3 action movies on Netflix you need to watch in May 2024

A man aims his gun in The Old Guard.
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May marks the start of the summer blockbuster season. While the theatrical slate includes The Fall Guy, Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes, and Furiosa: A Mad Max SagaNetflix will release its own action blockbuster, Atlas, on May 24. Similar blockbusters currently available for streaming include The MatrixThe Hunger Games, and Extraction.

These films are just the tip of the iceberg for the streamer’s action genre. Netflix boasts an impressive library of action and adventure films ready for consumption. Stream these three action movies in May, including a fantasy saga from Gina Prince-Bythewood, a slick Western, and a stoner comedy.

The Old Guard (2020)

Charlize Theron and KiKi Layne as Andy and Nile in Netflix's The Old Guard
Image via Netflix

Netflix has its fair share of misses in the action genre. The Gray Man and Heart of Stone come to mind. However, The Old Guard is one of the service’s better original movies. The Old Guard stars Charlize Theron as Andromache of Scythia, aka Andy, a warrior who leads a group of mercenaries with special healing powers. These warriors have protected the world from evil threats for centuries while keeping their immortality a secret.

However, their powers are exposed during a mission to rescue kidnapped children in South Sudan. To protect their secret, Andy and her crew must stop the sinister entity trying to replicate their regenerative powers. Prince-Bythewood is one of the more underrated action directors, with a gift for staging riveting fight sequences. Andy and her fellow warriors will return in the sequel, The Old Guard 2.

Stream The Old Guard on Netflix.

The Harder They Fall (2021)

Regina King and the cast of The Harder They Fall.

The Harder They Fall injected much-needed diversity into the Western genre. The stacked cast features a stellar group of award-winning and critically acclaimed actors, including Jonathan Majors, Idris Elba, Zazie Beetz, Regina King, Lakeith Stanfield, Danielle Deadwyler, RJ Cyler, and Delroy Lindo.

Directed by Jeymes Samuel, The Harder They Fall stars Majors as Nat Love, an outlaw who seeks revenge against the man who killed his parents, Rufus Buck (Elba). When Buck is released from prison, Nat prepares for battle by reuniting with his old gang — Stagecoach Mary (Beetz), Bill Pickett (Edi Gathegi), and Jim Beckwourth (Cyler). However, Buck has allies, too, including Trudy Smith (King) and Cherokee Bill (Stanfield). Like many Westerns before it, the town isn’t big enough for both gangs. One has to go. Which one will survive?

Stream The Harder They Fall on Netflix.

Pineapple Express (2008)

James Franco and Seth Rogen in Pineapple Express.
Sony Pictures Releasing

Not every action movie is created equal. Some have capes and superpowers, while others feature cops and robbers. Then, there’s Pineapple Express, an action comedy with weed at the center of everything. Dale Denton (Seth Rogen) is a process server with an affinity for marijuana. While smoking a rare new strain called “Pineapple Express,” Dale witnesses a murder by a dirty cop and a vicious drug lord.

Dale makes the mistake of leaving his roach at the crime scene, and the murderers trace the weed back to Dale’s dealer, Saul Silver (James Franco). Now marked men, Dale and Saul go on the run, embarking on a marijuana-fueled adventure. Pineapple Express is the perfect movie to watch with friends because the laughs will be contagious.

Stream Pineapple Express on Netflix.