In July 2022, Joe and Anthony Russo released one of flashiest and most expensive Netflix productions to date with the star-studded and white-knuckled action thriller The Gray Man. The movie, which stars Ryan Gosling as a CIA black ops assassin being chased by his own agency and the mustached madman played by Chris Evans, has consistently been one of the most popular 2022 Netflix movies since making its debut, and fans just can’t seem to get enough.
But before the eventual sequel and spinoff come out at some point in the future, we’re all going to need to find a way to spend the time before we pick back up with The Gray Man cast (or what’s left of it). One way we can go about this is to watch other titles that have at least one thing in common with one of the biggest new movies of the year. Here are a just few of the best options…
Drive (Amazon Rental)
An unnamed stunt driver (Ryan Gosling) who also works as a getaway driver in Los Angeles finds himself in a delicate situation after a job involving his neighbor’s ex-convict husband (Oscar Isaac) goes terribly wrong.
Similar to Ryan Gosling’s Court Gentry in The Gray Man, his ice-cold character in Nicolas Winding Refn’s 2011 neo-noir thriller, Drive, is the very definition of calm, cool, and collected even in the most dangerous of situations. But, also like his CIA mercenary on the run in his latest movie, his driver also has a soft spot for children in need.
Rent/Buy Drive on Amazon. (opens in new tab)
Captain America: The Winter Soldier (Disney+)
Following the events of The Avengers, Steve Rogers (Chris Evans) experiences an immense change when he realizes that not only is his long-lost friend, Bucky Barnes (Sebastian Stan), not actually dead but he’s a brainwashed super-soldier serving as a deadly assassin.
One of the best Marvel movies to date, Captain America: The Winter Soldier is a pivotal point in the MCU as “The First Avenger” learns who he can and can’t trust, especially within S.H.I.E.L.D. On top of the similarities in story, the 2014 movie also marked the first time Chris Evans worked with the Russo Brothers, though his character’s demeanor couldn’t be more different.
Stream Captain America: The Winter Soldier on Disney+. (opens in new tab)
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No Time To Die (Prime Video)
Years after leaving her majesty’s secret service, a.k.a. active duty, James Bond (Daniel Craig) is enjoying his retirement in peace and quiet. When Felix Leiter (Jeffrey Wright) makes an unexpected visit to ask for help, though, 007 once again finds himself on a mission that could very well be his last.
The No Time to Die cast is full of tremendous actors from top to bottom, with one of the standouts being Ana de Armas’ CIA agent, Paloma, who provides one of the best sequences of the movie. If you liked de Armas in The Gray Man, then you’ll love her here, even if she doesn’t have as much screen time.
Mission: Impossible - Fallout (Paramount+)
In an attempt to stop the terrorist organization known as the Apostles, Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise) and the rest of his IMF team join forces with CIA agent August Walker (Henry Cavill) as they search for three plutonium cores the group plans to use to destroy three holy cities.
You could technically watch any of the Mission: Impossible movies to get your spy thriller fix, but the sixth installment, 2018’s Fallout, is probably your best best. There are over-the-top action sequences and fights (including a ridiculous scene involving a plane), double-crossing, and a mustached and psychotic villain in what has to be one of the best action movies of all time.
Stream Mission: Impossible - Fallout on Paramount+. (opens in new tab)
Rent/Buy Mission: Impossible - Fallout on Amazon. (opens in new tab)
Jack Ryan (Prime Video)
Jack Ryan (John Krasinski) is a former United States Marine working as an analyst with the CIA, far from the action. But when he connects some questionable bank transactions to a terrorist organization, he’s thrown into field duty and is never the same.
The Amazon original series, Jack Ryan, features a younger and less experienced CIA analyst and one of the better interpretations of Tom Clancy’s most famous character. With plenty of action, suspense, and fulfilling narratives throughout its first two seasons, there’s a lot to enjoy by The Gray Man fans.
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Hardened mercenary Tyler Rake (Chris Hemsworth) is hired to find and rescue Ovi Mahajan Jr. (Rudraksh Jaiswal), the kidnapped son of a prolific Indian crime lord. What first appears to be a simple operation turns into something more complicated as the truth begins to unfold.
Written by The Gray Man co-director Joe Russo, the 2020 Netflix movie, Extraction is a fun, loud, and messy thriller, that finds that balance between explosive action, heart, and humor, creating an all-around fun and worthwhile experience.
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The Raid 2 (HBO Max)
Immediately after he and an elite force take out a Jakarta crime boss, Rama (Iko Uwais) is sent on another mission. The only difference this time is he will be forced to go undercover to infiltrate a vast criminal operation from the inside.
Gareth Evans’ 2014 crime epic, The Raid 2, takes what its predecessor started and turns it up a few notches. Similar to The Gray Man, this instant classic is massive in scope and features some of the most hard-hitting and eye-catching fight sequences of the past decade. It’s just a bummer it looks like The Raid 3 isn’t going to happen.
CIA operations officer Carrie Mathison (Claire Danes) is tasked with investigating decorated United States Marine Nicholas Brody (Damian Lewis), who was captured and possibly turned against his country by a terrorist organization. Matters only get more complicated from there.
Like The Gray Man, the Showtime original series, Homeland, is full of espionage, back-channel deals, and untrustworthy characters. With eight seasons, it’s going to take a considerable amount of time to watch the award-winning series, but it’s perfect for fans of the genre.
John Wick (Peacock)
After a group of young criminals with connections to a Russian crime syndicate in New York City make the mistake of killing John Wick’s (Keanu Reeves) puppy, which was a gift from his dead wife, and steal his car, the legendary assassin comes out of retirement and turns the criminal underworld on its head.
All of the John Wick movies should be watched, especially with the fourth installment on the way, but this is the best place to start, obviously. If you liked the stylish fights and action sequences of The Gray Man, wait until you see what Mr. Wick can do behind a gun and any other weapon.
Enemy Of The State (Amazon Rental)
Washington, D.C. Attorney Robert Dean (Will Smith) finds himself the most-wanted man by the NSA after an old college buddy hands him a disc containing video of the agency’s chief, Thomas Reynolds (Jon Voight), murdering a member of congress.
Tony Scott’s Enemy of the State is one of the movies on this list with the most in common with The Gray Man considering they both center on characters who find themselves in the wrong place at the wrong time and become part of an agency’s attempt to sweep the mess under the rug.
Rent/Buy Enemy of the State on Amazon. (opens in new tab)
The Night Manager (Prime Video)
Former British soldier and current Cairo luxury hotel night manager Jonathan Pine (Tom Hiddleston) is tasked with bringing down one of the world’s premier arms dealers, Richard Roper (Hugh Laurie), kicking off an epic and deadly turn of events.
Although it isn’t as sensational or over-the-top as The Gray Man, the 2016 limited series, The Night Manager, packs quite a punch. If you are fascinated by seedy government agencies, loud personalities, and great action, then look no further.
The King’s Man (Hulu / HBO Max)
In an effort to prevent a mysterious group of terrorists from thrusting the world into the most devastating war of all time, Orlando Oxford (Ralph Fiennes) puts together a team of spies to prevent the unthinkable from happening.
Matthew Vaughn’s 2021 spy action film, The King’s Man, serves up a great prequel to his Kingsman franchise as well as being a tremendous World War I thriller with its fair share of historical figures. If stylized and unique fight scenes are your thing, this is a great movie to check out.
Each of these titles have a least one thing in common with The Gray Man, but these aren’t the only movies and shows that should be watched by fans of the Russo brothers’ latest effort. It also wouldn’t hurt to check out classics like Clear and Present Danger, Three Days of the Condor, or Heat for one reason or another.