Top 15 Action Movies Like 'John Wick'
What Films Are Like John Wick?
The only things giving meaning to John’s life right now is his prized car and the puppy that was his late wife’s last gift to him. Once a legendary assassin, John gave up the 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 encounters 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.
Already on the verge of collapsing, John finally breaks and goes back to revisit his past, intending to single-handedly take on a Russian mob empire. Put a gun in his hand and watch John take on an entire army. 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 a highly anticipated third installment of this thriller series on the way, let's take a look at some movies like John Wick that'll keep you occupied till then.
What Movies Are Like John Wick?
- The Matrix
- The Equalizer
- Jack Reacher
- American Sniper
- Edge of Tomorrow
- Oldboy (American Version)
- Mad Max (1979)
- Leon: The Professional
- Kill Bill
- I Saw The Devil
1. The Matrix
Starting the list off with another Keanu Reeves’s movie, 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 gaping rabbit hole. A world where humans are kept in a fabricated reality because we are considered a danger to the planet, The Matrix is a story of humans fighting to state their place in the world.
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 this world, 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 gonna let everyone down?
2. The Equalizer
Not every book has to have a happy ending and no one knows these words better than the perplexing figure, Robert McCall, who lives a normal life working an ordinary job. But he is compelled to let his demons out after Teri, a young girl, 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 Denzel Washington starrer just came out with a second installment a year ago and I hope they keep making more. Those looking for movies like John Wick will not be disappointed with The Equalizer.
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, getting all the possible honorary titles as an army investigator. He is, however, a very dangerous man; a threat to anyone who crosses paths with this skilled individual. 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, this case that looks quite simple at the 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 have them doubting your own abilities. Catch this action flick on Netflix.
This R-rated superhero movie from the Marvel comics took everybody by storm due to its unexpected success and managed to create a loyal fan-base.
Wade Wilson is an individual 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 anything.
Deadpool becomes an even 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. 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.
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 Netlifx.
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.
They, however, miscalculate John’s abilities as he plans on attacking them and goes prepared enough 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. The Mad Max trilogy describes 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, 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 make the decision 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, on 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 left to decide how he wants to collect the broken pieces, 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.
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'll urge you to be patient with this flick.
Did I miss out on any good movies like John Wick? Let me know in the comments section.