Looking for a shot of adventure to liven up your evening? We round up the best action classics available to watch on Netflix right now.
KILL BILL 1 & 2
Writer/Director: Quentin Tarantino
Cast: Uma Thurman, Lucy Liu, Vivica A. Fox, Daryl Hannah, Michael Madsen, David Carradine, Julie Dreyfus, Sonny Chiba, Chiaki Kuriyama
A pregnant assassin, code-named The Bride, goes into a coma for four years after her ex-boss Bill brutally attacks her. When she wakes up, she sets out to seek revenge on him and his associates in Tarantino’s critically acclaimed homage to the martial arts genre. Uma Thurman plays The Bride with unrelenting sass and returns in Vol. 2 for more revenge. Both films are packed to the brim with jaw-dropping action scenes, which Tarantino recruited legendary martial arts choreographer Yuen Woo-ping and sword fight choreographer Tetsuro Shimaguchi. With a killer sound track on each flick to boot, to this day, these movies are some of the most artful, intense action cuts in cinema history because they typify the very derivative of the genre.
SPIDER-MAN: INTO THE SPIDER-VERSE
Directors: Bob Perischetti, Peter Ramsey, and Rodney Rothman
Cast: Shameik Moore, Jake Johnson, Hailee Steinfeld, Mahershala Ali, Brian Tyree Henry, Lily Tomlin, Zoe Kravitz, John Mulaney, Kimiko Glenn, Nicolas Cage, Kathryn Hahn, Liev Schreiber
Possibly one of the most important superhero movies ever made, not mention one of the most visually pleasing. While the film’s protagonist is Miles Morales, a mixed race high school student living in New York City who gets bit by a spider and gains superpowers, the movie expands the world into a “multi-verse” as various ‘Spider-People’ from other dimensions. Miles meets alternate versions of himself along the way and gets embroiled in an epic battle to save the multiverse. It’s endearing, funny, packed with themes of friendship, heroism, and family whilst beautifully demonstrating the movie’s overarching theme that, “anyone can wear the mask.”
Director: Steven Spielberg
Cast: Harrison Ford, Karen Allen, Paul Freeman, John Rhys-Davies, Denholm Elliot, Kate Capshaw, Jonathan Ke Quan, Amrish Puri, Sean Connery, Alison Doody, Julian Glover, River Phoenix, Cate Blanchett, Shia LaBeouf, Ray Winstone, John Hurt, Jim Broadbent
Action fans rejoice as all four of the classic films in the Indiana Jones series are currently available on Netflix. If that’s not the king of action marathons, we don’t know what is? And you now have plenty of time to swat up on your René Belloq’s and your Major Arnold Ernst Toht’s before the fifth Spielberg film which is due to hit our screens on 29 July, 2022.
AVENGERS: INFINITY WAR
Directors: Joe and Anthony Russo
Cast: Chris Evans, Josh Brolin, Robert Downey Jr., Chris Hemsworth, Zoe Saldana, Scarlett Johansson, Elizabeth Olsen, Paul Bettany, Tom Holland, Benedict Cumberbatch, Carrie Coon, Tom Hiddleston, Idris Elba, Sebastian Stan, Chadwick Boseman, Danai Gurira, Mark Ruffalo, Benedict Wong, Letitia Wright, Bradley Cooper, Gwyneth Paltrow, Richard Marquand
This is the cast to end all casts and the action does them all justice. The Avengers must stop Thanos, an intergalactic warlord, from getting his hands on the complete set of infinity stones. However, Thanos is prepared to go to any lengths to carry out his insane plan. With atomic effects and a razor sharp script this is as episodic as movies get, and it’s at its best when it leans into the character dynamics – making you care about the fate of each and every one of them. Marking a decade of Marvel production, it stands up to the expectations and the accolade.
SOLO: A STAR WARS STORY
Director: Ron Howard
Cast: Alden Ehrenreich, Woody Harrelsen, Emilia Clarke, Donald Glover, Thandi Newton, Phoebe Waller-Bridge
In a galaxy where hyper-fuel is in high demand, Han Solo gets involved in a large-scale heist within the criminal underworld and meets individuals who change his life. Probably the least complicated movie in the franchise, a subtler, quieter, more relatable film but filled with plenty of action and humor and imaginative characters to keep you hooked.
Director: Michael Bay
Cast: Will Smith, Martin Lawrence, Tea Leoni, and Joe Pantoliano
Smith and Lawrence star as two smart-mouthed Miami detectives investigating a USD 100 million mafia money scam that unravels into a high profile murder. Before Michael Bay had hundreds of millions of dollars to conjure robot explosions and sci-fi worlds, the action filmmaker gifted the world this breakout cut which has established itself amongst the action cult classic hall of fame.
MEN IN BLACK
Director: Barry Sonnenfeld
Cast: Will Smith, Tommy Lee Jones, Lina Fiorentino, Vincent D’Onofrio, Rip Torn, Tony Shalhoub, Siobhan Fallon
This classic tongue-in-cheek intergalactic adventure delivers on all of the thills and spills we love about the action genre. Centered on the agents of an FBI-esque bureau that oversees the comings and goings of earth’s intergalactic visitors, Men in Black follows Jones’ “Agent K”, a grizzled veteran of the trade, as he trains Smith’s wise-cracking newcomer “Agent J”. The chemistry between the leads makes for the ultimate dynamite duo as they deliver this witty script with style and panache.
Director: Steven Soderbergh
Cast: Gina Carano, Ewan McGregor, Michael Fassbender, Channing Tatum, Bill Paxton, Antonio Banderas, and Michael Douglas
One of the most underrated flicks in this genre, the film stars Gina Carano as a black ops operative who is betrayed by her employers and targeted for assassination. On the run, she must gather intel and unravel a conspiracy before it’s too late. Come for the intrigue, stay for the absolutely brutal fight scene with Michael Fassbender.
THE DARK NIGHT
Director: Christopher Nolan
Cast: Christian Bale, Heath Ledger, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Aaron Eckhart, Gary Oldman, Morgan Freeman, and Michael Caine
The Dark Knight is a masterpiece. Fact. Christopher Nolan successfully introduced the world to the idea of a “gritty reboot” with Batman Begins (also available on Netflix), but for the follow-up he crafted an epic, surprising, and downright thrilling story of escalation. There’s a reason that this movie has lingered in the public consciousness for a decade, and still sits amongst the creme-del-la-creme of superhero movies of all time, not least attributed to the devastatingly iconic performance from the late Heath Ledger.