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More than free shipping: The best movies on Amazon Prime right now

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When Amazon debuted its Amazon Prime service more than a decade ago, CEO Jeff Bezos and company simply wanted to give their loyal band of customers a chance to save some scratch on shipping costs. As the service gained a massive subscription base, the company continued adding a slew of incredible perks, such as access to Prime Pantry, same-day delivery, and Amazon Prime Instant Video. Now, anyone with an Amazon Prime subscription has easy access to thousands of hit movies and TV shows,  all with the simple click of a mouse. To help all you subscribers sift through Amazon’s massive library, we’ve taken up the task of finding the best movies currently available on the service. So pop some popcorn, find your favorite spot on the couch, and watch one of the best movies on Amazon Prime, courtesy of our exhaustive list.

If you’re looking to use another streaming service, we’ve got you covered with our picks for the best movies on Netflixbest movies on HBO, and best movies on Hulu.


‘A Ghost Story’

David Lowery’s A Ghost Story takes a simple — some might even say silly — premise as its foundation, and builds atop it a beautiful, mournful film about death and the passage of time. The film begins with a man, C (Casey Affleck), and a woman, M (Rooney Mara). C dies in a car crash early on, but his soul continues to wander, draped in a hospital sheet under which he spends the rest of the film. C returns to the house he shared with M, watching as she grieves and eventually moves on. He remains, watching as the house changes hands, and the world changes entirely. A Ghost Story is light on plot and even dialogue, with Lowery using thoughtful shots and beautiful scene compositions to convey emotion.

‘Brawl in Cell Block 99’

Although it sounds like a pulpy action movie, Brawl in Cell Block 99 takes a while to build up to its titular melee, unwinding slowly as its lead character gets deeper into trouble. The film follows Bradley Thomas (Vince Vaughn), who loses his job only to come home and discover that his wife, Lauren (Jennifer Carpenter), is cheating on him. After smashing her car with his bare hands, Bradley decides to work on their marriage, the first sign that this is a film that doesn’t fit into easy categorization. Bradley also turns to crime in order to pay the bills, and that decision leads him down a dark and violent path. Brawl in Cell Block 99 treads a narrow line between highbrow and low; Bradley is a fascinating character, and the movie explores his complicated mindset, but there is also violence aplenty for those who want to see some action.


An adaptation of August Wilson’s Pulitzer Prize-winning play, Fences is a fascinating study of a man in slow collapse. Troy Maxson (Denzel Washington) was an accomplished baseball player in the Negro Leagues, whose career ended before Major League Baseball integrated. By the time the film begins in the 1950s, he works as a garbageman in Pittsburgh, living with his wife, Rose (Viola Davis); and son, Cory (Jovan Adepo). Troy seethes at the world, and the story is focused on the ways in which he chips away at his relationships with everyone in his life, cheating on his wife and grinding down his son’s ambitions. It’s a powerful story, and Washington (who also directed) gives it a skillful treatment.


Set over the course of a week in the life of a bus driver named Paterson (Adam Driver), this drama from eclectic director Jim Jarmusch meditate on the beauty and meaning in mundane events. Paterson lives in Paterson, New Jersey, with his eccentric wife, Laura (Golshifteh Farahani); and her dog, named Marvin. His daily routine is simple: He goes to work, driving his route and listening to the conversations of the passengers. In his free moments, he writes poetry that he never shares with the world. There’s not much more to the plot than that; like a poem, Paterson revels in imagery and rhythm. It’s a quiet film, but it feels like thunder.


Set in 17th-century Japan, Martin Scorsese’s Silence (an adaptation of Shusaku Endo’s novel of the same name) follows a pair of Jesuit priests on a mission to find their missing mentor, Cristóvão Ferreira (Liam Neeson), who renounced his faith following torture at the hands of the shogunate, which has outlawed Christianity. The priests, Sebastião Rodrigues (Andrew Garfield) and Francisco Garupe (Adam Driver), sneak into Japan, taking refuge among the remaining Japanese Christians. During their search for Ferreira, Rodrigues, and Garupe witness terrible atrocities, and find themselves in a moral quandary that drives them to the brink. At times beautiful, at others horrifying, Silence is a deeply spiritual film, reflecting on the nature of faith, and whether God cares about the suffering of his servants.

‘Manchester by the Sea’

This bleak drama, directed by playwright Kenneth Lonergan, is set in the titular town of Manchester, a town Lee Chandler (Casey Affleck) would prefer never to return to. Chandler lives out his days working as a janitor in Quincy, away from any connections to his past. Tragedy brings him home; his brother Joe (Kyle Chandler) dies, leaving behind a teenage son, Patrick (Lucas Hedges), and a will asking Lee to take care of him. Manchester by the Seais a deeply personal drama, examining the ways disaster can wear away at a person’s soul, and whether it is possible to come back from the brink. Despite the premise, the movie is not gloomy from start to end; the script allows for plenty of humor and warmth throughout, making for a film that captures the complexity of life.


Some of Moonlight’s most important scenes take place near water; always shifting, water proves to be a potent symbol for protagonist Chiron’s journey through the film. The film follows Chiron from his time as a young man growing up, impoverished, in Miami, to his tragic, conflicted adulthood. The film’s three acts, set during different stages of his life, show him struggling with his identity and sexuality, as he develops an attraction to his best friend and faces pressure and bullying from other boys his age. Buoyed by excellent performances — particularly Mahershala Ali‘s, which won him an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor — Moonlight is a powerful character study, one rife with mesmerizing imagery.

’10 Cloverfield Lane’

Though originally developed from a script titled The Cellar10 Cloverfield Lane was acquired by Bad Robot, a production team owned by J.J. Abrams, and turned into a spiritual successor to found-footage monster movie Cloverfield. John Goodman gives an incredible performance as a paranoid man who abducts a young woman (Mary Elizabeth Winstead) and holds her captive in an underground bunker under the premise that a catastrophic event has rendered the Earth’s surface uninhabitable. The movie oozes creepiness, eschewing traditional jump scares in favor of a more cerebral, psychological horror.

‘Inside Llewyn Davis’

In the soft shadows of The Gaslight Cafe, folk singer Llewyn Davis (Oscar Isaac) croons that he “wouldn’t mind the hanging.” Leave it to the Coen Brothers to oblige him. Two of America’s most mercurial filmmakers, the Coens have approached both grim tragedy and madcap comedy in their films, sometimes at the same time. Inside Llewyn Davis falls on the bleaker end of the spectrum, following Davis as he attempts to get his music career on track in the wake of his musical partner’s suicide. His finances are not the only part of his life falling apart; his former lover Jean (Carey Mulligan), pregnant with a child that is likely his, wants nothing to do with him. Davis’ struggle, set against the frost-glazed backdrop of New York, is a tragic one, but the film is not without humor, black though it may be. The characters surrounding Llewyn are as vibrant as he is cold… particularly Justin Timberlake as Jane’s new boyfriend.


Sicario begins with FBI agent Kate Macer (Emily Blunt) leading a squad into a cartel safehouse, where they discover walls lined with corpses. That is only the first of many horrors the film offers, as Macer joins a CIA task force led by Matt Graver (Josh Brolin), whose goal is to shut down the cartel responsible. Contrary to Kate’s expectations and standard operating procedure, Graver’s team, accompanied by a mystery man named Alejandro (Benicio Del Toro), ventures into Mexico to capture a kingpin. Like a cruel roller coaster, Sicario takes its time raising the tension before sending Macer hurtling downward, and Denis Villeneuve’s tight direction is key to that.

‘Bone Tomahawk’

Set in the unforgiving frontier of the American West, Bone Tomahawk blurs the lines between western and thriller. The movie begins in the small town of Bright Hope, where sheriff Franklin Hunt is investigating a series of strange murders and disappearances. An arrow is discovered at one of the crime scenes, and a Native American man tells Hunt it likely belongs to of a tribe of troglodyte cannibals living in the mountains. Hell-bent on wiping out the oppressive attackers, Hunt rallies a small band to hunt down the cannibals. Director S. Craig Zahler’s film stars Kurt Russell as sheriff Hunt, as well as Matthew Fox, Patrick Wilson, and Lili Simmons in various roles.


‘I Am Not Your Negro’

James Baldwin was one of the most influential writers of the late 20th century, penning numerous essays and acclaimed novels addressing issues of race at a time when racial friction seemed to be boiling over in America. Working from an unfinished Baldwin manuscript, director Raoul Peck has created I Am Not Your Negro, a documentary examining Baldwin’s views and how they apply not only to the tumults of the ‘60s, but to modern America as well. Samuel L. Jackson narrates, infusing the material with a husky weariness. I Am Not Your Negro leaves one with the impression that Baldwin’s work has never been finished, and never been more important.

‘Gimme Danger’

Although not as famous as many acts of the ‘60s, the Stooges proved to be a hugely influential rock band, with raw sound and avant-garde songwriting that laid the foundation for early punk and metal bands. It’s only fitting that no less a cinematic renegade than Jim Jarmusch would be the one to direct Gimme Danger, a documentary which tells the story of the Stooges through the words of its members, including Jim Osterberg (aka Iggy Pop). Fans of the band will appreciate the many anecdotes and insights into the philosophy of the band, while newcomers may quickly develop a taste for the music, which sounds as lively as anything released today.


This documentary from director Penny Lane examines the fascinating and terrifyingly prescient story of John R. Brinkley, an unlicensed doctor who, in the 1920s, became one of the most successful doctors in America, thanks to a truly bizarre operation he invented. At the behest of a man suffering from impotence, Brinkley implanted a pair of testicular glands from a goat into the patient’s scrotum. Although the procedure had no actual medical benefits (indeed, many subsequent patients would die from the operation), his patient was convinced it worked, and Brinkley soon had men and women coming to him in droves for miracle cures. Brinkley amassed a fortune, and he soon sought more power, establishing a successful radio station to broadcast his medical “wisdom,” and even running for governor of Kansas. Nuts! tells the story through interviews with historians, as well as charming animated reenactments.


A condiment perhaps more widely used than ketchup or mustard, the spicy Sriracha “rooster sauce” takes center stage in this award-winning, short documentary. To help get the flick off the ground, director Griffin Hammond took to the popular crowdfunding website Kickstarter in 2013, successfully raising over $20k in pledges to just a $5k goal. Hammond’s knack for interesting storytelling allow this 30-minute documentary to properly celebrate one of food’s most beloved and popular sidekicks.

Action, adventure, and comedy

‘The Lost City of Z’

James Gray’s adventure film The Lost City of Z — an adaptation of the book by David Grann — tells the story of Percy Fawcett (Charlie Hunnam), a British explorer who disappeared in the Amazon in search of an ancient city. The film takes place over decades, as Fawcett launches multiple expeditions in search of Z. His quest makes him an object of ridicule in Britain, and leads to friction with his wife, Nina (Sienna Miller), and son, Jack (Tom Holland). The Lost City of Z is a thoughtful film, reveling in the rainforest’s beauty much like Fawcett does; here is an explorer more interested in history than resources, in working with native tribes rather than fighting them.

‘Raiders of the Lost Ark’

This legendary Steven Spielberg film introduced the world to Indiana Jones (Harrison Ford), an intrepid super-archaeologist with a flair for the dramatic and a fear of snakes. The film sees Jones tasked with finding the mysterious Ark of the Covenant before the Nazis, who believe the holy relic will grant their military forces invincibility and fast-track their plans for establishing a global empire. The film garnered heaps of critical praise when it first debuted. From the iconic score to the groundbreaking special effects, art design, and cinematography, Raiders was a watershed adventure film that would set the Hollywood standard for years to come. It’s lofty legacy has endured some 36 years later, too, and it sits at the No. 2 spot on Empire’s list of the best movies of all time.

‘Green Room’

Veteran horror director Jeremy Saulnier (Blue RuinMurder Party) lends his slick technical chops and subversive comedy to Green Room, which follows a punk band as they attempt to escape from a group of murderous neo-Nazis after a show. The film’s frenetic pace and brutal violence are a sight to behold, and an unexpected appearance by Patrick Stewart (Star Trek: The Next Generation) only adds to the fun.

’20th Century Women’

It’s 1979, the final chapter in a turbulent decade, and the attitude in America is so distraught that even the president felt the need to address the malaise, the lack of spiritual fulfillment in the country. It’s in this year, this context that Mike Mills sets 20th Century Women, which focuses on a mother, her son, and the people she wants to help him transition to adulthood. It’s largely a coming-of-age story for Jamie (Lucas Jade Zumann), who lives with his mother, Dorothea (Annette Bening), in the boarding house she runs. Not sure how to raise her son in an era of dwindling values, she turns to Abbie (Greta Gerwig), a tenant and artist, and Julie (Elle Fanning), Jamie’s very platonic best friend, for help. The three women — with a little help from William (Billy Crudup), a mechanic who also lives in the boarding house — share their experiences with Jamie. 20th Century Women is a warm, inviting film, built around an incredible performance from Bening.

‘What We Do in the Shadows’

How do you keep up appearances when you can’t actually see yourself in the mirror? It’s a problem hilariously examined in What We Do in the Shadows, a horror-mockumentary that follows the lives of four vampires living in modern-day Wellington, New Zealand. The film is the byproduct of Taika Waititi and Flight of the Conchords‘ Jemaine Clement, and as such, is baked with impeccable comedic timing and gags that become more borderline outlandish as the film goes on. It’s the chemistry between cast members that really belies the jokes, however, many of which rely on age-old vampire clichés, including an ongoing feud with Rhys Darby’s werewolf pack. Think The Real World, but with more blood, sweat, and tears (emphasis on the blood).

‘The Lobster’

Colin Farrell stars in this strange comedic tale about a society known as “The City,” a dystopian near-future where humans are beholden to supernatural rules. In this world, humans must remain in a committed relationship, otherwise they will transform into animals. David (Farrell) is left by his wife, and promptly taken to The Hotel. There, single people must find a romantic partner within 45 days, or they will be turned into feral creatures and exiled from the city. However, residents of the Hotel must conform to strict, absurd rules; are inundated with constant propaganda about love and relationships; and are able to hunt and tranquilize single people who have fled from the city and into the forest to extend their deadlines. David befriends two fellow residents, Robert (John C. Reilly) and John (Ben Whishaw), who are also searching for partners they have something in common with before their time runs out.


‘The Big Sick’

Comedian Kumail Nanjiani and comedy writer Emily V. Gordon adapted their real-life love story for film in The Big Sick, a charming romantic comedy with a realistic tone. The movie begins with Kumail (playing himself) struggling to build a stand-up career, mining his Pakistani background for material. After a run-in with a heckler named Emily (Zoe Kazan) turns into a one night-stand and eventually a relationship, the two start to run into troubles. For starters, Kumail’s parents want him to settle down with a Pakistani woman, leading them to break up. Making things even more complicated, an infection leaves Emily in a coma. While visiting Emily in the hospital, Kumail meets her parents, Terry (Ray Romano) and Beth (Holly Hunter), learning more about them and Emily as he processes his own feelings.

‘Dirty Dancing’

A classic romance with an iconic performance from Patrick Swayze, Dirty Dancing follows Frances “Baby” Houseman (Jennifer Grey), a young woman on vacation at a resort with her family. Although Baby comes from wealth, she is attracted to the resort’s dance instructor, Johnny Castle (Swayze), a hardscrabble guy from the other side of the tracks. When Johnny’s dance partner must skip their weekly performance, Baby offers to fill in. As Johnny teaches her to dance, the two slowly fall in love. Dirty Dancing amazed its original audiences with surprisingly mature themes and memorable soundtrack, and the film’s most emotional moments still hold up.

‘Love & Friendship’

An adaptation of a lesser-known Jane Austen novel, Love & Friendship follows the schemes of Lady Susan Vernon (Kate Beckinsale), a widow and notorious flirt who is trying to find a suitable husband for her daughter (and one for herself, of course). Staying for a time at her brother-in-law’s estate, she finds the perfect targets: Sir Reginald DeCourcy (Xavier Samuel), and the wonderfully dumb Sir James Martin (Tom Bennett). Love & Friendship is a smartly executed comedy of manners. Director Whit Stillman manages to honor Austen’s sensibilities and the rhythms of her dialogue while giving the film enough verve to keep modern audiences entranced.

‘Take Me Home’

Writer/director Sam Jaegar stars alongside his real-world wife, Amber Jaegar, in this romantic comedy. Thom makes his meager living driving an illegal taxi in New York, while Claire is a businesswoman dealing with turbulence in her marriage. Winding up in Thom’s cab, she instructs him to drive. On a whim, the two decide to take a chance and embark on a spontaneous cross-country trip together. Along the way, the must overcome detours, both real and emotional, and face hard truths about their lives, their families, and their pasts.

Sci-fi, horror, and fantasy


Denis Villeneuve’s Arrival tackles a classic sci-fi premise — humanity’s first contact with an alien species — which it treats with appropriate gravity, but the story gets a lift from the protagonist’s personal struggles, which provide a relatable emotional undercurrent. After a brief prologue, the story begins when alien spaceship appear at 12 locations around the world. Unsure whether the aliens have come in peace, the U.S. Army enlists linguist Louise Banks (Amy Adams) and physicist Ian Donnelly (Jeremy Renner) to approach the extraterrestrials. As the nations of the world grow restless, Banks studies the alien’s language, hoping to understand them. Based on an acclaimed short story, Arrival is a thoughtful film, a sci-fi tale that withholds easy answers.

‘It Comes at Night’

It Comes at Night begins with a familiar horror premise: An outbreak has ravaged humanity, and the survivors must scavenge for supplies among the ruins of society. Paul (Joel Edgerton), Sarah (Carmen Ejogo), and their son, Travis (Kelvin Harrison Jr.), live in a house in the woods, cut off from the world at large. The world intrudes on their lives in the form of Will (Christopher Abbott), who stumbles on their house and offers food in exchange for shelter for himself and his family. Will, his wife, Kim (Riley Keough), and their young son, Andrew (Griffin Robert Faulkner), move in, and the two families maintain a cautious peace. As the nights pass, and strange occurrences plague the house, problems arise. It Comes at Night is a tense film in which the ordinary humans are as scary as whatever lurks outside their door.

‘The Blackcoat’s Daughter’

Oz Perkins’ take on demonic possession films is a lot mellower than most entries in the genre. Gone are the jump scares and jets of vomit; Perkins prefers long, slow shots that suggest that behind every corner or door, something lurks. Set at a Catholic school in upstate New York, the film centers on two students, Kat (Kiernan Shipka) and Rose (Lucy Boynton). Neither girl’s parents arrived on time to pick them up for winter break, and so they will have to stay at the school, with only a pair of nuns for company, until their parents arrive. Rose has no desire to babysit the younger Kat, who wanders the empty halls, seeking some unseen presence. Thrill seekers may not find The Blackcoat’s Daughter exciting, but those who prefer horror that creeps up and places a hand gently on their shoulder should love it.

The Witch

Subtitled A New-England Folktale, Robert Eggers’ The Witch is a striking horror movie rooted in 17th-century Puritan culture. The film opens as a family — husband and wife William and Katherine, and their children (Thomasin, Caleb, Mercy, and Jonas) — are exiled from their town due to religious differences. Unwilling to bend his views to appease the Puritan leadership, William leads his family into the wilderness, where they build a home on the edge of a vast, dark forest. Before long, strange occurrences hint that the family is not alone. What makes The Witch so captivating — other than Eggers’ stunning scene compositions — is the film’s commitment to authenticity. The costumes are immaculate, and the script is written entirely in the lofty speech of the Puritans.

The Woman In Black

In James Watkins’ Victorian horror film, Daniel Radcliffe stars as Arthur Kipps, a young lawyer who’s spent the past four years grieving over the loss of his wife Stella (Sophie Stuckey). His depression has been affecting his work, but his employer offers him one last chance to keep his job, assigning Arthur to aid in selling a large mansion in the remote village of Cryphin Gifford. The previous owner of the property has passed away, and when Arthur arrives at the village, he learns that the townsfolk believe the property to be haunted. As time goes by, Arthur begins to experience strange and disturbing events, seemingly due to the haunted mansion.

This article was originally posted on Digital Trends

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