by his children as they discover that their family is not as ordinary as it seems. This family-friendly comedy adventure isn’t very complex, but it’s engaging and entertaining enough whether you’re 14 or 34!
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!
19. Olympus Has Fallen
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.
Guillermo Del Toro is more widely known for his whimsical dark fairytales than for action blockbusters, and yet here comes Hellboy, the story of a monster created by Nazis at the end of World War II, who ends up fighting them alongside the Allies instead. If the synopsis sounds strange, fear not, you’ll love every single minute of it.
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.
Want more movie lists? Check out our recommendations for the best horror movies if you’re up for some traumatizing fun!