The 20 best action movies to stream in Australia
These action classics on Netflix, Stan, Amazon Prime Video, Foxtel, BINGE and Disney+ will get the blood pumping.
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Not getting your fix of explosions, car chases and epic battles? Have no fear, online streaming services have your back. With a variety of both modern and classic action films available, you can get your fix without having to leave your couch.
We've compiled a list of the best action movies from several streaming services that everyone should be watching. So sit back, press play and enjoy a mini-festival of action-packed films.
1. Mad Max: Fury Road
- Year: 2015
- Cast: Tom Hardy, Charlize Theron, Nicholas Hoult and Hugh Keays-Byrne
- IMDB Rating: 8.1 | Runtime: 120 minutes
Mad Max: Fury Road is one of the few late sequel movies to outdo its predecessor. The movie boasts exhilarating action scenes with a meaningful narrative. One of the best parts about this movie is you don't have to catch up on the previous movies to fully enjoy this film. Set in the near future, the story follows Max (Tom Hardy), a survivor in the wasteland. He is captured by the warlord Immortan Joe (Hugh Keays-Byrne) and brought to his stronghold, the Citadel.
One thing leads to another and Max escapes again, but this time he is not alone. Forging an alliance with Furiosa (Charlize Theron) and "the wives", they make an escape with a fortified truck called the War Rig and attempt to outrun Immortan Joe and his henchmen.
2. The Dark Knight
- Year: 2008
- Cast: Christian Bale, Heath Ledger, Aaron Eckhart and Michael Caine
- IMDB Rating: 9 | Runtime: 152 minutes
Directed by Christopher Nolan and with arguably the best combination of Batman and the Joker, The Dark Knight was an early glimmer of hope for DC fans. Batman (Christian Bale), alongside Harvey Dent (Aaron Eckhart), has been cleaning up Gotham City and making it a safe(ish) place until the brilliantly played Joker (Heath Ledger) shows up.
Wasting no time, the Joker begins tearing Gotham apart with explosions, robberies, mobsters and more explosions. There are many breathtaking set pieces throughout the film, in particular, the opening bank robbery scene. A fantastic narrative and excellent cinematography make every high rating this movie received well deserved.
3. The Bourne Identity
- Year: 2002
- Cast: Matt Damon, Franka Potente, Chris Cooper and Clive Owen
- IMDB Rating: 7.9 | Runtime: 109 minutes
David (Paul Rudd) from The 40-Year-Old Virgin was right on the money with this assessment of the movie: "You know, I always thought that Matt Damon was like a Streisand, but I think he's rockin' it in this one!" The Bourne Supremacy represents Damon's breakout role as an action hero and was both a major step in his overall superstardom and the catalyst of a five-movie-strong franchise.
It's an action spy thriller that has aged incredibly well, too – because who can't get behind the fantasy of an amnesiac everyman slowly realising he's a natural badass. The other side of the coin: his dodgy CIA handlers assume he's a $30 million weapon gone rogue. They'll do everything they can to get him back "on the reservation" (or bury him in it somewhere).
4. Rogue One: A Star Wars Story
- Year: 2016
- Cast: Felicity Jones, Diego Luna, Alan Tudyk and Donnie Yen
- IMDB Rating: 8 | Runtime: 133 minutes
Rogue One is the first in a series to come of Star Wars "stories" – spin-offs that delve further into the wider canon. This film takes place between Revenge of the Sith and A New Hope (the original Star Wars) movies. After all these years, we finally know why the Death Star had such a glaring weakness. Jyn Erso (Felicity Jones) is the daughter of a lead imperial engineer, Galen Erso, who worked on the Death Star's construction.
After a change of heart, Galen puts a flaw in the final design of the Death Star. Jyn and her merry band of misfits make it their mission to steal the Death Star plans to give to the Rebel Alliance. This film is visually stunning, with gruelling battles between the Rebels and the Empire. The air and land battles on Scarif alone are reason enough to check out this addition to the series.
5. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol.2
- Year: 2014
- Cast: Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Dave Bautista and Vin Diesel
- IMDB Rating: 7.7 | Runtime: 147 minutes
You really needn't hunt down the first film to drop into the fun here, though it is recommended if (bare minimum) you want to expose your ears to one of the greatest movie soundtracks in ages. That said, Vol. 2 is where the Guardians of the Galaxy series really nailed it.
Unfettered by an origin story, the crew of the Milano expands to include a bunch of fresh, blue faces and strain is put on the bond of the legacy characters when their captain's mysterious heritage is revealed. Great drama meets the snappiest script in the Marvel universe and that's bolstered by a visual feast of CGI moments and a soundtrack that (somehow) manages to up the ante over Vol. 1.
6. The Terminator
- Year: 1984
- Cast: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Michael Biehn, Linda Hamilton and Paul Winfield
- IMDB Rating: 8 | Runtime: 107 minutes
In one of the most iconic action movies ever, a terminator robot is sent to the past to kill Sarah Connor, whose son, John Connor, will become the leader of the resistance against machine-army of the future Skynet. To protect Sarah, John has also sent back to the present a resistance fighter by the name of Kyle Reese.
With the Terminator chasing them, Kyle and Sarah attempt to make their escape, ensuring that John Connor can be born and keep fighting in the future. Through excellent fight scenes and iconic movie lines that you still hear today, The Terminator gives a unique movie experience, guaranteed to keep you on the edge of your seat.
- Year: 2003
- Cast: Uma Thurman, Vivica A. Fox, Daryl Hannah and Lucy Liu
- IMDB Rating: 8.1 | Runtime: 111 minutes
7. Kill Bill: Volume 1
An assassin known as the Bride tries to escape her life as a killer on discovering she is pregnant. However, her jealous ex-lover Bill (David Carradine) attempts to murder her on her wedding day, but instead kills her unborn child and puts her in a coma for the next four years.
Once awoken from her sleep, the Bride vows revenge on the people who tried to kill her and devises a hit list.As this film is directed by Quentin Tarantino, you can expect crazy set pieces, an absurd amount of blood and a fantastic storyline.
- Year: 2013
- Cast: Chris Evans, Kang-ho Song, Ed Harris and John Hurt
- IMDB Rating: 7 | Runtime: 126 minutes
Based on the French graphic novel Le Transperceneige, Snowpiercer is set in a post-apocalyptic near future where the only survivors from a global ice age live on a globe-spanning train. Society is divided on the train, where the rich live in the front and the poor in the back. Curtis (Chris Evans) becomes tired of the way the back is treated and leads a rebellion to take control of the train, car by car until they reach the engine.
This unique take on a dystopian society is a fresh breath of creativity. The thrillingly fast-paced set pieces, particularly the axe battle between the rebels and the soldiers, make this one of the most exciting action movies to watch.
- Year: 2015
- Cast: Emily Blunt, Benicio Del Toro, Josh Brolin and Victor Garber
- IMDB Rating: 7.6 | Runtime: 121 minutes
Sicario is a film based on the drug war between Mexico and the US. The film follows Kate Macer (Emily Blunt), an FBI agent who has been picked up by a government task force fighting in the drug war. The task force goes back and forth over the border throughout the movie while attempting to carry out their plan of using a cartel boss to capture an even bigger cartel boss, with intense shootouts and explosions along the way.
Though obviously dramatised, this film brilliantly brings to light some of the atrocities still happening within the drug war today. The cinematography in this movie is excellent and the narrative makes for an action-packed film.
10. The Matrix
- Year: 1999
- Cast: Keanu Reeves, Laurence Fishburne, Carrie-Anne Moss and Hugo Weaving
- IMDB Rating: 8.7 | Runtime: 136 minutes
Thomas Anderson (Keanu Reeves) is an average office worker by day but turns into hacker Neo by night. His actions have led to the attention of the police and also a mysterious figure by the name of Morpheus (Laurence Fishburne), a legendary hacker. Morpheus reveals that humans have been enslaved by a race of machines and that the world he lives in is a computer simulation called the Matrix.
He joins Morpheus and a bunch of hacker rebels to try to free humanity. This classic holds up to this day with impressive fight scenes and special effects. It's perfect for a kick of nostalgia or those who never caught it the first time around.
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11. Raiders of the Lost Ark
- Year: 1981
- Cast: Harrison Ford, Karen Allen, Paul Freeman and Ronald Lacey
- IMDB Rating: 8.5 | Runtime: 105 minutes
When a problem comes along for this "acquirer of rare antiquities" he whips it good – or just casually shoots it in the face with his Webley Revolver. This is Indiana Jones's first adventure, a timeless classic that has aged incredibly well and went on to inspire a bunch of other properties (gamers, think: Tomb Raider and Uncharted). Honestly, this is arguably the best entry in the entire trilogy (no, there were ONLY three films) as it sees Indy beating the snot out of Nazis during a desperate race for the fabled Ark of the Covenant. Fortune, glory and some of the best face-melting ever committed to celluloid ensue. It's also available on Netflix.
12. Mission Impossible Ghost Protocol
- Year: 2011
- Cast: Tom Cruise, Paula Patton, Simon Pegg and Jeremy Renner
- IMDB Rating: 7.4 | Runtime: 133 minutes
When Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise) is framed for a deadly terrorist attack on the Kremlin, he and the entire IMF agency are disavowed by the US government (the titular Ghost Protocol). Hunt and company decide to go freelance without resources or backup to prevent a follow-up attack to clear the agency's name and to get access to their super cool masks once more.
Unfortunately, getting the job done means exposing Hunt's typically tight-knit and highly moral IMF team to mercenaries. What follows is a roller-coaster thrill ride that gives spooks like Damon's Bourne and Craig's Bond a run for their money.
13. Star Trek
- Year: 2009
- Cast: Chris Zachary Quinto, Leonard Nimoy and Eric Bana
- IMDB Rating: 7.9 | Runtime: 127 minutes
On the day of Captain James T Kirk's birth, his father dies trying to save his crew in a last stand against a Romulan ship. Jump to 25 years later and Kirk has grown up to be a bit of a rebel and troublemaker – as seen in the bar fight scene. However, his life is about to change when Captain Christopher Pike finds Kirk and asks him to put in the effort in the Starfleet Academy as he has the potential to follow in his father's footsteps. He begins his Starfleet career aboard the newly commissioned USS Enterprise.
Alongside crew members Uhura, Sulu, Chekov and Commander Spock, the crew go to investigate the planet Vulcan, Spock's homeworld. What ensues is thrilling space combat, explosive action sequences and a confusing yet interesting narrative. Even if you're generally not a fan of Star Trek, this is a must-watch movie.
14. Hot Fuzz
- Year: 2007
- Cast: Simon Pegg, Martin Freeman and Bill Nighy
- IMDB Rating: 7.9 | Runtime: 121 minutes
After a London police officer becomes too good at his job, catching more criminals than the rest of the department combined, he is sent to a small English village said to be one of the safest in the country. At first, it seems to be just that until people start dying, but everyone believes them to be accidents. It is now up to Nicholas Angel and his dimwitted partner Danny Butterman to put an end to this string of murders and find who's responsible. This action film with bits of comedy and crazy set pieces is a fantastic movie for people of all ages and interests. The combination of Simon Pegg and Nick Frost never seems to fail.
- Year: 2019
- Cast: Dean-Charles Chapman, George MacKay and Daniel Mays
- IMDB Rating: 8.3 | Runtime: 119 minutes
Set during World War I, 1917 centres on two British soldiers who take on a dangerous mission. Their aim? To cross into enemy territory in order to send a message that would save 1,600 lives. Engaged in a race against time, the two attempt the impossible – and viewers will be glued to the screen all throughout. Whether you enjoy war movies, 1917 makes for a memorable experience thanks to excellent performances and spectacular set pieces. Movies rarely get more immersive than this.
16. Avengers: Endgame
- Year: 2019
- Cast: Robert Downey Jr., Chris Evans, Mark Ruffalo, Chris Hemsworth and Scarlett Johansson
- IMDB Rating: 8.4 | Runtime: 181 minutes
A movie more than a decade in the making, this superhero extravaganza was worth the wait. A glorious culmination of Marvel storytelling, it's set in the aftermath of Avengers: Infinity War and revolves around several superheroes' efforts to cope with the new world order and, if they're lucky, maybe do something about it.
The action sequences are tremendous, the character moments moving and the humour just as witty as you'd expect. It can be difficult for such a highly anticipated movie to live up to the hype. Endgame pulls it off beautifully.
17. Blade Runner 2049
- Year: 2017
- Cast: Harrison Ford, Ryan Gosling and Ana de Armas
- IMDB Rating: 8.0 | Runtime: 164 minutes
Blade Runner 2049 follows K (Ryan Gosling), an officer with the Los Angeles Police who unearths a secret that could lead to horrible repercussions. To make things right, he sets out to track down a former Blade Runner (Harrison Ford) who has been missing for over three decades.
What follows is a visually dazzling action movie that not only reaches the high bar set by the original Blade Runner but also successfully stands on its own. It's a satisfying and entertaining sequel.
18. The Old Guard
- Year: 2020
- Cast: Charlize Theron, KiKi Layne, Matthias Schoenaerts, Marwan Kenzari and Chiwetel Ejiofor
- IMDB Rating: 6.7 | Runtime: 125 minutes
A group of century-old mercenaries, all with a special ability to heal, find themselves in hot water when they are unexpectedly exposed. At the same time, a new member is discovered and they all need to band together to fight for their freedom. Offering a fresh spin on the superhero genre, The Old Guard has enough substance to keep viewers engaged as well as plenty of thrilling fight scenes to get that adrenaline pumping – a winning combo in our book.
Sorry, we've found no buying or renting options for this title.
19. The Gentlemen
- Year: 2019
- Cast: Matthew McConaughey, Charlie Hunnam, Michelle Dockery, Hugh Grant and Henry Golding
- IMDB Rating: 7.8 | Runtime: 113 minutes
What happens when a drug boss tries to sell his business? A whole bunch of other shady individuals attempt to steal it. That's the premise behind this clever and witty action romp, coming from director Guy Ritchie. The movie's entertainment value is undeniable and the cast is the stuff of dreams. All in all, The Gentlemen is a very good time. We recommend adding it to your watch list as soon as possible.
- Year: 2020
- Cast: Chris Hemsworth, Bryon Lerum and Ryder Lerum
- IMDB Rating: 6.7 | Runtime: 116 minutes
Chris Hemsworth shines in this violent action film – one that's brimming with electrifying fight sequences and incredible stunt work. He plays a black-market mercenary with nothing to lose who is hired to rescue the son of a crime lord from an impossible situation.
As he goes on with his mission, the mercenary reveals a softer side as he does his best to protect the kid, despite having an obvious death wish himself. Don't worry though, that's all the mushiness you're going to get. Otherwise, Extraction is fast-paced and heavy on the carnage. Fun!
What changed on our list?
- Avengers: Endgame
- Blade Runner 2049
- The Old Guard
- The Gentlemen
Didn't make the cut
- Saving Private Ryan
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