Since we’re mostly at home these days, we could all use a little more excitement. Fortunately, action movies let us get some vicarious thrills without actually getting in harm’s way. Plus, it’s always fun to root for an underdog hero. Amazon Prime has an excellent selection of action flicks online, but the lineup is constantly changing. So, we’ve put together a list of the best action movies that you can stream on Amazon now. Turn up the volume and ride into the danger zone.
If you’ve already burned through the Amazon Prime catalog and need more ideas, we’ve also put together a list of the best action movies on Netflix.
Attack the Block (2011)
Horror-comedies are a dime a dozen these days, but back in 2011, the genre was a bit less explored. That’s what made this sci-fi thriller so much dang fun. Effortlessly mixing scares, laughs, and social commentary into a fast-paced narrative about a group of South London teenagers defending their neighborhood from evil aliens, Attack the Block is simultaneously nerdy, charming, and hilarious.
Rotten Tomatoes: 90%
Stars: John Boyega, Alex Esmail, Leeon Jones
Director: Joe Cornish
Runtime: 88 minutes
In the Line of Fire (1993)
Clint Eastwood went from westerns to political thrillers in this high-octane ’90s action hit. Eastwood plays Secret Service agent Frank Horrigan, taunted by calls from a would-be assassin who has detailed information about the agent, including his failure to save President John F. Kennedy from assassination. As Horrigan investigates the man harassing him, he discovers that it’s an ex-CIA assassin with a grudge against the current president. Horrigan is determined not to fail again.
Rotten Tomatoes: 96%
Stars: Clint Eastwood, Rene Russo, John Malkovich
Director: Wolfgang Petersen
Runtime: 128 minutes
Patriot Games (1987)
Harrison Ford’s first turn as Tom Clancy’s famed CIA agent Jack Ryan was such a hit, he’d return for a second turn in Clear and Present Danger. After hampering an IRA terrorist attack in London, retired agent Ryan kills one of the terrorists but fails to kill his brother, Sean Miller (Sean Bean), who escapes arrest. Vowing revenge against Ryan, Miller forces Ryan’s wife and daughter into a car accident that nearly kills them. Suddenly, Ryan is back in action and on the vengeance path himself.
Rotten Tomatoes: 73%
Stars: Harrison Ford, Sean Bean, Anne Archer
Director: Phillip Noyce
Runtime: 116 minutes
Mission: Impossible — Ghost Protocol (2011)
After a five-year hiatus, Ghost Protocol kicked off a new generation of the Tom Cruise-led action franchise with bigger stakes and a bigger vision. After being framed for a terrorist attack on the Kremlin, the U.S. government initiates Ghost Protocol, disavowing Ethan Hunt (Cruise) and his IMF agency, forcing them off the grid without resources or support. Now, back against the wall, Hunt must clear the agency’s name and prevent a second attack from occurring.
Rotten Tomatoes: 93%
Stars: Tom Cruise, Simon Pegg, Jeremy Renner
Director: Brad Bird
Runtime: 133 minutes
Terminator: Dark Fate (2019)
The latest installment of the Terminator saga brought back both Linda Hamilton’s Sarah Connor and Arnold Schwarzenegger’s T-800. However, the story of Terminator: Dark Fate reveals that their new timeline has unfolded differently. The Rev-9 Terminator (Gabriel Luna) has come back in time to kill Dani Ramos (Natalia Reyes) before she can fulfill her destiny. A cyborg soldier named Grace (Mackenzie Davis) also comes back to protect Dani. But Grace and Dani soon find some unexpected backup from both Sarah and the T-800, who has adopted a human persona called “Carl.” The fight for the future is always changing, but this is a worthy sequel.
Rotten Tomatoes: 70%
Stars: Linda Hamilton, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Mackenzie Davis, Natalia Reyes
Director: Tim Miller
Runtime: 128 minutes
The Running Man (1987)
It’s hard to go wrong with an action flick from Arnold Schwarzenegger’s peak period, and The Running Man has the additional pedigree of a story inspired by a Stephen King novel. In the grim future of 2017, Schwarzenegger stars as Ben Richards, a wrongly accused man who is forced to take part in a lethal game show. Ben’s former hostage, Amber Méndez (María Conchita Alonso), becomes one of his few allies when she discovers the truth. But the ruthless host, Damon Killian (Richard Dawson), is deliciously evil as he plots their deaths. You see, no one escapes The Running Man. No one.
Rotten Tomatoes: 64%
Stars: Arnold Schwarzenegger, María Conchita Alonso, Yaphet Kotto, Richard Dawson
Director: Paul Michael Glaser
Runtime: 101 minutes
Clear and Present Danger (1994)
There was a period when Harrison Ford was the world’s biggest action star, and what a time it was. In Clear and Present Danger, Ford had his second turn as Tom Clancy’s durable hero Jack Ryan. In the administration of President Bennett (Donald Moffat), Jack is the acting Deputy Director of Intelligence and seemingly done with fieldwork. However, the President’s covert war with a Columbian drug cartel erupts into chaos, which endangers Jack’s life and forces him to take on one last rescue mission.
Rotten Tomatoes: 80%
Stars: Harrison Ford, Willem Dafoe, Anne Archer, James Earl Jones
Director: Phillip Noyce
Runtime: 141 minutes
Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon — 4K (2000)
There have been plenty of imitations, but Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon still stands alone in the action genre. Set in 17th-century China, Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon has the epic scope of a Lord of the Rings film, as many multilayered and tragic heroes as the best of Shakespeare’s plays, and some of the most beautifully choreographed sword duels you’ll ever see. Zhang Ziyi plays Jen Yu, a young woman who refuses to let her family’s expectations stop her from becoming China’s greatest warrior. Standing in Jen’s path are Li Mu Bai (Chow Yun-fat) and Yu Shu Lien (Michelle Yeoh), who yearn for their decades-old unrequited love to finally find a voice. With stunningly gorgeous cinematography and a haunting score, Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon at turns feels as merciless as a ’70s kung-fu flick and as sweet and sad as a love poem.
Rotten Tomatoes: 97%
Stars: Chow Yun-Fat, Michelle Yeoh, Zhang Ziyi
Director: Ang Lee
Runtime: 120 minutes
The Expendables (2010)
If you think it isn’t possible to fit every action hero ever into the same movie, The Expendables is here to prove you wrong. Sylvester Stallone pulls double duty directing and starring in the first installment in this franchise. Like its follow-ups, The Expendables is pure, joyous action. With big explosions, a body count that keeps ticking up, and wicked one-liners, the film calls back to a time when Stallone and Arnold Schwarzenegger wrestled for action-movie dominance, and Bruce Willis surprised them both — fitting, since all three action divas show up in The Expendables. Joining them are Jason Statham, Jet Li, Dolph Lundgren, Steve Austin, and more.
Rotten Tomatoes: 42%
Stars: Sylvester Stallone, Jason Statham, Jet Li
Director: Sylvester Stallone
Runtime: 103 minutes
Transformers movies aren’t exactly known for having a lot of heart, or easy-to-follow onscreen action. But Bumblebee changed the game for the Robots in Disguise. After a thrilling opening sequence on the Transformers’ homeworld, Cybertron, Bumblebee literally comes crashing down to Earth in 1987. Hailee Steinfeld’s Charlie Watson comes across a badly damaged Bumblebee in his Volkswagen Beetle form, and she makes it her passion project to put him back together before realizing who and what he really is. Charlie and Bumblebee’s relationship is very fun to watch, but the action picks up when the Decepticons track him down on Earth. John Cena also has a very amusing turn as Jack Burns, a Sector 7 agent who is openly suspicious of both Bumblebee and the Decepticons. This movie really captured the charm of the Transformers, and it should be the template for any future sequels.
Rotten Tomatoes: 90%
Stars: Hailee Steinfeld, John Cena, Jorge Lendeborg Jr.
Director: Travis Knight
Runtime: 114 minutes
Marvel’s The Avengers (2012)
As the first Marvel film to earn $1 billion in ticket sales at the box office, this movie kicked off a fantastic storytelling journey that continued through three sequels, Avengers: Age of Ultron, Avengers: Infinity War, and Avengers: Endgame. With a star-studded cast playing all of your favorite superheroes, it is the sixth film overall from the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU). Relive the action-packed scenes as the Avengers join forces and set out on a mission to stop Loki from wreaking havoc on Earth. The film has been widely considered one of the best of all time, an impressive feat for a superhero flick.
Rotten Tomatoes: 92%
Stars: Robert Downey Jr., Chris Evans, Mark Ruffalo
Director: Joss Whedon
Runtime: 143 minutes
Most of the action in this film takes place in the ring as Tom Hardy and Joel Edgerton star as estranged brothers who both enter a mixed martial arts tournament. The adrenaline is fueled in their fights by memories of their troubled childhoods they just can’t shake, including an abusive, alcoholic father, a terminally ill mother, and a grudge held between them. It’s a story about love, forgiveness, and, well, throwing plenty of punches to get there. Nick Nolte, who plays the father, was nominated for an Oscar for his supporting role.
Rotten Tomatoes: 83%
Stars: Joel Edgerton, Tom Hardy, Frank Grillo, Nick Nolte
Director: Gavin O’Connor
Runtime: 140 minutes
How do Nazi super-soldier zombies tickle your fancy? If you think that sounds like a weird, B-movie conceit, you wouldn’t be wrong, but don’t let that stop you from watching Overlord. This one has a lot more to give than just guts, gore, and survival of the fittest tropes. During D-Day, a troop of soldiers is covertly dropped behind enemy lines in a French village, where their mission is to knock out a tower that is interfering with the invasion. Nobody realizes, however, that they’re due for a much nastier surprise than some angry stormtroopers. Stumbling upon the work of a mad scientist while working desperately not to reveal their presence in the village, the American soldiers must work efficiently to protect their position while also moving on the tower and its cavalcade of horrors.
Rotten Tomatoes: 82%
Stars: Jovan Adepo, Wyatt Russell, Mathilde Ollivier
Director: Julius Avery
Runtime: 110 minutes
Captain America: The First Avenger (2011)
One of the few Marvel movies available for free on Amazon Prime is also a great primer for anybody new to the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Captain America: The First Avenger is the origin story of Steve Rogers, a scrawny Brooklyn kid eager to contribute to America’s war effort, who keeps getting denied by the military for being too, well, scrawny. His heart, however, catches the eye of a defected German scientist who is working on a top-secret supersoldier project with the American government. After undergoing the transformation, Rogers suits up as a spokesperson for the war, still deemed unfit for battle. But he’ll take matters into his own hands to get on the front lines.
Rotten Tomatoes: 80%
Stars: Chris Evans, Hugo Weaving, Hayley Atwell
Director: Joe Johnston
Runtime: 124 minutes
“There can be only one Highlander!” That slogan is especially appropriate for this movie, a wild blend of high fantasy, time-traveling, the late Sean Connery in all of his Scottish (even though he’s Spanish?) glory, and loads and loads of ’80s action movie camp. Russell Mulcahy, director of the first music video ever aired on MTV, brings an astonishing degree of lunacy and distortion to this film that captures the majesty of the Scottish Highlands and rapid-cut, neon, time-traveling sequences practically on top of one another. It weirdly works. Queen provides the soundtrack for this wild movie about an immortal Scottish swordsman who must journey to kill his one final remaining immortal enemy to become The One Highlander.
Rotten Tomatoes: 69%
Stars: Christopher Lambert, Roxanne Hart, Clancy Brown, Sean Connery
Director: Russell Mulcahy
Runtime: 111 minutes
Guns Akimbo (2019)
Guns Akimbo is more than just the movie that launched 1,000 Daniel Radcliffe memes. It’s also one of the wildest action comedies to come along in years. Radcliffe stars as Miles Lee Harris, a keyboard warrior who angers the big players behind Skizm, a literal online deathmatch. To retaliate against Miles, Skizm’s masterminds bolt guns to his hands and force him to take on the game’s deadliest player, Nix (Samara Weaving). And to force his cooperation, the bad guys also kidnap Miles’ ex-girlfriend, Nova (Natasha Liu Bordizzo). Miles is far from a conventional action hero, but through a strange mixture of luck and accidental skill, he creates his own legend in the game. He is Guns Akimbo.
Rotten Tomatoes: 53%
Stars: Daniel Radcliffe, Samara Weaving, Natasha Liu Bordizzo
Director: Jason Lei Howden
Runtime: 95 minutes
The Boondock Saints (1999)
Upon its limited release just over two decades ago, The Boondock Saints was savaged by critics and largely ignored by audiences. However, the film has since gained a cult following for its story and its two leading men: former Young Indiana Jones star Sean Patrick Flanery and The Walking Dead’s Norman Reedus. Flanery and Reedus portray twin brothers Connor and Murphy MacManus, who run afoul of the Russian mob. The MacManus brothers soon have a shared religious experience that convinces them to eliminate the “bad men” of Boston in the name of God. Willem Dafoe also co-stars as Paul Smecker, an FBI Special Agent who is sympathetic toward the brothers even as he faces his own inner demons. Ignore the critics on this one, The Boondock Saints is an easy action flick to enjoy.
Rotten Tomatoes: 26%
Stars: Willem Dafoe, Sean Patrick Flanery, Norman Reedus
Director: Troy Duffy
Runtime: 108 minutes
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