7 More Netflix Original Action Movies to Watch After ‘The Gray Man’

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“The Gray Man” is Netflix’s biggest action movie to date (its budget is said to be more than $200 million) – and one of its best.

The new Russo Brothers movie stars Ryan Gosling as the shadowy agent of the title, who gets involved in a job gone wrong and soon finds himself being hunted by Chris Evans as a mustachioed psychopath. There’s some truly harrowing spy-versus-spy action and some nice emotional beats as well. It’s so satisfying, in fact, that it might leave you hankering for some more action movies you can only find on Netflix.

With that in mind, we handily compiled a list of the best Netflix Original action movies on the service — that is, action movies on Netflix that were made by Netflix. You might want to grab an ice pack before we start, there’s definitely a chance there could be some bruising.

“Extraction”

Extraction
Netflix

Produced by the Russo Brothers (Joe also wrote the screenplay), directed by their longtime first assistant director Sam Hargrave, and starring their “Avengers: Infinity War” and “Avengers: Endgame” hero Chris Hemsworth, “Extraction” is a nonstop action free-for-all. And it totally rules. The set-up is as simple as it is effective: Hemsworth plays Rake, a former government man turned mercenary who winds up protecting the son of a powerful Indian crime boss from all sorts of colorful characters. Hargrave is a master of action and the sequences have a tactile believability, many times unfolding over the course of one single “unbroken” shot (they are actually a few shots stitched together). And even better – “Extraction 2” is on its way for next year, with Hemsworth and Hargrave returning alongside the Russos.

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“The Old Guard”

Old Guard
Netflix

Ostensibly Netflix’s crack at a superhero franchise, “The Old Guard” is based on the comic book series by Greg Rucka, who returned to write the screenplay. The Old Guard is a group of immortals who try to do right by the world. They are led by Charlize Theron and, as the movie begins, are in the process of recruiting their newest member (KiKi Layne) when an evil super-genius in the mold of Elon Musk starts hunting them in an effort to synthesize their agelessness. (The scheme is a little undercooked but just go with it.) As directed by Gina Prince-Bythewood, of “Love & Basketball” and “Beyond the Lights” fame, it’s the rare action movie steeped in sensitivity just as much as pulse-pounding action (don’t worry, there’s plenty of both). And the streaming giant’s bid at a franchise seems to have actually paid off – there’s a Theron-led sequel coming next year (sadly Prince-Bythewood couldn’t return).

“Kate”

Kate
Netflix

For some reason last year Netflix was really pushing “Gunpowder Milkshake,” a female-led action movie that was, sadly, pretty lousy. What they should have been focused on promoting was “Kate,” a much smarter, stronger, more subversive take on similar material. “Kate” stars Mary Elizabeth Winstead as an assassin whose final job (to take out a yakuza boss in Japan) is slightly marred by the fact that she gets poisoned and has mere hours to live, which adds a nice “Escape from New York” sensibility to the proceedings. Of course, she winds up helping out a young girl, uncovering the person who double-crossed her and killing a ton of people in the process. Winstead is a remarkable action performer and the set pieces are well staged, choreographed and cut together (the movie is an 87North Production, with much of the same team that was behind “John Wick” and “Nobody”). It’s the kind of movie that’s so good you wonder why Netflix buried it in the first place.

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“Army of the Dead” / “Army of Thieves”

Army of Thieves
Netflix

Netflix bet big on “Army of the Dead.” The Zack Snyder-directed action movie, where a bunch of mercenaries (among them: Dave Bautista and Ella Purnell from “Yellowjackets”) infiltrated a zombie-infested Las Vegas to rob a casino, quickly spawned a spin-off/prequel that is arguably better than the main event. “Army of Thieves” follows one of the characters (played by Matthias Schweighöfer, who also directs) as he attempts a daring series of bank heists in Europe. It lacks “Army of the Dead’s” tactile grit (and weird, smeared photography) but it excels as a more surefooted genre exercise, since so often “Army of the Dead” feels pulled between various sensibilities. While a proper sequel to “Army of the Dead” has yet to be announced, there is still an animated series incoming.

“Triple Frontier”

Triple Frontier
Netflix

“Triple Frontier” had been developed for almost a decade before its eventual release on Netflix, with various combinations of megawatt stars (among the configurations were versions starring Will Smith, Tom Hanks, Johnny Depp, Tom Hardy and Channing Tatum). The version that saw the light of day was pretty jam-packed with talent, led by Ben Affleck, Oscar Isaac, Garret Hedlund, Charlie Hunnam and Pedro Pascal, with co-writing and directing duties being handled by J.C. Chandor taking over for Kathryn Bigelow. The manly men in the cast play a group of mercenaries who make a daring attempt to rip off a South American drug lord (the “triple frontier” of the title is the area where Argentina, Brazil and Paraguay meet). Artfully directed with real thrills, the fact that it exists at all is pretty amazing, that it turned out this well is borderline miraculous.

“6 Underground”

6 Underground
Netflix

Michael Bay’s first (and, so far, only) streaming outing is “6 Underground,” a high concept global action movie about a group of mercenaries (led by a wisecracking Ryan Reynolds) who fake their death and carry out clandestine missions. The set pieces are, of course, spectacular and breathlessly staged (there’s a sequence involving a yacht and a super-magnet that is thrilling and predates the “F9” gag by a few years) and you can feel, with the movie’s R-rating, Bay shake off some of the stuffiness and corporate micromanagement that must have come along with his lucrative “Transformers” franchise. And while it doesn’t all totally come together, it’s fun watching movie stars perform amidst all of this crazy stuff (the cast also includes Melanie Laurent, Dave Franco, Corey Hawkins and Adria Arjona). This one might be more for Bay completists but even casual fans will get a kick out of it. (Plans for a sequel were quietly shuddered.)

“Day Shift”

DAY SHIFT Jamie Foxx Snoop Dogg
Netflix

You’ll have to hold a beat for this one (it doesn’t start streaming until August 12), but it’s worth the wait. “Day Shift” stars Jamie Foxx as an unlicensed vampire hunter in the San Fernando Valley who tries to rejoin the union while uncovering an unholy conspiracy (shocker: it involves real estate). Foxx is typically charismatic and the film looks like an unhurried action movie from the 1980s. The action was once again handled by 87North, so you know that the big set pieces are going to kick ass (modern action icon Scott Adkins has a cartwheeling cameo as an Armenian vampire hunter from Glendale), but it’s the comedy that could turn this into a blood-splattered blast.

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