The Greatest Motion Films on Netflix Proper Now (October 2020)

Netflix isn't just a great place to find high quality TV shows like The Witcher, Stranger Things, and Dark. The popular streaming service also offers a treasure trove of excellent and underrated films, some of which have flown under the radar in recent years. Nowhere is that more evident than in the action-adventure category, a genre based on hair-raising explosions and the harrowing exploits of a few.

Whether you prefer gritty films or the charm of modern superhero films, the premium streaming service has it all. Unfortunately, there are also a lot of action films on Netflix that you want to avoid – including a shocking number of late-days Steven Seagal films – so we've compiled a list of the best action films on Netflix.

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As one of their first films after Avengers: Endgame, Joe and Anthony Russo teamed up with Chris Hemsworth for Extraction, a Netflix original. This particular comic book adaptation is much more down to earth, however, as Hemsworth's Black Ops mercenary Tyler Rake is being recruited on a mission to protect Ovi Mahajan (Rudhraksh Jaiswal), the son of a local drug lord. Hemsworth's performance carries the film and first-time director Sam Hargrave delivers next-level action and stunt sequences. This is one of the best popcorn movies out there, and it didn't even take a theater.

Rotten tomatoes: 68%
Stars: Chris Hemsworth, Rudhraksh Jaiswal
Director: Sam Hargrave
Rating:
R.
Running time:
117 minutes

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The old guard on Netflix

In a year without a theater, this comic book adaptation filled the blockbuster void. Charlize Theron makes headlines with The Old Guard as Andy, a warrior who was once the Andromache of Scythians. Andy and her immortal mercenaries are exposed by ex-CIA spook James Copley (Chiwetel Ejiofor). Andy's quest to regain her secrets is complicated by the emergence of Nile Freeman (KiKi Layne), a Marine who becomes the first new Immortal in a long time. Andy reluctantly takes Nil under her wing when previously unknown enemies approach them. This could be the start of a new franchise and Theron has once again demonstrated her formidable action chops.

Rotten tomatoes: 81%
Stars: Charlize Theron, Chiwetel Ejiofor and KiKi Layne
Director: Gina Prince-Bythewood
Rating:
R.
Running time:
125 minutes

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Ninja Assassin on Netflix

Sometimes all you need is a good old-fashioned ninja fight. The Wachowskis produced Ninja Assassin for director James McTeigue with a script co-written by Sense8 co-creator J. Michael Straczynski. Korean pop star Rain has a great twist as Raizo, an orphan who was accepted into a group of ninjas and trained to kill on command. After Raizo's first love has died from the ninja clan, he strikes independently and becomes a force of revenge. Naomie Harris plays the role of Europol agent Mika Coretti, who befriends Raizo and gets closer to him. The real star of this film, however, is the intense action. Ninja Assassin updates a classic martial arts movie formula and takes it a few levels higher. Ignore the reviewers, this one is really fun.

Rotten tomatoes: 25%
Stars: Rain, Naomie Harris, Sho Kosugi
Director: James McTeigue
Rating:
R.
Running time:
98 minutes

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Arnold Schwarzenegger in Total Recall on Netflix

Total Recall is Arnold Schwarzenegger at its best. Paul Verhoeven's wild sci-fi action ride shows Schwarzenegger as a 21st century construction worker named Quaid discovering that his memory is based on a memory chip implanted in his brain. This chip blocks his real identity: that of a secret agent who poses a threat to the government. Furious at this betrayal, Quaid travels to Mars to piece together the final pieces of his true identity and take revenge on the man who implanted the chip. Total Recall is quick, angry, gratuitously violent, and loads of fun – all while retaining many of the provocative themes from the Philip K. Dick short story that inspired the film.

Rotten tomatoes: 81%
Stars: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Sharon Stone
Director: Paul Verhoeven
Rating:
R.
Running time:
113 minutes

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The night is coming for us on Netflix

Timo Tjahhanto's The Night Comes for Us is a brutal martial arts thriller that moves at breakneck speed. The film begins as a group of executors for the massacre of the Southeast Asian Triad in a village. Ito (Joe Taslim), one of the elite enforcers named Six Seas, spares a little girl named Reina and kills the rest of the triad soldiers present. Now on the run with Reina in tow, Ito must fight an army of thugs and legendary assassins if he wants them to survive. The Night Comes for Us is a stylish thriller with clever camera work and a pulsating soundtrack. It's wildly violent too. Most of the fight scenes leave the rooms full of blood and limbs, and one particularly gnarled kill somehow combines air conditioning and piano wire.

Rotten tomatoes: 90%
Stars: Joe Taslim, Iko Uwais
Director: Timo Tjahjanto
Rating:
NO
Running time:
121 minutes

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Ip Man on Netflix

Based on the life of the martial arts grandmaster and Bruce Lee teacher Ip Man, Ip Man 2008 is one of the most successful martial arts films of the 21st century. The film focuses on events in IP's life that allegedly took place during the Sino-Japanese War when Japanese forces occupied parts of China. When an occupation general challenges Chinese men to one-on-one combat to prove Japanese superiority, Ip Man initially refuses to fight until he discovers that the Japanese go way beyond hand-to-hand combat. This beautifully choreographed film, starring Donnie Yen as Ip Man, is a martial arts movie fanatic's delight, and the entire trilogy is currently on Netflix. We also found some of the best Bruce Lee movies to stream.

Rotten tomatoes: 85%
Stars: Donnie Yen, Simon Yam
Director: Wilson Yip
Rating:
NO
Running time:
106 minutes

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Snowpiercer

Bong Joon-ho cleaned up for Parasite at the 2020 Oscars, but before that his most popular US film was the 2013 Snowpiercer. Starring Chris Evans, Song Kang-ho, Tilda Swinton, Octavia Spencer and John Hurt, Snowpiercer is a fascinating portrayal of an apocalyptic Earth. Survivors of the planet's second Ice Age live on a continuously moving train that plows through snow and ice. Like pre-Ice Age society, the train divides classes by car, with the decadents and rich at the front of the train controlling the engine and all of government, while the poorest and disenfranchised live in the filthy galley. However, if a revolution develops in the galley, it threatens more than just derailing the smug aristocracy. Snowpiercer is action packed and more insightful than your average action movie, testament to its excellent screenwriter and director.

Rotten tomatoes: 94%
Stars: Chris Evans, Tilda Swinton and Song Kang-ho
Director: Bong Joon-ho
Rating:
R.
Running time:
126 minutes

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Spider-Man: Into the Spiderverse on Netflix

Spider-Man: Into the Spiderverse is unlike any other superhero movie. For one, it won the Oscar for best animated picture. On the other hand, it shows an extremely well-known superhero (Peter Parker's Spider-Man) and undermines decades of the canon with an ingenious origin story not only for the new Spidey, Miles Morales, but also for some other bizarre Spider-Beings. Morales has been Spider-Man in the comics for a few years, but Into the Spiderverse is the first real attempt at introducing mainstream audiences to a whole new person who inherits a classic superhero coat. It works out. Into the Spiderverse is an adorable joker who pokes fun at the faux sanctity of origin stories while creating an action-packed, brilliantly animated story about finding your way in the world.

Rotten tomatoes: 97%
Stars: Shameik Moore, Jake Johnson and Hailee Steinfeld
Director: Bob Persichetti, Peter Ramsey and Rodney Rothman
Rating:
PG
Running time:
116 minutes

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Raiders of the Lost Ark on Netflix

There have been a few entries in the Indiana Jones franchise over the decades, but the first remains the best. Set in the 1930s, Raiders of the Lost Ark follows Indiana Jones (Harrison Ford), an archeology professor who is an adventurer in the moonlight, exploring ancient ruins and looting their treasures in the name of science. When he learns that Nazis are looking for the legendary Ark of the Covenant, Jones and his former lover Marion Ravenwood (Karen Allen) travel to Egypt to find the Ark of the Covenant first. Raiders of the Lost Ark is a perfect throwback to classic pulp adventure stories with a charming, clever hero, nefarious villains and spectacular set pieces scattered around a tight script.

Rotten tomatoes: 95%
Stars: Harrison Ford, Karen Allen and Paul Freeman
Director: Steven Spielberg
Rating:
PG
Running time:
115 minutes

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Green room on Netflix

Jeremy Saulnier's Green Room is an angry thriller – tense, violent, and 95 minute pace. The film follows a punk band called The Ain & # 39; t Rights – bassist Pat (Anton Yelchin), guitarist Sam (Alia Shawkat), singer Tiger (Callum Turner) and drummer Reece (Joe Cole) – who after a show at a The Neo-Nazi -Bar in Oregon encounters a murder in the green room. The neo-Nazis decide to cover up the crime and to do this they have to kill the witnesses. However, the Ain’t Rights do not proceed gently, arm themselves and fight their way out of the bar. With tight directing and great performances – including Patrick Stewart as the skinhead leader – Green Room is an excellent, fast-paced slaughterhouse of a movie.

Rotten tomatoes: 91%
Stars: Anton Yelchin, Imogen Poots, Patrick Stewart
Director: Jeremy Saulnier
Rating:
R.
Running time:
94 minutes

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End of watch

End of Watch isn't a reality, but it is thanks to writer and director David Ayer that it feels real for most of its runtime. Jake Gyllenhaal and Michael Peña co-direct the film as LAPD officers Brian Taylor and Mike Zavala. The movie's imagination is that Taylor is filming her days on the force as a side project for herself. Gyllenhaal and Peña cast their roles very convincingly, as the two deal with the daily struggles in South Los Angeles and the people who live there. There are brewing problems on the streets and the two officers are involved in events beyond their control.

Rotten tomatoes: 85%
Stars: Jake Gyllenhaal, Michael Peña and Anna Kendrick
Director: David Ayer
Rating:
R.
Running time:
109 minutes

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The other guys on Netflix

The Other Guys is the complete opposite of End of Watch. But that's the joy of this movie: it doesn't try to be real as it broadcasts other action comedies that would have brought Dwayne Johnson and Samuel L. Jackson together as the ultimate supercops. Johnson and Jackson even play those roles in this film, but the focus is actually on Will Ferrell's Detective Allen "Gator" Gamble and his spirited partner, Detective Terry Hoitz (Mark Wahlberg). Gamble and Holtz have worked in darkness and shame in the shadow of other, more competent cops. But even if the couple gets a chance to truly become heroes, their personal problems and shortcomings stand in their way. Thankfully this is a comedy so we can laugh at her ineptitude while the action gets out of hand. That's why we love it.

Rotten tomatoes: 78%
Stars: Will Ferrell, Mark Wahlberg, Eva Mendes
Director: Adam McKay
Rating:
PG-13
Running time:
107 minutes

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Kung Fu Hustle

Stephen Chow co-wrote, directed, and starred in Kung Fu Hustle, a film best described as a live-action cartoon masking a martial arts film from the period. This is a relentlessly silly movie so you just have to join in. Chow portrays Sing, an incompetent criminal who dreams of becoming a member of the infamous Ax Gang. At a young age Sing was deceived into believing he was a natural kung fu prodigy before being humiliated in front of a girl he liked. Sing thinks this is his origin story as a villain, but he's just not very good at being bad. In a curious turn of events, Sing gets a chance to take a new direction in his life … when he passes the beast (Bruce Leung Siu-lung) and his followers.

Rotten tomatoes: 90%
Stars: Stephen Chow, Danny Chan and Yuen Wah
Director: Stephen Chow
Rating:
R.
Running time:
98 minutes

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The outpost

In 2009, 53 American troops were attacked at the remote Combat Outpost Keating during the war in Afghanistan. The outpost tells the story of these soldiers trying to fend off an enemy force that has become vastly outnumbered. More troubling is that the army has robbed the small fortress of its resources, leaving the remaining troops in a very dangerous situation. Most of the film takes place before the attack and shows a relatively realistic portrayal of the life of American soldiers embroiled in a brutal war. But when the attack begins, the outpost will be raised and made even more visceral as the soldiers face overwhelming odds in the fight for their lives. It is a gripping battle sequence that makes this film an unforgettable experience.

Rotten tomatoes: 92%
Stars: Scott Eastwood, Caleb Landry Jones and Orlando Bloom
Director: Rod Lurie
Rating:
R.
Running time:
123 minutes

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Scott Pilgrim versus the World on Netflix

When Scott (Michael Cera) falls in love with the new girl in town, Ramona Flowers (Mary Elizabeth Winstead), he realizes she has a bit of luggage. This baggage consists of seven wicked exes that he literally has to fight to the death to win their hearts. Much like the graphic novel series it is based on, Scott Pilgrim vs. the World part video game, part love story – an inventive pairing that should go well with anyone who grew up in the SNES craze of the early '90s. The lively graphics, the expressionless dialogue and the numerous speech bubbles add to the comedic charm of the film.

Rotten tomatoes: 82%
Stars: Michael Cera, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Jason Schwartzman, Anna Kendrick and Aubrey Plaza
Director: Edgar Wright
Rating:
PG-13
Running time:
113 minutes

Watch on Netflix

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