Best Action & Adventure Movies 2021

During a year when moviegoers largely stayed at home, it’s rather fitting that three of the top five Action & Adventure movies were Westerns (yes, High Ground is distinctly Australian, but it’s a Western in spirit). What better way to help ease that cabin fever than to gaze at lushly photographed vistas and watch grizzled cowpokes ride swiftly across them on their majestic steeds? But perhaps even more fitting than that is the fact that Daniel Craig’s final outing as James Bond topped the list to take home the Golden Tomato, which, we’re sure, will be the crowning achievement of his tenure as 007.

The order reflects Tomatometer scores (as of December 31, 2021) after adjustment from our ranking formula, which compensates for variation in the number of reviews when comparing movies or TV shows.

#1

No Time to Die (2021)
83%88%

#1
Adjusted Score: 101433%
Critics Consensus: It isn't the sleekest or most daring 007 adventure, but No Time to Die concludes Daniel Craig's franchise tenure in satisfying style.
Synopsis: In No Time To Die, Bond has left active service and is enjoying a tranquil life in Jamaica. His peace... [More]
Directed By: Cary Joji Fukunaga

#2

Old Henry (2021)
94%91%

#2
Adjusted Score: 96157%
Critics Consensus: Led by a reliably solid performance from Tim Blake Nelson, Old Henry serves up a supple cut of vintage western rawhide.
Synopsis: Old Henry is an action-Western about a widowed farmer and his son who warily take in a mysterious, injured man... [More]
Directed By: Potsy Ponciroli

#3

The Harder They Fall (2021)
88%93%

#3
Adjusted Score: 96012%
Critics Consensus: It isn't as bold and fearless as its characters, but The Harder They Fall fills its well-worn template with style, energy, and a fantastic cast.
Synopsis: When outlaw Nat Love (Jonathan Majors) discovers that his enemy Rufus Buck (Idris Elba) is being released from prison he... [More]
Directed By: Jeymes Samuel

#4

High Ground (2020)
90%75%

#4
Adjusted Score: 90876%
Critics Consensus: A gripping action story as well as sobering commentary on colonialism, High Ground is a vividly engrossing attempt to grapple with Australian history.
Synopsis: Travis never thought he would cross paths again with Australian indigenous Gutjuk, when he saved the life of this young... [More]
Directed By: Stephen Johnson

#5

Free Guy (2021)
80%94%

#5
Adjusted Score: 92453%
Critics Consensus: Combining a clever concept, sweet, self-aware humor, and a charming cast, Free Guy is frivolous fun.
Synopsis: In "Free Guy," a bank teller who discovers he is actually a background player in an open-world video game, decides... [More]
Directed By: Shawn Levy

#6

Shadow in the Cloud (2020)
77%32%

#6
Adjusted Score: 81990%
Critics Consensus: Part creature feature, part war movie, and part social commentary, Shadow in the Cloud doesn't always blend its ingredients evenly -- but it's frequently pulpy fun.
Synopsis: In the throes of World War II, Captain Maude Garrett (CHLOË GRACE MORETZ) joins the all-male crew of a B-17... [More]
Directed By: Roseanne Liang

#7

Army Of The Dead (2021)
67%75%

#7
Adjusted Score: 79294%
Critics Consensus: An ambitious, over-the-top zombie heist mashup, Army of the Dead brings Zack Snyder back to his genre roots with a suitably gory splash.
Synopsis: From filmmaker Zack Snyder (300, Zack Snyder's Justice League), ARMY OF THE DEAD takes place following a zombie outbreak that... [More]
Directed By: Zack Snyder

#8

Wrath of Man (2021)
67%90%

#8
Adjusted Score: 77717%
Critics Consensus: Wrestling just enough stakes out of its thin plot, Wrath of Man sees Guy Ritchie and Jason Statham reunite for a fun, action-packed ride.
Synopsis: A mysterious and wild-eyed new cash truck security guard (Jason Statham) surprises his coworkers during a heist in which he... [More]
Directed By: Guy Ritchie

#9

Jungle Cruise (2021)
63%92%

#9
Adjusted Score: 77696%
Critics Consensus: Its craft isn't quite as sturdy as some of the classic adventures it's indebted to, but Jungle Cruise remains a fun, family-friendly voyage.
Synopsis: Join fan favorites Dwayne Johnson and Emily Blunt for the adventure of a lifetime on Disney's JUNGLE CRUISE, a rollicking... [More]
Directed By: Jaume Collet-Serra

#10

Army of Thieves (2021)
68%70%

#10
Adjusted Score: 71435%
Critics Consensus: Army of Thieves doesn't reinvent the heist thriller, but director-star Matthias Schweighöfer proves an appealing presence on both sides of the camera.
Synopsis: In this prequel to Zack Snyder's Army of the Dead, small-town bank teller Dieter gets drawn into the adventure of... [More]