The 25 best action movies on Netflix

5. Tropic Thunder (2008)

Region: US

There's a lot to love about Tropic Thunder. A showbiz satire, it takes the piss out of Hollywood every chance it gets with a nice Zoolander-esque swipe at how gullible and naive celebrities are right off the bat. Deep in the jungle shooting a war movie with his leading cast, a director steps on a mine and dies. But his actors think it's a method trick and go with it - and genuinely come into trouble with traffickers. It works so well to have A-listers like Ben Stiller, Robert Downey Jr. and Jack Black on board, poking fun at their own careers and making complete fools of themselves. And don't worry: there's oodles of action sequences, particularly from RDJ's character who lights up a scene when he gets a little trigger happy. 

4. Battle Royale (2000)

Region: UK, US 

The Hunger Games is unfairly compared to this Japanese film. I say unfairly because Battle Royale is sooooo much worse. The premise is similar - a bunch of schoolkids forced to fight one another to the death - and yet, the great thing about this movie is that it had no PG-13 restrictions. Instead of having to run across a field to get weapons, Class 3-B are armed by their captors from the start. It's the luck of the draw - they might get a crossbow or a pencil. It's as if the movie craves blood. And, unlike Katniss and her preened teens, there's no hope for any of these youngsters. Either their deaths are brutalised or their souls are. Yeah, it's pretty dark.

3. 13 Assassins (2010)

Region: US  

Takeshi Miike is known for making, shall we say... controversial movies. 13 Assassins is no different. What starts as a slow-paced historical tale of the underdog in 1840s Japan, quickly escalates into a crazy action film that's got some of the most unexpected weapons outside of sci-fi. It's a loose remake of the 1963 movie by Eiichi Kudo that follows a wizened samurai and his gang of do-gooders who vow to take out Naritsugu, the illegitimate half brother of a Shogun. As he ascends the criminal ranks, getting involved in a lot of violent activity, it's up to the samurai to stop him. Not quite as out there as Miike's Ichi The Killer, this is one of the best samurai flicks of the last decade. 

2. Ip Man (2008)

Region: UK, US 

Everyone knows who Bruce Lee is. A legend on the screen and in a fight. What about the man who taught him? That's sort of the inspiration for Ip Man. Donnie Yen made his mark playing a fictionalised version of the Wing Chun grandmaster Yip Kai-man who mentored several major martial arts experts, and this takes you back to where it all began. In 1930s China the Japanese invade Yip's town, and it's up to him - and his amazing skills - to take down their leader. While the appeal here is finding out about the man who trained Lee, it's well worth checking out to see Yen deliver some historic beat downs.

1. Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation (2015)

Region: UK 

Let's face it, the Mission: Impossible movies don't grip us because of their cunning plots. There's no point in pretending that they're anything other than what they are: high-octane, A-list blockbusters of epic proportions. Each film works in more and more crazy stunts that involve Ethan Hunt and his crew of lackeys tracking down a piece of tech, or a really bad man. Or both. And then at some point Cruise gives the studio insurance guys a heart attack. Rogue Nation manages to maintain that same level of "Jesus, Tom, NO!" by opening with Cruise leaping from a runway onto the side of plane, and then clinging on as it takes to the sky. You know he totally did it for real, too.