Best Action & Adventure Movies 2022

For the best action shots of the year, there was no choice but to strap in and feel the danger zone crawl up your spine with Top Gun: Maverick. The Northman and The Woman King flipped pages in history books on the tip of a blade, just as RRR got creative with India’s past for a riduclously rousing romp. The Lost City was lighter fare if you could find it, Beast was a genre throwback, and Ambulance got Michael Bay his best reviews since The Rock.

The order reflects Tomatometer scores (as of December 31, 2022) after adjustment from our ranking formula, which compensates for variation in the number of reviews when comparing movies or TV shows.

Adjusted Score: 122738%
Critics Consensus: Top Gun: Maverick pulls off a feat even trickier than a 4G inverted dive, delivering a long-belated sequel that surpasses its predecessor in wildly entertaining style.
Synopsis: After more than thirty years of service as one of the Navy’s top aviators, Pete “Maverick” Mitchell (Tom Cruise) is... [More]
Directed By: Joseph Kosinski


The Woman King (2022)

Adjusted Score: 108937%
Critics Consensus: All hail Viola Davis! The Woman King rules.
Synopsis: The Woman King is the remarkable story of the Agojie, the all-female unit of warriors who protected the African Kingdom... [More]
Directed By: Gina Prince-Bythewood


The Northman (2022)

Adjusted Score: 111334%
Critics Consensus: A bloody revenge epic and breathtaking visual marvel, The Northman finds filmmaker Robert Eggers expanding his scope without sacrificing any of his signature style.
Synopsis: The Northman is an epic revenge thriller, that explores how far a Viking prince will go to seek justice for... [More]
Directed By: Robert Eggers


RRR (2022)

Adjusted Score: 100049%
Critics Consensus: Intoxicatingly over the top, RRR pulls out all the stops to make the absolute most of its 187-minute runtime.
Synopsis: Freedom fighters Komaram Bheem and Alluri Sitarama Raju join forces against British colonialists in the 1920s.... [More]
Directed By: S.S. Rajamouli


The Lost City (2022)

Adjusted Score: 93900%
Critics Consensus: The Lost City doesn't sparkle quite as brightly as some classic treasure-hunting capers, but its stars' screwball chemistry make this movie well worth romancing.
Synopsis: Reclusive author Loretta Sage writes about exotic places in her popular adventure novels that feature a handsome cover model named... [More]
Directed By: Adam Nee, Aaron Nee


Athena (2022)

Adjusted Score: 88839%
Critics Consensus: Although it may arguably fail to do justice to its deeper themes, Athena makes for electrifying, hard-hitting viewing in the moment.
Synopsis: Hours after the tragic death of their youngest brother in unexplained circumstances, three siblings have their lives thrown into chaos.... [More]
Directed By: Romain Gavras


Ambulance (2022)

Adjusted Score: 80657%
Critics Consensus: At top speed and with sirens wailing, Ambulance comes riding to the rescue for audiences facing an emergency shortage of Michael Bay action thrills.
Synopsis: Over one day across the streets of L.A., three lives will change forever. In this breakneck thriller from director-producer Michael... [More]
Directed By: Michael Bay


Beast (2022)

Adjusted Score: 80386%
Critics Consensus: Want to watch Idris Elba fight a lion? The admirably lean yet ultimately disposable Beast is just the movie you're looking for.
Synopsis: Idris Elba (Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw, The Suicide Squad) stars in a pulse-pounding new thriller about a... [More]
Directed By: Baltasar Kormákur


Lou (2022)

Adjusted Score: 69025%
Critics Consensus: From a storyline or set piece perspective, Lou doesn't add much to the action genre -- but it does serve as a generally entertaining reminder that Allison Janney is not to be trifled with.
Synopsis: Thinking she'd put her dangerous past behind her, Lou (Allison Janney) finds her quiet life interrupted when a desperate mother... [More]
Directed By: Anna Foerster


Bullet Train (2022)

Adjusted Score: 72802%
Critics Consensus: Bullet Train's colorful cast and high-speed action are almost enough to keep things going after the story runs out of track.
Synopsis: In Bullet Train, Brad Pitt stars as Ladybug, an unlucky assassin determined to do his job peacefully after one too... [More]
Directed By: David Leitch