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The Best Movies on Amazon Prime Right Now

9 Mins read
  • How many hours have we all lost the endless streaming scroll? Aiming for a little kickback, you end up perusing title after title, intent on finding just the right movie, ultimately unsure what to choose in the face of overwhelming options.

Fret not, the Collider staff did all that scrolling for you, scanning through the catalogue in search of the best picks for an entertaining night in. Now, we’ve put together a wide-ranging list of the best movies streaming on Amazon Prime right now. What’s more, we’ll be updating the list regularly with additional picks, so you won’t run out of viewing material any time soon. The list spans genres, decades, and ratings, so there should be a little something for everyone, but if you can’t find what you’re looking for below (and you’re a multi-platform streamer), be sure to check out our picks for the best tv shows and best movies on Netflix.

RELATED: The Best Movies on Netflix Right Now

Panic Room

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Director: David Fincher

Writer: David Koepp

Cast: Jodi Foster, Kristen Stewart, Forest Whitaker, Jared Leto, Dwight Yokum

Look, Panic Room is a David Fincher movie so if you haven’t seen it, you’re missing out. But if it’s been a while since you last revisited Fincher’s 2002 Fight Club followup, it’s well worth a revisit. Probably because of the fact that it was coming off of the Fight Club hype, Panic Room was a bit slept on at the time, but almost two decades later, it holds up as a pretty much perfect thriller that’s hugely undervalued on Fincher’s resume. Jodie Foster and Kristen Stewart star as a mother-daughter duo who wind up trapped in their panic room after a trio of burglars break into their new home — the lem is, the bounty the thieves are after is in the panic room too and they’ll stop at nothing to get it. Lots of movies get called Hitchcockian, but this is the real stuff, straight from the tap. Fincher’s use of space and willingness to lean right the hell into the gimmick calls back to Hitchock’s high-concept thrillers of yore a la Rope and Lifeboat, but Fincher’s vision reigns supreme, resulting in a thriller that homages the greats of the genre past while setting a new template that filmmakers are still following to this day (wee see you, Breaking In). — Haleigh Foutch

Crawl

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Director: Alexandre Aja

Writers: Michael Rassmussen and Shawn Rassmussen

Cast: Kaya Scoldelario, Barry Pepper

If you are looking for a creature feature that 1) grabs you by the throat and never let’s go, 2) lowkey features some of the best horror performances in recent memory, 3) whips ass, you’re gonna want to check out Crawl. Directed by High Tension and The Hills Have Eyes filmmaker Alexandre AjaCrawl is a no-nonsense monster movie that traps a woman (Kaya Scodelario) and her estranged father (Barry Pepper) in the crawlspace of their Florida home with a bunch of mean-ass, man-eating alligators and wastes no time stagging one nail-biting sequence after the next. Running a lean 87 minutes, Crawl is refreshingly straightforward, fun as hell, and features some of the best-composed monster movie action in years. — Haleigh Foutch

Knives Out

Available: June 12

Writer/Director: Rian Johnson

Cast: Ana de Armas, Daniel Craig, Chris Evans, Jamie Lee Curtis, Michael Shannon, LaKeith Stanfield, Toni Collette, Christopher Plummer, Jaeden Martell, Don Johnson, Katherine Langford, Noah Segan

From Brick to Looper to The Last JediRian Johnson has made a career as a filmmaker who brings his singular touch to familiar genres, reenvisioning them with panache while honouring the hallmarks of their respective cinematic staples. With his Oscar-nominated ensemble powerhouse Knives Out, Johnson brings that touch to the old-fashioned murder mystery, staging a twisty tale of death and inheritance through the lens of one fractured, fabulously over-the-top family. Knives Out are funny and breezy, but it’s also gorgeously composed, with some supremely sly performances from its killer cast. It’s honestly worth your time just to watch Michael Shannon scream about cookies, but fortunately, that’s just one of many, many moments that make Knives Out such a delightful and unusual film. —Haleigh Foutch

Vivarium

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Director: Lorcan Finegan

Writer: Garret Shanley

Cast: Imogen Poots, Jesse Eisenberg, Jonathan Aris

If you like Twilight Zone inspired contained tales of horror and existential dread, boy does Amazon have the right horror movie streaming for you this month. Lorcan Finegan‘s Vivarium is dark as hell and a walloping bummer, but it’s a very good bad time. Imogen Poots and Jesse Eisenberg star as a couple on the hunt for their first home and wind up trapped in a surreal suburban neighbourhood from which there’s no escaping. No matter how many streets they drive through, how many fences they hop, they just can’t get out. Then the nightmare baby shows up. On the surface, Vivarium is an effective portrait of the horrors of getting trapped in a white-picket-fence life you never wanted, but the scarier, much more effective undercurrent comes from the way the film embraces the cruel indifference of nature’s life cycles and the helplessness of being stuck in them. — Haleigh Foutch

Pineapple Express

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Image via Sony Pictures

Director: David Gordon Green

Writers: Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg

Cast: Seth Rogen, James Franco, Danny McBride, Amber Heard, Craig Robinson, Rosie Perez

Few filmmakers have a resume as fluid and unpredictable as David Gordon Green, but it wasn’t until 2008’s Pineapple Express that we really started to get an idea of how hard his left turns could get. After a series of indie dramas, Green took a turn to stoner comedy, and it’s that genre-bending knack for filmmaking that makes Pineapple Express such a damn delight. And he’s matched in the script from Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg, who have spent the last two decades demonstrating a similar passion for blending the boundaries of genre formats. Pineapple Express is a giddy comedy with a steady stream of juvenile but effective gags, but it’s also an ass-kicking action thriller that doubles down every time you expect it to pull a punch. — Haleigh Foutch

How to Train Your Dragon

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Directors: Chris Sanders and Dean DeBlois

Writers: Will Davies, Dean DeBlois, and Chris Sanders

Cast: Jay Baruchel, America Ferrera, Gerard Butler, Craig Ferguson, Jonah Hill, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, Kristin Wiig

Easily one of the best new kids and family franchises of the 21st Century, the How to Train Your Dragon films are solid all the way through (and the inferior but still charming collection of Netflix original series inspired by the film franchise is there to help you if your kids get a little too hooked on the adventures of Berk.) But for all the technological advancements in animation and the subsequent dazzling visuals of the sequels, there’s still raw magic in Chris Sanders and Dean DeBlois’ original film, which transported audiences to the Viking island of Berk where Hiccup (Jay Baruchel) and his outrageously adorable dragon Toothless begin their epic adventures. — Haleigh Foutch

The Vast of Night

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Director: Andrew Patterson

Writers: James Montague and Craig W. Sanger

Cast: Sierra McCormick and Jake Horowitz

The indie sci-fi film The Vast of Night is hands down one of the best films of 2020, and a wonderful surprise. Set in 1950s New Mexico, the story basically follows a switchboard operator (Sierra McCormick) and a radio DJ (Jake Horowitz) investigating a strange sound coming through the radio during a big high school basketball game. That premise could go wrong any number of ways, but at every turn Vast of Night pleasantly surprises. It’s Spielbergian in that it clearly draws influence from films like E.T. and Close Encounters of the Third Kind, but also has a voice and style all its own. The wildly compelling screenplay is full of delightfully crackerjack dialogue that evokes screwball comedies of the 40s and 50s, while Andrew Patterson’s direction favours long takes and unique shots that lay the intrigue on thick as the story plays out entirely in real-time. Add in a layer of Twilight Zone-esque terror, and The Vast of Night is a film you won’t soon forget, announcing its writers, director, and cast as new talents to watch. – Adam Chitwood

Rocketman

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Director: Dexter Fletcher

Writer: Lee Hall

Cast: Taron Egerton, Jamie Bell, Richard Madden, Bryce Dallas Howard

Watch Taron Egerton give the exuberant performance of his career to date in Rocketman, the delightful music biopic that would have received the same awards treatment as Bohemian Rhapsody if we lived in a just world. Inspired by the real-life story of Elton John‘s early career, Rocketman stages a fantasy musical that incorporates the iconic British rock star’s greatest hits while chronicling the highs and lows of his journey from a dull life in the suburbs to becoming a legend of glamourous stardom. It’s cheesy in the best way, with endless charisma, no small thanks to Egerton’s knockout performance of a mercurial and intoxicating character like Elton John, but also thanks to Fletcher’s playful, emotionally-attuned directing. It’s easy to see why Fox called him in to clean up the Bohemian Rhapsody mess and if the Queen biopic left you hungry for something with a little more heart (and teeth), Rocketman is just the ticket. — Haleigh Foutch

The Lighthouse

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Writer/Director: Robert Eggers

Cast: Robert Pattinson, Willem Dafoe

The Witch filmmaker Robert Eggers earned a whole heap of critical acclaim, instantly held the attention of cinephiles, and helped cement the A24 horror brand with his debut movie. So how could he top it with his second? With an absolutely bonkers, brutal and bizarrely hilarious mythological tale of two men driven to madness on a tiny little island with only each other and their farts to keep them company. A two-hander with sublime performances from Robert Pattinson and Willem Dafoe as its engine, The Lighthouse affirms Eggers as a singular voice and force of innovative formalist filmmaking that builds new nightmares from the technical tools of classical cinema. What a treat. Genuinely unique, surreal, and ballsy as hell from all involved, The Lighthouse is the pirate-talking, bean-snacking, gods and monsters isolationist nightmare of a movie nerd’s dreams. And once you’ve been thoroughly confounded, be sure to read Vinnie Mancuso’s excellent analysis of the wild ending. — Haleigh Foutch

Gods and Monsters

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Writer/Director: Bill Condon

Cast: Ian McKellen, Brendan Fraser, Lynn Redgrave, Lolita Davidovich

Few filmmakers leave behind a legacy half as majestic as James Whale, the brilliant filmmaker who helped write the language of horror cinema with classics like Frankenstein and Bride of FrankensteinThe Old Dark House, and The Invisible Man. But Bill Condon‘s semi-fictionalized 1998 drama Gods and Monsters isn’t about the majesty of the great works, it’s about the lonely human behind the legend and his heartbreaking final days long after the Hollywood glamour wore off. The great Ian McKellen gives one of his best performances in the role of the iconic filmmaker, who we find tormented by traumatic memories, mostly living alone and falling to ill health when he strikes up a friendship with his gardener (Brendan Fraser), who agrees to let Whale sketch him. Tensions grow, things get very homoerotic (in just about the saddest way possible), Whale continues to decline in health and happiness, and ultimately, Condon delivers the film of his career. Beautiful and devastating, Gods and Monsters respect the courage behind Whale’s choice to be an out homosexual in the 1930s while acknowledging what it cost him, just like it honours the legendary artist who helped create cinema’s great monsters while acknowledging the tragedy of his life. — Haleigh Foutch

The Avengers

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Director: Joss Whedon

Writers: Joss Whedon and Zak Penn

Cast: Chris Evans, Robert Downey Jr., Scarlett Johansson, Mark Ruffalo, Chris Hemsworth, Jeremy Renner, Tom Hiddleston, Stellan Skarsgard, Clarke Gregg, Cobie Smulders, Samuel L. Jackson, Paul Bettany

It seems positively quaint when compared with the enormity of Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame, but The Avengers was an absolutely game-changing piece of filmmaking that proved Marvel Studios’ big shared-universe of superheroes could really work — and what’s more, that it could work the best when paying off long plot-arcs in epic team-up films. And thanks to writer/director Joss Whedon‘s knack for ensemble storytelling (proved in his outstanding series Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Firefly), the film set the stage for the MCU’s even grander ambitions to come.

It holds up. Avengers is such a tightly made film, with the exception of the underwhelming opening scene, each set-piece still whips, from the first showdown between Cap, Thor and Iron Man, to the iconic moment the Avengers assemble in the rubble of New York City. It a historic film, it changed the future of the film industry and sparked a series of imitators, but best of all, it’s still a pleasure to watch. And I imagine you won’t be able to stream it much longer without a Disney+ subscription, so get on that while you can! — Haleigh Foutch

Bumblebee

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Director: Travis Knight

Writer: Christina Hodson

Cast: Hailee Steinfeld, John Cena, Jorge Lendenborg Jr., Pamela Adlon, Jason Drucker, Angela Bassett, Justin Theroux

After six instalments of all-out Bayhem, the Transformers franchise got a revamped spinoff from LAIKA boss Travis Knight with Bumblebee and it’s charming as all get-out, giving everyone’s favourite sweetheart Autobot his own solo adventure with a retro flourish. Hailee Steinfeld stars a teenage grease monkey in the 80s, who’s desperate for her own car and happens to wind up in the possession of one decommissioned Bumblebee. Naturally, the pair set out on a mission to save the world when some pesky Decepticons come into play, along with a hyperpatriotic agent (the always-welcome John Cena) who wants the otherwordly menace gone. Heavily riffing on the Amblin films of the era its set in, Bumblebee is sweet as could be, with a healthy balance of well-constructed action scenes to keep the Transformers spirit alive. — Haleigh Foutch

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