The Top 10 Action Films on Netflix

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January 7th, 2014

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Netflix has revolutionized how millions of people watch television and movies, and those who have a subscription know how deep its library is. However, the sheer number of offerings on Netflix can make it a bit intimidating. For fans of the action genre, here are ten must-see films.



1. "The Hunger Games"

"The Hunger Games" trilogy sold well in book form, and the movie version of the first book is available on Netflix Instant. Starring Jennifer Lawrence, the film has been lauded for staying true to the book and for developing a unique, stylized look. Action fans will love the intense battles and stunning imagery.



2. "Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl"

When the first "Pirates of the Caribbean" film came out, few expected such a successful franchise could be created from a ride at Disneyland and Disney World. Thanks in large part to Johnny Depp's masterful portrayal of Captain Jack Sparrow, the franchise has something to offer action fans of all ages. Many regard the final film in the franchise, which is available on Netflix, as the series' peak.



3. "The Hunt for Red October"

Based on a critically acclaimed novel by James Clancy, 1990's "The Hunt for Red October" captures the harrowing nature of submarine warfare. Starring Sean Connery and Alec Baldwin, the film successfully translates Clancy's most famous work to the big screen, and the quiet, isolated nature of the film's submarine scenes presents fear in a way most action films cannot replicate.



4. "The Boondock Saints"

While its sequel didn't fare well, "The Boondock Saints" remains one of the most successful independent action films ever released. Starring Willem Dafoe and featuring some of the most gritty scenes in the action drama, it is broader in scope and stylistically stronger than most action films. "The Boondock Saints" is a thrilling adventure that all fans of action films are sure to enjoy.



5. "Hellboy"

Based on the comic book series of the same name, "Hellboy" presents one of the most colorful group of characters in the action genre. Lauded by fans of the relatively unknown comic book series, the movie successfully shows that the titular character is far deeper than his name might suggest. With strong acting, clever writing, and music composed by Danny Elfman, "Hellboy" is a refreshing take on the comic book genre, which sometimes seems to take itself a bit too seriously.



6. "Terminator 2: Judgment Day"

The sequel to "Terminator" is widely hailed as one of the best action films of all time. Starring Arnold Schwarzenegger and directed by James Cameron, the film has been widely hailed as a game changer for the action genre thanks to its still-impressive special effects. The film is more than just a visual treat, however, and Skynet remains one of the most frightening villains ever presented on the big screen.


7. "Top Gun"

Aerial combat presents some of the fastest and most thrilling material for action films, but the process of bringing it to life in a realistic manner has caused many producers to look for other source material. "Top Gun" is one of the most ambitious efforts to bring dogfighting to the big screen, and it remains the most successful by a wide margin. Beyond its unrivaled visuals, "Top Gun" also presents some truly memorable characters, and its love stories and rivalries add depth to its action roots.


8. "Oldboy"

"Oldboy," a South Korean film based on a Japanese graphic novel, is hailed by many as the ultimate revenge film. While the film is largely a psychological thriller, it is mostly known for its stylized action scenes, best exemplified by a one-shot fight scene involving a hammer, a hallway, and a large number of enemies.



9. "The Avengers"

One of the most successful films of all time, "The Avengers" has been widely hailed as a shot in the arm to the lucrative but occasionally bland comic book action genre. Bringing together perhaps the most impressive collection of superheroes ever seen on the big screen, "The Avengers" captures the comic book look and feel better than any other film. Joss Whedon also deserves a considerable amount of credit; his sharp dialogue and clever writing give the film a lightness that makes the action scenes smarter and more exciting.



10. "Battle Royale"

Some have claimed that "The Hunger Games" is merely a copy of Japan's "Battle Royale," but those who have seen both films know that this claim is faulty. While the premises are similar, "Battle Royale" presents an ultra-violent, hyper-realistic portrayal of humans forced into an impossible scenario, and its fight scenes make the film a must-watch for fans of bloody action.