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.
James Cameron is the master of sequels. Seven years after Ridley Scott scared the pants off of audiences with Alien, Cameron took a different approach for the sequel — going to war with the xenomorphs.
Aliens takes place 57 years after the events of the first movie, when Ripley is awoken from hyper-sleep and recruited to help with a rescue mission for a planet colony that has been overrun by the aliens.
Aliens matched, if not surpassed, its predecessor in almost every way, solidifying Ripley as one of the most iconic characters in film history.
With Aliens and T2: Judgement Day (celebrating 30 years in 2021), few know how to pull off a sequel like Cameron does.
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 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.
Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (1969)
The screen duo of Paul Newman and Robert Redford brought the famous outlaws Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid to life for audiences in this classic that blends action, adventure, comedy and drama for one entertaining ride.
Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid picks up with the notorious duo as they are being pursued by a dangerous posse after a failed train robbery. To escape, they decide to head to Bolivia. However, things aren’t much better in South America.
One of the gold standards of Hollywood’s silver age (late 1960s through the 1970s), Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid is like few westerns that came before it.
Captain Phillips (2013)
Paul Greengrass brought a frenetic energy to the Bourne franchise, which he chose to mimic in Captain Phillips, a retelling of when an American cargo ship was captured by Somali pirates.
There aren’t too many big action sequences in Captain Phillips (the drama comes as much from the back-and-forth between Tom Hanks and Barkhad Abdi as anywhere else), but the pirates seizing of the ship and the final escape sequence are two masterclasses in delivering intense set pieces.
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 Guest (2014)
Dan Stevens was best known for his role in Downton Abbey in 2014, so imagine fans’ surprise when they see him morph into a cold-blooded killing machine in the action-thriller The Guest.
Stevens stars as David, a stranger who arrives at the rural home of the Peterson family telling them that he was in the army with their son, who was killed in action. However, the Peterson kids find something off-putting about David, and as accidents start happening around town they begin to worry about their new house guest.
Adam Wingard directed, who most recently helmed the monster melee Godzilla vs. Kong.
Midnight Run (1988)
Robert De Niro has shown time and again that he can play both intimidating and funny in equal measure (Meet the Parents, Analyze This), perhaps never more so than in the ‘80s classic Midnight Run alongside Charles Grodin (RIP).
Midnight Run sees an accountant for the mafia (Grodin) skip bail. He is eventually captured by bounty hunter Jack Walsh (De Niro), who must now get him across the country to collect the $100,000 fee, going through the FBI, mobsters and other bounty hunters along the way.
De Niro and Grodin are joined in the cast by Yaphet Kotto, John Ashton, Dennis Farina, Joe Pantoliano and Philip Baker Hall.
Shanghai Knights (2003)
The sequel to the hit Shanghai Noon, Jackie Chan and Owen Wilson trade in the Old West for Victorian-era London in Shanghai Knights, as they attempt to find the men who murdered Chon Wang’s father. The duo are joined by Chon’s sister and get help from a young Arthur Conan Doyle and Charlie Chaplin (best not to think about the historical inaccuracies).
It’s always a joy to watch Jackie Chan show off his skills on the big screen, and he and Wilson have a great back and forth in the series.
The late Tony Scott was one of the top action directors in Hollywood who we sadly lost too early. Scott's swan song, Unstoppable, saw him go out on a strong note.
Starring Denzel Washington (who had frequently worked with Scott) and Chris Pine, Unstoppable takes place as a unmanned, half-mile long train loses the ability to stop and will crash into a city unless a veteran engineer and a young conductor can save the day.
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 is a D.C.-based entertainment writer and content producer for What to Watch. He previously has written for TV Technology and Awards Circuit.
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