[List updated: 3 January 2021]
If you like your action movies, have we got a list for you!
We’ve combed through Netflix (Australia) and found 10 action films – with various sub-genres (sci-fi, thriller, etc) – to provide a bit of an adrenaline rush. We’ve also included trailers and, importantly, each link to where you can see it on Netflix!
Sit up, clench your fists, grit those teeth, and enjoy. And if you’ve seen ’em all, perhaps some need a rewatch?
The Night Comes for Us (2018) – WATCH ON NETFLIX
Arguably the gnarliest action film on this list may be this 2018 bloodfest starring not one, but two actors from The Raid: Iko Uwais and Joe Taslim. While Uwais was the hero in Raid 1 and 2, he’s the bad guy in this tale of a gangland enforcer (Taslim) caught amidst a treacherous and violent insurrection within his Triad crime family upon his return home from a stint abroad. It’s… violent, to say the least, showing off a plethora of snapped bones, sliced skin and bullet-riddled bodies. Those keen will be treated to outstanding action choreography and two action leads putting in their absolute exhausting all. You can check out what we had to say about this one in our complete review right HERE.
John Wick 3: Chapter 3 – Parabellum (2019) – WATCH ON NETFLIX
I supposed I could have just put John Wick 1, 2 and 3 and easily covered three spots in this list. Let’s settle on Chapter 3 for this particular entry, due to the fact that it’s likely the most ambitious. It holds a seriously astonishing amount of action, with incredibly choreographed gunplay and combat that just escalates and escalates. Exhausting stuff, and admirably so. Plot-wise, it’s certainly beneficial to have seen the first two, but if you’re in it for the action sequences and to see Keanu freakin’ Reeves doing his thing, as well as a very welcome part for Halle Berry, hit this one up.
Executive Decision (1996) – WATCH ON NETFLIX
An old-school actioner with Kurt Russell, Steven Seagal and Halle Berry. If you have somehow have missed this one over the years, you really should add it to – and then tick it off – your list. Terrorists seize control of an airliner, leading an intelligence analyst to, naturally, accompany a commando unit for a midair boarding operation. It’s a very fun action movie, nicely working with tension while scattering progressively bigger explosive moments. It plays with conventions, too, throwing in a few moments (one in particular comes to mind) that will catch you off guard. This was the first of only three films directed by Oscar-nominated editor Stuart Baird (Skyfall, Casino Royale); he followed it up with U.S. Marshals and Star Trek: Nemesis.
Avengement (2019) – WATCH ON NETFLIX
If you’re an action aficionado and haven’t seen films starring British badass Scott Adkins, you’ve got some homework to do. Don’t get me wrong, they’re of varying quality, ranging from impressive fun to cringy direct-to-video fare, but here’s one that’s up towards the top of his output. Avengement has Adkins playing Cain, who heads to prison for a number of years – and has one hell of a bad run in there. When he finds out why the f**k (sorry, but you’ll probably be dropping cuss words like crazy after this one) he was really in there and forced to endure so much sh*t, he comes out, and certain people have to pay. It’s a simple little action film done very well. Adkins is on fire, the punch-ups are wince-inducing, and there’s a Tarantino-esque slickness to it all that makes it all the more fun.
Extraction (2020) – WATCH ON NETFLIX
Netflix’s most-viewed original film (although The Old Guard has it in its sights), this Chris Hemsworth-starring flick is a must-see for those that want their action bloody and relentless. It has a pretty simple plot – an Aussie mercenary badass has to save a boy from baddies in Bangladesh – but it’s just the right sandpit for plenty of high-energy mayhem. It also has a doozy of a oner (a sequence made to look like one take), incorporating a hand-to-hand knife fight, a car chase and more in a stand-out sequence that runs at over 12 minutes in length. Among the action pedigree behind the scenes: it’s written by Joe Russo (one half of Marvel movies directors the Russo brothers) and directed by stunt coordinator Sam Hargrave, who put his stunt experience to gutsy use during that oner.
Baby Driver (2017) – WATCH ON NETFLIX
It’s been a deadly serious list of films so far, so let’s add something a little lighter into the mix. Baby Driver, the fifth film from filmmaker Edgar Wright (Shaun of the Dead, Scott Pilgrim vs. the World), is a damn good time. Ansel Elgort stars as a young getaway driver who finds himself taking part in a heist doomed to fail. The character has the hearing condition tinnitus and finds catharsis in music, so it’s only right that Wright use an eclectic mixtape of tracks to drive the film itself. A great cast (Jon Hamm, Jamie Foxx, Jon Bernthal), an amazing use of editing, and some pretty awesome vehicular stunt work. Yep, so much fun.
Mission: Impossible – Fallout (2018) – WATCH ON NETFLIX
The sixth film in Tom Cruise‘s Mission: Impossible movie series is among the franchise’s best thus far. Director Christopher McQuarrie (who’s also directing the next two) continues the relentless pace he delivered in Rogue Nation in what is essentially one awesome chase scene after another – with some slick fisticuffs thrown in between. Cruise, of course, goes nuts with his oh-so risky stunt work, from insane HALO jumps to stunt-flying helicopters. This is also the one where he broke his ankle in a building jump – watch the behind the scenes of that painful incident HERE. There’s also a damn great cast, including a moustache-sporting Henry Cavill (that bathroom brawl rocks).
The Old Guard (2020) – WATCH ON NETFLIX
Netflix’s film of the moment is a damn good action-fantasy. The Charlize Theron-starrer follows a group of immortal warriors – and it impressively offers up a substantial amount of drama and character development than that quick logline would suggest. It’s also a great franchise-starter, so get on it before the sequels begin arriving. Our review can be found HERE.
Wheelman (2017) – WATCH ON NETFLIX
At a lean 82 minutes, this Netflix Original film is set mostly within our titular anti-hero’s car and takes place in mostly real time. Frank Grillo is great as a getaway driver who realizes he has been double crossed following a heist and races to find out who betrayed him. It’s a real bad night for him; a damn thrilling one for us. With its short runtime, excellent script and oh-so intense performance from Grillo, there’s really no reason you aren’t lining up this action-thriller on your list right now. You can find our review of the film HERE.
Bad Boys II (2003) – WATCH ON NETFLIX
Michael Bay going full Michael Bay here, so definitely give this one a wide pass if the Transformers director doesn’t do it for ya. Bad Boys II is a bonkers action film of the ‘more is better’ variety, with Bay heading to excess with both the action and humour. It’s a lot of fun, amped up by Will Smith and Martin Lawrence on high energy. It’s definitely one genre fans should have already seen; hell, it’s worth a watch for that highway sequence alone.