Explosions! Guns! Helicopters! Even bigger explosions!

They aren’t always the most sophisticated films, but for a night on the sofa with a massive bag of popcorn, there's often nothing better than a no-nonsense, pedal-to-the-metal action movie.

From Stallone and Schwarzenegger to Ryan Reynolds and The Rock, through the history of cinema we've always loved movie stars who can pull off high-octane action.

This summer Ryan Gosling and Chris Evans will show off their action hero chops in Netflix spy thriller blockbuster The Gray Man.

To celebrate the film's release, we've ranked and rated the best Netflix Original action movies and also offered some tips on the finest 80s, 90s and 00s action films currently available to watch in the UK on Netflix.

The best new films on Netflix coming this year

10. Interceptor

Elsa Pataky in Interceptor on Netflix Netflix

This no-nonsense action thriller stars Elsa Pataky (Fast and Furious) as the army captain who is forced to use her years of tactical training and expertise when a co-ordinated attack threatens a missile interceptor station under her command.

Luke Bracey (Hacksaw Bridge) co-stars.

9. Spenser Confidential

Spenser (Mark Wahlberg) is an ex-cop better known for making trouble than solving it in this action comedy.

After being released from prison, Spenser gets roped into helping a promising amateur fighter. That's Hawk (Winston Duke), a brash, no-nonsense MMA fighter convinced he'll be a tougher opponent than Spenser ever was.

When two of Spenser’s former colleagues are murdered, he recruits Hawk to help him investigate and bring the culprits to justice. 

8. 6 Underground

Put together Ryan Reynolds, Adria Arjona, Manuel Garcia-Rulfo, Dave Franco, Corey Hawkins, Melanie Laurent and Ben Hardy in an explosive action hero movie and you can expect something pretty epic.

The film is about six individuals from all around the globe, each the very best at what they do, chosen not only for their skill, but for a unique desire to delete their pasts in order to change the future. The team is brought together by an enigmatic leader (Ryan Reynolds), whose sole mission in life is to ensure that, while he and his fellow operatives will never be remembered, their actions damn sure will.

7. Kate

Mary Elizabeth Winstead in Kate Netflix

Mary Elizabeth Winstead (Birds of Prey, Scott Pilgrim Vs the World) leads this assassin movie as the title character, a ruthless criminal with 24 hours to take revenge on the enemies who have poisoned her.

Miku Martineau and Woody Harrelson co-star.

6. Red Notice

Dwayne Johnson! Ryan Reynolds! Gal Gadot! Explosions! Is any further explanation necessary?

Netflix go supersize with a trio of Hollywood superstars playing a FBI profiler, the world's greatest art thief and world's most wanted art thief in a high-flying, globetrotting adventure.

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5. Army of the Dead

Dave Bautista in Army of the Dead Netflix

Dave Bautista (Guardians of the Galaxy) leads the cast of Zack Snyder’s (Watchmen, Man of Steel, 300) highly-anticipated return to the zombie movie genre.

Following a group of mercenaries in Las Vegas who take the ultimate gamble during a zombie outbreak, Netflix's Army of the Dead is an ambitious, gory, zombie-heist genre mash-up.

Rotten Tomatoes score: 67%

4. Triple Frontier

Oscar Isaac and Ben Affleck in Triple Frontier Netflix

Throw Ben Affleck, Pedro Pascal, Oscar Isaac, Charlie Hunnam and Garrett Hedlund together in a special forces heist action-adventure and Netflix were always going to be on to a good thing.

The chaps play operatives in a sparsely populated multi-border zone of South America, where a mission takes an unexpected turn, threatens to spiral out of control and pushes their relationships to the limit.

Rotten Tomatoes score: 70%

3. The Night Comes For Us

The Night Comes For Us on Netflix Netflix

It's not going to be for everyone and it definitely shouldn't be watched by the squeamish, but this Indonesian action thriller is extremely stylish and bloodier than a slaughterhouse.

The Netflix film tells the story of former triad enforcer Ito (played by Joe Taslim) and his mission to protect a young girl while trying to escape his former gang, which sets off a violent battle on the streets of Jakarta.

Rotten Tomatoes Score: 91%

2. The Old Guard

Charlize Theron in The Old Guard Netflix

Winning over critics and fans – and with a sequel on the way - Charlize Theron leads the cast of Netflix's comic book adaptation about a team of immortal mercenaries.

Based on Greg Rucka's graphic novel, the action sequences were described by critics as “awe inspiring” and “eye popping”.

Rotten Tomatoes score: 80%

1 . Extraction

Chris Hemsworth in Extraction Netflix

Chris Hemsworth does his best Chris Hemsworth as he plays fearless mercenary Tyler Rake, who gets a mission to rescue the son of an international crime lord.

A swaggering, action-packed thriller, Extraction is a breakneck-speed adventure which became Netflix's most-watched original film ever when it was released in 2020.

Rotten Tomatoes score: 67%

Classic 80s, 90s and 00s action films to watch on Netflix UK

  • Point Break
  • The Hunt for Red October
  • Kill Bill Volume 1
  • Heat
  • Blue Thunder
  • John Wick Chapter 2
  • Jack Reacher
  • Patriot Games
  • RockNRolla
  • The Expendables
  • 21 Bridges
  • Ava
  • The Gentleman
  • Zero Dark Thirty
  • Rush Hour