Hulu’s selection of worthwhile action movies is heavy on blockbusters, with some more offbeat choices added in. Here are 10 good action movies to stream on Hulu.
Update, 11/21/22: We’ve reviewed our choices and replaced several movies that had left the Hulu platform. We’re confident these are the best action flicks you’re find on Hulu.
Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon
Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines
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Hulu original Boss Level explores the popular time-loop genre in an action-movie context. B-movie stalwart Frank Grillo stars as a grizzled former military operative who finds himself getting killed over and over again by a colorful assortment of assassins, only to restart his day every time he dies. Director Joe Carnahan structures the movie like an old-school video game as the main character fights his way up to the big boss (played by Mel Gibson), quipping all the way.
Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon
Director Ang Lee brings his talent for intimate character drama to the Oscar-winning martial-arts epic Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon. Lee works in the tradition of wuxia films, adapting a classic Chinese historical novel. He employs gorgeous cinematography, costumes, and set design to tell a story of star-crossed romance amid political intrigue and espionage.
The balletic action scenes are as much about emotions as they are about violence, as the characters played by Chow Yun-fat, Michelle Yeoh, and Zhang Ziyi express themselves via their fighting techniques.
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Star Wars: The Last Jedi director Rian Johnson’s first foray into sci-fi action, Looper is a twisty time-travel story about an assassin (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) who’s ordered to kill his future self (Bruce Willis). The main characters are adversaries who are literally the same person, unable to make any move without influencing or being influenced by the other.
Johnson doesn’t dwell on the rules of time travel, instead focusing on the chase as the older assassin attempts to elude the younger version. There are heady sci-fi ideas and melancholy character moments alongside the propulsive action.
Before collaborating on the mega-hit Top Gun: Maverick, director Joseph Kosinski and star Tom Cruise teamed up for sci-fi action movie Oblivion. It’s a gorgeously designed, meticulously paced film set in a post-apocalyptic future as humanity is set to leave Earth, which has been ravaged by a war with an alien race.
Cruise and Andrea Riseborough play a pair of technicians tasked with extracting resources from Earth for humans to take to a new planet. Cruise’s Jack Harper uncovers the truth about their mission and fights to save a world he never truly understood.
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The Predator franchise gets reinvigorated with innovative prequel Prey. Director and co-writer Dan Trachtenberg takes the action all the way back to 18th-century North America, where the alien Predator faces off against fierce Comanche warrior Naru (Amber Midthunder). Trachtenberg returns to the series’ core concept, with a resourceful human fighter taking on the well-armed Predator deep in the wilderness. He stages smart, exciting action sequences, with Midthunder proving to be a worthy successor to Arnold Schwarzenegger.
The title character of The Princess is no damsel in distress. As played by Joey King, she’s a fierce warrior in a fancy dress, battling her way down from the tower where she’s held captive by an evil invader (Dominic Cooper) who plans to marry her. The movie cleverly combines familiar fairy-tale elements with fast-paced martial-arts action. King makes the unnamed title character into an appealing mix of haughty and dangerous, as she plows through henchmen on her way to the ultimate showdown with the villain.
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Originally intended to star Tom Cruise, Salt proves how much of a difference a simple change in gender for the protagonist can make. Angelina Jolie stars as Evelyn Salt, the kind of hyper-competent secret agent that male actors have played for decades. Salt goes on the run after being wrongfully accused of betraying her CIA colleagues. She fights off a constant stream of assailants while working to clear her name and expose the conspiracy that framed her.
The second installment in Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man trilogy remains one of the greatest superhero movies ever made. After recounting the origin of Peter Parker (Tobey Maguire) in the first movie, Spider-Man 2 finds him firmly established as Spider-Man, a hero to nearly everyone in New York City. Peter’s personal life is a bit of a mess, as he attempts to mend his relationship with Mary Jane (Kirsten Dunst) while attending college and fighting crime. Alfred Molina is wonderfully devious as villain Dr. Octopus, and Raimi combines genuine pathos with rousing superhero action.
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Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines
Nothing can touch James Cameron’s first two Terminator movies, but that doesn’t mean that Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines isn’t still entertaining. Arnold Schwarzenegger returns as the cyborg killing machine from the future, once again sent back in time to protect human resistance leader John Connor (Nick Stahl), who’s now an adult.
Schwarzenegger’s T-800 faces off against the new, even more advanced T-X (Kristanna Loken), and director Jonathan Mostow delivers impressive large-scale action. It all leads to an admirably bleak ending that offers new possibilities for the franchise.
Before the Marvel Cinematic Universe existed, X-Men proved in 2000 that superhero movies could be successful blockbuster entertainment. Director Bryan Singer brings the Marvel Comics heroes to life, setting up the epic conflict between two leaders of superpowered mutants, Professor X (Patrick Stewart) and Magneto (Ian McKellen).
The movie tones down the cheesiness of previous comic-book adaptations, taking its characters and story seriously while delivering action that rivals any other major studio release of the time.
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