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32 Great Action Movies That Went Straight To Streaming

 Chris Hemsworth stands ready to fight in a jail riot in Extraction 2.
Chris Hemsworth stands ready to fight in a jail riot in Extraction 2.

Few moviegoing experiences come close to watching a massive action flick on the big screen with a bucket full of popcorn, an overpriced soda, and whatever else you grab from the snack bar. However, over the past few years, we’ve seen a major shift in the way we watch movies, including new action films, in that so many of them go straight to streaming with no theatrical rollout (or a day-and-date release) to speak of.

It isn’t all bad, as platforms like Netflix, Max, and Prime Video have given us some of the best action movies in recent memory. Here are some great action movies that went straight to streaming and became big hits on the small screen.

Road House 2024
Road House 2024

Road House (2024)

Though it was expected to land in theaters first, Doug Liman’s Road House remake went straight to streaming for its March 2024 release. Though it would have been great to watch Jake Gyllenhaal and Conor McGregor go at it on the big screen, being able to check it out from the comfort of your home on Prime Video wasn’t all that bad. In fact, it was great!

Liam Neeson in The Ice Road
Liam Neeson in The Ice Road

The Ice Road (2021)

Netflix holds it down with the straight-to-streaming action movies thanks to surprisingly fun watches like The Ice Road. Released in 2021, this ‘90s throwback starring Liam Neeson and Amber Midthunder follows a group of truckers on a daring rescue mission to save trapped miners before time runs out.

Chris Pratt sits with a look of concern in The Tomorrow War.
Chris Pratt sits with a look of concern in The Tomorrow War.

The Tomorrow War (2021)

The 2021 Amazon original movie, The Tomorrow War, blends sci-fi, action, and comedy to create a wild cinematic experience with massive battles, time travel, and a lot of heart. In the film, Chris Pratt plays a biology professor and former Green Beret who is transported from 2022 to 2051 to save the world from alien invaders.

Chris Hemsworth as Tyler Rake in Netflix's Extraction
Chris Hemsworth as Tyler Rake in Netflix's Extraction

Extraction (2020)

One of the best action movies of 2020, Sam Hargrove’s Extraction follows former Australian Army SASR operator Tyler Rake (Chris Hemsworth) as he is sent on a dangerous mission to rescue a drug lord’s son. This Netflix original, which Joe Russo penned, excelled in every possible way and gave us some wild sequences we’re still thinking about four years later.

Chris Evans as Lloyd Hansen in The Gray Man
Chris Evans as Lloyd Hansen in The Gray Man

The Gray Man (2022)

Netflix gave subscribers one of the best action films of 2022 with the release of The Gray Man, a massive spectacle starring Ryan Gosling and Chris Evans as two trained killers on opposite sides of a worldwide manhunt. Sure, there are some things that don’t work about the Russo brothers’ uber-expensive movie, but those crafty action sequences and that over-the-top performance by the Captain American actor were just so much fun.

Joe Taslim in The Night Comes for Us
Joe Taslim in The Night Comes for Us

The Night Comes For Us (2018)

We’ll probably never get The Raid 3, but Netflix gave us the next best thing in 2018 with the release of The Night Comes for Us. Directed by Timo Tjahjanto, this Indonesian action thriller saw outstanding performances by Joe Taslim and Iko Uwais in a story about a daring mission to rescue a kidnapped girl and one former criminal’s last shot at redemption. Those fight scenes are something else all these years later.

Idris Elba as Bloodsport in The Suicide Squad
Idris Elba as Bloodsport in The Suicide Squad

The Suicide Squad (2021)

One of the 2021 Warner Bros. movies released in theaters and on HBO Max simultaneously, James Gunn’s The Suicide Squad quickly became one of the best comic book movies in recent memory. With multi-faceted characters, bloody action, and a dynamic that feels like Guardians of the Galaxy with an R-rating, there’s just so much to love here.

Charlize Theron in The Old Guard
Charlize Theron in The Old Guard

The Old Guard (2020)

Gina Prince-Bythewood’s The Old Guard, a 2020 Netflix adaptation of the graphic novel of the same name, was one of the most refreshing action films to come out during the early months of the pandemic. A story about a group of immortal soldiers fighting their way through time, clever set pieces, and a tremendous cast led by Charlize Theron and KiKi Layne made this one to remember.

Dave Bautista and Chloe Coleman in My Spy
Dave Bautista and Chloe Coleman in My Spy

My Spy (2020)

Released by Amazon after theaters around the world closed their doors because of the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic, My Spy saw Dave Bautista play a CIA agent who teams up with a young girl (played by Chloe Coleman) after she catches him spying on her family. Action, blackmail, hilarious conversations, and chemistry shared by its stars all work in My Spy’s favor.

Omari Hardwick's Vanderhoe wielding giant saw in Army of the Dead
Omari Hardwick's Vanderhoe wielding giant saw in Army of the Dead

Army Of The Dead (2021)

Zack Snyder went back to the world of horror with his 2021 Netflix original film, Army of the Dead. In the movie, which feels like Ocean’s Eleven with zombies, a group of mercenaries break into the quarantined Las Vegas strip to retrieve a boatload of cash while also trying to survive the legions of undead walking its streets and casinos.

LaKeith Stanfield in The Harder They Fall
LaKeith Stanfield in The Harder They Fall

The Harder They Fall (2021)

Jeymes Samuel’s star-studded Western action flick, The Harder They Fall, debuted on Netflix in October 2021 and immediately found an audience with the streamer’s subscriber base. Inspired by real figures of the American West, this story centers around an outlaw as he puts together his old crew to get revenge against a recently released convict and settle an old score.

Amber Midthunder as Naru in Prey.
Amber Midthunder as Naru in Prey.

Prey (2022)

One of the best additions to the Predator franchise, the Hulu original film, Prey, follows a Comanche warrior (played by Amber Midthunder) as she takes on a futuristic alien threat that is determined to wipe out her tribe. Using skills and weapons pioneered by her ancestors, this young yet fierce protector goes to war with the better-equipped predator.

Chris Hemsworth looks worried, while hanging onto a train ladder, in Extraction 2.
Chris Hemsworth looks worried, while hanging onto a train ladder, in Extraction 2.

Extraction 2 (2023)

Chris Hemsworth, Sam Hargrave, and Joe Russo returned for more action in Extraction 2 when the highly-anticipated sequel landed on Netflix in 2023. Set not long after the events of the first film, Tyler Rake (Hemsworth) is sent back into the field on what could be his most dangerous, and most personal, mission yet.

Michael B. Jordan in Without Remorse
Michael B. Jordan in Without Remorse

Without Remorse (2021)

Based on the Tom Clancy novel of the same name, Stefano Sollima’s 2021 Amazon original, Without Remorse sees Michael B. Jordan take on the role of US Navy Seal John Kelly, aka John Clark, one of the late writer’s most famous characters (second only to Jack Ryan). Following the brutal murder of his pregnant wife, the highly-trained soldier goes on a one-man revenge mission to right the wrongs of the world.

Chloe Coleman in Gunpowder Milkshake
Chloe Coleman in Gunpowder Milkshake

Gunpowder Milkshake (2021)

With intense and inventive fight scenes and commanding performances by Karen Gillan, Michelle Yeoh, Angela Bassett, Lena Headey, and Chloe Coleman, the 2021 Netflix film, Gunpowder Milkshake is a ton of fun. After being tasked with protecting a young child, a lethal assassin turns to her mom and an elite squad of killers to see them through the dark night.

Angelina Jolie in Those Who Wish Me Dead
Angelina Jolie in Those Who Wish Me Dead

Those Who Wish Me Dead (2021)

Those Who Wish Me Dead, a 2021 Warner Bros. movie that landed on HBO Max and in theaters on the same day, follows a troubled smokejumper (played by Angelina Jolie) as she tries to protect a young murder witness being hunted down by two psychotic killers deep in the Montana wilderness. This is a perfect action throwback for a Sunday afternoon.

Zendaya and Timothee Chalamet
Zendaya and Timothee Chalamet

Dune (2021)

Though it leans more towards science fiction than straight-up action, Denis Villeneuve’s Dune is definitely going to do the trick. Released in theaters and on HBO Max simultaneously in October 2021, the first part of Villeneuve’s adaptation of Frank Herbert’s epic novel is one of the most enchanting and awesome movies to come out in years.

Pedro Pascal in Triple Frontier.
Pedro Pascal in Triple Frontier.

Triple Frontier (2019)

With a cast that includes Ben Affleck, Oscar Isaac, Pedro Pascal, Charlie Hunnam, and Garrett Hedlund, a story about a group of former soldiers pulling off a heist deep in South America, and some outrageous action, there’s a lot going for Triple Frontier. This 2019 Netflix action flick from J.C. Chandor has a certain petal-to-the-metal intensity that’s just so much fun to watch.

The Rebel Moon cast
The Rebel Moon cast

Rebel Moon - Part One: A Child Of Fire (2023)

The first part of Zack Snyder’s Netflix sci-fi saga, Rebel Moon - Part One: A Child Of Fire, is very much a space opera in the vein of Star Wars, but this isn’t to say it’s not an action movie, because it is. With a story that feels like something out of an Akira Kurosawa samurai film, and a lovable cast, and Snyder’s unique visual style, there’s a lot to enjoy.

Tom Hanks in Greyhound on Apple TV+.
Tom Hanks in Greyhound on Apple TV+.

Greyhound (2020)

If you like World War II movies and have an Apple+ subscription, then the Tom Hanks-led 2020 military thriller, Greyhound is going to be something you’ll want to check out. Though much shorter than other films set during the Second World War, this movie spends practically every second of its runtime showcasing awesome battle sequences at sea. Seriously, give it a watch.

Superman (Henry Cavill), Wonder Woman (Gal Gadot) and the rest of Zack Snyder's Justice League
Superman (Henry Cavill), Wonder Woman (Gal Gadot) and the rest of Zack Snyder's Justice League

Zack Snyder's Justice League (2021)

After a lot of brouhaha, HBO Max became the home of Zack Snyder’s Justice League, aka, the definitive version of the DCEU crossover event, in March 2021. Clocking in at a little over four hours, this director’s cut expanded upon 2017’s Justice League and filled in all the gaps (and then some), giving fans all kinds of never-before-seen footage.

Mary Elizabeth Winstead in Kate
Mary Elizabeth Winstead in Kate

Kate (2021)

With less than 24 hours to live after taking a fatal poison, an experienced assassin (played by Mary Elizabeth Winstead) decides to use her final day among the living by going after those who harmed her. Cedric Nicolas-Troyan’s Kate landed on Netflix in September 2021 and gave audiences a riveting time with its action sequences, stunning visuals, and all kinds of twists and turns.

Lewis Tan in Mortal Kombat
Lewis Tan in Mortal Kombat

Mortal Kombat (2021)

Released by Warner Bros. in 2021, Mortal Kombat landed on HBO Max and in theaters on the same day, which gave millions of people instant access to one of the most violent video game movies ever made. Fan-favorite characters like Scorpion, Sub-Zero, and Liu Kang all had great portrayals while also giving us some bloody (and “toasty”) fatalities, which were so cool to watch.

Jennifer Lopez and Josh Duhamel in Shotgun Wedding.
Jennifer Lopez and Josh Duhamel in Shotgun Wedding.

Shotgun Wedding (2023)

It seems like the romantic action-comedy is making a comeback thanks to movies like Shotgun Wedding. Released by Amazon in 2023, the movie follows a soon-to-be-married couple (played by Jennifer Lopez and Josh Duhamel) as their destination wedding turns into a hostage situation. With no one left to save their families from a group of crazed gunmen, the bride and groom go on the attack.

Kaley Cuoco and David Oyelowo in Role Play
Kaley Cuoco and David Oyelowo in Role Play

Role Play (2024)

The 2024 Amazon original, Role Play, which sort of has the same premise as True Lies, only the roles have been flipped, follows a secret assassin (played by Kaley Cuoco) as she tries to patch things over with her husband (played by David Oyelowo). However, when a romantic getaway and an intense mission happen at the same place at the same time, things go from bad to worse.

Michael Fassbender in The Killer
Michael Fassbender in The Killer

The Killer (2023)

David Fincher’s 2023 Netflix original, The Killer, spends more of its time sitting around and plotting with Michael Fassbender’s assassin than anything else, but there is some wonderful action sprinkled in throughout this book-to-screen adaptation. There’s one scene in particular about halfway through the movie that is more intense than just about every other action film released that year.

Millie Bobby Brown in Damsel.
Millie Bobby Brown in Damsel.

Damsel (2024)

If you’re looking for a more fantastical and adventurous action film, then Juan Carlos Fresnadillo’s 2024 Netflix movie, Damsel, is going to be a good streaming option for you. The movie follows a young woman named Elodie (Millie Bobby Brown) as she discovers that the only reason she’s marrying a prince is to pay back an ancient debt. With freedom on her mind, the fearless heroine attempts to make a daring escape.

Scarlett Johansson in Black Widow
Scarlett Johansson in Black Widow

Black Widow (2021)

After a series of delays, Black Widow was finally released in July 2021, at which time it debuted in theaters and on Disney+ (through the Premier Access program). Set between Captain America: Civil War and Avengers: Infinity War on the MCU timeline, the Scarlet Johannsson-led comic book movie focused more on action than superheroes, though there were plenty of acts of heroism to go around.

Ryan Reynolds in 6 Underground
Ryan Reynolds in 6 Underground

6 Underground (2019)

In 2019, Michael Bay teamed up with Netflix to release 6 Underground, an action thriller about a group of vigilantes that carry out a plot to depose a tyrannical dictator after faking their deaths. You’ll feel right at home if you’re a fan of Bay’s previous work, even more so if you’re a big Ryan Reynolds fan.

Sophie Cookson and Mark Wahlberg in a dim room in Infinite.
Sophie Cookson and Mark Wahlberg in a dim room in Infinite.

Infinite (2021)

Antoine Fuqua’s 2021 Paramount+ original film, Infinite, centers on Evan McCauley (Mark Wahlberg), a man who finds himself on an unforgettable journey after he begins to experience memories that are not his own. Teaming up with a group of mysterious warriors, Evan sets out to make sense of the madness and find out who’s behind it all.

Millie Bobby Brown's Enola Holmes speaking with Henry Cavill's Sherlock Holmes
Millie Bobby Brown's Enola Holmes speaking with Henry Cavill's Sherlock Holmes

Enola Holmes (2021)

Millie Bobby Brown’s 2021 Netflix action-adventure film, Enola Holmes, offers a new approach to the world of Sherlock Holmes (played by Henry Cavill in this case). The Stranger Things star’s portrayal of the younger sister of the world’s greatest detective is nothing short of magical, as are the multiple action set pieces peppered throughout the movie.

Dwayne Johnson staring at the egg in Rome in Red Notice.
Dwayne Johnson staring at the egg in Rome in Red Notice.

Red Notice (2021)

In 2021, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, Ryan Reynolds, and Gal Gadot teamed up for the thrilling Netflix original action flick, Red Notice. In a movie where you don’t know who or what to believe, three unlikely characters team up with and betray each other while attempting to get to the bottom of a centuries-old mystery and locate a priceless treasure.

Though a lot of these movies would have been great to experience on the biggest screen possible, it has been nice being able to watch them over and over again from the comfort of our own homes.