What makes a great action movie?
This can be fight choreography and blocking, visually bringing the audience in on each blow. It can be stunt work, surprising the audience with gravity-defying jumps and moves. This can be the effect of a large explosion or a sick bone fracture. It can be a tense story that explodes into frantic action.
In many cases, it’s all of the above (or at least a combination of some). And for all the movies below, it’s a guaranteed good time. Here are our favorite action movies currently streaming, and where you can watch them.
A man from nowhere
Running time: 1 hour 59 minutes
Director: Lee Jeong-beom
Caste: Won Bin, Kim Se-Ron
This action thriller plays like a leaner, less, better, troubled version Leon: ProfessionalA karambit-throwing antagonist à la Ceseap with Arif Rahman’s character Raid 2 Instead of a Gary Oldman crooked-cop analog.
won bin (mother) stars as Cha Tae-sik, a widower and pawn shop owner who befriends So-mi (Kim Sae-ron), a girl who lives in the same apartment building as her go-go dancing, opium-addicted mother. When So-mi is kidnapped by gangsters as part of a plot to recover a missing packet of drugs, Tae-sik finds himself caught up in the crossfire between two warring criminal organizations as he embarks on a dogged man’s mission to bring her back home. . Won Bin is cooler than the other side of the pillow, presenting a convincing and compelling portrayal of a man who hones his skills at surgically incapacitating his opponents with brutal competence and single-minded focus. It was his last film before he entered retirement, and honestly, who could blame him? A man from nowhere A modern classic and a must see for any avid action movie fan. – Toussaint Egan
A man from nowhere Available to stream the peacock and For free with ads on Freevee, Tubi, and Plex.
Night falls for us
Running time: 2 hours 1 minute
Director: Timo Tjajanto
Caste: Joe Taslim, Echo Uwes, Julie Estelle
Fear and action are closer siblings than they seem. Both genres are committed to externalizing their characters’ internal conflicts, finding sensational and moving visual ways to depict what their characters lack words to say. They are also genres that, at their most effective, really know how to show something extremely painful.
Night falls for us Indonesian horror director Timo Tjahjanto’s acclaimed action opus is a brutal and violent masterpiece that follows Ito, a Southeast Asian triad member who turns his back on a criminal fraternity to save the life of a little girl. Under Tjahjanto’s direction, a familiar premise evolves into an unforgettable film, as Tjahjanto presides over some of the most brutal fights on film and slowly damns the protagonist. –Joshua Rivera
Night falls for us Available to stream on Netflix.
Running time: 2 hours 17 minutes
Director: Robert Eggers
Caste: Alexander Skarsgård, Nicole Kidman, Claes Bang, Anya Taylor-Joy
in Northman, a boy leaps into the air, catches a spear thrown at him, and in one fluid motion, throws it back with such casual precision that it makes it one of the best and funniest scenes of the year. The rest of the film, about a Viking’s long quest for revenge against an uncle who betrayed his clan, killed his father and kidnapped his mother, is layered in different ways. Alternating between folk horror, twisted family drama, and testosterone-drenched action, Northman It’s director Robert Eggers’ version of the popcorn movie, bringing the discomfort of his gritty period pieces to the film’s muscular brawl. A film that climaxes in a bare sword fight on a volcano to emerge victorious could only have been; That it is so much more makes it a triumph. –JR
Northman Available to stream Prime Video.
SPL 2: Time for Results
Running time: 2 hours
Director: Cheang Pou-soi
Caste: Tony Za, Wu Jing, Simon Yam
I’m a huge fan of martial arts movies, and I’m often asked where an interested newbie should start. It mostly depends on what mood you’re in — there’s a big gap between the joys of Jackie Chan’s stunt-based action comedies and bone-crunching thrillers. Night falls for us – But I always come back SPL 2: Time for Results As a movie everyone can enjoy it.
Kit (Woo) is a cop who goes undercover to infiltrate a crime syndicate that is running a sinister kidnapping-for-organ-harvesting scheme. When Kit’s cover is blown, he is sent to a prison in Thailand, whose warden (Zhang Jin) is in league with the syndicate. The prison portion of the film involves several forced fights between Kit, the warden and the prison guard Chatchai (Ja).
A crime thriller with a hint of medical drama, it has a superstar cast of action legends like Za, Jing and Max Zhang. The first film in the series, Kill John, stars Donnie Yen and Sammo Hung and also rules, but it’s not really related, so you don’t have to watch it first if you don’t want to. –Pete Volk
SPL 2: Time for Results Available to stream the peacock Hi-Yah! on, or free with ads on Plex, Pluto TV, and Tubi.
Running time: 1 hour 56 min
Director: Zhang Yimou
Caste: Deng Chao, Sun Li, Zheng Kai
No one in the world makes more beautiful action movies than Zhang Yimou. And his wuxia movies are breath-taking displays of cinematic excellence.
Rich in political intrigue and magnificent contrast in colors, the shadow (while in color) makes heavy use of black and white imagery. It also has one of the most iconic cinematic weapons of the century – the umbrella you see above, which is made of blades. I urge you to watch this movie, one of the best of the century and a feast for the senses. –PV
the shadow Available to stream for free with ads on Freevee, Plex, Pluto TV, Crackle, and Vudu.
Running time: 1 hour 40 min
Director: Choi Jae-hoon
Caste: Jung Hyuk, Kim Hyun-soo, Jo Taslim
This period action drama focuses on Tae-yul (Jung Hyuk), the best swordsman of Korea’s Joseon dynasty and bodyguard of King Gwanghaegun. After being blinded in a coup attempt, Tae-yul runs away with the king’s last surviving child, Tae-ok (Kim Hyun-soo), to raise him in the mountains out of harm’s way. When Tae-ok is abducted by Gurutai (Joe Taslim), a member of the Qing dynasty, as a feud between him and a local vassal, Tae-yul raises his sword one last time and cuts a bloody blow through him. Kidnapped and secured his freedom.
The first half is admittedly on the slow side, doling out exposition between Tae-yul and the story’s other major players, including Min Seung-ho (Jung Man-sik), the Joseon general responsible for wounding Tae-yul and killing Gwanghaegun. . This takes a turn in the latter half of the film, however, when Tae-yul proceeds to expertly cut down his opponents with ruthless efficiency combined with balletic grace and agility. The courtyard battle against the armored infantry unit, as well as the final confrontation between Tae-yul and Gurutae, are excellent examples of action direction. If you are looking for an engaging and creative martial arts action drama, swordsman Certainly fit the bill. -Te
swordsman Available to stream the peacock And free with ads on Tubi, Pluto TV, and Vudu.
Running time: 1 hour 48 minutes
Director: Bao Tran (Tran Quoc Bao)
Caste: Alain Uy, Ron Yuan, Michael Shannon Jenkins
One of the best action films on Netflix is also surprisingly conservative with its action. A story about three former martial arts students when their master is murdered, Paper tigers‘ The first stroke of genius is resisting the gruesome revenge narrative that audiences might expect from it. Instead, writer/director Bao Tran’s (Tran Quoc Bao) film is a comedy, where the central trio of fighters are middle-aged, washed-up, and only able to pull off half the moves they did when they were younger.
The cast of zero is thus established, Paper tigers It’s less a heartwarming coming-of-age and isolation story than a gritty revenge tale, with scenes of its protagonists can’t Along with the fighting, they would also watch the fun like the prowess shows of other films. It also means Paper tigerswith wit and charm, too Incredibly tense: Finally, they’re going to stop bumbling and fight like they mean it. When the time comes, can they? –JR
Paper tigers Available to stream on Netflix.
Wheels on food
Running time: 1 hour 44 minutes
Director: Samo Hong
Caste: Jackie Chan, Samo Hong, Yuen Biao
There are many reasons to love Wheels on food. Childhood friends Jackie Chan, Samo Hong and Yuen Biao were at the height of their martial arts comedy movie powers. It’s a really funny buddy comedy with lots of wacky hijinks. But one reason reigns supreme: the fights between Jackie Chan and Benny Arquidez in this movie are some of the best ever on film.
First, a little background on the legendary Urquidez. One of the greatest kickboxers of all time, he was a hugely influential fighter who helped popularize the martial art in the United States. He has trained many Hollywood stars as fighters (Patrick Swayze for his role Road HouseAnd he’s also John Cusack’s kickboxing coach and fought him Grosse Pointe Vacant). But at this point in Urquidez’s career, he was closer to his time as a legend of the ring than his time as a legend of action movies. Jackie Chan brought her in for her second film role (her debut was in Robert Claus Strength: Five (with some great fellow cinematic kickers in Joe Lewis, Richard Norton, and Bong Soo Han) because the rising Hong Kong star wanted a challenge. If you heard Urquidez talk about filming this movie in an interview with Scott Adkins (and you should), they basically went into this movie because Jackie wanted to prove himself against one of the best fighters in the world. It has filmed some of the most exciting fight scenes ever seen on screen.
If Wheels on food There was only one fight between Jackie and Benny – give up, would have been enough. Thankfully the entire movie is more of a blessing. –PV
Wheels on food Freevee on Plex is available to stream for free with ads.