There Are Some Truly Iconic '90s Action Movies on Netflix Right Now
If ever there was a time to indulge in a bit of nostalgia, that time is now. And, as always, Netflix has our back. We’ve rounded up the best and cheesiest ’90s action movies streaming on Netflix right now. As much as the streamer has become an expert at producing originals, it still has a robust catalog of Hollywood hits, and thankfully, many of them happen to be action movies starring the likes of Harrison Ford, George Clooney, and Will Smith. The ’90s were a great time for movies about attractive people saving the world from mustache-twisting villains, giant lizards, and yes, even pandemics. Indulging in those movies with their promise of disaster being averted no matter how dire things seem should truly be mandatory for anyone feeling uncertain about the world.
From James Bond to the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, these ’90s action movies streaming on Netflix are the explosive distraction you need right now.
Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me
If you like your action on the irreverent side, then Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me might be your ideal movie. In this silly follow-up to Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery, the British super spy travels back in time to the ’60s to regain his “mojo,” which has been stolen by the aptly named Dr. Evil.
Back to the Future III
The final Back to the Future adventure sends Marty back in time to the Old West to save Doc before he ends up murdered. The mix of sci-fi, action, and the wild west makes for a fun last hurrah for this time-traveling franchise.
Bad Boys For Life reminded everyone that Will Smith and Martin Lawrence are still a total dream team, but it’s hard to top their chemistry in the franchise’s first movie. Unlikely partners Mike and Marcus not only always have each other’s backs, but they manage to quip their way through multiple Miami shootouts in this Michael Bay-directed favorite. Watch this one to see Smith as he was solidifying himself as a Hollywood superstar.
Ever wished you could watch a buddy movie where the buddies were a dragon and a knight? Well, have I got the movie for you. Dragonheart stars Dennis Quaid as a knight who scams money out of villagers by pretending to kill the dragon Draco (voiced by Sean Connery) over and over again. These unlikely pals get drawn into a much darker story when Quaid’s knight finds himself torn between saving the kingdom and killing his scaly friend for real.
Pierce Brosnan‘s James Bond debut isn’t as sleek as the modern Daniel Craig era of the franchise, but there’s no denying that the actor is the very definition of suave. GoldenEye kicks off Brosnan’s Bond films by pitting 007 against his friend-turned-nemesis Agent 006 (Sean Bean), who has a space weapon that could destroy earth.
The Mask of Zorro
If you saw The Mask of Zorro in the ’90s, then there’s an excellent chance that you had a crush on Antonio Banderas. The actor is utterly charming as a rakish drunk in training to become the new Zorro. Watching him sword fight with baddies and woo Catherine Zeta-Jones‘s Elena is just as much fun now as it was when the movie was released in 1998.
Red pill or blue pill? The now iconic question is first posed in The Matrix, the indelible sci-fi/action film that introduced the world to Keanu Reeves‘s Neo. The revolutionary movie about one man’s search to uncover the truth about the Matrix is full of unforgettable action sequences and special effects that still wow after two decades.
Dustin Hoffman, Rene Russo, Morgan Freeman, and McDreamy himself, Patrick Dempsey, all star in Outbreak, a movie about an airborne virus that rapidly spreads through a California town. Given the current climate, this already intense movie is even more unsettling, but it also features a bevy of top-notch performance and a more cerebral action movie experience than some of the other movies on this list.
Before John Krasinski played CIA agent Jack Ryan on the small screen, Harrison Ford brought the character to life in Patriot Games. After thwarting a London terrorist attack, the brother of the terrorist that Jack kills comes after him and his family. Oh, and the bad guy? He’s played by ’90s go-to villain Sean Bean.
Nicole Kidman‘s Dr. Julia Kelly and George Clooney‘s Lt. Col. Thomas Devoe team up to track down missing nuclear weapons before they can fall into the wrong hands in this taut thriller. They soon discover that a Yugoslav terrorist is planning to use the weapons to destroy New York, which leads to some intense action scenes and two stellar performances from the movie’s leads.
Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves
Sorry Disney, but the scariest sheriff of Nottingham will always be Alan Rickman. While Robin Hood’s backstory is just a tad bit convoluted in Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves, seeing Kevin Costner and Rickman try to outwit each other more than makes up for the movie’s slow start.
A master thief, cold fusion secrets, and a thrilling double-cross make this Val Kilmer film a fast-paced, continent-hopping good time. Kilmer plays Simon Templar, a debonair thief who finds a target on his back when the top-secret formula he steals during one of his jobs turns out to be incomplete. Elisabeth Shue costars as the only doctor who can help him out of his jam.
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
Prepare for some major childhood nostalgia, because Netflix has the first live-action Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie streaming right now. In between eating pizza and bickering with each other, Raphael, Michelangelo, Donatello, and Leonardo are on a mission to stop one of Splinter’s former students who has gone bad in the turtles’ debut blockbuster.
The World Is Not Enough
Brosnan’s James Bond movies definitely get sillier toward the end of his reign, but The World Is Not Enough is still a total action romp. In this one, Bond is trying to save the world’s oil supply while protecting the daughter of a murdered oil tycoon.