Whether you’re in the mood to weave through busy city streets at top speed, break the bones of every henchman in the warehouse, or exact revenge on the big boss that killed your dog, Netflix has countless training videos … I mean action flicks … for you to enjoy. Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to discover which among them is the right one for you. Thankfully, we’re here to help and have assembled a rotating list of Good Action Movies on Netflix.
NOTE: The following titles are streaming on the U.S. version of Netflix.
Who’s in the mood for car chases, deception, and realistic confrontations? Aka could be the cure for what ails you. Morgan S. Dalibert’s Aka is a French action film starring Alban Lenoir as Adam Franco, a special ops agent who infiltrates a crime syndicate and winds up getting in way over his head. After forming a bond with the boss’s young son, Adam finds his loyalty tested and his job more difficult as he hopes to bring the boy’s father to justice.
Not enough action movies depict the exhaustion of extended battle. The John Wick franchise does it, but too often, action heroes walk off lengthy skirmishes like they’re a walk in the park. Aka lets you feel every punch and pulls you into a story plagued by corruption and violence. While the film takes its time building the world where it takes place, scenes where it takes things up a notch, are worth the wait.
All Quiet on the Western Front (2022)
Edward Berger’s remake of Lewis Milestone’s 1930 war drama is a hauntingly beautiful depiction of conflict and how being sold the dream of becoming a hero isn’t always what it’s cracked up to be. Based on the 1929 novel ‘Nothing New in the West’ by Erich Maria Remarque, this emotional and action-packed spectacle tells the classic WWI story about a German schoolboy named Paul (Felix Kammerer) and his school friends who enlist in the army. While fighting the good fight, the group finds themselves as little more than targets for a seemingly endless barrage of violence and suppression.
For obvious reasons, the action in All Quiet on the Western Front is more realistic than most other movies on this list. The visceral combat is intense and plays bigger than you’d expect, given the film’s straight-to-streaming release structure. Berger’s film expands on the original story, lending more weight to Paul’s journey and confrontation with disillusionment and fatalism about being led to an early grave. Suppose you can handle realistic action that hits harder than fictional fare. In that case, All Quiet on the Western Front is a bold exploration of war, the destruction of the spirit, and the lies we tell ourselves to overcome adversity.
The Big Four (2022)
Timo Tjahjanto, the Indonesian filmmaker behind Headshot and The Night Comes For Us, is a favorite here at JoBlo. When Tjahjanto is behind the camera, he makes movies that send shocks through your system and creates combat sequences that leave a lasting impression. In The Big Four, Tjahjanto mixes realistic violence with a goofier energy. If I had to compare it to something, I would point you toward Jackie Chan’s extensive library of films or Stephen Chow’s Kung Fu Hustle.
The Big Four tells the story of an elite assassin that murderous gangsters target after sparing a girl’s life during a massacre. With cat-and-mouse elements akin to some of cinema’s zanier martial arts films, Tjahjanto’s latest roller coaster takes his signature style to new heights while making you clutch your sides and double over in pain.
Amnesia is a pain in the ass. You can’t recall vital parts of your personal history, and the pieces of your identity become locked behind a mystery difficult to unravel. What if you lost your memory during a deadly pandemic? What if a voice in your head told you a bomb implanted in your mouth would blow if you didn’t follow explicit directions? In Carter, a man (Joo Won) must escape death while trying to figure out who he is, how he ended up in an apocalypse, and who the voice in his ear is telling him where to go to survive.
Byung-gil Jung wrote and directed Carter, starring Joo Won, Kim Bo-Min, Sung-Jae Lee, and Camilla Belle. As one of the more brutal action films on Netflix, Carter spills enough blood and guts to make any film fan squirm in delight. The movie is a fast-paced thriller with over-the-top action sequences, death-defying physics, questionable camerawork, and enough bodies hitting the floor to make Drowning Pool jealous. Scenes in this film are not for weak-stomached cinephiles. There’s one scene of a guy getting his face pushed into the pavement while hanging out of a speeding van that’s gnarly AF. I watched it twice. If you don’t mind CGI muzzle flare and love hand-to-hand combat and startling action, Carter is a roller coaster of violence on Netflix.
Da 5 Bloods (2020)
Spike Lee’s Da 5 Bloods isn’t your typical action movie. The film follows four veterans and friends on an emotional journey to close a horrific chapter in their lives and reclaim a treasure they left behind. Starring Delroy Lindo, Clark Peters, Norm Lewis, Isiah Whitlock Jr., Jonathan Majors, Chadwick Boseman, Mélanie Thierry, and Veronica Ngo, Da 5 Bloods blends intense firefights with nail-biting hostage negotiations and shattered egos.
Lee brings his signature style to this gripping war-related drama, paving the way for inspiring shots and powerhouse performances from the cast. War will take more from the group before their mission is complete, and the group will need to push themselves to physical and emotional limits before they can rest. Among many action movies on Netflix, Da 5 Bloods includes a delicate balance of heroism and scenes of growth and strength of character. If you dig action with a loaded clip of catharsis and closure, check out Da 5 Bloods.
The Forgotten Battle (2020)
We’re going back in time and across the pond for this one, folks. The Forgotten Battle is a Dutch war film focusing on World War II, specifically the Battle of the Scheldt that raged in 1944. Matthijs van Heijningen Jr. directs this intense display of brutality, starring Tom Felton (Harry Potter franchise, The Flash), Gijs Blom (The Letter for the King, Dead & Beautiful), Jamie Flatters (Avatar: The Way of Water, The School for Good and Evil), Susan Radder (Spring, The Takeover), and more. Paula van der Oest wrote the screenplay, focusing on a British glider pilot (Flatters), a Dutch boy fighting for the Germans, and a Dutch female resistance member fighting for freedom as hellfire rains down around them.
Focusing on the complicated lives of the main cast, The Forgotten Battle explores the harshness of war, the sacrifices soldiers make to achieve victory, and how strength in numbers guarantees nothing without blood to line the path toward peace. The Forgotten Battle is quiet until everything goes wrong, and war takes its toll. The film features impressive performances, intense battle sequences, nail-biting aerial combat, and a disturbing body count that reminds us of what conflict takes from those involved.
Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery (2022)
Rian Johnson‘s sequel to 2019’s Knives Out is already dominating the Netflix charts, quickly becoming the streaming platform’s sixth-biggest movie. While Glass Onion is light on action, the film engages your inner Sherlock Holmes and works your brain meats like an overzealous trainer who delights in causing pain. Daniel Craig, Edward Norton, Kate Hudson, Dave Bautista, Janelle Monáe, Kathryn Hahn, Jessica Henwick, Leslie Odom Jr., and Madelyn Cline create the star-studded cast, with Glass Onion offering a twisty mystery in a posh island setting with colorful characters.
Glass Onion places a new spin on what made the original Knives Out so much fun. The unique setting gives the whodunit a fresh coat of paint and presents Craig’s Benoit Blanc with more opportunities to shine as a Kentucky-Fried detective with an eye for detail. Once the mystery gets going, the film becomes a non-stop thrill ride of suspicion, intrigue, and action as the characters turn on each other while searching for the truth.
The Gray Man (2022)
The Gray Man features solid performances from the film’s leading players, including Ana De Armas, Billy Bob Thornton, Jessica Henwick, Alfre Woodard, Regé-Jean Page, Dhanush, and more. The film also boasts balls-to-the-wall action sequences of which Netflix spared no expense. As bombastic as any theatrical blockbuster, a sequel and spinoff in The Gray Man universe have already been greenlit. Get on the ground floor by watching the first film in the franchise right now.
What do you get when you pair two of Hollywood’s biggest stars with a brotherly duo at the top of the filmmaker food chain? The launch of The Gray Man universe! Exploding onto Netflix this month, The Gray Man stars Ryan Gosling and Chris Evans as CIA operatives on opposite sides of the spectrum. Based on the 2009 novel of the same name and helmed by The Russo Brothers, The Gray Man tells the story of an agent whose true identity is known to none uncovers sark agency secrets, and a psychotic former colleague puts a bounty on his head. A global manhunt ensues, resulting in action, deception, and a mustache on Evans’ face you won’t soon forget.
Kill Boksoon (2023)
When you feel like departing from run-of-the-mill action blockbusters, South Korea is an incredible resource for unique films that hit hard and fast. In Sung-hyun Byun’s Kill Boksoon, a single mother, Gil-Bok-Soon, is a hired killer at war with her personal and work life. With a lethal 100% success rate on her contracts, she’s the ultimate target for killers looking to make their mark. When a young woman named Cha Min-Kyu shows promise in the art of combat, GiliBok-Soon understands she may have found a worthy successor.
Kill Boksoon walks the line between martial arts mayhem, looney tunes comedy, and Korean drama. Aspects of the film give me Stephen Chow (Kung Fu Hustle, Shaolin Soccer) vibes, with plenty of violence, blood, and creative kills to mature the mood. In addition to the slick fight sequences, Kill Boksoon has impressive camerawork, choreography, and character development. It’s rare to see an action film where women take center stage, and Kill Boksoon excels at bringing men to their knees as they beg for mercy. Give it a shot. You’ll enjoy it. If you’re in a rush, at least fast-forward to the restaurant fight. It’s awesome.
Lesson Plan (2022)
If you enjoy movies like Dangerous Minds or The Substitute, you might want to enroll in Netflix’s Polish revenge thriller Lesson Plan. Daniel Markowicz directs from a script by Daniel Bernardi about a former cop (Piotr Witkowski) who, after a teacher dies, takes a job managing a classroom of toughs to get close to the heart of the crime. The closer the former cop gets to his students, it becomes clear the institution is where some of the city’s young and notorious criminals gather to terrorize beyond the schoolyard.
Lesson Plan is unique among most Netflix action movies in that the violence is slightly more realistic than one might expect. The hits land hard. However, there’s little in the way of outrageous sound effects and exaggerated contortions to push things over the top. Sometimes, simple is better or entertaining enough to warrant a portion of your Friday night chill time. I like giving foreign action movies a chance and expanding my horizons. If you can forgive a modest budget and some telegraphed fight choreography, Lesson Plan will teach you a few things about action movies. Oh, and yes, there is an English-language dub.
Lost Bullet 2: Back For More (2022)
Lino is back, my friends! After the death of Charras (spoilers, I guess), Lino (Alban Lenoir) and Julia (Stéfi Celma) form a new narcotics unit. Determined to find the murderers of his brother and his mentor, Lino continues his hunt and won’t let anyone get in his way. Do you like resourceful action heroes? Explosions? How about high-speed car chases that end in disaster? Lost Bullet 2 has all of that and more!
One of my favorite things about Lost Bullet 2 is that it hits hard when you least expect it. I genuinely gasped and winced at some of the action, and not in a negative way. This movie has some sweet, crunchy finishing moves, and the hand-to-hand combat is fast, clever, and definitely leaves a mark. If you’re looking for an action movie that’s a bit off the beaten path, Lost Bullet 2 will provide plenty of beat-downs and bone-crushing moments.
Make way for Allison Janney to join the ranks of action badasses like Sigourney Weaver and Jamie Lee Curtis! In Lou, a storm rages. A young girl gets kidnapped, and her mother teams up with a mysterious woman for a thrilling and emotional rescue mission. Hailed as a throwback action movie circa the 1980s or 1990s, Lou surprises action fans. Janney shines as Lou, a take-no-prisoners recluse with demons squirming beneath her skin. Wrecking shop as much as John Wick, Lorraine Broughton, or Joey King’s Princess, Lou’s situational awareness is off the charts, and Janney goes above and beyond, delivering a brutal and believable performance. Lou’s companion, Hannah (Jurnee Smollett), also brings pain in this gripping action movie. Both women are out for blood because hell hath no fury as a mother scorned. Whoever took Hannah’s daughter is in for a world of pain.
Luther: The Fallen Sun (2023)
If you ignore negative reviews from sites that consider themselves high-brow, Luther: The Fallen Sun is a fun, gritty, and violent continuation of the original series starring Edris Elba as Detective John Luther. Detective Luther escapes prison in the film to hunt a serial killer (Andy Serkis) who terrorizes London. While Londoners claim the movie’s geography is rubbish, fans of Elba’s smolder and Serkis’ signature brand of unhinged creepiness will find plenty to enjoy. The film also stars Cynthia Erivo as Odette Raine, who warns Luther that if he doesn’t surrender to the police, they have orders to shoot him on sight.
If you enjoy prison breaks, deception, light torture, manhunts, and Edris Elba acting like he’s the most intelligent person in the room (because he is), you’ll likely dig Luther: The Fallen Sun. If you’re not there for the Idris Elba smoke show, come for Serkis’ maniacal cackling and Erivo’s charisma.
My Name Is Vendetta (2022)
If killing a person’s wife is enough to brand you with a death wish, how will that person react when you kidnap their daughter too? Unfortunate souls will find out in Cosimo Gomez’s My Name Is Vendetta. Alessandro Gassmann, Ginevra Francesconi, and Alessio Praticò star in Cosimo’s Italian crime thriller about a former mafia enforcer and his daughter, who flee to Milan to plot their revenge against the criminals who killed their wife and mother, respectively.
My Name Is Vendetta brings a nasty bit of business to Netflix with a revenge tale soaked in blood, close calls, and unthinkable acts of violence. It’s a father-daughter action film, and only the young woman in the movie is a stealthy car thief and nasty with a blade. If you find yourself in Santo and Sofia’s path, it’s been nice knowing you.
The Night Comes For Us (2018)
Undoubtedly the most brutal film on this list, The Night Comes for Us takes everything you love about Indonesian martial arts movies and cranks those elements to eleven. To be blunt, this movie makes Gareth Evans’ The Raid series look tame by comparison. Directed by Timo Tjahjanto (May the Devil Take You), and starring Joe Taslim (Mortal Kombat, The Raid: Redemption) and Iko Uwais (Snake Eyes, The Raid: Redemption), The Night Comes for Us is a relentless ballet of brutality that presents audiences with more broken bones than an ICU full of failed daredevils. I recently watched this movie for the first time and have no shame in admitting that I spent much of the film with my fist in my mouth, my teeth gnawing on knuckles, and nearly breaking the skin.
The Witcher: Nightmare of the Wolf (2021)
While we’re waiting for Henry Cavill to return as Geralt of Rivia for The Witcher Season 3, there’s The Witcher: Nightmare of the Wolf, an animated spin-off focusing on the origin story of Geralt’s mentor and friend Vesemir. Featuring the magic, creatures, and fantasy action that makes The Witcher a hit with fans of the beloved franchise, Nightmare of the Wolf finds Vesemir escaping poverty to become a slayer of monsters for coin and glory.
Kwang Il Han directs from a script by Beau DeMayo, The Witcher: Nightmare of the Wolf stars Theo James (Divergent, How It Ends), Lara Pulver (Sherlock, The Alienist), Mary McDonnell (Battlestar Galactica, Donnie Darko), Graham McTavish (Rambo, The Hobbit trilogy), and Tom Canton (Wasted, Death Comes to Pemberley). The story explores Vesemir’s past while confronting a new evil alongside a new cast of enigmatic characters. The series is perfect for fans of Netflix’s Castlevania, with stylish art, bloody action, and devastating spells creating a visual spectacle fantasy fans will love. Sharpen your sword, prepare to carve through the hordes, and toss a coin to a different kind of Witcher!
Originally published at https://www.joblo.com/best-action-movies-on-netflix-right-now/