Last Updated: November 20th
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 the 30 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.
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.
12 Monkeys (1998)
Run Time: 129 min | IMDb: 8/10
Bruce Willis and Brad Pitt star in this quintessential ’90s flick, a mind-bending sci-fi story about a convict sent back in time to save humanity. Willis plays Cole, a criminal given a chance to prevent a virus from wiping out most of Earth’s population by traveling back in time to prevent the disease from spreading. He teams up with a psychiatric patient named Goines (an off-his-meds Pitt), who has a read on the mysterious agency responsible for the virus. The two fight their way through conspiracy theories and involuntary psych procedures to get to the truth of why the group wants to destroy the world.
The Virgin Suicides (1999)
Run Time: 97 min | IMDb: 7.2/10
An early work of director Sofia Coppola, this film based on a 1993 novel of the same name, follows the story of the Lisbon sisters, five girls aged 13-17 who make a suicide pact after their youngest sibling kills herself. A sense of mystery and aloofness adds to the girls’ appeal when it comes to the neighborhood boys, through whom much of the story is told. Confined to their house after the death of their sister, the girls find ways of communicating with the outside world through secret phone calls and late-night trysts. Eventually, the sisters make good on their pact, but Coppola chooses to find a sense of freedom and validation in their decision to commit suicide, one that paints the end of the film in a strangely victorious light.
Sunshine Cleaning (2008)
Run Time: 91 min | IMDb: 6.9/10
A comedy about a pair of sisters who run a maid service that cleans up crime scenes is the definition of dark, but there are some bright spots in Amy Adams and Emily Blunt’s Sunshine Cleaning. The two play siblings struggling to find themselves and stay afloat in a small town before they happen upon a macabre idea for a new business. Mopping up blood and hazardous waste isn’t the most reputable of jobs, and the two aren’t particularly good at it, especially Blunt, who plays a woman floundering in her personal and professional life, but if you’ve got a strong stomach, there’s plenty of payoff here.
Run Time: 96 min | IMDb: 7.1/10
Mel Brooks’ hilarious space odyssey has become something of a cult classic over the decades. It’s a parody of George Lucas’ Star Wars trilogy, so it follows the same plot: a rogue pilot and his sidekick must rescue a princess and save the galaxy, but instead of Startroopers, the bad guys are known as Space Balls, and everyone is hopelessly out of their depth playing hero (and villain).
Requiem For A Dream (2000)
Run Time: 102 min | IMDb: 8.3/10
Darren Aronofsky gives us a true mindf*ck with this early aughts drama that follows the drug-induced hallucinations of four Coney Island residents who descend further into their respective addictions as the film goes on. Jared Leto, Ellen Burstyn, and Jennifer Connelly star in the film, which serves as a cautionary tale about the way people find happiness and how it can be easily snatched away. It’s pretty dark and depressing, but plenty of people like it anyway.
Mad Max 2: The Road Warrior (1981)
Run Time: 96 min | IMDb: 7.6/10
George Miller’s follow-up reunites fans with Max Rockatansky (Mel Gibson), who’s still roaming the desert with his dog, looking for fuel. He finds it in a small village that’s been plagued by raiders, led by an unhinged biker and a goliath named Lord Humungus. Max ends up helping the village, rediscovering a bit of his humanity in the process. It’s a worthy installment in the franchise and the action is top-notch.
Run Time: 152 min | IMDb: 6.8/10
Luca Guadagnino’s buzzed-about horror remake is a mind-bending exercise in the cinematic. Dakota Johnson plays Susie, a young dancer who arrives at a prestigious academy where disturbing happenings begin to take place. After one dancer goes missing, another dies, and a third is severely injured, the students begin investigating their instructors to discover they belong to a coven of witches with troubling rituals that rest upon the dancers playing their parts.
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.
Run Time: 85 min | IMDb: 7.4/10
Jonah Hill’s directorial debut is a nostalgic ode to growing up in the 90s. The film follows a 13-year-old kid named Stevie who spends one summer in L.A. navigating between his troubled home life and a new group of friends that push to him to test his own boundaries. The movie is heavy in skater culture, a scene L.A. was known for at the time, but it’s also an introspective look on making the transition from boyhood to adulthood, and how perilous that time can be.
Lady Bird (2017)
Run Time: 94 min | IMDb: 7.5/10
Greta Gerwig’s love letter to her hometown of Sacramento, California follows Saoirse Ronan and Laurie Metcalf as they navigate the often-frustrating relationship between mother and daughter. Ronan plays “Ladybird,” a young woman attending Catholic school who longs for the culture and change of scenery that New York City promises. Her mother, Metcalf, is overbearing and overprotective, and the family’s lack of money and social standing contributes to a rift between the two. Some hard truths are explored in this film, but watching Ronan manage teenage angst, first love, and everything in between will give you all kinds of nostalgia.
Run Time: 127 min | IMDb: 7.3/10
Toni Collette stars in this terrifying nightmare by first-time director Ari Aster. The film charts the grief and shared trauma of the Graham family. Annie (Collette) is mourning the loss of her secretive mother, worrying over her inherited mental health issues and her children. When her son Peter accidentally kills his sister, hauntings begin happenings. Malevolent spirits, possessions, a seance gone wrong — this is pure nightmare fuel people.
First Reformed (2017)
Run Time: 113 min | IMDb: 7.1/10
A dark, morose examination on everything from faith and fidelity to climate change, grief, and mental health issues, Paul Schrader’s drama about a Protestant minister struggling to reconcile his beliefs with the changing world around him is a poignant, if heavy-handed, commentary on some pretty complicated universal themes. Ethan Hawke gives a stand-out performance as Reverend Toller, a man mourning the loss of his son, facing a terminal cancer diagnosis, and grappling with the reality of his dwindling church membership. He counsels a young woman named Mary (Amanda Seyfried) about her husband, who’s entered a dangerous state of depression over the very real issue of climate change; and through his relationship with her, Toller confronts his own demons and his community’s narrow-minded views. It’s by no means a fun watch, but Hawke is such an underrated actor that being surprised by his stroke of genius in this role is reason enough to stream.
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.
Run Time: 115 min | IMDb: 6.9/10
Natalie Portman leads this cast of badass women investigating a natural phenomenon that is slowly invading Earth. Portman plays Lena, a biologist who leads a team of women consisting of a psychologist (Jennifer Jason Leigh), a scientist (Tessa Thompson), and a paramedic (Gina Rodriguez) into “The Shimmer,” a quarantined zone mutated by alien DNA that seems to be transforming matter at will and spreading further each day. Past teams, including one led by Lena’s husband (Oscar Isaac), have disappeared in The Shimmer and Lena goes searching for a clue as to what happened to them and how she can save her husband — who returned changed from his mission. The entire journey is filled with bizarre happenings tied to meta-commentary about evolution and the human condition but honestly, the coolest thing about this movie is its cast and the kick-ass characters they play
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.
Eighth Grade (2017)
Run Time: 93 min | IMDb: 7.5/10
Comedian Bo Burnham’s directorial debut looks at the social anxieties of a young girl on the cusp of her high school career. Elsie Fisher plays Kayla, a pre-teen in her final week of eighth grade. She’s virtually friendless, choosing to spend her time creating inspiring Youtube videos that no one sees. When she decides to venture from her computer screen, attending pool parties and hanging out with older kids, she’s thrust into situations she’s not entirely ready for. The film is a painfully honest look at the pressure of growing up, the loss of innocence, and how social media can contribute to feelings of anxiety and isolation in teens, especially young girls who are forced to grow up much more quickly than their male counterparts.
Run Time: 121 min | IMDb: 6.6/10
Darren Aronofsky’s mystery thriller might best be described as “polarizing.” You’ll either tap into the various themes churning just under the surface of this thing, or you’ll walk away after the two hours are up thinking, “What in the hell did I just see?” Either way, the film does A LOT and it gives its A-list cast including Javier Bardem, Jennifer Lawrence, Michelle Pfeiffer, and Ed Harris, even more to chew on. Whether you love it or hate it, mother! is a film you need to see at least once.
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.
Run Time: 113 min | IMDb: 8/10
This family drama based on an NY Times bestseller stars Julia Roberts and Owen Wilson as parents to a truly remarkable little boy named Auggie. Auggie has a facial deformity that affects his social life as he begins going to school for the first time. Since we’re nearing the holidays, and this is a time that’s all about families, it makes sense Amazon added this to their library. The kids will love it (and, hopefully, learn from it).
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!.
The Disaster Artist (2017)
Run Time: 104 min | IMDb: 7.5/10
Only an actor as confusing and committed to swimming against the Hollywood tide as James Franco could direct this pseudo-biography of Tommy Wiseau, an aspiring filmmaker who made the wrong kind of noise in the industry with his theatrics while trying to get a feature film made. Wiseau in real life is an enigmatic kind of train wreck, and Franco plays him brilliantly here, injecting heart and a dreamy sense of possibility to his story.
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.
Logan Lucky (2017)
Run Time: 118 min | IMDb: 7.1/10
Ten years after his last Ocean‘s entry, Steven Soderbergh revisits the heist genre, this time centering on a pair of unlucky brothers (Channing Tatum and Adam Driver) working a scheme to rip off a big NASCAR race. Memorable side characters, rapid-fire dialogue, and charismatic performances keep the story from becoming too predictable even for a twist-filled heist tale. Soderbergh was even able to cut out major studios and keep complete creative control over the movie, thanks to streaming services and international distribution. It’s a largely light-hearted movie, and frankly, that’s necessary sometimes.
The Man From Nowhere (2010)
Run Time: 119 min | IMDb: 7.8/10
A mysterious pawnshop owner (Won Bin), whose only friend is a child that lives next door, tears the local criminal presence apart after she’s kidnapped. This South Korean thriller from Lee Jeong-beom follows a similar format to such films as Léon: The Professional and Man On Fire of “guy with a shady past protects little girl”, but The Man From Nowhere still crafts an original tale of a heartbroken man out to save the only thing he has left in this world. The action sequences are bloody and intense, and Bin’s stoic performance brings a painful depth to the brutal savior.
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 November 2019:
Removed: The Terminator, The Fifth Element, The Silence Of The Lambs
Added: Chinatown, 12 Monkeys, The Virgin Suicides