Top 30 Best Action Films on Netflix of All Time

By Lori Meek
Published: November 7, 2022 (Last updated: last month)
Top 30 Best Action Films on Netflix of All Time

Bookmark this page as we celebrate and list what are deemed to be the Top 30 Best Action Films on Netflix of all time.

Action movies have been around since the dawn of cinema with early 20th-century gems like The Great Train Robbery. While film-making has evolved a bit since 1903, there’s no denying that films where heroes go up against evil foes, engage in thrilling car chases, and blow things up make for great entertainment. Luckily, Netflix has an extensive collection of action films, and we’ve used Metacritic scores to establish the best offerings from this genre available to stream right now. Some titles on this list came out as early as 1966, while others premiered as recently as 2022.

Top 30 Best Action Films on Netflix of All Time

1. The Hurt Locker (2009)

This thrilling offering came out in 2009 to wide critical acclaim thanks to an ensemble cast and compelling story. 

Official premise: During the Iraq War, a Sergeant recently assigned to an army bomb squad is put at odds with his squad mates due to his maverick way of handling his work.

Cast: Anthony Mackie, Brian Geraghty, Jeremy Renner

Metascore: 95

IMDB Rating: 7.5/10

2. Zero Dark Thirty (2012)

Chronicling over a decade in the lives of the operatives who chased and brought an infamous terrorist down, Zero Dark Thirty is an award-winning action movie and a must-watch for all fans of the genre. 

Official premise: For a decade, an elite team of intelligence and military operatives, working in secret across the globe, devoted themselves to a single goal: to find and eliminate Osama bin Laden.

Cast: Chris Pratt, Édgar Ramírez, Jason Clarke, Jennifer Ehle, Jessica Chastain, Joel Edgerton, Mark Strong

Metascore: 95

IMDB Rating: 7.4/10

3. Dunkirk (2017)

Christopher Nolan’s critically acclaimed war movie won three Oscars and several other awards for its compelling portrayal of Allied soldiers in WW2. 

Official premise: Dunkirk opens as hundreds of thousands of British and Allied troops are surrounded by enemy forces. Trapped on the beach with their backs to the sea they face an impossible situation as the enemy closes in.

Cast: Aneurin Barnard, Barry Keoghan, Damien Bonnard, Fionn Whitehead, Harry Styles, Jack Lowden, James Bloor, Lee Armstrong, Mark Rylance, Tom Glynn-Carney, Tom Hardy

Metascore: 94

IMDB Score: 7.8/10

4. Saving Private Ryan (1998)

Directed by Steven Spielberg, this film is a must-watch for fans of the action and war genres. Critically acclaimed since it first premiered in 1998, this film earned multiple awards and nominations, including five wins at the 1999 Oscars. 

Official premise: During the WWII D-Day invasion, a squad of soldiers led by Captain John Miller (Tom Hanks) is sent into Normandy to find Private James Ryan (Matt Damon), and return him to his mother in America. She has already lost three other sons in this war.

Cast: Matt Damon, Tom Hanks

Metascore: 91

IMDB Score: 8.6/10

5. Baby Driver (2017)

With an all-star cast and an intriguing premise, it’s no wonder Baby Driver is still gaining fans five years after it first premiered. 

Official premise: A talented, young getaway driver (Ansel Elgort) relies on the beat of his personal soundtrack to be the best in the game. When he meets the girl of his dreams (Lily James), Baby sees a chance to ditch his criminal life and make a clean getaway. But after being coerced into working for a crime boss (Kevin Spacey), he must face the music when a doomed heist threatens his life, love and freedom.

Cast: Ansel Elgort, C.J. Jones, Eiza González, Jamie Foxx, Jon Bernthal, Jon Hamm, Kevin Spacey, Lily James, Micah Howard, Morgan Brown, Morse Diggs

Metascore: 86

IMDB Score: 7.6/10

6. The Bourne Ultimatum (2007)

A rare occurrence for a sequel, The Bourne Ultimatum is the third movie in the Jason Bourne franchise, and the highest-rated one. 

Official premise: All he wanted was to disappear. Instead, Jason Bourne is now hunted by the people who made him what he is. Having lost his memory and the one person he loved, he is undeterred by the barrage of bullets and a new generation of highly-trained killers. Bourne has only one objective: to go back to the beginning and find out who he was. (Universal)

Cast: Édgar Ramírez, Joan Allen, Matt Damon

Metascore: 85

IMDB Score: 8/10

7. The Dark Knight (2008)

The Dark Knight is the second film from Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight trilogy and marks the late Heath Ledger’s final role before his untimely passing. 

Official premise: When the menace known as the Joker wreaks havoc and chaos on the people of Gotham, Batman must accept one of the greatest psychological and physical tests of his ability to fight injustice.

Cast: Aaron Eckhart, Christian Bale, Heath Ledger

Metascore: 84

IMDB Score: 9/10

8. Looper (2012)

Rian Johnson’s award-winning Looper is still considered one of the best time travel action movies out there for its fun action scenes and intriguing premise. 

Official premise: In Looper, time travel exists, but it is illegal and only available on the black market. When the mob wants to get rid of someone, they send their target 30 years into the past, where a “looper” – a hired gun, like Joe – is waiting to mop up. Joe is doing good as a looper until the day the mob decides to “close the loop,” sending back Joe’s future self for assassination. 

Cast: Bruce Willis, Emily Blunt, Garret Dillahunt, Jeff Daniels, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Noah Segan, Paul Dano, Piper Perabo

Metascore: 84

IMDB Score: 7.4/10

9. Spider-Man 2 (2004)

Released nearly two decades ago, the second installment of Tobey Maguire’s Spider-Man movie series is still considered one the best in the bunch. 

Official premise: Peter Parker is beset with troubles in his failing personal life as he battles a brilliant scientist named Doctor Otto Octavius.

Cast: Alfred Molina, Kirsten Dunst, Tobey Maguire

Metascore: 83

IMDB Score: 7.4/10

10. RRR (2022)

Released in March of 2022, this Indian epic is well worth a watch for its outstanding cinematography, action sequences, and soundtrack. 

Official premise: RRR is a fictional story about India’s legendary freedom fighters, Alluri Sitarama Raju and Komaram Bheem who fought against the British Raj and the Nizam of Hyderabad respectively.

Cast: Ajay Devgn, Alia Bhatt, Alison Doody, Chandra Sekhar, N.T. Rama Rao Jr., Olivia Morris, Ovais Singstar, Ram Charan, Ray Stevenson, Samuthirakani, Shriya, Varun Buddhadev

Metascore: 83

IMDB Score: 8/10

11. Star Trek (2009)

Since its 2009 release, this installment from the Star Trek franchise has been getting tons of critical praise and it even won an Oscar for Best Achievement in make-up. 

Official premise: The brash James T. Kirk tries to live up to his father’s legacy with Mr. Spock keeping him in check as a vengeful Romulan from the future creates black holes to destroy the Federation one planet at a time.

Cast: Chris Pine, Simon Pegg, Zachary Quinto

Metascore: 82

IMDB Score: 7.9/10

12. Skyfall (2012)

Featuring Adele on the soundtrack, Skyfall is one of the highest-rated entries in the James Bond franchise. 

Official premise: In Skyfall, Bond’s loyalty to M is tested as her past comes back to haunt her. As MI6 comes under attack, 007 must track down and destroy the threat, no matter how personal the cost.

Cast: Daniel Craig, Helen McCrory, Javier Bardem, Judi Dench, Naomie Harris, Ralph Fiennes

Metascore: 81

IMDB Score: 7.8/10

13. Casino Royale (2006)

Daniel Craig’s first feature as the famous British spy James Bond was widely successful and one of the highest-grossing films of 2006. 

Official premise: After earning 00 status and a licence to kill, secret agent James Bond sets out on his first mission as 007. Bond must defeat a private banker funding terrorists in a high-stakes game of poker at Casino Royale, Montenegro.

Cast: Daniel Craig, Eva Green, Jeffrey Wright, Judi Dench

Metascore: 80

IMDB Score: 8/10

14. The Dark Knight Rises (2012)

Released in 2012, The Dark Knight Rises is the final chapter in Christopher Nolan’s Batman trilogy. 

Official premise: Eight years after the Joker’s reign of anarchy, Batman, with the help of the enigmatic Selina Kyle, is forced from his exile to save Gotham City from the brutal guerrilla terrorist Bane.

Cast: Anne Hathaway, Christian Bale, Gary Oldman, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Marion Cotillard, Michael Caine, Morgan Freeman, Tom Hardy

Metascore: 78

IMDB Score: 8.4/10

15. Lost Bullet (2020)

This French Netflix original came out in 2020 to critical acclaim. Due to the movie’s success, a sequel is set to premiere on November 10, 2022. 

Official premise: A small-time delinquent, turned police mechanic for a go-fast task force, is forced to defend his innocence when his mentor is killed by dirty cops.

Cast: Alban Lenoir, Alexandre Philip, Arthur Aspaturian, Nicolas Duvauchelle, Patrick Médioni, Ramzy Bedia, Rod Paradot, Sébastien Lalanne, Stéfi Celma, Stephen Scardicchio

Metascore: 78

IMDB Score: 6.3/10

16. Wonder Woman (2017)

Wonder Woman premiered in 2017 and became the 10th highest-grossing film of the year. 

Official premise: When a pilot crashes and tells of conflict in the outside world, Diana, an Amazonian warrior in training, leaves home to fight a war, discovering her full powers and true destiny.

Cast: Chris Pine, Connie Nielsen, Danny Huston, David Thewlis, Eugene Brave Rock, Ewen Bremner, Gal Gadot, Lucy Davis, Robin Wright, Saïd Taghmaoui

Metascore: 76

IMDB Score: 7.4/10

17. Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991)

Generally regarded as the best offering from The Terminator franchise, this cult classic won four Oscars including the awards for Best Sound and Best Visual Effects.  

Official premise: In a future, war-ravaged Los Angeles in which the machines have taken over the earth, a faction of human rebels led by an adult John Connor do battle with the cyborgs. Two “intelligent machines” have been dispatched to the past, one — a replica of the Terminator model T-800 which dominated the original film — to protect the young Connor, the other — a shape-shifting metallic T-1000 — to kill him.

Cast: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Linda Hamilton

Metascore: 75

IMDB Score: 8.6/10

18. Okja (2017)

Netflix’s award-winning Okja enjoyed critical acclaim in the festival circuits before it found a home on the streaming platform. 

Official premise: A young girl risks everything to prevent a powerful, multinational company from kidnapping her best friend – a fascinating beast named Okja.

Cast: Colm Hill, Giancarlo Esposito, Jake Gyllenhaal, Jose Carias, Kathryn Kirkpatrick, Michael Mitton, Seo-Hyeon Ahn, Sheena Kamal, Tilda Swinton

Metascore: 75

IMDB Score: 8.6/10

19. The Professionals (1966)

Despite its age, The Professionals is still regarded as one of the best Westerns out there. 

Official premise: An arrogant Texas millionaire hires four adventurers to rescue his kidnapped wife from a notorious Mexican bandit.

Cast: Burt Lancaster, Claudia Cardinale, Jack Palance, Joe De Santis, Jorge Martínez de Hoyos, Lee Marvin, Rafael Bertrand, Ralph Bellamy, Robert Ryan, Woody Strode

Metascore: 75

IMDB Score: 7.3

20. All Quiet on the Western Front (2022)

This German action film only dropped on Netflix in October 2022, but quickly became one of the most-watched movies on the platform for its gripping depiction of the horrors of war. 

Official premise: All Quiet on the Western Front tells the gripping story of a young German soldier on the Western Front of World War I. Paul and his comrades experience first-hand how the initial euphoria of war turns into desperation and fear as they fight for their lives, and each other, in the trenches. The German film from director Edward Berger is based on the world-renowned bestseller of the same name by Erich Maria Remarque

Cast: Aaron Hilmer, Adrian Grünewald, Albrecht Schuch, André Marcon, Andreas Döhler, Anton von Lucke, Daniel Brühl, Devid Striesow, Dominikus Weileder, Edin Hasanovic, Felix Kammerer, Joe Weintraub, Luc Feit, Michael Wittenborn, Moritz Klaus, Sebastian Hülk, Thibault de Montalembert

Metascore: 75

IMDB Score: 7.9/10

21. Kung Fu Panda (2008)

This award-winning animated classic was 2008’s third highest-grossing film thanks to its premise, clever writing, and action sequences. 

Official premise: To everyone’s surprise, including his own, Po, an overweight, clumsy panda, is chosen as protector of the Valley of Peace. His suitability will soon be tested as the valley’s arch-enemy is on his way.

Cast: Angelina Jolie, Ian McShane, Jack Black

Metascore: 74

IMDB Score: 7.6/10

22. Clear and Present Danger (1994)

This 90s action classic has an all-star cast and was nominated for two Academy Awards. 

Official premise: CIA Analyst Jack Ryan is drawn into an illegal war fought by the US government against a Colombian drug cartel.

Cast: Harrison Ford, Willem Dafoe

Metascore: 74

IMDB Score: 6.9/10

23. Natural Born Killers (1994)

Quentin Tarantino’s Natural Born Killers was a box office hit when it first came out to polarizing reviews. This film is regarded as one of the most controversial action thrillers of all time. 

Official premise: The story of Mickey and Mallory, serial killers involved in a cross country killing spree that elevates them from fugitives into media celebrities.

Cast: Juliette Lewis, Woody Harrelson

Metascore: 74

IMDB Score: 7.2/10

24. Rush (2013)

This 2013 biographical action drama received a BAFTA award and features great performances and a soundtrack composed by Hans Zimmer. 

Official premise: Set against the glamorous golden age of Formula 1 racing in the 1970s, Rush tells the true story of the great rivalry between handsome English playboy James Hunt and his methodical, brilliant opponent, Austrian driver Niki Lauda. The story chronicles their distinctly different personal styles on and off the track, their loves and the astonishing 1976 season in which both drivers were willing to risk everything to become world champion in a sport with no margin for error.

Cast: Chris Hemsworth, Daniel Brühl, Olivia Wilde

Metascore: 75

IMDB Score: 8.1/10

25. See You Yesterday (2019)

Released three years ago, See You Yesterday earned several awards and nominations and critical acclaim for its interesting premise and great performances. 

Official premise: High school best friends and science prodigies C.J. and Sebastian spend every spare minute working on their latest homemade invention: backpacks that enable time travel. But when C.J.’s older brother Calvin dies after an encounter with police officers, the young duo decide to put their unfinished tech to use in a desperate bid to save Calvin.

Cast: Eden Duncan-Smith, Danté Crichlow, Michael J. Fox a

Metascore: 74

IMDB Score: 5.2/10

26. War of the Worlds (2005)

Directed by Steven Spielberg, War of the Worlds received three Academy Awards nominations and premiered to mostly positive reviews from critics. 

Official premise: A contemporary retelling of H.G. Wells’s seminal classic, the sci-fi adventure thriller reveals the extraordinary battle for the future of humankind through the eyes of one American family fighting to survive it.

Cast: Dakota Fanning, Tim Robbins, Tom Cruise

Metascore: 73

IMDB Score: 6.5/10

27. Spider-Man (2002)

Sam Raimi’s first installment of the Spider-Man trilogy premiered in 2002 and was the highest-grossing superhero film of the year.

IMDB Score: 7.7/10: Kirsten Dunst, Tobey Maguire

Official premise: Peter Parker (Maguire), after being bitten by a genetically altered spider, becomes Spider-Man, a hero of superhuman strength with the ability to cling to any surface. He dedicates himself to a life of fighting crime, while living a double life as a superhero and working student

Metascore: 73

IMDB Score: 7.4/10

28. Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol (2011)

Ghost Protocol is the fourth installment in the Mission Impossible series and is generally considered the best offering from the franchise. 

Official premise: The IMF is shut down when it’s implicated in the bombing of the Kremlin, causing Ethan Hunt and his new team to go rogue to clear their organization’s name.

Cast: Tom Cruise

Metascore: 73

IMDB Score: 7.4/10

29. Spider-Man: Homecoming (2017)

Released in 2017, MCU’s first Spider-Man movie received several awards and was generally met with positive reviews from critics. 

Official premise: Peter Parker balances his life as an ordinary high school student in Queens with his superhero alter-ego Spider-Man, and finds himself on the trail of a new menace prowling the skies of New York City.

Cast: Donald Glover, Gwyneth Paltrow, Jacob Batalon, Jon Favreau, Laura Harrier, Marisa Tomei, Michael Keaton, Robert Downey Jr., Tom Holland, Zendaya

Metascore: 73

IMDB Score: 7.4/10

30. The Dirty Dozen (1967)

Released in 1967 to both public and critical acclaim, the Dirty Dozen Won won an Academy Award for Best Sound and it’s still considered one of the best action films of all time. 

Official premise: During World War II, a rebellious U.S. Army Major is assigned a dozen convicted murderers to train and lead them into a mass assassination mission of German officers.

Cast: Charles Bronson, Ernest Borgnine, George Kennedy, Jim Brown, John 

Metascore: 73

IMDB Score: 7.7/10

And that’s it, folks, the Top 30 Best Action Films on Netflix of all time! And we will make sure to update this page every three months, so keep it bookmarked! 

Make sure to check out The Top 50 Highest Rated Netflix Series of All Time too!

Is there any series on this list that you disagree with? Comment below.

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