Sometimes the house is just too quiet. What it needs is a good shootout, or maybe an explosion. A cool quip couldn’t hurt either. There are days when — for whatever reason — you just need a great action film before you hit the sack. Luckily, HBO Max has a ton of great action movies to offer. In fact, the titles below really just represent the tip of the action iceberg (particularly when it comes to fans of Samurai films or animated Batman movies). But if you are jonesing for a night of loud rock ‘em sock ‘em cinema, this is a great place to start your search.

In the mood for something a bit quieter? Check out our list of best comedies, dramas, or family movies on the platform, or browse our list of the best movies on HBO across all genres.

Editor’s note: This list was updated March 2023 to include Edge of Tomorrow.

RELATED: The Best Movies on HBO Max Right Now

The Batman (2022)

Robert Pattinson in The Batman

Run Time: 2 hr 56 min | Director: Matt Reeves

Cast: Robert Pattinson, Zoë Kravitz, Paul Dano

After a mild portrayal in Justice League, Batman gets a new breath of life from director Matt Reeves. This time beneath the cowl of the caped crusader is a brooding, angsty Robert Pattinson. A detective’s story through-and-through, The Batman might have a staggering runtime but where it makes up for a lot of plot comes standout performances by Zoë Kravitz, Paul Dano, Colin Farrell, Andy Serkis, and Jeffrey Wright. From the thrilling batmobile chase to the unfolding mystery set out by The Riddler, there is something for everyone in this revival of the dark knight. With a sequel announced, it’s time to rewatch The Batman, because why not? – Therese Lacson

Watch on HBO

Edge of Tomorrow (2014)

Rita and Ron facing each other in Edge of Tomorrow

Run Time: 1 hr 53 min | Director: Doug Liman

Cast: Tom Cruise, Emily Blunt, Bill Paxton, Brendan Gleeson

Edge of Tomorrow is directed by Doug Liman and based on Hiroshi Sakurazaka’s Japanese novel All You Need Is Kill. Following a soldier with limited combat experience, played by action icon Tom Cruise (Top Gun: Maverick), Edge of Tomorrow cleverly explores a time loop situation with a fresh and playful approach. Co-starring Emily Blunt (A Quiet Place), Edge of Tomorrow is an ambitious narrative set in a future where an alien race has occupied a majority of Europe. Praised for the utilitarian design of its action suits, gritty aesthetic, and charming humor to balance the sci-fi thriller tone, Edge of Tomorrow is a well-executed action movie. – Yael Tygiel

Watch on HBO

Black Adam (2022)

Dwayne Johnson as Teth-Adam aka Black Adam in 'Black Adam'
Image Via Warner Bros.

Run Time: 2 hrs 5 min | Director: Jaume Collet-Serra

Cast: Dwayne Johnson, Aldis Hodge, Sarah Shahi, Pierce Brosnan, Noah Centineo

Dwayne Johnson (Moana) stars in Black Adam, based on the DC Comic, along with a star-powered cast of diverse talent, including Sarah Shahi (Sex/Life), Aldis Hodge (Leverage: Redemption), Noah Centineo (The Recruit), and Pierce Brosnan. Black Adam explores the legend of a powerful anti-hero who is released from his tomb to unleash his own unique form of justice. Taking place adjacent to the already established Shazam universe, Black Adam brings in a group of modern-day heroes called The Justice Society. Through gorgeous visuals, director Jaume Collet-Serra reflects Michael Bay’s passion for action with Zack Snyder’s stylistic aesthetic. – Yael Tygiel

Watch on HBO

Se7en (1995)

Brad Pitt as a detective in Seven
Image via New Line Cinema

Run Time: 2 hr 7 min | Director: David Fincher

Cast: Brad Pitt, Morgan Freeman, Gwyneth Paltrow

Se7enis a haunting detective story goes way beyond “whodunnit.” Brad Pitt and Morgan Freeman are investigating a series of heinous murders in which each killing is done in the vein of one of the seven deadly sins. The film is brutal and gory. I would expect nothing less from David Fincher. – Alyse Wax

Watch on HBO

Assassination Nation (2018)

Image via Neon

Run Time: 1 hr 48 min | Director: Sam Levinson

Cast: Odessa Young, Abra, Suki Waterhouse, Hari Nef

From the man behind Euphoria, Sam Levinson writes and directs the unparallelled film Assassination Nation, which explores themes of privacy, identity, and societal mayhem. Assassination Nation is the story of four teenage girls doing what they must to survive after chaos stemming from a data hack reveals the secrets of everyone in their small town and spreads like a virus. Levinson’s fascination with unique and attractive young women continues, as his cast of stars includes Odessa Young (The Staircase) and Suki Waterhouse (The White Princess), and his passion for traumatic exploits build with Purge-like escalation. An underrated action film, Assassination Nation is a movie that haunts viewers even after the credits conclude. – Yael Tygiel

Watch on HBO

Constantine (2005)

Keanu Reeves as John Constantine holding a cigarette and looking intently in the movie Constantine.

Run Time: 2 hr 1 min | Director: Francis Lawrence

Cast: Keanu Reeves, Rachel Weisz, Shia Labeouf, Tilda Swinton

Christopher Nolandidn’t invent the first “dark and gritty” DC comic book adaptation; 2005’s Constantine got there first. The film was somewhat lost within the rise of the superhero genre and unfortunately never became the sort of franchise that Warner Brothers intended it to be despiteKeanu Reevesdoing an excellent job as the titular private eye. Reeves’ steely demeanor brings Alan Moore’s classic pages to life. Weird, gothic, and surprisingly violent, Constantine is one of the few comic book movies where the word “scary” actually applies (it was also rated R). While a subsequent television adaptation and animated film attempted to revive the character, we’re still waiting on a new cinematic version of John Constantine who would be able to top Reeves’ performance. – Liam Gaughan

Watch on HBO

Miss Congeniality (2000)

Sandra Bullock in Miss Congeniality

Run Time: 1 hr 49 min | Director: Donald Petrie

Cast: Sandra Bullock, Michael Caine, Benjamin Bratt, Candice Bergen

She’s in a dress, she has gel in my hair, she hasn’t slept all night, she’s starved, and she’s armed – don’t mess with her! Miss Congeniality is one of the best action comedies of all time. Featuring an iconic performance by Sandra Bullock as Gracie Hart (or Gracie Lou Freebush), the movie follows a rough-around-the-edges F.B.I agent as she goes undercover at a beauty pageant to stop a bombing. As heartfelt as it is hilarious, romantic as it is action-packed, Miss Congeniality is a delightful fish-out-of-water tale that’s enjoyable all year round – no need to wait until the perfect date of April 25th. – Taylor Gates

Watch on HBO

Wonder Woman (2017)

Image via Warner Bros.

Run Time: 2 hr 21 min | Director: Patty Jenkins

Cast: ​​Gal Gadot, Chris Pine, Robin Wright

The 10th highest-grossing movie on 2017 and holding a 93% on Rotten Tomatoes, Wonder Woman was both a commercial and critical success. The film follows Diana Prince (Gal Gadot), aka Wonder Woman, an Amazonian warrior who was raised on the island of Themyscira. After an American pilot, Steve Trevor (Chris Pine), crashes onto the island, German soldiers invade, leading the Amazonians to suffer heavy losses. Learning of the war raging on outside her home, Diana goes with Steve to London to help end it. On this journey, Diana discovers her power, destiny, and true love. – Taylor Gates

Watch on HBO

San Andreas (2015)

Ray and Emma Hold Hands in San Andreas 2015

Run Time: 1 hr 54 min | Director: Brad Peyton

Cast: Dwayne Johnson, Carla Gugino, Alexandra Daddario

Action and destruction wreak havoc in San Andreas, a film inspired by the terrifying reality of California earthquakes. Dwayne Johnsonstars as a helicopter pilot in the adventure movie that marks his first collaboration with director Brad Peyton (Rampage). Both Johnson and Peyton’s obvious experience with high-stakes catastrophe movies is revealed by their comfort and ease when soaring through death-defying stunts and explosive sequences. San Andreas isn’t just toppled buildings – the movie allows Johnson to show his often overlooked sensitive side as he plays a father attempting to rescue his daughter (Alexandra Daddario) following the massive disaster. – Yael Tygiel

Watch on HBO

The Bourne Identity (2022)

Matt Damon in The Bourne Identity
Image via Universal Pictures

Run Time: 1 hr 59 min | Director: Doug Liman

Cast: Matt Damon, Franka Potente, Clive Owen

The debut film of a series that has still never been topped,The Bourne Identityis a prime example of gritty and grounded action that never misses a beat. Unexpected and endlessly exciting, each scene is constructed to provide maximum engagement with a grounded sensibility. There are wild car chases, well-choreographed hand-to-hand combat, nail-biting escape scenes, and tense shootouts. It eschews typical eccentricities to be more grounded and realistic, firmly embedding itself as one of the more gripping action films of its kind. It is a film that also delves into the loneliness and isolation of its characters, creating a deeper emotional investment in the more heightening action moments. Grounding this is a youthful Matt Damon, who gives it his all and then some, drawing us into the life of a ruthless killer trying to figure out who he is once his mind has been erased. It makes for an experience that is always worth revisiting for those looking for a classic action flick. – Chase Hutchinson

​​​​​​​Watch on HBO Max

Dune (2021)

Paul Atreides getting ready for fight in Dune.

Run Time: 2 hr 35 min | Director: Denis Villeneuve

Cast: Timothée Chalamet, Rebecca Ferguson, Jason Momoa

A science-fiction epic whose scope is matched only by its sense of space in its battles, Dune has some of the most exciting action sequences that are as vibrant as they are vicious. Key amongst these is every scene with Jason Momoa’s Duncan Idaho, a charismatic yet skilled fighter who dives into every new challenge with a fearlessness and strength that is unmatched. One climactic scene in a confined hallway where he must take on impossible odds will forever stand out, making incredible use of Momoa’s immense presence and power. As he cuts through enemy after enemy, you can’t help but just watch in awe of his dedication to the performance. There is no one that could have done it like Momoa, and the scene itself is so well-choreographed that it all becomes a deadly dance. By the time it all concludes, it makes for one of the more moving and mesmerizing moments in a film that is full of them. – Chase Hutchinson

Watch on HBO Max

Chungking Express (1994)

Image via Jet Tone Production

Run Time: 1 hr 37 min | Director: Wong Kar-wai

Cast: Brigitte Lin Chin-Hsia, Takeshi Kaneshiro, Tony Leung, Faye Wong

Chungking Express is one of Wong Kar-wai’s many dark and beautiful stories of love and loss. Although it plays like an homage to 1960s mafia and samurai films, Chungking Express explores the loneliness of its characters. Told in two distinct acts, the film opens with the adventures of He Qiwu (Takeshi Kaneshiro), a lovesick police officer yearning for an enigmatic drug dealer (Brigitte Lin); the second half features future In the Mood For Love star Tony Leung as another heartbroken police officer who shares his musings on life with a friendly snack seller (Faye Wong). Funny, poignant, and surprisingly action-packed, Chungking Express is one of Wong’s best. –Liam Gaughan

​​​​​​​Watch on HBO Max

The Last Duel (2021)

Jodie Comer in 'The Last Duel'
Image via 20th Century Studios

Run Time: 2 hr 32 min | Director: Ridley Scott

Cast: Matt Damon, Jodie Comer, Adam Driver, Ben Affleck, Alex Lawther

Nearly 25 years after they won the Best Original Screenplay Oscar for Good Will Hunting, Ben Affleck and Matt Damon returned to write another script together. Considering that they chose to tell a story that deals with sensitive sexual assault issues, they were wise to bring on Nicole Holofcener as a female voice among the writers. The Last Duel tells the amazing true story of the last combat trial in Medieval France. The story is told from three different characters’ perspectives. After Sir Jean de Carrouges’ (Damon) wife Marguerite (Jodie Comer) is raped by his best friend Jacques Le Gris (Adam Driver), Carrouges takes the matter before the King (Alex Lawther). – Liam Gaughan

Watch on HBO

F9: The Fast Saga (2021)

Vin Diesel and John Cena in F9: The Fast Saga
Image via One Race Films

Run Time: 2 hr 23 min | Director: Justin Lin

Cast: Vin Diesel, Michelle Rodriguez, Tyrese Gibson

The ninth installment in the Fast and Furiousfranchise continues to expand on the out-of-this-world action that has put this franchise into a different stratosphere. There is something so great about Fast and Furious and how unhinged the series has become over time, yet it is still very much great. This time around, Dom (Vin Diesel) and the crew must take on an international terrorist who turns out to be Dom and Mia’s (Jordana Brewster) estranged brother (John Cena). If there is one thing you can expect from any Fast and Furiousfilm, they will say the world family and the action will be anything but regular, and F9 continues that. It’s just non-stop from start to finish and proves that maybe the films have moved away from the original concept, but that doesn’t mean that the movie doesn’t remain entertaining from start to finish. With only two installments left in the show, there are no questions that the films will be over the top and deliver action sequences as we have never seen before. – Arianne Binette

Watch on HBO

The Suicide Squad (2021)

the team in the suicide squad

Run Time: 2 hr 12 min | Director: James Gunn

Cast: Margot Robbie, Idris Elba, John Cena

Bringing a much-needed injection of humor into the DCEU, James Gunn’s The Suicide Squadtakes the secret squad of villains, Task Force X, to the island of Corto Maltese. Under the orders of Amanda Waller (Viola Davis) this band of misfits and criminals is tasked with preventing an anti-American regime from gaining control over Project Starfish – an alien with mind-control abilities. As always, Margot Robbie kicks ass as Harley Quinn, while newcomers Bloodsport (Idris Elba), Peacemaker (John Cena), Polka-Dot Man (David Dastmalchian), and Ratcatcher 2 (Daniela Melchior) all bring a brilliant mix of humor, heart, and badassery to the movie. Gunn has become well known for mixing heartfelt moments in with bizarre and/or graphic action sequences, and The Suicide Squad is no different. It’s a wild and fun ride, no matter what level of DC Comics fandom you may be. (And did I mention that Sylvester Stallone is the voice of a himbo King Shark who is both adorable and deadly?) — Brynna Arens

Watch on HBO

Mortal Kombat (2021)

Mortal Kombat Dragon
Image via Warner Bros.

Run Time: 1 hr 50 min | Director: Simon McQuoid

Cast: Lewis Tan, Jessica McNamee, Hiroyuki Sanada

When it comes to films that try to take on adapting video games to the big screen, it is usually a mixed bag about what you are going to get. When it comes to the newest Mortal Kombat, it is thankfully on the more positive side of adaptations. Bolstered by a killer opening sequence and some rather well-choreographed action sprinkled throughout, it is a lot of set-up for more to come though it still packs quite a lot in this first entry. It introduces a few new characters here and there while also making sure the notable figures from the games get plenty of time to smash around in a splashy spectacle of action. It also ratchets up the gore and violence that its source material was similarly known for, ensuring there is plenty to love in this largely faithful adaptation that offers a hint of more to come. — Chase Hutchinson

Watch on HBO

The King’s Man (2021)


Run Time: 2 hr 11 min | Director: Matthew Vaughn

Cast: Ralph Fiennes, Gemma Arterton, Rhys Ifans

The King’s Man is the third installment in Matthew Vaughn’s Kingsmanfranchise and it takes just as many risks as its predecessors as it lays out the origin story of The Kingsman Agency, an elite secret service agency based out of the United Kingdom. Set at the precipice of World War I, Orlando, Duke of Oxford (Ralph Fiennes) and his son Conrad (Harris Dickinson) find themselves embroiled in a world of political intrigue when their friend Archduke Franz Ferdinand (Ron Cook) is assassinated.

With the help of his allies and domestic servants, Polly (Gemma Arterton) and Shola (Djimon Hounsou), who are members of his private spy network, Orlando sets out to stop the Machiavellian scheming of The Shepherd, who employs his agents of chaos— Grigori Rasputin (Rhys Ifans), Erik Jan Hanussen (Daniel Brühl), Alfred DuPont (Todd Boyce), Mata Hari (Valerie Pachner), Vladimir Lenin (August Diehl), and Gavrilo Princip (Joel Basman)—to pit Tom Hollander’s trio of characters against one another.The King’s Man is filled with twists and turns, monocles, goats, uncomfortable moments, shocking deaths, and jaw-dropping post-credit reveals. – Maggie Lovitt

Watch on HBO

Free Guy (2021)

Ryan Reynolds and Jodie Comer in Free Guy
Image via IMDB (20th Century Fox Film Corporation)

Run Time: 1 hr 55 min | Director: Shawn Levy

Cast: Ryan Reynolds, Jodie Comer, Taika Waititi, Joe Keery

In the world of the multiplayer game Free City, Guy (Ryan Reynolds) is as average as his name suggests. He is a non-player character (NPC) who works at the bank, doing his best to not get involved with the badass real-world avatars. That is until he meets Molotov Girl, aka Millie (Jodie Comer) in the real world, and his coding evolves beyond his NPC loop. Guy is now able to interact with his world in a new way and realizes that there’s more to life than he thought – he finds purpose in helping Millie and the people of his city. In the real world, Millie is trying to prove that the company behind Free City stole the Artificial Intelligence system that she and her partner Keys (Joe Keery) created and keep the game from being deleted. Like Wreck-It Ralph, Free Guy works because it puts heart and humanity at the forefront. The relationships in the film, both romantic and platonic, are just as important to the story as the action and humor. Free Guy has something for almost everyone and is a must-watch for video game and movie fans alike. — Brynna Arens

Watch on HBO

Birds of Prey (and the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn) (2020)

pjimage - 2022-02-16T101054.532

Run Time: 1 hr 49 min | Director: Cathy Yan

Cast: Margot Robbie, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Jurnee Smollett-Bell, Rosie Perez

Birds of Prey (and the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn)both embraces the tone and style of its comic book origins while carving out a unique narrative in the genre. The film is grounded in the reality of misogyny and sexism, which informs the characters’ journeys, but doesn’t define their entire identities. Credit goes to the two-woman team of creators who brought a new lens to this comic book adaptation. Each character has her own arc, and though not all the Birds of Prey get enough screen time, they’re fleshed out enough for viewers to love them all by the end of the film. Birds of Prey perfectly balances character dynamics with exquisite action sequences—this film works because of its bloodless violence and its unreliable narrator.

It’s the characters that steal the show because of how well Christina Hodson writes them—Harley Quinn finally feels like a person rather than a prop; Rosie Perez as Renee Montoya is a scene-stealer with her earnest and determined performance, Jurnee Smollett-Bell juggles Dinah Lance’s inner turmoil and snarky personality and Mary Elizabeth Winstead is a humorous delight as Helena Bertinelli. Ella Jay Basco may not play a recognizable version of Cassandra Cain, but she holds her own as the quintessential precocious teen character who thaws cold hearts. This film can be a difficult watch as Harley Quinn (Margot Robbie), especially, often finds herself in dangerous situations, but it’s refreshing to see how the film celebrates sisterhood with characters that don’t quite like each other but work really well together. – Monita Mohan

Watch on HBO

Aquaman (2018)

Run Time: 2 hr 24 min | Director: James Wan

Cast: Jason Momoa, Amber Heard, Willem Dafoe

The DCEU’s tumultuous history does have a bright spot with Aquaman. The James Wan directed feature starring Jason Mamoa expended on the character first introduced in Justice League. Arthur Curry (Mamoa), the human-born heir to the underwater kingdom of Atlantis, goes on a quest to prevent a war between the worlds of ocean and land. There’s something so fresh about Aquaman and Wan’s direction; the action scenes, in particular, are something that you can feast your eyes on. While the film doesn’t always work, especially the story itself, which sometimes falters, the performances – especially from Mamoa and Patrick Wilson – bring it all together. It is a terrific fun from start to finish; if there is one film from the DCEU worth the watch, it is very much this one. – Arianne Binette

Watch on HBO

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