16 Best Action Movies on Netflix 2020
In a world where most people stay indoors for the foreseeable future, many of us could use a little excitement to break the monotony. Fortunately, we can turn to action movies for a fictional little getaway for a few hours. Whether you’re a fan of spy thrillers, martial arts movies, superhero sagas, or action comedies, it’s easy to find your next thrill being broadcast on Netflix.
Although you should rent classics like Die hard and new fan favorites like Mad Max: Fury Road via Amazon, there are still a lot of fun and popular action movies to stream using your basic Netflix subscription.
Here’s the best selection of action movies to watch on Netflix tonight.
Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981)
Some would qualify the entire Indiana Jones series to rely more on the adventure side of the genre of “action and adventure”. But Harrison Ford’s first foray as a daring archaeologist features enough epic fist fights to be on this list as he attempts to beat the Nazis to find the Alliance’s lost ark in Egypt.
The Matrix (1999)
One-part science fiction film and one-part martial arts film, The matrix action movies redefined at the end of the 90s with new visual effects. Keanu Reeves plays a pirate named Neo – Mr. Anderson, if you will – who realizes that the world as he knows it is actually a computer generated dream world called the Machine Created Matrix to Control the humanity.
Pierce Brosnan’s first tour with James Bond is far from being the best Bond film (he ranks 9th out of the 26 films released from the franchise on Rotten Tomatoes). But it is surely one of the most entertaining when it comes to exaggerated action sets. It’s hard to decide which is more exciting: watching Bond plunge into a crashing plane and take off successfully, or the absurd chariot chase through St. Petersburg. You will have to look and choose for yourself.
Dirty Harry (1971)
In this action thriller, Clint Eastwood plays a homicidal detective – Harry Callahan aka “Dirty Harry” – who is responsible for tracking down “The Scorpio”, a serial killer who terrorizes San Francisco by shooting random people from the city skyline. The film, which spawned four sequels starring Eastwood, is inspired by the real Zodiac Killer who did a series of killings in northern California in the late 1960s.
Deadly weapon (1987)
All four Deadly weapon movies were recently added to Netflix in April 2020. Start off at the beginning with this series of friends about two incompatible LAPD detectives Martin Riggs (Mel Gibson) and Roger Murtaugh (Danny Glover). Young Riggs is a loose cannon who doesn’t seem to care about his death, while Murtaugh is a force veteran who is about to retire. Together, they discover a drug trafficking network and become friends along the way.
Patriots Games (1992)
Long before John Krasinski took on the role of Jack Ryan from Tom Clancy in the Amazon Prime television series of the same name, Harrison Ford played the character in Patriot games. In this spy thriller, Ryan retired from the CIA and went on vacation to London with his family. During the trip, he ends up intervening in an assassination attempt, which ravages the anger of an Irish radical played by Sean Bean on him and his family.
Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (2000)
Ang Lee’s martial arts theater in 19th-century China was nominated for 10 Oscars and won four (Best Foreign Language Film, Cinematography, Score and Art Direction). In it, two martial arts masters (played by Chow Yun-Fat and Michelle Yeoh) pursue the daughter of a politician (Zhang Ziyi) – who is secretly grappling with evil Jade Fox (Cheng Pei-pei) – after stealing a legendary sword named Green Destiny. Come for battles against gravity and stay for romantic subplots and beautiful landscapes.
On the tracks of The matrix, Start is another sci-fi action movie set in a dream world, literal this time. Dom Cobb (Leonardo DiCaprio) is a thief who is able to enter the dreams of others in order to steal secrets from their subconscious and sell information to companies. Instead of all the old gun combat, however, the concept of dream in a dream provides mind-blowing scenarios – like a turning corridor – to become the backdrop for fighting scenes.
On a dream pop synth soundtrack, Drive follows an unnamed acrobatic pilot (Ryan Gosling) who puts himself in the moonlight as an escape guide in Los Angeles. His life changes when he meets Irene (Carey Mulligan) and becomes entangled in a theft that went wrong after her husband returned from prison. It’s a little romantic, a little bloody and extremely exciting. Be warned: you may never recover from Christina Hendricks’ cameo in this film.
Ant-Man and the Wasp (2018)
Much of the Marvel movies have already gone exclusively to Disney +, but you can still watch the sequel to the first The ant Man movie – for now – on Netflix. Don’t discount it just because it’s a sequel. It’s a slight addition to the Marvel universe that doesn’t require you to review the entire series to take full advantage of Paul Rudd as Ant-Man.
Scott Pilgrim Against the World (2010)
This action comedy, starring Michael Cera, is based on a graphic novel of the same name. To win the heart of his new girlfriend, Scott Pilgrim must defeat his seven ex-villains. The highly stylized combat scenes resemble video game battles and feature cameos by Chris Evans, Mae Whitman and Jason Schwartzman.
Bad boys ii
If you prefer your action movies with a lot of explosions, then come like this. Michael Bay’s first boyfriend film starring Will Smith and Martin Lawrence as drug detectives in Miami is also on Netflix, but skip after some of the director’s wildest action sequences. For example, if you’ve ever wondered what it would look like if a car fell from a transport truck while accelerating on the highway, you can watch a team of hitmen launch several cars on one within 30 first minutes of this film.
Sin City (2005)
Inspired by Frank Miller’s graphic novels, this modern version of a film noir features a cast of stars including Bruce Willis, Jessica Alba, Clive Owen and Rosario Dawson (to name a few). It tells the story of a city ravaged by crime through a series of interlaced vignettes shot mainly in black and white which are very stylized and very violent.
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles the Movie (1990)
Critically speaking, this is not a good movie, but it will pull all your nostalgic strings if you grew up in the 80s or 90s. Once you get past the cheese game and the terrible turtle costumes, make it overnight: order a pizza and watch it with your children.
Ghost Rider (2007)
Classify this one under films so bad that they are really good. Nicolas Cage plays the stuntman Johnny Blaze who sells his soul to the devil in order to save his father. After becoming the devil’s bounty hunter – aka the Ghost Rider – with a fiery skull and an even more ridiculous motorcycle, Blaze finally has a chance to get his life back. Did we mention that Sam Elliott was helping him along the way? Pour yourself a very large glass of wine and settle in for the ride.
Before Bong Joon Ho realized the best film award Parasite, he directed Snowpiercer, an apocalyptic thriller on a train that goes around the globe containing what remains of the world population after an attempt to stop global warming is going badly and is freezing the planet. Chris Evans performs alongside Song Kang Ho (whom you recognize Parasite) as a steering class passenger that sets off a revolution among the cars divided into class as it makes its way to the front of the train.