The 13 Most Underrated Netflix Action And Crime Movies

List Rules
Vote up the underrated movies that are catnip for action fans.

Netflix's emergence over the past decade has been a boon to media lovers of all stripes. Not only has it completely transformed the entertainment landscape in a scant amount of time, but it has inspired media companies of various sizes to increase their output on a regular basis. Almost weekly, new television shows and movies are coming out, and they're available in your living room! Of course, that means a lot of them slip by unnoticed, and they become underrated gems for genre lovers to discover.

Action fans have been given a plethora of films on Netflix over the years, and while not all of them have been great, there certainly is something for everyone. Liam Neeson fans have The Ice Road, fight choreography fans have The Night Comes for Us, dark comedy fans have I Don't Feel at Home in This World Anymore, and so on and so forth. So, let's take a trip through some of the best, undervalued action flicks just waiting to be added to your Netflix queue. 


  • 1
    9 VOTES

    Wheelman

    Wheelman
    Photo: Netflix

    Fans of B-movies and character actors, rejoice! For we have the Netflix film made especially for you. It's called Wheelman, and it'll absolutely knock your socks off. The movie's plot isn't anything you haven't seen before: it's your basic getaway-driver-is-set-up-and-has-to-figure-out-who-betrayed-him story. Frank Grillo stars as the titular protagonist who only goes by "Wheelman," and boy does his life get flipped/turned upside down. There's stolen money, cool cars, and all kinds of gunfire awaiting you in this one.

    The 2017 thriller may have a by-the-numbers plotline, but it is expertly crafted and the tension is dialed up to 11. Heck, everything is dialed up to 11. Did we mention that "f**k" is said an astonishing 286 times in a scant 82-minute runtime? This critical darling also stars beloved character actors like Garret Dillahunt, Wendy Moniz, and Shea Whigham, as well. Suffice it to say, Wheelman is well worth your time... you just might want to put the kids to bed first. Unless you want them running around saying "f**k" all the time.

  • Triple Frontier
    Photo: Netflix

    If 2019's Triple Frontier had been produced by a traditional movie studio for a wide theatrical release, the marketing blitz would've been insane. It's a $115 million-budgeted movie that stars Ben Affleck, Oscar Isaac, Charlie Hunnam, Garrett Hedlund, and Pedro Pascal. That's "commercial-during-the-Super-Bowl" kind of stuff right there. Of course, Netflix is anything but traditional as they've single-handedly reshaped the entire entertainment landscape in a relatively short amount of time. As such, Triple Frontier came and went in theaters, only to hit Netflix and become your dad's favorite movie on the streaming service.

    It follows five retired US Army Delta Force operators as they head to Columbia to kill a drug lord and take his multimillion-dollar fortune in the process. Unsurprisingly, things do not go according to plan, and gunfights aplenty erupt. We don't want to give any spoilers away, but if you're in the mood for some classic action and want to see what director J. C. Chandor is about before his Kraven the Hunter movie eventually hits, Triple Frontier fits the bill.

  • The Night Comes for Us
    Photo: Netflix

    Be honest... when was the last time you watched an Indonesian action film? And when was the last time you watched an Indonesian action film with fight scenes that would make Quentin Tarantino blush? 2018's The Night Comes for Us is the kind of movie action-heads crave. Each and every fight scene in the movie (and there are plenty of them) is expertly choreographed with a realistic, brutal style that is amplified by the cinematography and editing. Unlike your everyday, modern blockbuster, you can actually see what is happening in the fights from The Night Comes for Us.

    This movie about a crime enforcer trying to leave the underworld to save a young girl also achieved quite a rare feat: be an extremely violent film that also garners critical acclaim. The amount and variety of weapons we're talking about here is wild. We've got knives. We've got swords. We've got wires. We've got jars of tacks. We've got pool cues. We've got hanging fluorescent lights. If you consider yourself a fight scene aficionado of any sort, you must check out The Night Comes for Us immediately, if you haven't already. 

  • 4
    10 VOTES
    Kate
    Photo: Netflix

    Mary Elizabeth Winstead has become something of an action star lately. It began back in the early-2010s when she was kicking butt with a giant hammer in Scott Pilgrim vs. the World and slaying vampires in Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter. Winstead then kicked into high gear late in the decade by showing up in Gemini Man and Birds of Prey. And after years of showing her action chops either in ensemble pieces or in supporting roles, Winstead got her own full-fledged action flick in 2021's Kate.

    Kate sees Winstead star as an assassin who has been poisoned and, as a result, has less than 24 hours to live. What is Kate going to do with her final hours on Earth? Get revenge, of course! Were you expecting her to wallow around in self-pity before breathing her last breath? Kate will be extremely familiar to anyone knowledgeable of the action/thriller genre, but sometimes you just want to see a great actor having fun in a killer role. There is nothing in Kate that will surprise you, but it exists as a sort of "action film comfort food." There's nothing wrong with a well-made genre film that checks all the boxes. Besides, Mary Elizabeth Winstead is awesome!

  • 5
    5 VOTES

    The Ice Road

    The Ice Road
    Photo: Netflix

    Liam Neeson is going to make action movies until his body just quits on him, eh? Seriously, the guy is in his late-60s, and he keeps pumping out action flick after action flick! He didn't even become known for being the kind of guy who leads action/thrillers until Taken came out and he was in his mid-50s! Alas, it's like clockwork... since Taken made a boatload of money, Neeson has been in The A-TeamNon-StopThe GreyA Walk Among The TombstonesRun All NightThe Commuter, Cold PursuitHonest Thief, and The Marksman. You probably forgot some of those even existed, if you knew about them in the first place!

    Continuing his late-career renaissance as an action man, Neeson starred in 2021's The Ice Road as ice road trucker Mike McCann. McCann and Laurence Fishburne's Jim Goldenrod lead a crew of ice road truckers in a race against the clock to deliver equipment to save workers trapped in a collapsed mine. The workers only have around 30 hours of air left, and the drivers must face the odds to save their lives. Oh, and there's a little bit of a violent wrinkle involving the mining company and some insurance money, but we'll let you see that for yourselves. The Ice Road isn't groundbreaking by genre standards, but when was the last time you saw a thriller about a truck driver?

  • 6
    5 VOTES
    The King
    Photo: Netflix

    Not long ago, The King is exactly the kind of movie you'd have to try really hard to locate at its release. Loosely adapted from Henry IV, Parts 1 & 2 and Henry V, this is not the kind of movie you'd find at the multiplex. You'd have to trudge to your local indie movie theater, if you even have one, and watch it there before it would eventually be pulled from screens months before its home video debut. But, thanks to the influence of Netflix, we are living in the age of streaming media, and this historical war epic was released on the media titan's platform less than three weeks after its October 11th theatrical premiere.

    Shakespeare purists may blanch at the changes to the Henriad, and historians certainly have issues with the film playing fast and loose with actual events, but The King is a good movie. Put simply, it's just well-made, well-acted, and well-edited. We're not sure what else to say. If you're the kind of moviegoer who fancies a historical epic every now and then, The King should be right down your alley. And look at Timothée Chalamet's 15th-century bowl cut!