FilmOpinion

Top Ten Action/Thriller Movies to Watch on Netflix Right Now

While some people may find a romantic comedy to be a fulfilling movie experience, there is always the other side who want some good old fashioned Die Hard-esque action or suspense. Welcome, other side people. Here are a list of some excitement filled movies, with varying degrees of suspense and action. Read on to find the perfect one for movie night tonight!

10. On The Ice (2011)

Still from On The Ice. Photo by Sebastian Mlynarski – © Sebastian Mlynarski.
Still from On The Ice. Photo by Sebastian Mlynarski – © Sebastian Mlynarski.

Run Time: 96 mins

Starring: Josiah Patkotak, Frank Qutuq Irelan, John Miller

Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 5.8/10

In an isolated Alaskan town, teenagers Qalli, Aivaaq and James are on an early morning seal hunt when an argument turns violent and James is accidentally killed. Qalli and Aivaaq declare the death an accident, but their guilt and anxiety threatens to rip their worlds apart. A somewhat unknown indie feature, On the Ice is a very well made film that portrays the juxtaposition of Alaskan tradition and modern amenities very truthfully. While it can be a little slow at times, it’s quality will keep you entranced in the story.

 9. The Avengers (2012)

Still of Robert Downey Jr., Chris Evans, Scarlett Johansson, Jeremy Renner, Mark Ruffalo and Chris Hemsworth in The Avengers. © 2012 Marvel. All rights reserved.
Still of Robert Downey Jr., Chris Evans, Scarlett Johansson, Jeremy Renner, Mark Ruffalo and Chris Hemsworth in The Avengers. © 2012 Marvel. All rights reserved.

Run Time: 143 mins

Starring: Robert Downey Jr., Chris Evans, Scarlett Johansson

Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 8/10

With an all-star cast, The Avengers raised the bar for Marvel movies. Nick Fury of S.H.I.E.L.D. must assemble a team of superheroes to save the planet from Loki. Fans of the comics and accompanying movies will be thrilled seeing Iron Man fight alongside Captain America, and the visual effects alone are reason enough to watch this film. With  screenplay writer and director Joss Whedon heading the movie, it is a guaranteed hit. If you haven’t seen it already, go now, the rest of this list will be here when you get back! And if you’ve seen it… it won’t hurt to watch again..and again. (For those trying to catch up on their Marvel movies beforehand, Thor and Captain America: The First Avenger are also currently available on Netflix.)

8. Zodiac (2007)

Still of Robert Downey Jr. and Jake Gyllenhaal in Zodiac. © 2006 Paramount Pictures. All Rights Reserved.
Still of Robert Downey Jr. and Jake Gyllenhaal in Zodiac. © 2006 Paramount Pictures. All Rights Reserved.

Run Time: 157 mins

Starring: Jake Gyllenhaal, Robert Downey Jr., Mark Ruffalo

Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 7.6/10

San Francisco cartoonist Robert Graysmith (Gyllenhaal) turns amateur detective when he becomes obsessed with finding the now infamous Zodiac killer. While this movie focuses less on the killer himself, and more on the lives of detectives and print journalists involved in the case. Nevertheless it is an enthralling, if lightly fictionalized version of the real life Robert Graysmith’s book. For people interested in this morbid bit of history, Zodiac offers a deeper look into the investigative side of the tragedies.

7. Mission: Impossible (1996)

Still of Tom Cruise in Mission: Impossible. Photo Courtesy of IMDB.com.
Still of Tom Cruise in Mission: Impossible. Photo Courtesy of IMDB.com.

Run Time: 110 mins

Starring: Tom Cruise, Jon Voight, Emmanuelle Béart

Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 5.9/10

Featuring Tom Cruise, pre-jumping on Oprah Winfrey’s couch, Mission: Impossible is a classic in the action film genre. American agent Ethan Hunt (Cruise) is framed for the death of several colleagues and is subsequently branded a traitor. Hunt must then clear his name by assembling a team of renegades and embarking on an action filled spy mission. Several exciting, suspenseful scenes make this movie quality escapist entertainment.

6. Donnie Darko (2001)

Still of Jake Gyllenhaal in Donnie Darko. © 2001 Newmarket Films.
Still of Jake Gyllenhaal in Donnie Darko. © 2001 Newmarket Films.

Run Time: 113 mins

Starring: Jake Gyllenhaal, Jena Malone, Mary McDonnell

Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 7.5/10

A creepy psychological movie, Donnie Darko remains a cult favorite among teenagers and adults alike. Donnie (Gyllenhaal) is somewhat of an outcast, unapologetic in his scorn of most of his peers and authority figures. After narrowly escaping a bizarre accident, he is manipulated by visions of a large rabbit named Frank, who persuades him to commit a series of crimes. Twisted, but with moments of dark humor, Donnie Darko is a film you may find yourself watching time and time again, trying to figure out once and for all how to interpret the ending.

5. Antiviral (2012)

Still of Caleb Landry Jones in Antiviral. © 2012 - Rhombus Media.
Still of Caleb Landry Jones in Antiviral. © 2012 – Rhombus Media.

Run Time: 108 mins

Starring: Caleb Landry Jones, Lisa Berry, Sarah Gadon

Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 6/10

In a world where obsessed fans pay money to be infected with viruses harvested from their favorite celebrities, Syd (Jones) illegally smuggles these injections from the clinic where he works to sell to piracy groups. When things go wrong and he becomes infected with a disease that has recently killed superstar Hannah Geist, Syd must save himself from the same fate while simultaneously avoiding rabid fans. A thriller with alarming ties to reality, Antiviral is unlike anything else in both plot and performance.

4. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (2009)

Still of Noomi Rapace and Michael Nyqvist in The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.
Still of Noomi Rapace and Michael Nyqvist in The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.

Run Time: 152 mins

Starring: Michael Nyqvist, Noomi Rapace, Ewa Froling

Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 7.2/10

Not to be confused with the more recent American remake, this version on Netflix is the Scandinavian original. Young, female hacker Lisbeth Salander (Rapace) aids journalist Mikael Blomkvist (Nyqvist) in solving the mystery of a 40 year old murder. An engrossing and graphically violent film, it is not for the faint of heart. Inspired by the successful trilogy of books by late author Stieg Larsson, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo is and incredible tribute with a searing performance by Rapace. Even if you have seen the American version, there is a chilling Scandinavian edginess to this film that Hollywood could not recreate.

3. Drive (2011)

Still of Ryan Gosling in Drive.
Still of Ryan Gosling in Drive.

Run Time: 100 mins

Starring: Ryan Gosling, Carey Mulligan, Bryan Cranston

Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 8.3/10

Gosling stars as a mysterious Hollywood stuntman, mechanic and getaway driver in this surprisingly violent film. When he falls for his neighbor Irene (Mulligan), whose ex-convict husband soon returns, he is dragged into a deeper underworld than his own, and must protect Irene and her son, at dangerous costs. Gosling has an exceptional presence in Drive and the killer soundtrack is just a bonus in this slick, action packed thriller.

2. The Hunger Games (2012)

Still of Jennifer Lawrence and Liam Hemsworth in The Hunger Games. © 2011 - Lionsgate.
Still of Jennifer Lawrence and Liam Hemsworth in The Hunger Games. © 2011 – Lionsgate.

Run Time: 142 mins

Starring: Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, Liam Hemsworth

Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 7.2/10

In a dystopian future, the nation of Panem is divided into 12 districts and the Capitol. Each year two representatives from each district must be chosen to participate in The Hunger Games, a brutal televised event which pits the 24 competitors against each other in a game that will end with only one living survivor. When Katniss Everdeen’s (Lawrence) younger sister is chosen, Katniss volunteers to take her place and sets of series of events that will change her world forever. Based on the best selling books by Suzanne Collins, The Hunger Games can seem a little quickly paced considering the books elaboration on the games, but with Lawrence’s strong performance and an equally superb supporting cast, it is a film well worth the 142 mins.

1. Pulp Fiction (1994)

Still of Samuel L. Jackson and John Travolta in Pulp Fiction. © 1994 - Miramax. All rights reserved.
Still of Samuel L. Jackson and John Travolta in Pulp Fiction. © 1994 – Miramax. All rights reserved.

Run Time: 154 mins

Starring: John Travolta, Samuel L. Jackson, Uma Thurman, Bruce Willis

Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 9/10

Pulp Fiction tells a time-twisting narrative of four different people: two mob hit men, a gangster’s wife, and a pair of robbers, whose lives come together and apart in bizarre ways. Outrageously violent and surprisingly funny, Pulp Fiction is an absolute classic, and a testament to director Quentin Tarantino’s style.

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