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The best movies on Amazon Prime Video
There is no shortage of streaming video services. Amazon Prime Video stands out as one of the big players. It not only features a healthy list of shows but also 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.
Movie taste can be very subjective, but we have picked films that are classics, audience favorites, or critical darlings that we think you will enjoy. With various genres on the list, there is something for everyone. The list below features movies from the US catalog and only movies that don’t require you to pay an extra rental fee to watch. Here are the best movies on Amazon Prime Video you can stream today.
The best movies on Amazon Prime Video
Being The Ricardos (2021)
The Golden Age of Television may not have been better than when I Love Lucy was on the air in the 1950s. One of the first, and still one of the best, sitcoms ever made, the show and its stars, Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz, set the quality standards for all television shows ever since. This 2021 Amazon Prime Video original movie, set during a week of taping a typical episode of I Love Lucy, gives us a glimpse behind the scenes at the making of the show and of its two stars.
Written and directed by one of the best modern TV creators, Aaron Sorkin, the movie has stand-out performances by Nicole Kidman as Lucille Ball and Javier Bardem as Desi Arnaz. You can also check out a new documentary on Amazon Prime Video, Lucy and Desi, that details their lives.
The Handmaiden (2016)
The Handmaiden comes from the director of the critically acclaimed New Boy, Park Chan-wook — 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 through a series of flashbacks as their relationship develops. At the same time, secrets and deceptions slowly unravel 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 surprise even the most intuitive viewers. It’s one of the best movies on Amazon Prime Video and will keep you glued to your seat.
Honey Boy (2019)
The struggles of former child actors are often the subject of mockery from tabloid media. Yet, we rarely get to hear the 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 turbulent life. We follow the main character Otis in the aftermath of his childhood rise to fame — his drug abuse, 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 together the story of his life.
Honey Boy is an excellent drama that received 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 several Golden Globe nominations and is generating Oscar buzz. Actor Regina King makes her directorial debut with this film. This adaptation of a play 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 discussed 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 also dives deeper into more uncomfortable territory. We often see Eva’s concerns being dismissed by those around her. Thanks to Tilda Swinton’s stunning performance, it’s not hard to sympathize with her. 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 questioning 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 watching it.
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 11 attacks. Although he is met with constant roadblocks, Jones is 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.
Three years after The Terminator, we got another version of a cyborg. This time, he’s a good guy, a former Detroit police officer who gets killed. However, a pretty evil corporation puts his brain and head inside a robot body to serve as the ultimate law enforcement agent. However, things get interesting when Robocop starts to remember who he was in the past. Director Paul Verhoeven puts in lots of action, social commentary, and satire about big business, the media, and more in this classic. It is undoubtedly one of the best movies on Amazon Prime Video.
It’s a Wonderful Life (1946)
If you need a bit of cheering up with everything that has happened 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.
Clarence is Listening to him — an angel 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 one of the most uplifting 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 Attenborough, James Gardner, Charles Bronson, James Coburn, and especially Steve McQueen, who has a memorable motorcycle chase sequence.
Creed III (2023)
Everyone loves a good boxing drama, and this film completes the much-loved Creed trilogy in style. Michael B. Jordan again puts the gloves on for another bout in the ring. This time, he’s up against his childhood friend, Damian, who is fresh out of prison and keen to return to action.
This time, Jordan steps into the director’s chair and does a fabulous job. Don’t be put off by Sylvester Stallone’s absence, though. The film escapes Rocky’s shadow and truly becomes its own thing. You can also watch Creed and Creed II on Amazon Prime Video before embarking on the third film in the series.
The Many Saints of Newark (2021)
Alan Taylor directed this movie prequel to The Sopranos, which focuses on Tony Soprano as he navigates his teenage years, and his budding friendship with his mentor, Dickie Moltisanti. The film features many of the characters from the series as younger versions of themselves. It moves around in time throughout the film, but we mainly see events in 1967 and 1972, with the Newark riots acting as a backdrop to the story. It has a great cast of supporting actors and features Ray Liotta in one of his last performances before his death.
Matt Damon plays Sonny Vaccaro, a marketing executive at Nike, who tries to strike a business deal with Basketball legend Michael Jordan. Based on a true story filled with drama and comedy, the movie retells the story of Air Jordan, a new shoe that will revolutionize the world of sport.
The film features an all-star cast, including Ben Affleck, who also directs, and Viola Davis, who plays Michael Jordan’s mother. So many true stories are based on horrific events, but this film is a genuinely uplifting experience that inspires and delights in equal measure. It’s an Amazon Prime original film and one of the best new movies on the streaming platform.
The best movies on Amazon Prime Video: Honorable mentions
Here are a few more movies you can check out on the service that didn’t quite make our list:
- Saving Private Ryan: Steven Spielberg’s excellent World War II movie has Tom Hanks leading a group of US soldiers who must find an Army private to bring him back home.
- 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 is 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.
- The Tomorrow War: This Amazon Prime original is a sci-fi war film about people in the present getting recruited to fight an alien invasion of Earth in the future.