Actions Movies

Five Action Movies to Stream Now

January 30, 20245 Mins Read

Stream it on Netflix.

Youssef (Nassim Lyes) is a habitual liar, a down-on-his-luck gambler and a hustler of fake luxury handbags. He is working these cons to impress his wealthy girlfriend — she thinks he has a regular office job. When Youssef reveals the truth, including his bald head underneath his wig, she leaves him. Soon Youssef has a new girlfriend, Stephanie (Zoé Marchal), a card shark with a crypto fortune. But his gambling catches up to him, and a few goons are sent to track him down.

The French writer-director Julien Hollande’s “All-Time High” is a comedic swashbuckling adventure: Youssef and Stephanie are the kind of couple whose vapid arguments always end in raunchy sex. The pair fight their way through an underground card game, captured by a sweeping camera, and are involved in a thrilling motorcycle chase that sees them ineptly firing shots at their pursuers. It’s a reminder that sometimes the incompetent action heroes are the most entertaining.

Stream it on Amazon Prime Video.

The director Lance Larson’s “Deadland,” a border narrative that fittingly crosses the boundaries between slow burn, thriller, horror and action, isn’t totally a bust-em-up, shoot-em-up affair. It works on a subtler psychological level when Angel Waters (Roberto Urbina), a border patrol agent, brings to base a nameless, near-dead migrant (Luis Chávez) he found floating in the water. When Waters’s colleague, Cruz (Julieth Restrepo) tries to help the victim, a trigger-happy officer named Ray Hitchcock (McCaul Lombardi) shoots and kills him.

“Deadland” is an angsty film, capturing the police officers’ disintegrating alliances through well-calibrated jump scares, loaded standoffs and unhinged nightmare sequences. Though these officers bury the dead man’s body, they can’t cover up their crime. He continues to haunt them, leading to an arresting finale that sears the wounds felt by a ghost who never found the easier life he desired.

Stream it on Netflix.

Vishal Bhardwaj’s “Khufiya” opens with a bang: Heena Papon Rehman (Azmeri Haque Badhon), code name Octopus, arrives at a lavish party with plans to assassinate Brig. Saqlain Mirza (Shataf Figar). Though the ravishing Rehman puts up a charm offensive, she doesn’t fool Mirza; he stabs her to death. Clearly, there is a mole in her ranks. Krishna Mehra (Tabu), her boss and lover, begins investigating. It doesn’t take long before a suspect emerges: an intelligence agent named Ravi (Ali Fazal).

“Khufiya,” based on Amar Bhushan’s novel “Escape to Nowhere,” is a scintillating piece of spycraft. Ulterior motives, competing geopolitical desires between India and the United States and a series of flashbacks, which recount how Rehman came into Mirza’s orbit, are the finely tuned mechanics that give this picture propulsion. The film is also adept at granting a sense of living on the edge of life and death; the quick, unflinching assassinations — including unsuspecting civilians hit by cars and targets poisoned by food — are the thrills Bhardwaj effortlessly delivers.

Stream it on Netflix.

If you’ve seen Ridley Scott’s “Black Hawk Down,” then you’re probably familiar with the real-life story of the rescued Black Hawk crew that was trapped in Mogadishu, Somalia, in 1993. Adrian Teh’s frenzied war film, “Malbatt: Misi Bakara,” tells the same story, except from the perspective of the 19th Battalion Royal Malay Regiment that was dispatched to assist in the mission.

Despite volunteering for the dangerous assignment, this group of Malaysian soldiers isn’t respected by its American counterparts, who see the Malaysians only as their transport, not as their fellow soldiers.

The Malaysians, however, prove their mettle once they enter Mogadishu and when insurgents use machine guns and rocket launchers against their convoy. Teh devises major set pieces, employing an army of extras, as the streets are rendered as one large kill box where death lurks around every corner and on every rooftop. By the end, these soldiers not only win the day, but they also win respect from their American peers.

Sterling (Angus Cloud), a small-time drug dealer, is flipping through a magazine at a convenience store when he overhears a wealthy customer celebrating winning the $156 million Mega Ball jackpot. Sterling quickly tears a page from the magazine, tapes it around his head to disguise himself, pulls out a gun and sticks up the customer. When a police officer appears, a shootout ensues, leading to the deaths of the officer and the customer. It’s a messy robbery that requires an inspired solution: Sterling offers everyone in the store, including the owner and a young couple, a piece of the jackpot if they help him cover up the crime.

While “Your Lucky Day” ends up being more complicated as the story unfolds, what really stands out is Cloud, who died last year. In one of his final roles, he’s a ball of uncertainty and vulnerability, giving Sterling a humanism that makes him easy to get behind, even when the bullets start flying.

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