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The 17 best action movies on Amazon Prime (January 2024)

January 31, 20244 Mins Read

As winter winds down, we start looking (quite far) ahead to the summer months and, in particular, action movies. What better way to keep warm on dark, chilly nights than watching gasoline-fuelled explosions and thundering gun battles? Amazon Prime happens to have an excellent selection of action movies, featuring a variety of sub-genres that provide just enough differentiation while still keeping things familiar.

The streamer offers everything from gritty thrillers with peak-80s decadence (52 Pick-Up) to classic ‘70s exploitation (Coffy), recent Best Picture winners (Everything Everywhere All at Once), and box office favorites (Top Gun: Maverick). 

Below, EW runs down the best action movies on Amazon Prime right now.

52 Pick-Up (1986)

Cannon Films/Everett

Roy Scheider stars with Ann-Margaret in this fairly depraved adaptation of Elmore Leonard’s equally hair-raising novel. It concerns Scheider, as a straight-laced businessman, who comes up against a sleazy pornographer (John Glover) with a penchant for snuff films. 52 Pick-Up is an early template for what would become the classic Liam Neeson “don’t f— with my family” movie, and this is one of the best examples of that niche genre.

Where to watch 52 Pick-Up: Amazon Prime Video

Director: John Frankenheimer

Cast: Roy Scheider, Ann-Margret, Vanity, John Glover, Clarence Williams III, Lonny Chapman

Related content: Elmore Leonard in film/TV gallery

Blood Father (2016)

Lionsgate Premiere/Everett

Speaking of morally dubious actioners, this late-era Mel Gibson romp offers more than its fair share of thrills (and questionable curse words). He stars as the eponymous father, who gets out of prison and attempts to reunite with his estranged daughter (Erin Moriarty) before enacting revenge against her drug-dealing boyfriend (Diego Luna).

Where to watch Blood Father: Amazon Prime Video

EW grade: B (read the review)

Director: Jean-François Richet

Cast: Mel Gibson, Erin Moriarty, Diego Luna, Dale Dickey, Michael Parks

Related content: The 40 best crime movies of all time

Coffy (1973)

Everett Collection

Nobody did it quite like Pam Grier, and Coffy is proof. It’s not the most traditionally flashy or well-made of her ‘70s exploitation run, but it is the film most indicative of her talents and the era itself. Reteaming with Big Doll House director Jack Hill, Grier stars as a nurse who disguises herself as a sex worker to exact revenge on the pushers who got her sister addicted to smack.

Where to watch Coffy: Amazon Prime Video

EW grade: A- (read the review)

Director: Jack Hill

Cast: Pam Grier, Booker Bradshaw, Sid Haig, Lisa Farringer, Robert DoQui

Related content: Pam Grier reflects on her most iconic roles from Coffy to Jackie Brown

Everything Everywhere All at Once (2022)

Allyson Riggs/A24

The Daniels rightfully won big at last year’s Oscars for this ambitious, moving, and exceedingly exciting genre-bender, which stars Michelle Yeoh as a put-upon laundress who gets a chance to see where her life could have gone. In addition to comedy, romance, and family drama, Everything Everywhere is also a breakneck action picture.

Where to watch Everything Everywhere All at Once: Amazon Prime Video

EW grade: B- (read the review)

Director: Daniel Kwan, Daniel Scheinert

Cast: Michelle Yeoh, Ke Huy Quan, Stephanie Hsu, Jamie Lee Curtis, James Hong

Related content: The ‘weird journey’ to make Everything Everywhere All at Once

The Hurt Locker (2009)

Summit Entertainment/Everett

Kathryn Bigelow’s stunning, episodic exploration of thrill-seeking bomb defusers amidst the Iraq War is still among the best pieces of nonfiction made about the so-called War on Terror, and the best thing star Jeremy Renner has managed to be a part of. It’s haunting and horrific, but it’s also a movie rooted in the drudgery and repetition of battle. It feels authentic, and the twists and dramatic contrivances are more than earned.

Where to watch The Hurt Locker: Amazon Prime Video

EW grade: A (read the review)

Director: Kathryn Bigelow

Cast: Jeremy Renner, Anthony Mackie, Brian Geraghty, David Morse, Christian Camargo

Related content: Kathryn Bigelow movies, ranked

Mr. Majestyk (1974)


Current blockbusterThe Beekeeper feels like a modern spin on Mr. Majestyk, complete with Jason Statham once again serving as our present-day Charles Bronson. This pared-down Elmore Leonard adaptation from 1974 stars the real Bronson as a rancher exacting revenge for his ruined crop.

Where to watch Mr. Majestyk: Amazon Prime Video

Director: Richard Fleischer

Cast: Charles Bronson, Linda Cristal, Al Lettieri, Lee Purcell, Paul Koslo

Related content: 28 great revenge movies

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