Over the years, Amazon Prime Video’s library has expanded massively and now includes many critically-acclaimed and entertaining movies. So, if you are planning a film night, we have selected some of the best Amazon Prime movies currently available on the platform for your consideration.
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Movie taste can be very subjective, but we have picked films that are either classics, audience favorites or critical darlings that we think you will enjoy. With a variety of genres on the list, there is something for everyone! Here are the best movies on Amazon Prime Video you can stream today.
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The best movies on Amazon Prime Video
Editor’s note: The list features the best movies on Amazon Prime Video (from the US catalog) and only movies that don’t require you to pay an extra rental fee to watch. We will be regularly updating the list as films are added and removed from the Prime Video catalog.
The Farewell (2019)
How do we say goodbye to loved ones diagnosed with a terminal illness? This is the question The Farewell explores. The movie follows Billi — a 30-year-old aspiring writer who has a close relationship with her grandmother. When Nai Nai (paternal grandmother) is diagnosed with terminal lung cancer and is given only months to live, Billi drops her life in New York and travels to Changchun to spend what little time is left with her grandmother. But she clashes with her extended family when it is revealed that the diagnosis has been kept hidden from Nai Nai.
The Farewell is one of the best movies of 2019 and one of the biggest Oscar snubs in recent years. It explores the different cultural approaches to universal struggles and does so in a very moving way. If you didn’t have the chance to watch it in the cinema, do yourself a favor and watch it on Amazon Prime Video.
Writer-director Ari Aster delivers yet another surreal horror experience in Midsommar. Dani joins her boyfriend and several of his friends on a trip to a remote Swedish settlement to celebrate their fabled mid-summer festival. Grief-stricken after the loss of her sister and parents, she reluctantly tries to participate in local customs and activities. But things escalate from mildly bizarre to terrifying when the group witnesses a pagan ättestupa ritual.
Read more: Best horror movies on Amazon Prime video
Midsommar builds its horror and absurdity slowly and purposefully. Just as you think you’ve witnessed the most outlandish event yet, another tops it with its ludicrousness. The cinematography is eerily bright and colorful, creating a masterful juxtaposition between the visuals and the horrifying events unfolding on the screen. It’s one of the best horror films of recent years and without a doubt one of the best movies on Amazon Prime Video.
The Handmaiden (2016)
From the director of the critically acclaimed Old Boy, Park Chan-wook, comes the Handmaiden — a strange tale of deception and betrayal loosely based on the Victorian crime novel Fingersmith. Set in Japanese-occupied Korea, the film sees Sook-hee become a maid to the wealthy Japanese heiress Lady Hideko and her uncle Kouzuki.
As Sook-hee settles in, she and the heiress become closer. Lady Hideko’s story is revealed to us through a series of flashbacks as their relationship develops. At the same time secrets and deceptions slowly begin to unravel all around the characters. As is typical of Park Chan-wook’s work, The Handmaiden is visually stunning and just as masterful in its storytelling. It is full of unexpected twists and turns that will surprise even the most intuitive viewers. It’s one of the best movies on Amazon Prime Video and it will keep you glued to your seat.
Before he made the time travel-themed Tenet, Christopher Nolan wrote and directed this mind bending film. Leonardo DiCaprio plays a man who can enter the minds of people and take their deepest darkest secrets from them via their dreams. The movie shows him and his team attempting to make their biggest score yet. We won’t spoil anything else, but Inception does manage to have some cool sci-fi ideas wrapped inside an action-heist film. It’s one of the best movies you can watch on Amazon Prime Video.
The Lighthouse (2019)
Willem Dafoe and Robert Pattinson play two lighthouse keepers who are passing the time away on a remote lighthouse in the late 19th century. Things start to get scary, and very weird, as the two men fight both each other and their own sanity. This black-and-white movie is highly atmospheric and creepy, and it’s one of the best movies on Amazon Prime Video.
Honey Boy (2019)
The struggles of former child actors are often the subject of mockery from tabloid media. Yet, we rarely get to hear actors’ side of the story in such a poignant way as we do in Honey Boy. Written by Shia LaBeouf and directed by Alma Har’el, this film is largely based on LaBeouf’s own turbulent life. We follow the main character Otis in the aftermath of his childhood rise to fame — his drug abuse and consequent rehab, and his broken relationship with his father (played by LaBeouf). Glimpses of Otis’ difficult childhood are seen through flashbacks, allowing us to piece the story of his life together.
Honey Boy is an excellent drama that has already received much critical acclaim after its world premiere at Sundance. Even if the subject matter might not seem like something that you’d be interested in, we recommend checking it out regardless. Honey Boy will quickly draw you in and keep your attention until the end. It’s among the best Amazon Prime Video original movies.
One Night In Miami (2021)
This Amazon Prime Video original movie may be one of its best exclusive films yet. It’s already received a number of Golden Globe nominations and is generating Oscar buzz. Actor Regina King makes her directorial debut with this film. This is an adaptation of a play that fictionalizes a real meeting in Miami between four black icons in various roles: Malcolm X, Cassius Clay (before he renamed himself Muhammad Ali), Sam Cooke, and Jim Brown.
While we may never know what these four people really discuses during that night in Miami in the early 1960s, the film itself is a powerful look at how these people might have discussed the growing civil rights movement of the time. It also shows how far that movement still needs to go in the present day.
We Need to Talk About Kevin (2012)
Tilda Swinton is excellent in almost any role, and We Need to Talk About Kevin is one of her best performances. In this psychological thriller she takes on the role of Eva — a struggling mother who is trying to understand her difficult son Kevin. As we see him grow up, he becomes more and more detached and disinterested, while she begins to resent and fear him.
The movie poses the familiar nature vs nurture question, but it also dives deeper into more uncomfortable territory. We often see Eva’s concerns being dismissed by those around her. It’s not hard to sympathize with her thanks to Tilda Swinton’s stunning performance. But we also see her struggle to bond with Kevin and get frustrated easily. Ezra Miller, playing teenage Kevin, is often chillingly emotionless. This leaves us with the question of whether he is a product of Eva’s behavior. The film allows you to reach your own conclusions, but it will stick with you long after you have watched it.
Knives Out (2019)
Writer-director Rian Johnson wanted to make a murder mystery movie, in the vein of a classic Agatha Christie story. He succeeded with this film, making it one of the best movies on Amazon Prime Video. The movie centers on a gathering of family members to the birthday celebration of their patriarch, played by Christopher Plummer. However, he’s soon found to be dead, and everyone at the party is a suspect.
Chris Evans, Jamie Lee Curtis, Michael Shannon, and Toni Collette are just some of the well-known actors who play suspects in this whodunnit. Daniel Craig, as he usually does, has another memorable performance as the detective, Benoit Blanc, who investigates the murder. Craig will return in that role in an upcoming sequel.
The Report (2019)
With a name like The Report, you might expect a dry bureaucratic drama, but this film has much more to offer. Senate staffer Daniel Jones, played by Adam Driver, is on a mission to expose the inhumane treatment and torture of suspected terrorists in the aftermath of the September 11th attacks. Although he is met with constant roadblocks, Jones in determined to uncover the truth, even to the detriment of his own health and relationships.
The Report shines a light on a dark chapter of recent American history, but it also showcases the inner workings of the political system and its flaws. It is a film that will leave a lasting impression and it’s certainly one of the best Amazon Prime Video original movies you can watch.
Fight Club (1999)
David Fincher’s masterpiece of a movie gave us one of the most well-known movie quotes of all time: “The first rule of Fight Club is: You do not talk about Fight Club.” Behind that line is a movie about a man, played by Edward Norton, who is done with dealing with his typical white collar job. He runs into another man, played by Brad Pitt, who introduces him to a secret group that lets out their anger at the world via fistfights. Soon, things start escalating beyond just secret fights. It’s one of the best movies on Amazon Prime.
The Odd Couple (1968)
Neil Simon’s Broadway comedy play was adapted for this classic film. Jack Lemmon and Walter Matthau play old friends who are suddenly thrust together when Lemmon’s wife kicks him out. He moves in with Matthau’s character, and the high jinks begin. The conflicts between Matthau’s sloppy Oscar Madison and Lemmon’s neat and tidy Felix Ungar are at the core of this film, and it still holds up over 50 years later. It’s also the basis for several TV shows, sequels, and spin-offs. It is without a doubt one of the best movies you can watch on Amazon Prime Video.
It’s a Wonderful Life (1946)
If you need a bit of cheering up with everything that has been going on recently, you can’t go wrong with this wholesome classic. It’s a Wonderful Life tells the story of George Bailey, a small-town man with grand ambitions that never seem to go his way. Facing overwhelming debt and possible arrest, in his desperation George wishes he was never born.
Listening to him is Clarence — an angel that trying to earn his wings. The angel takes George on a journey, showing him how different life in Bedford Falls would be without him and how many lives he has truly touched. It’s a Wonderful Life is a simple but moving tale that teaches us not to give into despair and to value what we have. It’s not only one of the most uplifting, but one of the best movies on Amazon Prime Video.
The Great Escape (1963)
This movie gives its version of a very real incident in World War II, where over 70 Allied prisoners of war planned and executed a mass escape from a Nazi prison camp. The movie, of course, takes some liberties with the real story, but it’s still highly entertaining. It also has an all-star cast, including Richard AttenboroughJames Gardner, Charles Bronson, James Coburn, and especially Steve McQueen, who has a memorable motorcycle chase sequence.
Best Movies on Amazon Prime – Honorable Mentions
Here are a few more movies you can check out on the service that didn’t quite make our list:
- True Grit (1969) – This is John Wayne’s best ever Western movie, as he plays a US Marshall who is hired to track down the murderers of a young woman’s family.
- Borat Subsequent Moviefilm – Sacha Baron Cohen returns to his role as Borat in this combination of scripted comedy and documentary that looks at the current culture of the United States.
- The Big Sick – This movie about a Pakistan-born man who tries to court, and then help, his US girlfriend is based on the real-life of comedian Kumail Nanjiani.
- A.I. Artificial Intelligence – Steven Spielberg directed this sci-fi movie about an android boy who yearns to be human.
- The Sixth Sense – This movie, about a boy who sees ghosts all around him, made director M. Night Shyamalan a huge movie creator.