Finding a good movie to watch on Amazon Prime Video can be difficult to say the least. While Amazon’s robust library of titles is available to every Amazon Prime subscriber, they don’t exactly make it easy to find what you’re looking for. That’s where we come in. Below, we’ve assembled a growing list of the best movies on Amazon Prime right now. Our carefully curated selection runs the gamut from crowd-pleasing blockbusters to Oscar-winning dramas to delightful rom-coms and beyond. There’s a little something for everyone, so stop the endless scrolling and simply choose one of these great movies to watch.
Check out our list of the best movies on Amazon Prime video below. The list will be updated weekly with new titles.
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Wanna kick off the summer in style? Roland Emmerich’s 1996 blockbuster “Independence Day” is the epitome of summer movie season – a big, brash, wildly entertaining popcorn film. The story begins when alien ships set up shop over major cities all across the United States… and after a few hours, promptly attack. In the aftermath, it’s up to a cadre of unlikely heroes to pull together and take a stand, preventing a full-on invasion. Will Smith became a bona fide movie star with this film that also co-stars Jeff Goldblum, Bill Pullman and Vivica A. Fox.
If you’re in the mood for a great zone-out comedy, 1999’s “Office Space” quite literally never gets old. Writer/director Mike Judge’s satire about the workplace stars Ron Livingston as an unhappy man working a dead-end job who, after a hypnosis session gone wrong, suddenly hasn’t a care in the world. It completely upends his approach to work-life, inspiring his colleagues as well as a potential flame (a waitress played by Jennifer Aniston) to start living their lives a bit differently. Endlessly quotable, this one has a lot to say about the “work-life balance.”
Road to Perdition
After winning the Oscar for Best Picture with “American Beauty,” filmmaker Sam Mendes tackled a film of a very different sort: the neo-noir crime thriller “Road to Perdition.” Set in 1931, the film stars Tom Hanks as a mob enforcer who is forced to go on the run with his son, seeking vengeance against the mobster who murdered the rest of their family. Paul Newman plays the mobster in question, while Jude Law plays a hired hitman hot on their trail. It’s a gorgeously crafted crime drama, featuring Oscar-winning cinematography from Conrad L. Hall.
The first two “Shrek” movies are currently streaming on Netflix, but if you have to pick one go with the superior sequel “Shrek 2.” Released in 2004, the animated follow-up finds Shrek, Fiona and Donkey meeting Fiona’s parents, all while Fiona’s fairy godmother conspires against the newly married couple. This one’s funny and goofy like the original, but kicks up the musical antics and world-building with newcomers like Antonio Banderas’ Puss in Boots and Jennifer Saunders’ delightfully wicked fairy godmother.
Before “The Florida Project” or “Red Rocket,” filmmaker Sean Baker burst onto the scene with his 2015 comedy “Tangerine” – shot entirely on an iPhone. Kitana Kiki Rodriguez stars as a trans sex worker living in Los Angeles who finds out that her boyfriend and pimp has been cheating on her. While it looks like an indie and tackles some heavy material at times, the film has the tone and pacing of a raucous comedy, and is all the better for it.
Courage Under Fire
If you’re into legal thriller mysteries like “A Few Good Men,” check out “Courage Under Fire.” Released in 1996, the film stars Denzel Washington as a Lieutenant Colonel serving in the Gulf War who is assigned to determine if Captain Karen Walden (played by Meg Ryan) deserves to be the first woman to posthumously receive the Medal of Honor. Washington’s character conducts a series of interviews with service men and women who served under Walden, but receives conflicting stories that play out in flashback as to what happened on the fateful night she died. Directed by Edward Zwick, the film also stars Lou Diamond Phillips, Scott Glenn and a young Matt Damon, and was shot by Oscar-winning DP Roger Deakins.
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
Director David Fincher described his 2008 film “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button” as a love story about death, and yet it’s the most emotional and sincere film he’s ever made. Based on a short story by F. Scott Fitzgerald, Brad Pitt stars as a man who was born old and ages backward. The story traces his life from 1918 up through the 1990s, deploying then-cutting edge digital technology to allow Pitt to play the character at every stage of his life. Cate Blanchett plays his love interest, but with Button’s disorder comes the looming specter of death over every interaction.
This 2000 survival drama is best known for Tom Hanks talking to his volleyball “Wilson,” but “Cast Away” holds up as a pretty astounding piece of filmmaking and a showcase for one of the best actors alive. Hanks stars as a FedEx troubleshooter who is stranded on an island after a plane crash, and the story follows his struggles to adapt, survive and brainstorm a way off the island. The production was unique in that filmmaker Robert Zemeckis (who also directed gems like “Back to the Future” and “Who Framed Roger Rabbit”) split the production in half – they shot the first half of the movie with Hanks at a chubbier weight, then took a year off for Hanks to lose a substantial amount of weight to reflect a time jump in the film. The result is one of the best survival movies ever made.
O Brother, Where Art Thou?
The Coen Brothers are known for their wry humor, and their 2000 comedy “O Brother, Where Art Thou?” combines that hilarious sensibility with a Grammy-winning soundtrack to tremendously entertaining results. Loosely based on Homer’s “The Odyssey,” the film takes place in 1937 rural Mississippi and follows three fugitives played by George Clooney, John Turturro and Tim Blake Nelson as they traverse the American South on an epic journey. The soundtrack won the Grammy award for Album of the Year, and Roger Deakins’ cinematography pioneered a process called “bleach bypass” that results in a unique, washed-out aesthetic.
Beasts of the Southern Wild
A true sensation when it premiered at the 2012 Sundance Film Festival, “Beasts of the Southern Wild” is an indie fable about a six-year-old girl named Hushpuppy who lives with her ailing father in the Louisiana bayou. Director Benh Zeitlin takes a startling realistic approach to the story but colors the film with fantastical flourishes and a soaring score (which he co-wrote with Dan Romer) that elevates and accentuates this coming-of-age adventure tale.
This 1974 comedy is a love letter to classic monster movies, as filmmaker Mel Brooks transcends parody to craft a hilarious ode that works surprisingly well as a unique twist on Mary Shelley’s “Frankenstein.” Gene Wilder is brilliant as Dr. Frederick Frankenstein, a descendant of the infamous mad scientist who is lured to his family’s estate in Transylvania where he ends up following in his grandfather’s footsteps. This comedy is full of iconic moments and boasts career-defining work from Cloris Leachman and Teri Garr.
A horror classic if there ever was one, director Brian De Palma’s adaptation of the Stephen King novel “Carrie” still terrifies all these years later. Sissy Spacek stars in the 1976 film as the titular teenager – awkward, insecure and beholden to a domineeringly religious mother (Piper Laurie) who makes her feel even worse about herself. This is a horror spin on the coming-of-age tale that morphs into revenge fantasy as the story progresses.
Sometimes you just want to watch Nicolas Cage save the day, you know? One of Cage’s best heroic action films is surely the 1997 film “Con Air,” in which he plays a combat veteran on the cusp of being released from a 10-year prison sentence who is caught up in a hijacking aboard a prison transport plane. Cage attempts to save the day while other inmates plot their escape, with John Malkovich playing the criminal mastermind, John Cusack playing the ace U.S. Marshal hot on their trail and an ensemble cast that also includes Dave Chappelle, Steve Buscemi, Ving Rhames and Colm Meaney.
One of Bruce Willis’ best performances comes in M. Night Shyamalan’s 2000 thriller “Unbreakable.” The film is Shyamalan’s take on the comic book genre, but with a grounded tone that was years ahead of its time. Willis plays a security guard who, with the help of a wheelchair-bound comics enthusiast played by Samuel L. Jackson, comes to realize he has superhuman strength and abilities. The weight of this revelation weighs heavy on his heart and family, as he must decide what to do with it.
The Sixth Sense
Even beyond the twist that no one saw coming in 1999, “The Sixth Sense” remains one of M. Night Shyamalan’s best films. Haley Joel Osment plays a young boy who can see and talk to ghosts. He begins a relationship with a child psychologist, played by Bruce Willis, who is dispatched to help him cope with his supposed abilities. Part horror film, part ghost story and all family drama, “The Sixth Sense” is a humdinger of a film that firmly established Shyamalan as a filmmaker to watch.
The film that firmly established Wes Anderson as one of the most exciting and singular filmmakers of his generation, “Rushmore” tells the story of a precocious teenager named Max Fischer (played by Jason Schwartzman) as he strikes up a friendship with a rich industrialist (played by Bill Murray) and tries to win the affection of an elementary school teacher (played by Olivia Williams). “Rushmore” features many of the filmmaking techniques that would become hallmarks of Anderson’s filmography (from the soundtrack to the cinematography), and is a hilarious (but dry) teen comedy to boot.
If you can look past the forgettable title, “What If” is actually a wonderfully charming romantic comedy gem that flew entirely under the radar. Daniel Radcliffe stars as a medical school dropout who meets a young woman (played by Zoe Kazan) during his first night out in a year. At the end of the night, he finds out the woman is in a relationship, and the two subsequently become best friends as the story charts their close relationship and whether Radcliffe’s character will summon the courage to tell her how he really feels. While the premise feels familiar, the 2014 film is executed in a sweet, hilarious and charming manner (it was originally titled “The F Word”) and boasts a pair of supporting performances by then up-and-comers Adam Driver and Mackenzie Davis that are delightful.
The Lost City of Z
A Tom Holland adventure movie of a very different sort, “The Lost City of Z” is based on the David Grann book of the same name and follows a British explorer in the early 1900s who is sent to Brazil to search for a supposed lost city in the Amazon. Charlie Hunnam plays the explorer Percy Fawcett, Robert Pattinson plays fellow explorer Henry Costin and Tom Holland plays Percy’s son Jack. As directed and written by James Gray, “The Lost City of Z” is an enthralling story about colonialism and the relationship between a father and a son.
One of the best movies ever made, “Fargo” holds up tremendously well. The 1996 Oscar winner is written and directed by The Coen Brothers and stars Frances McDormand as Marge Gunderson, a pregnant police chief in Minnesota whose investigation into a dead body threatens to unravel a conspiracy and kidnapping. Supporting turns by William H. Macy, Steve Buscemi and Peter Stormare are all-timers, and the score by Carter Burwell is one of the best ever.
Lucy and Desi
If you’ve already seen Aaron Sorkin’s fictional account of Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz in “Being the Ricardos,” check out the Amy Poehler-directed documentary “Lucy and Desi.” The film explores the partnership between the “I Love Lucy” stars, offering an insightful and candid look at the relationship between the two buoyed by interviews with Lucie Arnaz Luckinbill, Norman Lear, Desi Arnaz Jr, Carol Burnett and Bette Midler.
If you’re in the mood for a classic, 1973’s road trip comedy “Paper Moon” holds up tremendously well. Directed by Peter Bogdanovich, the film takes place during the Great Depression and stars real-life father and daughter Ryan and Tatum O’Neal as a con man and orphan who team up when the con man agrees to take the young girl from Gotham, Kansas to St. Joseph, Missouri. Heartwarming, hilarious and rich in character, “Paper Moon” is a classic for a reason.
Dead Poets Society
Director Peter Weir’s 1989 drama “Dead Poets Society” continues to inspire generation after generation, and the film (which won the Best Original Screenplay Oscar) holds up tremendously well three decades on. The story follows a group of students at an elite conservative Vermont boarding school, where a charismatic English teacher played by Robin Williams forces his students to reconsider their place in the world and embrace the power of art – specifically through poetry. The film has an added resonance at this particular time, and the performances from young Ethan Hawke, Robert Sean Leonard, Josh Charles and others are excellent.
Ridley Scott’s 2012 “Alien” prequel “Prometheus” was received with a somewhat mixed response, but in hindsight, it’s a bold left-turn for the sci-fi franchise. The film takes place long before the events of the other “Alien” films as it chronicles the misadventures of a crew following a star map that was discovered on Earth. The map takes them to a seemingly deserted planet where they encounter a massive abandoned spaceship and learn the truth about humanity’s origins. Co-written by “Lost” alum Damon Lindelof, the film tackles themes of mortality and hubris and boasts a terrific ensemble that includes Michael Fassbender, Charlize Theron, Idris Elba and Noomi Rapace.
(500) Days of Summer
Before Marc Webb directed “The Amazing Spider-Man” movies, he burst onto the scene with 2009’s romantic dramedy “(500) Days of Summer.” The film chronicles a relationship in a fractured narrative, flashing forward and backward to follow a man named Tom (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) and his 500-day relationship with a girl named Summer (Zooey Deschanel). While seeing different stages of their relationship out of order, the audience gets deeper into Tom’s point of view, and the film ends with a smart reversal of the “boy pines for girl” trope.
There are those that will tell you “Lincoln” is “minor Spielberg,” but those people are wrong. This 2012 drama had long been a passion project of Steven Spielberg’s, and as realized is a thoughtful, insightful and surprisingly funny chronicle of the American governmental process. The film doesn’t take the “cradle to grave” route to Lincoln’s story but instead focuses on his efforts to pass the 13th Amendment. In doing so, Spielberg creates one of the best films about political process ever made, while also digging deep into the contradictions in Lincoln himself. As portrayed by Daniel Day-Lewis, it’s a complex, fascinating portrayal of a man trying to do best by himself and his country, but who doesn’t always have the right answers. The film is far deeper than a simple “that was nice” story, and is “West Wing”-esque in its compelling chronicle of the political process. In short, it’s masterful and it’s absolutely top-tier Spielberg.
“The Courier” is a great “dad movie,” and that’s pejorative. This Cold War thriller is based on a true story and stars Benedict Cumberbatch as Greville Wynne, a British businessman who was recruited by the Secret Intelligence Service to serve as a messenger between a Russian spy source and the British government in the 1960s. What begins as an exciting romp turns deadly serious, and Cumberbatch commands the screen in the lead role (flanked by Rachel Brosnahan as his wife and Jessie Buckley as his handler). This one’s taut, compelling and surprisingly emotional.
The 2019 film “The Lighthouse” absolutely will not be for everyone, but if it’s up your alley there’s much to love here. An esoteric and atmospheric thriller that’s wildly ambiguous – to the point that even the plot of the movie is up for interpretation – the film takes place in the 1890s and stars Robert Pattinson as a young man who reports for duty as a lighthouse keeper on a small island with another man, played by Willem Dafoe. Strange goings-on ensue, and the film evolves into a horror picture, dark comedy or psychological thriller depending on what you think is actually happening. It hails from the mind of “The Witch” filmmaker Robert Eggers.
Brittany Runs a Marathon
The 2019 comedy “Brittany Runs a Marathon” manages to be both hilarious and inspiring at the same time, as Jillian Bell stars as a twentysomething woman living in New York City named Brittany who decides to try and get her life together – and to start, she’s going to train to run the New York Marathon. But as Brittany gets deeper and deeper into running, making new friends along the way, she discovers that a change on the inside may be what’s most prudent to pointing her life in the right direction. Bell is fantastic in the lead role, and writer/director Paul Downs Colaizzo’s script is pleasantly surprising in where it takes Brittany’s story.
After he made the Oscar-winning romance “Call Me by Your Name,” filmmaker Luca Guadagnino took on a horror classic with 2018’s “Suspiria.” Set in 1988 Berlin, the film stars Dakota Johnson as a young woman leaving her Mennonite family in Ohio to audition for and train as a dancer at an esteemed academy. But as her training continues, it becomes clear that perhaps this dance troupe has something more sinister, more witchy going on. The brilliance of Guadagnino’s take on the story is how it uses the supernatural horror to tell a real-life horror story about fascism, and the festering wound of evil. Tilda Swinton is mesmerizing pulling double duty here as the dance troupe’s leader and a male doctor curious about the goings-on at the school.
If a real-life investigative thriller in the vein of “All the President’s Men” is more your speed, check out “The Report.” Released in 2019, the true-story drama stars Adam Driver as Daniel Jones, a staffer for Senator Dianne Feinstein (played by Annette Bening) who is tasked with investigating the CIA’s use of torture following the 9/11 attacks. Writer/director Scott Z. Burns crafts a film that is taught with tension, but also powerful in its pursuit of the truth. The ensemble includes Jon Hamm, Michael C. Hall, Corey Stoll, Ted Levine and Maura Tierney.
Screenwriter Mindy Kaling pulled from the world of late night television for her 2019 comedy “Late Night,” which stars Emma Thompson as a veteran late night TV personality who is in danger of being pushed out by the network, and enlists the help of a new (and inexperienced) writer (played by Kaling) to bring some diversity to her all-male writing staff. The comedy has shades of a mismatched buddy film, behind-the-scenes Hollywood tale and middle-aged drama, and it’s anchored by a terrific performance from Thompson as a woman struggling to keep up with the times.
Inside Llewyn Davis
Oscar Isaac embodies the life of a soulful and melancholic folk singer in the 2013 Coen Brothers film “Inside Llewyn Davis.” Set in 1961 just before Bob Dylan took folk mainstream, the story follows a week in the life of Llewyn Davis, a struggling folk musician who can’t keep his life in order. The film features a tremendous soundtrack with Isaac doing his own performing and singing, and a robust ensemble that includes Carey Mulligan, Justin Timberlake, F. Murray Abraham and Adam Driver. This is the Coen Brothers at their saddest.
It’s a Wonderful Life
If you’re looking to get into the holiday spirit, you can’t go wrong with Frank Capra’s 1946 classic “It’s a Wonderful Life.” The film stars James Stewart as George Bailey, a man extremely down on his luck who, after attempting to take his own life, is shown what life in his small town would look like had he never existed. While the film is ultimately uplifting, it’s far darker than many remember, and is a brilliant tale about life and the relationships we make (and take for granted) along the way.
If you’re into period dramas, the 2018 film “Cold War” is a must-see. Directed and co-written by Pawel Pawlikowski, the Polish-language drama takes place in Poland and France and begins in the 1940s before ending in the 1960s as it follows the relationship between a musical director and a young singer he discovers. Against the backdrop of their love affair, the war rages on.
The Big Sick
A romantic comedy straight from the heart, the based-on-a-true-story “The Big Sick” is delightful and emotional all at once. Written by Kumail Nanjiani and Emily V. Gordon, the film is based on the origins of their relationship as Gordon slipped into a coma soon after they started dating, and Nanjiani was forced to confront his own fears and contend with Gordon’s parents all with the uncertainty of her condition looming large. Zoe Kazan portrays Gordon in the film with a hearty dose of moxie, and Nanjiani delivers a complex performance that clearly pulls from the depths of his personal life – not just his relationship with Kazan’s character, but his own relationship to his family.
“Oldboy” filmmaker Park Chan-wook’s 2016 epic erotic drama “The Handmaiden” is absolutely one of his best films, and is a blast from start to finish. The psychological thriller plays out in three parts chock full of twists and turns, but begins as the story of a con man who conspires with a pickpocket to hatch a plan that would involve marrying a Japanese heiress and committing her to an asylum, thus stealing her wealth. But the film takes a number of turns as various romantic and sexual entanglements ensue. This one’s for adults only.
Manchester by the Sea
“Manchester by the Sea” is a brilliant film, but fair warning it’s also a significant bummer. This 2016 film won Oscars for Best Actor and Best Original Screenplay and stars Casey Affleck as a janitor living in Massachusetts who is suddenly tasked with caring for his nephew following his brother’s abrupt death. The event triggers substantial trauma that Affleck’s character has yet to process, and what follows is a somber, sometimes darkly funny and ultimately touching meditation on grief and guilt.
One Night in Miami
Regina King’s 2020 drama “One Night in Miami” is an excellent snapshot of a moment in time, and how four of the most famous African-Americans in history each approached the changing societal landscape of the 1960s. Set over the course of one night in 1964, the story follows four friends – Cassius Clay (Eli Goree), Malcolm X (Kingsley Ben-Adir), Jim Brown (Aldis Hodge) and Sam Cooke (Leslie Odom Jr.) – as a night of celebrating soon turns into a night of lively conversation about their roles and responsibilities to the African-American community. The film is cleverly drawn and tremendously compelling, and provides much food for thought as it connects the struggles of the 1960s to today.
The Vast of Night
If you like hidden gems, 2020’s “The Vast of Night” is one of the most exciting indies of the last few years. Set in 1950s New Mexico, the story takes place over the course of one evening where a young switchboard operator and a radio DJ pick up a mysterious audio frequency that may or may not be inhuman in nature. This small-scale sci-fi mystery is light on effects but heavy on evocative filmmaking, intrigue and dimensional characters. It’s so good, a scene with a man talking about his experience with aliens over the radio will have you on the edge of your seat.
Sound of Metal
2019’s “Sound of Metal” is an indie with a heart of gold – and an Oscar-winning one at that. The film stars Riz Ahmed as a metal drummer named Ruben who begins to lose his hearing. He leaves his bandmate to go to a facility for Deaf recovering addicts, where he begins to learn how to live his life differently but also struggles with his own demons. Ahmed gives a powerhouse performance, and the film’s sound design puts you right in Ruben’s headspace.
Love and Friendship
If it’s a lovely costume dramedy you’re in the mood for, 2016’s “Love and Friendship” is an absolute delight. Based on the Jane Austen novel “Lady Susan,” the film is written and directed by Whit Stillman and stars Kate Beckinsale as a recently widowed woman who sets out to secure wealthy husbands for herself and her daughter. A comedy of errors ensues, with Beckinsale and Chloe Sevigny sharply leading an ensemble that also includes Stephen Fry, Tom Bennett and Xavier Samuel.
“Midsommar” is a film that will churn your stomach in the best way. The A24 horror movie hails from “Hereditary” writer/director Ari Aster and stars Florence Pugh as a young woman grieving the death of her family who follows her boyfriend and his friends to Sweden to attend a festival that only occurs once every 90 years. But once they arrive, the group finds themselves in the midst of a deadly pagan ritual. The terror of the film comes not from jump scares but from the palpable tension and horrific visuals that Aster conjures, with Pugh serving as the film’s emotional center. This is a deeply upsetting film, but a great one. You’ve been warned.
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