There’s never a bad time to sit back and watch a good action movie.
The nonexistent (or besides-the-point) plot, the constant explosions, the muscular heroes doing what needs doing: What better way to take time out from the daily grind?
Thankfully, Netflix has a great collection of action movies right now, including the addition in September of classics like “Top Gun” and “Jaws.”
Here are 20 action movies we highly recommend that you can stream on Netflix:
Walt Disney Studios
Bruce Willis and Ben Affleck go to space to save the world from a hurtling asteroid. With “Bad Boys” and “The Rock” already under his belt, director Michael Bay became the top action director going into the 2000s with this film.
“Back to the Future” (1985)
This classic is filled with machine gun-toting Libyans and a race to make it in time for a lightning storm that will keep you antsy (in a good way) the whole running time.
“Battle Royale” (2000)
Anchor Bay Films
In the future, kids are forced to an island and must kill one another until only one is left standing. The Japanese title has been hugely influential on genre filmmaking in the 2000s.
“Big Trouble In Little China” (1986)
20th Century Fox
Kurt Russell plays a truck driver who stumbles into an ancient war filled with magic and strange creatures in the ’80s cult classic.
“Black Hawk Down” (2001)
Ridley Scott gives a thrilling look at the elite soldiers on a rescue mission who find themselves in a battle with Somalis.
“Beverly Hills Cop” (1984)
Eddie Murphy goes from funnyman to movie star in this action-comedy.
“Braveheart” Screengrab from Braveheart
“Game of Thrones” certainly has some hardcore action, but this is the precursor to that hit show. Mel Gibson stars and directs in this Oscar winner that has some intense fight sequences.
“The Crow” (1994)
Brandon Lee’s final performance is the one he’ll be remembered for, playing an undead avenger of his and his fiancée’s murder.
“Deep Impact” (1998)
1998 was the year of disaster movies. Along with “Armageddon,” this large-rock-on-its-way-to-destroy-earth movie changed cinematic destruction forever. But this one has Morgan Freeman as POTUS.
“The Fast and the Furious” (2001)
The movie that gave birth to one of the most unlikely franchises is still a thrilling watch 15 years after it was released. RIP Paul Walker.
“From Dusk Till Dawn” (1996)
Vampires want George Clooney. George Clooney (then a huge TV star thanks to “ER”) wants to be a movie star so he fights vampires… with Quentin Tarantino.
Russell Crowe gives an Oscar-winning performance as a Roman general who is betrayed and must become a gladiator to avenge his family’s murder. This is one of the rare sword-and-sandals movies that audiences have cared about in the 2000s.
Ron Perlman brings this edgy comic-book character to life thanks in large part to master filmmaker Guillermo del Toro.
“The Italian Job” (2003)
This remake of the 1969 Michael Caine movie stars Mark Wahlberg, Charlize Theron, and a whole bunch of Mini Coopers that are featured in a great chase sequence.
Steven Spielberg’s classic about a great white shark that terrorizes a small island community is always worth another watch. (Netflix also has the sequels if you want to dive into those, too, though view at your own risk.)
“Jurassic Park” (1993)
18 years after “Jaws,” Spielberg delivers another career-defining action blockbuster, this time using groundbreaking computer graphics instead of a clunky robotic shark.
“The Killer” (1989)
Golden Princess Amusement Company
Ever since John Woo released this incredible shoot-’em-up classic about a hitman (Chow Yun-Fat) who takes one last job hoping to use the money to restore the vision of a girl he accidentally blinded, directors have tried to imitate Woo’s style. Few have succeeded.
“Lethal Weapon” (1987)
Mel Gibson and Danny Glover basically created the buddy-cop genre in this action-packed movie that never gets old.
“Over the Top” (1987)
In one of Sylvester Stallone’s most underrated action movies, he plays a trucker who tries to reconcile with his estranged son while also attempting to win the world arm wrestling championship. I’m not joking. This is a real movie.
It’s the movie that led director James Gunn to make “Guardians of the Galaxy.” Rainn Wilson (“The Office”) plays a regular guy who becomes a “superhero” after his wife spirals back into drug addiction.
Hugh Jackman plays a hacker who is enlisted to help Gabriel, the head of a counter-terrorist group (played by John Travolta). But it turns out Gabriel has devious ideas.
“Top Gun” (1986)
Tom Cruise in ‘Top Gun’ (1986)Paramount Pictures
I mean, the title and the image say it all. Tom Cruise. Fighter jets. America.