The 27 Best Movies on Amazon Prime (January 2022)
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.
*The Grand Budapest Hotel*
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.*
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*
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.
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*
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.
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.
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*
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.
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*
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.
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*
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*
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*
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
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
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.
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.
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*
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.
“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” 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*
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*
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.
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*
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*
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” 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.