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5 great Netflix action movies to stream this 4th of July weekend

A group of soldiers stand next to each other while holding guns.

Now that the Fourth of July has come and gone once again, families are looking to unwind and celebrate their independence together. While many people plan to go out and light up the barbecue or even some fireworks, why not stay in and relax with a good action movie?

Netflix continues to have a wide variety of both new and classic films for subscribers to enjoy, and there is virtually no shortage of exciting action films to watch either. So, while everyone is celebrating the 4th of July weekend, viewers should consider taking time to stream these five action films on Netflix.

Need more recommendations? Then read our guides to the best movies on Netflix, best comedies on Netflix, and best action movies on Netflix.

Beverly Hills Cop: Axel F (2024)

Eddie Murphy smiles at Paul Reiser in "Beverly Hills Cop: Axel F."

Just in time for the Fourth of July, comedy legend Eddie Murphy continues his Hollywood comeback with the release of his fourth film in the Beverly Hills Cop franchise. This Netflix-exclusive reboothas Alex Foley returning to Beverly Hills to investigate a conspiracy that has endangered the lives of multiple people from his past, including his estranged daughter (Taylour Paige).

In Axel F, Murphy’s iconic character teams up with old friends from the franchise, including actors Judge Reinhold, Paul Reiser, and John Ashton, while welcoming new faces in Kevin Bacon (MaXXXine) and Joseph Gordon-Levitt (The Dark Knight Rises). But true to his nature, Foley keeps the franchise alive as he continues to cause more trouble and collateral damage, creating an exciting blend of action and comedy that die-hard fans have waited decades to see.

The Matrix (1999)

Keanu Reeves in "The Matrix."
Warner Bros. Pictures / Warner Bros. Pictures

In a future where machines have trapped humans in virtual reality, a lone hacker (Keanu Reeves) must unlock his latent powers as the one destined to free the world from captivity. There are few action movies as deep and layered as The Matrix. Its blend of philosophical ideas, religious allusions, and social commentary has still made it one of the most beloved and imitated films of all time.

But let’s not forget its revolutionary action scenes. This movie’s distinct brand of kung fu “bullet-time” action has made The Matrix unlike any other. Though many films have tried to emulate it, none can recapture the magic of the original.

Army of the Dead (2021)

The cast of "Army of the Dead" prepares to battle in a film poster.
Netflix / Netflix

Directed by Rebel Moon‘s Zack Snyder, Army of the Dead follows a zombie war veteran (Dave Bautista) who leads a ragtag crew in a casino heist in the ruins of Las Vegas on the Fourth of July. Yeah, it’s as wild as it sounds, but it’s nothing short of entertaining.

Snyder takes everything people love about zombie movies and brings it to the next level, with a zombie king ruling over Vegas and an undead tiger roaming the ruined wasteland. The film also features a delightful cast of characters who immerse viewers in this thrilling action/horror adventure.

Everything Everywhere All at Once (2022)

Michelle Yeoh looks at her hot dog fingers in "Everything Everywhere All at Once."
A24 / A24

As she gets audited by the IRS, a despondent laundromat owner (Michelle Yeoh) is forced to unlock her powers from across different realities when an omnipotent being threatens the Multiverse. Directed by the Daniels (Swiss Army Man), this indie epic is bizarre even for A24, the same studio that released Lamb and Hereditary.

From a chef being controlled by a raccoon to a man kung-fu fighting with butt plugs (not as weapons), this movie is a nonstop barrage of absurd, action-packed comedy that’s guaranteed to blow audiences’ minds. But buried beneath all this chaos is a heartfelt story about an immigrant family reconciling and finding love and meaning with each other in the face of financial and emotional hardships.

Smokey and the Bandit (1977)

Burt Reynolds as the Bandit in "Smokey and the Bandit."
Universal Pictures / Universal Pictures

This summer, audiences should load up the Trans Am and go eastbound and down for the Fourth of July. In cinema’s greatest beer run, late acting legend Burt Reynolds teams up with Jerry Reed to smuggle 400 cases of Coors beer across state lines with a runaway bride (Sally Field) at his side and a Texas sheriff (Jackie Gleason) hot on his trail.

Smokey and the Bandit presents a timeless game of cat-and-mouse accompanied by hilarious banter, thrilling action, magnetic performances, and a classic soundtrack. It’s lighthearted entertainment, sure, but it’s a top-tier slice of Hollywood cinema whose charm will never die.

Anthony Orlando
Anthony Orlando is a writer/director from Oradell, NJ. He spent four years at Lafayette College, graduating CUM LAUDE with a…
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