When you’re spending a lot more time indoors, Amazon Prime Video starts looking a lot more like Amazon Prime’s best perk. Amazon’s streaming service is packed full of movies, and they add new offerings every month, so you never grow tired of what’s available. Among the many genres you can find on the service, its action offerings are some of the best.
Whether you’re looking for aliens, monsters, superheroes, or super-spies, Amazon Prime Video has plenty of high-octane flicks filled with explosions, suspenseful battles, and hilarious one-liners. If you want to escape the humdrum for a little bit in a world of non-stop excitement, keep reading for the best action movies you can find right now on Amazon Prime.
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Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (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
Vampires and werewolves: They never seem to like each other. Why not? Fang envy? Innocent victim hogging? Arguments over who gets to crouch on stone gargoyles? We don’t know, but whatever sets the two at each other’s throats, their old conflict is part of what makes an action-horror like Underworld so fun. Kate Beckinsale stars as Selene, the vampire assassin who wants revenge for the death of her family. But in her quest for vengeance, she uncovers a conspiracy including members of both of the monstrous species, making things a lot more complicated. With a cool comic book/gothic look and feel, Underworld is an action-filled ride with Bela Lugosi’s grudges and Tim Burton’s fashion sense.
Rotten Tomatoes: 31%
Stars: Kate Beckinsale, Scott Speedman
Director: Len Wiseman
Runtime: 121 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
Mission: Impossible — Fallout (2018)
The latest release in the franchise, Fallout meets the elevated standards of the more recent Mission: Impossible releases. When Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise) chooses to save his team rather than complete a mission, stolen plutonium finds its way into the hands of brutal, extremely dangerous terrorists. Now, his IMF team is forced to join up with a CIA assassin (Henry Cavill) to stop an impending nuclear disaster. Cruise and Cavill, two of today’s best actors who do their own stunts, put on an absolute show of death-defying stunts and fight choreography.
Rotten Tomatoes: 97%
Stars: Tom Cruise, Henry Cavill, Rebecca Ferguson
Director: Christopher McQuarrie
Runtime: 147 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
Combining elements of science fiction with action, this mind-bending film will have you intrigued as you watch the story of a professional thief who taps into the unconscious of his targets in order to steal the information he desires. Once caught, however, he is given the opportunity to go free on one condition: He must implant someone else’s ideas into a target’s subconscious mind. Is it really possible to manipulate people in such a way? Filmed in six countries, it’s a marvel to watch and one of those films that will spark a conversation once it’s over.
Rotten Tomatoes: 87%
Stars: Leonardo DiCaprio, Ken Watanabe, Joseph Gordon-Levitt
Director: Christopher Nolan
Runtime: 148 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
Casino Royale (2006)
Few could have predicted that Daniel Craig would still be James Bond 14 years after his first 007 movie. Certainly not Craig himself, who briefly swore off of the role before agreeing to return one last time in No Time to Die. But Casino Royale is the first film with Craig’s Bond, and it’s by far one of the best installments of the franchise. Casino Royale almost completely exorcises the campier elements from Bond’s repertoire and plays up more grounded and believable action. The opening parkour chase is a good example of that. But the highlight of this film is the way it gives Bond a heart through his relationship with Vesper Lynd (Eva Green). She may be his partner and his lover, but Vesper has secrets all of her own.
Rotten Tomatoes: 95%
Stars: Daniel Craig, Eva Green, Mads Mikkelsen
Director: Martin Campbell
Runtime: 144 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
The biggest problem with working with a bunch of mercenaries is that you can’t trust a bunch of mercenaries. That’s the problem Sam (Robert De Niro) faces when he joins up with a crew in the suspense action thriller Ronin. Along with a squad of other ex-spies and at least one wanna-be, Sam is hired by the tight-lipped Deirdre (Natascha McElhone) to steal a briefcase of unknown contents. Sam — clearly the most experienced and skilled of the bunch — confronts betrayal, ineptitude, and temptation to accomplish his mission. Particularly impressive in Ronin are a series of hectic car chases. Set in relatively narrow European roads with comparatively modest cars, the chases have a more claustrophobic and desperate feel than the explosion-filled, flip-happy car pursuits in action movies set in America.
Rotten Tomatoes: 68%
Stars: Robert De Niro, Jean Reno, Sean Bean, Natascha McElhone
Director: John Frankenheimer
Runtime: 122 minutes
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