The hit streaming service has been leading the charge for years with its groundbreaking, award-winning originals across all genres. Whether it’s a TV show, horror movie, romantic comedy, or action movie, Netflix has had plenty of success. Action movies stand out on the streaming service, with its high-quality action films that deliver on all fronts. With great stories and thrilling, mind-blowing action that features stellar casts, Netflix’s original action movies are definitely not to be missed.
Of army of the dead and Extraction and more recently, The gray man, Netflix has often hit more than it misses when it comes to action movies, and it’s with these action movies that cemented Netflix as a top streaming service. So, with that, here’s how we would rank the best Netflix original action movies.
seven Avenger (2018)
Whereas Avenger doesn’t necessarily break new ground in the genre, it’s still a very entertaining martial arts action movie. Action scenes are what we’re here to see and there’s plenty of exciting martial arts action. Director Lee Seung-Won delivers visually pleasing action scenes with plenty of punches, kicks, and traceable bloodshed. But perhaps the film’s most defining action scene was when Bruce Khan’s character picked up a sword and went to town with his enemies. The scene delivered spectacular swordplay that was fast, intense, and real.
In the near future, dangerous criminals are housed on a hellish prison island, while a man who sends himself there willingly seeks revenge for the murder of his family.
6 The Adam Project (2022)
This action-comedy reunites Ryan Reynolds with free guy director Shawn Levy for a fun and thrilling time travel film. Time travel is not necessarily the newest of cinematic concepts, but The Adam Project actually enough to stand out from the rest. From its breathtaking action, impressive visual effects and engaging plot, The Adam Project is definitely a must-watch Netflix action flick.
Perhaps the most impressive aspect of this film is its cast, which includes Ryan Reynolds, Zoe Saldana and Catherine Keener, alongside Jennifer Garner and Mark Ruffalo, playing husband and wife, which makes us all wonder if this time travel epic is an unofficial epic. 13 Ongoing 30 after. The standout performance was Walker Scobell, delivering a hilarious and equally heartfelt performance as young Adam Reed, the younger version of Ryan Reynolds’ character. Scobell perfectly impersonates Reynolds in the best possible way and even offers a hilarious reference to Ryan Reynolds’ red spandex-wearing hero; Dead Pool. With Scobell quoting “superhero landing”, a recurring anecdote throughout the dead Pool movies.
The Adam Project follows Adam Reed (Ryan Reynolds), as he crash lands in 2022 and soon finds the 12-year-old version of himself (Walker Scobell). This leads the couple on a dangerous mission to save the future, traveling to the past to find their dead father (Mark Ruffalo).
5 The Old Guard (2020)
Charlize Theron has truly established herself as an action movie star, with her roles in Mad Max: Fury Road and Atomic blond. The old guard is no exception, as Theron once again delivers incredible action scenes that showcase his believable physique and skills as an action star. The film is based on the comics of the same name and was written by Greg Rucka, the man behind the original comics. It gives the film and its lore a sense of authenticity and is a faithful and successful adaptation of the comic book series. The choreography in the action is extremely well crafted, combining gun-fu, which shot characters like John Wick to its action movie fame, in addition to employing the use of swords and axes to deliver some impressive kills. The film received mostly positive reviews, with critics praising Theron’s performance and the physicality of the action scenes, as well as the action as a whole.
The film follows a group of secret centuries-old immortal mercenaries who have the ability to heal themselves. But, when someone soon discovers their secret, the group must fight to protect themselves and their freedom.
4 The Gray Man (2022)
The final film on this list sees Ryan Gosling star in an action extravaganza directed by Russo Brother. This film has been sold as one of Netflix’s biggest action films to date, and it certainly lives up to it. All of the action scenes are exceptionally done, with the standout scenes being an explosive plane fight scene, as well as an epic shootout in Vienna. One of the biggest draws of Netflix action movies is the A-listers who star in them, and The gray man does not disappoint. Starring Ryan Gosling, Ana De Armas, Rege-Jean Page and Chris Evans, who gave a delightfully fun and devilish performance as the mustachioed Lloyd. While the plot isn’t this film’s biggest sell, the fun cast and huge, thrilling action scenes make for an incredibly entertaining watch and have us excited for its potential sequels and spinoffs.
Based on the book series of the same name, The gray man follows Six (Ryan Gosling), part of the Gray Man initiative (the CIA’s main asset), and after uncovering the agency’s secrets, unleashes a worldwide hunt for assassins.
Directed by stunt coordinator Sam Hargave, Extraction certainly delivered on what he intended to do. Offering explosive stunts, beautifully shot action and incredible choreography, Extraction is one of the best movies on the streaming service. Although the film doesn’t offer a new plot or many interesting characters, the action is the film’s biggest draw and gives the film its edge over the competition. The film was such a hit that it quickly led to Netflix announcing a sequel for release next year.
The film was successful with its very impressive 12-minute one-take (continuous) shot, seamlessly moving from car chases to gunfights, and finally a tense one-on-one knife fight. In an interview with Indie Wire, Hargraves said, “It took us from concept to execution, probably four or five months”. Which is a considerable amount of time, but it more than paid off as it was one of the most impressive action scenes of 2020.
Extraction follows a black market mercenary, as he is hired to rescue the kidnapped son of an imprisoned international crime lord. But, in the underworld of arms dealers and drug traffickers, an already deadly mission quickly becomes the impossible.
2 Army of the Dead (2021)
Zack Snyder’s latest zombie epic is nothing short of a spectacle, with its grand scale, thrilling action, awesome characters, and zombie tiger. The film sports a star-studded cast, with the likes of Dave Bautista, Hiroyuki Sanada, Omari Hardwick, Tig Natarro, and the most notable being Matthias Schweighofer, who is downright adorable as Ludwig Dieter. The character quickly became a fan favorite. So much so that a spin-off titled army of thievesreleased shortly after Snyder’s zombie movie, focuses on Ludwig’s journey to becoming a world-class safe cracker.
Zack Snyder is the king of slow motion movie intros, and army of the deaddelivers one of the best of his career. Giving audiences an epic stylistic sequence as Las Vegas is overrun by thousands of the undead, with “Viva Las Vegas” blasting as we witness the bloody carnage unfold on screen. army of the dead has since been nominated for numerous awards, but most importantly, the film won the Oscar Fan Favorite (2021) award at the 94th Academy Awards.
The film follows a group of mercenaries as they undertake the ultimate heist by entering a zombie-infested Las Vegas in hopes of pulling off the impossible. There they hope to steal the money and escape with their lives.
1 The Night Comes for Us (2018)
The action in this martial arts extravaganza is simply breathtaking, and is very much in the same vein as Lowering movies. Not only is the action top notch and comparable to the phenomenal action of Lowering, but the film also features two main stars from the first Raid movie, Joe Taslim and Iko Uwais. They are incredible martial artists in their own right, which makes their epic, brutal, and very long battle at the end of the film so brilliant.
Be warned, this film is not for the faint of heart, as it is one of the most brutal, gory, and comprehensive violent action films of all time. This includes lots of knife cuts, people blowing themselves up, and a very violent scene at a butcher shop that we won’t go into too much detail about. There’s so much bloodshed that it could potentially give the Seen franchise a run for its money.
The night is coming for us follows Ito (Joe Taslim), a gang enforcer, who turns his back on his former life as a killer by rescuing a young girl. Ito must fight for his life and that of the girl as countless thugs are sent to kill them, alongside a deadly gang (Iko Uwais).