As you're no doubt aware, Netflix is chockablock with pretty much every kind of genre and movie for you to enjoy.

But, as with anything, there's the good stuff and the bad stuff - and that's where we come in. Every month, we're going to pluck five gems from Netflix's library in a specific genre - action, horror, comedy and drama - for you to watch.

 

'Rob Roy'

Liam Neeson and Tim Roth square off against one another in this period action movie that was essentially overlooked because, well, you mention Scotland and Highlands and people's mind go to 'Braveheart'. Directed by Michael Caton-Jones, 'Rob Roy' plays and feels like a Western in parts and that's exactly how it was planned. However, the final sequence - which sees Roth and Neeson beat twelve shades of snot out of one another - is a fantastically paced, brilliantly shot sword fight and often tops many critics' list of best sword fights ever committed to screen.

 

'Only The Brave'

It's no surprise that director Joseph Kosinski has now been tapped to direct 'Top Gun: Maverick' as 'Only The Brave' has all the action and machismo of early Tony Scott, and the soundtrack to boot. Josh Brolin plays a tough-as-nails leader of a "hotshot" crew - which is actually a real term for elite wildland firefighters. Miles Teller plays a rookie firefighter whom Brolin takes under his wing and puts him through the rigorous and taxing - both emotionally and physically - training regime to become a "hotshot". It's been a long time since 'Backdraft', so if firefighter movies are your thing, 'Only The Brave' is definitely worth your time.

 

'The Thomas Crown Affair' 

Picture, if you can, Pierce Brosnan in the late '00s just up and deciding to do a Bond movie without any of the facets that'd make up a Bond movie - and then have it all directed by the man who did 'Die Hard', 'Predator' and 'The Hunt For Red October'. That's basically 'The Thomas Crown Affair' in a nutshell - an achingly slick, deliciously decadent thriller that sees Brosnan play Steve McQueen's billionaire playboy to a tee. Rene Russo plays a high-flying insurance investigator who's sent to track him down, but the two end up... well, you can guess. Throw in Dennis Leary and a fantastic soundtrack with the best use of Nina Simone's 'Sinner Man' in any movie yet made, and you've got a modern classic.

 

'The Expendables 2'

Yes, it's the one with all the '80s action stars in one movie. While 'The Expendables 2' may be reduced to its impressive cast, there's something genuinely enjoyable about much 'The Expendables' just doesn't give a sh*t. It knows that it's all ridiculous, it knows that there is nothing to be done with it, and it has all the tropes and beats you'd expect in any kind of '80s movies. Sylvester Stallone and Jason Statham have excellent banter together and Jean-Claude Van Damme plays a villain who is literally named Jean Vilain. COME ON.

 

'The Villainess'

The best way to describe 'The Villainess' is to imagine, if you can, 'John Wick' on speed and then replace pretty much all the actors in 'John Wick' with South Korean actors - that's about half way to describing the sheer insanity of it all. There really is nothing we can do to describe it any better than showing you this clip of a samurai sword fight on motorbikes. It's... it's crazy.

 

 

Previous entries...

 

'The Man From U.N.C.L.E'

While it was by no means the commercial and critical success they'd hope it would be, 'The Man From U.N.C.L.E' still works as an enjoyable romp with beautiful visuals, slick editing and lush cinematography that just soaks up the screen. Henry Cavill and Armie Hammer play rival CIA and KGB agents who are forced to team up to take a group of fascists - led by Elizabeth Debicki - who plan on starting World War III with the help of a nuclear bomb they've created. There's a surprising amount of humour to be found throughout and while it's not clear if Hammer's ropey Russian accent and Cavill's ropey acting might have been intentional, there's still plenty to enjoy regardless. If you missed it cinemas, now's your chance.

 

'Hot Fuzz'

Keeping it on a comedy action heading, Edgar Wright's amped-up sensibility fits perfectly with the sedentary setting of rural England in this rip-roaring blast of a movie. Simon Pegg is perfectly pitched as the joyless Nicholas Angel, a police officer sent to the country because he's too good at his job and banters off frequent collaborator Nick Frost for the run of the movie. There's also a who's-who of a supporting cast, including Timothy Dalton, Edward Woodward, Billie Whitelaw, Stuart Wilson, Paul Freeman (Belloq from 'Raiders', everybody!) and two uncredited cameos from Peter Jackson and Cate Blanchett. Favourite scene? How's the hand? Still a bit stiff?

 

'Looper'

Rian Johnson of 'The Last Jedi' fame directs this crackling sci-fi action thriller starring Bruce Willis and Joseph Gordon-Levitt as younger and older versions of the same character. Set in the near future where time travel is only used by crime syndicates, Willis goes on the run in his past in an attempt to track down the crime lord who murdered his wife and sent him into the past. Smartly bypassing any kind of the mechanics you'd expect from this kind of movie or even the fact that Levitt and Willis don't really look alike, 'Looper' instead focuses on the action and pacing to make up for it - which it does and then some.

 

'Panic Room'

There's an argument to be made that 'Panic Room' is essentially 'Die Hard' with a female protagonist and on a much smaller scale, but the beats are all there. You've got a protagonist who's caught unawares by a group of skilled robbers - granted, Jared Leto and Dwight Yoakam aren't so much - that are trying to steal bearer bonds, the cops aren't able to help in any kind of meaningful way and the protagonists are both in vests. While Jodie Foster may not yell 'Yippie-ki-yay' and she doesn't finish off the robbers with a quip, it still has all the intensity and action.

 

'Kill Bill, Vol.2'

While some might argue the first one is better and cite the Crazy 88 sequence as their reason, the counter-argument is undoubtedly the trailer fight between Daryl Hannah and Uma Thurman. One of the best examples of skillful editing in a fight sequence and using constrained geography to do it, there's so much to enjoy about it - not the least of which is the gnarly way in which it all ends. Throw in the excellent training sequence with Pai Mei and that beard flick of his, arguably David Carradine's finest on-screen performance, and you've got vintage Tarantino before he decided to make five-hour epics that didn't really go anywhere. Looking at you, 'The Hateful Eight'.

 

 

'Hanna'

Saoirse Ronan and Eric Bana star in this pacey, weird Euro-thriller with an electronica soundtrack by the Chemical Brothers. You've got Cate Blanchett in there as the hilariously OTT villain Marissa Wiegler, a CIA agent who's trying to wrap up the mess that is Ronan's freakish strength and agility, and Eric Bana's weird accent. Brilliant action sequences, all of them directed by Joe Wright. To think, this is the same guy who did 'Atonement'.

 

'Black Hawk Down'

If you've played any 'Call Of Duty' videogame - and we're talking from Modern Warfare on - there's a debt of gratitude owed to 'Black Hawk Down', as the game pretty much lifted its soundtrack and general aesthetic from it. That not enough for you? Joss Whedon said he watched 'Black Hawk Down' repeatedly whilst prepping for the battle sequences in 'Avengers' and 'Avengers: Age Of Ultron' to get the feel right. Directed by Ridley Scott and starring a who's-who of talent that includes Jason Isaacs (hello), Orlando Bloom, Eric Bana, Tom Sizemore, Josh Hartnett, blink-and-you'll-miss-it moments with Tom Hardy and Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, and Ewan McGregor.

 

'Last Action Hero'

Imagine a spoof of action movies directed by someone who's actually directed some of the most well-known action movies there is, starring easily the most recognisable action movie there is, written by two nerds and then subsequently rewritten by the screenwriter of some of the most recognisable action movies there is. That's 'Last Action Hero' - a movie so truly weird that it's kind of incredible it ever happened in the first place. Naturally enough, the movie didn't do well on its initial release and became part of Hollywood legend for the backlash against it, but time's managed to turn it around make it into what it is - a self-aware action movie that's actually pretty decent for what it is.

 

'Apocalypto'

Speaking of action heroes, Mel Gibson's directorial effort 'Apocalypto' may not look or sound like your typical action movie, but this has all the hallmarks of one. It's a relentless, two-hour chase sequence that sees a Mayan hunter named Jaguar Paw on the run from an invading force who are out to capture him so they can use him as part of a ritual human sacrifice to satisfy their gods. It's ridiculously violent in parts and while there may be subtitles, the dialogue never feels like it's totally necessary to understand what's going on. They say the best films are the ones that can be viewed without dialogue and you can still understand what you're seeing. 'Apocalypto' is an excellent example of this idea in practice.

 

'Fast and Furious 5'

Arguably the 'Fast and Furious' movie that turned the franchise around, 'Fast Five' brought in Dwayne Johnson, dropped the street-racing element in favour of physics-defying heists, and turned the general idea into 'Heat' but with steroids and commercial EDM. Since then, the formula mapped out in 'Fast Five' has continued for the next three movies and considering the insane amount of money they've made at the box office, it's unsurprising that they're not deviating from it.