Last Updated: May 9th
The term “action movie” runs the spectrum of CGI explosion-filled spectacles and highly choreographed fight scenes to movies with heroes who deliver cheesy one-liners right before the last rocket-powered grenade is fired. It can mean shutting your brain off, or it can mean complex stories that use action to benefit the plot.
Luckily, Netflix has most subgenres covered when it comes to good action films, whether you want kung fu, superhero-ing, or anything in between. Here are the 20 best action movies on Netflix streaming right now, so grab some popcorn and enjoy.
1. Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (2000)
Run Time: 120 min | IMDb: 7.9/10
Ang Lee’s Oscar-winning martial arts flick defied the odds to become one of the most influential films in the genre, crossing multicultural barriers and introducing audiences to some great talents in the international acting world. The film follows the story of Li Mu Bai, an accomplished Wudang swordsman who retires his legendary weapon only to be pulled back into a battle with his arch-nemesis, a woman who killed his master years earlier and seeks to claim his sword for her own. There’s more happening plot-wise — Bai has a love interest in another skilled warrior, Yu Shu Lien, and they’re both forced to face off against a Wudang prodigy that’s been studying under their enemy — but the real draw here is the perfectly-mapped-out fight sequences, which include just enough special effect to be awe-inducing, but not too much to distract from the beautiful choreography that Lee puts on display.
2. Kill Bill Vol. 1 and 2 (2003-04)
A master assassin (Uma Thurman) is betrayed by her former associates and left for dead, only for her to awaken from her coma and vow to take uncompromising vengeance. Possible issues with director Quentin Tarantino aside, it’s impossible to say that watching his movies isn’t a distinct experience. Each piece of the Bride’s journey, while very different, fit together perfectly throughout the two films. Tarantino’s recognizable comedy, music, and slight self-indulgence come through in Kill Bill, which has just the right and an excessive amount of tongue-and-cheek and fake blood, respectively.