13 Best Indian Action Movies on Netflix Right Now

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One of the best things about Netflix, and arguably streaming in general, is its ability to promote films that would otherwise be difficult for the average consumer to track down. While the dreaded algorithm has its issues for sure, it’s allowed a vast content library of films from around the world to gain more popularity and viewership than they would otherwise.


India, the country with the highest film output in the world, has always been a big name in the world of cinema but over the past decade has become something of an international powerhouse. Regardless of what language you are watching their films in, it’s unmistakable where you are watching them from, and their action films in particular are some of the best out there. The best Indian action movies on Netflix represent the best, boldest, and most entertaining of the genre, and will have viewers binge-watching for countless hours.


13 ‘Beast’ (2022)

Directed by Nelson Dilipkumar

Not to be confused with a similarly named 2022 film about Idris Elba fighting a tiger, Beast is best described as “Die Hard in a mall” as it follows an ex-RAW agent who aims to rescue hostages in a shopping mall that has been overcome by terrorists. It’s as basic a story as you can get for these kinds of films, so it lives or dies on its action.

But what action! A crowd-pleaser with a great lead performance, Beast is the kind of film where you are just waiting to turn your brain off and enjoy the ride. Sure, it’s not going to win any awards, but it’s too much fun to ignore, and its climax is as ridiculous as you would expect.

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12 ‘Saaho’ (2019)

Directed by Sujeeth

A still from the Bollywood film Saaho

India really seems to love its crime films. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing though if audiences get movies like Saaho, a film about two covert operatives who discover a brewing gang war that could have disastrous consequences.

Admittedly, Saaho‘s story goes to absurd places, but like a lot of films from this era of Indian cinema, that comes to be expected, and it’s a ton of fun regardless. When the actual movie itself is this well-made to boot – the action sequences and VFX in particular are stellar – it’s hard to complain, and its performances are great across the board, making it a must-see Indian flick on Netflix.

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11 ‘Sooryavanshi’ (2021)

Directed by Rohit Shetty

A still from the Bollywood film Sooryavanshi

As the 4th installment of Rohit Shetty‘s so-called “Cop Universe”, Sooryavanshi works as a good introduction to the series as it stands alone as its own story. Following Veer Sooryavanshi, head of the Anti-Terrorism Squad tracking down sleeper cells in the 1990s, and outside of brief cameos from other characters in the universe it works mainly as a standalone entry for this particular character.

While its politics aren’t exactly the best, that’s true of most cop films around the world, and as such, as long as you can ignore that fact, you’ll find that Sooryavanshi still has some of the best action and setpiece design in the business. And in the end, that’s what most fans are coming here for in terms of action films, and Sooryavanshi does its job wonderfully in that regard.

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10 ‘Dhamaka’ (2021)

Directed by Ram Madhvani

A still from the Indian action movie Dhamaka

While more of a thriller than a straight action film, Dhamaka contains a solid amount of action regardless and is a more serious affair compared to some others featured on Netflix. A remake of the acclaimed South Korean film The Terror Live, it follows a news anchor who starts fearing for his life after interviewing a terrorist who had recently blown up a bridge.

While its premise is a hard pill to swallow due to the circumstances, Dhamaka is a suitably tense, well-directed espionage film that also brings out a great lead performance from its main star Kartik Aaryan. Even beyond that though, it’s a great commentary on how corrupt officials exploit those for personal gain and how it’s connected to the current news landscape.

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9 ‘Don’ (2006)

Directed by Farhan Akhtar

Don

A high-octane, slick throwback to the action films of the 70s, Don is one of the more famous Indian films for a reason. Following a drug lord who is wounded and the lookalike that is hired to impersonate him, Don is unique among action films of the 2000s in that it’s less a “good vs evil” storyline and more of a battle between morally ambiguous individuals in a classic neo-noir setting.

The action scenes are the reason to turn up for Don though, as its chase scenes and cinematography are to die for. There is an energy and momentum to the film that makes it a breeze to watch despite its hefty 169-minute runtime, which ensures that audiences will have a ton of moments to choose from for their big memorable scene.

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8 ‘Malang’ (2020)

Directed by Mohit Suri

malang-film
Image via Yash Raj Films

Stylish as hell, Malang follows a killer with a purpose who is on the run from cops and other criminals. The less said now the better, as part of the fun with Malang is its twists and turns that constantly make it difficult to predict where it’s going to go next in terms of story. It’s one of those movies viewers should go into blind.

Obviously, that’s part of the fun for audiences, and once viewers figure out what’s really going on, everything becomes clear as day. The drug-infused editing is a highlight here, as it makes each action scene pop in ways viewers wouldn’t expect.

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7 ‘An Action Hero’ (2022)

Directed by Anirudh Iyer

Ayushmann Khurrana in an action hero
Image via T-Series

An Action Hero follows the story of Maanav (played by Ayushmann Khurrana), a 30-year-old man who is at the height of his popularity and acting career, with seemingly everything going his way. His life soon gets completely turned around as he is caught up in an accusation of murder, transforming his life into the eccentric action movies that he usually stars in. Maanav is soon forced to flee his own country, with a vengeful politician hot on his trail looking for revenge.

More than simply having the signature high-octane action and choreography that Indian films are known for, An Action Hero‘s greatest highlight is its satirical tone and social commentary. The film has a lot of effective messages about the media landscape and its relationship with insiders and tells these messages in a hilarious black comedy style that works wonders for the film. It makes for the rare Indian action movie that will just as easily have its audience laughing out loud as it will have them mystified by the glorious action on display. – Rob Lee

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6 ‘Major’ (2022)

Directed by Sashi Kiran Tikka

Major

A biopic that also works as a stellar action film in its own right, Major is the true life story of Major Sandeep Unnikrishnan who was martyred in the 2008 Mumbai terrorist attacks. While this film could have had the potential to become a jingoistic one, it instead opts for a more personal look into the life of Sandeep, keeping its stakes small rather than large.

Because of that, Major packs an unsurprising emotional wallop, no small part thanks to Adivi Sesh‘s stellar lead performance. But even beyond that, this is just a well-made film from top to bottom, with some amazing action sequences, great cinematography, and one of the best scores of 2022.

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5 ‘Baahubali’ (2015)

Directed by S. S. Rajamouli

baahubali-prabhas
Image via Arka Media Works

The most expensive film made in India at the time of its release, Baahubali is a historical epic set in medieval India even if it openly (and lovingly) plays loose with history to great effect. Following two cousins who rival over the throne, the large-scale story spans dozens of years and tons of characters – so much so to the point that it was split into two 3-hour films each.

It’s certainly a beefy watch for sure, but as a whole, it’s hard to find a more enjoyable full package than the entirety of Baahubali. If anything, the film will make audiences wish that Hollywood films were just as unique, entertaining, and varied as it was in regard to their setpieces. The film makes expert use of its massive budget and accomplishes action feats that were simply unheard of in Indian filmmaking at the time, revolutionizing the industry as a whole.

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4 ‘Minnal Murali’ (2021)

Directed by Basil Joseph

Minnal-Murali tries to get back up again

Minnal Murali follows the story of Jaison, an everyday tailor who gains special superpowers after being struck by lightning. He soon adapts the superhero persona of Minnal Murali, and is forced to take down an unexpected villain in order to become the savior and protector that his hometown in Kerala needs.

The 2021 film acts as an Indian answer to the massive boom in superhero action movies during the 2010s. Minnal Murali is able to combine the fantastic power fantasy of a superhero origin story with the blazing action that Indian filmmaking is famous for. The final product is one that is highly refreshing when it comes to both standard superhero movies and the average Indian action film, as it combines the best aspects of both to become its own one-of-a-kind thrill ride. – Rob Lee

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3 ‘Eega’ (2012)

Directed by S. S. Rajamouli

A still from the Bollywood action film Eega

Eega follows the story of Nani, a flower decorator who is madly in love with his neighbor Bindhu. Sadly, Nani ends up being the victim of a nefarious plot by a powerful businessman Sudeep, and ends up losing his life at the hands of Sudeep. However, this isn’t where Nani’s story ends, as he is soon reincarnated as an ordinary housefly, yet still retains his memories as a human, and embarks on a quest of revenge upon Sudeep.

It’s hard to believe that a film with the premise of Eega even exists, but not only does this housefly revenge film actually exist, but it fully delivers on the absurdity and insanity of its premise. Eega perfectly portrays its unbelievable premise with enough skill and comedy on display to actually make it work as a genuine action film, complete with numerous iconic action sequences throughout. So rarely are revenge films able to be as hilarious as Eega, but it’s all for the better when it means the audience gets to witness a housefly pulling off its glorious revenge upon a human. – Rob Lee

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2 ‘Haider’ (2014)

Directed by Vishal Bhardwaj

Haider

A controversial film at the time of its release due to its portrayals of the Kashmir conflicts of the 1990s, Haider is an adaptation of Hamlet while also working as a political tale. Following a young student searching for his father, it finds him being tangled in a quest for revenge and the politics of the state as he goes further and further into darkness.

A tragic tale that harkens back to the days of Shakespeare, Haider‘s excellent and brutal action scenes are only one part of the puzzle. Instead, Haider is also a fantastic look into a dark period of India’s history, portraying it with a self-critical lens and hoping that the later generations learn from their past mistakes in history.

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1 ‘RRR’ (2022)

Directed by S. S. Rajamouli

a man on horseback and a man on a motorcycle traversing the desert

Maybe the most popular foreign film in the US this year, RRR needs little introduction, but for audiences who are unfamiliar with Indian cinema, this is a great first viewing. Set in the 1920s, the film follows the fictional friendship of two Indian revolutionaries who fought against British rule.

RRR plays out like a superhero movie with real-life figures, and it’s as ridiculously entertaining, sincere, and emotionally charged as you would expect it to be. It’s a genuine crowd-pleaser, and S.S. Rajamouli proves himself to be one of our great living action film directors from any country. The film made such a massive impact on release that it even managed to earn an Oscar for Best Original Song, proving that the enthusiasm and future for Indian filmmaking as a whole is bright.

RRR

Release Date
March 25, 2022

Director
S.S. Rajamouli

Cast
Ram Charan, Ajay Devgn

Rating
R

Runtime
187

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