So! It’s a night of the week. Doesn’t matter which one; any of ’em will do. You’re at home. Maybe it’s raining outside, maybe it’s not. But the urge to watch some big hoss rain fists and bullets down on unsuspecting fools is high. It’s action movie time, baby. Things blowing up. Flawed men in filthy white singlets. Grand, outrageous peril. Piles upon piles of unnamed goons. Truly, there is nothing better than switching the brain off and watching a literal large pile of Hollywood money get lit on fire. But with so much choice out there, how does one even begin to select such a sweary, violent treat? Here, for you to enjoy, is a large assortment of the best action movies on Netflix. Strap in.
Den Of Thieves
Action movies by themselves? Great. Action movies featuring violent crooked cops taking on a team of hyper-organised criminals? Even greater. That team of hyper-organised criminals exacting a complex and convoluted heist the machinations of which only become fully apparent right at the very end? Buddy, that’s the business. Den Of Thieves is a big, balls-out heist movie with a solid twist and a banger cast. 50 Cent? Gerard Butler? O’Shea Jackson Jr? The guy who plays pornstache in Orange Is The New Black? It’s good gear.
Also known as The One Where Steven Seagal Is Billed Above The Line But Is Only In It For Like 5 Minutes. One of the great dumb 90s action movies that somehow smells like it should be on a ratty VHS. Is it a good movie? Absolutely not; it’s Kurt Russell navigating a needlessly complex geo-political plot line while he beats wholesale ass aboard an airborne 747. But does that make it one of the best action movies on Netflix? You bet.
Fast & Furious 6
There’s really no such thing as a “bad” Fast & Furious movie; even the ones that suck by conventional means are still sick as hell. Fast & Furious 6 isn’t one of them, though. Fast & Furious 6 is very, very good. All the other Fast & Furious movies are also on Netflix right now, and that’s a hell of a big night in if you’re feeling like wiring yourself up through the wee hours.
Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade
Look if we’re gonna split hairs here, Raiders of the Lost Ark is the best Indiana Jones film in a walk. And while Sean Connery makes Last Crusade a very fun romp, it’s got nothing on the grit and humour of the OG. However, as far as “Indiana Jones films that are currently on Netflix” goes, Last Crusade is certainly “the only one.” So there’s that. And it’s not Temple Of Doom either, so it’s got that going for it too.
Martin Scorsese finally won his Best Director Oscar for The Departed in 2007. But that film was a remake of Infernal Affairs, the break-neck 2002 Hong Kong action flick that whips the absolute piss out of any western remake. An incredibly good, stuffed-to-the-gills action movie that is lightyears ahead of its compatriots as far as best action movies on Netflix go.
Keanu Reeves becomes murderously incensed after Russian gangsters murder his tiny adorable dog. What follows is, without question, one of the greatest action movies in the history of the genre. It’s wild, it’s fast-paced, it’s incredibly violent in paces, and it’s shot like a fine artwork. There’s a whole bunch of other films on this list of the best action movies on Netflix, to be sure. But start here. Don’t even think about it. Just start with this one. It’s that good.
The iconic 1993 documentary film that chronicles the catastrophic failure of InGen’s doomed Jurassic Park island amusement park in the North Pacific. A raw and balanced portrayal of the corporate cost-cutting and internal corruption that lead to significant flaws in the park’s security program, causing an asset breach that lead to several deaths. The InGen Jurassic program was ultimately shuttered, although several attempts to revive it in ensuing years resulted in further fatal incidents, causing widespread Government crackdown.
Last Action Hero
Say what you want about the movie as a whole, but you cannot tell me that the idea of you, as a kid, being sucked into a movie and riding along with early 90s Arnie as he wrecks shop isn’t the coolest shit imaginable. You cannot tell me that it isn’t exactly that.
Lock, Stock, And Two Smoking Barrels
A complicated heist, a screwball farce, and a handful of blistering action sequences dotted throughout, PLUS everyone talks in silly British accents? Mate. MATE. What are you waiting for. Chuck it on the Roger.
On Deadly Ground
Truly, there is nothing better than a 90s action movie that absolutely sucks. And oh boy is this one a stinker (12% on Rotten Tomatoes!). Which, obviously, makes it one of the best action movies on Netflix. Dripping in cliche and overwrought personal politics, On Deadly Ground is the only movie that Hollywood let Steven Seagal direct. And it shows. Seagal casts himself as a firefighter who decides to fight back against the environmentally destructive corner cutting of his oil baron former boss, and he does so by blowing shit up and blasting anything that moves with a shotgun. Not even a cast that features Michael Caine, John C McGinley, Billy Bob Thornton, and R. Lee Ermey can save it. Ruthlessly terrible, but so, so good.
Paul Blart: Mall Cop
Now, hear me out. Low-key, Paul Blart: Mall Cop is one of the better action/cop/heist movies of its era. It’s weird, it’s big, it’s playful, it’s really profoundly dumb but in a really fun way, and it’s got a massive heart at its core. Kevin James cops a bad wrap for just about everything else he’s done, but for Paul Blart he absolutely does not deserve it.
Rush Hour 3
Granted, it’s no Rush Hour or Rush Hour 2, but consider this: It’s still a Rush Hour movie, it’s still Jackie Chan and Chris Tucker doing their thing, it’s on Netflix right now, and you could absolutely do much, much worse.
It’s The Rock biffing on with a massive earthquake, what more could you possibly want in a film?
Snakes On A Plane
It’s snakes. They’re on a plane. Samuel L Jackson is there. Sure, it’s the shining golden reason why memes should never be made into movies. But on the other hand it’s big, it’s dumb, and it knows exactly how big and dumb it is. A real cheeseburger of a movie.
What’s Whitney Houston’s favourite coordination?
Did I include this movie in a list of best action movies on Netflix purely to write this joke in? Yes. Yes I did.
The Bourne Identity
Part of me thinks Matt Damon signed on to the Bourne series simply to prove that he wasn’t just a New England dough boy with a white bread face and hair like whipped egg whites. Like, he mentioned that he might be keen one time and someone laughed in his face at the thought of Matt Damon carrying a gun, so he just got super ripped and shot his way through an entire film franchise out of spite. Anyway, very good movie. One of the best action movies on Netflix? Sure!
The Last Castle
Probably a bit more on the drama side of the ledger, but a thoroughly underrated banger featuring phenomenal turns from Robert Redford and James Gandolfini, both of whom compete to see who can put in the best grizzled old man performance. There simply aren’t enough movies about sophisticated inmate uprisings in military prisons lead by decorated but unconventional lieutenant generals who fell afoul of upper brass for standing up to corrupt systems. A crackerjack flick, and one of the best action movies on Netflix.
The Nice Guys
Sure, it’s Russell Crowe and Ryan Gosling cracking both wise and skulls for an incredibly entertaining 116 minutes. But low-key it’s the deeply hot and deeply sinister Matt Bomer that steals the show in this one, as he so often does. Sidenote: Put all of White Collar on Netflix immediately, you absolute cowards.
An absolute stone-cold classic that should be required viewing for everyone. As cult as cult gets. The iconic, hyper-stylised 1979 jam featuring one rag tag group of boppers and their quest to gamely fight their way home through a New York City’s worth of eccentric street gangs. More broom handle celery whacks than you can shake a foley artist at. Easily one of the best action movies on Netflix.
Need a palate cleanser after all that? Why not check out our list of the best sad movies on Netflix. Just to really emotionally overcorrect as aggressively as possible.