Amazon Prime Video is chock-full of great movies but it’s a nightmare trying to find them. Unlike Netflix which offers strong curated playlists, Prime Video does a poor job of highlighting all the amazing movies on its service. Don’t fret though, we’ve scoured the depths of Prime’s film catalogue to deliver our list of the best movies on Amazon Prime right now.

We’ll be updating this list every month as movies come and go on Prime, so be sure to check back for new, great additions!

The Best Movies on Amazon Prime Right Now 

Casino Royale (2006)

Casino Royale  •  Trailer

Written by Neal Purvis, Robert Wade, and Paul Haggis, Based on Casino Royale by Ian Fleming, Directed by Martin Campbell

Starring Daniel Craig, Eva Green, Mads Mikkelsen, Jeffrey Wright, and Judi Dench

Daniel Craig inherited the iconic role of James Bond in this high-stakes thriller from Martin Campbell. Casino Royale is a constantly engrossing film that succeeds in large part due to a signature villainous performance from Mads Mikkelsen.

Call me crazy but I think Casino Royale is by far and away the best of Craig’s Bond films.

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Critic Review Highlight

“Casino Royale has the answers to all my complaints about the 45-year-old James Bond series, and some I hadn't even thought of.” - Roger Ebert of the

Prime Jarmusch Movies

Paterson (2016)

Trailer  •  Paterson

Written and Directed by Jim Jarmusch

Starring Adam Driver, Golshifteh Farahani, Barry Shabaka Henley, and Cliff Smith

Jim Jarmusch directs this off-beat drama about a man named Paterson who drives a bus in a town called Paterson. Few movies in recent memory recreate small-town America with as intricate of detail as Paterson does.

Paterson is a captivating film about society, poetry and the human spirit – and it’s a film that came across at the right time.

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Critic Review Highlight

Paterson is a captivating film about society, poetry and the human spirit; and it’s a film that came across at the right time.

Amazon Prime Brings Classics

Charade (1963)

Charade  •  Trailer

Written by Peter Stone, Directed by Stanley Donen

Starring Cary Grant, Audrey Hepburn, Walter Matthau, and James Coburn

I absolutely love Charade. It’s so unabashedly a riff on Hitchcock thrillers that it’s hard to think that Hitchcock didn’t make the film himself. Charade is carried by Cary Grant and Audrey Hepburn who command the screen with their infectious chemistry.

With a script so sharp it could cut a diamond in two, Charade is suspenseful, witty and endearing; three things that add up to make it a true masterpiece of the thriller genre.

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Critic Review Highlight

“If you haven't seen Charade, you really need to.” - Chris Nashawaty of Entertainment Weekly

Zombie Movie With New Life

Train to Busan (2016)

Train to Busan  •  Trailer

Written by Park Joo-suk, Directed by Yeon Sang-ho

Starring Gong Yoo, Ma Dong-seok, Jung Yu-mi, and Kim Su-an

Zombie movies have become a largely tired sub-genre due to a lack of innovation and a heavy reliance on cliches. But in 2016, Yeon Sang-ho breathed new life into the sub-genre with Train to Busan – one of the best zombie movies of the 21st century.

If you’re looking for a visceral action film that will also make your skin crawl, Train to Busan is a perfect fit.

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Critic Review Highlight

“The zombie movie takes the bullet train in Train to Busan, a smart horror that contrasts the hyper-cleanliness and efficiency of South Korean life with bloody, neck-biting chaos.” - Kate Muir of The Times (U.K.)

Concert Classic on Prime

Stop Making Sense (1984)

                Stop Making Sense  •  Trailer

Written by Talking Heads and Jonathan Demme, Directed by Jonathan Demme

Featuring Talking Heads

Jonathan Demme’s Stop Making Sense is a documentary feature that showcases the legendary Talking Heads concert of the same name.

The film is filled with frenetic energy from start to finish. Few “concert films” feel as realistic as Demme’s classic Stop Making Sense.

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Critic Review Highlight

“The overwhelming impression throughout Stop Making Sense is of enormous energy, of life being lived at a joyous high.” - Roger Ebert of

Pattinson on Prime

High Life (2019)

High Life  •  Trailer

Written by Claire Denis and Jean-Pol Fargeau, Directed by Claire Denis

Starring Robert Pattinson, Juliette Binoche, and Mia Goth

The Robert Pattinson renaissance is in full swing, evident by his starring roles in films like Good Time, The Lighthouse, and yes, High Life. If you’re expecting High Life to be anything like Pattinson’s early works, you’re in for a rude surprise.

High Life is an intimate sci-fi story with a brilliant plot. Sadly, the film never quite finds its footing. But still, due to some brilliant cinematography and a great performance from Pattinson, High Life is worth checking out.

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Critic Review Highlight

“A movie that is always vaguely interesting but that, here and there, finds ways to be brilliant in a wonderfully twisted way…” - Mick LaSalle of The San Francisco Chronicle

Don’t Dance With the Devil

The Wailing (2016)

The Wailing  •  Trailer

Directed by Na Hong-jin

Starring Kwak Do-won, Hwang Jung-min, Chun Woo-hee

Na Hong-jin directs the film, which follows the events of a small village ravaged by a mysterious infection that causes people to kill their families.

The Wailing received a lot of critical acclaim when it came out in 2016 – and for good reason, the film is tense, thrilling, and tough to watch. Few horror films in recent years have stuck with me quite like The Wailing.

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Critic Review Highlight

“The layers of dissembling and self-dissembling pile up so thickly that not only does Na evidently touch on something integral about the nature of evil, but actually seems to be in the process of summoning it before your eyes.” - Phil Hoad of The Guardian

Movies About Movies

Sunset Boulevard (1950)

Sunset Boulevard  •  Trailer

Written by Charles Brackett, Billy Wilder, and D. M. Marshman Jr., Directed by Billy Wilder

Starring William Holden, Gloria Swanson, Erich von Stroheim, Nancy Olson, Fred Clark, and Lloyd Gough

“I’m ready for my close-up.” Billy Wilder’s timeless classic Sunset Boulevard is a moving story of life on and off the titular Sunset strip.

Gloria Swanson gives an all-time great performance in the picture as Norma Desmond, a relic star of the Silent era of Hollywood. All in all, Sunset Boulevard is a brilliant examination of celebrity obsession and the fading fanfare of the limelight.

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Critic Review Highlight

“One of Wilder's finest, and certainly the blackest of all Hollywood's scab-scratching accounts of itself.” - Geoff Andrew of Time Out

Roll the Dice

Hard Eight (1996)

Hard Eight  •  Trailer

Written and Directed by Paul Thomas Anderson, Based on Cigarettes & Coffee by Paul Thomas Anderson

Starring Philip Baker Hall, John C. Reilly, Gwyneth Paltrow, and Samuel L. Jackson

Hard Eight – or as PT Anderson wanted it named – Sydney, is a casino thriller about a pseudo father-son duo played by Philip Baker Hall and John C. Reilly. Hard Eight was PT Anderson’s feature directorial debut and was based on his original short Cigarettes and Coffee.

Anderson said Hard Eight didn’t turn out exactly like he wanted because of studio interference but critics deemed it praiseworthy nonetheless.

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Critic Review Highlight

“It's done with such intelligence and feeling, and such a brilliant cast, that it grips our attention from first shuffle to last bet.” - Michael Wilmington of The Chicago Tribune

Prime Action Movies

Mission: Impossible - Fallout (2018)

Mission: Impossible - Fallout  •  Trailer

Written and Directed by Christopher McQuarrie

Starring Tom Cruise, Henry Cavill, Ving Rhames, Simon Pegg, and Rebecca Ferguson

The Mission: Impossible films are everything big-budget cinema should be; fast-paced, well-made and invigorating to watch. After over twenty years in the role of Ethan Hunt, Tom Cruise has shown no signs of slowing down.

In addition, Henry Cavill (and his infamous mustache) does a great job of supporting the action with a great performance. Mission: Impossible - Fallout may very well be the best film in the world famous spy series.

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Critic Review Highlight

“Whether you're a hardcore fan of these films or not, there's more than enough wow factor to leave a lasting impression.” - Mark Daniell of the Toronto Sun

The Best Movies on Amazon Prime Right Now

Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps (2010)

Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps  •  Trailer

Written by Allan Loeb and Stephen Schiff, Directed by Oliver Stone

Starring Michael Douglass, Shia LaBeouf, Josh Brolin, Carey Mulligan, and Frank Langella

Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps picks up with the story of notorious stockbroker Gordan Gekko years after the events of the original film. Gekko has been released from prison and attempts to navigate a world and economy that often seems foreign to him.

Oliver Stone’s sequel to Wall Street isn’t quite as impactful as the original, but it’s a timely addition to an ever-growing catalogue on American economics and politics.

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Critic Review Highlight

“This movie is by turns brilliant and dumb, naive and wise, nowhere near good enough and something close to great.” - A. O. Scott of The New York Times

Emotionally Charged Gangster Movie

Ash is Purest White (2018)

                Ash is Purest White  •  Trailer

Written and Directed by Jia Zhangke

Starring Zhao Tao and Liao Fan

Ash is Purest White is a remarkably “modern” gangster movie from the mind of Jia Zhangke. Both Zhao Tao and Liao Fan give excellent performances in the roles of two combative lovers.

Perhaps the most noteworthy aspect of Ash is Purest White is its breathtaking cinematography, composed by Eric Gautier. Be warned though: Ash is Purest White may leave you speechless after the credits roll.

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Critic Review Highlight

“This is one of Zhangke's peak achievements: pure cinema, and a story of the underworld unlike anything you've seen before.” - Michael Phillips of the Chicago Tribune

The Best Movies on Amazon Prime Right Now

The Peanut Butter Falcon (2019)

The Peanut Butter Falcon  •  Trailer

Written and Directed by Tyler Nilson and Michael Schwartz

Starring Shia LaBeouf, Zack Gottsagen, and Dakota Johnson

The Peanut Butter Falcon is an atypical road-trip movie about two young men – one petty thief and one aspiring wrestler with Down’s Syndrome – who help each other get to where they need to go.

2019 was a great year for Shia LaBeouf’s career. He received widespread acclaim for writing/starring in Honey Boy as well as for his performance in The Peanut Butter Falcon.

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Critic Review Highlight

“The Peanut Butter Falcon gets two cheers... for its redemptive warmth and a troupe of actors unfailingly bringing out the best in each other.” - Tim Robey of the Daily Telegraph (U.K.)

‘How Long Have We Been on this Rock?’

The Lighthouse (2019)

The Lighthouse  •  Trailer

Written by Robert Eggers and Max Eggers, Directed by Robert Eggers

Starring Robert Pattinson and Willem Dafoe

Director Robert Eggers made a name for himself with his 2015 film The Witch. His second feature, The Lighthouse, proved that he wasn’t just a one-hit wonder. Much can be said about Eggers’ decision to shoot the film in a square 19:16 aspect ratio, but what he does put in the frame is often brilliant.

The Lighthouse is a movie that demands repeat viewings and close attention to detail.

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Critic Review Highlight

“The Lighthouse is a pressure-cooker.” - David Sexton of the London Evening Standard

Don’t Go Breaking My Heart

Rocketman (2019)

Rocketman  •  Trailer

Written by Lee Hall, Directed by Dexter Fletcher

Starring Taron Egerton, Jamie Bell, Richard Madden, and Bryce Dallas Howard

Taron Egerton gives a knockout performance portraying Elton John in Rocketman – a film that explores the highs and lows of Sir Elton’s tenure in the limelight.

The production design in Rocketman is incredible. Elton John is well known for his colorful costumes on and off the stage. The wardrobing department for the film did a great job of recreating some of his most iconic outfits.

Part biopic, part musical, but undoubtedly all Elton – Rocketman certainly shoots for the stars.

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Critic Review Highlight

“The story reshuffles reality, especially time and facts, and the film is more enjoyable for it.” - Leah Pickett of the Chicago Reader

Best Movies on Amazon Prime Right Now

Ernest and Celestine (2012)

Ernest and Celestine  •  Trailer

Written by Daniel Pennac, Directed by Stéphane Aubier, Vincent Patar, and Benjamin Renner

English Voice Cast: Forest Whitaker, Mackenzie Foy, Lauren Bacall, and Paul Giamatti

Ernest and Celestine is a tender animated movie about a bear and a mouse who can’t be friends due to societal demands. The visuals of Ernest and Celestine are absolutely beautiful – featuring pastel-like watercolor drawings.

Although Ernest and Celestine was originally released in French, the English dub is the only version available on Prime.

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Critic Review Highlight

“A sweet-natured tale of an unlikely friendship between a burly bear and a plucky mouse. It's also decidedly offbeat with an emphasis on animal dentistry.” - Claudia Puig of USA Today

Best Comedies on Amazon Prime

Logan Lucky (2017)

Logan Lucky  •  Trailer

Written by Rebecca Blunt, Directed by Steven Soderbergh

Starring Channing Tatum, Adam Driver, Riley Keough, Katie Holmes, and Daniel Craig

Logan Lucky is director Steven Soderbergh’s best film since his 2001 masterpiece Ocean’s Eleven. It makes sense why the film works so well – many of the themes of the Ocean’s franchise are expanded upon here in a new setting.

Aside from a strange last scene, Logan Lucky is a thrilling ride of robbery at the race-track.

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Critic Review Highlight

“The film's comedy is loose and generous, and its esprit de corps sneaks up on you with a soft tread.” - Tim Robey of the Daily Telegraph (U.K.)

Hitchcock’s Prelude to War

The Lady Vanishes (1938)

The Lady Vanishes  •  Trailer

Written by Sidney Gilliat and Frank Laudner, Based on The Wheel Spins by Ethel Lina White, Directed by Alfred Hitchcock

Starring Margaret Lockwood, Michael Redgrave, Paul Lukas, and Dame May Whitty

The Lady Vanishes is one of Alfred Hitchcock’s most underrated films. Over the years, it’s mostly been overshadowed by his more famous films, but those looking for a classic hidden gem will likely find a lot to love.

Margaret Lockwood stars in the film as a young woman who gets caught in the crossfire of international espionage. Looking back, it’s amazing how prescient the subject matter of the film was.

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Critic Review Highlight

“This is vintage Hitchcock, with the pacing and superb editing that marked not only his 30s style but eventually every film that had any aspirations whatever to achieving suspense and rhythm.” - Don Druker of the Chicago Reader

Fraternal Fight Night

Warrior (2011)

Warrior  •  Trailer

Written by Gavin O’Connor, Anthony Tambakis, and Cliff Dorfman

Starring Tom Hardy, Joel Edgerton, Jennifer Morrison, Frank Grillo, and Nick Nolte

Warrior was largely overshadowed by another fighting movie released around the same time – David O. Russell’s The Fighter. Both films were great, but the latter definitely stole a lot of the former’s thunder.

Tom Hardy and Joel Edgerton star across one another in Warrior as two brothers competing at a mixed martial arts tournament and Nick Nolte received considerable praise for his performance in the role of the two fighter’s alcoholic father.

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Critic Review Highlight

“It's too corny to live. But the picture is a slam dunk. I mean a ground-and-pound double-leg takedown. It's really gripping.” - David Edelstein of Vulture/New York Magazine

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Borat Subsequent Moviefilm (2020)

Borat Subsequent Moviefilm  •  Trailer

Written by Peter Baynham, Sacha Baron Cohen, Jena Friedman, Anthony Hines, Lee Kern, Dan Mazer, Erica Rivinoja, and Dan Swimer, Based on Borat Sagdiyev by Sacha Baron Cohen, Directed by Jason Woliner

Starring Sacha Baron Cohen and Maria Bakalova

14 years after originally making an indelible imprint on American culture as Borat, Sacha Baron Cohen returned to the iconic role to address critical issues of 2020. 

Borat Subsequent Moviefilm isn’t nearly as scathing as the original but it’s still a wildly daring exercise in filmmaking. Watching the film is the opposite of catharsis – it’s outrage-inducing. Ultimately, Borat Subsequent Moviefilm proves we still have a long way to go to make the world a better place – even if the film’s title character starts to heed that message.

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Critic Review Highlight

“Like it or hate it, the second Borat film, like the first one, offers the captivating quality of a train wreck or fatal car crash - even when you're horrified, you can't look away.” - James Berardinelli of Reelviews

21st Century Murder Mystery

Knives Out (2019)

Knives Out  •  Trailer

Written and Directed by Rian Johnson

Starring Daniel Craig, Ana de Armas, Chris Evans, Michael Shannon, Jamie Lee Curtis, Don Johnson, and Toni Collette

No doubt one of the best movies of 2019, Knives Out proved that writer/director Rian Johnson may be better suited to make films outside of the Star Wars universe. Johnson does his best Agatha Christie impression with Knives Out, swapping out the famous fictional detective Hercule Poirot for Benoit Blanc.

Knives Out features a rock-star ensemble cast and a sharp script. A spiritual successor to Knives Out has officially been revealed, and Craig is slated to return in the starring role.

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Critic Review Highlight

“An entertainment that's as smart, witty, stylish and exhilarating as any movie lover could wish for.” - Joe Morgenstern of The Wall Street Journal

Meta-Biopic Movies on Amazon Prime

Honey Boy (2019)

Honey Boy  •  Trailer

Written by Shia LaBeouf, Directed by Alma Har’el

Starring Shia LaBeouf, Lucas Hedges, Noah Jupe, and FKA Twigs

Few American celebrities have had as polarizing of a time in the limelight as Shia LaBeouf. At just fourteen years old, LaBeouf accrued national fame for starring in the Disney Channel original series Even Stevens. In the near two decades since, LaBeouf has starred in blockbuster hits like Transformers, but has also struggled mightily with alcohol abuse and arrests.

One such arrest led to court-ordered rehab, where LaBeouf wrote the autobiographical script for Honey Boy; an unflinchingly intimate story of familial turmoil, love and the effect of stardom.

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Critic Review Highlight

“LaBeouf is so revelatory as both writer and actor that the film defies cynicism about its second purpose as celebrity image management. It just makes you excited about the work.” - Inkoo Kang of Slate

In the Shadow of War

Last Flag Flying (2017)

Last Flag Flying  •  Trailer

Written by Richard Linklater and Darryl Ponicsan, Based on Last Flag Flying by Darryl Ponicsan, Directed by Richard Linklater

Starring Steve Carrell, Bryan Cranston, and Laurence Fishburne

Is there any filmmaker in the world who’s slept on more than Richard Linklater? It’s not hyperbole to say that he’s made four or five of the best films of the past 30 years.

But even after all his success, Linklater’s name is rarely mentioned in the same breath of Tarantino, Nolan, or Paul Thomas Anderson. Last Flag Flying is one of Linklater’s most recent features and stars Steve Carrell, Laurence Fishburne, and Bryan Cranston as three marines united due to tragedy.

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Critic Review Highlight

“For all its seeming modesty, this is a mature, contemplative and mostly rewarding experiment: no awards-season bruiser, but a worthwhile B-side for Ashby's venerable American classic.” - Robbie Collin of the Daily Telegraph (U.K.)

The Best Movies on Amazon Prime Right Now

Once Upon a Time in the West (1968)

Once Upon a Time in the West  •  Trailer

Written by Sergio Donati and Sergio Leone, Directed by Sergio Leone

Starring Henry Fonda, Charles Bronson, Claudia Cardinale, and Jason Robards

There aren’t many movies that have had more of an impact on today’s filmmakers than Sergio Leone’s spaghetti western classic Once Upon a Time in the West.

Although Once Upon a Time in the West is perhaps most well-known today for its musical score composed by the late great Ennio Morricone, it’s cinematography has undoubtedly inspired generations of filmmakers.

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Critic Review Highlight

“Moments of intense realism flow into passages of operatic extravagance; lowbrow burlesque exists side by side with the expression of the most refined shades of feeling.” David Kehr of the Chicago Reader.

Amazon Prime Movies

The Farewell (2018)

The Farewell  •  Trailer

Written and Directed by Lulu Wang

Starring Awkwafina, Tzi Ma, and Zhao Shu-zhen

The Farewell is largely based on a true story from the life of writer/director Lulu Wang, in which her family hides their grandmother’s medical illness from her.

Awkwafina is terrific starring in the film as Billi, a character who serves as a conduit for Wang’s experiences. 

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Critic Review Highlight

“When each of us contains multitudes, "The Farewell" suggests, home is everywhere, or anywhere we happen to be.” - Ann Hornaday of The Washington Post

Familiar, Formulaic, but Fun

Creed II (2018)

                Creed II  •  Trailer

Written by Juel Taylor and Sylvester Stallone, Directed by Steven Caple Jr.

Starring Michael B. Jordan, Sylvester Stallone, and Tessa Thompson

Although it wasn’t quite as good the 2015 franchise reboot Creed, Creed II is sure to scratch that “Rocky” itch for fans of the series. Michael B. Jordan does a good job in the lead role of Adonis Creed, the son of series favorite Apollo Creed.

Forty-two years after the release of the original Rocky, Sylvester Stallone returned to co-write the screenplay and act in Creed II.

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Critic Review Highlight

“Creed II fits the mold of every Rocky sequel-competent, entertaining, and a little passionless.” - David Sims of The Atlantic

Horror Runs in the Family

Hereditary (2018)

Hereditary  •  Trailer

Written and Directed by Ari Aster

Starring Toni Collette, Alex Wolff, Milly Shapiro, Ann Dowd, and Gabriel Byrne

Ari Aster’s directorial debut Hereditary marked the debut of an exciting new voice in American cinema. The film is not perfect; in many ways, it’s far from it. But if you’re willing to suspend disbelief and roll with the genre tropes, you’ll find a good amount to like in Hereditary.

Hereditary quickly became A24’s highest grossing film upon release and has garnered a cult-following with horror fans.

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Critic Review Highlight

“A devastating portrait of an American family in sudden, inexplicable decline.” - Justin Chang of The Los Angeles Times

Gentrification in the Bay

The Last Black Man in San Francisco

The Last Black Man in San Francisco  •  Trailer

Written by Joe Talbot and Rob Richert, Directed by Joe Talbot

Starring Jimmie Fails, Jonathan Majors, Tichina Arnold, Rob Morgan, and Danny Glover

The Last Black Man in San Francisco was a product of a successful crowdfunding campaign, started by director Joe Talbot and writer/actor Jimmie Fails. In 2017, Plan B Entertainment bought into the hype and further funded the project.

The Last Black Man in San Francisco received rave reviews from critics upon release for its timely story and great performances.

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Critic Review Highlight

“It's less of a rallying cry against gentrification than a rumination on the kind of pained acceptance those who suffer its effects must face.” - Clarisse Loughrey of The Independent (U.K.)

The Best Movies on Amazon Prime Right Now

Inception (2010)

Inception  •  Trailer

Written and Directed by Christopher Nolan

Starring Leonardo DiCaprio, Ellen Page, Ken Watanabe, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Marion Cotillard, and Tom Hardy

Christopher Nolan’s Inception is a mentally stimulating movie about the journey into the subconscious. It’s been ten years since the release of Inception, and we’re still talking about its unforgettable ending to this day. If you want to read more about the film’s iconic cliffhanger, check out our article on the Inception ending explained.

Christopher Nolan is famous for making movies that play with our brains, but Inception gave new meaning to the term “cerebral cinema.”

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Critic Review Highlight

“A heist film of thrilling, almost delirious complexity.” - Rafer Guzman of Newsday

The Best Movies on Amazon Prime Right Now 

28 Days Later (2003)

28 Days Later  •  Trailer

Written by Alex Garland, Directed by Danny Boyle

Starring Cillian Murphy, Naomie Harris, Christopher Eccleston, Megan Burns, and Brendan Gleeson

28 Days Later breathed new life into the zombie genre thanks to great performances and some very, very fast zombies. Cillian Murphy stars in the film as a man who awakes from a coma to find society in rubble.

I like to think of 28 Days Later as the best ugly film I’ve ever seen. Boyle reportedly chose to use a smaller digital camera because it was mobile and it allowed the production team to shoot “on the run” to give the appearance the streets were desolate. But in the end it’s not exactly a treat to look at.

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Critic Review Highlight

“The movie's craft makes the dread of a killer virus contagious: viewers may feel they have come down with a case of secondhand SARS or sympathetic monkeypox.” - Richard Corliss of Time Magazine

Gripping Dramas on Amazon

Manchester by the Sea (2017)

Manchester by the Sea  •  Trailer

Written and Directed by Kenneth Lonergan

Starring Casey Affleck, Lucas Hedges, Michelle Williams, and Kyle Chandler

Manchester by the Sea is a focused story of a man and his nephew who are united by the tragedy of a lost loved-one.

It’s no wonder why Casey Affleck won the Oscar for Best Lead Actor for his performance in Manchester by the Sea – it’s engrossing, nuanced, and impactful.

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Critic Review Highlight

“This is about life as it is lived in the real world, with unassuageable pain, loose ends untied, life lessons unlearned. Life with no narrative closure.” Peter Bradshaw of The Guardian

Mesoamerican Epic on Prime

Apocalypto (2006)

Apocalypto  •  Trailer

Written by Mel Gibson and Farhad Safinia, Directed by Mel Gibson

Starring Rudy Youngblood, Raoul Trujillo, Mayra Sérbulo, and Dalia Hernández

Mel Gibson’s Mayan-era epic Apocalypto has benefitted from some great critical analysis in the fourteen years since release. Many historians and anthropologists have cited the film as one of the most accurate depictions of Mayan culture in cinema history.

Apocalypto is a visceral adventure film that’s told entirely in the Yucatec Maya Language.

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Critic Review Highlight

“While the ancient dialects and weighty quotations suggest an arthouse epic, Apocalypto is basically a really good period popcorn flick.” - Paul Arendt of

Best Movies on Amazon Prime Right Now

Love and Mercy (2015)

Love and Mercy  •  Trailer

Written by Michael Alan Lerner and Oren Moverman, Directed by Bill Pohlad

Starring Paul Dano, John Cusack, Elizabeth Banks, and Paul Giamatti

Love and Mercy is a nuanced portrait of the life of Beach Boys’ mastermind Brian Wilson. Paul Dano and John Cusack portray Wilson in the film in a dual-role; and both actors do an excellent job.

Many people know The Beach Boys as the symbol for 1960’s surf-rock, but few know what was going on behind the scenes during the group’s meteoric rise. Love and Mercy shows the making-of and the fallout of one of the greatest albums ever made: Pet Sounds.

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Critic Review Highlight

“Love & Mercy, Bill Pohlad's ingenious biopic of Beach Boy Brian Wilson, approaches its subject from a very unusual direction... ear-first.” - Geoffrey Macnab of the Independent (U.K.)

Superhero Team-Up on Prime

The Avengers (2012)

The Avengers  •  Trailer

Written and Directed by Joss Whedon, Based on The Avengers by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby

Starring Robert Downey Jr., Scarlett Johannson, Chris Evans, Mark Ruffalo, Chris Hemsworth, and Tom Hiddleston

Avengers assemble: your favorite Marvel superheroes are now available to view on Prime. At the time of its release, The Avengers was the biggest movie in the world. This was before Star Wars came back, and long before “the greatest superhero team-up film” Avengers: Infinity War was released.

The Avengers screenplay laid the groundwork for bringing together the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and it will forever be regarded as one of the most important commercial films ever made.

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Critic Review Highlight

“The light, amusing bits cannot overcome the grinding, hectic emptiness, the bloated cynicism that is less a shortcoming of this particular film than a feature of the genre.” - A. O. Scott of The New York Times

The Best Movies on Amazon Prime Right Now

Megamind (2010)

Megamind  •  Trailer

Written by Alan Schoolcraft and Brent Simons, Directed by Tom McGrath

Starring Will Ferrell, Tina Fey, Jonah Hill, David Cross, and Brad Pitt

What’s the deal with Megamind? It received good-not-great reviews upon release, but it’s developed somewhat of a cult following since then. I think one reason why so many people love Megamind is because there’s something about it that comes across as unexpected.

In many ways, Megamind stands in stark contrast to other superhero movies of this era – it’s less interested in idolizing heroes as it is condemning villains.

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Critic Review Highlight

“A full-bodied, busy-as-heck, funny-as-heck comedy adventure from Dreamworks that merrily riffs -- in its own fractured way -- on the Superman legend.” - Jim Schembri of The Age (Australia)

CGI Render of a Classic

The Adventures of Tintin (2011)

                The Adventures of Tintin  •  Trailer

Written by Steven Moffat, Edgar Wright, and Joe Cornish, Based on The Adventures of Tintin and The Secret of the Unicorn by Hergé, Directed by Steven Spielberg

Starring Jamie Bell, Andy Serkis, and Daniel Craig

The Adventures of Tintin marked a massive collaboration between some of modern cinema’s brightest minds, including Steven Spielberg (director), Peter Jackson (producer), Steven Moffat (writer), Edgar Wright (writer), and Joe Cornish (writer).

Despite all of the talent associated with it, The Adventures of Tintin never quite came together perfectly. That’s not to say it was bad by any means, it just didn’t live up to the lofty expectations.

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Critic Review Highlight

“[The] Adventures of Tintin is what you'd expect: a competent Hollywood stunt-fest.” - Noah Berlatsky of The Atlantic

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Cold War (2018)

Cold War  •  Trailer

Written by Paweł Pawlikowski, Janusz Głowacki, and Piotr Borkowski, Directed by Paweł Pawlikowski

Starring Joanna Kulig, Tomasz Kot, Borys Szyc, Agata Kulesza, Cédric Kahn, and Jeanne Balibar

Paweł Pawlikowski's post World-War II epic Cold War is a stunning picture about two lovers entangled in a changing society. Both Joanna Kulig and Tomasz Kot deliver excellent performances in the leading roles.

Cold War uses black and white cinematography to immersive effect, which creates a strong tone and visual style.

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Critic Review Highlight

“Cinematographer Lukasz Zal finds a chilly, etched beauty in every frame; you're struck by how snow seems to stroke and soften a harsh landscape, and by the poignancy of wind ruffling the grass in a quiet field.” - Moira Macdonald of The Seattle Times

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The Report (2019)

The Report  •  Trailer

Written and Directed by Scott Z. Burns

Starring Adam Driver, Annette Benning, Ted Levine, Michael C. Hall, Jon Hamm, Tim Blake Nelson, Maura Tierney and Corey Stoll

They say that history is written by the victor, but in this case, history was redacted by those in power. The Report is a film that aimed to expose CIA corruption to the masses, but unfortunately, it got lost in the 2019 Oscar season shuffle.

Adam Driver commands the screen in the role of former FBI investigator Daniel Jones, while Annette Bening gives a masterful performance portraying U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein. To this day, the full Senate Intelligence Committee report on CIA torture remains classified.

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Critic Review Highlight

“Director Scott Z Burns captures the events in a cold, rigorously factual, and largely dispassionate manner. But that's the point.” - Clarisse Loughrey of The Independent (U.K.)

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The Stranger (1946)

The Stranger  •  Trailer

Written by Anthony Veiller and Decla Dunning, Uncredited Writing From John Huston and Orson Welles, Based on a Story by Victor Trivas

Starring Orson Welles, Edward G. Robinson, and Loretta Young

The Stranger was one of Orson Welles’ last works before he was exiled from Hollywood and moved to Europe. As with most Orson Welles pictures, his fingerprints are over the production; he served as director, lead actor and co-writer of The Stranger.

There aren’t many movies of the World-War II era that stand up to the test of time as well as The Stranger. The Stranger is one of Welles’ best films and was one of his only majorly successful films at the box office.

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Critic Review Highlight

“The Stranger, principally, brings home the enduring theme of noir: the devastation that the second world war wreaked on the American psyche, and the silent nastiness that proliferated behind the white picket fence.” - Andrew Pulver of The Guardian

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You Were Never Really Here (2016)

You Were Never Really Here  •  Trailer

Written and Directed by Lynne Ramsay, Based on You Were Never Really Here by Jonathan Ames

Joaquin Phoenix gives a tour de force performance in the awfully violent carnage-film You Were Never Really Here.

For what You Were Never Really Here lacks in narrative clarity, it makes up for in visual style, which ultimately amounts to a film that leaves a deafening imprint in the landscape of experimental filmmaking.

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Critic Review Highlight

“In the end, there's no question that what you're watching is a masterfully-made movie, albeit one that's easier to admire from afar than up close.” - Chris Nashawaty of Entertainment Weekly

Amazon Prime Originals

The Big Sick (2017)

The Big Sick  •  Trailer

Written by Emily V. Gordon and Kumail Nanjiani, Directed by Michael Showalter

Starring Kumail Nanjiani, Zoe Kazan, Holly Hunter, and Ray Romano

It takes a heart of stone not to love The Big Sick. The script for the film was written by Kumail Nanjiani and Emily Gordon and is based on the true story of the couple’s journey from a casual relationship to the throws of love.

In the face of tragedy, Nanjiani and Gordon deliver a story of absolute resilience that unites people across cultures.

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Critic Review Highlight

“The Big Sick finds plots by losing them. That's its genius. One moment we are in an ethnic satire; the next a romcom; the next a hospital comedy-drama. But that's existence.” - Nigel Andrews of the Financial Times

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The Lost City of Z (2016)

The Lost City of Z  •  Trailer

Written and Directed by James Gray, Based on The Lost City of Z by David Grann

Starring Charlie Hunnam, Robert Pattinson, Sienna Miller, and Tom Holland

The Lost City of Z is a greatly enjoyable film for anyone who loves a good adventure. Charlie Hunnam stars in the picture as British explorer Percy Fawcett, a determined spirit who sacrifices nearly anything at the cost of finding the famed lost city of Z.

In many ways, Indiana Jones is the fictional successor to the true story of The Lost City of Z.

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Critic Review Highlight

“The never-ending jungle proves perfectly suited to the filmmaker's lush, operatic aesthetic, as does the film's central theme of escaping one's background, through whatever means necessary.” - Barry Hertz of The Globe and Mail

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Inside Llewyn Davis (2013)

Inside Llewyn Davis  •  Trailer

Written and Directed by Joel and Ethan Coen

Starring Oscar Isaac, Carey Mulligan, Justin Timberlake, John Goodman, and Garrett Hedlund

The Coen Brothers’ intimate period-drama Inside Llewyn Davis is a stirring recreation of the American folk music industry. Oscar Issac stars in the film as the titular character, who doesn’t quite fit in with the “changing times.”

Perhaps the best part of Inside Llewyn Davis is its soundtrack, which was largely inspired by the work of folk revivalist Dave Van Ronk.

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Critic Review Highlight

“Cold exteriors and warm interiors combine in the Coen brothers' rhapsodic portrait of a '60s folk singer.” - Adam Woodward of Little White Lies

A Shyamalan Twist

The Village (2004)

The Village  •  Trailer

Written and Directed by M. Night Shyamalan

Starring Joaquin Phoenix, Adrien Brody, Bryce Dallas Howard, William Hurt, Sigourney Weaver, and Brendan Gleeson

M. Night Shyamalan is a filmmaker whose works, perhaps unfairly, have come to be expected to always have a major twist. We’ve seen twists used effectively in some of his movies, like The Sixth Sense and Unbreakable, and not so effectively, like in The Happening – but perhaps no other of his features hinge so sharply on its twist than The Village.

The Village features a “love it or hate it” twist that has been making audiences either applaud or roll their eyes for more than 15 years.

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Critic Review Highlight

“Go in with a snide attitude, desperate to see The Sixth Sense director fail, and you'll leave with your prejudices underpinned. Better to embrace the experience and allow Shyamalan to show off his sublime gift for suspense.” - Nev Pierce of

Hitchock’s Cat-Burglar

To Catch a Thief (1955)

To Catch a Thief  •  Trailer

Written by John Michael Hayes, Based on To Catch a Thief by David Dodge, Directed by Alfred Hitchcock

Starring Cary Grant, Grace Kelly, Jessie Royce Landis, John Williams, Charles Vanel, and Brigitte Auber

To Catch a Thief makes great use of Cary Grant and Grace Kelly’s natural chemistry. The film follows the pair as they engage in a metaphorical game of cat and mouse across the French Riviera.

If you’re looking for one of Alfred Hitchcock’s darker works, To Catch a Thief isn’t it. This is a mostly breezy rom-com with elements of thriller mixed in.

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Critic Review Highlight

“The whole thing is really a condensed summer holiday, all hot sun and suavity.” - Danny Leigh of the Financial Times

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The African Queen (1952)

The African Queen  •  Trailer

Written by John Huston, James Agee, Peter Viertel, and John Collier, Directed by John Huston, Based on The African Queen by C. S. Forester

Starring Humphrey Bogart, Katharine Hepburn, and Robert Morley

The African Queen isn’t about a queen from Africa but rather named after the name of the boat that the two main characters use to travel downstream to escape the threat of war.

Hollywood legend Humphrey Bogart won the Academy Award for Best Lead Actor in The African Queen opposite fellow Academy Award winning actor Katharine Hepburn.

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Critic Review Highlight

“[A] grand, propulsive and plumly-restored slice of Technicolor derring-do.” - Tim Robey of the Daily Telegraph (U.K.)

Indie Darling Debut

Resolution (2013)

                Resolution  •  Trailer

Written by Justin Benson, Directed by Justin Benson and Aaron Scott Moorhead

Starring Peter Ciella, Vinny Curran, Zahn McClarnon, and Bill Oberst Jr.

Justin Benson and Aaron Moorhead have emerged as one of the most exciting young filmmaking duos in American cinema. Their feature debut Resolution is a tense horror film that is as mind-bending as it is thought-provoking.

Benson and Moorhead’s 2017 film The Endless is a spiritual successor to Resolution. Although the film isn’t outwardly “sci-fi,” if you like science fiction, you’ll probably like Resolution.

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Critic Review Highlight

“Resolution makes its own creative crisis the star, trying to make something original out of elements so hackneyed, the filmmakers can't bear to reproduce them.” - Scott Tobias of the AV Club

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The Royal Tenenbaums (2001)

The Royal Tenenbaums  •  Trailer

Written by Wes Anderson and Owen Wilson, Directed by Wes Anderson

Starring Danny Glover, Anjelica Huston, Gene Hackman, Bill Murray, Gwyneth Paltrow, Ben Stiller, Owen Wilson, and Luke Wilson

Wes Anderson has directed some great movies over the years, but many consider his 2001 film The Royal Tenenbaums his greatest work to date. Tenenbaums follows the story of an upper-class family and three child prodigies who grow up to become characteristic versions of themselves.

The Royal Tenenbaums is just as colorful as you might expect, but lurking behind the color is a fraught subtlety that’s rarely explored in his pictures.

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Critic Review Highlight

“Each character, as ever, is tucked into a shell of his or her obsessions, and yet the filming itself -- the grace of Anderson's draftsmanship, as it were -- binds the figures together into a team.” - Anthony Lane of The New Yorker

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The Squid and the Whale (2005)

The Squid and the Whale  •  Trailer

Written and Directed by Noah Baumbach 

Starring Jeff Daniels, Laura Linney, Jesse Eisenberg, Owen Kline, William Baldwin, and Anna Paquin

The Squid and the Whale follows the story of a family in decline, dealing with the messy minutia of an ugly divorce. Jeff Daniels and Laura Linney deliver excellent performances in the leading roles of two parents coming to the realization of their own true character.

Noah Baumbach was nominated for his first Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay for writing The Squid and the Whale.

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Critic Review Highlight

“The movie feels like it was written in the filmmaker's own sweat and tears.” - Desson Thomson of The Washington Post

Don’t Worry, He Won’t Get Far on Foot  •  Trailer

Written and Directed by Gus Van Sant, Based on Don’t Worry, He Won’t Get Far on Foot by John Callahan

Starring Joaquin Phoenix, Jonah Hill, Rooney Mara, and Jack Black

Joaquin Phoenix stars in Don’t Worry, He Won’t Get Far on Foot as the late cartoonist John Callahan, who was paralyzed after a car accident at the age of 21. The film was written and directed by Gus Van Sant in 2018.

Don’t Worry, He Won’t Get Far on Foot strikes a strong chord that fans of Callahan’s cartoonist should surely appreciate.

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Critic Review Highlight

“Ultimately, the film functions the same way these cartoons do, through exaggeration and metaphor.” - Jake Wilson of The Age (Australia)

Up Next

Best Movies on Netflix - Updated Monthly

Still looking for something else to watch? Don’t worry, Netflix might have the perfect film for you. In this next article, we break down the best movies that are on Netflix right now by looking at acting, filmmaking, writing and watchability.

Up Next: Best Movies on Netflix →
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