20 Exciting Action Thrillers to Please the Adrenaline Junkie in You!

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20 Exciting Action Thrillers to Please the Adrenaline Junkie in You!

The lockdown has lasted more than two months now and as things slowly start to reopen (maybe?!), tensions are certainly high. At LetsOTT, we don’t want you to feel the pressure at all! In fact, sometimes all you need is a simple distraction/escape, and what better a way than to watch things blow up or crash into each other. We’ve curated a list of 20 action films streaming on OTT, some classics of the genre and some bright and beaming new originals, which are just the right anecdote to help you kick back and embrace the madness. 
 
Are you ready?
 
 
Avengers: Endgame (2019) - Disney+Hotstar

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Critics would argue that Avengers: Endgame probably qualifies as a great superhero flick but perhaps not a wholesome action film. They’re not entirely wrong… with an almost-three hour runtime, the action (thanks to tying up a lot of the plots from its predecessor) is relegated to its final act. But here’s our take: Avengers Endgame is as wholesome an action movie as it can be because it has enough part comedy, sci-fi and drama to keep you satiated till the epic finale where all the Avengers assemble (including those who are back from the dead) to take on Thanos’ forces of evil for the last time. Add to that a gloriously powerful score by Alan Silvestri and that tearful goodbye to Iron Man, and you have yourself a grand ode to nerd central. 
 
The Bourne Identity (2002) - Netflix & Amazon Prime

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The first in a long line of movies about international spy Jason Bourne, the flagship film changed the way in which we see action in espionage thrillers for the better. Till then, most spy films were usually, well, either a Bond film or on the lines of a Bond film which meant that villains were whimsical stereotypes and the central conflict was usually for nuclear power in the aftermath of the Cold War. Between all of this, Matt Damon starrer The Bourne Identity marked the beginning of a new millennium where the conflict was brought back down to Earth, making the action and car chases seem more relevant than before. Not only did The Bourne Identity spawn several films in its own franchise, but also set the structure for other thrillers, making it a modern classic. 
 
Independence Day (1996) - Disney+Hotstar
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We’ll admit that Independence Day is not subtle. In fact, there is nothing more ‘90s than Will Smith and Jeff Goldblum trying to save the world from an alien invasion, where Bill Pullman plays the President of the United States. But there’s a certain charm to the summer blockbuster which gives significance to the genre in itself, a time when watching a great action movie in the cinema really meant something. Directed by Roland Emmerich, Independence Day is the OG in the kind of nostalgia and throwback-ridden movies that we usually see as a trend today. And yet, it has everything - witty banter, high crescendo speeches and exactly the kind of spectacle-level action that one expects from a film of such a high production value.
 
Iron Man (2008) - Disney+Hotstar

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It is somewhat a risk to have more than one MCU movie in a ‘best of action’ list but Iron Man definitely deserves a place in any list of this genre for setting the precedent for all such movies in the future. It is not just the film which is the blueprint for origin stories for Marvel, but for other studios as well. Robert Downey Jr. is perfect casting as the cocky but charismatic man in the iron suit, with his irreverent sense of humour and inimitable style. It spawned a few films in its own franchise and meshes perfectly into the overall arc of the character. But most importantly, it is a consistent slow burn into the action that takes you by surprise for being both unique but still supremely fun. 
 
The Matrix (1999) - Amazon Prime Video

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Before The Matrix made it to theatres, not too many people knew Keanu Reeves (except maybe from Speed). Now, he is one of the most loved stars and overall just a great action guy (the John Wick series) but The Matrix is really one of the first few roles which set his career into motion. Not just that, it has the honour of being not just a great action film (c’mon, it has one of the most replicated aesthetic and style) but also being a great sci-fi film. Blending interesting martial arts with sophisticated machinery, a cerebral theme with witty one-liners, The Matrix is a rightfully deemed cultural phenomenon.
 
Mad Max: Fury Road (2015) - Amazon Prime Video

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Not that we needed any other reason to think otherwise, but Mad Max: Fury Road simply proved what we already knew - that women could not just lead a man-led franchise, but an action film in general as well. A group of female prisoners led by Charlize Theron, who plays the now iconic Imperator Furiosa, rebel against a tyrannical ruler. It sounds intense, and it is. But essentially, this film is also just a long chase sequence reminiscent of the kind of macho adventure movies that we’ve seen before without overbearing on masculinity. Mad Max: Fury Road is the kind of film which creates a high-octane narrative with stunning visuals and impeccable production design while being socially relevant. Overall, just a well-crafted film.
 
 
Mission Impossible (1996) - Amazon Prime Video / Netflix / Jio Cinema

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Where did Ethan Hunt’s story begin, you ask? Right here in the film which has one of the most iconic visuals of all time. As Tom Cruise hangs just mere inches above the floor working to hack into a computer, each time we see him perspire and his sweat possibly beads through to an alarm-ridden floor, our hearts are in our mouth. Brian De Palma’s extremely well-crafted action film has all the over-the-top high-octane action sequences, while also being smart and funny with its theme and characterisation. This has followed through into each film of the franchise with its ups and downs, and it is definitely worth it to start with the story right at the beginning.
 
 
The Night Comes for Us (2018) - Netflix

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Despite getting poor reviews, Indonesian original for Netflix, ‘The Night Comes for Us’ single-handedly resurrected the action genre for an entire section in world cinema. And rightfully so, because unlike most of the other films on this list or even any other Netflix original, the film boasts of some of the most inventive, gory and beautifully choreographed violence on screen. It is not at all easy to digest, but if you are the kind of cine goer who enjoys that kind of disturbing visual, then it might be an exciting and stimulating ride. 
 
 
Terminator 2: Judgement Day (1991) - Netflix

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Don’t get fooled. It’s pretty easy to watch Terminator 2: Judgement Day without having watched its predecessor, although both the films together do make it a lot more fun. But what makes T2 one of the most impressive action films of all time is that in spite of releasing almost three decades ago, it doesn’t look dated. In fact, that liquid metal robot that works as a transformer can give any modern film a run for their money. Arnold Schwarzenneger comes back a second time to live and breathe through a character which he was born to play, his backstory goes deeper, the plot grows thicker and the action is triggered by the emotional resonance of the story. 
 
Wheelman (2017) - Netflix

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In this rather unique action-thriller, Frank Grillo plays a getaway driver for criminals. One bank heist goes wrong and it's time for him to evaluate the intentions of all those involved, including himself. A Netflix original, Wheelman is an out-and-out genre film where most of the action takes place within the interiors of a vehicle. This helps us match the anxiety and confusion that the main character faces. It’s got great performances and truly pushes the boundaries of what an action heist film can be by making him face all the action while trapped in his own getaway.

Extraction (2020) - Netflix

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A black market mercenary Tyler Rake (Chris Hemsworth) is enlisted to rescue the kidnapped son Ovi Mahajan Jr. (Rudhraksh Jaiswal) of an Indian drug lord Ovi Mahajan Sr. (Pankaj Tripathi). The plot most definitely sets the tone of the film, which is followed by breathtaking actions sequences. It was criticized for its screenplay but was raved for the death-defying action sequences. The film has Sam Hargrave as the director who is a former assistant of the Russo Brothers. Also, Joe Russo has done the screenplay for the film. Extraction surely satisfies the action pangs and keeps you on the edge with its larger than life actions sequences. It’s currently streaming on Netflix. A sequel is expected soon.
 
 
6 Underground - Netflix

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A billionaire and philanthropist hire 6 individuals across the globe from different walks of life from the underbelly. Who are best at what they do and were not just chosen for their skill but for a unique mission to delete their past and change the future. Did it seem a bit too farfetched? It did in the beginning but doesn’t disappoint you during the course of your watch. Director Michael Bay’s Netflix debut was nothing less than what he offers on the large screen, he did light up the smart devices with explosive and stylized action sequences. The film had Ryan Reynolds in the lead; he keeps you entertained with his witty one-liners. The film is currently streaming on Netflix.
 
 
 
Triple Frontier - Netflix

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A group of former U.S. Army Delta force reunites to plan a heist of a South American crime lord. A job which could go wrong in many ways and could prove as a suicide mission is pursued after a set of strong arguments. The film has a stellar cast which stars Ben Affleck along with Oscar Isaac, Charlie Hunnam, Garrett Hedlund, and Pedro Pascal. It’s one of those action thrillers which have been tried once too often but still enjoyable. With exotic locales and grim treatment, the film makes a strong action impression, especially the heist sequence. Despite being a Netflix Original this film was released in select theatres a week before its Netflix premiere on March 13th 2019. 
 
 
Polar - Netflix

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It’s about an assassin Duncan Vizia (Mads Mikkelsen) who works for a company named Damocles. Upon reaching his mandatory retirement on 50th birthday and set to receive his pension amounting to $8 million, the company sells him out and approaches all the assassins reaching their retirement to kill each other to retain the pension funds and inflating the company’s value. All hell breaks loose when the best of best are pitted against each other to survive. It presents a spectacle of knuckle crunch action with strong violence. The film may have shades of John Wick but manages to create a good impression. The film is currently streaming on Netflix.
 
 
The Wall - Prime Video

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The story follows two American soldiers Shane Mathews (John Cena) a sniper and his spotter Allen Issac (Aaron Taylor-Johnson) are sent to investigate a pipeline construction site during the Iraq war. After a patient wait of 22 hours on over watch before coming to the conclusion if the site is clear. Mathew proceeds to investigate, to his surprise he’s shot by an Iraqi sniper. Issac who takes cover behind a crumbling wall tries to rescue the dying Mathews against all odds. In this fight for survival against an unseen sniper, whether the wounded soldiers make it alive or dead form the crux of the story directed by Doug Liman of “Edge of Tomorrow” & “The Bourne Identity”. The film treads strong with gripping sequences. The film had a limited theatrical release and later was released on Amazon Prime as their Original release.
 
 
Lockout - Netflix

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It’s a French sci-fi action film set against dystopian future where CIA agent Snow (Guy Pearce) is framed for a crime he did not commit. He’s offered his freedom in exchange for rescuing the President’s daughter Emilie (Maggie Grace) from the orbital prison where its inmates takes over it. The film was under radar for plagiarism of the cult classic Escape from New York and its sequel, Escape from L.A. Its theatrical release was not much favoured by the critics or the audience. But its digital release caught everyone’s attention, especially during this lockdown period. The film is directed by Stephen St. Leger & James Mather and the story was penned by Luc Besson. The film keeps you engaged with great action and special effects. The film is currently streaming on Netflix.
 
 
John Wick Series- Netflix / Airtel Xstream

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It’s the series which kept the fans of Keanu Reeves happy after the stupendous “The Matrix Trilogy”. John Wick is about the assassin who goes in search of the Russian mob who steals his car and kills his puppy, the last gift from his deceased wife. The film has a unique style which piqued interest among the action film buffs across the globe. John Wick series is known for its cutthroat action sequences, editing and Reeves’s performance. Two sequels were released which has been woven perfectly and did not lose the intensity, unlike other franchises which tend to fail. John Wick (2014), John Wick Chapter-2 (2017) and the recently released John Wick Chapter-3 Parabellum. And there’s a 4th sequel in the making and slated for a release in May 2022. This is one of those rare action flicks which will keep your blood pumping throughout with fast-paced tactile action. All three films are equally action-packed and entertaining. John Wick is streaming on Netflix & Airtel Xstream. Similarly, the John Wick Chapter-2 and John Wick Chapter-3 Parabellum are streaming on Airtel Xstream in alliance with Lionsgate Play.
 
 
The Equalizer - Netflix

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A retired Marine and Defense Intelligence Agency officer lives a very quiet life after promising his deceased wife to leave behind his former activities. His peace is disturbed when a teenage prostitute is beaten up brutally by his pimp. Rober McCall (Denzel Washington) jumps back into action to save Alina (Chloe Grace Moretz) from the Russian mafia. What follows next is the brutal edge of the seat action thriller directed by Antoine Fuqua of the stupendous Training Day (2001). The film was a huge commercial success and was released in IMAX screens too. If you’re looking for some old school yet stylized knuckle crunching action, then you should definitely give this one a shot. It’s currently streaming on Netflix and its sequel is streaming on Amazon Prime Video.
 
 
Blood Diamond - Netflix

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It’s a political action thriller which focuses on the diamond mines in the war zones and sold to finance conflicts, thereby profiting warlords and diamond companies across the globe. This is one of my favourite films with Leonardo DiCaprio to date. I’ve seen it multiple times in theatres, on DVD and have streamed online after its digital release. It’s one of the finest performances of DiCaprio with his impeccable South African accent. Followed by stellar performances by Jennifer Connelly and Djimon Hounsou. It has few spectacular actions sequences set in the backdrop of a war zone. If you haven’t watched it yet, then I would suggest you to stream this one right away and you’ll definitely love it. It’s currently streaming on Netflix and Amazon Prime.
 
 
Kick-Ass - Netflix

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An ordinary teenager Dave Lizewski (Aaron Johnson) sets out to become a real life superhero, calling himself “Kick-Ass”.  He gets caught up in a big fight when he runs into Big Daddy (Nicolas Cage) who is determined to bring down the crime boss Frank (Mark Strong). Big Daddy trains his daughter Mindy (Chloe Grace Moretz) to become a ruthless vigilante “Hit-Girl”. This trio joins hands to fight against one cause. This film caught everyone’s attention with its different approach to the superhero genre. Initially, it received criticism for its strong verbal content which included underage actors playing the respective characters. But was later praised for its edgy action sequences and dark comedy. Kick-Ass is based on the comic book of the same name by Mark Millar and John Romita. The film was directed by Matthew Vaughn. It’s the first film among the Kick-Ass film series and is currently streaming on Netflix.

So what are you waiting for? Get your adrenaline rush today!



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