A movie packed with action, underground crimes, and familial connections, Taken is one of the iconic movies of the late 2000s. The film is an excellent fixture in the action genre, featuring intense fighting scenes and badass lines. Here are the twelve best movies like Taken to quench your thirst for gut-punching action.
The hit trilogy Taken has taken the action scene like a storm. With fast-paced fighting scenes and a well-woven storyline, the film is regarded as one of the most popular action series. Pierre Morel’s Taken stars well-known Hollywood actors such as Liam Neeson and Maggie Grace.
The film revolves around Liam Neeson’s Bryan Mills’ search for his kidnapped daughter. On her way to a vacation in Paris, Kim, and her best friend, Amanda, are kidnapped by an Albanian sex trafficking ring. As a retired CIA agent, Bryan must use his deduction skills and find his daughter before it’s too late.
Taken received a lukewarm critical success, often citing the gratuitous action and drama. However, the film is a commercial success, earning ten times its budget with a gross of $226 million.
1. Commando (1985)
English 1h 30m IMDb
Director: Mark L. Lester
Stars: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Rae Dawn Chong, Dan Hedaya
An action movie classic from none other than Arnold Schwarzenegger, Commando details a daughter rescue mission similar to Taken. Get ready for explosive action and a lot of guns and grenades, as Commando is about to give it to you and more.
The story follows the retired special agent, John Matrix, as he is forced to get into the game again with the kidnapping of his daughter. Hunted by his chaotic past and unresolved enemies, John must use his old skills to save his daughter from the hands of a band of thugs.
If you are an action film connoisseur, this classic should be on the top of your must-watch list. It has many similar plot beats to Taken, as the film serves as an inspiration for it.
2. Peppermint (2018)
English 1h 41m IMDb
Director: Pierre Morel
Stars: Jennifer Garner, John Gallagher Jr., John Ortiz
Another action film from director Pierre Morel, Peppermint, is still swinging with incredible fight scenes and a badass female lead starring Jennifer Lawrence. The film revolves around the revenge of Riley, as a shootout kills her family in a nearby carnival. The killers are left scot-free, making matters worse for the grieving mother and wife.
In search of justice, Riley turns to being a vigilante, placing the fate of those who wronged her family in her own hands. This includes the killers and those in the police system that sided with the suspects. Is she a hero? Or just a crazed mother looking for violence?
Peppermint is one of those run-in-the-mill types of revenge fantasies. Akin to Taken, the film also ties in the love for family as the primary source of their anger and justification.
3. Run All Night (2015)
English 1h 54m IMDb
Director: Jaume Collet-Serra
Stars: Liam Neeson, Ed Harris, Joel Kinnaman
Another film starring Liam Neeson, Run All Night, is one of the must-watch if you love Taken. With the fact that the movies have the same star actor, the plot beats regarding a father with ties with an underground crime is an ongoing theme.
With the mix of father and child ties, Run All Night is a certified successor of Taken’s success.
The film revolves around two fathers, Jimmy and Shawn, as they fight to protect and get revenge for the fate of their sons. With Jimmy’s son being hunted due to his mistakes, a fight between the two camps is in motion.
In this movie, Liam Neeson again proves that he is an excellent lead in an action flick. With a commanding posture yet charismatic aura. The backdrop of the New York City noir also elevates the movie-watching experience.
4. Edge of Darkness (2010)
English 1h 57m IMDb
Director: Martin Campbell
Stars: Mel Gibson, Ray Winstone, Danny Huston
A movie starring the well-known action star Mel Gibson, Edge of Darkness, also details the connection between a father and daughter. Distraught from the death of his daughter, Thomas must search for the cause and seek out the justice she deserves.
In the wake of his grieving, Thomas founds out that he is onto something as he investigates his daughter’s death. The story leads to a grand conspiracy being traced to one of the local companies. Can he solve the mystery behind the loss of his daughter’s life?
Edge of Darkness is an incredible action and mystery film that brings out the intricate story with the badass fight scenes. It has interwoven the drama and adrenaline sought out in action movies.
5. Léon: The Professional (1994)
English 1h 50m IMDb
Director: Luc Besson
Stars: Jean Reno, Gary Oldman, Natalie Portman
Another film directed and written by Luc Besson, it’s no surprise that taken and Leon: The Professional has a similar vibe to Taken. The film has many things people love about action films, such as stunning fight scenes and a mysterious storyline. The film also serves as a start for the beloved actress Nathalie Portman.
The story follows the death of the family Mathilda. As a young twelve-year-old girl, he is reluctantly taken care of by a professional hitman, Leon. As their familial bond grows, Mathilda starts to learn the art of killing under Leon’s supervision.
The film is a staple in the action flick genre. Since its release, Leon: The Professional has been another fixture in the pop culture sphere.
6. Kill Bill: Vol. 1 (2003)
English 1h 51m IMDb
Director: Quentin Tarantino
Stars: Uma Thurman, David Carradine, Daryl Hannah
One of the most well-loved revenge flicks, Quentin Tarantino’s Kill Bill: Vol. 1, is one of the most influential action films of the 2000s. The movie revolves around the journey for revenge of Uma Thurman’s ‘The Bride.’ Being betrayed by her former colleagues, The Bride must find those who wronged her in search of justice.
Much like Taken, Kill Bill details the journey of the main protagonist, whether for justice or revenge. The action and intricate stories also improve the film exponentially, leading to critical success. If you are a fan of Taken, then you will surely love this film.
Kill Bill is inspired by Western and Asian action films leading to a much more exciting and new way of making action scenes. With a gorgeous and badass female lead, the film earns its way to being one of the most well-known action movies.
7. John Wick (2014)
English 1h 41m IMDb
Director: Chad Stahelski, David Leitch(uncredited)
Stars: Keanu Reeves, Michael Nyqvist, Alfie Allen
Keanu Reeve’s starring role in John Wick is one of the projects that brought him into the limelight again. As he searches for the killer of his late wife’s dog, John Wick encounters his hunting past. Like Bryan Mills, the two are both searching for revenge and suspects as a vigilante.
The film is a successful flick that proves the talent of Keanu Reeves as a cold and silent yet charismatic lead. As proof of its success, the film is one of the most well-known action series in the pop-culture sphere. John Wick’s influence goes out of the action scene into the mass media.
It’s an excellent film if you want a gut-wrenching action, a charismatic lead, and a mysterious unraveling of the past. Once you watch this film, there is one thing for sure: you wouldn’t want to be on John Wick’s wrong side.
8. 3 Days to Kill (2014)
English 1h 57m IMDb
Stars: Kevin Costner, Hailee Steinfeld, Connie Nielsen
Coming from the scriptwriter Luc Besson, 3 Days to Kill juggles the familial ties with action sequences. It revolves around the last assignment of Ethan Renner, a dying CIA agent that wants to get closer to his estranged family. In his sickened state, Ethan must accomplish the job with a chance of a cure for his disease.
Much like Taken, 3 Days to Kill shows how familial connection can be the primary objective of the main protagonist. With Ethan looking forward to having a simple life with his family, the past of being a CIA agent hunts him. It’s no surprise that these two films have similarities as Luc Besson is present in both projects.
If you want a night of thrill and fun action movie, 3 Days to Kill is a must-watch. With its action sequences and genuinely dramatic story, the film is an excellent way to pass the time and unwind.
9. Extraction (2020)
English 1h 56m IMDb
Director: Sam Hargrave
Stars: Chris Hemsworth, Bryon Lerum, Ryder Lerum
Away from the limelight of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Chris Hemsworth found himself in the much-awaited action film Extraction. Much like Taken, the film also deals with a rescue mission. As an underground criminal ring kidnaps the son of a well-known criminal, someone must rescue him before things go out of hand.
Tyler Rake (Chris Hemsworth) finds himself in the middle of various drug organizations as he is tasked to rescue the son of a drug lord, Ovi Mahajan (Rudhraksh Jaiswal). Although Rake is excellent at his job, he has a death wish resulting from the unresolved hauntings of his past.
Released on Netflix in 2020, the film is one of the latest and most popular action films on this list. If you love fast-paced action scenes and gut-punching rescue missions, this film is an absolute must-watch.
10. Dead Man’s Shoes (2004)
English 1h 30m IMDb
Director: Shane Meadows
Stars: Paddy Considine, Gary Stretch, Toby Kebbell
With revenge on his mind, former British paratrooper Richard (Paddy Considine) returns to the small town he grew up in.
There, he exacts the payback for his mentally challenged brother’s struggle against the local gang members in the area. In the wake of his killing spree, Richard must face the truth that he is becoming the monster he ought to destroy.
Dead Man’s Shoes didn’t garner any big box office worldwide. However, the film is hit with British audiences, granting it a classic cult status. The movie serves complex questions paired with the killings and violence across the scenes.
Many love the movie for its use of the backdrop of a small village and local gangs. It might not be a journey across the world for revenge, but the film still serves as an excellent action flick. You should check out Dead Man’s Shoes if you are in for some indie British action films.
11. Oldboy (2003)
English 2h IMDb
Director: Park Chan-wook
Stars: Choi Min-sik, Yoo Ji-Tae, Kang Hye-jeong
If you are in for some Korean action film, then Oldboy can undoubtedly satisfy you. Even though the film came from Korea, you can feel a particular mix of western noir classics. It’s an incredible movie, considered an underrated gem from Asian cinema.
The film follows Oh Dae Su being imprisoned for fifteen years and suddenly released. In his search for his tormentors, Dae Su faces a wide cast of enemies and bonded with a young woman named Mi Do. With a predicament such as his, he must find the answers to his imprisonment with the limited time he has.
The film won the Cannes Festival’s Grand Prix in 2003. Critics and audiences love the intricate story and excellent mystery that will leave you yearning for the plot’s twists and turns. If you have never heard of this film, you should watch this underrated gem.
12. The Brave One (2007)
English 2h 2m IMDb
Director: Neil Jordan
Stars: Jodie Foster, Terrence Howard, Naveen Andrews
Jodie Foster takes on as a vigilante with The Brave One. The films follow the search for revenge for Erica, an upbeat radio host whose fiancée is killed by a violent assault. Unable to leave her old life again, Erica bought a gun from the black market to feel safe.
In her everyday life, she began opening her eyes to the injustices and harassment happening around the local area. With her gun, Erica can protect herself and others through a spree of vigilante shootings. Can she find the perpetrators that caused the death of her fiancée?
The Brave One poses little to no question if Erica’s vigilante shooting is justified. It’s pretty clear that she is a good man shooting down unjust bad guys. It’s not saying that the premise is terrible, as it serves as an exciting ride with incredible action and a dramatic story.
As you can see with this list of twelve best movies like Taken, there are a lot of action-thriller films with the same beats. Most of them serve many punching action scenes that will leave you hanging by the edge of your seat. So what are you waiting for? Ready up some snacks and drinks, and enjoy a night of exhilirating action films.