The Best Action Movies of 2019

What is the state of the action movie in 2019? You could say they’ve never been stronger: They generate all the hype and they break all the records – we just call them superhero movies these days. But for this guide to the best action movies of 2019, we stick with a more pure strain of action filmmaking, whose lineage you can trace back to the ’80s and early ’90s heyday. It’s a world of tough guys (Shaft) and tougher women (Anna), of martial artists (Shadow), vigilantes (Miss Bala), and assassins (John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum). In deciding what qualifies as an “action movie,” we not only left those newfangled superhero movies to mingle with their own crowd, but the same went for genre hybrids like Alita: Battle Angel, which will go into the best sci-fi movies of 2019 list, launching next week. Otherwise, the action movie needed only to cross a 20-review threshold to be included in this guide, which ranks the best alongside the worst.

As the rest of the year promises more high-adrenaline pleasures like Hobbs & Shaw, Angel Has Fallen, Rambo: Last Blood, take a look back with a blast from the recent past with the best (and worst!) action movies of 2019 so far!

Updated 8/26: Angel Has Fallen


Miss Bala (2019)

Adjusted Score: 27.586%
Critics Consensus: Miss Bala suggests Gina Rodriguez has a future as an action hero; unfortunately, it also demonstrates how hard it is to balance set pieces against a compelling story.
Synopsis: Gloria (Gina Rodriguez) finds a power she never knew she had when she is drawn into a dangerous world of... [More]
Directed By: Catherine Hardwicke


Into the Ashes (2019)

Adjusted Score: 26.558%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Nick is an ex-con adjusting to a normal life in rural Alabama with a new job and a new wife.... [More]
Directed By: Aaron Harvey


Anna (2019)

Adjusted Score: 36.267%
Critics Consensus: Anna finds writer-director Luc Besson squarely in his wheelhouse, but fans of this variety of stylized action have seen it all done before -- and better.
Synopsis: Beneath Anna Poliatova's striking beauty lies a secret that will unleash her indelible strength and skill to become one of... [More]
Directed By: Luc Besson


Shaft (2019)

Adjusted Score: 37.007%
Critics Consensus: Decades removed from the original, this multi-generational Shaft struggles to keep its characters interesting -- or anything other than uncomfortably outdated.
Synopsis: "Shaft" is the next chapter in the film franchise featuring the coolest private eye on any New York City block.... [More]
Directed By: Tim Story


Angel Has Fallen (2019)

Adjusted Score: 46.853%
Critics Consensus: Cut from the same rough cloth as its predecessors, Angel Has Fallen rounds out a mostly forgettable action trilogy in fittingly mediocre fashion.
Synopsis: When there is an assassination attempt on U.S. President Allan Trumbull (Morgan Freeman), his trusted confidant, Secret Service Agent Mike... [More]
Directed By: Ric Roman Waugh


The Kid (2019)

Adjusted Score: 47.055%
Critics Consensus: Well-framed, well-cast, and well-intentioned, The Kid still largely fails to set itself apart from the multitude of other westerns covering similar territory.
Synopsis: In this thrilling Western, a young boy, Rio (Jake Schur), is forced to go on the run across the American... [More]
Directed By: Vincent D'Onofrio

Adjusted Score: 82.704%
Critics Consensus: Hobbs & Shaw doesn't rev as high as the franchise's best installments, but gets decent mileage out of its well-matched stars and over-the-top action sequences.
Synopsis: Ever since hulking lawman Hobbs (Dwayne Johnson), a loyal agent of America's Diplomatic Security Service, and lawless outcast Shaw (Jason... [More]
Directed By: David Leitch


Triple Threat (2019)

Adjusted Score: 70.581%
Critics Consensus: Triple Threat might have made better use of its attention-getting cast, but action fans should still find the end results entertaining enough to rate a rental.
Synopsis: TRIPLE THREAT, the newest feature from Johnson, is an adrenaline fueled and gritty action thriller starring some of the biggest... [More]
Directed By: Jesse V. Johnson


Cold Pursuit (2019)

Adjusted Score: 78.063%
Critics Consensus: Cold Pursuit delivers the action audiences expect from a Liam Neeson thriller -- along with humor and a sophisticated streak that make this an uncommonly effective remake.
Synopsis: COLD PURSUIT, an action thriller infused with irreverent humor, stars Liam Neeson as Nels Coxman, a family man whose quiet... [More]
Directed By: Hans Petter Moland


Triple Frontier (2019)

Adjusted Score: 77.376%
Critics Consensus: An outstanding cast and ambitious story help Triple Frontier overcome an uneven narrative -- and elevate the end result above a crowded field of grim and gritty heist thrillers.
Synopsis: A group of former Special Forces operatives (Ben Affleck, Oscar Isaac, Charlie Hunnam, Garrett Hedlund and Pedro Pascal) reunite to... [More]
Directed By: J.C. Chandor

Adjusted Score: 89.844%
Critics Consensus: Master Z: Ip Man Legacy marks a departure from previous entries in the franchise -- but its thrilling action set pieces remain every bit as satisfying.
Synopsis: Legendary action director Yuen Woo-Ping draws on a stellar cast (Michelle Yeoh, Dave Bautista, Tony Jaa, and Max Zhang) to... [More]
Directed By: Woo-ping Yuen

Adjusted Score: 105.862%
Critics Consensus: John Wick: Chapter 3 - Parabellum reloads for another hard-hitting round of the brilliantly choreographed, over-the-top action that fans of the franchise demand.
Synopsis: In this third installment of the adrenaline-fueled action franchise, super-assassin John Wick (Reeves) returns with a $14 million price tag... [More]
Directed By: Chad Stahelski


Kingdom (2019)

Adjusted Score: 68.608%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Orphaned by war, a young boy and his friend dream of changing their fate and becoming the world's greatest generals.... [More]
Directed By: Shinsuke Sato


Shadow (2019)

Adjusted Score: 98.532%
Critics Consensus: Beautifully filmed and inventively choreographed, Shadow is a thrilling and visually sumptuous wuxia epic that finds director Zhang Yimou near peak form.
Synopsis: With SHADOW, director Zhang Yimou (HERO, HOUSE OF FLYING DAGGERS) once again pushes the boundaries of wuxia action to create... [More]
Directed By: Zhang Yimou

Tag Cloud

Pet Sematary Universal Trophy Talk diversity E! Drama ABC dragons ghosts DirecTV IFC travel Tarantino series APB hispanic unscripted President talk show TLC police drama Stephen King Action cops Superheroe BBC America revenge Shudder YouTube Premium Heroines Ellie Kemper CMT Ovation Reality Competition A&E Esquire Brie Larson MTV Comedy ratings Infographic Paramount mutant crime binge crime drama NBC Masterpiece 007 Ghostbusters cats game of thrones Mary Poppins Returns SundanceTV stand-up comedy National Geographic Hulu 2019 Fall TV children's TV Epix Year in Review Reality social media romance Premiere Dates AMC TruTV Awards 2015 VH1 robots Creative Arts Emmys teaser LGBTQ Cartoon Network Crackle doctor who OWN Britbox 2018 San Diego Comic-Con transformers Awards Tour Lifetime Fox News crossover composers Marathons NYCC Star Wars Cannes MSNBC Disney space cars Spring TV Countdown PaleyFest theme song Disney Channel witnail Toys The CW psycho spider-man blaxploitation Winners miniseries Song of Ice and Fire USA Network aliens comic Rock Rocky Sony Pictures HBO Max TV Land Thanksgiving Netflix IFC Films based on movie TCM TNT CBS Sneak Peek festivals Teen Marvel zombie Musicals Freeform PBS GLAAD Martial Arts SDCC DC Universe Schedule docudrama golden globes Watching Series cinemax Chernobyl spain Comedy Central Polls and Games war streaming Pop Super Bowl foreign Pixar ESPN sitcom dc justice league TCA kids Syfy Summer zero dark thirty Cosplay American Society of Cinematographers Columbia Pictures Amazon Prime nature biography Adult Swim tv talk BET Music disaster Kids & Family SXSW Vudu green book Mystery Women's History Month Extras Nat Geo WGN richard e. Grant ITV award winner Mudbound Emmys hist politics Mindy Kaling New York Comic Con Elton John Podcast GIFs 2017 quibi See It Skip It CBS All Access cooking VICE 21st Century Fox medical drama Photos History Film Festival Box Office Animation sports Acorn TV DGA Certified Fresh vampires elevated horror The Arrangement CW Seed animated singing competition Starz spy thriller Shondaland Biopics Pride Month spinoff Disney streaming service historical drama FX Logo Tomatazos television The Witch anime Film Best and Worst Valentine's Day Captain marvel south america dramedy Christmas what to watch MCU BBC Chilling Adventures of Sabrina Trivia Interview GoT ABC Family DC streaming service First Reviews spanish language Amazon Anna Paquin Rom-Com Oscars adaptation Superheroes adventure RT History Mary poppins finale 20th Century Fox 24 frames Lionsgate Warner Bros. jamie lee curtis TBS comiccon book Rocketman Fantasy Bravo thriller Tumblr Sundance 2016 discovery WarnerMedia Star Trek Lucasfilm cults latino psychological thriller Calendar First Look Spectrum Originals strong female leads FOX Dark Horse Comics Comic Book Western Spike USA Winter TV TCA 2017 Comics on TV supernatural movies Holidays HBO YouTube Red sequel TV FXX Trailer Black Mirror E3 Apple Sci-Fi Character Guide Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt science fiction period drama casting Food Network Opinion game show political drama Walt Disney Pictures Horror Emmy Nominations Grammys Showtime Binge Guide Country X-Men technology dceu 45 serial killer natural history zombies YA TIFF Pirates harry potter Election Set visit anthology LGBT Musical Sundance Now boxoffice Writers Guild of America Nickelodeon Family Video Games toy story DC Comics RT21 mockumentary facebook Mary Tyler Moore Quiz Nominations Amazon Prime Video Paramount Network El Rey crime thriller true crime Red Carpet CNN