There are a lot of movies on Netflix, so finding the right ones for you can be tricky. While there are a ton of categories to choose from, undoubtedly one of the biggest is action and adventure. Full of everything from pirates to superheroes to globe-spanning journeys, adventure films are designed to wow audiences. However, with so many to choose from one has to wonder what the best adventure movies are on Netflix.
If you want something scarier, consider reading our list on the top 30 underrated horror films of all time or checking out our picks for the best sci-fi movies on Netflix.
When picking our choices, we did not limit ourselves to pure adventure films. This genre typically melds with others such as action, science fiction, and even comedy. Given Netflix’s library is on constant rotation, we will be updating this piece every month with new entries and taking out ones that aren’t online anymore. Make sure to check back with us each month to see if any great, new adventure films have been added!
See Also: Best Sports Movies on Disney Plus
(Author’s Note: This list is in no particular order.)
1. Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark
Release Date: June 12, 1981
IMDB Rating: 8.5 out of 10
Starring: Harrison Ford, Karen Allen, Paul Freeman
Perhaps one of the most important and well-known adventure films of all time, Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark is a phenomenal film. The film follows archeologist Indiana Jones as he attempts to stop the Nazis from obtaining the Ark of the Covenant. Full of terrific actions, great humor, and endearing characters it’s hard not to fall in love with this film. Directed by Steven Speilberg, this is a classic action/adventure movie that should be seen at least once by everyone. If you are new to the genre and don’t know where to start, make Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark your first choice.
2. Spy Kids
Release Date: March 31, 2001
IMDB Rating: 5.5 out of 10
Starring: Antonio Banderas, Carla Gugino, Alan Cumming
Spy Kids is one of those weird and wacky children films that feels like a 9-year old’s fever dream. The story follows two young children who learn that their parents are spies after they become captured by an evil villain. With the fate of the world and their parent’s at stake, the siblings must embrace the life of a spy to save them. At its core, Spy Kids is a fun, entertaining ride that is full of neat gadgets, good action set pieces and plenty of slapstick humor.
3. National Treasure
Release Date: November 19, 2005
IMDB Rating: 6.9 out of 10
Starring: Nicolas Cage, Diane Kruger, Justin Bartha
National Treasure is a perfectly ridiculous movie but it’s a damn good time. The plot revolves around a treasure hunter searching for clues on some of the United States most historical items and locations. Audiences will be sent across the United States to some of the most important landmarks in the country’s history. Director Jon Turteltaub never lets his film get too serious, as many elements lean into the comedic aspects of the story. This isn’t a film that aspires to be anything more than just a relaxed, entertaining time.
4. Thor: Ragnarok
Release Date: November 3, 2017
IMDB Rating: 7.9 out of 10
Starring: Chris Hemsworth, Tom Hiddleston, Cate Blanchet, Mark Ruffalo
The third entry in Marvel’s Thor franchise, Ragnarok continues the adventures of everyone’s favorite Asgardian god. After being defeated by a new evil, Thor and his brother Loki are stranded on a new planet. Undoubtedly the best of the Thor films, director Taika Waititi delivers a fantastic film full of thrilling action, witty comedy, and some truly emotional moments. All of the characters are fantastic and Cate Blanchet’s evil goddess Hela is one of Marvel’s best antagonists. Even if you’re unfamiliar with the Marvel Cinematic Universe, it’s difficult to not enjoy Thor: Ragnarok.
5. Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers
Release Date: December 18, 2002
IMDB Rating: 8.7 out of 10
Starring: Ian McKellen, Sean Astin, Elijah wood
Curiously only the second and third installment of the now-iconic Lord of the Rings trilogy has been added onto Netflix. If you missed the first movie, you might want to check it out before viewing The Two Towers. That being said, this is still a superb adventure film that has helped forever change the genre. If you’re looking for a grand adventure full of great characters, world-building, and action then you shouldn’t skip on The Lord of the Ring trilogy.
6. Sherlock Holmes
Release Date: December 25, 2009
IMDB Rating: 7.6 out of 10
Starring: Robert Downey Jr., Jude Law, Rachael, McAdams
If you’re a fan of Sherlock Holmes than you should absolutely see director Guy Ritchie’s take on this famous detective. Full of style, humor, and great action, Sherlock Holmes is a fast-paced film that’s elevated by its fantastic performances. Both Robert Downey Jr. and Jude Law have fantastic chemistry, making it difficult not to smile when they’re on screen. The story is full of fun twists and solid action that keeps the film moving at a blistering pace.
Release Date: April 2, 2004
IMDB Rating: 6.9 out of 10
Starring: Ron Pearlman, John Hurt, Doug Jones
Directed by Guillermo del Toro, Hellboy is a dark and thrilling comic book film that remains one of the most faithful adaptations of this character. The story revolves around a demon raised to fight other paranormal monsters, which is just as entertaining as it sounds. Yet, Hellboy goes beyond its great action, as Del Toro focuses on the different characters and their relationships with one another. Pearlman delivers a steller Hellboy that’s both intimidating and downright lovable. Just skip the new movie and watch this one instead.
8. Eight Legged Freaks
Release Date: July 17, 2007
IMDB Rating: 5.4 out of 10
Starring: David Arquette, Kari Wuhrer, Scott Terra
Arachnophobes beware, Eight Legged Freaks is full of giant spiders of all shapes and species. While Eight Legged Freaks may have the trappings of a horror film, it’s actually rather funny thanks to director Ellory Elkayem’s focus on the B-movie aesthetic. Revolving around a small town overrun with mutated spiders, Eight Legged Freaks is a joyous throwback to drive-in films and late night creature features. If you are hungering for a movie that isn’t afraid to poke fun at itself then Eight Legged Freaks might be for you.
9. Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse
Release Date: December 14, 2018
IMDB Rating: 8.5 out of 10
Starring: Shameik Moore, Jake Johnson, Hailee Steinfield
Considered by many to be the best Spider-Man film ever made, Into the Spider-Verse follows Miles Morales’ transformation into this iconic hero. After multiple realities merge together, a variety of different Spider-Men must join forces to stop some of the heroes most iconic villains. What separates Into the Spider-Verse is the jaw-dropping art style and wonderfully heartfelt story.
It’s a superb movie that understands and embraces the best aspects of the Spider-Man comics and mythos. Great for newcomers and Spider-Man fanatics, there are a ton of references made throughout the film. There’s a reason that this film was nominated for an Oscar.
10. Love, Death & Robots
Release Date: March 15, 2019
IMDB Rating: 8.8 out of 10
Starring: Scott Whyte, Nolan North, Matthew Yang King
So we’re breaking our rules a bit for this one, but Love, Death & Robots is such a short television series that it could double as an anthology film. A collection of science fiction and cyberpunk stories, each episode explores different themes tied to this genre. Boasting a collection of different animation styles, Love, Death & Robots is jaw-droppingly gorgeous and quite deep despite the tight time constraints. Even though some stories are better than others, Love, Death & Robots is a must watch for sci-fi fans.
11. Scott Pilgrim vs. The World
Release Date: August 13, 2010
IMDB Rating: 7.5 out of 10
Starring: Michael Cera, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Kieran Culkin
Looking for something a bit zanier? Scott Pilgrim vs. The World is a charming movie full of quirky humor, visually dynamic action, and fun video game inspirations. Based on the hit manga, we follow Scott Pilgrim has he attempts to win the affection of a mysterious woman by defeating her deadly ex-boyfriends. It’s as silly as it sounds, but the film still finds a way to be endearing and lovable. Even though it’s not a globe-spanning epic, this is still a terrific movie that’s worth watching.
Release Date: November 22, 2017
IMDB Rating: 8.4 out of 10
Starring: Anthony Gonzalez, Gael García Bernal, Benjamin Bratt
A delightfully entertaining movie, Coco follows the story of a young boy who’s transported to the Land of the Dead. This colorful film is one of the most emotional animated films to release in years. All of the characters are instantly lovable, especially the young child Miguel who goes through a harrowing adventure. Filled with terrific music, animation, and locations if you want a great family film this is the one for you.
13. Jupiter Ascending
Release Date: February 6, 2015
IMDB Rating: 5.3 out of 10
Starring: Mila Kunis, Channing Tatum, Sean Bean
Of all the entries on our list, this will surely be one of the most controversial. Jupiter Ascending isn’t a perfect film, but it’s one that has a lot of potential and ambition. The story follows a young woman who discovers she’s the heiress to a noble family bent on destroying Earth. While the story can be a bit weak at times, the engaging characters, creatures, and worlds will keep you watching. Don’t go in expecting a masterpiece, but if you want a generally entertaining science fiction film give this one a try.
14. Star Wars: The Last Jedi
Release Date: December 15, 2017
IMDB Rating: 7.2 out of 10
Starring: Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher, Adam Driver, Daisy Ridley
The eighth entry in the core Star Wars series, The Last Jedi is a bold and controversial film that has divided the fanbase. A lot of this is due to director Rian Johnson’s decision to move away and subvert the typical Star Wars formula. Following the aftermath of the previous Star Wars film, The Last Jedi sees the Resistance being chased by The First Order.
It’s this cat and mouse structure that helps carry the momentum from scene to scene. With the latest installment recently announced, we recommend checking out this movie at least once before seeing the ninth and final installment.
15. Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade
Release Date: May 24, 1989
IMDB Rating: 8.2 out of 10
Starring: Harrison Ford, Sean Connery, Alison Doody
The third Indiana Jones film is considered by many to be the best in the franchise. Focusing on archeologist/adventurer Indiana Jones’s relationship with his father, this is a far more emotional journey. Full of action and humor, The Last Crusade has some terrific setpieces that stand as some of the best in the adventure genre. Harrison Ford is fantastic as always, but the real surprise is how entertaining Sean Connery is as Indiana’s father. Both actors have incredible chemistry, which helps sell their complicated history.
Release Date: August 9, 2002
IMDB Rating: 5.9 out of 10
Starring: Vin Diesel, Samuel L. Jackson, Asia Argento
This is a very, very, very silly movie. Directed by Rob Cohen, xXx revolves around an extreme sports athlete turned into a government spy. It’s ridiculous, over the top, and an excellent action/adventure film to turn on if you want to shut your brain off for a couple of hours. If you don’t expect much from xXx then you should have a generally good time with this flick. Just make sure to skip the sequel, it’s just plain awful.
17. Swiss Army Man
Release Date: July 1, 2016
IMDB Rating: 7.0 out of 10
Starring: Paul Dano, Daniel Radcliffe, Mary Elizabeth Winstead
Swiss Army Man is a surreal, but charming film that doesn’t get enough love. Set on a deserted island, Swiss Army Man follows the story of a man who befriends a dead body in order to keep his sanity. Saying anything more would spoil some of the movie’s best moments, but rest assured it’s way more entertaining than it sounds. Radcliffe is absolutely phenomenal and Dano’s journey is simply captivating. Simultaneously hilarious and heartwarming, Swiss Army Man is a wonderful film from start to finish. Seriously, don’t skip this film while it’s on Netflix.
18. Monty Python and the Holy Grail
Release Date: May 25, 1975
IMDB Rating: 8.3 out of 10
Starring: Graham Chapman, John Cleese, Eric Idle
And now for something completely different. Monty Python and the Holy Grail sees the famed British comedy troop assuming the role of knights hunting for this mystical item. As to be expected, the writing is stellar, making the movie instantly quotable. If you’ve never seen this film we strongly encourage you to give it a try. There’s a very good reason this is considered one of the most iconic comedy films of all time.
19. Clash of the Titans
Release Date: April 2, 2010
IMDB Rating: 5.8 out of 10
Starring: Sam Worthington, Liam Neeson. Ralph Fiennes
A remake of the original, Clash of the Titan’s is a cheesy, over the top action movie. Focusing on a fisherman turned warrior discovering that he is the son of Zeus, Clash of the Titans relishes in its nonsensical plot. Don’t expect a philosophically deep story, as this film focuses on delivering great action, silly one-liners, and cartoonish versions of the gods. Yet, this makes the Clash of the Titans endearing, since it never tries to be more than what it is. If you’re looking for a silly action film than you should have an enjoyable time with Clash of the Titans.
20. Mowgli: Legend of the Jungle
Release Date: December 7, 2018
IMDB Rating: 6.5 out of 10
Starring: Christian Bale, Cate Blanchett, Benedict Cumberbatch
The second of two live-action Jungle Book adaptations, Mowgli is directed by acclaimed actor Andy Serkis. Visually stunning, Serkis delivers a beautiful, yet haunting depiction of a young human raised by various animals in the jungle. Boasting an impressive, all-star cast of voice actors, Mowgli is a terrific and different adaption of this Disney animated film. Make no mistake, this is a much darker take that respects the source material, while simultaneously forging its own vision.
21. Avengers: Infinity War
Release Date: April 27, 2018
IMDB Rating: 8.5 out of 10
Starring: Robert Downey Jr., Chris Hemsworth, Chris Evans, Mark Ruffalo
This is the big one. Avengers: Infinity War is the culmination of over ten years of Marvel films condensed into a two-part epic. With the second half hitting theaters at the time of writing this, Avengers: Infinity War follows Earth’s mightiest heroes trying to stop the evil alien Thanos from obtaining six powerful stones that can decimate the universe. There’s a lot going on and while the movie is still enjoyable without any prior MCU knowledge, this film is clearly for the fans. Avengers: Infinity War is one of the most ambitious crossovers in film history.