Movies Like 'The Bourne Identity' to Watch Next

The first 'Bourne' film has turned 20 years old. If you're looking for more action films like it, discover these.

Taylor Freitas

Matt Damon in 'The Bourne Identity'

Courtesy of Universal Pictures / YouTube

Released in 2002, The Bourne Identityis a fast-paced action thriller based on a novel by Robert Ludlum. The film begins in Italy, where Jason Bourne (played by Matt Damon) is rescued by two fishermen. Disoriented and confused, he suddenly realizes that he doesn't know where or who he is.

Soon after he uncovers his identity, Jason learns that he's a wanted man. He goes on the run with a German woman named Marie Kreutz (Franka Potente), who previously helped him escape after being chased. The pair travel through Europe, hoping to evade capture and trying to put together the pieces of Jason's past.

Now the Doug Liman-directed The Bourne Identity has celebrated its 20th anniversary, and in the two decades since its release, the title has spawned a bona fide franchise. There have been four more additions to the Bourne franchise, including The Bourne Supremacy(2004), The Bourne Ultimatum(2007), The Bourne Legacy(2012), and Jason Bourne (2016). Damon plays the titular character in all of the films except for the 2012 installment. (That one follows a new agent, played by Jeremy Renner.) The Bourne franchise also inspired Treadstone, a spin-off TV series based on the CIA program that produces these top agents.

If you've seen (and enjoyed) all of these movies, there are a number of similar films to consider watching next — similar in genre, theme, and even cast and studio.

Here, Metacritic shares 10 movies like The Bourne Identity to check out after you've finished the Bourne franchise.



Courtesy of Sony Pictures


Metascore: 81
Best for: Fans of high-intensity spy thrillers
Where to watch:

, Google Play, iTunes, Paramount+, Vudu
Runtime: 143 minutes

Directed by Sam Mendes, Skyfall marks Daniel Craig's third appearance as MI6 agent James Bond, also known as 007. After a failed mission where 007 is presumed dead, cyberterrorists see an opportunity to attack the MI6 headquarters. In the chaos that ensues, 007 is tasked with investigating how it happened — and discovers that the perpetrator is a former ally now out for revenge. Skyfall was well-received by critics, awards voters, and audiences, taking home two Academy Awards, two BAFTA Awards, two Grammy Awards, and a Screen Actors' Guild Award. It also became the second-highest-grossing film of 2012.

"Dramatically gripping while still brandishing a droll undercurrent of humor, this beautifully made film will certainly be embraced as one of the best Bonds by loyal fans worldwide."  Todd McCarthy, The Hollywood Reporter


Tom Cruise in 'Minority Report'

Courtesy of 20th Century Fox

Minority Report

Metascore: 80
Best for: Fans of action-packed chase films
Where to watch:

, fuboTV, Google Play, iTunes, Showtime, Vudu
Runtime: 145 minutes

Released in 2002, Minority Report is a futuristic action thriller based on a short story by Philip K. Dick. It stars Tom Cruise as Chief John Anderton, an officer in the U.S. government agency known as Precrime, which relies on psychic knowledge to arrest criminals before they offend. But everything changes when Precrime officials receive information that John will soon commit a murder, prompting him to flee and initiating a manhunt to capture him. Minority Report was directed by Steven Spielberg and was nominated for several major awards, including an Oscar (for Best Sound Editing) and a BAFTA Award (for Best Visual Effects).

"Ferociously intense, furiously kinetic, it's expressionist film noir science fiction that, like all good sci-fi, peers into the future to shed light on the present." — David Ansen, Newsweek


Denzel Washington in 'Inside Man'

Courtesy of Universal Pictures

Inside Man

Metascore: 76
Best for: Fans of heist films
Where to watch:

, Google Play, HBO Max, iTunes, Vudu
Runtime: 129 minutes

Inside Man, the crime thriller from director Spike Lee, revolves on a bank robbery and high-stakes stand-off in New York. The film depicts the hostage negotiation process between NYPD Detective Keith Frazier (Denzel Washington) and Dalton Russell (Clive Owen), the leader of the heist. As the tense situation unfolds, bank founder Arthur Case (Christopher Plummer) brings in power broker Madeleine White (Jodie Foster) to enter the bank and protect his safe deposit box, revealing a much darker side to the story. The American Film Institute named it one of the best movies of 2006.

"As with all of Lee's films, there's much more going on beneath the surface than is immediately apparent." — Marc Savlov, The Austin Chronicle


George Clooney in 'Ocean's Eleven'

Courtesy of Warner Bros. Pictures

Ocean's Eleven

Metascore: 74
Best for: Fans of classic movie remakes
Where to watch:

, Google Play, HBO MaxiTunes, Vudu
Runtime: 116 minutes

Ocean's Eleven follows a group of criminals as they plot a $150 million Las Vegas casino heist. The crew is led by Danny Ocean (George Clooney), a parolee with a history of scamming and thieving, with other members including Danny's longtime friend and partner-in-crime Rusty Ryan (Brad Pitt), con man Frank Catton (Bernie Mac), explosives professional Basher Tarr (Don Cheadle), and pickpocket Linus Caldwell (Damon). Ocean's Eleven,a remake of the original 1960 Rat Pack movie, was directed by Steven Soderbergh, who also directed the other two films in its trilogy (2004's Ocean's Twelve and 2007's Ocean's Thirteen). 

"A caper that rarely goes wrong." — David Sterritt, The Christian Science Monitor


John David Washington in 'Tenet'

Courtesy of Warner Bros. Pictures


Metascore: 69
Best for: Fans of surreal sci-fi dramas
Where to watch:

, Google Play, , iTunes, Vudu
Runtime: 150 minutes

Tenet is a 2020 sci-fi spy flick directed by Inception director Christopher Nolan that tells the story of a CIA operative called The Protagonist (John David Washington). He's recruited to a mysterious organization called Tenet, where he's given reverse bullets that enable him to travel through time. Armed with this power, The Protagonist must reverse the course of time to prevent an attack that threatens the future of humanity. Tenet was nominated for two Academy Awards, taking home the award for Best Visual Effects. It also won for Best Special Visual Effects at the BAFTA Awards.

"Even at their most bewildering, the raw imagination and distinctive imagery on display are always thrilling." — Matt Singer, Screen Crush


Mark Wahlberg in 'The Italian Job'

Courtesy of Paramount Pictures

The Italian Job

Metascore: 68
Best for: Fans of high-octane action flicks
Where to watch:

, Google Play, iTunes,
Runtime: 111 minutes

The Italian Job, a remake of the 1969 British movie of the same name, follows Charlie Croker (Mark Wahlberg), a professional criminal who sets out to get revenge after the murder of his mentor John Bridger (Donald Sutherland). To do so, he brings together several of his criminal associates, as well as John's daughter Stella (Charlize Theron), to get back at the killer. Although the plots are different, The Bourne Identity and The Italian Job share some interesting similarities, with both films taking place in Europe (at least partially), having memorable car chase scenes, and starring actors from Boston.

"Fits squarely into the 'exciting' category; it's a white-knuckler of the first order." — Chris Kaltenbach, Baltimore Sun


Angelina Jolie in 'Salt'

Courtesy of Sony Pictures


Metascore: 65
Best for: Fans of female-led action thrillers
Where to watch:

, Google Play, , iTunes, Vudu
Runtime: 100 minutes

In this 2010 film, Angelina Jolie stars as Evelyn Salt, a CIA operative who is accused of being a Russian spy. With her life at risk, she's forced to go on the run, relying on her experience as an undercover agent to avoid being found. But as more is revealed about Evelyn's background, the more complicated the story gets. Even though multiple critics pointed out Salt's plot holes and lack of cohesion, several of these reviewers still said that they enjoyed the film, including Roger Ebert, who called it "a damn fine thriller" but "gloriously absurd."

"Salt knows how to stay one step ahead of you in devious, if jaw-droppingly contrived, ways. The movie is fun, dammit." — Owen Gleiberman, Entertainment Weekly


Charlize Theron in 'Atomic Blonde'

Courtesy of Focus Features

Atomic Blonde

Metascore: 63
Best for: Fans of undercover spy flicks
Where to watch:

, Google Play, iTunes, Vudu
Runtime: 115 minutes

Theron makes her second appearance on our list, this time playing the lead role in the espionage thriller Atomic Blonde. In the film, she plays MI6 agent Lorraine Broughton, who travels to Germany during the Cold War to investigate the murder of her colleague and retrieve a document known as "The List," which contains the names of all operatives working in Berlin. While there, she teams up with fellow MI6 agent David Percival (James McAvoy), but the pair soon start to question each other's true loyalties. Atomic Blonde received generally favorable reviews from critics, with several drawing comparisons to The Bourne Identity franchise.

"It's film noir meets Jason Bourne with a dash of John le Carré, and its chief claim to your attention is our reigning lady badass at its center." — Ty Burr, The Boston Globe


'Mission: Impossible'

Courtesy of Paramount Pictures

Mission: Impossible

Metascore: 59
Best for: Fans of action-adventure crime films
Where to watch:

, Google Play, iTunes, Netflix, Paramount+, Vudu
Runtime: 110 minutes

The Brian De Palma-directed Mission: Impossible follows Ethan Hunt (Cruise), an agent on the Impossible Missions Force (IMF) espionage team. During one crucial mission, all of Ethan's colleagues are killed, and he's framed for the murders. Suspecting a mole, he begins his own investigation and recruits a small squad of former IMF agents to help him – but later discovers that some of them are working against him. Mission: Impossible was the first movie in its franchise, which now includes nearly half a dozen sequels, including 2018's Mission: Impossible – Fallout (a Metacritic must-see) — with more on the way.

"Mission: Impossible is full of red herrings and MacGuffins, but even if you can't keep track of who's doing what to whom, it's hugely enjoyable for its sheer kinetic power." — Rene Rodriguez, The Miami Herald


'The Recruit'

Courtesy of Buena Vista Pictures

The Recruit

Metascore: 56
Best for: Fans of action flicks with unexpected twists
Where to watch:

, Google Play, iTunes, Vudu
Runtime: 115 minutes

Al Pacino and Colin Farrell star in The Recruit, a 2003 action thriller about the CIA and how it trains its new agents. In the movie, Farrell plays James Clayton, a computer programming student at MIT who's recruited to the CIA by Walter Burke (Pacino), an agency veteran. After agreeing to join, James is sent to a training facility in Virginia, where he fails an exercise and is dropped from the agency — or so it seems. In reality, he's needed as an undercover operative on a larger investigation. The target? His girlfriend, Layla Moore (Bridget Moynahan).

"It's the kind of movie you can sit back and enjoy, as long as you don't make the mistake of thinking too much." — Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times