As Netflix focuses on original content creation, Amazon Prime takes a different approach by adding new movies to its catalog each month. Their library’s so massive today, browsing through it can be overwhelming—TV shows, biopics, coming-of-age movies, numerous rom-coms, indie, and horror films. 

If you’re looking for a quality movie to watch on a rainy afternoon, here’s a list of the best movies on Amazon Prime right now. There are some evident Oscar and other award-winning choices here, as well as the films that you’ve probably never heard of, divided by genres. 

Table of Contents

    Action & Adventure

    The first category of movies is Action & Adventure, perfect for an evening with friends or when you need to escape a boring routine and get some thrills from a film. 

    1. Terminator 2: Judgement Day (1991)

    IMDb: 8.5/10

    Rotten Tomatoes: 93% 

    If you’re looking for an action thriller movie, Terminator 2: Judgement Day is one of the best there is. James Cameron says he saw the whole plot of Terminator one night in a dream. And while the first Terminator is also a masterpiece, the second part is the one that makes you gasp at the level of special effects, acting, and the insane amount of action. 

    2. RoboCop (1987)

    IMDb: 7.6/10

    Rotten Tomatoes: 90%

    RoboCop is an American science fiction action film about a police officer killed and resurrected as a half-human half-robot supercop. RoboCop is another movie with a brilliant plot that turned into a franchise (you can find the rest of the franchise on Amazon Prime as well) and has grown a cult following. This is also a movie heavy on action and special effects, but that’s not all there’s to it. 

    The movie director Paul Verhoeven rejected the script twice before noticing the underlying story about a character losing their identity. Knowing this, you can find a lot of this kind of philosophical thinking in RoboCop and re-discover this movie for yourself even if you’ve seen it before. 

    3. The Lost City of Z (2017)

    IMDb: 6.6./10

    Rotten Tomatoes: 86%

    The Lost City of Z is a recent action-adventure movie based on a true story of a British explorer discovering evidence of a previously unknown advanced civilization that used to live in the Amazon. This movie was named one of the Top 10 Films of 2017 by Time magazine and had a brilliant cast of Charlie Hunnam, Robert Pattinson, and Sienna Miller. Bear in mind that this is a biographical adventure drama film, so don’t expect any Indiana Jones-type of jokes and comical situations here. 

    Crime & Thriller

    Looking for something more on the dark side of things? Here are some of the best crime & thriller films that you can find on Amazon Prime today.

    4. Fargo (1996)

    IMDb: 8.9/10

    Rotten Tomatoes: 93%

    This black comedy thriller film earned the Coen brothers their first Oscar success, with seven nominations and two wins. In 2006, this film was chosen for preservation in the United States National Film Registry for being “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant.” Only seven films make it through this selection process every year. That’s already enough of a reason to give Fargo a watch. 

    5. Get Shorty (1995)

    IMDb: 6.9/10

    Rotten Tomatoes: 88%

    Another comedy & crime mix that made our list is Get Shorty, directed by Barry Sonnenfeld and starring Golden Globe winner John Travolta, Gene Hackman, Danny DeVito, and Rene Russo. A gangster travels to Hollywood to collect a debt and finds himself turning into a big-time producer thanks to a series of circumstances. What could go wrong? 

    Horror & Thriller

    There’s a theory that watching horror movies can help you relax and unwind. Supposedly when you watch a horror movie, your nervous system releases cortisol and adrenaline, both of which are stress hormones. As a result, you feel a sense of relief when it’s all over. 

    Here are some of the best horror movies we could find on Amazon Prime to get you relaxed after a long day at work. 

    6. Train to Busan (2016)

    IMDb: 7.6/10

    Rotten Tomatoes: 94%

    If you’re a Die Hard and zombie-apocalypse-type movie fan, you’ll enjoy Train to Busan. This South Korean horror thriller tells the story of a group aboard a bullet train trying to escape from the zombie outbreak and get to the Safe Zone in time. The movie toys with its audience, leaving the question of whether there is a Safe Zone at the end of their journey unanswered. Train to Busan will keep you on the edge of your seat till the end credits. 

    7. Lake Mungo (2010)

    IMDb: 6.3/10

    Rotten Tomatoes: 96%

    Lake Mungo doesn’t have zombies, vampires, or any other supernatural creatures that scare you by jumping into the movie shot from a dark corner. Instead, the slow-paced horror drama centers around a family broken by a tragedy they’re struggling to cope with. Lake Mungo is a film with a tense atmosphere that will keep you guessing whether there’s something supernatural going on or if it’s the characters slowly going crazy. 

    8. The Lighthouse (2019)

    IMDb: 7.5/10

    Rotten Tomatoes: 90%

    You’ll most likely find The Lighthouse bizarre, grotesque, and even disturbing, but you also won’t be able to turn it off till the very end. The film features a weird pace, harrowing music, the unexpected duet of Robert Pattinson and William Dafoe, a black & white color scheme, deep symbolism, and the growing madness of the main characters that almost threatens to take you with them. The Lighthouse is a journey that you won’t forget anytime soon. 

    Art House & Comedy 

    Not all movies that think outside the box have to be disturbing. The following films don’t follow genre cliches and cannons but instead mesmerize you with the unusual plot twists and unique director decisions. 

    9. The Squid and The Whale (2005)

    IMDb: 7.3/10

    Rotten Tomatoes: 92%

    While The Squid and The Whale’s identified as a comedy film, it’s just as sad as it is funny at times. In this movie, the director Noah Baumbach tells an autobiographical coming-of-age story about a teenager whose parents (both professional writers) are divorcing. There isn’t much happening in this movie in terms of action, but you can expect strong acting and precise dialogues that won’t leave you feeling indifferent. 

    10. The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou (2004)

    IMDb: 7.3/10

    Rotten Tomatoes: 56%

    The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou is a power duet of director Wes Anderson and Bill Murray as Steve Zissou seasoned with the strong acting from Cate Blanchett and Owen Wilson. 

    Bill Murray’s character, the once-famous oceanographer and explorer Steve Zissou is taking an insane journey chasing the shark that killed his partner. Although, as you can expect from a Wes Anderson movie, the plot here matters the least. Just sit back and enjoy the symmetry, the feeling of balance in every single shot, and the brilliant acting delivered by the entire cast. 

    11. The Grand Budapest Hotel (2014) 

    IMDb: 8.1/10

    Rotten Tomatoes: 92%

    To be honest, any Wes Anderson film that you’ll find on Amazon Prime will make for a great watch with your family or friends. The Grand Budapest Hotel is a comedy-drama and an adventure film that you’ll have to watch closely to make sense of every little thing that happens to the main characters Monsieur Gustave H., a concierge wrongfully accused of murder, and a lobby boy. The Grand Hotel Budapest also features the infamous style of writer/director Wes Anderson, with perfect symmetry in every scene and unusual color schemes.  The movie led the 87th Academy Awards season, receiving nine nominations and winning four. 

    Rom-com & Comedy

    The following category of movies is perfect for a lazy weekend watch when you want to relax and have some good laughs. These light-hearted and uplifting movies will make you feel better even if you’re under a lot of stress or feeling depressed. 

    12. Two Days in New York (2012) 

    IMDb: 6/10

    Rotten Tomatoes: 66%

    Labeled as a romantic comedy, Two Days in New York is also a comedy of manners, written and directed by Julie Delpy, also starring in this movie. Two Days in New York is a sequel to Delpy’s 2007 film Two Days in Paris. Still, you can watch it independently and even go back to the first movie after this one. The main character Marion is Delpy’s alter ego, and watching her relationship with her boyfriend being tested by the sudden arrival of their relatives feels both funny and incredibly familiar. If you think your family’s crazy, Two Days in New York is a must-watch.

    13. Waitress (2007)

    IMDb: 7/10

    Rotten Tomatoes: 89%

    Waitress’ is a story of a small-town waitress stuck in a loveless marriage who channels all of her frustrations into her delicious pies. The plot might seem too familiar and already done before. Still, you’ll be surprised by this vibrant and uplifting comedy with irresistible acting from Keri Russel, who portrays the main character Jenna. Her co-actor is Nathan Filion, whom you might know from Firefly, which adds more charm to this beautiful film. 

    Waitress later spawned a Broadway Musical with the same name. 

    14. Something Wild (1986)

    IMDb: 6.9/10

    Rotten Tomatoes: 91%

    If you prefer unpredictable movies with lots of plot twists, Something Wild is a great find for you. The genre of this film can be described as a relentless mix of a rom-com and a crime movie, which is intriguing in itself. The movie starts as your standard boy-meets-girl scenario but then turns much darker when a third party—the girl’s ex-husband, who’s also a psycho con—comes into play. 

    15. Rushmore (1999)

    IMDb: 7.7/10

    Rotten Tomatoes: 89%

    Rushmore is another example of the brilliant work of Bill Murray and Wes Anderson on our list. This coming-of-age comedy-drama launched the career of Jason Schwartzman and re-introduced Bill Murray as an art-house giant. 

    The story revolves around the three main characters: an eccentric 15-year old private school student Max Fischer (Jason Schwartzman’s debut), who forms an unlikely friendship with a wealthy industrialist Herman Blume (Bill Murray), and their love in common—an elementary school teacher Rosemary Cross (Olivia Williams). Watch these three get involved in a love triangle and turn the entire school grounds into a war zone in the process.

    16. The Big Sick (2017)

    IMDb: 7.5/10

    Rotten Tomatoes: 98%

    If you prefer your romcoms to be down-to-earth and realistic instead of playing out as a dreamy escape fantasy, then The Big Sick is the right movie choice for you. The screenwriters based the screenplay on their own love story, which is apparent by the honest manner in which the film unfolds. This isn’t your typical romantic comedy but rather a genuine story of two people making it work despite life circumstances that get in the way. 

    17. Crazy Heart (2009)

    IMDb: 7.2/10

    Rotten Tomatoes: 90%

    Crazy Heart is the movie that finally won Jeff Bridges the long-awaited Academy Award for best actor. He stars as an alcoholic country singer-songwriter who peaked a long time ago and now tries to turn his life around thanks to a freshly sparked relationship with a young music journalist (Maggie Gyllenhaal). 

    The film’s based on a novel inspired by the life of country singer Hank Thomson. While Crazy Heart is full of romance, this movie’s more on the dramatic side. If you’re looking for some life affirmations, real feelings, and some beautiful music, put Crazy Heart on your must-watch list. 

    Drama

    Looking for a deep, thought-provoking cinema experience? Turn off the lights, fire up your projector (or a laptop), and put one of the following Amazon Prime movies on. 

    18. 12 Angry Men (1957)

    IMDb: 9/10

    Rotten Tomatoes: 100%

    12 Angry Men is one of the best courtroom dramas ever made. The plot of this movie is relatively simple: twelve jurors are stuck in a jury room and have to determine the fate of a man they’ve just watched on trial for murder. At first, the case seems open-and-shut, and the man should be convicted, but later one of the jurors starts asking questions, and you begin questioning the situation and try to get to the bottom of the case together with the movie characters. 

    19. Do the Right Thing (1989)

    IMDb: 8/10

    Rotten Tomatoes: 93%

    Do the Right Thing is a drama with elements of comedy about racial tensions directed by Spike Lee. The story’s set in a small neighborhood in Brooklyn, where a minor conflict in a pizzeria quickly escalates into a full-scale uprising. While watching the movie, you’ll be stunned by the violence in this movie, as the overall tone and the biting humor of the film don’t give away what will happen next. 

    20. Saving Private Ryan (1998)

    IMDb: 8.6/10

    Rotten Tomatoes: 93%

    This World War II drama won Steven Spielberg his second Academy Award for best director. Saving Private Ryan starts with a 20-minute long recreation of the Omaha Beach landing, and it’s so vivid and graphic that you won’t be able to look away. Even though there’s next to no dialogue in this part of the movie, it sets the mood for the rest and powerfully demonstrates the horrific acts occurring in the war zone. 

    The story that follows this scene—a captain with US soldiers trying to save their comrade stationed behind enemy lines—isn’t as intense. Still, it’s also a powerful one that will leave you overwhelmed with emotions by the end of the movie. 

    21. The Report (2019)

    IMDb: 7.2/10

    Rotten Tomatoes: 82%

    The Report is an Amazon original film and drama starring Adam Driver, who became famous thanks to his role of Kylo Ren in the new episodes of Star Wars. This thriller drama is based on actual events, where an analyst wrote the report on the CIA’s post 9/11 Detention and Interrogation Program. 

    This movie uses clever storytelling techniques and dramatic suspense to almost turn this story from political into a personal one. The Report might make you angry, but it’ll also stir some critical thoughts in your brain and leave you questioning things even more than before. 

    Sci-Fi & Fantasy

    The best movies for escaping your dull routine or frustrating reality are science fiction and fantasy. If you need a break from the real world, try watching (or re-watching) one of the following films. 

    22. The Vast of Night (2020)

    IMDb: 6.7/10

    Rotten Tomatoes: 92%

    If you like the Twilight Zone type of movies, The Vast of Night should be on your Amazon Prime watchlist. The opening sequence is as spooky as the movie’s plot. The Vast of Night takes place in New Mexico in the 1950s, where a switchboard operator and a radio DJ discover a weird audio frequency of extraterrestrial origin. 

    This science-fiction mystery film is full of throwbacks and references. If you know your 1950s and its culture, you’ll enjoy solving the mystery of The Vast of Night together with the main characters.

    23. The Prestige (2006)

    IMDb: 8.5/10

    Rotten Tomatoes: 76%

    This Christopher Nolan movie will teach you what “prestige” means in the world of stage magicians in a way that you won’t be able to forget it for the rest of your life. This movie starts with a feud between two stage magicians who shared the stage in 19th century London. Throughout the film, the rivalry escalates and turns deadly, and when you find out what lengths both magicians (portrayed by the brilliant Hugh Jackman and Christian Bale) went to keep their secrets, you won’t believe what you’re seeing. 

    24. It’s a Wonderful Life (1946)

    IMDb: 8.6/10

    Rotten Tomatoes: 94%

    It’s a Wonderful Life is a 1946 drama fantasy film that tells a story about a suicidal man who wished to see what the world would be like if he were never born. The director Frank Capra managed to turn a movie with such a grim premise into a holiday special. 

    It’s a Wonderful Life is a story about overcoming dark thoughts and finding light and meaning in life. Ultimately it’s an uplifting movie that will motivate you to do more and achieve more. 

    25. Alien (1979)

    IMDb: 8.4/10

    Rotten Tomatoes: 98%

    Lastly, we have the Alien by Ridley Scott. This is a must-watch for anyone who likes the lost-in-space science fiction and the haunted house horror thriller movies. You can summarize the plot as “the mysterious creature starts attacking the crew members of the commercial spaceship heading back to their home planet.” However, this is far from everything this movie has to offer. 

    Even if you know the storyline and have seen Alien before, give this movie another watch, and you won’t regret it. 

    What’s on Your Amazon Prime Watchlist? 

    These are just 25 of the best movies that Amazon Prime offers. With thousands of films available to its users, Amazon Prime Video seems like a worthy investment, especially nowadays when we spend more time at home than ever. 

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