The Best New Action Movies to Get You Fired Up

Films that'll get you ready to kick ass.

image
Netflix + Summit Entertainment + Universal PicturesUniversal

Elaborately choreographed gun fights, masterful martial-arts set pieces, and fine-ass assassins get our adrenaline pumping. Whether it's a rock 'em, sock 'em, balls-to-the-wall action movie or a sweeping epic, our favorites so far this year have heart, humor or both (what's a revenge film without a heartbreaking backstory, right?) and will get you on your feet cheering for the good guys. Catch one of our favorite action movies of 2019 so far and you'll be pumped up to do your own badass butt-kicking.

The Bouncer

Release date: January 11, 2019

What Is It?

No one does action quite like Jean-Claude Van Damme. His acting is rarely ever great, but he brings an earnest humanity to his characters that makes viewers root for him—plus, you'll almost always see him do the splits and show off his pert bum. In his latest, Van Damme plays a single dad who works as a bouncer in a Belgian nightclub. After being apprehended by the authorities for a bar brawl gone bad, he must choose between spying on his gang-leader boss for the police or losing custody of his young daughter.


Polar

Release date: January 25, 2019

What Is It?

After playing a Doctor Strange villain and the psychiatrist-cum-cannibalistic serial killer Dr. Hannibal Lecter, Mads Mikkelsen takes a whirl at being a good guy (sort of). In this Netflix original, he plays an assassin hoping to retire. Bu, first, he must make one last stand against a crew of cocky killers sent by his greedy boss who wants to cheat him out of his pension. Those young guns are no match for his expertise and stone-cold killer instincts (and chiseled good looks). Vanessa Hudgens plays his mysterious neighbor across the lake.


Cold Pursuit

Release date: February 8, 2019

What Is It?

We've seen Liam Neeson fight bad guys as a Jedi master, a CIA operative and now a snowplow driver. Nels Coxman (Neeson) looks to avenge the death of his son at the hands of ruthless but bungling drug dealers. Neeson's uncommunicative, hardworking everyman and the hushed landscape of never-ending snow drifts provide a poetic foil to the bombastic shoot-out scenes between warring cartels. Equal parts action picture, dark comedy and family drama, Cold Pursuit is surprising, funny and heartbreaking.


Master Z: The Ip Man Legacy

Release date: April 12, 2019

What Is It?

A spin-off and sequel to the 2015 film Ip Man 3, the movie stars Max Zhang as Cheung Tin Chi, a former Wing Chun master and a man laying low after his defeat at the hands of Ip Man. While making a delivery for the grocery store he now runs, Cheung tussles with members of a local gang collecting on a drug debt. There's no more hiding as he finds himself in the middle of a power struggle between family members of a criminal syndicate. Zhang's martial arts chops are undeniable, but Michelle Yeoh's grace and power are breathtaking.


Shadow

Release date: May 3, 2019

What Is It?

Acclaimed Chinese director Zhang Yimou elevates the action film to arthouse epic. Lauded for his visually-stunning movies, both period pieces (Raise the Red Lantern, Ju-Dou) and martial-arts ones (Hero, The House of Flying Daggers), the sets and costumes for Shadow are almost entirely in black, white and gray—the only other dominant colors are those of flesh and blood. Set in China's Three Kingdom era, the story centers around a manipulative military commander and his body double. The fight sequences are exquisitely choreographed, including a breathtaking set piece featuring deadly umbrellas.


John Wick: Chapter 3—Parabellum

Release date: May 17, 2019

What Is It?

In this third installment of the series, John Wick (played by a brooding and sexy AF Keanu Reeves) is no longer the hunter but the hunted—declared excommunicado by the High Table that governs this universe of assassins. The Continental (overseen by the wily hotel manager Winston played by Ian McShane) is again ground zero for this dark and elegant world and the backdrop for the movie's most brutal and balletic fight sequences. Our pick for fan favorite would go to Mark Dacascos, who was a bonafide action star before his stint as the host of the OG Iron Chef. His performance is charming and provides comic relief from the relentless scowling and grunting. This is everything an action movie should be, and our favorite so far this year.


Stuber

Release date: July 12, 2019

What Is It?

Incapacitated by a recent procedure, hard-boiled cop Vic (Dave Bautista) calls an Uber to take him to meet with an informant. Vic strong arms the mild-mannered driver Stu (Kamil Nanjiani) into his reluctant sidekick on his mission to arrest the drug dealer who killed his partner. Bringing an electric car to a high-speed chase, a near-sighted police offer to a bust and a pacifist to a gun fight—what can go wrong?


Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw

Release date: August 2, 2019

What Is It?

Frenemies Luke Hobbs (Dwayne Johnson) and Deckard Shaw (Jason Statham) are back at it— lobbing testicle jokes at one another and saving the world. And. We. Are. Here. For. It. Add indestructible cyborg Idris Elba and ass-kicking Vanessa Kirby as a MI6 agent and Shaw's sister, and you've got the movie of the summer (those Marvel movies were just plain boring).


For more stories like this, including celebrity news, beauty and fashion advice, savvy political commentary, and fascinating features, sign up for the Marie Claire newsletter.

subscribe here

Advertisement - Continue Reading Below
More From Unmissable Movies