The zombie heist film Army of the Dead was an instant hit on Netflix, and audiences devoured the zombie apocalypse action film featuring the brooding Dave Bautista, comedian Tig Notaro and fan-favorite Matthias Schweighöfer alongside Omari Hardwick, Ana de la Reguera, and Theo Rossi as members of a mercenary group hired to rob a zombie-infested hotel in post-apocalyptic Las Vegas. The vibrant and action-packed film was released to stream on Netflix in 2021 and already has a stand-alone prequel spin-off, Army of Thieves.
If you’re hunting down more films with sharp humor, gory action, high stakes heists, and ragged, hungry zombies then check out these 25 movies like Army of the Dead.
Army Of Thieves
With a story and script by Army of the Dead co-writer Shay Hatten, Army of Thieves is a prequel to the zombie heist film, that shifts focus to the lock-picking, safe cracking, innocent Sebastian. Sebastian is played by Matthias Schweighöfer, who also directs this comedic heist movie, which showcases the actor/director’s boyish exuberance and seemingly accidental hilarity while news reports of the impending zombie outbreak play on televisions in the background. Released straight to Netflix like its predecessor, the film received a higher critical review than Army of the Dead, noting Schweighöfer’s impact both in front of and behind the camera.
Army of Darkness
The third film of the Evil Dead franchise, Army of Darkness stars Bruce Campbell as the brash protagonist, Ash Williams. In a similar fashion to Army of the Dead, Ash leads troops into battle against a legion of zombies, but instead of going after the cash, Ash is in search of the Necronomicon, which will allow him to time travel back to his present-day in the early ’90s. Though the film received the lowest critical response of the trilogy starring Campbell, its cult following brought in nearly four times as much at the box office as its predecessor, Evil Dead 2. The franchise is about to release a new take on the demonic zombie story with Evil Dead Rise set to release sometime in 2022.
Shaun Of The Dead
Nick Frost and Simon Pegg (Hot Fuzz) star as two aimless, slacker best friends who are caught off guard by the zombie apocalypse overtaking London. First believing that the zombies are drunk people, the two don’t catch on until they find themselves fighting for their lives with a shovel and cricket bat. Based on an episode of Pegg and co-writer Edgar Wright’s sitcom Spaced, the zombie comedy follows a group of unlikely survivors in their battle to find shelter in their favorite local pub. The film came in second at the box office behind Adam Sandler’s 50 First Dates, while receiving critical acclaim and a fantastic 92% on Rotten Tomatoes.
Woody Harrelson, Jesse Eisenberg, Emma Stone, and Abigail Breslin star in Zombieland as a ragtag group of apocalypse survivors, all searching for a piece of home. Bill Murray makes a cameo appearance as himself in this hilarious, action-packed survival comedy. Released in 2009, Zombieland quickly became the highest-grossing zombie film of all time in the US, bypassing the 2004 remake of Dawn Of The Dead and holding the title until the release of World War Z in 2013. The film was nominated for 28 awards, winning six, including Best Horror Movie of the 2009 Scream Awards.
Dead Before Dawn 3D
A group of unsuspecting college students break an evil urn that unleashes a demonic zombifying curse. The 3D film was shot in only 20 days and was released at the Toronto International Film Festival. Cheesy and light-hearted, this horror spoof was Canada’s first film live-action stereoscopic 3D film and directed by April Mullen, the first woman to direct a live-action stereoscopic 3D film.
6 Underground stars Ryan Reynolds as the leader known as One in the action-packed thriller film that follows six individuals of a vigilante squad in their pursuit of international criminals. Directed by Micheal Bay (Armageddon), the film was released by Netflix in 2019 to mixed reviews with critics noting the film’s focus on action amidst Bay’s joyful and bizarre mayhem. Reynolds’ charming comedy shines in this lighthearted and action-packed heist film.
The Dead Don’t Die
The Dead Don’t Die features an ensemble cast of recognizable names such as Bill Murray, Adam Driver, Tilda Swinton, Steve Buschemi, Selena Gomez, Danny Glover, Rosie Perez, Iggy Pop, RZA, and more. This oddball dark zombie comedy was released in 2019 and was directed by Jim Jarmusch (Paterson). The Dead Don’t Die, which premiered as the opening film of the 2019 Cannes Film Festival, features deadpan comedy in the dialogue between stars Murray and Driver who portray police officers in the rural town of Centerville investigating a missing chicken when things start to go awry.
Released in 2018, this action horror film follows a group of brazen US soldiers on the eve of D-Day. While attempting to take down a Nazi radio tower, the group discovers something even more sinister in way of strange genetic experiments taking place in the heavily guarded base. The film’s premise was conceived by J.J. Abrams with a screenplay written by Mark L. Smith alongside Billy Ray, who was one of the writers for The Hunger Games. Released in 2018 by Paramount pictures Overlord premiered at the Austin Texas Fantastic Fest, and went on to win two of the seven awards it was nominated for.
Day Of The Dead
In George A. Romero’s 1985 horror film Day Of The Dead, audiences follow a group of scientists trying to find a cure to the zombie virus and the soldiers assigned to protect them. This is the third film of Romero’s Night Of The Living Dead franchise, which has amassed a cult following over the years. The film was released to poor box office reception but gained most of its $30 million revenue when it was released onto VHS, contrasting original reviews and going on to receive critical praise for its make-up effects. While dealing with budgetary restraints and varying concepts Romero wrote a total of 5 scripts before finally reaching an agreement with the United Film Distribution Company and creating the horror film that made audiences jump, scream, and fear what could be lurking behind the walls.
28 Days Later
In post-apocalyptic Great Britain, four survivors of the quickly spreading zombie virus fight for survival. Directed by Danny Boyle (Trainspotting) and written by Alex Garland (The Beach), 28 Days Later received positive reviews from both audiences and critics, winning seven awards along with a spot on Bravos’ list of ‘The 100 Scariest Movie Moments’. The franchise has gone on to create a sequel titled 28 Week Later, garnering a cult following and publishing two graphic novel series.
Prisoners Of The Ghostland
Nicolas Cage stars as a man named Hero in this 2021 horror western. Prisoners Of The Ghostland features surreal imagery with a mix of futuristic weaponry, cowboys, and Japanese culture. In Prisoners Of The Ghostland, audiences follow Hero into the mutant inhabited Ghostland as he searches for The Governor’s lost sex slave. If Bernice Is not rescued in five days then Hero’s bomb-rigged suit will explode. The film premiered at Sundance Film Festival in 2021 and was released to streaming shortly after. Directed by acclaimed Japanese filmmaker Sion Sono, Prisoners Of The Ghostland dives into a world of cults and madness while fighting the patriarchy.
The Suicide Squad
The Suicide Squad stars Margot Robbie in her role as the insanely cute and deadly funny Harley Quinn. Quinn and her cohorts of questionable morality make a deal to carry out dangerous missions in exchange for lessened prison sentences. Based on the DC Comic team of the same name, The Suicide Squad is a hilarious take on the heist style film structure and utilizes on-set special effects by Dan Sudick. Written and directed by James Gunn (Guardians Of The Galaxy), the film is considered an improvement from its predecessor, Suicide Squad (2016), earning a 90% on Rotten Tomatoes.
Birds Of Prey
The feminine-powered DCEU film Birds Of Prey follows Marot Robbie’s Harley Quinn in a cute but badass comedy heist film in which Quinn is being hunted down by every villain she has ever wronged in Gotham. In order to pay off her debts she plans to retrieve a stolen diamond, the only problem is it’s inside the stomach of a teenage girl. Quinn teams up with the overlooked and overworked detective Renee Montoya (Rosie Perez), anti-social revenge-seeking Huntress (Mary Winstead), and the hypersonic Black Canary (Jurnee Smollett) to not only protect the child but retrieve the gem. Written by Christina Hodson (Bumblebee) and directed by Cathy Yan (Dead Pigs), the R-rated film raked in over $200 million worldwide and received positive reviews with critics noting Robbie’s more in-depth, funnier performance in the Quinn focussed film.
Bringing more girl-power to the fight is Gunpowder Milkshake. Karen Gillan (Doctor Who) stars as a young hit-woman hired to retrieve stolen money and take out the thief. When she discovers that the money was stolen to pay a ransom on the thief’s daughter’s head, Sam (Gillan) teams up with her missing mother’s hit-woman friends to save the girl and herself. Though the film feels like it could be based on a comic book, it is an original piece written by Israeli filmmaker Navot Papushado and screenwriter Ehud Lavski. Released to stream on Netflix in 2021, the beautifully stylized heist film is packed with action, deep emotions, and wild mayhem.
When you think “heist film” you likely picture Brad Pitt, George Clooney, and the rest of the cast of the crime comedy Ocean’s Eleven. Directed by Steven Soderbergh, who specializes in crime and heist thrillers, Ocean’s Eleven follows a crew of intelligent criminals in their plot for monetary revenge on a casino owner. Released in 2007, the well-received film brought in an astounding $300 million worldwide. Full of twists, turns, and casually funny dialogue, this classic comedy heist turned into a franchise boasting two sequels and one stand-alone, female-led reboot.
Starring the awkwardly hilarious Zach Galifianakis alongside Owen Wilson, Jason Sudekis, and SNL alum Kristen Wiig in this hilarious comedy heist film. Masterminds showcases a heist gone wrong when dubious armored vehicle driver David Ghant is seduced into robbing Loomis Fargo & Company. Based on the true story of the 1997 Loomis Fargo robbery in North Carolina, the film features all of the awful fashion of the time, complete with flowing mullets and Canadian tuxedos. Masterminds, released in 2016 by Relativity Media, is full of charming wackiness and laugh-out-loud Galifianakis-fuelled scenes.
This science-fiction thriller follows a team with a very specific specialty. While other heist crews are after money or riches, this team is after information hidden deep within their clients’ minds. Leonardo DiCaprio stars alongside Joseph Gordon Levitt and Elliot Page in this beautifully shot psychological thriller based on lucid dreaming. Written and directed by award-winning filmmaker Christopher Nolan (The Dark Knight Trilogy), Inception was a major success with its mind-bending storyline blurring the lines between dream and reality. Bringing in over $800 million worldwide the film received positive reviews with critics calling Inception rare, smart, and inventive.
Written and directed by dark humor filmmaker Quentin Tarantino, Inglourious Basterds stars Brad Pitt as brash and brazen Lieutenant Aldo Raine, who puts together a group of Jewish-Amerian soldiers to hunt down Nazis in 1944 France.
The film grossed over $300 million, making it the highest-grossing Tarantino film of the time, surpassing the two-part Kill Bill films. Tarantino made two cameos in the film, one as an American soldier and another as a scalped Nazi. Written in 1998 Tarantino struggled to choose an ending to the film which was eventually released in 2009, receiving positive reviews for the Nazi scalping, Hitler-burning action-comedy.
The Magnificent Seven
A remake of the 1960 film of the same name, The Magnificent Seven stars Denzel Washington, Chris Pratt, Ethan Hawke, Vincent D’Onofrio, Lee Byung-hun, Manuel Garcia-Rulfo, and Martin Sensmeier in this western film where Washington heads a group of revenge-seeking gunslingers attempting to overthrow the greedy land grabbing Bartholomew Bogue. The Magnificent Seven premiered at the 2016 Toronto International Film Festival closing out the festival as the last film shown that year. Critics praised the film’s action sequences and phenomenal cast with audiences rating the film an A- via CinemaScore.
Based on the limited series DC comic of the same name, Watchmen follows a group of retired superheroes who must work together again after one of their teammates is found dead. The ensemble cast stars Jeffrey Morgan as the fallen superhero, The Comedian, Malin Akerman as Laurie Jupiter, Billy Crudup as the omnipotent Doctor Manhattan, Jackie Hayley as fan-favorite Rorschach, Patrick Wilson as Nite Owl, and Matthew Goode as Ozymandias. Directed by Zack Snyder (300), the eerily dark action film is full of interesting tech and deep character development. The film, which Snyder made as close to the original comic as possible, went on to be nominated for 19 awards, winning four including the 2009 Scream Award for Best Comic Book Movie.
The Maze Runner
The science fiction film The Maze Runner takes place in a strange grassy area called The Glade, surrounded by a giant, ever-changing, inescapable maze. Dylan O’Brien (Teen Wolf) stars alongside Kaya Scodelario (Skins) as two of the teenagers who arrive in The Glade with no memory. The film has two sequel films based on novels of the same names written by James Dasher, teaching audiences about honesty, bravery, and comradery, contrasting scenes of warmth and acceptance with a dark creeping fear of the unknown. The Maze Runner was released in 2016 to positive audience reviews, receiving an A- from CinemaScore.
Avengers: Infinity War
In this Marvel Universe superhero film, the band of heroes has teamed up with the Guardians Of The Galaxy to locate and retrieve the Infinity Stones before Thanos gets his hands on them and uses them to “create balance” in the universe. The ensemble cast features Robert Downey Jr. as Ironman, Chris Hemsworth as Thor, Mark Ruffalo as The Hulk, Chris Evans as Captain America, Scarlett Johansson as Black Widow, Benedict Cumberbatch as Dr.Strange, Chadwick Boseman as Black Panther, and more. Directed by Anthony and Joe Russo (Arrested Development) this comedic action-packed film is the third installment of the Avengers franchise. Nominated for 55 awards, the film poked fun at egotistical heroes and earned positive reviews from critics who noted the film’s ability to find balance amongst the large cast.
X-Men is the first film of the franchise that follows a team of superhero mutants battling for peace amongst humans. Featuring epic fight scenes and impressive special effects, this sci-fi action film won multiple awards and started an 11 film franchise. Directed by Bryan Singer (Bohemian Rhapsody) the early 2000’s film introduces us to Hugh Jackman as Wolverine. Russell Crowe was the first choice for the role of Wolverine but he recommended Jackman for the part after turning the part down. This was Jackman’s first major film role. X-Men went on to be the ninth highest-grossing film of 2000 worldwide and received positive reviews from both critics and audiences.
This psychological action film is set in a visually stunning fantasy world, following Babydoll (Emily Browning) and the other women locked away in an illegitimate home for the mentally insane. In their attempts to escape audiences see the group enter a series of fantasy worlds to fight in epic battles. The film is also directed by Zack Snyder, who considers the film as Alice In Wonderland with machine guns, and is Snyder’s first originally conceptualized piece. Filled with imaginative weaponry, dark and interesting scenery this sexy story of badass women is a stylized, action-packed fantasy of revenge.
Kick-Ass is a dark comedy film starring Aaron Taylor-Johnson (Avengers: Age Of Ultron) as a teen who sets out to become a superhero. The film is a strange and violent rush with Matthew Vaughn (Stardust) directing the screenplay that was written by Jane Goldman, based on a comic book of the same name. Alongside Taylor-Johnson, the ensemble cast includes Nicolas Cage, Chloe Grace Moretz, Mark Strong, and Christopher Mintz-Plasse. The rights to the gory film were sold before the first volume of the comic book was even published, with the stories developing side by side. The audacious humor and outrageous amount of violence made this film stand out amongst other superhero films with many critics raving about the 11-year-old character Hit-Girl portrayed by Moretz.