We present a novel action recognition method based on space-time locally adaptive regression kernels and the matrix cosine similarity measure. The proposed method uses a single example of an action as a query to find similar matches. It does not require prior knowledge about actions, foreground/background segmentation, or any motion estimation or tracking. Our method is based on the computation of novel space-time descriptors from the query video which measure the likeness of a voxel to its surroundings. Salient features are extracted from said descriptors and compared against analogous features from the target video. This comparison is done using a matrix generalization of the cosine similarity measure. The algorithm yields a scalar resemblance volume, with each voxel indicating the likelihood of similarity between the query video and all cubes in the target video. Using nonparametric significance tests by controlling the false discovery rate, we detect the presence and location of actions similar to the query video. High performance is demonstrated on challenging sets of action data containing fast motions, varied contexts, and complicated background. Further experiments on the Weizmann and KTH data sets demonstrate state-of-the-art performance in action categorization.