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 adrenaline rush movies on Netflix.
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. Dune (2021)
One of the most popular movies of 2021 starring Timothée Chalamet and Zendaya, Dune is a must-watch action and adventure film. This blockbuster offers a spectacular and gorgeous experience as you follow the action-packed journey of Paul Atreides, who travels to a dangerous planet to save the future of his family and people. It’s a great pick if you’re struggling and scrolling through adrenaline rush movies on Netflix!
2. Shazam! (2019)
At first, the story of a teenage boy who turns into an adult superhero sounds a little too cartoonish to be a live-action movie, but the DCEU movie, Shazam! manages to be altogether goofy and fun. The highlight is Zachary Levi giving an acting masterclass as he plays an adult who is really a 14 year-old trying to be an adult. If reading that gave you a headache, we promise this lighthearted action movie will have the opposite effect.
3. 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!
4. Non-Stop (2014)
Liam Neeson and Julianne Moore star in this action thriller where an air marshal is forced to take drastic and life-saving action. Bill Marks receives text messages demanding $150 million – or else someone on board the flight will die every 20 minutes. Indeed, it’s as heart-racing as it sounds. What more could you want when looking for a Netflix movie to stream?
5. 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 on Netflix right now.
6. 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 original Netflix action movie offers that adrenaline rush you’re craving to wake up on a Friday evening.
7. The Nice Guys (2016)
No one ever imagined Ryan Gosling and Russell Crowe in the same movie together, but this odd pairing actually works. The Nice Guys is a lighthearted and fun action movie that sees the Hollywood duo take on roles of private detectives, investigating the case of a missing girl and death of a porn star. Set in the 1970s, this cool adrenaline rush movie on Netflix is a must-watch among the many blockbusters it has to offer.
8. 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.
9. 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).
10. The Batman (2022)
It isn’t quite as good as The Dark Knight trilogy, but it’s still one heck of a ride! The Batman is one of the best 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, Robert Pattinson brings a brand new magic touch to his version of the Dark Knight. You’ll be on the edge of your seats as with any Batman movie, if not more!
11. The Hunger Games (2012)
If you’ve yet to tuck into the popular film series, The Hunger Games, now’s the time – the entire set is on Netflix! With the new prequel hitting theatre screens, soon, it’s a great opportunity to catch up on all the events surrounding Katniss Everdeen, a young girl who participates in the Hunger Games. These games aren’t just any old games, but a televised competition where teenagers are chosen to fight to the death.
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12. The Old Guard (2020)
A Netflix original that offers a pure adrenaline boost in the form of great action, adventure and fantasy. Charlize Theron is Andy, the lead warrior of a group of immortal mercenaries who must fight against their latest threat. A 2020 movie that will give any viewer some entertainment during quarantine and lockdown.
13. Heart of Stone (2023)
Gal Galdot is another kind of Wonder Woman in this new top action movie on Netflix. Playing the role of an intelligence operative who works for a peacekeeping agency, Rachel Stone does all she can to stop a threatening hacker from stealing a dangerous weapon. It’s a Netflix original that action fans are bound to delight in.
14. Triple Frontier (2019)
Wondering what good action movie to watch on Netflix? Action blockbuster, Triple Frontier has an all-star cast as well as an A-star story. Available on Netflix only, this 2019 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.
15. 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!
16. Drive (2011)
A movie that will take you on a drive with pounding action and hard core violence. Starring Ryan Gosling as ‘Driver’, this mysterious man acts as a Hollywood stuntman who moonlights as a getaway driver on the side. When he’s tasked to help his neighbors out, Driver finds himself twisted in a tale of trouble and love. It’s certainly the adrenaline rush film you’ve been looking for.
17. 6 Underground (2019)
Ryan Reynolds leaves behind his iconic character of Deadpool, and takes on the roll of another kind of action hero named One. Six individuals who want to forget their pasts and change the future set out on a challenging mission full of car chases, heists and great action choreography. Although this movie isn’t exactly Oscar-worthy, you should still press play for some downright entertainment and pumping adrenaline.
18. John Wick Trilogy (2014-2023)
The ‘Keanu Reeves’ renaissance is a real, important thing that happened in recent years, and it can’t be forgotten. In this trilogy, the Matrix actor plays the butt-kicking John Wick, an ex-hitman that tracks down gangsters and deals with assassins that put a bounty on his head. Memorable fight scenes and a simple, yet thrilling plot that make these top action movies on Netflix a ‘must-watch’.
19. The Adam Project (2021)
Another Netflix original that might give you that adrenaline rush you’ve been craving. Put this action flick on your watchlist and tag along with its all-star cast including Ryan Reynolds, Mark Ruffalo, Jennifer Garner and Zoe Saldana. With hints of comedy, this sci-fi movie includes time-travel fun, chronicling the story of Adam as he teams up with his younger self and his late father for a secret mission.
20. Aquaman (2018)
In this visually-stunning DC Comics adaptation, Aquaman must become protector of the threatened city of Atlantis. Watch as he fights to save the underwater world that is now under rule by a mad king obsessed with power, ready to conquer oceans and lands alike. As usual, fans of DC movies will enjoy this underwater adventure that has a lot of action to give.
21. The Croods (2013)
This animated action flick is right up your sleeve when in need of an epic adrenaline rush. Meet the first family of cavemen that go on an adventurous and dazzling quest to try and find a new home. One of the most heartwarming, colorful and fun animation movies out there, this lovely film has more perfect sequels that will make you smile widely hours on end.
22. Army of the Dead (2021)
Zack Snyder’s latest blockbuster promises a thrill, blending action, crime and horror all into one. There’s a zombie outbreak in Vegas, but that doesn’t stop a daring group of mercenaries who want to pull of a major heist – in a casino. Yeah, it’s as whopping mad as it sounds, but it’s a treat to feast your eyes on. A great option out of the many adrenaline rush movies on Netflix now!
23. Red Notice (2021)
This action flick is a must-watch among the many blockbusters Netflix has to offer. Why? Firstly, it features a star-studded cast (Dwayne Johnson, Ryan Reynolds and Gal Gadot) and it’s said to promise some kick-ass fun about an Interpol agent who heads out to track down the world’s most wanted art thief. Great for adrenaline junkies.
24. White House Down (2013)
One of Channing Tatum’s best roles, this high adrenaline movie also starring Jamie Foxx will get hearts pumping and palms sweating. It’s a gripping action blockbuster about a policeman trying to save his child and protect the president from invaders in the White House.
25. The Meg (2018)
A giant prehistoric shark becomes the biggest nightmare of a submersible crew. The gigantic sea creature that should have been extinct for thousands of years, returns, trapping everyone in the middle of the Pacific and leaving them with little time to find a solution. Tuck in as you watch the enormous shark threaten to devour people one by one like sushi – it’ll keep the adrenaline in you pumping.
Those are our top picks for some edge-of-your-seat action with a few laughs and thrills thrown in for good measure.
The platform’s offerings are changing all the time, so watch these adrenaline rush movies on Netflix 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.
Originally published in September 2015. Co-written with Kasey Rubenstein