Action comes in all shapes and sizes. Guns, bullets, missiles, aliens, zombies, the wrath of God; movies provide us with the thrill that we, as viewers, cannot otherwise get or would rather not. They serve as an effective means to escape from our mundane lives and be a part of a different world with different characters, some that we love and some that we love to hate. This is what makes them one of the most popular film genres across the world. Paramount+ houses a collection of great action movies, which are unique in the way they handle action while portraying a story and characters that are seamlessly sewn together to give the viewers the required adrenaline rush.
10. Minority Report (2002)
‘Minority Report’ is what happens when a world-renowned director collaborates with a world-famous bonafide action star. Directed by Steven Spielberg and starring Tom Cruise, ‘Minority Report’ tackles a topic that is a potential reality and a threat to humanity as well. The movie takes place in the U.S. in 2054, where the PreCrime taskforce of the Metropolitan Police Department of Washington DC uses the “PreCogs” (a trio of mentally altered humans) that preempt a murder and provide the name of the murderer, the victim, the date and time of the crime and the sequence of events leading to the crime. However, the one thing that the PreCogs do not provide is the location. It is up to John Anderton (Cruise), head of the PreCrime taskforce, and his team to carry out the arrests.
But one day, the PreCog Agatha (Samantha Morton) preempts that Anderton himself is going to commit a murder in 36 hours. Now, he not only has to escape from the very system that he has been a part of but also has to find a way to prove himself innocent. Is that even possible? ‘Minority Report’ is a sci-fi action film that ups the ante of the genre big time. The rest of the cast of the movie includes Colin Farrell, Max von Sydow, Kathryn Morris, Neal McDonough, Peter Stormare, and Tim Blake Nelson. You can watch the movie here.
9. World War Z (2013)
‘World War Z’ may or may not be a zombie movie, depending on how you analyze the term ‘zombie.’ If you believe that zombies are the living dead, then this movie doesn’t have them, but if you believe that zombies are humans who have lost control of their minds and are under some kind of influence by some entity, then ‘World War Z’ has a lot of them. In the movie, we have hordes of people affected by a virus that has turned them into vicious, mindless beings that are attacking the unaffected and biting them. Those bitten are becoming part of the hordes very quickly. So, the effect of the virus is very fast, and it’s spreading across the world.
In the middle of this chaos are retired U.N. investigator Gerry Lane (Brad Pitt) and his family in Philadelphia, which has also come under the virus’s grasp. Whether Gerry, recruited into the UN emergency team and tasked with finding the source of the virus, is able to locate the source and stop the spread amid a world war is what the Marc Forster directorial shows. The movie offers a lot of large-scale action, which justifies the title of the movie effectively. So, if you are looking for a zombie movie that doesn’t ridicule the zombie genre, this one is a pretty good watch. Feel free to check out the movie here.
8. The Contractor (2022)
Directed by Tarik Saleh, ‘The Contractor’ stars Chris Pine, Ben Foster, Gillian Jacobs, and Kiefer Sutherland. A gripping action thriller, it centers on Sergeant First Class James Harper, who is involuntarily discharged due to illegal steroid usage. Out of work, he reaches out to his friend Mike, who offers him a job at a private military organization owned by veteran Rusty Jennings. However, when a mission to secure a piece of crucial intel goes astray, Harper realizes that Rusty has personal motives that are far from being patriotic and serving the country. You can check out the film here.
7. Star Trek: Into Darkness (2013)
‘Star Trek Into Darkness’ is a sci-fi action movie directed by J. J. Abrams. It is a sequel to ‘Star Trek’ (2009) and together form a part of the rebooted film series of the Star Trek franchise that began in the 1960s and has today become a part of pop culture. ‘Star Trek Into Darkness’ stars Chris Pine as Captain James T. Kirk, Zachary Quinto as Commander Spock, and Benedict Cumberbatch as the villainous Khan Noonien Singh. In the film, we see the USS Enterprise starship face a force to be reckoned with in the form of Khan, who is bent on destroying the Starfleet fleet. The only way to stop him is to find out what he wants, and to do that, he needs to be captured. You can stream the movie here and find out whether Kirk and his team can accomplish this objective before they are all killed.
6. Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981)
The idea of ‘Raiders of the Lost Ark’ came to George Lucas, the mastermind behind the ‘Star Wars’ franchise, in the 1970s. Surprisingly, only after did ‘Star Wars’ release in 1977 and made history was he able to concentrate on this movie and introduced the project to Steven Spielberg. The rest is history, too. Starring Harrison Ford as archaeologist/adventurer Indiana Jones, the movie (released in 1981) deals with the Ark of the Covenant, a magical artifact that has the power to turn an army invincible. Jones has to get to it first before the Nazis get their hands on it. Alongside Harrison Ford, the movie also stars Karen Allen, Paul Freeman, John Rhys-Davies, Alfred Molina, and Denholm Elliott. If you are looking for an action-adventure epic to shake you up from slumber, this movie is your Ark. You may watch it here.
5. Transformers: Rise of the Beasts (2023)
‘Transformers: Rise of the Beasts’ is the 7th movie in the Transformers film franchise that itself is based on the Hasbro line of ‘Transformers’ action figures. If you have seen the Transformers movies, well enough, but even if you haven’t, this movie provides the same amount of fun. While in the other movies, the Autobots and Decepticons (the robots from Cybertron) transform into cars, in this movie, the robots, called Maximals, transform into animals. The movie, based on the Beast Wars sub-Transformers toy line, shows how the Maximals, led by Optimus Primal (voice by Ron Perlman), and the Autobots, led by Optimus Prime (voiced by the legendary Peter Cullen), team up and fight against the forces of Unicron, an evil Transformer god.
The movie is directed by Steven Caple Jr., with Michael Bay serving as one of the producers. The cast includes Anthony Ramos, Dominique Fishback, Dominique Fishback, Lauren Vélez, Dean Scott Vazquez and Tobe Nwigwe. The appearances of the Autobots are different from those in the rest of the movies and more accurately resemble the cartoons. Be that as it may, ‘Transformers: Rise of the Beasts’ is an entertaining action movie that you won’t regret watching at all. You can stream the movie here.
4. Top Gun: Maverick (2022)
The movie that, as per Steven Spielberg, saved Hollywood post the pandemic, ‘Top Gun: Maverick,’ starring Tom Cruise as naval aviator Maverick and directed by Joseph Kosinski, is a sequel to ‘Top Gun’ (1986) that is directed by Tony Scott. After its release, the movie became the second-highest-grossing film of 2022 and got six nominations at the Oscars 2023, out of which it won for Best Sound. Applauded for its practical effects, which involved customized camera rigs set up inside the cockpit to capture the reactions of the pilots, the movie is a first-of-its-kind visual treat and an unfortunate miss for those who didn’t get to watch it on the big screen.
As for the story, we have Maverick training a group of young pilots to destroy an unsanctioned Russian uranium plant while staying under the radar of the anti-aircraft systems and GPS jammers. Alongside Cruise, the cast includes Miles Teller, Glen Powell, Monica Barbaro, Jay Ellis, Danny Ramirez, John Hamm, Jennifer Connelly, and Val Kilmer, who makes a comeback as Tom “Iceman” Kazansky, present commander of U.S. Pacific Fleet and rival-turned-friend of Maverick. You can stream ‘Top Gun: Maverick’ here.
3. Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol (2011)
The fourth installment of the ‘Mission Impossible’ franchise starring Tom Cruise as spy Ethan Hunt of the IMF- Impossible Missions Force, ‘Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol’ sends Hunt and his team on a race against time to acquire Russian nuclear launch codes for a strike on America. A mishap makes the U.S. government disavow the IMF completely, executing the Ghost Protocol. Now, it is only up to Ethan and his team, comprising IMF agents Benji (Simon Pegg), Jane (Paula Patton), and the IMF Secretary’s aide William Brandt (Jeremy Renner), to find the codes for which they have to fake two meetings.
The movie made a mark in the action genre due to Tom Cruise’s stunt featuring a climb and a subsequent descent on the exterior walls of the Burj Khalifa, Dubai, the tallest building in the world. It also features Indian actor Anil Kapoor in a negative role. You don’t have to watch the previous installments to understand this movie, and the same goes for the other installments as well, and that is the specialty of the franchise. The primary characters, like Ethan and Benji, remain the same while the plots keep changing and are standalone. However, as a cinephile, it becomes one’s duty to watch all the films of a particular franchise, so you might want to watch the rest too. You can check out ‘Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol’ here.
2. Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991)
‘Terminator 2: Judgment Day’ is a cult movie. There’s no other way to describe it better. It is directed by the one and only James Cameron (‘Titanic,’ ‘Avatar,’ ‘Avatar: The Way of Water’). Set in 1995, it stars Arnold Schwarzenegger as a cyborg (T-800) who has been sent from the future to protect John Connor (Edward Furlong) from T-1000 (Robert Patrick), a more advanced cyborg also sent from the future by Skynet. It is an A.I. that is to become self-aware on August 29, 1997, as prophesied by John’s mother, Sarah (Linda Hamilton), and take over the planet, eliminating all humans. Connor, now a kid, will grow up to lead the resistance against Skynet, which is why it is imperative that he is killed. The T-800, on the other hand, has been sent by the resistance.
It will do you good if you want the first installment, as it will make things clear about Skynet and how Sarah knows about it. But the movie serves as a treat for Arnold Schwarzenegger fanatics, so if you just want to watch him shoot and blow up stuff, you are most welcome. You can stream it here.
1. 13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi (2016)
Directed by Michael Bay, ‘13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi,’ also known as ‘13 Hours,’ is based on Mitchell Zuckoff’s 2014 book of the same name that describes the attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya, on Sept. 11, 2012, by Islamic militants, which led to the death of US Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens, from the POV of those who defended the compound. The movie also follows the six contractors from GRS (Global Response Staff) stationed at the nearest CIA base, “The Annex,” who defended the building in the aftermath of the attack on the ambassador’s Special Mission compound from hordes of heavily armed local militants. The team included Tyrone “Rone” Woods (James Badge Dale), the leader, Jack Silva (John Krasinski), Kris “Tanto” Paronto, Dave “Boon” Benton (David Denman), Kris “Tanto” Paronto (Pablo Schreiber), John “Tig” Tiegen (Dominic Fumusa), and Mark “Oz” Geist (Max Martini).
Bay went into great depth for the research to the point of having the CIA base and the ambassador’s compound built based on the actual designs from the plans of the structures and the satellite images. He even traveled to the CIA headquarters in Langley, Virginia, to discuss the script. Well, keeping all these details aside, ‘13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi’ stays true to its purpose of being an action movie that will hardly let you take your eyes off the screen. You can check out the movie here.
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