The best action movies on Netflix right now

Who doesn’t love an adrenaline-pumping action film from time to time? Sure, we don’t want those fate-of-the-world stakes on our shoulders, but we sure do enjoy watching other people deal with them! Netflix has an awesome collection of classic and contemporary action flicks, both original and not. Finding one to watch, however, can be sort of like the opposite of an action movie. To help you cut through the noise, we’ve put together a list of the best action movies on Netflix.

We’ve also curated a guide to the best action movies on Amazon Prime, if you’re looking for additional recommendations.

Olympus Has Fallen (2013)

It may be dumb, but it’s fun enough that it’s spawned an entire franchise. When highly trained terrorists launch a bold daytime attack on the White House, the building is overrun and President Benjamin Asher (Aaron Eckhart) and his staff are taken hostage. Fortunately, former presidential security officer Mike Banning (Gerard Butler) happens to be in the area. Now, Banning must locate Asher’s son before the terrorists do and rescue the president before the master plan can come to bear. No, it’s not original, but it’ll keep you entertained.

Rotten Tomatoes: 49%
Stars: Gerard Butler, Aaron Eckhart, Morgan Freeman
Director: Antoine Fuqua
Rating:
R
Runtime:
120 minutes

Watch on Netflix

The Debt Collector (2018)

A broke martial arts instructor takes a side gig as a debt collector for the mob in this zany action flick that might as well be an advertisement to get kids into MMA. Nonetheless, it’s a good time as the martial artist and his mob-appointed thug partner spend the weekend forcibly collecting debts and having silly amounts of fun doing it.

Rotten Tomatoes: 83%
Stars: Scott Adkins, Louis Mandylor, Michael Paré
Director: Jesse V. Johnson
Rating:
R
Runtime:
120 minutes

Watch on Netflix

The Dark Knight (2008)

Considered one of the greatest superhero films ever made, Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight is the magnum opus of his Batman trilogy. More than simply an action movie, The Dark Knight is a psychologically-jarring and philosophical epic propelled by a brilliant script and several extraordinary performances (none more so than Heath Ledger’s Joker.) With help from the Batman, Lt. Jim Gordon (Gary Oldman) and DA Harvey Dent (Aaron Eckhart) have cleaned up the streets of Gotham City and dealt a massive blow to organized crime. But when a chaos agent calling himself the Joker emerges from the shadows, all of their hard work threatens to be undone overnight. As Batman is forced into action, he’ll have to wage a war within himself to refrain from becoming the villain he fears lives within him. The first film of Christian Bale’s turn as the Caped Crusader, Batman Begins, is also up on Netflix this month.

Rotten Tomatoes: 94%
Stars: Christian Bale, Heath Ledger, Aaron Eckhart
Director: Christopher Nolan
Rating:
PG-13
Runtime:
152 minutes

Watch on Netflix

Machete Kills (2013)

Let’s get this out of the way: Machete Kills is not Die Hard. This isn’t a seminal, provocative action film by any means, but if you’re looking for pure entertainment, few action heroes bring the chaos quite like Danny Trejo’s machete-wielding ex-Federale Machete. When POTUS has to take down Voz (Mel Gibson), a madman revolutionary and billionaire arms dealer who is plotting to start a nuclear war, there’s only one man he can trust: Machete. Voz’s assassins are on Machete from the jump, and he’ll have to use every ounce of his cunning and brutality to get the job done.

Rotten Tomatoes: 29%
Stars: Danny Trejo, Michelle Rodriguez, Mel Gibson
Director: Robert Rodriguez
Rating:
R
Runtime:
107 minutes

Watch on Netflix

Django Unchained (2010)

American slavery gets the Quentin Tarantino treatment in this delightfully gory, sadistic portrayal of slavery and the almost comically villainous people who perpetuated it. Two years before the Civil War, Django (Jamie Foxx), a slave, stumbles into the path of an unorthodox German bounty hunter (Christoph Waltz) who is on a mission to capture the vicious, slave-driving Brittle brothers. After a successful mission, the bounty hunter frees Django, who decides to stay with his new friend to hunt the South’s most-wanted criminals. Along the way, Django seeks his long-lost wife, a journey that eventually leads him to the plantation of the infamously brutal Calvin Candie (Leonardo DiCaprio).

Rotten Tomatoes: 87%
Stars: Jamie Foxx, Christoph Waltz, Leonardo DiCaprio
Director: Quentin Tarantino
Rating: 
R
Runtime: 
165 minutes

Watch on Netflix

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (2011)

Swedish journalist Stieg Larsson’s Millennium series took the world by storm in the mid-aughts. After a Swedish film adaptation, David Fincher took this crack at an American version that treats the first novel of the series as a stand-alone story. While it’s not strictly an action movie, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo has enough pulse-pounding thrills and suspense (as well as some explicit action scenes) to satisfy the adrenaline junkie. Daniel Craig stars as disgraced financial reporter Mikael Blomkvist who is given a chance to redeem his reputation after being hired by wealthy Swedish industrialist Henrik Vanger (Christopher Plummer) to solve the decades-old murder of Vanger’s niece. Vanger believes the girl was murdered by a member of his own family. To uncover the truth, Blomkvist enlists the help of unusual hacker and genius investigator Lisbeth Salander (Rooney Mara).

Rotten Tomatoes: 87%
Stars: Rooney Mara, Daniel Craig, Christopher Plummer
Director: David Fincher
Rating:
R
Runtime: 
158 minutes

Watch on Netflix

The King (2019)

For those who prefer their action with a more historical bent, The King is a smartly reimagined, modernized version of Shakespeare’s Henry V. It’s too bad Shakespeare lived before the age of cinema because, with gorgeous cinematography, incredibly broad set pieces, and harrowing depictions of medieval war, director David Michôd delivers a glorious war movie. Timothee Chalamet stars as young Henry V, an unaspiring heir who has the crown forced upon him after his father’s untimely death. Believing Henry weak and ineffectual, the Dauphin of France takes the opportunity to incite a war. But there’s more afoot than meets the eye. Robert Pattinson’s performance as the Dauphin alone is worth the watch.

Rotten Tomatoes: 71%
Stars: Timothee Chalamet, Ben Mendelsohn, Joel Edgerton, Robert Pattinson
Director: David Michôd
Rating: 
R
Runtime: 
116 minutes

Watch on Netflix

Triple 9 (2016)

Triple 9 divided critics and audiences, but it’s got a stellar cast with strong supporting turns by Norman Reedus, Michael K. Williams, Woody Harrelson, and Gal Gadot. And if you’re wondering what a triple 9 is, it’s an officer-down call that’s meant to serve as a distraction for a dangerous heist. Marcus Belmont (Anthony Mackie), Michael Atwood (Chiwetel Ejiofor), Gabe Welch (Aaron Paul), and their crew are blackmailed by a Mafia wife, Irina Vlaslov (Kate Winslet), to sabotage the case against her imprisoned husband. They elect to kill police officer Chris Allen (Casey Affleck) to cover their tracks. But they’ve picked the wrong guy, and not everyone on the crew is willing to go along with the plan.

Rotten Tomatoes: 53%
Stars: Casey Affleck, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Anthony Mackie, Aaron Paul
Director: John Hillcoat
Rating:
R
Runtime: 
115 minutes

Watch on Netflix

Mad Max (1979)

Mad Max: Fury Road wowed audiences in 2015, but it was the original Mad Max four decades ago that set the tone for everything that came after it. In George Miller’s directorial debut, Max Rockatansky (Mel Gibson) is a respectable police officer in a post-apocalyptic Australia. With the love of his wife, Jessie (Joanne Samuel), Max narrowly holds on to his sanity. But this is the film

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