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The best action movies on Disney+ right now

If you’re looking for action on Disney+, then you’ve come to the right place. Marvel and Star Wars movies could give you all of the action you would ever need. Fortunately, Disney+ doesn’t stop there, and there are a number of animated and live-action Disney projects which hold up as great action flicks in their own right. For the moment, there are only three R-rated films on Disney+, but the rest are fairly family-friendly. So keep that in mind when making selections from our list of the best action movies on Disney+ right now.

If you like bargains, you should consider the Disney Bundle, which features Disney+, Hulu, and ESPN+ for just $14 a month. That’s a really great deal for action movies, especially considering you’ll get everything below, as well as all of the great action flicks in Hulu’s catalog.

We’ve also rounded up the best action movies on Amazon Prime Video, the best action movies on Hulu, and the best action movies on Netflix if you don’t find what you’re looking for on Disney+.

Recently added to Disney+
Deadpool (2016)
65 %
r 108m
Genre Action, Adventure, Comedy
Stars Ryan Reynolds, Morena Baccarin, Ed Skrein
Directed by Tim Miller
It’s still difficult to believe that Deadpool has found a place on Disney+, because it is quite possibly the most R-rated superhero flick to date. Ryan Reynolds reprises his role as Wade Wilson from X-Men Origins: Wolverine, but this time in a far more comic book-accurate take on Deadpool. When Wade is stricken by cancer, he reluctantly leaves his girlfriend, Vanessa (Morena Baccarin), and turns himself over to a mad scientist, Ajax (Ed Skrein). However, Ajax’s cure is worse than the disease and Wade’s healing power hideously deforms his body. Vowing revenge, Wade dons Deadpool’s familiar costume and goes on a fourth-wall-breaking rampage of epic proportions.
Deadpool | Trailer [HD] | 20th Century FOX
Free Guy (2021)
Free Guy
62 %
pg-13 115m
Genre Comedy, Adventure, Science Fiction
Stars Ryan Reynolds, Jodie Comer, Joe Keery
Directed by Shawn Levy
Have you ever thought about the non-playable characters in video games? Free Guy casts Ryan Reynolds as Guy, an NPC in a popular game called Free City. After a chance encounter with a player, Millie Rusk (Jodie Comer), Guy slowly gains sentience. He soon has access to the controls previously reserved for players alone. As Guy levels up by performing good deeds, he attracts unwanted attention from the game’s publisher, Antwan Hovachelik (Taika Waititi), who plans to eliminate Free City and every NPC in favor of a sequel, Free City 2. Somehow, Guy and Millie have to find a way to prevent that from happening.
Free Guy | Official Trailer | 20th Century Studios
Lightyear (2022) new
60 %
pg 105m
Genre Animation, Action, Adventure, Family, Science Fiction
Stars Chris Evans, Keke Palmer, Peter Sohn
Directed by Angus MacLane
Lightyear is Pixar’s origin story for Toy Story’s Buzz Lightyear. Or at least the fictional Buzz that inspired the equally fictional talking toy. In this film, Chris Evans portrays Buzz as a young pilot in the Space Rangers who accidentally gets his colony expedition trapped on an inhospitable planet. Feeling guilty, Buzz willingly volunteers to test experimental starship fuel which pushes him years into the future every time he takes a flight. After his final test flight, Buzz discovers that his adoptive home is now under attack by the alien Zurg (James Brolin). To beat this villain, Buzz needs to learn to accept help from his new team of Space Rangers, including Izzy Hawthorne (Keke Palmer).
Lightyear | Official Trailer
Logan (2017)
77 %
r 137m
Genre Action, Drama, Science Fiction
Stars Hugh Jackman, Dafne Keen, Patrick Stewart
Directed by James Mangold
The legend of the X-Men comes to a dark end in Logan, but it’s a fantastic story that is easily among the greatest superhero films. Hugh Jackman reprises his role as Logan/Wolverine, now a visibly older man whose powers are fading. His only remaining purpose in life is to protect his friend and mentor, Charles Xavier (Patrick Stewart), whose out-of-control powers make him a threat to others. When Logan accepts a job to escort a young girl named Laura (Dafne Keen) to safety, he learns that she is not only a mutant, but she is also genetically his daughter. And Logan may not be able to save her or himself before Pierce (Boyd Holbrook) and his Reavers track them down.
Logan | Official Trailer [HD] | 20th Century FOX
Captain Marvel (2019)
Captain Marvel
64 %
pg-13 124m
Genre Action, Adventure, Science Fiction
Stars Brie Larson, Samuel L. Jackson, Ben Mendelsohn
Directed by Ryan Fleck, Anna Boden
When looking for an action flick on Disney+, the Marvel Cinematic Universe is always a good place to start — this one even has the word “Marvel” in its title! Brie Larson takes her superhero star turn in Captain Marvel, playing Carol Danvers, the titular role. The film takes viewers back to the 1990s as Danvers takes on the role of Captain Marvel while alien civilizations duke it out for Earth. The alien stuff can admittedly get convoluted, but Larson has no issue taking on the superhero mantra. This movie also has the benefit of featuring much more Samuel L. Jackson as Nick Fury than most of the recent MCU entries. Larson will be reprising her character in 2023’s The Marvels.
Avatar (2009)
83 %
pg-13 162m
Genre Action, Adventure, Fantasy, Science Fiction
Stars Sam Worthington, Zoe Saldana, Sigourney Weaver
Directed by James Cameron
Journey to Pandora with this stunning James Cameron film that revolutionized filming technique and shattered box office records more than a decade ago. A local tribe on an alien world is threatened by the expansion of a mining colony, pitting humans against blue-skinned humanoids. Scientists, meanwhile, use hybrids — avatars — to explore the planet’s biosphere. Sam Worthington stars as Jake, a paraplegic former Marine who becomes a critical figure in the inevitable clash between the tribe and the humans. More than anything, this film became known for its innovative filming, including the use of 3D to create stunning, absorbing scenes. The first sequel will finally arrive later this year, followed by three subsequent sequels.
Star Wars (1977)
Star Wars
90 %
pg 121m
Genre Adventure, Action, Science Fiction
Stars Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher
Directed by George Lucas

Forty-five years ago, director George Lucas changed the landscape forever with Star Wars. From this single miracle of a movie spawned a franchise that remains to this day. But the original film, A New Hope, is still among the best sci-fi flicks ever created. While Princess Leia (Carrie Fisher) and the Rebel Alliance attempt to evade Darth Vader (David Prowse with the voice of James Earl Jones), she entrusts the plans of the Death Star to two droids on a barren world. From there, Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill), and a scoundrel named Han Solo (Harrison Ford) will attempt a daring rescue to free Leia before facing the full might of the Empire itself.

Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope - Trailer
The Avengers (2012)
The Avengers
69 %
pg-13 143m
Genre Science Fiction, Action, Adventure
Stars Robert Downey Jr., Chris Evans, Mark Ruffalo
Directed by Joss Whedon
10 years ago, no one knew if Marvel’s bet on a shared cinematic universe was going to pay off. The Avengers dispelled all doubts on its way to becoming one of the biggest superhero epics of all time, only to eventually be surpassed by its sequels. But the original is an amazingly well-constructed blend of personalities as Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.), Captain America (Chris Evans), Bruce Banner/Hulk (Mark Ruffalo), Thor (Chris Hemsworth), Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson), and Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner) reluctantly come together to face Thor’s brother, Loki (Tom Hiddleston), and an alien armada beyond anything a single hero could handle alone. The action is everything you could ever hope for, and the comedy works incredibly well.
Marvel's The Avengers- Trailer (OFFICIAL)
Alice in Wonderland (2010)
Alice in Wonderland
53 %
Genre Family, Fantasy, Adventure
Stars Mia Wasikowska, Johnny Depp, Anne Hathaway
Directed by Tim Burton
While most of Disney’s live-action versions of its cartoon classics are essentially remakes, Alice in Wonderland is kind of the sequel to the animated film. Alice Kingsleigh (Mia Wasikowska) doesn’t remember her time in Wonderland, and she finds herself horrified by society’s expectations of how she should behave in the late 19th century. Upon her return to Wonderland, Alice discovers that her new role as a hero may be equally difficult to play, as she has to stand up to the vile Red Queen (Helena Bonham Carter) and defeat the seemingly invincible Jabberwocky in order to save her friends and free the people of Wonderland.
ALICE IN WONDERLAND | New Official Full Trailer (HQ) | Official Disney UK
Mighty Joe Young (1998)
Mighty Joe Young
51 %
pg 114m
Genre Adventure, Family, Action, Fantasy
Stars Bill Paxton, Charlize Theron, Rade Šerbedžija
Directed by Ron Underwood
You will probably recognize a young Charlize Theron as the leading human character in Mighty Joe Young — that is, if you can take your eyes off of the big gorilla himself. As a child, Jill Young (Theron) and Joe were orphaned on the same day when their families were attacked by a poacher named Andrei Strasser (Rade Šerbedžija). They narrowly survived when Joe maimed Andrei. Years later, Joe has grown to 15 feet in height, and no other gorillas will accept him. At the urging of Professor Gregg O’Hara (Bill Paxton), Jill accepts an offer to bring Joe back to Los Angeles for his own safety. However, Andrei sees this as his chance to avenge himself on both Jill and Joe by finishing what he started years before.
MIGHTY JOE YOUNG Trailer + Clip (1998) Charlize Theron, Adventure Movie
Eternals (2021)
52 %
pg-13 156m
Genre Action, Adventure, Fantasy, Science Fiction
Stars Gemma Chan, Richard Madden, Angelina Jolie
Directed by Chloé Zhao
Thanks to its place on the calendar, Eternals is likely to be the only new Marvel movie on Disney+ until sometime this summer. It also happens to be one of the more unique movies in the MCU. Sersi (Gemma Chan), Ikaris (Richard Madden), Sprite (Lia McHugh), Ajak (Salma Hayek), Thena (Angelina Jolie), Kingo (Kumail Nanjiani), and a few more are the Eternals, a race of immortals sent to guard humanity from the shapeshifting Deviants. However, the Eternals’ masters, the Celestials, have a hidden agenda about their presence on Earth. When humanity is given one week to live, the Eternals have to reassemble and decide if they really want to save their adopted planet.
Marvel Studios’ Eternals | Final Trailer
TRON: Legacy (2010)
TRON: Legacy
49 %
pg 125m
Genre Adventure, Action, Science Fiction
Stars Garrett Hedlund, Jeff Bridges, Olivia Wilde
Directed by Joseph Kosinski
The original Tron is a cult classic among sci-fi fans, while its sequel, Tron: Legacy, is somewhat underappreciated. It’s got a lot more than just an iconic score from Daft Punk! Garrett Hedlund stars as Samuel “Sam” Flynn, the son of the first movie’s hero, Kevin Flynn (Jeff Bridges). Decades after Kevin’s disappearance, his old friend Alan Bradley (Bruce Boxleitner) inadvertently gives Sam the nudge to enter the grid, a world within Kevin’s computer. While searching for his father, Sam encounters Quorra (Olivia Wilde), a program that has taken on a life of its own. He also discovers that Kevin’s creation, Clu (Bridges), has taken over the Grid and remade it in his image.
TRON: LEGACY Official Trailer
Jungle Cruise (2021)
Jungle Cruise
50 %
pg-13 127m
Genre Action, Adventure, Comedy, Fantasy
Stars Dwayne Johnson, Emily Blunt, Edgar Ramírez
Directed by Jaume Collet-Serra
Theoretically, Jungle Cruise is based on the Disney theme park ride of the same name. But it has more in common with Pirates of the Caribbean and The Mummy than it does with the titular ride. That’s largely due to the chemistry between Dwayne Johnson and Emily Blunt, which carries the movie. Johnson portrays Frank Wolff, a steamboat captain in 1916 who is hired by Dr. Lily Houghton (Blunt) and her brother, MacGregor Houghton (Jack Whitehall), to take them on an expedition to find the Tree of Life before the malevolent Prince Joachim (Jesse Plemons) can use its secrets for nefarious purposes. But there are more secrets in the jungle than Lily realizes and a centuries-old curse that will come back to bite them.
Disney's Jungle Cruise | Official Trailer
Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief (2010)
Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief
47 %
pg 118m
Genre Adventure, Fantasy, Family
Stars Logan Lerman, Brandon T. Jackson, Alexandra Daddario
Directed by Chris Columbus
Percy Jackson is no Harry Potter. But that doesn’t mean that Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Lightning Thief is without its charms. Logan Lerman stars as Percy, a teenager who discovers that he is the son of Poseidon (Kevin McKidd). When Zeus (Sean Bean) accuses Percy of stealing his lightning bolt, he is forced to go on a quest to recover it with his friend and protector, Grover Underwood (Brandon T. Jackson), and their new ally, Annabeth Chase (Alexandra Daddario). Together, they are a formidable trio. But they only have two weeks to prevent a war between the gods.
Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief | Trailer | 20th Century FOX
Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings (2021)
Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings
71 %
pg-13 132m
Genre Action, Adventure, Fantasy
Stars Simu Liu, Tony Leung Chiu-wai, Awkwafina
Directed by Destin Daniel Cretton
Don’t feel too bad if you never heard of Shang-Chi before 2021. Even in the comics, Shang-Chi had a lower profile compared to Marvel’s biggest heroes. However, Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings does everything it can to make Shang-Chi (Simu Liu) a major player in the MCU. A decade after abandoning his life as an assassin, Shang-Chi and his best friend, Katy (Awkwafina), are drawn into a mystery surrounding his father, Xu Wenwu (Tony Leung). After reuniting with his estranged sister, Xialing (Meng’er Zhang), Shang-Chi learns that he must go to his late mother’s village in order to save the world from his misguided father.
Marvel Studios’ Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings | Official Trailer
Moana (2016)
81 %
pg 107m
Genre Adventure, Comedy, Family, Animation
Stars Auli'i Cravalho, Dwayne Johnson, Rachel House
Directed by Ron Clements, John Musker
Following his stint on the hit Broadway musical Hamilton, Lin-Manuel Miranda began his collaboration with Disney on Moana, an animated musical that has more than its fair share of action. In the distant past, the demigod Maui (Dwayne Johnson) stole the heart of the goddess Te Fiti to give humanity the gift of creation. Unfortunately, this leads to a disaster that lasts for centuries. In the present, Moana (Auliʻi Cravalho) is chosen by the ocean to locate Maui and restore the heart to Te Fiti before her village suffers the consequences.
Moana Official Trailer
Willow (1988)
47 %
pg 126m
Genre Action, Adventure, Fantasy
Stars Warwick Davis, Val Kilmer, Joanne Whalley
Directed by Ron Howard
Later this year, Disney+ will revisit the world of Willow with a new original series. But in the original film, Warwick Davis portrays the title character, Willow Ufgood, a would-be sorcerer who becomes the protector of an infant girl, Elora Danan. The evil Queen Bavmorda (Jean Marsh) fears Elora’s innate power and orders the baby to be killed. During his journey, Willow aligns himself with the swordsman Madmartigan (Val Kilmer), as well as Bavmorda’s daughter, Sorsha (Joanne Whalley). But the only way that the forces of light can defeat Bavmorda’s evil is if Willow can finally master the art of magic.
Willow Official Trailer #2 - Val Kilmer, Warwick Davis Movie (1988) HD
Benji the Hunted (1987)
Benji the Hunted
53 %
g 88m
Genre Action, Adventure, Family
Stars Red Steagall, Frank Inn, Nancy Francis
Directed by Joe Camp
Benji the Hunted is an odd family film that features very few human characters. Instead, the world-famous dog, Benji (Benjean), essentially plays himself, a celebrity canine who is lost in the wild following a storm. While Benji’s owner desperately searches for him, the dog finds three orphaned cougar cubs and decides to protect them at all costs. Unfortunately for Benji, his attempts to recruit a female cougar to be the cubs’ new mother go badly. He is also hunted by a wolf that would like to make a meal out of both Benji and his new cubs.
Black Widow (2021)
Black Widow
67 %
pg-13 134m
Genre Action, Adventure, Science Fiction
Stars Scarlett Johansson, Florence Pugh, Rachel Weisz
Directed by Cate Shortland
Eleven years after she made her Marvel debut, Scarlett Johansson’s Natasha Romanoff finally got her own solo film in Black Widow. After a thrilling pre-credits sequence that introduces Natasha’s previously unseen “family,” the film catches up with Black Widow on the run following the events of Captain America: Civil War. Despite Natasha’s desire to maintain a low profile, she is forced back into action when she reunites with Yelena Belova (Florence Pugh), a younger Black Widow who once thought that Natasha was her sister. Even though they know their previous connection was a lie, the two Widows reunite their estranged family to take down the man who tried to dominate their lives.
Marvel Studios' Black Widow | Official Trailer

Atlantis: The Lost Empire (2001)
Atlantis: The Lost Empire
52 %
Genre Animation, Family, Adventure, Science Fiction
Stars Michael J. Fox, Corey Burton, Claudia Christian
Directed by Gary Trousdale, Kirk Wise
Ignore that dire Rotten Tomatoes score, because the critics got it wrong with Atlantis: The Lost Empire. This isn’t the typical Disney animated adventure, and Hellboy creator Mike Mignola contributed some very impressive monster designs. Michael J. Fox leads the voice cast as Milo James Thatch, a skilled Smithsonian linguist and cartographer. In 1914, Milo is recruited to finish his grandfather’s search for the legendary lost city of Atlantis. After encountering Princess Kida (Cree Summer), Milo realizes that he has to protect Atlantis and its people before they are lost again.
Atlantis: The Lost Empire (2001) Official Trailer #1

Incredibles 2 (2018)
Incredibles 2
80 %
pg 118m
Genre Action, Adventure, Animation, Family
Stars Craig T. Nelson, Holly Hunter, Sarah Vowell
Directed by Brad Bird
It took a long time for Pixar and director Brad Bird to get around to making a sequel to The Incredibles. It may not be quite as good as the original, but Incredibles 2 is still an outstanding superhero adventure. The story starts shortly after the first film, as the Parr family’s return to crime fighting doesn’t go as smoothly as they had hoped. Helen Parr / Elastigirl (Holly Hunter) takes center stage this time, as a millionaire named Winston Deavor (Bob Odenkirk) offers her the chance to change the public’s perception of superheroes. However, the deadly Screenslaver threatens to destroy both Helen and Winston in a bid to crush the heroes forever.
Incredibles 2 Official Trailer

The Jungle Book (2016)
The Jungle Book
77 %
pg 106m
Genre Family, Adventure, Drama, Fantasy
Stars Neel Sethi, Bill Murray, Ben Kingsley
Directed by Jon Favreau
Before Jon Favreau pushed digital sets to a new level in The Mandalorian, he got some much-needed practice with a live-action adaptation of Disney’s The Jungle Book. Neel Sethi’s Mowgli is the only major human character in a jungle populated by CGI-animated talking animals. After being raised by Akela (Giancarlo Esposito) and his wolf pack for most of his life, Mowgli is forced to flee when tiger Shere Khan (Idris Elba) threatens to kill him. But instead of leaving the jungle, Mowgli finds a new friend named Baloo (Bill Murray), a friendly bear who teaches him the “bear necessities.” Together with panther Bagheera (Ben Kingsley), Baloo and Mowgli make their stand against Shere Khan.
The Jungle Book Official Big Game Trailer

The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe (2005)
The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe
75 %
pg 143m
Genre Adventure, Family, Fantasy
Stars Georgie Henley, Skandar Keynes, William Moseley
Directed by Andrew Adamson
C.S. Lewis’s Narnia novels got the big-screen treatment in director Andrew Adamson’s lavish adaptation of The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. During World War II, the Pevensie siblings, Peter (William Moseley), Susan (Anna Popplewell), Edmund (Skandar Keynes), and Lucy (Georgie Henley), are sent to the English countryside for their own protection. When Lucy discovers a passage to the mystic land of Narnia, her brother, Edmund, soon follows and falls under the influence of the evil White Witch (Tilda Swinton). When Peter and Susan also find their way into Narnia, they learn that the great lion, Aslan (Liam Neeson), may be their only hope. But ultimately, the siblings must fight for their own freedom and break the White Witch’s hold on Narnia.
The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe Trailer | Movieclips Classic Trailers
Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time (2010)
Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time
50 %
pg-13 116m
Genre Adventure, Fantasy, Action
Stars Jake Gyllenhaal, Gemma Arterton, Ben Kingsley
Directed by Mike Newell
Don’t let the low Rotten Tomatoes score scare you off from Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time. This video game adaptation may not reach the heights of Pirates of the Caribbean, but it’s still a very enjoyable movie. Jake Gyllenhaal stars as Dastan, the adoptive prince of Persia, alongside his brothers, Prince Garsiv (Toby Kebbell) and Prince Tus (Richard Coyle). After their uncle, Prince Nizam (Ben Kingsley), tricks the king into invading the city of Alamut, Dastan finds himself framed for murder and on the run with Alamut’s princess, Tamina (Gemma Arterton). Dastan also discovers a dagger with the power to reverse time by about one minute. But will it be enough for him to clear his name and win Tamina’s heart?

Race to Witch Mountain (2009)
Race to Witch Mountain
52 %
pg 98m
Genre Adventure, Family, Fantasy, Science Fiction, Thriller, Action
Stars Dwayne Johnson, AnnaSophia Robb, Alexander Ludwig
Directed by Andy Fickman
Before he became one of the biggest box office stars on the planet, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson headlined Disney’s remake of Escape to Witch Mountain. In the modern update, Race to Witch Mountain, Johnson plays Jack Bruno, a former criminal turned cab driver who takes a very unusual fare. Two young siblings, Sara (AnnaSophia Robb) and Seth (Alexander Ludwig), offer Jack $15,000 to take them from Las Vegas to Witch Mountain. However, Jack soon learns that the kids are actually superpowered aliens, and their mission may determine the fate of both their world and our own.

Captain America: Civil War (2016)
Captain America: Civil War
75 %
pg-13 147m
Genre Adventure, Action, Science Fiction
Stars Chris Evans, Robert Downey Jr., Scarlett Johansson
Directed by Anthony Russo, Joe Russo
Captain America: Civil War may have a cast that rivals the Avengers movies, but it’s still very much a story about Steve Rogers (Chris Evans). In the wake of a tragic and fatal accident, Tony Stark/Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.) backs an international effort to curb the Avengers’ autonomy. While Cap resists the idea, the re-emergence of his fugitive friend, Bucky Barnes (Sebastian Stan), pits the Avengers against each other. As a wild card, T’Challa/Black Panther (Chadwick Boseman) targets Bucky because he believes that Cap’s former partner killed his father. However, the truth about Bucky’s crimes as the Winter Soldier is only the beginning of a fight that will shatter the bonds between Earth’s mightiest heroes.
The Incredibles (2004)
The Incredibles
90 %
g 115m
Genre Action, Adventure, Animation, Family
Stars Craig T. Nelson, Holly Hunter, Samuel L. Jackson
Directed by Brad Bird
All three of 20th Century Studios’ Fantastic Four films are on Disney+, and yet The Incredibles is still the best FF-inspired movie that anyone has made to date. Pixar’s first superhero epic gives us a glimpse of Bob Parr/Mr. Incredible (Craig T. Nelson) and his wife, Helen/Elastigirl (Holly Hunter), in their prime before all of their superheroics are outlawed. Years later, their children, Dashiell “Dash” Parr (Spencer Fox) and Violet Parr (Sarah Vowell), develop powers of their own, while Bob relives his glory days with his pal, Frozone (Samuel L. Jackson). When Bob is hired to be Mr. Incredible again, he is so overjoyed that he fails to realize that he is falling into a very dangerous trap.
The Rocketeer (1991)
The Rocketeer
61 %
pg 108m
Genre Action, Adventure, Science Fiction, Family
Stars Timothy Dalton, Alan Arkin, Billy Campbell
Directed by Joe Johnston
The late Dave Stevens’ comic book The Rocketeer was an unlikely choice to be one of Disney’s answers to Batman. And yet, this early ‘90s flick is a true gem that plays like a prototype for the modern superhero movies that followed. Billy Campbell stars as Cliff Secord, a stunt pilot who stumbles upon a stolen rocket pack that was created by Howard Hughes (Terry O’Quinn). With the help of his mentor, A. “Peevy” Peabody (Alan Arkin), Cliff uses the rocket pack to become The Rocketeer. What Cliff doesn’t know is that movie star and Nazi spy, Neville Sinclair (Timothy Dalton), will stop at nothing to get the rocket pack back, even if it means going after Cliff’s girlfriend, Jenny Blake (Jennifer Connelly).
The Finest Hours (2016)
The Finest Hours
58 %
pg-13 117m
Genre Action, Drama, History, Thriller
Stars Chris Pine, Casey Affleck, Ben Foster
Directed by Craig Gillespie
There are no superheroes or ray guns in The Finest Hours, but there are definitely some heroic feats. The film is based upon the real story of a 1952 disaster at sea, in which the SS Pendleton was split apart during a violent storm. Ray Sybert (Casey Affleck) and the crew of the Pendleton fight to survive until the coast guard can save them. But the actual rescue falls on the shoulders of Boatswain’s Mate First Class Bernard “Bernie” Webber (Chris Pine). While facing incredible odds, Bernie leads his team to the Pendleton. Yet Bernie’s biggest challenge may be getting everyone home safely.
Raya and the Last Dragon (2021)
Raya and the Last Dragon
75 %
pg 107m
Genre Family, Fantasy, Animation, Action, Adventure
Stars Kelly Marie Tran, Awkwafina, Izaac Wang
Directed by Don Hall, Carlos López Estrada
Raya and the Last Dragon may feature a princess in the title role, but this is an action film that can hold its own. Kelly Marie Tran provides the voice of Raya, a princess whose father and kingdom have been lost to the otherworldly Druun after a betrayal. To restore the land of Kumandra, Raya tracks down the last dragon, Sisu (Awkwafina), only to discover that the legendary creature isn’t anything she expected. Sisu also lost her family to the Druun, but she retains her positive outlook. More importantly, Sisu still has the ability to trust and forgive anyone, even her enemies. That’s a skill that Raya needs to master.
Big Hero 6 (2014)
Big Hero 6
74 %
pg 102m
Genre Adventure, Family, Animation, Action, Comedy
Stars Scott Adsit, Ryan Potter, Daniel Henney
Directed by Chris Williams, Don Hall
In Marvel’s comic book universe, Big Hero 6 is anything but “big.” However, Disney’s animated adaptation of Big Hero 6 completely reimagines the characters and transforms them from supporting players into leading men, women, and one robot. In the city of San Fransokyo, a young genius named Hiro (Ryan Potter) emotionally bonds with his late brother’s inflatable robot, Baymax (Scott Adsit). Together with Fred (T.J. Miller), Go Go (Jamie Chung), Wasabi (Damon Wayans Jr.), and Honey Lem (Genesis Rodriguez), Hiro and Baymax become the heroes that San Fransokyo needs. But what we really need is a hug from Baymax.
Guardians of the Galaxy (2014)
Guardians of the Galaxy
76 %
pg 121m
Genre Action, Science Fiction, Adventure
Stars Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Dave Bautista
Directed by James Gunn
Prior to their live-action MCU debut, the Guardians of the Galaxy were second-string comic book heroes at Marvel. Director James Gunn changed that in a big way by re-envisioning Peter Quill/Star-Lord (Chris Pratt), Gamora (Zoe Saldana), Drax (Dave Bautista), Groot (Vin Diesel), and Rocket (Bradley Cooper) as a gang of outlaw misfits who come together as a surrogate family. It’s not in the Guardians’ nature to be altruistic or even emotionally available. But when Ronan the Accuser (Lee Pace) plans to destroy an innocent world, the Guardians put aside their differences and embrace the best versions of themselves.
Aladdin (2019)
53 %
pg 128m
Genre Adventure, Fantasy, Romance, Family
Stars Will Smith, Mena Massoud, Naomi Scott
Directed by Guy Ritchie
Let’s be clear: No one could ever replace the late Robin Williams as the Genie. But Will Smith offered his own spin on the role in Disney’s 2019 live-action remake of Aladdin. In this modernized take on the animated classic, Aladdin (Mena Massoud) is plucked from the streets as “a diamond in the rough” to retrieve the Genie’s lamp. Once Aladdin has the Genie’s wishes at his command, he tries to win the heart of Princess Jasmine (Naomi Scott). Massoud and Scott give the young couple a very earnest romance, but it’s Scott’s Jasmine who really leaves us “speechless” with a show-stopping song of her own.

Avengers: Infinity War (2018)
Avengers: Infinity War
68 %
pg 149m
Genre Adventure, Action, Science Fiction
Stars Robert Downey Jr., Chris Hemsworth, Mark Ruffalo
Directed by Anthony Russo, Joe Russo
It will definitely help if you’ve seen all of the previous Marvel movies before watching Avengers: Infinity War. Yet, it still works remarkably well even if some viewers don’t have all of the context. Although he’s the villain, Josh Brolin’s Thanos rules this film as its main character. In Thanos’ quest to unite the Infinity Stones and wield unlimited power, he runs up against the Avengers, the Guardians of the Galaxy, Doctor Strange, and even Spider-Man. To be sure, the heroes shine with their own fantastic moments of action and heroism. But Thanos is … “inevitable.”

Black Panther (2018)
Black Panther
88 %
pg 134m
Genre Action, Adventure, Science Fiction
Stars Chadwick Boseman, Michael B. Jordan, Lupita Nyong'o
Directed by Ryan Coogler
There aren’t many superhero films that can land a Best Picture nomination at the Oscars. In fact, Black Panther might be the only movie to pull off that feat for the foreseeable future. Director Ryan Coogler’s masterful take on Black Panther shined with the late Chadwick Boseman in the title role as T’Challa. But the reason this film resonates so strongly is that it asks uncomfortable questions about race, racism, class, and family that shake T’Challa to his core. The film’s villain, Erik “Killmonger” Stevens (Michael B. Jordan), has legitimate grievances against T’Challa’s family and a worldview that forces the Black Panther to re-examine everything that he thought he knew.
Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2014)
Captain America: The Winter Soldier
70 %
pg-13 136m
Genre Action, Adventure, Science Fiction
Stars Chris Evans, Scarlett Johansson, Sebastian Stan
Directed by Anthony Russo, Joe Russo
Anthony and Joe Russo made a huge impression on audiences and on Marvel itself with Captain America: The Winter Soldier. Chris Evans’ second headlining film as Cap/Steve Rogers is a riveting story that takes its inspiration from the paranoid political thrillers from the ‘70s. Robert Redford even solidifies that link by playing Alexander Pierce, the malevolent behind-the-scenes bad guy. This film also reintroduced Sebastian Stan as Bucky Barnes, aka the Winter Soldier, Steve’s best friend turned unstoppable assassin, after decades of brainwashing. The ramifications from this movie are still playing out in the new Marvel series The Falcon and the Winter Soldier.
John Carter (2012)
John Carter
51 %
pg-13 132m
Genre Action, Adventure, Science Fiction
Stars Taylor Kitsch, Lynn Collins, Samantha Morton
Directed by Andrew Stanton
Pixar’s Andrew Stanton made his live-action directorial debut with John Carter, an adaptation of Edgar Rice Burroughs’ classic hero. Critics and some moviegoers assumed that John Carter was simply aping Flash Gordon and Star Wars, among others, unaware that the 100th anniversary of John Carter’s first story, A Princess of Mars, was just around the corner. In other words, John’s the original model. Within the movie, Taylor Kitsch plays John, a former Confederate captain who finds himself transported to Mars. He soon falls hard for a Martian princess, Dejah Thoris (Lynn Collins), who happens to be a very formidable warrior herself. Together, they face a plot against the throne and the hidden puppet masters who have manipulated Mars’ warring races for thousands of years.
Mulan (2020)
66 %
pg-13 115m
Genre Adventure, Fantasy, Drama
Stars Liu Yifei, Tzi Ma, Donnie Yen
Directed by Niki Caro
Disney spared little expense when it remade Mulan in live-action. Consequently, the action was much more intense in this modern retelling. Yifei Liu stars as Mulan, a young woman who takes drastic measures when her father, Hua Zhou (Tzi Ma), is recalled to war to face the Rouran forces of Böri Khan (Jason Scott Lee). Unwilling to let her father fight on a bad leg, Mulan assumes a male identity, Hua Jun, and enlists in the Imperial army to bring honor to her family. Under the tutelage of Commander Tung (Donnie Yen), Mulan finds the warrior within … and something more powerful than she ever dreamed.
National Treasure (2004)
National Treasure
39 %
pg 131m
Genre Adventure, Action, Thriller, Mystery
Stars Nicolas Cage, Diane Kruger, Justin Bartha
Directed by Jon Turteltaub
Think of National Treasure as an Indiana Jones movie if it was directed by Michael Bay. It’s loud, filled with explosive action, and completely unapologetic about the story it’s telling. Nicholas Cage stars as Benjamin Franklin Gates, the latest in a long line of treasure hunters. After years of hearing the family myth, Benjamin and his allies go off in search of a Templar treasure that has been lost since the days of the American Revolution. And the hidden treasure map is on the back of the Declaration of Independence. To begin his ultimate quest, Benjamin has to steal the Declaration first.
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (2016)
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story
65 %
pg 133m
Genre Action, Adventure, Science Fiction
Stars Felicity Jones, Diego Luna, Alan Tudyk
Directed by Gareth Edwards
All of the Star Wars movies have terrific action, but Rogue One: A Star Wars Story stands out because it actually deals with the consequences of those actions. This is a war movie first and foremost, but it also explores a hidden chapter in the original trilogy. Felicity Jones stars as Jyn Erso, a rebellious criminal who is recruited to find her father, Galen Erso (Mads Mikkelsen), the creator of the Empire’s Death Star. Soon enough, Jyn, Cassian Andor (Diego Luna), K-2SO (Alan Tudyk), and a ragtag crew go on a suicide mission to steal the Death Star plans from a highly secure Imperial base. They’ll save the Rebel Alliance or die trying.
Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl (2003)
Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl
63 %
pg 143m
Genre Adventure, Fantasy, Action
Stars Johnny Depp, Orlando Bloom, Keira Knightley
Directed by Gore Verbinski
The first Pirates of the Caribbean is arguably the best movie ever inspired by a theme park attraction. Director Gore Verbinski cast Johnny Depp as Captain Jack Sparrow, an oddball pirate who is obsessed with reclaiming his ship from his mutinous crew, as led by Barbossa (Geoffrey Rush). Will Turner (Orlando Bloom) enlists Jack to help him rescue Elizabeth Swann (Keira Knightley) from Barbossa and his fellow ghost pirates. The satisfying film led to a successful franchise.
The Princess Bride (1987)
The Princess Bride
77 %
pg 99m
Genre Adventure, Family, Fantasy, Comedy, Romance
Stars Cary Elwes, Robin Wright, Mandy Patinkin
Directed by Rob Reiner
The Princess Bride is a real charmer and admittedly more of a fantasy romance than a typical action flick. But there’s still a lot of fun to be had. As told to Fred Savage’s unnamed “grandson” by his grandfather (Peter Falk), Westley (Cary Elwes) is a farmhand who falls in love with Princess Buttercup (Robin Wright). Years later, their love is threatened by Prince Humperdinck (Chris Sarandon) and his evil followers. Fortunately, Westley has a giant, Fezzik (André the Giant), and a fierce warrior named Inigo Montoya (Mandy Patinkin) fighting by his side. This is simply a wonderful movie, no matter how old you are.

Editors' Recommendations

Movie images and data from:
Blair Marnell
Blair Marnell has been an entertainment journalist for over 15 years. His bylines have appeared in Wizard Magazine, Geek…
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