The Best Action Movies on Netflix Right Now (March 2023)

Looking for a little adrenaline jolt to your Netflix viewing? We’ve got you covered. Below we’ve curated a list of the best action movies currently available to stream on Netflix, from the more adventure-tinged playful flicks to big-budget superhero movies to straight-up kung fu films. It’s the perfect antidote to the same-old-same-old, and Netflix has a pretty swell and diverse library of action films to spice up your night.

Can’t find what you’re looking for? Check out our list of best fantasy and horror movies on the platform, or browse our picks for the best films on the platform across all genres.

So behold, below are the best action movies on Netflix.

Editor’s note: This article was updated March 2023 to include The Woman King.

RELATED: The Best Thrillers on Netflix Right Now


Image via Netflix

Run Time: 1 hr 56 min | Director: Sam Hargrave

Cast: Chris Hemsworth, Rudhraksh Jaiswal, Randeep Hooda, Golshifteh Farahani, Pankaj Tripathi, and David Harbour

It’s no wonder that the action in the Netflix original film Extraction is spectacular given that director Sam Hargrave’s background is as the stunt coordinator for films like Captain America: Civil War and Avengers: Endgame. Scripted by Endgame co-director Joe Russo, Extraction is a hardened (and extremely violent) actioner that follows a disillusioned mercenary who is tasked with escorting a young kidnapped boy out of Dhaka, Bangladesh. Along the way, he grows fond of the boy and grows into his role as protector. The action is outta control in this one, and Chris Hemsworth gives a solid lead performance while Hargrave does some very fun stuff with the camera. Gritty and graphic with a unique visual flair, Extraction will definitely get your blood pumping. – Adam Chitwood

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The Woman King (2022)

A screenshot of Lashana Lynch in The Woman King
Image via Sony Pictures

Run Time: 2 hrs 15 min | Director: Gina Prince-Bythewood

Cast: Viola Davis, Thuso Mbedu, Lashana Lynch, Sheila Atim, John Boyega

The Woman King is a masterpiece of perseverance and passion directed by the incomparable Gina Prince-Bythewood. Crafted from a glorious screenplay written by Dana Stevens,The Woman King is directly inspired by a historical elite all-female warrior unit in West Africa during the 17th century. The Woman King stars icon Viola Davis as General Nanisca, the leader of the Agojie who not only liberates captured civilians who were abducted and trafficked but also trains young women to join her team. Featuring a breakout performance from Thuso Mbedu, who holds her own against heavy hitters like Davis and Lashana Lynch, The Woman King has also been praised for its remarkable action choreography and touching story. – Yael Tygiel

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Bullet Train (2022)


Run Time: 2 hrs 7 min | Director: David Leitch

Cast: Brad Pitt, Joey King, Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Brian Tyree Henry, Andrew Koji

Bullet Train is an absolutely gorgeous visual feast of spectacular stunts, use of vibrant colors, and unbridled physical action. Clearly an expert in stunts and fight choreography, director David Leitch (Deadpool 2) assembles an exquisite all-star cast in Bullet Train, including Brad Pitt, Brian Tyree Henry (Eternals),Joey King, Aaron Taylor-Johnson (The King’s Man), and Andrew Koji. With an engaging story following diverse characters whose missions intertwine, swiftly unfolding layers that reveal unexpected twists and secrets, Bullet Train is not just action for the sake of breaking stuff. Leitch also attracted a handful of delightful celebrity cameos, including Bad Bunny and Sandra Bullock (The Lost City). – Yael Tygiel

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Close (2019)

Image via Netflix

Run Time: 1 hr 34 min | Director: Vicky Jewson

Cast: Noomi Rapace, Olivia Jewson, Abdellatif Chaouqi, Sophie Nélisse

Noomi Rapace continues her ass-kicking streak in Close, an action film directed by Vicky Jewson, who co-wrote the story with Rupert Whitaker. With impeccable action reminiscent of Jason Bourne, Taken, and the Mission: Impossible series, Close presents a refreshing twist with Rapace playing Sam Carlson, a bodyguard protecting an heiress from assassins in Sudan. Although completely fictional, the character of Carlson is deeply inspired by one of the world’s leading bodyguards, Jacquie Davis. While the narrative is disappointingly predictable, that doesn’t detract from the hard-hitting stunts and intricate fight choreography that makes Close exciting and enjoyable to watch. – Yael Tygiel

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Kate (2021)

Image via Netflix

Run Time: 1 hr 46 min | Director: Cedric Nicolas-Troyan

Cast: Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Woody Harrelson, Miku Patricia Martineau, Michiel Huisman

Written like a Jason Statham movie plot, Kate stars Mary Elizabeth Winstead (Birds of Prey) as a meticulous and highly trained assassin on a clock to identify who poisoned her and exact revenge before she expires. Expectedly bursting with intricate and heart-pumping fight sequences, director Cedric Nicolas-Troyan livens up the male-dominated action genre with a colorful and exciting movie from a script by Umair Aleem. Kate takes care to include a variety of action, including hand-to-hand combat, gunfire, car chases, and of course, swords. Utilizing a vibrant cinematographic palette, Nicolas-Troyan reveals a dark and beautiful story set in scenes of techno-futurism and modern-day Japan. – Yael Tygiel

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The Gray Man (2022)

the gray man

Run Time: 2 hr 9 min | Director: Russo Brothers

Cast: Ryan Gosling, Chris Evans, Ana de Armas

With a budget of $200 million, The Gray Man is one of the most expensive Netflix films ever made – and it shows in its A-list cast, global set pieces, and high-speed action sequences. The movie centers around a CIA black ops assassin called Six (Ryan Gosling) and fellow agent Dani (Ana de Armas) as they are hunted down by a psychopathic former CIA agent, Lloyd Hansen (Chris Evans). From the uncovering of dark agency secrets to tense hostage situations, The Gray Man is everything you want from a flick like this. – Taylor Gates

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6 Underground (2019)

Ryan Reynolds in 6 Underground
Image via Netflix

Run Time: 2 hr 8 min | Director: Michael Bay

Cast: Ryan Reynolds, Mélanie Laurent, Corey Hawkins, Adria Arjona, Manuel Garcia-Rulfo, Ben Hardy

6 Undergroundis perhaps the most unhinged film of Michael Bay’s career. That is no small statement. Did anyone watch the Transformers and Bad Boys films and think that Bay could go more extreme? Apparently, Netflix did. This globetrotting action film is borderline incomprehensible, but no one watches a Bay film for the plot. If you want maximum “Bayhem,” 6 Underground delivers on all fronts. Deadpool screenwriters Paul Wernick and Rheet Reese come up with some truly ridiculous one-liners for Ryan Reynoldsto deliver amidst the spectacle. – Liam Gaughan

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Ava (2020)

Ava Jessica Chastain
Image via Vertical Entertainment

Run Time: 1 hr 36 min | Director: Tate Taylor

Cast: Jessica Chastain, John Malkovich, Common, Geena Davis, Colin Farrel, Diana Silvers

Ava follows former soldier turned assassin Ava (Jessica Chastain) as she completes missions assigned by her handler/mentor Duke (John Malkovich) and tries to reconnect with her estranged family. Ava is on the brink of retirement, but others in the agency don’t want to just let her go. Not only does Ava have to deal with family baggage and keeping the true nature of her job a secret, but she also has to contend with the target on her back as her former colleagues hunt her down. Chastain is great in this role and plays the multiple facets of Ava well, portraying her as a strong and capable assassin and as a caring daughter and sister. In a world where male assassins and spies like John Wick, Jason Bourne, and James Bond are household names, it’s wonderful to see Ava added to the ranks of strong women agents on screen. – Brynna Arens

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Gunpowder Milkshake (2021)


Run Time: 1 hr 54 min | Director: Navot Papushado

Cast: Karen Gillan, Lena Headey, Chloe Coleman, Carla Gugino, Michelle Yeoh, Angela Bassett, Paul Giamatti

Gunpowder Milkshake stands out not only for being an action film featuring a female-led cast but also acting as an emotional drama about a mother and daughter reconciling after previous abandonment. When a crime syndicate targets a child (Chloe Coleman), Sam (Karen Gillan), a dangerous hitwoman, reunites with her estranged mother, played by Lena Headey, to protect the child. Together, they recruit other members from the sisterhood of assassins to their fight, which includes the powerhouse team of Angela Bassett, Carla Gugino, and Michelle Yeoh. From the distinct cinematography to its impressive fight choreography, Gunpowder Milkshake is a sweet, violent treat for the eyes. – Meredith Loftus

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The Old Guard (2020)

Image via Aimee Spinks/Netflix

Run Time: 2 hr 5 min | Director: Gina Prince-Bythewood

Cast: Charlize Theron, KiKi Layne, Marwan Kenzari, Luca Marinelli, Harry Melling, Veronica Ngo, Matthias Schoenaerts, Chiwetel Ejiofor

Charlize Theron is one of the best action stars working today, showcasing tremendous physical skill and positively withering gazes in films like Mad Max: Fury Road and Atomic Blonde. In Netflix’s The Old Guard, Theron gets to put those talents to work in a compelling comic book adaptation, starring as an ancient leader of an immortal band of assassins. Directed by Love & Basketball and Beyond the Lights filmmaker Gina Prince-Bythewood in her first big blockbuster action turn, The Old Guard doesn’t just offer explosive action set-pieces and kinetic fight scenes (though it definitely has those), it brings something much rarer to the genre: the recognition that violence and killing are brutal, disgusting work and that there’s a toll that comes with taking a life. In short, it has humanity and empathy, qualities that give the pulse-pounding thrills a bit more heft without derailing your good time at the movies. And yes, I’ll admit, I also love that Theron just kicks so much ass. It’s a fine needle to thread, but Bythewood pulls it off, and she even brings her signature touch for romance into the fold.

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The Harder They Fall (2021)

Idris Elba in The Harder They Fall
Image via Netflix

Run Time: 2 hr 19 min | Director: Jeymes Samuel aka The Bullitts

Cast: Jonathan Majors, Idris Elba, Zazie Beetz, Regina King, Delroy Lindo, Lakeith Stanfield, RJ Cyler, Danielle Deadwyler, Edi Gathegi, and Deon Cole

The Revisionist Western film The Harder They Fall follows the adventures of the cowboy Nat Love, whose parents are killed by an outlaw. When the outlaw in question is released from prison, Love reunites with his gang to go after his mortal enemy. The movie features an ensemble cast and many of the characters are loosely based on real-life figures from the 19th century. It’s the perfect watch for fans of the western genre and even if you’re not that into cowboys, it’s a pretty well-crafted narrative that’ll satisfy all your action cravings! – Remus Noronha

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The Night Comes for Us (2018)

Image via Netflix

Run Time: 2 hr 1 min | Director: Timo Tjahjanto

Cast: Joe Taslim, Iko Uwais, Julie Estelle, Zack Lee, Sunny Pang, Hannah Al Rashid

You may think you know all the ways you could inflict violence on the human body in a fight scene, but I assure you, The Night Comes for Ushas something to teach you about the art of the splatter fight scene. From director Timo Tjhajanto, this Netflix action pic is packed to the brim with bloody, brutal combat. The best feature film from Tjahjanto to date, The Night Comes for Us is a relentless showcase of action and carnage, rooted on the story of a criminal turned war criminal looking for a little redemption. The cast is packed with familiar faces for action fans, especially fans of The Raid films, who will recognize Joe Taslim, Julie Estelle, Zack Lee, and of course, Iko Uwais, who takes a supporting role but still shows up to work in some incredible fight scenes. And if fight scenes are what you’re looking for in a good action movie, there’s no shortage in this one, which stages wall-to-wall combat in a breathless, relentlessly entertaining showcase. This one will earn a lot of attention for its shared cast with The Raid, but damn if it isn’t impressive in its own right. — Haleigh Foutch

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RELATED: The Best Action Movies on HBO Max Right Now

Red Notice (2021)

Image via Netflix

Run Time: 1 hr 58 min | Director: Rawson Marshall Thurber

Cast: Dwayne Johnson, Ryan Reynolds, Gal Gadot, Ritu Arya, and Chris Diamantopoulos

One of the most highly-watched Netflix movies in recent times, Red Notice is, in a word, awesome! Now to be fair, the plot isn’t exactly Ocean’s Eleven, but the heist movie does score high for its humor and the performances by the lead actors. Ryan Reynolds stars as Nolan Booth, the world’s second-best art thief, who is forced to team up with FBI profiler John Hartley (Dwayne Johnson) after they are both framed by the world’s best art thief, a woman known only as the Bishop (Gal Gadot). What ensues is an international game of cat-and-mouse as Booth and Hartley compete with the Bishop to find a priceless artifact. Red Notice is a thoroughly enjoyable movie with great action and a ton of hilarious scenes, and it has two sequels already in the pipeline. – Remus Noronha

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Avengement (2019)

Scott Adkins behind bars in Avengement
Image via Samuel Goldwyn Films

Run Time: 1 hr 28 min | Director: Jesse V. Johnson

Cast: Scott Adkins, Craig Fairbrass, Thomas Turgoose, Nick Moran, Kiersten Wareing

The main draw here is watching Scott Adkins get into all kinds of brawls. Bar brawls, prison brawls, any ol’ brawl will do, really. If that sounds good to you, then settle in for Avengement, the latest collaboration between DTV action champion Adkins and his Savage Dog and Accident Man director Jesse V. Johnson. This time around, Adkins and Johnson are clearly riffing on the Guy Ritchie/Matthew Vaughn brand of British crime thrillers, with a lot more roundhouse kicks. The film’s structure is at first confounding and ultimately pretty satisfying, following Adkins’ Cain Burgess, fresh out of prison, to a local pub where he holds the men responsible for his horrifying prison term to task for their bad deeds, jumping from flashback to flashback while he holds them at gunpoint. Few action performers can match the physical prowess Adkins brings to the table and with veteran stuntman Johnson, Adkins gets plenty of steadily shot scenes, montages, and set-pieces to show off his skills. If you’re a fan of DTV actioners, this one’s a gem with some genuinely surprising moments of violence. — Haleigh Foutch

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Triple Frontier (2019)

Ben Affleck in Triple Frontier
Image via Netflix

Run Time: 2 hr 5 min | Director: J.C. Chandor

Cast: Ben Affleck, Oscar Isaac, Charlie Hunnam, Pedro Pascal, Garrett Hedlund

If Triple Frontierisn’t your dad’s favorite movie, that just means your dad hasn’t seen Triple Frontier yet. Directed by J.C. Chandor (A Most Violent Year) from a script he co-wrote with Mark Boal (Zero Dark Thirty), Triple Frontier is basically the man-cave of movies; part military drama, part action-packed heist, and all the story of men who have mad bro-love for each other. Oscar Isaac stars as Santiago “Pope” Garcia, a DEA agent who gets the old Special Forces band back together to rob a drug lord’s jungle hideaway. Joining Isaac is the similarly strong-jawed crew of Ben Affleck, Charlie Hunnam, Pedro Pascal, and Garrett Hedlund. The kicker of Triple Frontier is that there’s actually a good amount of brains under all that brawn; it’s an explosions-and-helicopters flick first, yeah, but it also has a lot to say about what happens to professionally violent men once the gunfire stops. — Vinnie Mancuso

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Beyond Skyline (2017)

Image via Vertical Entertainment

Run Time: 1 hr 46 min | Director: Liam O’Donnell

Cast: Frank Grillo, Jonny Weston, Bojana Novakovic, Iko Uwais, Yayan Ruhian, Antonio Fargas, Lindsey Morgan, Betty Gabriel

Beyond Skyline is a special kind of WTF. Of all the movies to spawn a franchise, I never would have guessed the much-derided 2010 sci-fi pic Skyline could pull it off, much less that the follow-up film would be such a gleeful, globe-trotting action-packed adventure. A proud, pulpy B-movie featuring aliens that rip the brain right out of your skull, Beyond Skyline stars Frank Grillo as a cop at odds with his son (Jonny Weston) when an alien attack sends them scrambling for their lives. Once the aliens make contact, the film ricochets through settings and characters at a breakneck pace, packing in a paperback book series worth of sci-fi lunacy into a single feature film that travels from subterranean tunnels to the nuclear wasteland of Los Angeles to an alien ship, and all the way to Laos, where Mark teams with rebels to battle the alien threat. You’ve got Frank Grillo playing hero with a baby in one hand and a space-blaster on the other, Antonio Fargas as a Vietnam vet who calls everybody “bitch”, Iko Uwais and Yaya Ruhain beating the shit out of giant aliens, and there’s even an honest-to-god Kaiju battle. Beyond Skyline won’t be for everyone, but if you love a bananas B-movie, the feature debut from writer-director Liam O’Donnell ticks all the right boxes. – Haleigh Foutch

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Wheelman (2017)

Frank Grillo in Wheelman
Image via Netflix

Run Time: 1 hr 22 min | Director: Jeremy Rush

Cast: Frank Grillo, Garret Dillahunt, Caitlin Carmichael, Shea Whigam, Wendy Moniz

Frank Grillo should be one of cinema’s leading action stars. Cut from 1970s cloth, Grillo is an old-school everyman tough guy; a real blue-collar badass. Grillo can grimace and load a gun with the best of ‘em, but unlike the dominant figures in the Western action hero tradition, Grillo is also a trained martial artist who brings impressive physical command to his street-smart charisma. With Wheelman, Grillo takes on a different kind of challenge for an action star — a performance told almost entirely in close-up, from the confines of a single vehicle. That doesn’t leave a lot of room to throw punches or fire heavy artillery, but Grillo and writer-director Jeremy Rush make the most of the minimalist set-up, turning out a gripping, wisely calibrated B-movie about one high-octane night of crime that blasts off from the word go and never taps the brakes. — Haleigh Foutch

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Ip Man (2008)

Donnie Yen in Ip Man
Image via Mandarin Films

Run Time: 1 hr 46 min | Director: Wilson Yip

Cast: Donnie Yen, Simon Yam, Lynn Hung, Siu-Wong Fan, Hiroyuki Ikeuchi

This 2008 martial arts essential stars Donnie Yen as Ip Man, the legendary Wing Chun master who went on to train Bruce Lee. A wealthy martial artist living the dream life, Ip Man’s life is thrown into chaos when the Japanese occupy his hometown during wartime. On the surface level, Ip Man is an opportunity to watch one of the best living martial artists play one of the most famed Kung Fu masters of all time – and it certainly delivers on the fight scenes that come with that premise, including an instantly iconic Wing Chun vs. Black Belts set-piece. But Ip Man is also a fantastic character-driven period drama rooted in history and apparent affection for the martial arts genre, and Yen is extraordinary, not just for the athleticism and showmanship of his choreography work but for his charismatic, commanding performance. — Haleigh Foutch

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