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5 underrated action movies that are perfect to watch for the winter

Two people stand in a forest in Hold the Dark.
Netflix

There are still a few more weeks of winter before we can put this season behind us. March 19 will mark the official start of spring, but Mother Nature may not care for our arbitrary dates and could very well keep the cold weather coming a bit longer.

If we all have to stay inside for a bit longer, then we suggest heating things up with five underrated action movies that are perfect to watch for the winter. Many of our choices actually take place during the winter, but there’s no holiday cheer to be found here. In most of these flicks, the cold is just as dangerous as any person — or any animal — that’s trying to kill the main characters.

Chain Reaction (1996)

Keanu Reeves and Rachel Weisz in Chain Reaction.
20th Century Studios

Three years before The Matrix made him into an action icon, Keanu Reeves appeared with his future Constantine co-star Rachel Weisz in Chain Reaction. Reeves and Weisz play Eddie Kasalivich and Lily Sinclair, two of the team members on a science project that produces a breakthrough in clean energy technology. It’s the kind of discovery that could change the world for the better.

After celebrating their good fortune, Eddie and Lily are shocked when their teammates are murdered and the project is seemingly destroyed. Eddie and Lily are also framed for the crime and forced to go on the run. The only other survivor from their team is Paul Shannon (Morgan Freeman). But Paul may be less than trustworthy.

Watch Chain Reaction on Max.

The Grey (2011)

Liam Neeson in The Grey.
Open Road Films

All you really need to know about The Grey is that it features Liam Neeson fighting wolves in the winter. And unlike some of the bad guys in Neeson’s other action flicks, the wolves are not intimidated by him. The Grey casts Neeson as John Ottway, a sharpshooter at an Alaskan oil facility who protects the workers from wolf attacks.

During a company-chartered plane ride home, Ottway and a handful of his colleagues survive a crash that leaves them trapped in the wilderness with little hope of rescue. Their problems mount when wolves begin to pick off the men one by one. Even Ottway’s considerable fighting skills only go so far against these apex predators.

Watch The Grey on Max.

Escape Plan (2013)

Sylvester Stallone and Arnold Schwarzenegger in Escape Plan.
Lionsgate

Outside of the Planet Hollywood restaurants, the biggest team-up of Sylvester Stallone and Arnold Schwarzenegger happened in Escape Plan. Stallone plays Ray Breslin, one of the best escape artists in the world. He’s so good that governments use him to test their Supermax prisons. For his latest client, Ray agrees to go undercover in a top-secret prison called The Tomb.

Unfortunately for Ray, he comes to realize that he’s been set up, and Warden Willard Hobbes (Jim Caviezel) has no intention of ever letting him go. In captivity, Ray meets Emil Rottmayer (Schwarzenegger), a fellow prisoner who is more than he seems. Ray may not be able to trust Emil, but working together could be their best chance at getting out of The Tomb alive.

Watch Escape Plan on Peacock.

Hold the Dark (2018)

A man in a wolf mask stands in Hold the Dark.
Netflix

Hold the Dark features Jeffrey Wright as Russell Core, a wolf hunter who is called to action by Medora Stone (Riley Keough) after wolves kill three children in her small town, including her own six-year old son. Russell is an exceptional tracker, but even he isn’t prepared for what he’ll find at the end of this journey — specially when the real culprit isn’t a wolf at all.

Medora’s husband, Vernon Slone (The Northman‘s Alexander Skarsgård), has come home from war and is seemingly possessed as he leaves carnage and murder in his wake. If Russell can’t stop Vernon, then he may be the next victim to fall.

Watch Hold the Dark on Netflix.

The Accountant (2016)

Ben Affleck in The Accountant.
Warner Bros. Pictures

Meet Christian Wolff (Ben Affleck), the Rain Man of criminal accountants. As the title character of The Accountant, Christian has channeled his autistic qualities into a lucrative living by selling his services to any organization on the wrong side of the law. Essentially, he’s the man that criminals call when they can’t go to the police about embezzlement.

Living Robotics CEO Lamar Blackburn (John Lithgow) and his sister, Rita Blackburn (Jean Smart), hire Christian after their employee, Dana Cummings (Anna Kendrick), detects irregularities with their financial records. Christian quickly finds evidence to support this, but he also discovers that the culprit is targeting him and Dana to hide their tracks. To protect himself and Dana, Christian is going to have to answer lethal force with plenty of his own.

Watch The Accountant on Peacock.

Editors' Recommendations

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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