Last Updated: June 3rd
Amazon Prime is way more than just a way to get your electronics and books in two days or less. There’s a wide breadth of good movies and TV shows out there to choose from if you know what you’re looking for.
To help you out, we’ve rounded up the 35 best movies on Amazon Prime right now. From new Oscar winners to classic titles, you might be surprised as to what the service has available.
Sound of Metal (2019)
Run Time: 120 min | IMDb: 7.8/10
Riz Ahmed stars in this powerful, heartbreaking Amazon original movie from director Darius Marder. Ahmed plays a heavy-metal drummer named Ruben who, along with his girlfriend and the band’s lead singer Lou (Olivia Cooke) hopes to make it big in the music scene. His plans are thrown for a loop when he begins to lose his hearing, putting his life, and his love for music, in jeopardy.
The Farewell (2019)
Run Time: 100 min | IMDb: 7.7/10
Awkwafina stars in this dramedy from director Lulu Wang that got a fair amount of Oscar buzz this season. The story follows a Chinese family, who discovers their beloved grandmother has only a short time to live. Instead of telling her, they keep the news to themselves, planning a wedding so that everyone can gather to say their goodbyes. It’s a dark comedy to be sure, but it’s given heart by some brilliant performances including Shuzhen Zhao as the central Nai Nai.
Run Time: 147 min | IMDb: 7.2/10
Nauseating. Disturbing. A total mindf*ck. Those are all fitting descriptions of Ari Aster’s Hereditary follow-up, a sophomore outing that gleefully embraces the very worst of humanity and shines an unforgiving light on those universal flaws. It’s a horror story, sure, but it’s a relationship drama at its core, flavored with pagan rituals, brutal killings, unsettling imagery, and all-consuming grief. Florence Pugh gives a career-defining performance as Dani, a young woman reeling from a terrible familial tragedy who accompanies her distant, disinterested boyfriend Christian (Jack Reynor) and his college bros to a small Swedish village to celebrate the summer solstice.
A.I. Artificial Intelligence (2001)
Run Time: 146 min | IMDb: 7.1/10
Jude Law and Haley Joel Osment star in this mind-bending drama from Steven Spielberg about a highly-advanced robot on a quest to become real. Osment plays an artificial child named David, given to a human family whose own son is suffering from a rare illness. David is accepted and loved, until the human boy makes a miraculous recovery, becomes jealous of his new “brother” and orchestrates his exile. From there, David goes in search of answers as to what he is and why he was created, a perilous journey that proves eye-opening. Osment is eerily perfect in the starring role and Spielberg injects just enough emotional tension to make us care past the thrill of the hunt for answers in this world that feels alarmingly possible.
Fight Club (1999)
Run Time: 139 min | IMDb: 8.8/10
There are timeless classics and then there’s David Fincher’s exercise in understanding modern masculinity (a.k.a. Fight Club). The film has managed to remain relevant over the decades, with fans finding new themes and messages to dig into when it comes to Edward Norton’s depressed, unfulfilled office worker and his machismo friend, Tyler Durden (Brad Pitt). The two start an underground fight club — with a now-famous set of rules — and wreak havoc on the city as they let loose their aggression and search for meaning in life. But it’s the film’s surprise, introspective ending that really elevates this bloody drama.
One Night in Miami (2021)
Run Time: 114 min | IMDb: 7.3/10
Regina King’s first outing as a director comes in the form of this moving drama that imagines a meeting between some of the most influential icons in the Civil Rights Movement. In a room at the Hampton House in February 1964, Malcolm X, Muhammad Ali, Jim Brown, and Sam Cooke gather to celebrate Ali’s victory over boxer Sonny Liston where they also discuss their own roles in the movement and confront the harsh realities of the Jim Crow Era.
Run Time: 148 min | IMDb 8.8/10
Christopher Nolan’s imaginative sci-fi adventure will most likely be remembered as one of the best genre films in cinematic history, and for good reason. The movie — which stars everyone from Leonardo DiCaprio and Tom Hardy to Ellen Page, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Cillian Murphy, and Michael Caine — is the ultimate heist flick, following a group of thieves who must repurpose dream-sharing technology to plant an idea into the mind of a young CEO. DiCaprio pulls focus as Cobb, a troubled architect with a tragic past who attempts to pull off the impossible so that he can return to his family.
Minority Report (2002)
Run Time: 145 min | IMDb: 7.6/10
Steven Spielberg is the genius behind this mind-bending futuristic crime drama starring Tom Cruise and Colin Farrell. Cruise plays John Anderton, a police chief in charge of a unit capable of arresting criminals before they commit their crimes thanks to a trio of psychics called “precogs.” When Anderton is identified as a future murderer, he goes on the run with one of the precogs and uncovers a deeper conspiracy that forces him (and us) to question the nature of free will.
Layer Cake (2004)
Run Time: 105 min | IMDb: 7.3/10
Daniel Craig and Sienna Miller star in this fast-paced crime drama from Matthew Vaughn. Craig plays a London-based drug dealer known simply as XXXX. His plans to retire from crime are interrupted when he’s given two impossible tasks by his boss: to recover a kidnapped woman and to sell some dirty pills stolen from a Serbian warlord. XXXX must navigate betrayals and criminal hierarchies to keep himself and his crew alive.
The Last Black Man In San Francisco (2019)
Run Time: 121 min | IMDb: 7.4/10
Jimmie Fails plays himself in this semi-autobiographical drama about a young man’s attempts to reclaim his childhood home. Fails and his best friend, Mont (Jonathan Majors), visit the old Victorian house where Fails grew up, only to find it in disarray. When the current tenants find themselves embroiled in a fight for ownership, forced to move out while the battle plays out in court, Jimmy and Mont move in, fixing up the place and fighting to restore some of the neighborhood’s old school charm.
Forgetting Sarah Marshall (2008)
Run Time: 110 min | IMDb: 7.2/10
Terrible breakups are a universal experience and Jason Segel manages to tap into the deep yet hilarious insecurity that plagues us all in the aftermath. When he’s dumped by his movie star girlfriend, Peter goes on vacation to forget his sorrows (and also cry a lot). Along the way, he discovers a little self-worth, a new lease on life, and love, because even with the gross-out humor, this is still a romantic comedy. A hilarious cameo from Paul Rudd and a scene-stealing turn from Russell Brand make this a rom-com that will pass even the pickiest viewer’s test for the perfect lazy Sunday movie.
Run Time: 98 min | IMDb: 8.1/10
Before FX gave us some spectacular follow-up formatted for TV, the Coen brothers introduced us to the cold, weirdly-accented world of murder and cover-up in Fargo, a thriller that continues to stand the test of time. The premise is probably familiar by now: a criminal mastermind’s plan goes awry thanks to the ineptitude and bungling of his henchman and the persistence of a dogged policewoman (the unfairly-talented Frances McDormand). Still, it’s worth a rewatch.
Let The Right One In (2008)
Run Time: 115 min | IMDb: 7.9/10
Director Tomas Alfredson shrugged off the conventions of vampire movies when he crafted a disarmingly charming tale that focuses on the unusual friendship that develops between a bullied young boy, Oskar (Kåre Hedebrant) and a vampire girl Eli (Lina Leandersson). Based on the novel by John Ajvide Lindqvist (who also penned the screenplay), the film received near-universal acclaim, winning multiple awards across the globe. It was remade in 2010 as Let Me In, which managed to be considered a successful endeavor that stayed true to the original while differentiating itself enough to stand on its own.
The Terminator (1984)
Run Time: 107 min | IMDb: 8.0/10
There are so many worthy entries in The Terminator franchise, but it’s hard not to love the original more than the rest. Arnold Schwarzenegger used the film to cement his action-hero legacy, playing a cyborg assassin simply known as the Terminator, who travels from the future to ’80s Los Angeles to kill a waitress named Sarah Connor (Linda Hamilton). From there, we learn about Skynet, an artificial intelligence defense network that will soon become self-aware and destroy humanity if Sarah’s unborn son doesn’t stop it. There’s a lot of time-travel jargon to keep up with, but the real thrill of this movie is seeing Hamilton more than hold her own against an eerily-robotic Schwarzenegger.
It’s A Wonderful Life (1946)
Run Time: 130 min | IMDb: 8.6/10
James Stewart stars in this holiday flick about a down-on-his-luck businessman who laments his suburban life. George Bailey wishes for a different, more successful life, one unencumbered by a wife and kids but when his wish is granted and an angel shows him what life would be like without him, Bailey must figure out how to make the most of the present. Stewart is magnetic in the role and though it’s thought of as a Christmas classic, this film can and should be enjoyed year-round.
Short Term 12 (2013)
Run Time: 96 min | IMDb: 8/10
This film by Destin Daniel Cretton (the guy Marvel’s tapped to direct Shang-Chi) marks the first leading role for Brie Larson. Long before her Captain Marvel days, Larson was playing Grace Howard, a young woman navigating life as a supervisor of a group home for troubled teens. Other soon-to-be stars like Lakeith Stanfield and Rami Malek also have a role in this thing but it’s Larson’s vehicle and she’s in full command of it.
Saint Maud (2019)
Run Time: 84 min | IMDb: 6.7/10
It’s a really good time to be a horror fan, especially if you’ve got an Amazon Prime Video subscription. You’ll want to add this indie haunting from director Rose Glass to your list of binge-scares. It follows an uber-religious nurse who becomes disturbingly obsessed with saving the soul of one of her patients. You can try to guess what happens next, but there’s no way your imagination will be as terrifying as the real thing.
Knives Out (2019)
Run Time: 130 min | IMDb: 7.9/10
Call us jaded, but few movies that are as hyped up as this Rian Johnson whodunnit actually live up to the hype. You’ve got an A-list cast that’s somehow managing to share the screen and carve out singular moments for their characters despite a packed plot. You’ve got a story with twists and turns and darkly comedic gags you could never see coming. And you’ve got Johnson, who managed to make an original film that actually competed with, and surpassed, some established franchises at the box office. Something’s got to be wrong with this movie, right? Wrong. It’s as layered and nuanced and perfect as Chris Evans’ waffle-knit sweater. Enjoy.
Run Time: 130 min | IMDb: 8.2/10
Faye Dunaway and Jack Nicholson star in this neo-noir about a private investigator who becomes entangled in a government scheme. Nicholson plays Jake Gittes, a P.I. hired by Evelyn Malwray (Dunaway) to follow her husband and report on his dealings. It turns out, Mr. Malwray was at the center of a government cover-up as the local water authority was trying to run people off their land by drying up their water source. There’s a lot going on here — corruption, a twisted family secret, romance, and plenty of violence — but watching Nicholson confusedly sort through it all is most of the fun.
The Sixth Sense (1999)
Run Time: 107 min | IMDb: 8.1/10
Hijinks-y teen movies and all, 1999 was an impressive year for movies. Magnolia, Fight Club, The Green Mile, Being John Malkovich, The Matrix… The list goes on and on. Among those entries is M. Night Shyamalan’s first big release, and one of his best (behind Unbreakable, of course). This was a simpler time, before seeing his name in trailers garnered skepticism. Centered on a boy who can’t separate the dead from the living and his child psychologist with issues of his own, The Sixth Sense remains one of four horror movies to ever be nominated for Best Picture at the Oscars. It’s endlessly tense, driven by strong performances from the two leads over jump scares. It’s held up well, even if it’s established a tough hurdle for the director’s future efforts to clear.
Dear Zachary: A Letter to a Son About His Father (2008)
Run Time: 95 min | IMDb: 8.6/10
When filmmaker Kurt Kuenne’s childhood friend Andrew Bagby is killed and his suspected killer/ex-girlfriend reveals she’s pregnant, Kurt decides to make a documentary chronicling Andrew’s life. While largely a love letter to a man who touched the lives of many for Zachary, the son he never met, Dear Zachary also tells the starkly bitter side of a broken Canadian legal system that directly endangered a baby. We follow the drawn-out custody battle between Andrew’s parents and Zachary’s mother, interspersed with loving snapshots into the Bagby family. The story sucks you in, but it’s also the at times comedic, fast-paced, and downright enraging documentary style of the film that breaks up the emotional tale.
Late Night (2019)
Run Time: 102 min | IMDb: 6.6/10
Mindy Kaling and Emma Thompson team up for this comedy that imagines the grit and humor it takes to lead a late-night talk show as a woman. Thompson plays Katherine Newbury, an accomplished TV personality who fears she may lose her talk show because of declining ratings and competition from a younger, male comedian. She hires Molly (Kaling) a comedy writer with little experience to diversify her team, and the two women weather hilarious mishaps and a few scandals to bring the show back on track.
Run Time: 106 min | IMDb: 7.3/10
We know, we know. Two M. Night Shyamalan movies on one list? What the hell are we thinking? But hear us out, while The Sixth Sense is arguably the director’s best-known thriller, this sci-fi-peppered mystery is hands-down, one of the greatest films he’s ever produced. Disappointing trilogy entries aside, Bruce Willis and Samuel L. Jackson deliver a gripping game of cat-and-mouse and Willis’ character learns something surprising about himself following a tragic accident.
Honey Boy (2019)
Run Time: 94 min | IMDb: 7.4/10
Shia LaBeouf writes and stars in this semi-autobiographical tale of his time as a child star. Noah Jupe plays the younger version of himself while LaBeouf plays his controlling, often abusive father. The two live in motel rooms in L.A. while Otis (Jupe) works on a popular kids TV show. Their relationship becomes strained as Otis ages, and his dad James (LaBeouf) grows resentful of his son’s success. Lucas Hedges plays an elder Otis, who struggles with all kinds of addictions because of his rough, unconventional upbringing. It’s a tough watch but one that feels refreshingly honest, and you can’t deny LaBeouf’s talent and courage in telling such a raw, intimate story.
The Handmaiden (2016)
Run Time: 144 min | IMDb: 8.1/10
Based on a historical crime novel set in Victoria-Era England, Park Chan-wook’s lavish, mesmerizing thriller focuses on two young women fighting to escape oppression by the men in their lives. Chan-woo has traded the stuffy British countryside for Japanese-occupied Korea, telling the stories of Lady Hideko and her handmaiden Sook-hee in three parts, weaving a tale of passion, betrayal, dark secrets, and revenge with grander themes of imperialism, colonial rule, and patriarchal corruption. The two women are the draw of the film with both resorting to illicit, illegal, morally compromising schemes in order to gain their freedom, but love is an unintended consequence that leaves the third act — one you might think you have figured out halfway through the film — completely unpredictable.
The Big Sick (2017)
Run Time: 120 min | IMDb: 7.6/10
Kumail Nanjiani and Emily Gordon drew from their own unusual love story for their script about a Chicago comic named Kumail (Nanjiani) who falls in love with Emily, a woman (Zoe Kazan) who falls into a coma while in the midst of a rift in their relationship created by the expectations of Kumail’s traditional parents. The funny, moving romantic comedy also features strong supporting work from Ray Romano and Holly Hunter as Emily’s parents, who form an awkward bond with Kumail as they wait for Emily’s recovery.
You Were Never Really Here (2017)
Run Time: 89 min | IMDb: 6.8/10
Joaquin Phoenix stars as a troubled hitman with a dark past in this thrilling crime flick from Lynne Ramsay. Phoenix plays Joe, a gun for hire, former military man and FBI agent, who spends most of his time rescuing victims of sex trafficking. He’s recruited to save a Senator’s daughter from a brothel that caters to high-end clientele, but the job thrusts him into the center of a conspiracy that costs him everything and ends in blood and tragedy. It’s a relentless slog to be sure, but it works because Ramsay is more interested in profiling the man, not the hits he makes.
The Lighthouse (2019)
Run Time: 109 min | IMDb: 7.6/10
Robert Pattinson and Willem Dafoe star in this truly bonkers period drama from Robert Eggers. It’s a beautifully shot portrait of two men slowly driven to the brink of insanity by their choice in career — they’re stuck alone on a slab of rock, looking after a crumbling lighthouse. Pattinson masturbates to visions of mermaids, and Dafoe gets drunk and does a jig. To say anything more would be spoiling the fun.
Beautiful Boy (2018)
Run Time: 120 min | IMDb: 7.3/10
Steve Carell and Timothee Chalamet star in this heartbreaking drama about a father trying to save his son from a drug addiction that’s slowly eating away at his family. Carell plays David, a New York Times writer who struggles to help his son Nic (Chalamet) after he falls victim to a worrying drug habit. He has moments of sobriety, attending college, living with his mother in L.A., and working at a drug clinic to help others battling the disease. Yet eventually, his addiction returns, and Nic is powerless to fight it. David is forced to choose between sacrificing his family and his own sanity or continuing to help his son. Both Carell and Chalamet give powerful performances that elevate what essentially is an emotionally restrained look at father-son relationships and the landmines they navigate.
Inside Llewyn Davis (2013)
Run Time: 104 min | IMDb: 7.5/10
A portrait of a particular moment in music history, when the folk revival found young musicians discovering their voices in old styles and old songs, Inside Llewyn Davis stars Oscar Isaac as a singer/songwriter who can never quite translate his talent into professional success. Joel and Ethan Coen both exactingly recreate early ‘60s New York and use it as the site of one of an affecting tale of the clash between artistic impulses and the needs of the material world, a theme they’d previously explored with Barton Fink and would pick up again with Hail, Caesar!.
Fighting With My Family (2019)
Run Time: 108 min | IMDb: 7.1/10
Dwayne Johnson and Lena Headey star in this family drama about a pair of siblings with dreams of making it in the WWE. Only one, Florence Pugh’s Saraya, actually makes it, but the road to wrestling stardom is riddled with fake friends, sexism, parental drama, and self-doubt. There’s plenty of great matchups here — body slams, cage matches and the like — but the real draw is Pugh, who completely disappears in the role.
We Need To Talk About Kevin (2011)
Run Time: 110 min | IMDb: 7.2/10
Eva Khatchadourian (Tilda Swinton), who’s unwilling and unable to properly care for her troubled son Kevin, watches her life unravel as her husband (John C. Reilly) ignores their problems and Kevin grows more and more sociopathic and violent. The story jumps around in time, showing Swinton’s character as both a new mother who blames her son for ruining her life and as a woman who eventually blames herself for what becomes of her son. Swinton proves once again that she’s the actress that indie movies need for complex characters that live their lives in grey areas. At its core, We Need To Talk is about the importance of proper parenting, communication, and probably therapy. And it’s not for the faint of heart.
Run Time: 143 min | IMDb: 7.7/10
Daniel Craig has had a terrific run as James Bond, but Skyfall ranks as one of the franchise’s best installments. Some of that is because Javier Bardem plays a convincingly threatening villain with an interesting backstory. Some of it is because Judi Dench beefs up her role as Bond’s no-nonsense boss. But mostly, this entry works because Craig’s able to explore Bond’s complicated past, his traumatic childhood, and dig into what drives the character to do the work he’s so damn good at.
Almost Famous (2000)
Run Time: 122 min | IMDb: 7.9/10
This cult comedy from director Cameron Crowe has earned a dedicated fan following amongst rock-and-roll lovers. Based on Crowe’s own experiences as an underaged music journalist for Rolling Stone, the film follows a 15-year-old kid named William Miller, who goes on the road with a rock band and becomes entangled in their exploits. Billy Crudup and Frances McDormand also star, but it’s Kate Hudson, who plays the magnetic groupie Penny Lane, who really steals the film.
Run Time: 89 min | IMDb: 7.2/10
Coherence is one of those low-budget sci-fi stories that is extremely tough to explain without either giving too much away or requiring an extended entry. Essentially, a group of friends sifts through their own issues and insecurities during a mind-bending paradoxical experience. Taking place almost entirely in the same room on a single night, the characters struggle to find answers just as much as the viewer. It’s a challenging yet enthralling film, perfect for those who love to overthink things.
Recent Changes Through June 2021
Removed: The Avengers, Fast Color, Little Women, Man From Nowhere, Arrival, Back To The Future
Added: The Sixth Sense, Unbreakable, Fight Club, Minority Report, Almost Famous, Layer Cake