Best action movies on IMDb TV

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Pop the popcorn and sit back and enjoy some of the best action movies around via the IMDb TV streaming service.

IMDb TV is a free, ad-supported streaming service that offers thousands of hours of movies and TV shows. There are plenty of classic movies and shows to choose from across all different genres, including comedies, thrillers, documentaries and family movies.

Here’s a glimpse at some of the best action movies that are currently available on IMDb TV.

The African Queen (1951)

If you enjoyed Jungle Cruise, then it’s worth heading down river aboard The Africa Queen, the original river cruise adventure movie, with Katharine Hepburn and Humphrey Bogart.

Set during World War I, an alcoholic, jaded riverboat is tasked with transporting a driven missionary to safety, but she convinces him to use his boat, The African Queen, to attack enemy Germany ships. But first they have to traverse the dangerous river. Through their journey, the two begin to respect and love each other.

John Huston directed The African Queen, which is often a fixture on lists of the best films ever made. It also was the first and only Oscar win for Hollywood stalwart Humphrey Bogart.

Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans (2009)

Nicolas Cage and Werner Herzog are two of the more ... let’s say unique characters in the world of film, so of course things get wacky when they teamed up for Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans.

An indirect sequel to the 1992 Bad Lieutenant with Harvey Keitel, Cage stars as Terence McDonagh, a drug- and gambling-addicted detective who is investigating the killing of a group of immigrants. Cage hams it up as he often does, but many found that in the hands of Herzog he was able to find the proper channel.

Eva Mendes, Val Kilmer and Xzibit also star.

Battle Royale (2000)

A government forces teenagers to fight to the death. It’s easy to see where The Hunger Games (also on IMDb TV) and Battle Royale controversy emerged when you boil things down to that, but let’s put that aside and just enjoy Battle Royale for what it is.

The violently entertaining Battle Royale was directed by Kinji Fukasaku and saw 42 ninth grade students placed on a deserted island and told to kill each other until only one is left. Some choose to fight, while others attempt to figure a way safely off the island.

The Boondock Saints (1999)

Seemingly at one point every male college student’s favorite movie (based on the number of dorm rooms that had the poster), The Boondock Saints was required viewing for movie fans of a certain age in the early 2000s.

The story of two brothers (Norman Reedus and Sean Patrick Flanery) who attempt to clean-up Boston through vigilante acts is a rollicking shoot-em up, with memorable performances from Willem Dafoe and Billy Connolly.

Filmmaker Troy Duffy came out of nowhere and seemed to disappear just as quickly, but we’ll always have The Boondock Saints.

Die Hard (1988)

Bruce Willis’ John McClane is one of the best movie action heroes of all time, because he is not made in the Arnold Schwarzenegger mode of invincible god, but instead a seemingly normal man who has to use his wits as much as his brawn to beat the bad guys (at least in the earlier films).

The first Die Hard is top-grade action from top-to-bottom. It has great moments of humor, knows when to be serious and, of course, has some great action set pieces. Plus, Alan Rickman is perfect as the German terrorist Hans Gruber.

Whether or not you believe that Die Hard should qualify as a Christmas movie, the film is a gift to action fans the whole year round.d

Die Hard With a Vengeance (1995)

After a less successful sequel in Die Hard 2, John McClane had a bounce back with Die Hard With a Vengeance. This was thanks in large part to two additions to the cast, Samuel L. Jackson as a Harlem store owner who gets dragged into McClane’s wake and Jeremy Irons as Simon, the younger brother of Die Hard villain Hans Gruber.

This is the first time we get to see McClane in his home of New York City, and the film uses the metropolis to its full advantage, rather than having a film contained to a single location in the first two films. Throw in the fun dynamic Willis and Jackson have and it’s a worthy sequel for the franchise.

The Grandmaster (2013)

Recent action movies like Atomic Blonde, John Wick and more have opted for more gritty, dirty action sequences, a far cry from the poetic portrayal shown in Kar-Wai Wong’s The Grandmaster.

The Grandmaster tells the story of Ip Man, the legendary martial artist who trained Bruce Lee, as well as his relationship with the daughter of a fellow martial artist, who seeks revenge following her father’s murder.

The whole movie, but particularly the fight scenes, are as pretty as a painting with the elaborate costumes and lavish cinematography. Rough and tough may work for some action movies, but The Grandmaster knew that its action was best portrayed as a work of art.

The Hunger Games (2012)

The Hunger Games was one of the biggest franchises of the early to mid 2010s, with four films based on Suzanne Collins’ young adult books. As far as the most action-packed entry, that would have to go to the first entry in the franchise (the sequels feature some good action, but also a lot more of the series’ revolution plot).

Jennifer Lawrence stars as the bow-wielding Katniss Everdeen, who is forced to take part in a violent tournament called The Hunger Games where districts ruled over by the Capitol send two of their teenagers to fight to the death.

The actual Hunger Games comprise about half the movie. While director Gary Ross used some shaky cam to hide the violence and keep that PG-13 rating, there’s plenty of action to keep viewers entertained.

All four of the The Hunger Games franchise is available to stream on IMDb TV.

Mystery Men (1999) 

What happens when a city’s superhero is captured and they have to rely on the B-team, or maybe C-team? That’s essentially the plot of Mystery Men, this action-comedy that has a group of amateur superheroes try and save the day.

The film features a great cast that includes Ben Stiller, William H. Macy, Hank Azaria, Janeane Garofalo, Paul Reubens, Kel Mitchell, Wes Studi, Eddie Izzard, Geoffrey Rush and Greg Kinnear. Mystery Men is based on the comic book series by Bob Burden.

Mystery Men is a very different kind of superhero film to what Marvel and DC put out nowadays, but that’s something to be thankful for as we are reminded there’s another side to the genre.

Young Guns (1988)

Emilio Estevez, Charlie Sheen, Kiefer Sutherland, Lou Diamond Phillips, Dermont Mulroney and Casey Siemaszko are the group of Old West legends, led by Billy the Kid, at the center of Young Guns.

Loosely based on the true events of the Lincoln County War in New Mexico, William Boney (Estevez) and others hired by rancher John Tunstall are deputized after Tunstall is killed. But rather than arrest the men responsible for Tunstall’s murder, Boney, soon to earn the nickname Billy the Kid, and the other young guns are out for revenge.

Terence Stamp and Jack Palance headline the supporting cast of Young Guns.

Michael Balderston

Michael Balderston is a DC-based entertainment and assistant managing editor for What to Watch, who has previously written about the TV and movies with TV Technology, Awards Circuit and regional publications. Spending most of his time watching new movies at the theater or classics on TCM, some of Michael's favorite movies include Casablanca, Moulin Rouge!, Silence of the Lambs, Children of Men, One Flew Over the Cuckoos Nest and Star Wars. On the TV side he enjoys Only Murders in the Building, Yellowstone, The Boys, Game of Thrones and is always up for a Seinfeld rerun. Follow on Letterboxd.