These Are the Best Recent Action Movies on Netflix, Ranked

These Are the Best Recent Action Movies on Netflix, Ranked
These Are the Best Recent Action Movies on Netflix, Ranked

From thrilling zombie-plagued heists to revenge-seeking assassins, Wild West outlaws to notorious thieves, Netflix is jam-packed with action movies. The giant streaming platform has an extensive and diverse library dedicated to the adrenaline-pumping genre that is sure to satisfy all your movie needs. Some of cinema’s most talented and dazzling stars have headlined such pictures, introducing audiences to intriguing and memorable characters and electrifying action sequences. Regardless of your mood, Netflix is sure to deliver a heaping dose of butt-kicking and exhilarating content that will leave you on the edge of your seat.

Though the streaming juggernaut has an impressive collection of classic action flicks, it also is the home to a colorful assortment of more recent releases featuring many notable faces. The Jason Momoa-led Sweet Girl follows the admired actor as he portrays a man seeking vengeance for the death of his wife, and Hollywood darlings Ryan Reynolds and Dwayne Johnson play an art thief and FBI agent who begrudgingly join forces to catch a mutual foe in Red Notice. These are the best recent action movies on Netflix.

9 Army of the Dead


Zack Snyder directed the 2021 zombie heist action movie Army of the Dead, which follows a group of mercenaries who plan a Las Vegas casino heist amid a zombie apocalypse. The thrilling and off-the-wall film is a spiritual successor to 2004’s Dawn of the Dead and features an ensemble cast including Dave Bautista, Omari Hardwick, and Nora Arnezeder. Upon its release, Army of the Dead garnered praise for its humor and exciting action sequences, with critics declaring it would appeal to fans of “both Snyder and ensemble action flicks.”

On why she wanted to join the big-budget zombie extravaganza, Arnezeder stated she enjoyed the screenplay for being a “zombie movie with a lot of poetry and a lot of different genres. It was funny at times; it has some thriller aspects to it. It’s incorporating a lot of different genres that are melting really well together. It’s really well put together.” Army of the Dead became one of the most watched original Netflix films with an estimated 75 million viewers, and a spin-off prequel entitled Army of Thieves was released later that year.

8 Ava

Vertical Entertainment

The dynamic Jessica Chastain headlines the 2020 action thriller Ava, portraying the titular deadly assassin who works for a black-ops organization, traveling the globe performing high-profile hits. She is forced to go on the run and fight for her survival when a job goes dangerously wrong and she gets marked for death by her own organization. Ava is jam-packed with a gripping combination of espionage and action, with Chastain showing off both her physical prowess and remarkable acting chops as the recovering addict and soldier-turned-assassin. The thriller went on to become the top-streamed film on demand over its debut weekend, with Indiewire describing the performance of Ava as “the best showing for a non-premium title in the six months we’ve covered weekly VOD performance.”

7 Sweet Girl

Isabela Merced Wants Sweet Girl 2 to Happen on Netflix

The charismatic and always entertaining Jason Momoa stars as a devastated husband who vows to bring justice to the people responsible for his wife’s death while protecting his daughter in the 2021 action thriller Sweet Girl. Momoa’s Ray Cooper goes on a quest for vengeance and takes on the pharmaceutical company that pulled a potentially life-saving drug from the market right before his wife died from cancer.

The stunts in Sweet Girl were positively noted, and Netflix announced that 68 million accounts had watched at least 2 minutes of the movie within 28 days of release, becoming a hit for the platform. Jason Momoa received praise for his blood-pumping portrayal, with Daily Express UK writing, “Multiple times throughout the film Momoa shows he can really act–and not just by throwing people through windows and walls–with beautifully heartfelt performances that are sometimes tear-jerking.”

Related: Jason Momoa Confirms He’s Playing the Villain in Fast & Furious 10

6 Gunpowder Milkshake

Gunpowder Milkshake Trailer Unleashes the Sisterhood of Assassins

Navot Papushado’s 2021 action thriller Gunpowder Milkshake features Karen Gillan as a hitwoman who must join forces with her estranged mother and former colleagues in order to save a young girl from rival assassins. The incredibly gifted Lena Headey, Carla Gugino, and Angela Bassett join Gillan for the picture, which focuses on three generations of women assassins teaming up to stop a menacing force.

The over-the-top film includes electrifying fight sequences, stylish direction and a powerful female cast that helps make it a wild and thrilling ride for audiences. The Chicago Sun-Times praised the girl power picture, writing: “If you’re going to do an insanely over-the-top, deeply stylized, bullet-riddled and female-centric riff on the John Wick movies, you might as well give it a fantastically ridiculous title.” Due to the success of the action thriller, a sequel is currently in the works at Netflix.

5 Project Power

Project Power Trailer Teams Jamie Foxx & Joseph Gordon-Levitt in Netflix Superhero Thriller

The 2020 Netflix superhero flick Project Power stars Jamie Foxx, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, and Dominique Fishback, and follows a drug dealer, local police officer, and a former soldier who team up to stop the distribution of a pill in New Orleans that gives the user superpowers for five minutes. Jamie Foxx portrays U.S. Army Major and Delta force operator Art, who was one of Power’s original test subjects and who possesses the ability to launch forceful heat waves from his body; he harbors a secret vendetta and enlists the help of NOPD detective and a street-smart dealer to take down Project Power.

Following its debut on Netflix, the streaming service giant reported 75 million households watched the movie over its first four weeks of release. Critics praised the picture for its sleek action sequences, fun and engaging storyline, and star-making performance from Dominique Fishback.

4 Red Notice

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Hollywood superstars Ryan Reynolds, Dwayne Johnson and Gal Gadot star in the blockbuster 2021 action comedy Red Notice, centering on FBI agent (Johnson) who reluctantly agrees to work with a renowned art thief (Reynolds) to catch an even more infamous criminal (Gadot). The epic flick became the most expensive Netflix movie in the platform’s history, with a reported budget of a staggering $200 million. Red Notice accumulated a viewership of 364.02 million hours in its first 28 days of release, becoming the fifth most-streamed movie of 2021.

Despite receiving mixed reviews from critics, audiences thoroughly enjoyed the exciting action comedy and praised the performances of Reynolds and Johnson, stimulating action sequences and stunning cinematography. Fans loved the chemistry between the dazzling leads, and two sequels are currently in development and will be filmed back-to-back with Johnson, Reynolds, and Gadot all set to reprise their roles.


Sam Hargrave directed the 2020 action thriller Extraction, which features Chris Hemsworth in all his butt-kicking glory as Tyler Rake, a fearless black market mercenary who is tasked with rescuing an Indian drug lord’s kidnaped son in Bangladesh in his most dangerous mission yet. Both critics and audiences raved about the Netflix film, appreciating its intense and gritty battle sequences and spectacular stunt work, while also commending Hemsworth on his electric performance. Empire magazine praised the actor, writing: “Powered by the charism and physicality of its star, this often grueling action flick does more than enough to suggest that Hemsworth has found his genre, once he hangs up a certain hammer.”

Netflix revealed that the thriller had been watched by 99 million households in its first four weeks of release, the most ever for one of their original films. A sequel began production in December 2021, with Netflix releasing a teaser trailer for Extraction 2 starring a returning Hemsworth.

Related: Every Upcoming Chris Hemsworth Movie We’re Excited to See

2 The Old Guard

The Old Guard Poster Has Charlize Theron Ready for Action on Netflix This Summer

The Oscar-winning and gifted performer Charlize Theron stars in the 2020 superhero flick The Old Guard, which focuses on a covert team of immortal mercenaries who are suddenly exposed and must battle to keep their identity a secret while discovering the existence of an unexpected new member. With the additional talents of KiKi Lane, Matthias Schoenaerts, and Chiwetel Ejiofor, the action film is based on the Greg Rucka comic book of the same name.

Gina Prince-Bythewood became the first Black woman to direct a big-budget comic book picture, with the filmmaker being lauded for her sophisticated vision and compelling storytelling. After the streaming success of The Old Guard, Theron expressed her desire to appear in a follow-up, having said, “Let’s have a little resting period, but just given the fact that all of us really want to do it, I’m sure when it’s the right time, we’ll start the conversation.” On January 27, 2021 Netflix greenlit a sequel with the original cast and director returning.

1 The Harder They Fall

The Harder They Fall

Jeymes Samuel’s 2021 action Western The Harder They Fall follows real life American cowboy and former slave Nat Love who, upon discovering his enemy Rufus Buck is being released from prison, decides to reunite his gang and seek revenge against their adversary. Starring Jonathan Majors, Idris Elba, Zazie Beetz, and a stunning Regina King, the film and its characters are loosely based on the real life cowboys, outlaws and lawmen of the 19th century American West. According to director Jeymes Samuel, The Harder They Fall is a more honest depiction of the Old West, concurred by the Smithsonian, which estimates that one in four cowboys were Black.

The picture debuted to rave reviews, with praise going towards Samuel’s direction, the score, and the performances of its dynamite leads. Rolling Stone proclaimed, “This is a Friday night affair: It wants to rouse us out of our seats–and it does. Samuel’s movie, with its reggae-inflected soundtrack and booming cast revels in the freedoms of pastiche, reckless violence and glossy, staccato style.”

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