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The 30 Best Movies on Amazon Prime Video Right Now

Sicario.
Sicario. Photo: Lionsgate.

This list is regularly updated as movies rotate on and off of Amazon Prime
Video. *New additions are indicated with an asterisk.

Amazon has a little bit of everything on their streaming service, but they don’t have an interface that makes it particularly easy to find any of it. They also love to rotate out their selection with reckless abandon, making it hard to pin down what’s available when you want to watch a movie. It’s the kind of digital minefield that demands a guide. That’s where we come in! This regularly updated list will highlight the best films currently on Prime Video, free for anyone with an Amazon Prime account, including classics and recent hits. There’s truly something here for everyone, starting with our pick of the week.

This Week’s Critic’s Pick

*Sicario

Year: 2015
Runtime: 2h 1m
Director: Denis Villeneuve

Denis Villeneuve has become one of the biggest directors in the world on the back of beloved films like Blade Runner 2049 and Dune, but Sicario was really his breakthrough, a thriller about an FBI agent (Emily Blunt) who gets drawn into the war between the U.S. government and the Mexican drug cartels. Benicio Del Toro gives one of the best performances of his career here.

Drama

12 Angry Men

Year: 1957
Runtime: 1h 32m
Director: Sidney Lumet

Sidney Lumet’s American classic impacted not just the courtroom dramas that would follow but the very judicial process. Who hasn’t gone into jury duty thinking they would be the “Juror 8” in their group, the one willing to really look at the case before rushing to justice? Henry Fonda gives one of his most iconic performances in a movie that holds up six decades after it was released.

12 Angry Men

King of New York

Year: 1990
Runtime: 1h 43m
Director: Abel Ferrara

The amazing Abel Ferrara directed this crime epic that oozes with style. Three decades after its release, it’s still one of the most cited films of this kind of its era. One of the main reasons for that is the cast. Christopher Walken leads the way as the legendary drug lord Frank White, but the whole ensemble here is amazing, including Laurence Fishburne, David Caruso, Wesley Snipes, Steve Buscemi, and Giancarlo Esposito.

King of New York

*The Limey

Year: 1999
Runtime: 1h 28m
Director: Steven Soderbergh

Steven Soderbergh directs a searing performance by Terence Stamp in his thriller about a Brit who comes to California trying to find his missing daughter, and those who may be responsible for hurting her. Soderbergh rarely missteps and The Limey is one of his most underrated films, a perfectly paced angry shout of a movie that matches its captivating leading man.

Memento

Year: 2001
Runtime: 1h 53m
Director: Christopher Nolan

Christopher Nolan announced himself to the world with this Sundance thriller that really reshaped the indie and eventually the blockbuster landscape. Guy Pearce gives one of his best performances as a man with such severe memory loss that he has to use his body to remind himself of the details he needs to solve a mystery. It’s still so clever and riveting.

*Out of Sight

Year: 1998
Runtime: 2h 2m
Director: Steven Soderbergh

Steven Soderbergh only makes good movies, and one of his best remains this crime dramedy that features George Clooney and Jennifer Lopez at the peak of their blinding star power. An ode to old-fashioned noir/crime films with a modern twist, Soderbergh’s adaptation of the Elmore Leonard novel of the same name is one of the most purely entertaining films ever made.

Out of Sight

Passion Fish

Year: 1992
Runtime: 2h 15m
Director: John Sayles

The brilliant writer/director John Sayles delivered one of his most beloved films in this 1992 drama about a soap opera star (Mary McDonnell) who has been paralyzed after being hit by a cab. She returns to her family home, where she crosses paths with a nurse (Alfre Woodard) who refuses to give up on her. It’s moving in a way that feels genuine, never manipulative.

Passion Fish

Road to Perdition

Year: 2002
Runtime: 1h 57m
Director: Sam Mendes

See, Tom Hanks doesn’t always play the nice guy! In Sam Mendes’ adaptation of the Max Allan Collins graphic novel, America’s dad plays a mob enforcer seeking revenge. What’s most memorable about this film is Mendes’ remarkable attention to period detail. It’s a gorgeous film just to live in for a couple hours. Don’t do this one on your phone.

Road to Perdition

Take Shelter

Year: 2011
Runtime: 2h 1m
Director: Jeff Nichols

Jeff Nichols wrote and directed this film that features the best film work by his regular collaborator, Michael Shannon. The actor plays a young husband and father who starts to have visions of the end of the world that leads him to think he may be prophetic. An allegory for mental illness and acceptance, Take Shelter is a riveting drama with an unforgettable ending.

Take Shelter

*Titanic

Year: 1997
Runtime: 3h 14m
Director: James Cameron

More than just a blockbuster, this Best Picture winner was a legitimate cultural phenomenon, staying at the top of the box office charts for months. And the headline-grabbing story of the Titan submersible in Summer 2023 certainly gives this flick new relevance. There was a point when it felt like not only had everyone seen the story of Jack (Leonardo DiCaprio) and Rose (Kate Winslet), but most people had seen it twice. And they’re probably all going to watch it again now.

*The Usual Suspects

Year: 1995
Runtime: 1h 41m
Director: Bryan Singer

An Oscar winner for Best Original Screenplay and Best Supporting Actor, this mid-‘90s classic thriller really shifted the landscape, ushering in an era of twist endings that blew people’s minds, although few could match a script that the WGA named the 35th greatest screenplay of all time. If you haven’t seen it (and how lucky you are), it’s the story of a group of criminals brought in by the cops after a massacre on a boat. Nothing is what it seems.

The Usual Suspects

*Witness

Year: 1985
Runtime: 1h 52m
Director: Peter Weir

Peter Weir directed this excellent crime drama that allowed the decade’s biggest star a chance to flex his dramatic muscle and earned Harrison Ford his only Oscar nomination for Best Actor to date. He plays a detective who has to protect a young Amish boy after the kid witnesses a murder. The case plunges the cop into a world he doesn’t understand.

Horror

A Knock at the Cabin

Year: 2023
Runtime: 1h 40m
Director: M. Night Shyamalan

One of the most inventive directors of his era adapted a screenplay for the first time when he tackled Paul Tremblay’s stunning 2018 novel The Cabin at the End of the World. Shyalaman does some bad things to the final act, but this is still worth a look for its incredible craft and an excellent performance from Dave Bautista as the leader of a group of people who believe that a sacrifice must be made to stop a pending apocalypse.

A Knock at the Cabin

Get Out

Year: 2017
Runtime: 1h 44m
Director: Jordan Peele

This is the one that really changed the current state of horror, reminding studios how acclaimed and popular it could be if treated with the right respect. It also won its creator an Oscar for Best Original Screenplay, launching one of the most interesting careers of the current era. It’s held up remarkably well, and it’s hardly ever available on streaming services, so take this chance while you can to rewatch a movie whose influence is still shaking the industry.

High Tension

Year: 2005
Runtime: 1h 29m
Director: Alexandre Aja

This movie is bonkers. Directed by Alexandre Aja (and sometimes called Switchblade Romance) it stars Cecile de France and Maiwenn as two young woman who go to a secluded farmhouse, where they’re attached by a serial killer. The twist ending to this brutal film will likely either make it or break it for you. Note: Shudder also added a few other French Horror Wave films, including Inside and Martyrs—both essential for horror fans, neither for the faint of heart.

High Tension

*The Host

Year: 2007
Runtime: 1h 59m
Director: Bong Joon-ho

The success of Parasite brought an entirely new, larger audience to the work of Bong Joon-ho, and they probably loved this riveting genre piece about a giant monster living in the Han River. Parasite star Song Kang-ho plays the patriarch of a family that’s forced into action when the creature kidnaps his daughter. When it was released, it became the highest-grossing South Korean film of all time.

Invasion of the Body Snatchers

Year: 1978
Runtime: 1h 55m
Director: Philip Kaufman

There’s a reason that Hollywood keeps returning to Jack Finney’s novel The Body Snatchers—it strikes at a common fear that our neighbors and loved ones aren’t who they were yesterday. The best film version of Finney’s tale is the ‘70s one with Donald Sutherland, Brooke Adams, Veronica Cartwright, Jeff Goldblum, and Leonard Nimoy. A riveting unpacking of ‘70s paranoia, this is a truly terrifying movie.

Invasion of the Body Snatchers

Phantasm

Year: 1979
Runtime: 1h 29m
Director: Don Coscarelli

Another low-budget flick that produced an empire, Don Coscarelli’s totally bonkers 1979 film isn’t as much an influential genre classic as it is kind of unlike anything before or since. Who can forget the first time they saw Angus Scrimm as The Tall Man, one of the best horror characters of his era? The crazy plot here is secondary to the unforgettable imagery and style. There’s a reason it spawned four sequels and has a very loyal cult following 40 years later.

*Red Eye

Year: 2005
Runtime: 1h 25m
Director: Wes Craven

With one of his last great movies, the master of horror Wes Craven proved he could also do thrills without supernatural monsters. Red Eye is a film that Alfred Hitchcock would have loved, the story of an average woman (Rachel McAdams) terrorized by the guy in the seat next to her on a red-eye flight to Miami. Cillian Murphy is chilling in this memorable, tight little genre movie.

Comedy

Clerks

Year: 1994 
Runtime: 1h 32m
Director: Kevin Smith

Kevin Smith rocked the indie filmmaking world with his comedy that was shot for almost nothing and became a worldwide hit. Films at the convenience and video stores at which Smith worked in real life with his buddies, no one could have expected that this comedy would still be influencing writers a quarter-century later.

Ghost World

Year: 2001
Runtime: 1h 51m
Director: Terry Zwigoff

Based on the Daniel Clowes graphic novels of the same name, this quirky comedy stars Thora Birch and Scarlett Johansson as two aimless friends trying to figure out what to do next with their lives. As one appears to be moving on, Birch’s Enid becomes obsessed with a reclusive older man named Seymour, who is played perfectly by Steve Buscemi.

Ghost World

Heathers

Year: 1989
Runtime: 1h 43m
Director: Michael Lehmann

Talk about a movie ahead of its time. Coming-of-age teen comedies were never quite as wonderfully cynical before this movie about four teenage girls whose lives are upended by the arrival of a new kid, played by Christian Slater. More than just seeking to destroy the damaging cliques at his new school, Slater’s character has plans for something a little more permanent in this comedy that really shaped the teen genre for years to come.

Red Rocket

Year: 2021
Runtime: 2h 10m
Director: Sean Baker

The great writer/director behind The Florida Project shifted gears with this phenomenal comedy about a born loser, a middle-aged porn star played perfectly by Simon Rex. The former MTV personality plays Mikey Davies, a guy returning to his hometown in Texas for a second chance, but who becomes obsessed with a local teenager, who he essentially starts grooming. Rex won Best Actor from the L.A. Film Critics for this unforgettable turn.

Something Wild

Year: 1986
Runtime: 1h 48m
Director: Jonathan Demme

Jonathan Demme was a master of tonal balancing, finding a way to perfectly blend the comedy and the dread in this story of an average man caught up in a criminal’s web. Charlie (Jeff Daniels) is a milquetoast banker who goes on a wild ride with a girl named Lulu (Melanie Griffith), but everything changes when Lulu’s ex (an unforgettable Ray Liotta) enters the picture.

Something Wild

Action

Batman

Year: 1989
Runtime: 2h 6m
Director: Tim Burton

The modern superhero movie owes an incredible debt to what Tim Burton did in 1989 with Michael Keaton, Jack Nicholson, and Kim Basinger. It wasn’t the first superhero movie, but it felt darker and different from the candy-coated men in tights movies that came before, especially the superior sequel, also on Prime.

Casino Royale

Year: 2006
Runtime: 2h 24m
Director: Martin Campbell

It’s hard to believe the most famous movie spy in history ever needed a comeback, but that’s really what happened when Daniel Craig stepped into 007’s shoes and it turned out to be one of the most acclaimed James Bond movies of all time. An origin story for the suave superspy, Casino Royale introduced new layers to the classic character, resulting in an action film that felt like it had real stakes. This is one of the best modern action movies, period, not just in the Bond franchise.

Casino Royale

The Great Escape

Year: 1963
Runtime: 2h 52m
Director: John Sturges

Classic action! The star power is blinding in this epic war film about prisoners of war who escape a German camp during World War II. It’s led by Steve McQueen, but also includes great turns from James Garner, Richard Attenborough, Charles Bronson, Donald Pleasance, James Coburn, and many more.

The Great Escape

Interstellar

Year: 2014
Runtime: 2h 49m
Director: Christopher Nolan

The most underrated film from the director of The Dark Knight and Oppenheimer remains this 2014 sci-fi epic, a film that’s better if you approach it as an emotional journey instead of a physical one. Matthew McConaughey gives one of the best performances of his career as an astronaut searching for a new home for mankind, and realizing all that he left behind to do so. It’s a technical marvel with some of the most striking visuals and best sound design of Nolan’s career.

Interstellar

Road House

Year: 1989
Runtime: 1h 49m
Director: Rowdy Herrington

A tumultuous production of a remake of this cult classic drops shortly, so why not go back and check out the original again? Patrick Swayze plays the bouncer at a totally average Missouri bar who ends up getting sucked into a violent world when he crosses paths with the wrong bad guy. Sam Elliott and Kelly Lynch star in a movie that feels like a perfect distillation of the many charms of Mr. Swayze.

The Untouchables

Year: 1987
Runtime: 1h 59m
Director: Brian De Palma

Brian De Palma directed one of the best movies of his notable career in this 1987 action epic that won Sean Connery an overdue Oscar. Connery co-stars with Kevin Costner as Elliot Ness and Robert De Niro as Al Capone in this story of how Ness took down one of the most famous criminals of all time. Tense and riveting, it’s a great action movie that’s anchored by phenomenal performances and De Palma’s unique eye.

The Untouchables

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The 30 Best Movies on Amazon’s Prime Video Right Now