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3 Amazon Prime Video movies you should watch this weekend (March 22-24)

Michael Shannon in Take Shelter.

Amazon Prime is more than just a great vendor with free shipping. Amazon Prime Video is an awesome perk of the service that has an excellent library of current and classic movies, as well as TV shows from every era you can imagine.

Amazon’s streaming system even surfaces many of the very best movies it has to offer by showing you what other users have rated highly. If you’re looking for something that’s a little more off the beaten path, though, there are plenty of movies on Prime Video that may not seem like obvious choices. If you’re someone who is seeking something to do this weekend, we’ve got three underrated movies on Prime Video you should definitely check out.

King of New York (1990)

The only reminder you need that Christopher Walken (Dune: Part Two) was one of the best actors of his generation is King of New York, which follows Walken as a crime boss who begins wiping out rival crime syndicates in New York after being released from prison. Walken has the swagger required to play a crime boss, but what makes the movie great is that he’s also a crusader, bent on using his ill-gotten funds to make the city around him better.

Director Abel Ferrara takes what could be a very conventional action movie and turns it into something much more interesting. And it’s filled with great performances from then-emerging actors like Laurence Fishburne, Steve Buscemi, and Giancarlo Esposito. The movie’s resolution is both depressing and inevitable, and surprisingly sedate given how much action has preceded it.

Take Shelter (2011)

Take Shelter | Official Trailer HD (2011)

Featuring one of Michael Shannon’s best performances, Take Shelter follows a man who begins having apocalyptic visions and becomes convinced that the end of the world is imminent. As he begins building a bunker in his backyard to prepare, his wife and children become increasingly concerned that he’s totally lost it. Has he? Or are his visions actually real?

Take Shelter is really just a drama about two people trying to navigate these visions, as well as the faith required to trust someone when they start behaving in ways that are impossible to understand. For as great as Shannon is, Jessica Chastain is every bit his equal, and it’s the combination of their two performances that makes the movie work.

Something Wild (1986)

Jonathan Demme is best known today for directing Stop Making Sense and The Silence of the Lambs, but in between those movies he made Something Wild, a distinctly humane movie that defies easy categorization. The film stars Jeff Daniels as an uptight banker and Melanie Griffith as the woman determined to help him let loose.

Although their tryst starts out as something fairly simple, it becomes more complicated when her ex enters the picture and feels threatened by her new relationship. Something Wild has time to make each of its central characters feel like people and not tropes, and it’s able to balance its tonal mishmash perfectly as a result. It also features one of Griffith’s most charming performances, and makes you wonder why she didn’t make more screwball comedies like this one.