Yeah, I’m thinking you’re back — on the hunt for more movies like John Wick. Fortunately, I love the John Wick movies, so I’m ready to help you find something for after you watch the John Wick movies online, again.
In four movies, we’ve discovered the omnipresent world of assassins that lurk and hunt for contracted kills behind every corner. And we saw John Wick (Keanu Reeves) rise from retirement and into action to slay oh so many baddies.
Just don’t expect movies that are John Wick knockoffs. We applaud Bob Odenkirk for working outside his comfort zone in Nobody. We acknowledge Netflix’s Gunpower Milkshake, though note that it’s not exactly as good as was to be expected. This is a list of movies that are their own thing, though one does have an adorable dog, too.
1. Kung Fu Hustle (2004)
You never know the particular sets of skills of those living around you, and that’s part of the message from Stephen Chow’s Kung Fu Hustle. But unlike the shiny and polished cityscapes of John Wick, this action flick takes place in the grimy Pig Sty Alley, which is so unclean that even The Bowery King would need a shower after leaving.
The Axe Gang terrorizing the ‘Alley’ quickly learns they (like Iosef Tarasov) picked the wrong fight, as a trio of retired kung fu legends pop out prove they’ve still got it. And as serious as the above might sound, Kung Fu Hustle is just as much a comedy as it is an action movie, thanks to Chow’s sensibilities.
Watch now on Prime Video
2. Bullet Train (2022)
John Wick, according to some doubters, turned out better than it had any right to be, given its thin story. Bullet Train is quite a similar film in that regard, but for the opposite reason: it’s stuffed to the gills with plots.
A hitman (Brad Pitt) codenamed ‘Ladybug’ is trying, desperately, to complete his current assignment, pulling a valuable briefcase off a passenger on a bullet train speeding across Japan. Unfortunately, that piece of luggage is held by a pair of English brothers, codenamed ‘Lemon’ (Brian Tyree Henry) and ‘Tangerine’ (Aaron Taylor-Johnson), who are also hitmen.
Also on board are fistfuls of other killers who are chasing various contracts, as well as The Wolf (Bad Bunny), who wants revenge against Ladybug.
Bullet Train comes together quite well as an answer to the question “what if John Wick, but slapstick?”
Watch it on Netflix
3. Kill Bill Vol. 1 (2003)
Hitmen? Check? Revenge? Check. Epic fight scenes? Check? Style to spare? Oh, you better believe director Quentin Tarantino’s east-meets-western flick is filled with flair.
But instead of mourning a late wife and a dead dog, The Bride (Uma Thurman) is out for the blood of Bill (David Carradine), who ran the elite squad she used to be a part of. Until, of course, she was left for dead on her wedding day (hence her moniker).
An utter delight of a film, if you like kung-fu, gunplay and rapid-fire dialogue, Kill Bill Vol. 1 is a magnum opus of a movie. The fact that it was only Tarantino’s fourth movie ever makes it all the more impressive.
Watch for free on Tubi right now
4. Kingsman: The Secret Service (2014)
If you love the dignity afforded to the guests of The Continental hotels, then you might want to investigate the Kingsman series. Eggsy (Taron Egerton) is practically failing out of life despite his own talents, only to be pulled into a secret society of agents. And they operate out of a tailor’s shop on the famed Saville Row in London.
Applauded for its style and twists on classic tropes, The Kingsman is for John Wick fans who also enjoy a James Bond movie here and there.
Watch now on HBO Max
5. Léon: The Professional (1994)
Mathilde (Natalie Portman) doesn’t know how badly she needs a hitman around the corner until a corrupt DEA agent (Gary Oldman) puts the screws to her wreck of a father. Then, unlike the civilians in the John Wick movies, she learns that her neighbor Léon (Jean Reno) is a hired killer, and she demands he teach her the skills she needs for her safety and revenge.
The Professional thrives because of its contrasts. Oldman is unhinged and manic, while Reno is warm and understated. Meanwhile, something angry grows inside of Portman, who is desperate and demanding.
Watch on Netflix
6. Game Night (2018)
This is more of a comedic take on the whole John Wick concept, with a huge splash of group dynamics and fish-out-of-water madness. Max (Jason Bateman) and Annie (Rachel McAdams) find their regular weekly game night thrown into chaos after a guest is kidnapped, and the two have to investigate the seedy underbelly of criminals that have been hiding in plain sight.
Recommended for those who want a laugh or two with their action, Game Night is one of those movies that’s been criminally underseen. And while Max and Annie get into fight after fight, and hunt down a criminal known as The Bulgarian, you’ll start to think “they could really use John Wick’s help.”
Oh, and there’s a very cute dog, too.
Watch on Prime Video
7. Atomic Blonde (2017)
OK, I’ll admit that Atomic Blonde is often compared to John Wick, so my premise of “similar but different” is stretched here. The comparisons make sense beyond its plot, too as its director David Leitch was the uncredited co-director of John Wick 1.
All that out of the way, Atomic Blonde is its own beast, tackling the lives of spies during the time before the fall of the Berlin Wall. And instead of John Wick, we get Charlize Theron as Lorraine Broughton, a highly-skilled MI6 agent tracking down a list of all of the secret agents on either side of the lines of battle.
Praised for it style, violence and charm, Atomic Blonde is definitely a movie to check out if you’re a fan of Mr. Wick and Cold War-era stories.
Rent or buy digitally on Amazon, Apple and other digital retailers.
8. Taken (2008)
Similar to John Wick, Brian Mills (Liam Neeson) is semi-retired, but drawn back into killing lots of folks when something from him is … taken. In this case, it’s his daughter (Maggie Grace) rather than his dog, and Neeson shoots his way through Paris trying to find her.
Part of the success of Taken lies in the fact that Neeson is so unassuming you wouldn’t take him as an ex-special forces type, capable of dispatching assassins and would-be abductors with ease. And, the 90-minute Taken is a very taut action movie that moves along at a nice, brisk pace. It was so popular that it spawned two sequels, but the original is still the best. — Mike Prospero
Watch on Starz
Why not watch the movie whose namesake is the star of John Wick? In this case, the main characters Clarence (Keegan-Michael Key) and Rell (Jordan Poole), starring in their first movie together, are dragged into the criminal underworld by the abduction of their cat, the titular Keanu.
To get their kitty back, these milquetoast middle-aged suburbanites have to face off against drug dealers and gangsters of all stripes. The movie starts out as a pretty farcical comedy, but gets increasingly dark as it goes along. But, the kitten is absolutely adorable.
Watch on Peacock