Well, folks: it’s finally here. After numerous delays and years of waiting, Black Widow is now available in Australian theatres (or on Disney+ for everyone still locked down). The spy genre is relatively new for Marvel, and it’s great to see the film dive deep into the world espionage — but if you’re looking for more spy-themed thrills to keep the adrenaline going, there’s plenty of other movies like Black Widow to keep you amped.
Here’s a few of the best spy thrillers and heist films out there to get you started.
The Bourne Identity
The Bourne Identity kicked off the modern gritty-action spy drama and helped it grow into a thriving genre — and it still holds up today. In fact, it might be one of the best dramas out of the early 2000s.
Matt Damon has yet to top his role as Jason Bourne, and the entire franchise (which so far spans five movies) is well worth a watch. If you’re in the mood for some fast-paced, action-heavy adventuring, you can’t go wrong with The Bourne Identity.
The entire Bourne series is available for streaming on Stan.
John Wick 3 — Parabellum
While the John Wick series started as a simple action-adventure film, it quickly morphed into a dense, spy-filled world of assassins and secret societies. Keanu Reeves’ Wick has a lot in common with Natasha Romanoff of Black Widow, in that they share a dark past in a world of blood and mayhem. There’s also a touch of superheroics in this film as the third instalment dives deep into Wick’s Russian past.
Many have pointed out similarities between the two characters, and it’s a very fair comparison to make. It’s on show for all to see in Parabellum.
If you’re amped up to watch more women kick arse, Atomic Blonde is a fantastic, in-your-face spy thriller starring the always-on-point Charlize Theron as a total arse-kicker. Like Black Widow, it’s also inspired by Soviet espionage, and follows an agent for the CIA, as she fights her way through enemies and friends.
It’s big, it’s fun and it’s absolutely gorgeous.
Atomic Blonde is now streaming on Binge.
Captain America: The Winter Soldier
Captain America: The Winter Soldier is one of Marvel’s absolute best films, and it was also the first major opportunity Natasha Romanoff had to show off everything she’s made of. It was this film that solidified her in the hearts of many and proved what a badarse she really was.
This movie really has it all: high-speed chases, dark pasts, and plenty of spying antics. If you loved Black Widow and you haven’t seen The Winter Soldier, you’re in for a massive treat.
You can catch this instalment of the Captain America franchise (along with all the others) on Disney+ in Australia.
If you prefer your spy films with a bit more espionage and ‘broship’ then the Ocean’s films are for you. In these all-star ensemble thrillers, stars like George Clooney, Brad Pitt and Matt Damon undertake massively intricate heists through various banks and palazzos across America. It’s not quite as ‘action-y’ as Black Widow and it doesn’t feature any actual spying, but it shares the same sense of tension and witty banter.
With consistently snarky dialogue, great characters and plenty of iconic scenes, this is one series deserving of a re-visit.
You can catch the entire Ocean’s series streaming on Binge in Australia.
For more spy antics and adventure, the Angelina Jolie-starring Salt is another great bet. Like others on the list, it’s a politically-charged action film following the interrelations between the KGB and the CIA, with Jolie’s Evelyn Salt being an unwitting pawn in a much larger game.
The action here is tight and it’s a movie you’ll want to watch more than once. Frankly, it’s a real shame the planned sequel never happened because Salt is a blast and Jolie is great here.
Salt is currently streaming on Netflix in Australia.
Black Widow will be available on Disney+ later today, but for everyone not currently locked down it’s now showing in Australian theatres.