Sometimes, you just need an escape. In some instances, that means a hot bubble bath and a glass of Pinot Noir, and on other occasions, an intense action movie—full of stunts, thrills and impossibly attractive heroes—does the trick. Thankfully, Netflix is serving up a heart-racing roster of action movies, including Wonder Woman, Black Panther and the new Netflix Original Close, which stars two bad-ass women who have to fight for survival. And as a side benefit: After a lazy night in with films, you’ll be super motivation to get to the gym and start running like Tom Cruise. (#Fitspo!)
Synopsis: When attackers target the heiress she’s protecting, battle-hardened bodyguard Sam scrambles to save her client—and teach her how to fight back.
Cast: Noomi Rapace, Sophie Nélisse, Indira Varma
Why you should watch it: This suspenseful flick is proof that we seriously need more female-driven and directed action movies. It’s empowering to watch two strong women protect themselves against dangerous kidnappers, kicking and punching their way to safety.
Synopsis: T’Challa, the superpowered new leader of the hidden, highly advanced African nation of Wakanda, strives to protect his home from enemies old and new.
Cast: Chadwick Boseman, Michael B. Jordan, Lupita Nyong’o
Why you should watch it: Because if you haven’t, you’re seriously missing out on a *major* cultural phenomenon. Not only does the Oscar-nominated film portrays a range of diverse Black stories (along with the beauty of natural hair), but it also embodies the true power of representation.
Synopsis: An ex-assassin tries to leave her dark past behind until a power-hungry gang targets her and her family, forcing her to summon her killer instincts.
Cast: Cristine Reyes, Germaine De Leon, KC Montero
Why you should watch it: This Filipino revenge thriller will leave you on the edge of your seat. Typically in action movies, the male character is protecting his family from danger, but this film completely turns that tired narrative on its head.
Synopsis: A warrior princess leaves the relative safety of her sheltered island home in hopes of putting an end to a devastating war in the outside world.
Cast: Gal Gadot, Chris Pine, Connie Nielsen
Why you should watch it: A female super hero movie? It’s about freaking time. Aside from the fact that Gal Gadot was pregnant while shooting (the proof is in the pudding, y’all—women are strong as hell), it’s seriously refreshing watching an action flick *not* through the male gaze.
Synopsis: When ghosts swarm Manhattan, four smart women form a paranormal elimination squad to hunt down the malevolent apparitions and stop an apocalypse.
Cast: Melissa McCarthy, Kristen Wiig, Kate McKinnon, Leslie Jones
Why you should watch it: This all-female remake of the 1980s classic strikes the perfect balance of comedic genius, creepy sci-fi and empowering action. Plus, it stars Melissa McCarthy, Kristen Wiig, Kate McKinnon and Leslie Jones, so ’nuff said?
Synopsis: Smooth-faced getaway driver Baby is a music junkie in deep with a bad dude. He’s got just one job left, but it’s all about to go sideways.
Cast: Ansel Elgort, Kevin Spacey, Lily James
Why you should watch it: Aside from Ansel Elgort looking like a damn dream driving dangerously, this heart-racing thriller puts a fresh spin on the genre by setting every car chase to music (Elgort’s character listens to tunes to drown out the humming of his tinnitus). You’ll be Shazam-ing almost every song.
Avengers: Infinity War
Synopsis: Superheroes amass to stop intergalactic sociopath Thanos from acquiring a full set of Infinity Stones and wiping out half of all life in the universe.
Cast: Robert Downey Jr., Josh Brolin, Mark Ruffalo
Why you should watch it: Would this list be complete without an Avengers movie? Short answer: No. The star-studded cast (Chris Hemsworth, Robert Downey Jr., Chris Evans, Scar Jo—to name a few) is reason enough to tune in, even if you’re not well-versed in superhero movies.
Synopsis: On a long-awaited trip to Europe, a New York City cop and his hairdresser wife scramble to solve a baffling murder aboard a billionaire’s yacht.
Cast: Adam Sandler, Jennifer Aniston, Luke Evans
Why you should watch it: If you prefer your action movies with a side of laugh-out-loud one-liners, this brand new Netflix Original film will check all of your boxes. If you don’t tune in for Jennifer Aniston and Adam Sandler’s comedic chemistry, watch this kick-ass action movie for the suspenseful “whodunit” plot and gorgeous coastal scenery.
The Hunger Games Series
Synopsis: In a dystopian future, teens Katniss and Peeta are drafted for a televised event pitting young competitors against each other in a fight to the death.
Cast: Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, Liam Hemsworth
Why you should watch it: Because watching a woman lead the resistance feels all kinds of relevant rn. All four movies are on Netflix, so do yourself a favour on a weekend that is too-hot-to-be-outdoors and binge the whole series. Katniss and Gale forever (don’t @ us).
Synopsis: To save Asgard from a bloodthirsty goddess of death, the mighty Thor will have to battle his way to freedom and find a way back home.
Cast: Chris Hemsworth, Tom Hiddleston, Cate Blanchett, Tessa Thompson
Why you should watch it: If the whole movie was various shots of Chris Hemsworth throwing his hammer around, we’d still watch this flick without a second thought. But thankfully, the movie is much more than that—we’re still obsessing over Tessa Thompson’s character, Valkyrie, who’s a strong female superhero in a male-dominated movie.
Synopsis: When a gangster’s son steals his car and kills his dog, fearless ex-hit man John Wick takes on the entire mob to get his revenge.
Cast: Keanu Reeves, Michael Nyqvist, Alfie Allen
Why you should watch it: Over 1.5 hours of watching Keanu Reeves kick butt? Le duh. If his short cameo in Always Be My Maybe wasn’t enough for you (’cause, same), this movie will quench your thirst on a hot summer day.
Synopsis: To save his pregnant wife, an emergency room nurse unwillingly partners with an injured murder suspect in a race against time and renegade cops.
Cast: Frank Grillo, Anthony Mackie, Marcia Gay Harden
Streaming: Drops on July 12
Why you should watch it: Judging by the trailer alone, this dynamic good-cop-bad-cop duo will be equally hilarious and action-packed.