Home Entertainment 15 Best Action & Thrillers Movies like The Raid in 2022

15 Best Action & Thrillers Movies like The Raid in 2022

Best Movies Like The Raid - By Gareth Evans

The Raid is an Indonesian action and drama thriller that first hit the screens in 2011. Written and directed by Gareth Evans, the movie is packed with action, gangsters, martial arts sequences, that wouldn’t disappoint movie buffs.

Filmed in an abandoned government building, the storyline begins with a police assault on a high-rise slum, where notorious criminal Tama plays landlord to the scum of Jakarta. Somewhere in the labyrinth is Tama’s drug lab, and the mission is to close down his operation.

But as the cops make their way up through the building, their presence does not seem to have the desired effect. Instead of being scared, the criminals are well-prepared. Now, with a largely rookie squad on his hands, the police chief realizes that the operation is not quite as straightforward as he has been led to believe.

Now, Rama must take command and lead his remaining team on an ultraviolent charge through the building to complete and also, survive the dangerous mission. 

Here Is The List Of Best Movies Like The Raid: 15 Best Action-thrillers:


Apocalypto movie poster

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This 2006 action-thriller and epic-historical adventure is a directorial venture of Mel Gibson. Set in Yucatan, Mexico in the early 16th century, when a man’s idyllic presence is brutally disrupted by a violent invading force, he is taken on a perilous journey to the Mayan civilization which is a world ruled by fear and oppression and where a harrowing end awaits him. Through a twist of fate and spurred by the power of his love for his beloved and his family, he will make a desperate break to return home and to ultimately save his way of life.

The film was favorably received by most critics who appreciated it for its thematic significance and for its ability to catch the audience off-guard. The Mayan civilization serves as a backdrop for depicting the larger spoils brought about by the glorious process of ‘civilizing’ the natives. It shows how seeming civilization brings with itself, historical, political and social corruption of an hitherto organic community.

District 13

District 13 movie poster

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This film is a French action thriller, directed by Pierre Morel. Starring David Belle, who is without doubt the pioneer of the technique called ‘parkour’, the film puts his skills on full display. Majority of the movie’s action takes place in a cordoned-off city slum, as the protagonist, Leito tries to save his sister, Lola from a local drug kingpin named Taha, by teaming up with Captain Darmien.

The film was favorably accepted by the critics and the audience alike. It grossed $11.6 million at the French box office. Audiences outside of France too, were generally appreciative of the film. A sequel titled ‘District 13: Ultimatum’ was released in France and UK in 2009 and proved to be just as exciting and action-packed as the first one.


Dredd(2012) Movie Poster

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This 2012 film, directed by Pete Travis is one the best sci-fi action thrillers and was adapted from the 2000 AD comic strip Judge Dredd and its eponymous character, created by Carlos Ezquerra and John Wagner.

Taking place in a post-apocalyptic wasteland in the dystopian setting of Mega City One, the movie stars Karl Urban, Olivia Thirlby and Lena Headey in the lead roles. Just as in movies like The Raid, this film features a cop who is trapped in a multistory building, crawling with a resident drug lord and low life criminals.

The film grossed a total of $41 million worldwide, which was averagely equal to its production budget. However, the critical appraisal for the film was mostly positive. Critics appreciated the film for its gritty self-satire, bombastic and deadpan violence and subtle sly elements of humor. Besides, the film was praised mostly for its screenplay and actors’ performances, making it a must watch film for all movie enthusiasts.

Enemies Closer:

Enemies Closer movie poster

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Directed by Peter Hyames and starring the dashing actor, Jean-Claude van Damme, this film is a Canadian-American action thriller that premiered on the big screen in 2013. This is one of the movies like The Raid and features van Damme playing Xander, a French-Canadian drug dealer, who sneaks a bunch of narco-thugs dressed as Canadian Mounties across the border. They are here to reclaim a drug shipment that sank to the bottom of a lake along with the plane that carried it.

Most film critics welcomed the action thriller positively and especially praised the actors’ performances, direction and screenplay. Few critics however, commented that the film appeals only because of the cult status that the director had formerly achieved with his previous films. Nevertheless, the film bagged moderate success at the American box office.


Headshot movie poster

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This film is an Indonesian action thriller, similar to movies like The Raid and was jointly directed by Tim Tjahjanto and Kimo Stamboel. Starring Iko Uwais, the same actor who played the lead in The Raid, as a man suffering from amnesia, the film gains momentum when Ishmael finds himself washed up on the beach and with no memory.

He has no time to remember as soon enough, the criminal syndicate starts hunting him down. Throughout his action-filled journey, Ishmael slowly discovers his true identity and learns about the organization that employed him.

Relentlessly thrilling action and head spinning violence managed to acquire favorable reviews from the critics. Originally releasing in Indonesia in 2016, the film was later acquired by Netflix and was released worldwide. With the audience, the film performed adequately well and indeed, it takes Indonesian action and drama, a level up.

John Wick:

John Wick 3

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Directed by Chad Stahelski, John Wick is a neo-noir action thriller that was released in 2014. Starring Keanu Reeves among others, the movie revolves around the protagonist, searching for the men who broke into his house, stole his vintage car and killed his puppy, that was the last gift to him from his recently deceased wife.

While the titular character has seemingly superhuman abilities, the story is a classic tale of the criminal underworld. With this movie, the audiences would come for the promise of great action and will not be disappointed by the portrayal of a unique world constantly undoing its own code and rules.

So, the film became a massive commercial success, grossing a world total of $88.8 million against a production budget of $20-30 million. The film’s success led the directors into making a sequel and the subsequent movies – John Wick: Chapter 2 and John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum – were released in the following years.

Related: Movies Like John Wick


Killers movie poster

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Killers is a 2014 Indonesian action thriller, made by the director du, the Mo Brothers. Starring Kazuki Kitamura and Oka Antara among others, the movie is about a psychotic executive who triggers the dark side of a journalist. Soon enough, they begin to form a strange bond over the Internet.

This takes place when a series of horrifying murders have just gone viral, posted anonymously by the handsome and seductive Nomura with a taste for torture. Thousands of miles away, a disgraced journalist Bayu cannot help to stop watching. In a reckless moment, he discovers that he too can kill.

Now, one man in Tokyo and one in Jakarta – a serial killer and a vigilante – engage in a bizarre and psychotic rivalry that soon becomes a tête-à-tête showdown that would paint the city in blood. The film arrived with an aplomb and with its ability to shock the audiences’ wits. It was well received by the critics whose remarks regarding the cinematic elements of the film were generally positive.


Merantau movie poster

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One of the films with most striking similarity to movies like The Raid, this one is another Gareth Evans-directed Indonesian action thriller. Released in 2009, this film excellently depicts martial arts and the tradition of ‘Merantau’; it is a rite of passage where a man leaves his home to seek experience and success outside of the village – a culture where inheritance is largely matriarchal.

It represents Yuda, played by Iko Uwais, who leaves his village in hopes of teaching Silat to students in Jakarta. However, in vain only to be sidetracked as he attempts to save a girl from being kidnapped.

The film was largely received well by the critics and the audience alike. With mind-boggling action sequences, the breathtaking on-display stunts and choreography and compelling portrayal of Indonesian martial arts, this movie brought Indonesia on the cinematic map of the world. The film went on to win many prestigious awards including the Jury Award for the Best Film at the ActionFest, North Carolina.

Punishers: War Zone:

Punishers: War Zone movie poster

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This is a vigilante action thriller movie which was released in 2008. Directed by Lexi Alexander, the film is based on a character from Marvel Comics, the Punisher. It revolves around a war, waged by a former military man Frank Castle who turns into a ruthless vigilante, the titular character Punisher after some criminals kill his family.

Fueled by revenge, now he must stop one of his most dangerous nemesis, Jigsaw. What follows is an even greater war against organized crime. The gratuitous violence of the film however, did not do well with the critics, who called it one of the ‘best-made bad movies’.

Others called the action of the film too blatantly aggressive. Overall, the movie failed to acquire critical or commercial acclaim. Poor marketing limited the film’s potential to a great extent and it flopped miserably at the box office, grossing only $10 million against a $35 million production budget.


Sabotage movie poster

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This film is a faint adaptation of Agatha Christie’s mystery and action 1939 novel, ‘And Then There were None’. Starring renowned actors such as Arnold Schwarzenegger, Sam Worthington, Olivia Williams and Terrence Howard, the movie was first released in 2014.

The film opens with Arnold Schwarzenegger, as the drug enforcement agent called by the name of John “Breacher” Wharton, who goes on to captain an elite DEA task force, raids a safe house owned by one of the world’s most lethal drug lords with his team. But, although the mission is successful, death awaits them.

The film managed to gross $18 million approximately against a budget of $35 million. Its commercial failure owes to the unconvincing, predictable progressions and aggravated violent sequences. Save for the cool cast, the film is a one-time watch; for if you are a fan of movies like The Raid, you will definitely enjoy this action-packed bundle.

The Equalizer:

The Equalizer

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The Equalizer is an action and vigilante thriller that first hit the screens in 2014. It was adapted from the 1980 TV series of the same name and revolves around a former Defense Intelligence Agency officer, who reluctantly returns to action to protect a teenage prostitute from members of the Russian mafia.

Armed with hidden skills that allow him to serve vengeance against anyone who would brutalize the helpless, McCall – played by Denzel Washington – comes out of his self-imposed repose and finds his desire for justice reawakened.

Mixed critical reviews fell to the share of this film, who praised the movie’s visual style, acting, soundtrack and action sequences but criticized its exaggerated violence and plot. Nonetheless, it became a commercial success, grossing over $192 million globally. Owing to this, a sequel of the film was released in 2018 and was equally brilliant at the box office.

The Man from Nowhere:

The Man from Nowhere

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Written and directed by Lee Jeong-beom, this South Korean action thriller is about a ruthless former government assassin, and now a mysterious and shady man, who runs a pawn shop. He embarks on a brutal rampage to quest and bloodily avenge after criminals abduct a kid from his housing block. The movie stars Won Bin as the protagonist, Cha Tae-sik.

Critics were majorly approving of the film, calling it brutally violent and monumental in the genre of action thrillers. Some critics said that this film turned the local South Korean heartthrob into an international action superhero in a film that is soaked with thrill and drama in every second of its unfolding. Commercially, the film was a great success, grossing about $43 million singly at the South Korean box office.

The Matrix :

The Matrix (1999)

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What can be said about this sci-fi action thriller that has not already been said? The sheer brilliance that the Wachowskis have invested into the making of this film makes it a classic par excellence.

Starring Keanu Reeves, Laurence Fishburne and Carrie Anne Moss among others, the film depicts a dystopian future in which humanity is unknowingly trapped inside a simulated reality known as the Matrix that has been created by intelligent machines to distract humans while using their bodies as an energy source.

Played by Reeves, when the protagonist, a computer programmer named Thomas Anderson, under the hacker alias identity of Neo, uncovers the truth, he is drawn into a rebellion against the ‘machines’ along with a small group of similar people who have been freed from the Matrix.

With intense shootouts and hand to hand battle sequences, this cyber-punk went on to gross over $460 million worldwide. Releasing in 1999, The Matrix achieved immense critical acclaim and praise for its innovative plot and spectacular action. The movie also bagged four Academy Awards and the BAFTA Award among other prestigious accolades.

The Night Comes for Us

The Night Comes for Us movie poster

Available on Netflix 

Another Indonesian action film, this is one of the movies like The Raid that take crime thrillers to an altogether new level. Written and directed by Timo Tjahjanto, the film was originally conceived as a screenplay, but was adapted into a graphic novel, before finally being released as a movie in 2018.

Joe Taslim stars as a criminal who decides to turn his back to his employer’s orders and save the life of a little girl. The decision kicks off a blood-soaked venture, as his bosses send people to track him down. The movie stars Iko Uwais, the Indonesian actor who played the protagonist in The Raid. You may recognize Joe as Sergeant Jaka from the same movie.

Soon after its release, the film was released worldwide when Netflix acquired the distribution rights. The film came out moderately well with the critics who appreciated it for its thrill-inducing violence and action and well laid out screenplay.

The Raid 2:

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Owing to the success of the first film, a sequel of The Raid was released in 2014 and was directed by the same, Gareth Evans. Like the former, this movie is an Indonesian action thriller and crime drama starring Iko Uwais in the lead role. The story of this film immediately follows the events of the first one.

In the film, Rama, a policeman from Jakarta, reinvents himself as an undercover cop, Yuda – a ruthless prisoner, in order to bring down a swarm of criminals and expose corrupt politicians and policemen. Throughout all this, he bears a personal altercation for vengeance, revenge and justice, which eventually would bring both this mission and the organized crime syndicates crashing down.

The plot of the film never lets your attention divert, even for a moment. The intriguing and involving drama on the screen is like no other. This was majorly the consensus shared by the film critics. The film grossed a whopping total of $6.6 million outside of Indonesia against a budget of $4.5 million, making it an esteemed commercial success.


For all the action movie buffs out there, get set and watch these best movies like The Raid to for classic action sequences and thrilling fighting escapades. Not only do these films offer tense atmosphere and violently exceptional cast performances, but also a vast diversity of plots. So, you will never be watching typical and conventional stories as each film comes with a promise of something new and exciting.

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