Netflix's Heart of Stone isn't a great action movie – stream these 5 thrill rides instead

Rachel Stone sits down as she holds her injured side in Heart of Stone on Netflix
Heart of Stone is another pretty average movie from Netflix. (Image credit: Robert Viglasky/Netflix)

Netflix's latest big-budget movie, Heart of Stone, has landed on the world's best streaming service – but we don't think it's anything to write home about.

The Gal Gadot-fronted action flick is another example of how good Netflix is at making expensive-but-average original films for its audience. Yes, it's got a stacked cast full of household names. Sure, its exploration of the benefits and dangers of artificial intelligence (AI) might make you think twice about about using ChatGPT or Google Bard any time soon. But, with its derivative action, corny one-liners, and stress-free plot that's lacking in shock twists and turns, Heart of Stone isn't worth investing in.

Why waste your time, then, on streaming the near-two-hour-long movie – one that won't be making it onto our best Netflix movies list – when you can watch lots of far more enjoyable action films? Below, we've picked out five stunningly good flicks to catch on Netflix's rivals instead. You'll thank us later, we promise.

Casino Royale

Where to watch it: Prime Video in the US and Binge in Australia (UK viewers can rent or buy it digitally)

On another day, Skyfall would've made it onto this list instead of Daniel Craig's first James Bond film. It's the actor's best Bond movie, in our opinion – and no, we won't be taking questions about why we think that's the case.

Given that Skyfall isn't available to stream on any of the world's biggest streamers, though, Casino Royale – a no less thrilling and action-packed 007 film available now on Prime Video – takes its place. Craig's debut outing as the legendary spy is a far grittier take on the character than audiences had become accustomed to during the Pierce Brosnan James Bond era. And, frankly, nobody believed Craig would make a successful Bond.

Craig, though, proved the naysayers wrong, with Casino Royale marking an impressive return to form for MI6's most famous secret agent. Its tension-fuelled plot, terrific supporting cast (how good is Eva Green, by the way?), death-defying and wince-inducing action – we won't forget that torture scene in a hurry – and haunting examination of the titular character lined up perfectly to deliver a sensational Bond film packed with originality. Find out where its fits into the 007 timeline in our James Bond movies in order guide before you read on.


Where to stream it: Netflix

Given its 67% and 71% critical and audience scores on Rotten Tomatoes, this choice may be viewed as somewhat controversial, especially when its lightweight plot and lack of character development are taken into account.

But Extraction is everything Heart of Stone isn't from an action-spectacle standpoint. It's violent, breathless, and very much in-your-face for much of its two-hour runtime. Led by Marvel star Chris Hemsworth, it's also got a charismatic and likeable protagonist in anti-hero Tyler Rake, who delivers a full-blooded, macho performance in the vein of the best '80s action movie stars. Oh, and Extraction's 12-minute one-shot action sequence (also known as a 'oner') is a frenetic, seamless thing of beauty.

Its sequel – Extraction 2 – is slightly more enjoyable than its predecessor, and includes its own, lengthy 'oner' that took four gruelling months to film. But, like Casino Royale, this film series' first entry is a perfect entry point for anyone looking for an all-action flick that'll have you gripping the edge of your seat.

The Avengers

Where to stream it: Disney Plus

There are plenty of great action films to stream on Disney's main streaming service. From classics like Die Hard and the Indiana Jones movie collection to newer fare, including every Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) film, there's tons to enjoy.

Speaking of Marvel, the studio's first superhero team-up movie is our next our pick for this list. The Avengers proved that it was possible to tell an engaging, funny, heartfelt, and action-packed story – in a comic-book film comprising numerous big-name characters – with a palatable runtime for viewers of all ages. From the natural chemistry existing between its A-listers to the unforgettable climactic battle in New York City, The Avengers is a stone-cold classic that takes pride of place on many of the best Marvel movies guides across the internet. it's easily one of the best superhero movies to date, too.

While you're here, find out where it sits on the increasingly complex MCU timeline in our Marvel movies in order guide.


Where to watch it: Max and Hulu in the US, Prime Video in the UK, and Netflix and Binge in Australia

If you like your action movies to be of a cerebral, sci-fi disposition, 2021's Dune should be your go-to.

Denis Villeneuve's live-action adaptation is a majestically sweeping, visually arresting, no-holds-barred action sci-fi adventure that deserved to be seen on the biggest screen possible. Of course, unless you have your own IMAX-style cinema room at home, your TV screen will have to do.

Regardless of whether you watch it on a 30-inch or 85-inch screen, though, Dune is an atmospheric, absorbing, and bloody film with a backstabbing Game of Thrones-like flavor. It's slightly long, and its anti-climactic ending will leave some viewers feeling a tad short-changed, but look past those slight issues and you'll have a great time. One of the best Max movies around, it most certainly is. Dune Part 2, one of our most anticipated new movies of the year, is due out in November.

Top Gun: Maverick

Where to watch it: Paramount Plus

You may be wondering why we've opted for this film over its 1986 forebear. After all, we plumped for the first entries in Extraction's and Daniel Craig's Bond film series, so why make an exception with Top Gun: Maverick?

For one, you don't really need to watch Top Gun first. It helps to do so, of course, but you can enjoy what Maverick has to offer without sitting through its predecessor's occasionally cringey '80s-set narrative.

Indeed, provided that you suspend your disbelief with Top Gun: Maverick's over-the-top, jet-fuelled action, one of the best movies of 2022 will leave you flying high with how amazing it is. Its special effects are out of this world, its cast are at the top of their game, and its plot is highly entertaining; well, as long as you can look past its Cold War-esque narrative underbelly. Stick one of the best Paramount Plus movies on immediately if you've yet to watch it.

Senior Entertainment Reporter

As TechRadar's senior entertainment reporter, Tom covers all of the latest movies, TV shows, and streaming service news that you need to know about. You'll regularly find him writing about the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Star Wars, Netflix, Prime Video, Disney Plus, and many other topics of interest.

An NCTJ-accredited journalist, Tom also writes reviews, analytical articles, opinion pieces, and interview-led features on the biggest franchises, actors, directors and other industry leaders. You may see his quotes pop up in the odd official Marvel Studios video, too, such as this Moon Knight TV spot.

Away from work, Tom can be found checking out the latest video games, immersing himself in his favorite sporting pastime of football, reading the many unread books on his shelf, staying fit at the gym, and petting every dog he comes across.

Got a scoop, interesting story, or an intriguing angle on the latest news in entertainment? Feel free to drop him a line.