Free shipping is great, but Amazon Prime’s coolest perk may just be Amazon Prime Video. Amazon’s streaming service is packed full of movies, TV shows, documentaries, and user-generated content, both classic and fresh out of theaters. They add new offerings every month, so you never grow tired of what’s available.
Amazon Prime Video has a veritable treasure trove of pulse-pounding, high-octane flicks. What else would you expect from the creators of Jack Ryan? Whether you’re looking for super-spies and government conspiracies, superheroes, adventures into the unknown, or something in between, Amazon Prime has something for you. If you’re looking for a night of white-knuckled, action-packed fun, please read on for the best action movies on Amazon Prime.
Fist of Fury (1972)
Considered one of Bruce Lee’s finest films, Fist of Fury is both a perfect introduction to the kung fu master and an endlessly rewatchable classic for fans. Fist of Fury introduced Lee to the world as famous Hong Kong cinema character Chen Zhen (later played by Jackie Chan). Chen Zhen is an acolyte of real-life martial arts master Huo Yuanjia, who became a legendary resistance fighter against imperialism. Just like his former master, Chen Zhen fights for honor and for his country. As he defeats vicious Japanese fighters who are eager to subjugate the Chinese, Chen Zhen climbs the ranks and seeks to earn his people a position of honor in martial arts.
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.
Platoon isn’t exactly an action movie, but real-life Vietnam War vet Oliver Stone’s war saga certainly fits the bill as something an action movie fan would like. Winner of four Oscars, including Best Picture and Best Director, Platoon weaves a harrowing tale about a platoon of very different young soldiers coming to the same conclusion: war is Hell. Charlie Sheen plays a nervous Army volunteer, the face of all American privates, who is caught between his two Sergeants’ differing ideologies and leadership tactics. Sergeant Elias (Willem Defoe) is idealistic and decent. Sergeant Barnes (Tom Berenger) is hardened, misanthropic, and no stranger to committing atrocities in the name of war. As the platoon churns deeper into the jungle, everybody will experience some fraying at the seams.
Patriot Games (1992)
Harrison Ford takes up the Jack Ryan mantle in this 1992 addition to Tom Clancy’s American super-agent franchise. When a retired Ryan is caught in the middle of an IRA terrorist attack, he helps to thwart their assassination attempt, putting him on the radar of a renegade faction. In order to save himself and his family, he’ll have to return to action.
The Descent (2005)
Neil Marshall’s The Descent is a modern horror classic and one of the best monster movies you’ll see. When a group of friends and extreme sports enthusiasts decide to go spelunking to heal after tragedy strikes one of their families, they make the horrifying mistake of descending into an undiscovered, unmapped cave. Naturally, they stumble into a nest of subterranean monsters who are not welcoming to outsiders. For the first half, The Descent is tense, spotlighting the panic and terror of being trapped in a tight space where you can’t discern up from down. In the second, the monsters come out, and it all hits the fan.
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.
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.
A Bridge Too Far (1977)
Sir Richard Attenborough directs this World War II classic about Operation Market Garden, the Allied attempt to capture several strategically important bridges in the Netherlands in the hope of breaking the German lines. The daring 1944 mission had the potential to end the war nearly a year before it ultimately did, but it was not without extraordinary risk. As the title suggests, this one doesn’t have the happiest ending, but it grippingly depicts the desperation and heroism exhibited by the Allied forces in Europe as soldiers made the ultimate sacrifice to try to save as many of their countrymen as possible. The all-star cast includes James Caan, Michael Caine, Sean Connery, Elliot Gould, Gene Hackman, Anthony Hopkins, Laurence Olivier, and Robert Redford.
“There can be only one Highlander!” That slogan is especially appropriate for this movie, a wild blend of high fantasy, time-traveling, Sean Connery in all of his Scottish (even though he’s Spanish?) glory, and loads and loads of ’80s 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.
The Magnificent Seven (1960)
The Magnificent Seven is one of the most iconic Westerns of all time, immortalized in 2013 when it was inducted into the Library of Congress due to its cultural significance. Based on Akira Kurosawa’s Seven Samurai, The Magnificent Seven follows seven gunfighters who are hired by the inhabitants of a defenseless village to liberate them from a gang of oppressive, murderous bandits. Yul Brynner, Steve McQueen, and Charles Bronson headline one of the early all-star action movie casts and help make this film both relentlessly entertaining and thought-provoking.
- The best rom-coms on Amazon Prime right now
- The 50 best movies on Amazon Prime right now
- The best Amazon original series available now
- The best sci-fi movies on Amazon Prime right now
- The 50 best shows on Amazon Prime right now