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. For a night of white-knuckled, action-packed fun, read on for the best action movies on Amazon Prime.
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Classic action stars don’t get old, they just get more dangerous. Or in this movie, they become “Retired, Extremely Dangerous.” Red was based upon a lesser-known comic book series by Warren Ellis and Cully Hamner, which attracted some high-caliber stars including Bruce Willis, Morgan Freeman, and Karl Urban. Willis’ Frank Moses is a former CIA black ops agent who finds himself marked for death by his former employers. To protect his crush, Sarah Ross (Mary-Louise Parker), Frank kidnaps her, which ultimately gives her a taste for action as well. But the highlights of this film are Frank’s ex-colleagues, Victoria Winslow (Helen Mirren) and Marvin Boggs (John Malkovich). Red really comes to life when Frank, Victoria, and Marin unleash some mayhem on their common enemies.
Rotten Tomatoes: 72%
Stars: Bruce Willis, John Malkovich, Helen Mirren
Director: Robert Schwentke
Runtime: 111 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
True Grit (2010)
A feisty teenager takes it upon herself to hire a trigger-happy lawman to take down an outlaw who murdered her father. As they head out on their journey, they come upon a Texas Ranger looking for the same man, who killed a state Senator. The three band together, each finding their own unique form of “grit” being put to the test in different ways while they fight for their personal interests. The film, which performed extremely well at the box office, became an instant hit for the Coen brothers and remains their most successful movie to date.
Rotten Tomatoes: 96%
Stars: Jeff Bridges, Matt Damon, Josh Brolin, Hailee Steinfeld
Director: Joel Coen, Ethan Coen
Runtime: 110 minutes
Escape from Alcatraz (1979)
When Clint Eastwood is involved, you can guarantee there will be plenty of action. And this film doesn’t disappoint. It’s a dramatization of the real story of prisoners who escaped from a maximum-security prison on Alcatraz Island in 1962. Based on the 1963 nonfiction book of the same name by J. Campbell Bruce, it shows the many moves Frank Morris, a highly intelligent prisoner, made to achieve his masterminded plan of escaping from a prison that was supposedly not possible to break out of. It remains a mystery as to whether the men survived after escaping or perished while navigating treacherous waters in their desperate attempts to flee. Nonetheless, the film is a fascinating look at how they managed to do the impossible, with some moments embellished for dramatic effect but plenty that are true to the real story. It’s one of those classic movies you need to see at some point in your life.
Rotten Tomatoes: 96%
Stars: Clint Eastwood, Patrick McGoohan
Director: Don Siegel
Runtime: 112 minutes
Fist of Fury (1972)
Long 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 the 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.
Rotten Tomatoes: 92%
Stars: Bruce Lee, Nora Miao
Director: Lo Wei
Runtime: 106 minutes
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
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, 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
Spider-Man 3 (2007)
One of several Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) films on the list, this one is the final installment in the trilogy that stars Tobey Maguire as the title character, the superhero Peter Parker who fights bad guys while concealing his true identity. In this film, Spider-Man fights three main villains: Flint Marko (aka The Sandman and the true killer of Uncle Ben), Harry Osborn, and Eddie Brock, aka Venom. As the most expensive movie ever made during its year of release, it also became the third highest-grossing film that year. Up until 2019’s Spider-Man: Far From Home, it was the highest-grossing Spider-Man film ever made.
Rotten Tomatoes: 63%
Stars: Tobey Maguire, Kirsten Dunst, James Franco
Director: Sam Raimi
Runtime: 139 minutes
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