We ran a list last week about the Top 50 Most Underrated Action Movies to Watch, and since it’s doing so well, I’d like to follow it up with a list of the great underrated action movies that are on Netflix right now. In fact, there are quite a few action movies from our original list that are currently available on Netflix, which, at times, can seem to be a never-ending vast wasteland of b-movies and box office bombs.
1. Deep Blue Sea
Release Date: July 28, 1999
IMDB Rating: 5.8 out of 10
Starring: Thomas Jane, Saffron Burrows, Samuel L. Jackson, LL Cool J
Deep Blue Sea was never taken seriously, which is likely due to the abundance of shark movies and the fact that the movie poster was absolutely dreadful. But, Deep Blue Sea was a battle between genetically enhanced sharks and normal humans. The deaths in Deep Blue Sea were brutal and well done, and the movie had a lot of great scenes.
2. The November Man
Release Date: August 27, 2014
IMDB Rating: 6.3 out of 10
Starring: Pierce Brosnan, Luke Bracey, Olga Kurylenko
The November Man, the action movie starring Pierce Brosnan that came out last summer, turned out to actually be a good action movie. It has a fast pace, and a sexy leading lady in Olga Kurylenko. I don’t blame you for skipping it in theaters last year, since it looked so run-of-the-mill, but now that it is available to stream on Netflix, you have no reason not to watch it.
Release Date: February 5, 1999
IMDB Rating: 7.1 out of 10
Starring: Mel Gibson, Lucy Liu, Gregg Henry
A young, half-naked Lucy Liu makes Payback worth it alone, but Payback is a lot of fun even without her. Mel Gibson plays the anti-hero, and it contains a lot of great, memorable characters. There are some great action sequences contained within, and it was probably the last Mel Gibson movie worth watching before he went bat shit crazy.
4. Big Trouble in Little China
Release Date: July 2, 1986
IMDB Rating: 7.3 out of 10
Starring: Kurt Russell, Kim Cattral, James Hong
A big-haired Kurt Russell, a young Kim Cattral, and the always fantastic James Hong were all fun to watch in Big Trouble in Little China. The movie was delightfully weird, and it was a genuinely fun time, especially when the first gang war breaks out while Russell is still in “The Pork Chop Express” (his big rig truck). The entire movie was so ridiculous — which is why no one saw it in theaters at the time — but it’s a great action flick.
5. The Punisher
Release Date: April 14, 2004
IMDB Rating: 6.5 out of 10
Starring: Thomas Jane, John Travolta, Ben Foster
Thomas Jane’s version of The Punisher was always my favorite, as I think he was the perfect type of actor to be cast into the role. The Punisher is a tough comic book movie to pull off, but the 2004 film was delightfully dark and followed the events of the comic book pretty well. Like many, you probably wrote the movie off because it was hard to take Thomas Jane as a tough guy. It’s okay — can’t blame you there. But now that The Punisher is on Netflix, you should check it out.
Release Date: September 6, 1996
IMDB Rating: 5.8 out of 10
Starring: Damon Wayans, Adam Sandler, James Caan
Putting aside the fact that James Caan as a villain didn’t exactly strike fear into our hearts, 1996’s Bulletproof turned out to be a great action movie that many overlooked because of the cast. Adam Sandler and Damon Wayans in an action movie? That sounds awful. However, the result is a splendid action movie with a great deal of comedy. The bromance is strong with this one. I probably wouldn’t have seen this movie in theaters either at the time, but Bulletproof is well worth the watch now that you can stream it on Netflix.
7. 3 Days to Kill
Release Date: February 21, 2014
IMDB Rating: 6.2 out of 10
Starring: Kevin Costner, Hailee Steinfeld, Connie Nielson, Amber Heard
Kevin Costner has a ton of great movies under his belt. Dances With Wolves, Field of Dreams and The Bodyguard are the three best Kevin Costner movies. Those were all from the 90s, but Costner also had a recent movie release in 2014 that is a must-watch: 3 Days to Kill. It’s by no means a perfect movie, but the plot is quite believable, and the movie contained a few memorable villains.
Release Date: January 16, 2009
IMDB Rating: 7.2 out of 10
Starring: Daniel Craig, Liev Schreiber, Jamie Bell
I can’t think of any other great movie Daniel Craig was in besides the Bond flicks, excluding this one: Defiance. Defiance revolved around Polish Jewish brothers during WWII whom vow to avenge the death of their parents. It’s a good history lesson and a great action movie that didn’t get a lot of love. Now, it’s on Netflix and ready to stream.
9. The Score
Release Date: July 13, 2001
IMDB Rating: 6.8 out of 10
Starring: Robert De Niro, Edward Norton, Marlon Brando
Robert De Niro and Edward Norton have both been a ton of great movies, so it’s no surprise that putting them together in a movie resulted in another great film. The Score has a unique plot in which one of the criminals tries to screw over the other criminal. It’s a great heist movie, and is fun from start to finish.
10. The Hunted
Release Date: March 14, 2003
IMDB Rating: 6.0 out of 10
Starring: Tommy Lee Jones, Benicio Del Toro, Connie Nielsen
It’s really tough to put Tommy Lee Jones in a movie and have it not be a home-run, but for some reason, The Hunted didn’t even make its money back at the box office. It’s no surprise that the film is on Netflix, but what will surprise you is just how great the underrated action movie actually is.