The 31 Best Movies on Amazon Prime (January 2022)

·18-min read

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.

Nightcrawler

nightcrawler-jake-gyllenhaal-image
Open Road Films

If you’re in the mood for a dark thriller with a powerhouse lead performance, check out 2014’s “Nightcrawler.” Written and directed by Dan Gilroy, the film is a darkly comic look at the world of local news media, as Jake Gyllenhaal plays a stringer named Lou who records violent events and sells them to a local Los Angeles news station. But as Lou’s ambition grows, his motives become even more murky. The film certainly has shades of a modern “Taxi Driver” with Gyllenhaal delivering a transformative performance that gets under your skin. The whole thing is anchored by terrific co-starring turns from Renee Russo and Riz Ahmed.

The Courier

the-courier-benedict-cumberbatch
Lionsgate and Roadside Attractions

“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.

Jennifer’s Body

jennifers-body-megan-fox-image
20th Century Fox

“Jennifer’s Body” is waiting to be rediscovered, and in fact has amassed a cult following since its lackluster reception in 2009. Written by Oscar-winning “Juno” screenwriter Diablo Cody and directed by Karyn Kusama (“The Invitation”), the film was marketed as a sexy horror film starring Megan Fox, but in fact is a subversive horror-comedy about the objectification of women. Fox plays a high school student who is ritualistically sacrificed by a struggling rock band in order for them to gain fame. Fox’s character, Jennifer, is then possessed by a demon and begins luring horny teenage boys and then devouring them. Amanda Seyfried plays Jennifer’s best friend who tries to save her before it’s too late. This one is sharp and funny, and has become a cult favorite since its 2009 release.

The Lighthouse

the-lighthouse-robert-pattinson-willem-dafoe
A24

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.

The Grand Budapest Hotel

the-grand-budapest-hotel
Searchlight Pictures

Wes Anderson’s Oscar-winning 2014 film “The Grand Budapest Hotel” is one of his best. The story takes place across multiple time periods – 1985, 1968 and 1932 – and the frame changes aspect ratios with each different period, as it tells the story of a hotel run by a fastidious concierge named Gustave H. (played delightfully by Ralph Fiennes). Antics ensue as Gustave H. tries to keep the hotel in order amidst rapid change in his country, and the bountiful ensemble cast – which includes Tony Revolori, Saoirse Ronan, Tilda Swinton, Bill Murray and Willem Dafoe – is killer.

The Man from U.N.C.L.E.

Warner Bros.
Warner Bros.

Filmmaker Guy Ritchie’s 2015 spy film “The Man from U.N.C.L.E.” is an underrated delight, as it takes place in 1963 at the height of the Cold War and follows two spies – one American (played by Henry Cavill) and one Russian (played by Armie Hammer) – who are forced to work together to prevent worldwide destruction. Alicia Vikander makes this duo a trio, and the film has a fun and flirty energy throughout that makes it a blast and a half (despite Hammer’s presence now being a downer in hindsight).

Sleepless in Seattle

sleepless-in-seattle-meg-ryan-rosie-odonnell
TriStar Pictures

Once upon a time, Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan were the King and Queen of romantic comedies. Their second film together, 1993’s “Sleepless in Seattle,” still stands as one of the most romantic and moving romcoms ever made. Ryan plays a Baltimore Sun reporter engaged to a man she doesn’t really love who hears on the radio one night a widower (Tom Hanks) recounting the story of losing his wife and raising his young son. Nora Ephron co-wrote and directed the film, and that heartwarming finale still gets us choked up all these years later.

Before Midnight

Sony Pictures Classics
Sony Pictures Classics

Richard Linklater brought his “Before” trilogy to a conclusion with the brutally honest 2013 romantic drama “Before Midnight.” If 1995’s “Before Sunrise” was about young strangers falling in love and 2004’s “Before Sunset” was about adults realizing they belong together, “Before Midnight” is about the challenges of marriage and parenthood and facing the potential that maybe you’re not meant to be together. Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy vacillate between flirtatious, contentious and raw as we follow one evening in the lives of Jesse and Celine. A case could be made that this is the best film of the three.

Brittany Runs a Marathon

Amazon Studios
Amazon Studios

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.

Suspiria

Amazon Studios
Amazon Studios

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.

The Report

Amazon Studios
Amazon Studios

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.

Do the Right Thing

do-the-right-thing
Universal Pictures

Spike Lee’s groundbreaking 1989 film “Do the Right Thing” is sadly still relevant today, but the film also holds up as a stone cold masterpiece. The story is set on a hot summer day in a Brooklyn neighborhood where racial tensions rise between the Italian-American owners of a pizzeria and the African-American residents of the neighborhood. Comedy is well placed as the film builds to a tragic and violent finale that speaks to racial relations in America.

Late Night

Amazon Studios
Amazon Studios

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.

Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol

Paramount Pictures
Paramount Pictures

One of the best “Mission: Impossible” movies is certainly the fourth installment, “Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol” – aka the one where Tom Cruise hangs off the tallest building in the world. “The Incredibles” and “Ratatouille” director Brad Bird made his live-action debut with the film, which embraces the “team” aspect of the “Mission” franchise by pairing Ethan Hunt up with an assembly of characters who are on the run after being framed for an explosion at the Kremlin. Jeremy Renner, Paula Patton and Simon Pegg make for excellent team members in this adventurous entry in the franchise.

The Prestige

Warner Bros.
Warner Bros.

Filmmaker Christopher Nolan has always been a fan of mysteries and complex stories, and nowhere is that more present than in his 2006 film “The Prestige” – which is literally about magicians. Hugh Jackman and Christian Bale play dueling magicians in 1890s London, as Jackson’s showman-like character becomes obsessed with a seemingly impossible illusion that Bale’s character is staging. This is a film about the lengths to which one will go for their art, and what they sacrifice in return. It’s one of Nolan’s best.

Something’s Gotta Give

somethings-gotta-give-jack-nicholson-diane-keaton
Sony Pictures

If you’re in the mood for a feel-good movie, you can’t go wrong with a Nancy Meyers film — and her 2003 romantic comedy “Something’s Gotta Give” fits that bill. The film stars Diane Keaton as a successful playwright who is forced to look after her daughter’s much-older boyfriend (Jack Nicholson) after a heart attack, and against all odds these two complete opposites begin to attract. The film has the wit and humor of Meyers’ other films, but also a strong emotional center as the story of a successful 50-something single woman. Keaton and Nicholson are both pretty terrific here, and as with all of Meyers’ films, the house at the center of it is to die for.

Inside Llewyn Davis

CBS Films
CBS Films

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

its-a-wonderful-life
Liberty Films

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.

The Royal Tenenbaums

Buena Vista Pictures
Buena Vista Pictures

Wes Anderson’s 2001 comedy “The Royal Tenenbaums” is a perfect blend of melancholy and dry humor. The film follows three gifted siblings who found immense success as kids, but in adulthood have faltered. Their eccentric and slightly estranged father tells them that he’s dying, which brings the kids together for a series of misadventures that force them to confront their troubled upbringing. The excellent ensemble is led by Gene Hackman and Anjelica Huston and includes Gwyneth Paltrow, Luke Wilson, Ben Stiller, Bill Murray, Danny Glover and Owen Wilson.

Dead Poets Society

Buena Vista Pictures
Buena Vista Pictures

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 them 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.

Cold War

Amazon Studios
Amazon Studios

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.

Alien

alien-1979-sigourney-weaver
20th Century Fox

A bona fide horror and sci-fi classic, “Alien” is quite simply one of the best films ever made. Director Ridley Scott’s 1979 film takes place in deep space and follows the crew members of a commercial tug ship who, after being diverted by their corporate owners to a mysterious planet, contend with a murderous alien creature lurking onboard. Much the way “Jaws” allowed the terror of the unknown to keep the audience on the edge of their seat, “Alien” relishes in shadows and the tension of silence. It’s a horror sci-fi film unconcerned with rushing forward, and is all the better for it. Throw in some thematic meat with regards to how corporations treat blue collar workers and a star-making performance from Sigourney Weaver, and you’ve got yourself an iconic cinema classic.

The Big Sick

Amazon Studios/Lionsgate
Amazon Studios/Lionsgate

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.

The Handmaiden

CJ Entertainment
CJ Entertainment

“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-casey-affleck-michelle-williams
Amazon Studios

“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

one-night-in-miami-cast
Amazon Studios

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

the-vast-of-night
Amazon Studios

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.

Fight Club

fight-club-brad-pitt-edward-norton
20th Century Fox

David Fincher’s 1999 film “Fight Club” is woefully misunderstood, and in that regard is well worth revisiting if you haven’t seen it in a while. Based on Chuck Palahniuk’s novel of the same name, the story follows a disillusioned young man (played by Edward Norton) whose life is suddenly given meaning when he meets a freewheeling soap salesman named Tyler Durden (Brad Pitt). The two start a fight club, which then leads to them starting an entire anarchic enterprise that quickly spirals out of control. But “Fight Club” is not about a fight club, it’s about toxic masculinity – or, more specifically, the fragility of the male ego and the impact of consumerism on male culture in the 1990s. It’s also kind of a twisted romantic comedy at heart, with Helena Bonham Carter’s colorful Marla serving as the object of both Tyler and the narrator’s affection.

Sound of Metal

the-sound-of-metal-riz-ahmed
Amazon Studios

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

love-and-friendship-kate-beckinsale
Amazon Studios

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

midsommar-florence-pugh
A24

“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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