Welcome to The Best of Netflix Top 10 Action Movies list
UPDATE 5/19/2014: We have updated the list to reflect the best action movies streaming on Netflix
This list is curated by our editorial staff and updated when new movies begin streaming that we feel should be included on this list. We try to keep it up to date, but if you notice a film on this list that is no longer streaming, please let us know!
10) The Avengers
What’s better than Iron Man, the Incredible Hulk and Captain America? How about Iron Man, the Incredible Hulk and Captain America all fighting together as the agents of S.H.I.E.L.D in one action packed movie. Sure, Marvel comics aren’t for everyone, but The Avengers is anything but uneventful. Even people who don’t care for comics will enjoy this one.
9) Mission Impossible 2, Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol
While the first in a series of many mission impossible movies is strangely missing, Ghost Protocol and Mission Impossible Two will keep fans of Ethan Hunt entertained through his global spy missions. Occasionally the other Mission Impossible movies make their way onto the instant streaming service, most of them are all worth a watch.
Antonio Banderas has never come across as more of a badass when compared to his guitar/machine gun wielding protagonist in the Desperado movies. Partial comedy (the Tarantino cameo is unbeatable), full action, Desperado is a must see for fans of ridiculous “good guy on a rampage” flicks.
We’ll spare you the jokes about Mel Gibson and just simply say this movie makes you remember a time where the guy wasn’t crazy. One of the most nominated movies of all time, this historical depiction of William Wallace isn’t for the weak stomached.
While many people question the historical accuracy of the film, none of us remember anyone claiming this to be a historical documentary, but rather a piece that represented a time period loosely based on actual events.
6) Resevoir Dogs
We can all thank this movie for putting Tarantino on the map with a bang (or several). Undeniably cool, Resevoir Dogs took a non-traditional approach to the heist movie by completely leaving out any scenes of the robbery itself, focusing instead on the before and after, a bold step in cinematography.
Arguably some of the coolest characters of all time, we’re left understanding very little about them, even their names.
5) Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid
Westerns are always best when there is a loose aura of truth surrounding the story. Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid is apparently traced from the lives of two of the wild west’s greatest outlaws; it has also been selected by the Library of Congress to represent a portion of significant US history.
One of Newman and Redford’s best, this is the Western you should show people who make broad statements about how they don’t like movies from this genre.
4) Terminator 2: Judgement Day
Terminator 2 really was a massive step forward for all forthcoming action movies. When it comes to big budget blockbusters, this one takes the cake. Over 90 million dollars were spent on this film, almost unprecedentedly high for it’s time (which makes us wonder when we’ll see the first 1 billion dollar budget movie).
Winning several awards for special effects, Terminator 2 raised the stakes when it comes to captivating audiences with believable sci-fi effects that made people go, “Wow, that T-1000 actually looks pretty real!” Looking back, it actually stands pretty well against the test of time. We’re confident 90% of you have already seen this at some point, but definitely worth a re-watch.
3) Ip Man
Ok, the giant elephant in the room here is that many people consider this film to be Chinese nationalist propaganda with high quantities of anti-Japanese sentiment. We beg you to look past that and see the beautiful story that could certainly stand on it’s own without all the politics.
Ip Man is one of the best choreographed movies of our time. The brilliant fights, the grandiose backdrops, the timeless hero; this movie paints itself directly into the era of which it took place.
2) Black Hawk Down
Black Hawk Down wins the award for war movie with the absolute least subplot focus of any action movie ever. Sure, there’s a few scenes where the geo-political tide is called into question, and even a few points where US intervention in foreign policy is discussed ever so slightly.
But the percentage of screen time dedicated to things not entirely related to the brutality of war is kept to an absolute minimum. No tales of distant lovers, not a whole lot of interpersonal drama between the soldiers (unless we’re talking between the Deltas and the Rangers), just… war. By no means is this movie for the squeamish, though, as there is rarely a depiction of battle this realistic.
“What we do in life echos in eternity”
A magnificent line delivered by perhaps one of the best action characters of the last few decades. When Maximus storms into the coliseum to extract his revenge upon the evil Commodus, you can’t help but get goosebumps when he calls out, “Are you not entertained?” Yes we are Mr. Crowe, yes we are.