10 thrilling movies like John Wick you must watch

By Romey Norton
Published: February 13, 2023 (Last updated: December 31, 2023)

Here are ten thrilling movies like John Wick you must watch that will get your pulse going. Add these well-recommended films to your watch list.

John Wick is an action thriller starring beloved Hollywood hero Keanu Reeves, and it has such a broad fan base it now has four films in its franchise. What makes this film so special is its groundbreaking and jaw-dropping action sequences. Some have been described as the best fight scenes in a movie of all time, with the Red Circle Shootout and Knife Room fight being an example of the best in the franchise, so if you haven’t watched these films by now, you really should.

The story surrounds a retired hitman (John Wick – Keanu Reeves) who is forced to return to his old ways after a group of Russian gangsters steal his car and kill his puppy, who was gifted to him by his late wife. This film is about a man consumed by his need for revenge and justice.

READ: The Continental: From the World of John Wick Review

Here is a list of 10 similar thrilling movies like John Wick to get your hearts and imaginations racing. Each film follows similar themes: high-action sequences and twisting, well-written plots. 

10 thrilling movies like John Wick you must watch

Equilibrium (2002) 

A time-tested dystopian story in a world where every form of human emotion is prohibited. Preston, an officer, decides to revolt against it. This story isn’t complicated. It’ll grab your attention and make you reflect on society. His emotions make Preston fight for his freedom and the freedom of others to feel. Some excellent action sequences drive it. 

Die Hard 4.0 (2007)

I’m going there with Die Hard, specifically Die Hard 4.0, where we have John McClane getting on in age and maybe thinking about retiring but is then given the task of tracking down a hacker. Sounds simple? It never is. McClane ends up working with Thomas (the hacker) to take down major cyber criminals and save his country. There are some killer chase and fighting scenes mixed with the geeky technology and hacking aspect; this film is an excellent mix of modern warfare. 

Nobody (2021) 

For anyone missing Better Call Saul, too, here we have the very captivating Bob Odenkirk. Hutch Mansell (Odenkirk) finds his life changed forever when a few thieves break into his house. As he tries to punish the thieves, he kills the brother of a crime lord, Yulian, who now wants revenge on Mansell. Not only do this film and John Wick have intense action scenes, but they both share the same writer and producer and a Russian villain with similar themes and plot beats, so it is a definite must-watch for John Wick fans. 

Polar (2019)

This action thriller sees the world’s top assassin, Duncan Vizla, aka The Black Kaiser, settling into retirement until his former employer marks him as a liability to the firm. Going head-to-head against an army of younger, faster, ruthless killers who will stop at nothing, he fights for his life. Like John Wick, he’s brought out of retirement to fight, but the only difference here is it’s against his will, and he’s trying to survive. 

Peppermint (2018)

Continuing with the themes of revenge, this action vigilante thriller film is set five years after Riley North’s daughter and husband were brutally murdered. Grieving and in pain, Riley set out to build her physical and mental strength to bring justice to her family. Filled with action and violence and uses foul language. It’s not everyone’s favorite action film, but it’s still worth watching. 

Kill Bill (2003)

Here is a film for viewers who want a strong female protagonist. I’m going in with Quentin Tarantino’s Kill Bill: Volume 1, which is the action, martial arts film that stars Uma Thurman as the Bride, who swears revenge on a team of assassins (Lucy Liu, Michael Madsen, Daryl Hannah, and Vivica A. Fox) and their leader, Bill (David Carradine) after they try to kill her. This film is excellent, with incredible fight scenes and drama. It’s hard-hitting and bloody, like an actual Tarantino movie.

Kate (2021)

This film follows the trend of female assassin movies and is a great action film to watch. When she slipped a fatal poison on her last job, a ruthless Tokyo assassin has less than 24 hours to find out who ordered the hit and exact revenge. This film has themes of revenge and self-discovery and is filled with action and purpose. 

Sicario (2015)

This action thriller film is directed by Denis Villeneuve and stars Emily Blunt, Benicio del Toro, and Josh Brolin. Blunt’s character is an idealistic FBI Agent who is enlisted to help with the war against drugs between the U.S. and Mexico. There’s plenty of action and suspense, with more modern shootout scenes than fighting, but I like that. It’ll make you think about your morals and right and wrong.

Jack Reacher (2012)

When it comes to action thriller films, I think of Tom Cruise and the Mission Impossible franchise, but here I am going to go to his 2012 film Jack Reacher. When a former U.S. Army sniper, James Barr, is accused of killing five people, Jack Reacher, a former Military Police officer, takes it upon himself to investigate the case. Like John Wick, we have someone with special skills coming back into the spotlight to make a difference for personal reasons. 

Bullet Train (2022) 

A professionally hired killer nicknamed Ladybug accepts an assignment in Japan on the instructions of his curator. He boards an innovative high-speed train traveling from Tokyo to Morioka to track down and steal a mysterious suitcase. However, there are several killers on the train with the same goal. It’s extreme, non-stop fighting and killing, and it is worth every bloody second. 

Do you have any other recommendations for thrilling movies like John Wick? Let us know! 

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