Espionage takes on a new meaning in Matthew Vaughn’s new action comedy, Argylle. Elly Conway (Bryce Dallas Howard) is the hermitlike author behind the popular Argylle series about a secret agent named Aubrey Argylle. When Elly is ambushed on a train by members of the shady organization known as the Division, Aidan (Sam Rockwell), a real-life spy, intervenes and saves her. Aidan informs Elly that the plot of her novels mirrors real life, and her words hold the key to stopping the Division.
Argylle is a globetrotting adventure that spoofs popular spy tropes to create a zany, fun action comedy with the hopes of starting a new trilogy. If you’re on an espionage kick, here are three action movies like Argylle to watch in your spare time. Our picks include one of Vaughn’s most famous films, an underappreciated action film from the 2010s, and the seventh film in a landmark franchise.
Kingsman: The Secret Service (2014)
Vaughn’s first taste of the spy genre came in 2014 with Kingsman: The Secret Service. Eggsy Unwin (Taron Egerton) is a troublemaker heading down the wrong path. Eggsy’s life changes with the arrival of Agent Harry Hart (Colin Firth), who recruits him to join the Kingsman, a British secret spy organization. With nowhere else to go, Eggsy enters Kingsman training with a group of recruits and studies under Agent Merlin (Mark Strong).
While Eggsy trains, the Kingsman investigate Richmond Valentine (Samuel L. Jackson), an eco-terrorist who embarks on a plan to kill most of the world’s population to solve climate change. While the over-the-top action sequences can be hit or miss, Kingsman is undoubtedly a blast thanks to its witty characters and stylish direction.
Stream Kingsman: The Secret Service on Max.
The Man from U.N.C.L.E. (2015)
Fun fact: Henry Cavill and Daniel Craig were the two finalists for James Bond in Casino Royale. Craig won the role of 007, while Cavill put his dreams of playing a spy on hold. Before Argylle, the Man of Steel actor experienced his first taste of espionage in The Man from U.N.C.L.E., Guy Ritchie’s 2015 film adaptation of the 1960s television show.
In 1963, CIA agent Napoleon Solo (Cavill) and KGB agent Illya Kuryakin (Armie Hammer) put their Cold War allegiances behind them to team up and save the world. Their mission is to stop Nazi sympathizers from building a nuclear weapon with the help of Dr. Udo Teller (Christian Berkel), a kidnapped scientist being held against his will. The duo relies on Gaby Teller (Alicia Vikander), Udo’s daughter, for help finding her father. Although considered a box office bomb, The Man from U.N.C.L.E has developed a cult following and remains an underappreciated action film.
Rent The Man from U.N.C.L.E. on Prime Video, Google, and Apple.
Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning (2023)
Barbenheimer was one of the best moments of 2023. As Oppenheimer and Barbie ruled the box office, one film suffered financially as it failed to make an impact on pop culture. That film was Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part One. Yet, Dead Reckoning was a good film, and now that it lives on Paramount+ with a new title, it has the chance to generate a renewed sense of interest.
For the seventh time in his career, Tom Cruise stars as Ethan Hunt, the legendary IMF agent who protects the world from danger. Ethan and his IMF team face a new opponent called “the Entity,” a powerful AI that can control the world if it gets into the wrong hands. This mission will push Ethan to his limit, forcing him to choose between protecting the world or saving his friends.
Stream Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning on Paramount+.