Looking for the best Amazon Prime Video movies? In this list, we’ve captured the 20 best movies you can watch on Amazon Prime Video in the US, from Knives Out to The Avengers. Countless more films are available to purchase, or stream through Amazon Prime Video channels as paid add-ons, but here we’ve focused on the best movies you can stream with just the basic subscription.
Amazon Prime Video is one of the best perks of Prime membership, along with fast delivery, and the streaming service has gradually built up a great suite of original movies and shows over the years. Check out our pick of the best Amazon Prime shows for more on the TV available on the platform.
After something to watch? Here are the 20 best Amazon Prime movies that you can stream right now in the US.
Rian Johnson (Star Wars: The Last Jedi, looper) directs Knives Out, his version of an Agatha Christie-style murder mystery. After novelist Harlan Thrombey is found dead, seemingly from a suicide, sleuth extraordinaire Benoit Blanc (Daniel Craig, doing a hilarious Southern accent) is brought in to solve the case.
We meet Thrombey’s family: a manipulative, spoiled bunch who each have their own reasons to be suspects, as well as Thrombey’s nurse, Marta (Ana de Armas), who is the recipient of his entire fortune. This mystery unravels in surprising, thrilling fashion, and the ensemble cast (including the likes of Chris Evans, Jamie Lee Curtis and Michael Shannon) is phenomenal. The best murder mystery movie in years.
The Vast of Night
This Spielberg-infused low-budget sci-fi movie is an absolute treat. Set in a small town in New Mexico, The Vast of Night is about two young friends running a radio show together who detect strange signals coming through the airwaves, and seek to get to the bottom of the mystery. This movie is the work of first time director Andrew Patterson, and it’s worth going in knowing nothing else about what happens.
The Cabin in the Woods
This subversive modern horror movie examines the tropes of the genre in ways that at first seem tongue-in-cheek, before it takes a left turn and becomes totally off-the-leash. The work of Buffy collaborators Drew Goddard and Joss Whedon, Cabin in the Woods is like Scream taken to the next level.
Not as well-remembered as Fight Club or Seven, Zodiac is nonetheless a contender for the best David Fincher movie. Journalist Robert Graysmith (Jake Gyllenhaal) is on the trail of the mysterious Zodiac killer who plagued the San Francisco area in the late ’60s and early ’70s, and pays a steep price as his obsession with catching the assailant escalates. A terrifying and moody thriller, that still manages to offer a satisfying conclusion, even though the real case was never solved.
Adam Driver stars in this Amazon-produced movie inspired by real world events – in this case the report that detailed the CIA’s torturing of detainees after 9/11, which was released back in 2014, and the challenges that faced those who tried to bring it to light. It’s the kind of tense political drama you’re going to enjoy if you’re partial to movies like All the President’s Men, or the 2017 Spielberg picture The Post.
The Big Sick
This movie really isn’t what you think it is based on the romcom-esque image above. Kumail (Kumail Nanjiani), an Uber driver and aspiring comedian, begins a relationship with Emily (Zoe Kazan), which ends after Kumail shares doubts about their long-term status as a couple. Emily then falls seriously ill and is placed into a coma, and Kumail gets to know her parents (played by Holly Hunter and Ray Romano) as a result. The romcom part of the movie is relatively short; this is a frequently hard-to-watch drama about an unusual start to a relationship.
Jim Jarmusch has always been eclectic in his film choices. Whether it’s meditations on death (Dead Man), Eastern philosophy (Ghost Dog) or, er, vampirism (Only Lovers Left Alive), his take on storytelling in any genre is always unique. In Paterson he has created a heartwarming movie about a single day in a poet’s life. That someone happens to be called Paterson, and he also lives in Paterson, New Jersey. Adam Driver is great as the central character: his slow-burn acting style suits a film that’s suitably laid back in its storytelling.
The Gruffalo / The Gruffalo’s Child
This is an easy double-movie bill, as both films are under 30 minutes each. The Gruffalo is one of the most loved characters in children’s literature and this CGI retelling of the tale is simple yet very effective. While it doesn’t have the best animation, it makes up in charm and is perfect fodder for your little ’uns.
A couple of students in a strained relationship (Florence Pugh and Jack Reynor) take a trip to Sweden for a festival, only to become embroiled in the disturbing goings on of a pagan cult. To say much more would spoil this movie’s extremely nasty surprises, but if you’re a fan of The Wicker Man, it’s well worth watching. There’s a reason Ari Aster is considered one of the most exciting new voices in modern horror. Speaking of which…
Ari Aster’s debut horror movie is also available to stream on Amazon Prime. This film about a family troubled by spirits isn’t quite as scary as its reputation suggests, but Hereditary is certainly a gruesome, difficult watch packed with shocking moments and a bizarre third-act twist.
Its fantastic ensemble cast, led by Toni Colette as the mother of the family, very much hides the fact you’re watching a relatively low-budget horror flick.
A Quiet Place
A family tries to survive in a world where creatures that track sounds to kill their prey has wiped out most of the human population. This simple premise is turned into a tense and frequently scary movie by first-time director John Krasinski, who also stars alongside Emily Blunt. A Quiet Place was a smash hit, and a sequel is on the way in 2020.
Under the Silver Lake
There’s something compelling about this contemporary-feeling mystery drama from the director of horror sensation It Follows, even if it’s got a bunch of problems: it’s too long, it’s too male gaze-y and it’s too pretentious.
But this story about a missing woman does have a genuinely interesting solution to its core mystery, and the dreamy, empty way Under the Silver Lake portrays LA gives it a real sense of place. Critics were split on it, but it’s worth watching if you’re a fan of neo-noir movies.
Mindy Kaling writes and stars in this film about a veteran late night host (Emma Thompson) who hires Molly Patel, an Indian-American woman, to diversify her otherwise male-only writers’ room, in an effort to shore up the show’s ratings and credibility. With great, quickfire jokes and a strong ensemble cast (Hugh Dancy and Amy Ryan co-star), Late Night is another strong original Amazon flick.
Disney Plus doesn’t completely dominate the Marvel movies back catalog just yet. You can stream the original (and still arguably best) Avengers movie on Amazon Prime, too, and it’s just as colorful and fun as you remember it.
Director Joss Whedon brought Captain America, Iron Man, Hulk, Black Widow and Hawkeye on-screen together in a spectacular way that elevated superhero movie storytelling, charting Marvel’s course for the next decade.
Mission: Impossible – Fallout
Other than John Wick, there aren’t many modern action movie series that have a good critical reputation. Mission: Impossible, still going after more than two decades, is in good hands with director Christopher McQuarrie. 2018’s acclaimed entry features a mustache-ready Henry Cavill as Ethan Hunt’s latest opponent, and a ludicrous helicopter scene that required Tom Cruise to learn how to fly one beforehand.
Hell House LLC
Well this was unexpected. The name Hell House LLC doesn’t exactly scream ‘must watch’ but despite its rather Grindhouse-esque title, this is a brilliant slice of horror.
The plot is simple: a group of friends who create haunted house experiences for Halloween find a house to convert that’s seemingly filled with real-life ghosts. The movie is their footage spliced together, with police reports and the like.
The found footage genre is rather stagnant now but Hell House manages to breathe new life into it, mustering up some genuine scares that will have even the most hardened horror fans watching from behind their fingers. Its final scenes don’t quite match what went before it (or make much sense) but this is one of the best horror films to come out in years.
This heist comedy from Steven Soderbergh sees two brothers (played by Channing Tatum and Adam Driver) teaming up with a criminal (Daniel Craig) to rob a racetrack while the race itself takes place. It’s a fun caper with great one-liners, and it first alerted Hollywood to the comedic potential of having Craig perform an American accent, which would later be taken to a logical conclusion in Knives Out.
Star Trek 2: The Wrath of Khan
Widely considered the best Star Trek movie featuring the original cast, The Wrath of Khan has the crew of the Enterprise facing off against old foe Khan Noonien Singh (Ricardo Montalbán), who seeks revenge on Kirk after the events of the original series. Nicholas Meyer’s movie revived interest in the series, paving the way for the franchise’s dominance in the late 80s and 90s.
Todd Solondz is one director that doesn’t mind tackling some of the most controversial, degrading and downright embarrassing situations humans can find themselves in. He continues this theme with Wiener-Dog – a movie dipped in dysfunction that’s split into four parts – each part telling the story of the owner of a wiener-dog.
It’ll certainly make you laugh, and some characters from Welcome To The Dollhouse make a welcome return, but you’ll likely feel uncomfortable throughout too.
Jim Jarmusch uses music in his movies to fine effect, so it makes complete sense that he is the one to helm a documentary about The Stooges and their enigmatic frontman, Iggy Pop. The Stooges may not have hit the heights of, say, The Rolling Stones but they’re an important piece of the rock puzzle. This doc does well to uncover what made the band tick, complete with recent talking heads with members of the band.
Captain America: The First Avenger
The First Avenger is still one of the best Marvel solo movies, in a Captain America trilogy that’s much stronger overall than the Thor or Iron Man movies.
Joe Johnson’s WW2 action film is reminiscent of his own cult hit The Rocketeer, as the young, weedy but good-hearted Steve Rogers (Chris Evans) is transformed into a patriotic hero. The timeframe of the movie’s setting means it’s unlike any of the MCU pictures that would follow, and it actually has a romance that’s well-handled, with a fantastic co-star in Hayley Atwell’s Agent Carter.