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Best Action Movies on Paramount+ to Watch Right Now FSalinks

Paramount Pictures has built a legacy for itself ever since 1912, the year it was founded. By distributing over a thousand films and acquiring rights to double the amount, the company has cemented itself as a globally respected production house. So, naturally, its extension — the streaming service Paramount+ — houses the same kind of expansive movie library. From giving you a throwback to popular franchises such as Star Trek and Mission: Impossible to add new titles to its library, the streamer has something that suits every palette.




As for the action genre, it contains within itself several subgenres, like mystery, crime, dystopian, fantasy, and science fiction. What remains constant across all these stories is the genre’s ability to craft astonishing set pieces, pair them with sublime storytelling and intense characterization, and viola! You have an action flick that is remembered for the ages. Within the treasure trunk that is Paramount+, there are hundreds of modern roller coasters as well as cult classics to satiate your hunger for an adrenaline-fueled evening.

Updated on May 30th, 2024 by Soniya Hinduja: This article has been updated with additional information to keep the discussion fresh and relevant.


24 Tropic Thunder (2008)


In Tropic Thunder, a group of self-important actors find themselves shooting an expensive war film in Southeast Asia. Frustrated with them, their director drops them in the middle of the jungle and dies in an accident. Now stranded, the crew must get past their egos and use their talents to survive the real dangers lurking around every corner. Then, when a local drug lord chases them, hilarious chaos ensues.

A Satirical Look at Hollywood Movie Tropes

Ben Stiller directs, co-writes, and stars in this clever action comedy, which is also a satirical send-up of Hollywood. Delivering full-throttle laughs across its two-hour-long subversive runtime, Tropic Thunder features an all-comedic cast made of an overly funny Robert Downey Jr., Tom Cruise, and Jack Black. Each scene feels spontaneous and improvised even though it isn’t. Moreover, when the real action happens, it is equal parts entertaining, high-stakes, and celebratory.


23 Point Break (1991)

Before he came to be globally known as the legendary hitman John Wick, Keanu Reeves starred as FBI agent Johnny Utah in Kathryn Bigelow’s Point Break. In the movie, Utah goes undercover to infiltrate a surfing gang suspected of robbing a series of banks in Los Angeles. These thieves, who sport masks of various ex-US presidents while doing the deed, are led by a charismatic Bodhi. The more time Utah spends with Bodhi while gaining his trust, the more he discovers a greater purpose in embracing a carefree life by the ocean.


Pumps Adrenaline into Every Scene

Bigelow directs one of the finest action movies of all time with Point Break. The movie’s superb sense of motion is led by Reeves and Patrick Swayze, who are electric in their respective roles alongside supporting actors like Gary Busey and Lori Patty. The edge-of-your-seats aerial stunts paired with meditative commentary on living freely make this one a rare and rewatchable flick. While the wildly entertaining action is its USP, the central relationship between Bodhi and Johnny adds an unforgettable dynamic to the movie.

22 Total Recall (1990)

Total Recall

Release Date
June 1, 1990

Runtime
113

Writers
Philip K. Dick , Ronald Shusett , Dan O’Bannon , Jon Povill , Gary Goldman

A science fiction classic ripe with pulse-pounding action, Total Recall reveals a future where humanity has colonized Mars. Then, it switches to present-day Earth, where construction worker Douglas Quaid begins having recurring dreams about a trip to Mars. When he discovers that these memories are actually falsely implanted ones, he tries to get to the bottom of it. Complications arise and Quaid finds himself framed for murder, with mysterious assassins out to take his life.


Action Sci-Fi Never Looked So Good Before

Total Recall bends reality to the point where you’re no longer aware of what’s true and what’s fabricated. Directed by Paul Verhoeven and adapted from Philip K. Dick’s story, the movie plays out at a grand scope. The use of extravagant special effects and slick production designs amplifies the source material’s initial ideas and delivers twists and turns that leave jaws on the floor until the shocking reveal at the end. Schwarzenegger, unsurprisingly, flexes his talents as he is joined by greats like Sharon Stone, Michael Ironside, and Rachel Ticotin. Overall, Total Recall is an action-infused, eye-popping sci-fi wonder.

21 First Blood (1982)


The first installment in the Rambo franchise, this action thriller follows discharged Vietnam War veteran John Rambo passing through the small town of Hope, Washington, when he is provoked, arrested, and tortured by local sheriff Will Teasle on charges of vagrancy. Rambo somehow manages to flee into the nearby woods, and when Teasle organizes a search party, he is forced to use his survival skills to evade him and his posse. As the manhunt escalates, so does Rambo’s descent into fury.

Stallone Flexes His Combat Skills

Directed by Ted Kotcheff, who does absolute justice to a screenplay co-written by Sylvester Stallone, First Blood stars Stallone as Vietnam War veteran John Rambo. As the tortured anti-hero refusing to surrender and willing to use his lethal skills of stealth and combat against his enemies, Stallone delivers an iconic on-screen performance. The movie is gritty and realistic, with each confrontation glorifying violence and holding a thought-provoking subtext about societal failure and the aftermath of war. That said, First Blood paved the way for generations of action cinema that are thrilling and evocative.


20 48 Hrs. (1982)

Eddie Murphy and Nick Nolte in 48 Hrs.
Warner Bros.

A buddy-cop action movie that bands two reluctant partners together, 48 Hrs. stars Nick Nolte and Eddie Murphy (in his debut feature film role) as a dry-humored cop Jack Cates and just-sprung convict Reggie Hammond respectively. Despite barely tolerating each other, Cates and Hammond get saddled with each other for 48 hours to track a pair of fugitives in San Francisco. Even though there are tensions between the partners, they end up establishing an unusual bond.


One of the Finest Buddy Cop Movies

48 Hrs. is a timeless classic. It is directed by Walter Hill, who brings out the absolute best of his cast. Nolte and Murphy share dramatic chemistry and establish a blueprint for goofy and sharp cop duos in the future. Other than launching Murphy’s fascinating career, the movie is filled to the brim with witty dialogue, memorable charms, and shootouts with the bad guys. Moreover, Hill pairs the breathless action with a moving connection between two flawed men finding respect for one another.

19 Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem (2023)

Read Our Review

The latest entry in the TMNT franchise sees the Turtle brothers on a mission to finally be accepted as ordinary teenagers in New York City. But their mission is interrupted by another one when they make a new friend in April O’Neil, an aspiring journalist who accompanies them on their hunt for a mysterious crime syndicate. Elsewhere, an army of mutants is unleashed upon the city, leaving Leonardo, Raphael, Donatello, and Michelangelo to fight harder than ever before.


A Charming Turtles Reboot

With this reboot of the Ninja Turtle franchise, director Jeff Rowe aimed to tell a coming-of-age story. And by infusing it with an abundance of charm, emotion, angst, and brotherhood, Rowe manages to deliver a fun, infectious, and exciting adventure. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem also features a lot of special effects that make the mutant action sequences truly entertaining and jaw-dropping. Not to mention, the always-wonderful Ayo Edebiri puts in a delightful voice-acting performance here.

18 Star Trek (2009)

star trek


In the same vein as the films that came before, the 11th movie in the Star Trek franchise, which is also a reboot, invites you to an alternate timeline. Here, the alterations are made not just to the history of the film series but also to James T. Kirk’s upbringing. Star Trek sees Kirk become a smart but volatile adult, while Spock is admitted to the Vulcan Science Academy. The two eventually end up joining the U.S.S. Enterprise as a larger plot to stop the Romulans and their insane plot to destroy a bunch of planets.

Re-Energizing the Star Trek Franchise

With the aim of freeing Star Trek from the rest of the franchise, director J.J. Abrams brought a new sense of energy and electricity to the plot. The fresh faces of the cast, including Chris Pine and Zachary Quinto, ended up owning the iconic roles by masterfully balancing their characters’ physicalities with their emotions. Moreover, the modern CGI played a massive role in capturing the essence of what made the franchise so thrilling in the first place. More action-oriented and advanced, the movie is considered to be one of the best sci-fi reboots of all time.


17 Braveheart (1995)

Taking you to 13th-century Scotland, Braveheart tells the spectacular story of a Scottish warrior named William Wallace who organized his fellow Scots in a rebellion against King Edward I of England. When he was young, Wallace had witnessed brutal executions before being taken abroad by his uncle. Upon returning, Wallace marries his childhood sweetheart, but the English soldiers murder her. So he rallies his clan and the countrymen against the oppressive rule, which leads to a full-fledged revolution for independence.


Epic in Scale and Substance

Directed by Mel Gibson, this historical drama may draw all its inspiration from fictional accounts of William Wallace’s life, but the grand scale of production and precise imagination make it an incredibly entertaining watch. The movie bursts off the screen with phenomenal battle sequences and profound emotional investment. Supported by a brilliant score, conducted by James Horner, Braveheart transports the audiences straight into the belly of the struggles and triumphs faced by the Scottish people.

16 Gladiator (2000)

Gladiator

Ridley Scott’s epic historical drama sees Russell Crowe star as Roman general Maximus Decimus Meridius, who’s betrayed by Marcus Aurelius’ traitorous son Commodus. After having his master murdered and his family butchered, Maximus becomes a gladiator, rising through the ranks and biding his time for his shot at revenge and redemption.


An All-Time Great Action Classic

Since its release, Gladiator has been nothing short of revolutionary. Everything from the film’s writing to Crowe’s breathtaking performance as Maximus has been nothing short of perfect. Gladiator also works on a subliminal level as it intricately highlights the themes of Stoicism, masculinity, and honor in the face of insurmountable obstacles. Loved by both fans and critics alike, Scott’s film went on to win five Academy Awards, turning Joaquin Phoenix into a star and Russell Crowe into a superstar.

15 The Italian Job (2003)


The Italian Job is reminiscent of The Fast and Furious series in terms of the emotional nucleus of a team and its propensity to rely on fast cars to get the job done. The film revolves around a heist that goes wrong when one of the members betrays the team and dashes off with the loot, resulting in the death of the head of the group. Angry and hungry for revenge, the team assembles once more, looking for payback from one of their own.

Charming Fun

If you’re a fan of thrilling car chases and some clever writing, The Italian Job would be right up your alley. F. Gary Gray’s film is a well-rounded action flick that ticks most boxes of the genre, while also adding another dimension of decent dialogues and character arcs. The Italian Job might not be the best action film ever, but with a runtime of just 2 hours, the film moves into fifth gear and provides a sense of mental escape on a relatively skilled level.


14 Pain & Gain (2013)

Pain & Gain is based on a true story about three Floridian bodybuilders who try to get rich quickly by robbing and killing. Michael Bay’s film is bitterly funny and is driven by the stupidity of its main cast members, like Mark Wahlberg, Dwayne Johnson, and Anthony Mackie.

Don’t Take it Too Seriously

Brimming with aggressive hormones, Pain & Gain is a funny cocktail of dumb humor and violence with a concealed jibe at the vulgarity of the American Dream. The film’s charm lies in its stupidity, which further propagates its tendency for violence and action. Based on his propensity for scale, Pain & Gain is tethered in reality and is a charming take on life and its oddities through the scattershot and vibrant lens of Michael Bay.


13 Mission: Impossible – Fallout (2018)

Led by an incredible Tom Cruise and his staple team members, Mission: Impossible – Fallout sees the all-star team band together to put a stop to a deadly terrorist attack involving nuclear bombs and an end-of-the-world scenario.

Cruise Is King

The Mission: Impossible franchise has blossomed into a sure-shot action franchise that’s bound to feature some state-of-the-art action sequences along with some innovative technology and machinery. Directed by staple franchise director Christopher McQuarrie, the film’s cast caters to a well-balanced emotional range, from Tom Cruise’s death-defying action to Simon Pegg’s and Ving Rhames’ funny charm and is a rollercoaster of a film that’s up there with one of the best in the franchise.


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12 Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981)

When it comes to the action/adventure genre, several mainstays like the Mission: Impossible franchise, the Terminator films, or literally any movie from the Marvel Cinematic Universe have proved to be unmatched. Yet, there is something distinctly fascinating about the Indiana Jones Collection.


Everyone Loves Indy

Raiders of the Lost Ark does not waste a minute in thrusting the audience straight into its jaw-dropping perils as we follow our favorite archaeology professor Indiana Jones racing against time and the formidable Nazi forces to find an artifact known as the Ark of the Covenant, because otherwise its power will be used for evil. Featuring spectacular desert escapes and witty humor, this Steven Spielberg classic acts as an important film in the territory.

11 Minority Report (2002)

Minority Report follows Tom Cruise as John Anderton, the head of the PreCrime department that’s tasked with stopping crimes before they take place. Minority Report is set in a futuristic utopian world, where the existence of ‘precogs’ has led to fewer crimes thanks to their ability to look into the future of people who will eventually commit crimes and arrest them beforehand. When a precog predicts that he will commit a crime in the future, he goes on the run as a wanted man and has to use all his wits to prove his innocence.


Sleek and Exciting

Another fantastic project from the mind of Steven Spielberg, Minority Report is a genre-blend of every aspect of filmmaking. The movie has slick visuals and neat action choreography. Fans have enjoyed its chase scenes and the tense atmosphere as they root for Anderton’s innocence to be acknowledged.

10 Face/Off (1997)

Face/Off stars Nicholas Cage and John Travolta in an interesting and elaborate battle with each other. Travolta’s Sean Archer is originally the good guy – an FBI agent working on the anti-terrorist team – who undergoes plastic surgery to take the identity of Castor Troy, a terrorist and arch-enemy currently in comatose condition.


Face/Off Is Absurd Yet Fascinating

However, the trouble begins when Castor wakes up and wears the face of Sean. With their real faces grafted onto each other’s bodies, these characters go undercover and try their very best not to get caught while also achieving their respective goals. John Woo’s film is an ambitious action flick. The details, intricacies, and unexpected plot twists are truly a breath of fresh air for action fans.

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9 Collateral (2004)


In Collateral, Jamie Foxx plays Max, an LA cab driver who realizes that he may need to buckle up because his cab has been hijacked by a charismatic yet deadly hitman named Vincent (Tom Cruise). At first, he is just along for the ride, but once Max understands his passenger’s true nature, he finds himself embroiled in a dangerous game of cat and mouse across the city’s night lights.

Another Impeccable Cruise Action Flick

On the other hand, Vincent needs to hold Max as collateral until he’s done with his assassination mission for the night. Needless to say, Cruise delivers one of his most fascinating performances ever. But what’s worth praising is Foxx’s characterization and the way he’s stuck between fate and deception.

8 World War Z (2013)


World War Z revolves around former United Nations employee Gerry Lane (Brad Pitt) during a global zombie apocalypse as he’s tasked with finding the origin of the virus and bringing it to an end. Staged phenomenally as a race against time, the movie watches Gerry go around the world in search of the pandemic’s origins and find a cure for those who are already infected. Brimming with visceral zombie attacks and heart-in-your-mouth action sequences, the film takes you on a fun global ride.

An Unpredictable Take on a Familiar Genre

Imagine a zombie horror packed with so many fights and thrills that it easily passes off as an action movie. Well, don’t imagine it too hard because Marc Foster has already brought such an epic action rollercoaster to the silver screens. We’ve seen an abundance of predictable zombie movies, but World War Z turns things around by telling a story about a mysterious virus threatening to bring down the entire human civilization.


7 Beverly Hills Cop (1984)

Setting records from the first week of its release, Beverly Hills Cop takes you into the precious ‘80s big-city scenario where maverick Detroit cop Axel Foley is casually doing his thing. But when his best friend Mikey is murdered, Foley travels to sunny Southern California to investigate the case solo. He clashes with locals and soon feels himself closer to finding the truth, but in the process, Foley also gets involved in the criminal underworld of Beverly Hills.


A More Serious Role for Murphy

While Eddie Murphy is known for his impeccable comedy roles, few essential movies make him more iconic than ever. Throughout the movie, you’ll be blessed with Murphy’s tough-talking cop delivering one-liners smoothly. Moreover, the rest of the characters and over-the-top action make it arguably the most entertaining and rewatchable buddy cop action movie ever made.

6 Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991)

Seven years after the groundbreaking success of his first film in the series, director James Cameron returns with a sequel that overflows with mind-blowing practical effects. The film raises the bar by showing the same dystopian science fiction premise but infusing it with a compelling cat-and-mouse storyline. John Connor is being pursued by a different terminator. Arnold Schwarzenegger’s sheer-muscle T-800 Terminator, who was once after Conner’s mother Sarah, is now hellbent on protecting them.


Legendary for a Reason

While Schwarzenegger brings back his iconic hero, Linda Hamilton doesn’t wait a second to showcase her great ass-kicking skills and become one of the greatest action heroines of all time. With that said, Terminator 2: Judgment Day also has some great camerawork and the kind of action that still manages to blow our minds.

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5 Jack Reacher (2012)


Adapted deftly from One Shot, the ninth book in Lee Child’s series of cerebral action mystery novels, Jack Reacher brings to the screen the titular character, who is an ex-US Army Military Police Corps investigator. After hearing the news about James Barr’s whereabouts, Jack arrives in Pittsburgh to find out whether or not the accusations of this trained former military sniper about killing five people are true or not. As he works to prove his innocence and finds evidence pointing in the opposite direction, he begins to uncover a complex conspiracy involving people of power and the most harmless-seeming officials.

Much Better than the TV Series

Director Christopher McQuarrie uses several mind games to twist the story around and Tom Cruise fights with absolute grit and intensity. Heavy on mystery and action, Jack Reacher is the kind of thriller you won’t be able to look away from. Upon its release, Jack Reacher was met with rave reviews from fans and critics alike and features some great action sequences and cinematography.


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