15 Movies Like John Wick to Watch if You Love Action

15 Movies Like John Wick to Watch if You Love Action: The best movies like John Wick are the ones that–like John Wick the character and John Wick the film–go above and beyond what action fans expect.

Movies like John Wick achieve their level of cultural impact by going above and beyond what audiences have come to expect from action thrillers. Each John Wick sequel has upped the ante from the standard set by its predecessor, and the franchise has developed a huge fan base over the years, leading to John Wick: Chapter 4 being one of 2023’s biggest releases and the highest-grossing entry into the franchise yet.

1. The Raid 2 (2014)

The Raid 2 | April 11, 2014 (United States) Summary: Only a short time after the first raid, Rama goes undercover with the thugs of Jakarta and plans to bring down the syndicate and uncover the corruption within his police force.
Countries: Indonesia, United StatesLanguages: Indonesian, Japanese, English, Sign Languages

This movie is a paradox, blurring the lines between post-apocalyptic and neo-noir genres. Directed by Terry Gilliam, known for his work with Monty Python, it transports us to 2035, a world ravaged by a deadly virus. James Cole, portrayed by Bruce Willis, is a prisoner sent back to 1996 to prevent the virus’s release and find a cure. The majority of the film is set in 1996 as Cole pursues the enigmatic group known as the Army of the Twelve Monkeys, believed to be responsible for the pandemic.

2. Nobody (2021)

Nobody | March 26, 2021 (United States) Summary: A docile family man slowly reveals his true character after his house gets burgled by two petty thieves, which, coincidentally, leads him into a bloody war with a Russian crime boss.
Countries: United States, Japan, ChinaLanguages: English, Russian, Spanish

The very new-age action-filled dark comedy that everyone’s talking about is Nobody, a movie that takes the “old guys kicking ass” genre to the next level. As the most recent movie on this list, it’s starting to become obvious that studios are catching up with what audiences want: mindless violence paired with dark humor. Though it isn’t the first film to do this, it seems they’ve already perfected the formula, only made better by Bob Odenkirk’s awesome performance and line deliveries. What makes this movie similar to John Wick is the sheer resilience of the protagonist, able to recover from injuries that would destroy any others.

3. Hardcore Henry (2015)

Hardcore Henry | April 8, 2016 (United States) Summary: Henry is resurrected from death with no memory, and he must save his wife from a telekinetic warlord with a plan to bio-engineer soldiers.
Countries: Russia, United States, ChinaLanguages: English, Russian

The excessive and over-the-top violence in ‘Hardcore Henry’ quickly captured the audience’s attention. With a Bond-esque introduction that’s violently intense, no disclaimers are needed. Shot entirely from a first-person perspective, this film is uniquely capable of making viewers sympathize with a protagonist who lacks a face and a voice. Notably, the appearance of Sharlto Copley clones adds to the film’s comedic self-awareness of its own absurdity. If you’re seeking intense, over-the-top action, ‘Hardcore Henry’ takes you on a progressively more absurd journey leading to its twisted conclusion.

4. Atomic Blonde (2017)

Atomic Blonde | July 28, 2017 (United States) Summary: An undercover MI6 agent is sent to Berlin during the Cold War to investigate the murder of a fellow agent and recover a missing list of double agents.
Countries: United States, Sweden, HungaryLanguages: English, German, Russian, Swedish

“Atomic Blonde” is a thrilling retro espionage film that establishes Charlize Theron as a formidable leading lady. Set in Berlin during the Cold War, Theron’s character, Lorraine Broughton, is a British spy navigating a city in turmoil. Trust is in short supply, leading to numerous plot twists. The inclusion of James McAvoy as Theron’s counterpart enhances the film, with their on-screen chemistry adding to its appeal.

5. The Night Comes for Us (2018)

The Night Comes for Us | October 19, 2018 (United States) Summary: Ito, a gangland enforcer, is caught amidst a treacherous and violent insurrection within his Triad crime family upon his return home from a stint abroad.
Countries: Indonesia, United StatesLanguages: Indonesian, English, Mandarin, French

Based on a graphic novel, ‘The Night Comes for Us‘ tells a compelling and gruesome tale of the Triad, a powerful Chinese crime syndicate. The movie’s action, reminiscent of ‘Kill Bill’ and ‘John Wick,’ is both graphic and entertaining. However, what sets it apart is its bleak and hopeless tone from the beginning, leaving an enduring, art-house-like impression.

6. The Man From Nowhere (2010)

The Man from Nowhere | August 5, 2010 (South Korea) Summary: A quiet pawnshop keeper with a violent past takes on a drug-and-organ trafficking ring in hope of saving the child who is his only friend.
Countries: South KoreaLanguages: Korean, English

Director Lee Jeong-beom’s breakout action thriller was a huge hit in its native South Korea and has steadily become a word-of-mouth action movie favorite across the world. As is the case with many of the best movies like John Wick, the plot of the film isn’t particularly unique, as it follows the typical mysterious loner as he brushes up against a group of criminals, only for him to reveal himself as an unstoppable killing machine with a troubled past. However, the movie’s gleeful construction–and lead actor Won Bin’s unflinching delivery–of an iconic action hero badass makes The Man from Nowhere a must-see for fans of the towering John Wick persona.

7. The Bourne Identity (2002)

The Bourne Identity | June 14, 2002 (United States) Summary: A man is picked up by a fishing boat, bullet-riddled and suffering from amnesia, before racing to elude assassins and attempting to regain his memory.
Countries: United States, Germany, Czech RepublicLanguages: English, French, German, Dutch, Italian, Yoruba

Few modern Hollywood stars have lived up to the contemporary standard set by Matt Damon in the role of Robert Ludlum’s ever-popular superspy Jason Bourne and Damon’s first outing as the character is a must-see for action fans looking for movies like John Wick. Starting out the story as a man with no name, no memory, and several bullet wounds on his back, Damon forges a path forward for all modern action heroes with his character’s journey to discover his true identity. He gives a famously internalized performance that never skimps on the ice-cold precision of an unyielding movie assassin like John Wick.

8. Extraction (2020)

Extraction | April 24, 2020 (United States) Summary: Tyler Rake, a fearless black market mercenary, embarks on the most deadly extraction of his career when he's enlisted to rescue the kidnapped son of an imprisoned international crime lord.
Countries: United StatesLanguages: English, Hindi, Bengali

Avengers stunt coordinator Sam Hargrave made his directorial debut with a Netflix action-thriller. The movie follows a hired gun, played by Chris Hemsworth, on a mission to rescue a boy in Dhaka. It impressed viewers with intense fight scenes, remarkable long takes, and expertly choreographed action sequences. Teaming up with MCU collaborators, the Russo brothers, Hargrave demonstrates how a stunt performer’s understanding of an actor’s abilities can lead to exceptional results when they step into the director’s chair.

9. A History Of Violence (2005)

A History of Violence | September 30, 2005 (United States) Summary: A mild-mannered man becomes a local hero through an act of violence, which sets off repercussions that will shake his family to its very core.
Countries: United States, Canada, United Kingdom, GermanyLanguages: English

“A History of Violence” is an action thriller film that leans more towards domestic drama than gunplay. However, under the direction of renowned horror filmmaker David Cronenberg, it matches the intensity and gore of the John Wick franchise. Viggo Mortensen portrays a small-town family man who becomes a local hero after a violent incident. Cronenberg captures explicit moments with meticulous detail, staying true to the source material.

Similar to John Wick, the film’s core strength lies in the lead actor’s performance. Mortensen’s portrayal of a tormented man whose violent past resurfaces is emotionally compelling. His transformation into a formidable gangster from his youth is both captivating and terrifying, making him a worthy adversary for someone like John Wick.”

10. Mission: Impossible – Fallout (2018)

Mission: Impossible - Fallout | July 27, 2018 (United States) Summary: Ethan Hunt and his IMF team, along with some familiar allies, race against time after a mission gone wrong.
Countries: United States, China, France, NorwayLanguages: English, French

Re-teaming with his frequent creative collaborator Christopher McQuarrie, Tom Cruise upped the realism in the stunts of his flagship Mission: Impossible franchise to an unprecedented degree for the sixth installment, with all the biggest ones directly involving him. This happened no doubt in part because Fallout also broke new ground for the series in the sense that McQuarrie was its first director to return for a second movie.

The depth of the professional relationship that Cruise and McQuarrie have formed over the years is worthy of comparison to the one that Keanu Reeves has with John Wick director Chad Stahelski. The story of Cruise’s determined superspy, Ethan Hunt, battling to stop nuclear Armageddon calls for some outlandish set pieces that the crew realized an uncommonly high percentage of in-camera. Like the John Wick movies, the Mission: Impossible franchise is always upping the ante, with Cruise promising even bigger death-defying stunts for the two-part follow-up to Fallout​​​​.

11. Bullet Train (2022)

Bullet Train | August 5, 2022 (United States) Summary: Five assassins aboard a swiftly-moving bullet train find out that their missions have something in common.
Countries: Japan, United StatesLanguages: English, Japanese, Spanish, Russian

It shouldn’t surprise fans of the franchise that some of the best movies like John Wick come from the co-director of the original John Wick movie, David Leitch. Adapted from the novel Maria Beetle by Kōtarō Isaka, Bullet Train follows a covert operative, played by Brad Pitt, who gets reluctantly pulled into a labyrinthian gangster revenge plot that unfolds on a bullet train from Tokyo to Kyoto that’s filled with competing assassins. Beyond the distinct collection of killers though, fans of the John Wick movies can rely on Leitch to achieve their high energy in the fight scenes while also dialing up all of their most comedic aspects.

12. The Accountant (2016)

The Accountant | October 14, 2016 (United States) Summary: As a math savant uncooks the books for a new client, the Treasury Department closes in on his activities, and the body count starts to rise.
Countries: United StatesLanguages: English, Indonesian, French

In this thriller, Ben Affleck portrays a reclusive accountant with hidden talents as a highly-trained killer, managing finances for dangerous criminal organizations. Similar to movies like John Wick, it showcases the calculated manner in which the protagonist dispatches adversaries with skill in both hand-to-hand combat and marksmanship. While the film has a more dramatic undertone, delving into the character’s history and his experience with high-functioning autism, the action sequences are meticulously executed.

13. The Equalizer (2014)

The Equalizer | September 26, 2014 (United States) Summary: A man who believes he has put his mysterious past behind him cannot stand idly by when he meets a young girl under the control of ultra-violent Russian gangsters.
Countries: United StatesLanguages: English, Russian, Spanish, German, Ukrainian

An action thriller adapted from the popular 80s TV series of the same name, The Equalizer stars Denzel Washington as Robert McCall, a quiet man living a lonely life in Boston before trying to help a young girl in the grip of the local Russian mafia. The ensuing conflict creates a war between him and a villainous enforcer but, similarly to John Wick, McCall is revealed to be a highly-trained killer who has a creative edge and isn’t shy about bearing a grudge. Liam Neeson defined unexpected action movie turns from older dramatic actors in movies like Taken, but Washington improves on their tropes with a more emotionally resonant performance.

14. Nobody (2021)

Nobody | March 26, 2021 (United States) Summary: A docile family man slowly reveals his true character after his house gets burgled by two petty thieves, which, coincidentally, leads him into a bloody war with a Russian crime boss.
Countries: United States, Japan, ChinaLanguages: English, Russian, Spanish

Movies like John Wick stand out in a sea of action thrillers by taking a lead actor who doesn’t fit the stereotypical build for an unrelenting assassin and convincingly transforming them into that. One of the most notable examples of this in recent years is unquestionably Bob Odenkirk in Nobody. When the film was released, Odenkirk was heavily associated with action-packed shows Breaking Bad and Better Call Saul but had always been known as a comedic actor, so seeing him become a John Wick-like killer with impressive hand-to-hand skills and a fearsome reputation as an event-worthy of comparison to Keanu Reeves’ turn as “Baba Yaga.”

The film’s story has a number of similarities to John Wick and follows an unassuming man who goes to war with a powerful Russian mob boss after an altercation with one of the mob boss’s young and unruly relatives. Odenkirk still brings a more lighthearted edge to the story than a movie like John Wick would allow for, but that never detracts from the harshness of the violence or the creativity behind it. Considering that the film is also directed by the producer and uncredited co-director of the original John Wick movie David Leitch, it’s no wonder why movie fans question whether Nobody is set in the John Wick universe.

15. Wrath Of Man (2021)

Wrath of Man | May 7, 2021 (United States) Summary: A cold and mysterious character working at a cash truck company responsible for moving a lot of money around Los Angeles each week.
Countries: United Kingdom, United StatesLanguages: English, Spanish, Arabic

Though Jason Statham first rose to fame through the prominent roles he took in director Guy Ritchie’s early films, Statham hadn’t appeared in one of Ritchie’s movies for over 15 years before leading Wrath of Man. A remake of the French thriller Cash Truck, the film certainly displays Ritchie’s penchant for dialogue-driven scenes, but it’s also conscious that Statham became a global action star in those intervening years. Like John Wick, the story hinges on steadily revealing the main character’s deadly skills and vengeful motivations as he takes on a dangerous job as an armored truck guard, with Statham maintaining the mysterious aura of a John Wick-like character throughout

1 thought on “15 Movies Like John Wick to Watch if You Love Action”

Leave a Comment