Tom Cruise has been storming the Hollywood blockbuster scene as of late, and his latest hit is Paramount Pictures and director Christopher McQuarrie’s Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part One. McQuarrie has a fantastic eye for action thrillers, making it easy to get lost in high-stakes fight scenes or massive set pieces, and Netflix has a respectable catalogue of similar films that are every bit as good.
The streamer is still one of the leaders in the crowded TV and movie streaming market, with plenty of action movies to satiate viewers’ hunger for thrills. From the British equivalent of the Mission: Impossible franchise in the form of the James Bond movies to original productions like Extraction, Netflix has a few movies that are more than worth watching after you check out Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part One.
Adapted from British author Ian Fleming’s series of James Bond novels, the film adaptations have gone through a series of reboots, and Daniel Craig has made a strong impression in the modern era. Directors Martin Campbell’s Casino Royale is a superb start and Cary Joji Fukunaga’s No Time to Die is a satisfying close to this iteration of Bond, but Sam Mendes’ Skyfall arguably stands as Craig’s greatest showing as the spy.
Skyfall sees the elite MI6 agent sent to investigate a chilling series of data leaks by the villainous Raoul Silva (Javier Bardem) that target the British intelligence organization. It’s a riveting action-thriller, combining tense fight sequences and the James Bond series’ vintage brand of kooky gadgets and striking set pieces. The movie also has an engrossing emotional core, intertwining the character arcs of Bond, M (Judi Dench), and the chilling villain himself to craft a deeply intimate affair.
Extraction 2 (2023)
Though on a comparatively smaller scale — and certainly more violent — than the Mission: Impossible movies, director Sam Hargrave’s Extraction 2 is another over-the-top action movie worth getting into. It’s the filmmaker’s second feature-length film in the director’s chair following 2020’s Extraction, and it builds upon the original’s strengths and shores up some of its weaker areas.
The film follows Marvel Cinematic Universe star Chris Hemsworth (Thor: Love and Thunder, Avengers: Endgame) as Tyler Rake, a former Australian SAS operator now plying his trade as a black ops mercenary. Rake is hired to rescue the wife and children of a brutal, abusive criminal kingpin and soon finds himself having to protect the family from the crime syndicate itself. With a more interesting story and a doubling down on the thrilling action, Extraction 2 is a welcome sequel. A third movie is already in the works at Netflix, with Hargrave and Hemsworth returning to direct and star, respectively.
Clear and Present Danger (1994)
Actor Harrison Ford (Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope, Blade Runner) is another titan of Hollywood whose latest film, Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny, is currently in theaters. And while not quite as well-known as his other characters, his portrayal of Jack Ryan, especially in 1994’s Clear and Present Danger, is quite solid. Adapted from author Tom Clancy’s novel of the same name, which was a sequel to The Hunt for Red October, director Phillip Noyce’s movie centers around Ford’s CIA agent.
Ryan gets appointed as the acting deputy director of the CIA, only to discover that his colleagues are keeping a dark conspiratorial secret from him. The latter group is taking part in a shadow war against a Colombian drug cartel — with the U.S. President’s apparent consent. Noyce’s Clear and Present Danger revels in its thriller plot tropes and bombastic action, with Ford doing an expectedly great job of spearheading the story.
Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning, Part One is now playing in theaters, with the second part of the story arriving on June 28, 2024.