10 Action Movies on Netflix to Get That Pulse Racing

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, hit this one up.

Non-Stop (2014) – WATCH ON NETFLIX

The guy that has a particular set of skills has a number of films that fans may consider to be right for this list, but seeing as what films he has on Netflix AU and what films suit the “pulse racing” part of that headline, I’d go for his airplane-set thriller Non-Stop. It’s an apt title, as this thing kicks off early and really doesn’t let up. The action is more of the tension variety, but it certainly has some high-altitude mayhem towards the end. It’s Neeson, on a plane, and he’s stressed. Guaranteed nail-biter!

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 slightly 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.

300: Rise of an Empire (2014) – WATCH ON NETFLIX

300: Rise of an Empire isn’t considered as good as Zack Snyder’s 2008 predecessor, but for this writer’s money, it’s still a highly entertaining CG-fueled assault on the senses. The film has Greek general Themistokles, played by Aussie actor Sullivan Stapleton, going up against invading Persian forces that are led by mortal-turned-god Xerxes (Westworld’s Rodrigo Santoro, reprising his role from the first film) and Artemisia. Eva Green plays Artemisia, and she gloriously chews up the scenery as much as the over-the-top stylised action and melodrama. The action is gorgeous – particularly in the final chapter.

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.

Olympus Has Fallen (2013) – WATCH ON NETFLIX

Easily the best of Gerard Butler’s ‘Has Fallen‘ movies has to be the one that kicked it off. Olympus Has Fallen finds Butler playing a Disgraced Secret Service agent who, wouldn’t you know it, gets inadvertently trapped inside the White House during a terrorist attack and the kidnapping of the U.S. President (Aaron Eckhart). Hell yeah! ‘Murica vs everybody action unfolds in this violent, highly entertaining and proudly old-school actioner, which is much better than that other save-the-President film released the same year: White House Down, starring Channing Tatum and Jamie Foxx.

Smokin’ Aces (2006) – WATCH ON NETFLIX

Definitely more of a dialogue-driven entry here, but there’s still plenty of mayhem in the second half. The Grey and The A-Team filmmaker Joe Carnahan wrote and directed this crazy-AF action/pitch-black comedy that centers on the chase for a mafia informant (Jeremy Piven) that has a one-million-dollar price tag on his head. Ryan Reynolds, Ben Affleck, Jason Bateman, Taraji P. Henson, Ray Liotta, and Chris Pine, among others, play a cast of nutty characters that are trying to either collect that cash or protect him. It’s stylish, very crude, and darkly funny. The tone’s kind of all over the place, but that’s part of the charm, I think.

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.

Snowpiercer (2013) – WATCH ON NETFLIX

We’ll wrap up with a bit more for a thinking action film with enthralling, heavily allegorical sci-fi action-drama Snowpiercer. From Bong Joon Ho, the master South Korean filmmaker who recently raked in Oscars with his highly lauded Parasite, comes a potent adaptation of a French graphic novel envisioning a future where global warming has left our Earth uninhabitable. The Snowpiercer, a train operating on a globe-spanning track, carries the last remnants of humanity. Of course, humans being humans, there’s a troubling class system and it’s only a matter of time before the lower-class passengers in the tail section hold a revolt against the elite at the front. Chris Evans and Tilda Swinton are among the big names here. Actually, if you’re keen to keep the social class warfare allegory going, you could follow this one up with the buzzed-about Spanish Netflix film The Platform (our review of that one is HERE).


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Guillermo, Founder and Manager of Screen Realm, lives and breathes all things screen and pop culture. He has over eight years' experience in the media landscape in a career that has encompassed television, radio, and the online space. When he's not working hard on Screen Realm, you can find him at a local Sydney cinema or catching up on his ever-growing list of must-watch TV shows. He's also started a video podcast with his wife, Cassandra. Find the LOUD OBSERVERS right HERE.