The 20 best action movies on Netflix right now

"Jumanji," "The Dark Knight," "Kick-Ass," and more!
By Kristy Puchko  on 
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Composite of images from Netflix action movies.
Whatever kind of action hero you want, Netflix has got you covered. Credit: Composite: Mashable / Images: Netflix / Netflix / Moviestore/Shutterstock /Marv Films/Kobal/Shutterstock/ Netflix

Looking to fuel up your Netflix queue with some high-octane action?

Whether you're a fan of wild Westerns, high-swinging superheroes, cunning detectives, ravenous zombies, or hard-core assassins, Netflix has a movie pitch-perfect for every kind of adrenaline seeker. But scrolling through the app can be a chore when all you want to do is Netflix and chill. We've taken out the hard step, highlighting the most stunt-stuffed, battle-powered, high-speed films the streamer has to offer.

Here, in no particular order, are the 20 best action movies on Netflix, streaming right now.

20. Zombieland

Woody Harrelson takes a swing — of his bat — to save Jesse Eisenberg in "Zombieland."
Credit: Pariah / Kobal / Shutterstock

Horror-comedy got a double-tap of greatness with this 2009 romp, which imagines the zombie apocalypse as an amusement park packed with action, gore, and punchlines galore. Jesse Eisenberg stars as the meek yet wise Columbus, whose rules to survival have kept him safe since outbreak day went from potential hookup to self-defensive homicide. Joining him on a rowdy road trip through a ravaged USA are hard-hitting Tallahassee (Woody Harrelson), sassy Little Rock (Abigail Breslin), and snarling but scorching-hot Wichita (Emma Stone). Can love and friendship blossom in this hopeless place? Does Bill Murray pop up for a kooky cameo? Find out by hitting play. — Kristy Puchko, Film Editor

How to watch: Zombieland is now streaming on Netflix.

19. Kill Boksoon

A teen girl in a school uniform holds her cell phone.
Credit: No Ju-han/Netflix

Gil Bok-Soon (Jeon Do-yeon) is a single mother who often finds herself at odds with her teenage daughter. She's also a highly skilled and successful assassin. Kill Boksoon is a fantastic action film that sees its main character head straight from a brutal killing to the grocery store so she can get dinner on the table. It's one hell of a hook that sucks you in immediately. The fight scenes are hypnotic and the cinematography ambitious and exciting. It's a gripping thriller that makes plenty of space for the complex emotional reality of its characters.*Kristina Grosspietsch, Freelance Contributor

How to watch: Kill Boksoon is now streaming on Netflix.

18. Spider-Man

The upside-down kiss from "Spider-Man."
Credit: Moviestore / Shutterstock

I can't tell you how many times I watched my worn-out DVD of the first chapter in Sam Raimi's '00s Spider-Man trilogy, but suffice it to say, I can't remember many other 2002 films. Spider-Man introduces a perfectly earnest Tobey Maguire as trembling genius teen Peter Parker. He's pining away for his neighbor Mary Jane Watson (a superbly savvy Kirsten Dunst) and grieving while also developing superpowers from a fateful super spider bite. Meanwhile, he's fanning out over his best friend's dad, industrialist Norman Osborn (the exquisitely evil Willem Dafoe); little does Peter know his idol is also the villainous Green Goblin, who will soon be throwing Spidey around in many a nail-biting, cross-city battle.

We've moved through two other Spider-Men since Maguire's run, but Raimi's film wove unforgettable scenes into cinematic history — that upside-down rain kiss can't be beat. In fact, the film has such iconic action shots in it that Spider-Man: No Way Home director Jon Watts included several in the now-infamous meet-up scene — watching Maguire dodge those Razor Bat pumpkins in 2002 and 2021 is sheer glee for fans. — Shannon Connellan, UK Editor

How to watch: Spider-Man is now streaming on Netflix.

17. The Woman King

Viola Davis has come to kick ass and bring to life the story of the Agojie.
Credit: Sony

It might be a cliche to say "This is the role they were born to play!" But when you witness the storming glory of Viola Davis as a hard-fighting general in The Woman King, that thought hits hard, fast, and repeatedly, like one's heartbeat as this historical epic kicks into action mode.

In promoting the film, Davis has spoken openly about all the ways it's the kind of movie that Hollywood's supposed conventional wisdom — which caters predominantly to white and male audiences — said could never be made. Davis is a 57-year-old, dark-skinned Black woman, and she's headlining a war movie in which she gets to be the titular protagonist and kicks slavers' ass. As she expressed before the film's World Premiere at the 2022 Toronto International Film Festival, she's living her dream in this film. And for us, it was exhilarating to live vicariously through her. 

Inspired by the Agojie of West Africa, The Woman King explores the passions, problems, and camaraderie of this all-female band of warriors. While Davis dazzles at its center, co-stars Thuso Mbedu, Sheila Atim, and Lashana Lynch shine alongside her. Each brings powerful charisma to a full-throated performance that keeps audiences equally riveted through scenes of battle or blossoming romance, gut-punching grief or pugnacious celebration. As she did with The Old Guard, Gina Prince-Bythewood marries action with emotion, creating sequences that make our pulses race and our hearts shudder.*  —K.P.

How to watch: The Woman King is now streaming on Netflix.

16. Jumanji

Before Dwayne Johnson rebooted this franchise with a video game twist, Robin Williams was all the action hero this 1995 hit needed. When a brother and sister (Bradley Pierce and Kirsten Dunst) move into an old house, they find a curious board game inside. Little do they know that rolling the dice will bring a jungle's worth of mayhem into their new home and across this quiet suburb. Monkeys, elephants, and spiders are just the beginning. Bonnie Hunt and Bebe Neuwirth co-star in this rollicking, family-friendly adventure. —K.P.

Where to watch: Jumanji is now streaming on Netflix.

15. RRR

You've never seen an action movie quite as bombastic or as bromantic as RRR. Director S.S. Rajamouli draws loosely from history to tell the story of Indian freedom fighters Alluri Sitarama Raju (Ram Charan) and Komaram Bheem (N.T. Rama Rao Jr.). Over the film's three-hour runtime, the two unwittingly face off in the search for a kidnapped girl, become the best of friends, and square off against villainous English colonizers.

Any of RRR's action sequences would be the pinnacle of a lesser action movie, but the film seems determined to outdo itself with showstopper after showstopper. Take when Raju faces down hundreds of protesters and wins, or when Bheem fights a tiger bare-handed. Would you believe me if I told you those happen within the first 20 minutes? The action — and the movie — only get more awesome from there. — Belen Edwards, Entertainment Reporter

Where to watch: RRR is now streaming on Netflix.

14. The Harder They Fall

Regina King in "The Harder They Fall."
Credit: David Lee / Netflix

Put 'em up, as this is hands-down one of the best action movies in the Wild West.

Directed by Jeymes Samuel, The Harder They Fall defiantly redefines the predominantly white Western, boasting an incredible cast of Black stars: Jonathan Majors, Idris Elba, Regina King, Zazie Beetz, LaKeith Stanfield, and Delroy Lindo. A tale of heroes and villains, the film follows Nat Love (Majors) on his quest for revenge against the formidable Rufus Buck (Elba). But he'll have to make his gunslinging way through "Treacherous" Trudy Smith (Regina King) and Cherokee Bill (Stanfield) first. Even before the opening credits roll, you'll fall hard for this one. — S.C.

How to watch: The Harder They Fall is now streaming on Netflix.

13. Kick-Ass

Aaron Taylor-Johnson and Chloe Grace Moretz in "Kick-Ass."
Credit: Marv Films/Kobal/Shutterstock

Want some superhero action with a hard-R edge? Then check out director Matthew Vaughn's ultra-violent, curse-filled action-comedy. Aaron Taylor-Johnson (pre-Avengers, pre-Kraven the Hunter) stars as a high schooler who decides he wants to become a vigilante for justice. Christened Kick-Ass, he seeks to topple evil-doers with a little help from his friends, Hit-Girl (Chloë Grace Moretz) and Big Daddy (Nicolas Cage). It's a bloody and bonkers good time. —K.P.

How to watch: Kick-Ass is now streaming on Netflix.

12. Enola Holmes

Millie Bobby Brown in "Enola Holmes."
Credit: Netflix

Sherlock Holmes's much cooler little sister is an overlooked young action hero in Enola Holmes. Based on author Nancy Springer's popular book series The Enola Holmes Mysteries, the film puts the great detective's savvy 16-year-old sibling on the case, played with energetic spoonfuls of gumption by Stranger Things star Millie Bobby Brown. She's set to solve the greatest mystery of her young life: to find her missing mother (Helena Bonham-Carter) through a series of deliberately cryptic clues — all while breaking the fourth wall and confiding in the audience, thanks to Fleabag director Harry Bradbeer and His Dark Materials' Jack Thorne's sharp screenplay.

Stepping into the footsteps of her famous brother Sherlock (Henry Cavill) and avoiding those of her stuffier misogynist brother Mycroft (Sam Claflin), Enola's case leads her on a wild ride through Victorian-era England, with more than a few fistfights and butts to kick along the way. And lucky for you, the sequel is even better. — S.C.

How to watch: Enola Holmes is now streaming on Netflix.

11. 65

A man in a spacesuit and holding a gun walks through a forest.
Credit: Patti Perret/Sony Pictures Entertainment

Sometimes, you get the urge to watch an Oscar-nominated actor blast a bunch of dinosaurs with a laser gun. And when that urge sneaks up on you, the only cure is 65.

65 is built around the genius premise that is "Adam Driver fights dinosaurs," and boy, does it deliver. As Mills, a pilot from a super advanced civilization from 65 million years ago, Driver crash-lands on prehistoric Earth, where he headshots a T. Rex, bludgeons a raptor, and much, much more. He also takes the time to bond with his one fellow survivor, a young girl named Koa (Barbie's Ariana Greenblatt). The result is a sweet "lone wolf and cub" movie full of dino-sized thrills, kills, and a very threatening asteroid. — B.E.

How to watch: 65 is now streaming on Netflix.

10. They Cloned Tyrone

John Boyega, Jamie Foxx, and Teyonah Parris have weapons ready.
Credit: Netflix

With this 2023 release, co-writer/director Juel Taylor pulls plenty of inspiration from Blaxploitation. John Boyega, Jamie Foxx, and Teyonah Parris star as a drug dealer, a pimp, and a sex worker who undercover a nefarious conspiracy that's happening underneath their neighborhood. Taylor and fellow screenwriter Tony Rettenmaier weave in wild twists, fly fight scenes, irreverent humor, and swaggering style for what our critic called "a propulsive comedy-thriller with weight." As bold as it is star-studded, you won't want to miss They Cloned Tyrone. And stay for the credits, trust us. —K.P.

How to watch: They Cloned Tyrone is now streaming on Netflix.

9. The Nice Guys

If you're a sucker for black comedy, witty dialogue, '70s style action, and/or odd-couple comedic duos, it doesn't get much nicer than The Nice Guys.

Jackson Healy (Russell Crowe) and Holland March (Ryan Gosling) play a pair of washed-up private investigators who reluctantly join forces to search for a missing woman (Margaret Qualley) in 1977 Los Angeles — with occasional assistance from March's clever teenage daughter, played by Angourie Rice. Though the mystery takes the gang to the farthest reaches of the city, burrowing deep into rabbit holes and brushing up against all manner of eccentrics, it's the unexpected chemistry between Crowe and Gosling that really keeps this engine running, and it'll leave you wishing for more where that came from.* — Angie Han, Deputy Entertainment Editor

How to watch: The Nice Guys is now streaming on Netflix.

8. Triple Frontier

Oscar Isaac and Ben Affleck in a scene from "Triple Frontier"
Credit: Netflix

This Netflix adventure has Ben Affleck, Oscar Isaac, Charlie Hunnam, Garrett Hedlund, and Pedro Pascal coming together as a group of former Special Forces who plan an elaborate heist in South America. But after things get out of hand, their survival skills are put to the ultimate test.

Putting a talented cast in a tension-filled scenario, Triple Frontier is the type of gritty thriller that's hard to turn away from. — Brooke Bajgrowicz, Entertainment Fellow

How to watch: Triple Frontier is now streaming on Netflix.

7. Okja

Masked fighter in a scene from "Okja"
Credit: Netflix

Blending drama with fantasy/adventure and weaving in a very real message about the horrors of the meat industry, Bong Joon-ho's Okja is a beautifully unique creature feature, striped with action.

The film follows Mina (Ahn Seo-hyun), the granddaughter of a farmer in South Korea who has spent the last 10 years rearing a genetically-modified super-pig called Okja as part of a breeding project spearheaded by a grim U.S. corporation. This movie is dark in places, magical in others, and poignant overall, asking us to stop and reflect on the dark side of an industry the majority of us are complicit in. Tilda Swinton and Jake Gyllenhaal make for an entertaining pair of villains, too.* S.H.

How to watch: Okja is now streaming on Netflix.

6. Rush

There are plenty of good reasons to watch Rush, including the charismatic performances by Chris Hemsworth and Daniel Brühl as rival Formula One drivers, the dramatic story beats pulled from actual history, and the fabulous sets and costumes steeped in ’70s style (especially everything Olivia Wilde's character wears). But the best reason of all is the racing scenes, which director Ron Howard imbues with such a propulsive thrill that you may find yourself making race car noises (vroom, vroom) for hours afterward, like a little kid tearing into a new box of Hot Wheels on Christmas morning. Uh, not that I’d know from personal experience or anything. — A.H.

How to watch: Rush is now streaming on Netflix.

5. Da 5 Bloods

Jonathan Majors and Delroy Lindo in "Da 5 Bloods" from Spike Lee.
Credit: Netflix

Spike Lee copters audiences back to the Vietnam War with Da 5 Bloods, a daring film that's part drama, part war movie, and part heist flick. Named for a squad of Black U.S. Army soldiers of the 1st Infantry Division, Lee's critically heralded 2020 joint follows this band of brothers through a treacherous war zone, then rediscovers them in a present where they're seeking to uncover the past — and a big payday.

Sequences of brutal battles, narrow escapes, and high-tension hijinks make Da 5 Bloods an enthralling watch. Though inspired by history, it's impossible to predict where Lee's story will lead. Our guides on this intense journey through time, loss, war, and brotherhood are Delroy Lindo, Jonathan Majors, Clarke Peters, Norm Lewis, Isiah Whitlock Jr., and the late Chadwick Boseman. Together, they and Lee create an American war film that can't be missed. — K.P.

How to watch: Da 5 Bloods is now streaming on Netflix.

4. The Raid: Redemption (and The Raid 2)

Looking for high-octane martial arts action? Then you're in luck, because Gareth Evans's thriller The Raid: Redemption (and its sequel, The Raid 2) are both streaming on Netflix.

This Indonesian action masterpiece takes a relatively simple premise — a police squad raids a crime lord's apartment block — and elevates it with shocking plot twists and some of the best fight scenes put to film. Choreographed by Iko Uwais and Yayan Ruhian, who also star, The Raid's action sequences are no-holds-barred smackdowns that will have you on the edge of your seat. They feature everything from the Indonesian martial art pencak silat to machetes and guns, making for fights that are as varied as they are brutal. — B.E.

Where to watch: The Raid: Redemption is now streaming on Netflix.

3. Army of the Dead

A shot of the city at night in "Army of the Dead."
Credit: Netflix

Sometimes all you want is to grab hold of that action-o-meter and crank the dial, hard, to a solid 11. Army of the Dead more than delivers on that front, opening with a musical montage of guns and exploding body parts — and it only gets gorier from there. Zack Snyder's story follows a band of mercenaries hired to steal $200 million from a casino in Las Vegas. The problem? Vegas has been invaded by zombies, the city is quarantined, and the military is planning to blow the entire thing up with a tactical nuclear strike. The sprawling cast includes Dave Bautista, Omari Hardwick, Hiroyuki Sanada, Garret Dillahunt, and Ana de la Reguera, as well as a digitally-inserted Tig Notaro.

What follows is a gloriously silly romp that refuses to take itself too seriously, propelling us through a series of explosions and bullets while the story twists and turns through a 148-minute runtime that feels oh, so much shorter. — S.H.

How to watch: Army of the Dead is now streaming on Netflix.

2. The Dark Knight

The entirety of Christopher Nolan's Dark Knight trilogy is streaming on Netflix, but if you only have time to watch one movie, make it the highlight. Make it The Dark Knight.

While artfully directed high-speed car chases and hand-to-hand combat abound here, it's the introduction of Heath Ledger's Joker that sets this film apart. He's chaos in clown makeup, pushing Bruce Wayne (Christian Bale) to his limit with a series of attacks and moral dilemmas that terrorize Gotham. A gripping crime drama full of unforgettable sequences, The Dark Knight isn't just the best comic book movie of all time — it's one of the best action movies of all time, too. — B.E.

How to watch: The Dark Knight is now streaming on Netflix.

1. The Old Guard

Charlize Theron and others in "The Old Guard."
Credit: Netflix

Folks looking for that summer blockbuster thrill, search no further than The Old Guard. Based on the superhero comic books of the same name, director Gina Prince-Bythewood's movie sucks viewers into a slick, well-crafted world of action and narrative that isn't particularly unique but delivers its formulaic pieces with enough precision to keep you invested.

Charlize Theron crushes as the ass-kicking leader of an immortal warrior fight crew, with performances by Harry Melling, Marwan Kenzari, KiKi Layne, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Veronica Ngo, Matthias Schoenaerts, and more.* — Alison Foreman, Entertainment Reporter 

How to watch: The Old Guard is now streaming on Netflix.

* denotes the entry comes from a previous Mashable list.

UPDATE: Sep. 8, 2023, 5:00 p.m. EDT This post has been updated to reflect the current selection on Netflix.

Mashable Image
Kristy Puchko

Kristy Puchko is the Film Editor at Mashable. Based in New York City, she's an established film critic and entertainment reporter, who has traveled the world on assignment, covered a variety of film festivals, co-hosted movie-focused podcasts, interviewed a wide array of performers and filmmakers, and had her work published on, Vanity Fair, and The Guardian. A member of the Critics Choice Association and GALECA as well as a Top Critic on Rotten Tomatoes, Kristy's primary focus is movies. However, she's also been known to gush over television, podcasts, and board games. You can follow her on Twitter.

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