January is a month filled with the joy and trepidation that comes with a new year. Everyone sets resolutions that they inevitably break, and most people in the U.S. deal with some of the coldest weather they’re going to experience all year. Despite the doldrums that so often define the month, though, there’s one resolution that should be pretty easy to keep: Make sure you check out some great action movies that you’ve never seen before.
If you’re looking for good action, then you’re in luck. Max has one of the deepest catalogs of movies of any streaming service, and many of those titles are streaming classics. We’ve picked out a few of the very best action movies on Max that are worth watching this January.
In addition to being one of the finest actors of his or any generation, Denzel Washington is also a genuinely great action star. No movie proves that more definitively than Tony Scott’s Man on Fire, which follows Washington as an ex-CIA operative who reluctantly takes a job as a bodyguard for a 9-year-old girl.
When that girl is kidnapped, though, he makes his way through a series of goons and bad guys in order to get her back. Man on Fire is a thrilling movie from beginning to end, and it’s anchored by the bond between Washington’s character and the girl played by a young Dakota Fanning.
Yes, it’s in black-and-white, and yes, it’s in Japanese, but Seven Samurai laid so much of the runway for the movies that came after it that it’s a must-watch for any lover of action. Set in feudal Japan, the film follows a band of samurai who are hired to defend a village from a gang of bandits.
In addition to serving as an explicit point of reference for The Magnificent Seven films, Seven Samurai is also a beautiful story about the creation of a team of ignoble people who unite for a very noble purpose. Directed by the legendary Akira Kurosawa, it’s one of several masterpieces he made over the course of his career.
A superhero story from an era when those were still relatively obscure, M. Night Shyamalan‘s follow-up to The Sixth Sense is one of the director’s very best movies. it follows a man who survives a train accident and begins to suspect he may have supernatural levels of invulnerability. After discovering that he may be uniquely gifted, be decides to begin helping people, and eventually runs into a supervillain of his own.
Featuring great performances from Bruce Willis and Samuel L. Jackson, Unbreakable is a street-level story about a pair of highly gifted individuals who are battling their own trauma just as much as they’re battling any external force.
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