The selection of movies on Amazon Prime Video can be daunting, especially when it comes to the highly variable action genre. Here are 10 reliably entertaining action movies that you can stream on Amazon Prime Video.
Update, 4/25/23: We’ve verified all our links are working and are still confident these are the best action movies on Prime Video.
The Debt Collector
The Magnificent Seven
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On the surface, Mel Gibson’s Apocalypto sounds like an inaccessible cinematic experiment, set in the 16th-century Yucatan (in what would later be Mexico) with dialogue entirely in the ancient Mayan language. But Gibson puts together a thrilling action movie in this unfamiliar setting, telling a recognizable story about a desperate man racing to save his family. That man is fighting against members of a literally cutthroat rival tribe, running through the thick, unexplored jungle, but the emotional and narrative stakes remain universal and timeless.
Director Jaume Collet-Serra is one of the most reliable collaborators of Liam Neeson’s action thriller period, and The Commuter is another typically satisfying effort from the duo. Neeson plays an ex-NYPD officer who’s just been laid off from his insurance job and is traveling home via commuter train.
A mysterious woman (Vera Farmiga) first offers him money and then threatens his family as she draws him into a conspiracy involving other passengers. The train setting allows for tense, contained action, with Neeson bringing his customary grit to the role of the beleaguered but formidable veteran.
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The Debt Collector
Former martial artist Scott Adkins has carved out a niche for himself in action B-movies, and The Debt Collector is one of his most entertaining. He teams up with fellow low-budget action mainstay Louis Mandylor as a pair of working-class enforcers for a local crime lord.
The two of them travel around Los Angeles shaking down unsavory characters who owe money to their boss, which often requires resorting to violence. The minimal plot offers a showcase for Adkins’ fight skills and some entertaining quips from the likable stars.
Sylvester Stallone gathers an all-star lineup of action heroes for The Expendables. Stallone, Jason Statham, Dolph Lundgren, Jet Li, Randy Couture, and Terry Crews play the members of a team of mercenaries hired to take out a ruthless dictator. With appearances from Arnold Schwarzenegger, Bruce Willis, Steve Austin, and more, The Expendables is an over-the-top celebration of old-school macho action.
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The multi-faceted movie/TV franchise about immortal warriors began with the original Highlander, starring Christopher Lambert as a 16th-century Scottish clansman now living in 1985 New York City. Lambert’s Connor MacLeod fights other immortals in a battle to be the last one standing and win the mysterious “prize.”
The fight scenes combine old-fashioned swordplay with sci-fi effects, and the action takes place across centuries. Sean Connery hams it up as Connor’s mentor, Clancy Brown makes for a menacing villain, and the soundtrack of Queen songs gives the story a suitably epic feel.
It may not be the best movie from Liam Neeson’s late-career action-star period, but Honest Thief is a solid thriller with a reliably compelling performance from Neeson. Neeson plays Tom Dolan, a notorious bank robber, who plans to go legit for the sake of his new girlfriend Annie (Kate Walsh). But the FBI agents who take his case decide to eliminate him and take his money, so he has to clear his name while protecting Annie. There are some exciting chases and tense confrontations, and Neeson brings gravitas to the B-movie concept.
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Jean-Claude Van Damme shows another side of his personality in the self-aware action drama JCVD. As the title implies, Van Damme plays a version of himself, an action star whose glory days are behind him. The movie’s version of Van Damme is out of work and stuck in a custody battle with his ex-wife.
But when he inadvertently stumbles into the middle of a hostage situation at a bank, he gets the chance to prove himself as a real-life hero. The movie combines a meditation on celebrity and Van Damme’s own onscreen persona with a satisfying, well-crafted thriller.
Amazon original movie Jolt stars Kate Beckinsale as a woman with an unusual affliction: She has intermittent explosive disorder, which causes her to essentially Hulk out when she gets angry, leaving paths of destruction in her wake. She controls her condition via a custom rig that delivers electric shocks, but when the first man in years she’s allowed herself to get close to is killed, she goes on a rampage against the criminals responsible.
The movie has a playful tone and plenty of absurd action sequences, and Beckinsale is a delight as the misanthropic protagonist.
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The Magnificent Seven
Director Antoine Fuqua delivers a surprisingly effective remake of classic Western The Magnificent Seven, making great use of a talented cast, with effective callbacks to the original, clever writing, and rousing action. It changes enough about the plot that it doesn’t feel like a rote retelling, but retains the spirit of itinerant gunmen coming together for a purpose greater than themselves.
Denzel Washington, Ethan Hawke, and Chris Pratt lead the cast as the unlikely heroes, and Peter Sarsgaard relishes his role as a cartoonishly evil robber baron.
Robert Eggers’ The Northman is an ambitious historical epic that’s also one of the best action movies on Amazon Prime Video. Inspired by the same Norse legends as William Shakespeare’s Hamlet, it stars Alexander Skarsgård as Amleth, a Viking prince who witnesses his father’s murder and his mother’s abduction when he’s a child, inspiring a lifelong quest for vengeance.
Skarsgård brings grim intensity to the lead role, balanced by Anya Taylor-Joy as a fierce witch who aids Amleth and Nicole Kidman as Amleth’s defiant mother. Eggers mixes meticulous period detail with visceral, immersive action.
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