Top 15 Action Movies Like "John Wick"

Updated on August 27, 2019
hclpd profile image

Rahul is a movie addict who can never get enough of good films. His all time favorites are Inception, 12 Angry Men, and Scarface.

John Wick Plot Synopsis

The only things that were giving meaning to John Wick's life were his prized car and the puppy that was his late wife’s last gift to him. Once a legendary assassin, John gave up his old life after falling in love and deciding to settle down, leaving everything else in the past.

While he’s mourning and trying to keep things from falling apart, he has an encounter with Losef Tarasov, who is the son of a Russian mob boss. He’s interested in John’s car but realizes there’s no price high enough that would make him sell it. So he and his men break into John’s house to steal it; they severely beat him and kill the puppy on their way out, but make an error by not killing him when they had the chance.

John finally breaks and he decides to go back to his old way of life, intending to single-handedly take on a Russian mob empire. Legends about him have people doubting if he’s real or just a man-made myth, believing it only after seeing it for themselves.

With the third installment of this thriller series out now, let's take a look at some movies like John Wick that'll keep your thirst for action quenched until they release another movie.

15 Movies That Are Similar to John Wick

  1. The Matrix
  2. The Equalizer
  3. Taken
  4. Jack Reacher
  5. Deadpool
  6. American Sniper
  7. Fury
  8. Edge of Tomorrow
  9. Commando
  10. Oldboy (American Version)
  11. Mad Max (1979)
  12. Leon: The Professional
  13. Kill Bill
  14. I Saw The Devil
  15. Southpaw

1. The Matrix

Starting the list off with another movie starring Keanu Reeves, The Matrix is a fantasy/sci-fi film containing unforgettable action sequences. What is the Matrix? The entire plot revolves around this one apparently simple question, but the answer requires you to go down a rabbit hole. In a world where humans are kept in a fabricated reality because they are used for energy by a race of intelligent machines, The Matrix is a story of humans fighting to free themselves from tyranny and oppression.

Only Neo, the chosen one, can introduce humanity to the truth but first, he has to learn to control his abilities with the help of another rebel, Morpheus. Not everybody wants to face reality because the Matrix, as fake as it is, makes people comfortable. Can the people entrust the fate of humanity in the hands of Neo, or is it just another false hope that’s going to let everyone down?

2. The Equalizer

Not every book has to have a happy ending and no one knows these words better than Robert McCall, who lives a normal life working an ordinary job. But he is compelled to let his demons out after a young girl named Teri gets brutally beaten by Russian mobsters after a disagreement. They reject his plea to let her go in exchange for money, which turns out to be the biggest mistake of their lives as he attempts to tumble an entire mob organization.

McCall becomes the voice of the voiceless, making the people feel like there’s a guardian angel watching over them. He uses his lethal skills to eliminate the people that are a menace to society.

This movie stars Denzel Washington and a second installment came out a few years ago, and I hope they keep making more. Those looking for movies like John Wick will not be disappointed with The Equalizer.

3. Taken

When a father tells you to let his abducted daughter go or else he will find you and he will kill you, you better believe it. Bryan Mills is a former government operative who is forced to use all the skills at his disposal to save his daughter after learning about her kidnapping. He is forced to let it happen as he is thousands of miles away from her and can’t do anything about it.

He goes on a high-risk mission like the hundreds of others he’s been on before; the only difference is, it's personal this time. As we follow a father on his most significant quest, we see the emotional anguish faced by him every step of the way as he gets closer and closer, hoping that it’s not too late.

4. Jack Reacher

Jack Reacher is a military legend who has people wondering why he left his job, despite getting all the possible honorary titles as an army investigator. He is, however, a very dangerous man; a threat to anyone who crosses paths him. He helps the attorney of an ex-military sniper, who has been accused of randomly killing five people, by seeking out the actual facts.

As the investigation furthers, the case that looks quite simple at first glance seems to hide a lot more underneath, endangering Jack and those helping him. People might feel like they’re above the law, but coming face to face with Jack Reacher has them doubting their own abilities. Catch this action flick on Netflix.

5. Deadpool

This R-rated superhero movie from Marvel Studios took everybody by storm due to its unexpected success.

Wade Wilson is a guy with a hysterical personality working borderline illegal jobs, but things change after he finds out about his incurable cancer. The only hope left is a secret mutant program. After enduring relentless torture, he gains superhuman abilities and an ability to heal from any physical damage.

Deadpool becomes an even more cartoonish version of himself, constantly breaking the fourth wall to talk with the viewers directly. Deadpool has managed to turn himself into a household name with his superhero-spoof brand of comedy and amazing action sequences.

6. American Sniper

Based on the real life of U.S. navy seal, Chris Kyle, this is the story about a soldier who can’t seem to leave the war behind. Even when he’s at home with his beautiful wife and child, all he can hear are the sounds of guns firing. Kyle can't seem to shake his desire to head back out onto the battlefield: he is precise, and he is lethal, to the point of being targeted by rebels, further risking his already endangered life.

He has to make split-second decisions every time before pulling the trigger, hoping he doesn’t make the wrong choice, killing an innocent individual. This movie directed by Clint Eastwood and starring Bradley Cooper will take you on a patriotic journey and make you thank the soldiers who risk their lives every day and don’t get their due credit.

Those looking for a movie like John Wick will love what this slow-burn brings to the table.

7. Fury

Fury is a World War 2 movie featuring Brad Pitt, so you know the Nazis are in big trouble this time. In war, things always get a lot worse before they can get any better, so only the most resilient men survive—men who’ve already come to terms with their mortality. Army sergeant, Don Collier, goes on a seemingly impossible mission behind enemy lines, taking only four men with him. It looks like they’ve already got the short end of the stick.

How many men can they take on before succumbing to the enemy’s large numbers? You’re only as good as the man next to you. If you can’t trust your partner with your life, assume you’ve already failed. A lot of people need to shed blood before the war can end and only a few will get to taste the fruits of the aftermath. Disarmingly poignant and unflinchingly cruel, this movie is not easy to digest. You've been warned.

8. Edge of Tomorrow

Aliens invading earth is well-worn plotline, but Edge of Tomorrow presents this as a secondary storyline with a more puzzling plot at its core. William Cage is a soldier who’s never been on actual combat, which makes his skills subpar, rendering him useless against the aliens. But every time he dies in battle, he gets to relive the entire day after being stuck in a time loop, making him better each time.

Maybe dying once and for all could have made things a lot easier because he has to work harder every time, only to die again, but it seems like he’s the one chosen to decide mankind’s fate. Now he has to work together with another soldier, Sergeant Rita Vrataski, if they wish to save humanity from this foreign invasion.

Watch Edge of Tomorrow on Netflix.

9. Commando

After his former comrades start getting killed, John Matrix is warned to look out for trouble, shortly after which his daughter gets abducted. The kidnappers intend to use her for extortion to get John to do things against his will because they know she’s the only one he would kill for.

However, they miscalculate John’s abilities as he plans on attacking them and gets prepared to take on an entire army. With his exceptional survival skills, he’s going to endure the impossible to save the only thing he cares about.

I bet you can see the similarity of this movie to John Wick already.

10. Oldboy (American Version)

It seems like Joe Doucett has already hit rock bottom, but things get a lot worse for him after he gets abducted and kept in a hotel-like room with no contact with the outside world. The only thing preventing him from going insane is a TV that keeps him distracted, on which he later finds out about the death of his wife for which he has been framed.

He spends 20 years of his life in this hell before being suddenly released one day, and now his only objective is finding the person responsible for his misery and making them pay while also wanting forgiveness from his daughter for abandoning her.

In his quest, he learns that these events are connected to his past, so he retraces his steps to find the truth. His bad luck, however, hasn't ended yet.

11. Mad Max (1979)

In a dystopian future, people have gone back to being savages. It's every man for himself. Max is a part of the last remaining traces of law in this unforgiving world where rules are almost non-existent. But after the death of his wife and child by the hands of crooks, Max loses last remnants of his sanity with only the thought of retribution on his mind.

He goes on a journey to avenge his family and kill the perpetrators, with only his wits and instincts keeping him alive. Mad Max tells the heartbreaking tale of the survival of a broken man, with no sign of a better future, living from one moment to the next. Go on, give this classic a shot.

12. Leon: The Professional

Leon does not like killing, he just happens to be very good at it and only does it for the financial support. After a massacre next door eliminates an entire family except for a little girl, she seeks aid from Leon. He takes the girl under his wing and teaches her the thing he’s most comfortable with—the skills of killing, which she later plans on using for her own vendetta.

As the two develop a unique relationship, we see both of them learning things from each other, and bettering themselves, making them a force to be reckoned with. Leon doesn’t want her to lose her identity in the search for vengeance but leaves it up to her to decide for herself when the time comes. This thriller is one of the very few titles in this list that'll tug at your heart with its gore and violence.

13. Kill Bill

Previously working for Bill as a trained killer, the assassin simply known as The Bride decides to leave her shady ways behind and start a new life but it’s not going to be that easy. She gets attacked on her wedding day, making her fall into a coma and killing her unborn child, which ends her only chance of having a normal life.

She wakes up after four years, with only the thought of revenge on her mind, revenge against the people who took everything from her in a matter of seconds and probably shouldn’t have made the mistake of leaving her alive.

She makes a list of people to kill and goes out on a mission to hunt them down, crossing the names off it one by one. If you're looking for no-frill movies like John Wick, Kill Bill should fit the bill.

14. I Saw The Devil

One of the goriest and most violent revenge stories, I Saw The Devil is a South Korean cinematic masterpiece. Serial killer Kyung-Chul kills a woman in the opening scene of the movie, proceeding to decapitate her and leaving what’s left to be found by her husband and secret agent, Kim Soo-Hyun. His entire life is shattered, and now he’s got to decide how to collect the broken pieces of the murder weapon, which if not done properly, will cut him instead.

When an evil force disrupts your life and forces you to react in the most violent way possible, you bring forth your truest self that doesn’t need to be covered up anymore. After finding the killer’s whereabouts, Soo-Hyun proceeds to become a nightmare for him; severely beating him but saving some for the next time to repeat the entire thing all over again.

As it turns out, not killing him was a mistake—something he instantly regrets as the killer goes on a murder spree.

15. Southpaw

Billy Hope is the light heavyweight champion of the world with the perfect life; a successful career, a loving family, and a lavish lifestyle. But after a confrontation with another boxer that causes the accidental death of his wife, his entire world comes spiraling down. Everything gets taken away from him. All that’s left is a failing boxing career, causing him to have a mental breakdown.

The thing about Hope is, the more he gets hit the harder he fights and overcomes the adversities. He finds a savior in Tick Wills, a former boxer, and trains under him for a chance at redemption, with the hope of getting his daughter back—the only thing driving him.

Though it starts off slow, things pick up the pace once every character is introduced to the audience. I urge you to be patient with this film.

Did I miss out on any good movies like John Wick? Let me know in the comments section.

© 2019 Rahul Parashar

Comments

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    • profile image

      Ayman 

      2 weeks ago

      The Transporter (Jason Statham) is good alternative too.

    • hclpd profile imageAUTHOR

      Rahul Parashar 

      2 months ago from Delhi, India

      Yeah, you could say that. I should update the list with more action movies. Though I suppose my my focus primarily was to introduce the readers to something new. But I understand where you're coming from. Thanks for your input!

    • profile image

      Dom 

      2 months ago

      When I searched for movies like John Wick, I expected movies similar in plot and outline, like the mechanic, or the equalizer, I did not expect the matrix, american sniper, or the others, and I don't think they have much in common with John Wick, apart from being action movies.

      To me this looks more like a "if you like [movie] you would also probably like..." list

    • profile image

      Skruff 

      2 months ago

      Holy shit. American Sniper is nothing like the other movies. It is a borefest. And Oldboy (American Version) How much more pathetic can a list get ?

    • profile image

      Dawg 

      2 months ago

      John Wick Chpt 2 and 3

    • profile image

      Mary Poopins 

      4 months ago

      Bambi is a movie that'll really tear at your heart ...

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