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Crank up the heat and watch some of the best movies streaming on Amazon Prime

When Amazon debuted its Amazon Prime service some 10 years ago, CEO Jeff Bezos and company simply wanted to give their loyal band of customers a chance to save some scratch on shipping costs. As the service gained a massive subscription base, Amazon continued adding a slew of incredible perks, such as access to Prime Pantry, same-day delivery, and — arguably its greatest addition in recent years — Amazon Prime Instant Video.

More: Need something to watch? Here are our favorite shows streaming on Amazon Prime

Now, anyone with an Amazon Prime subscription has easy access to thousands of hit movies and documentaries, all with the simple click of a mouse. To help all you subscribers sift through Amazon’s massive library, we’ve taken up the task of finding the best movies currently available on the service. So pop some popcorn and find your favorite spot on the couch, here are the best movies currently streaming on Amazon Prime Instant Video.

Drama

10 Cloverfield Lane

Though originally developed from a script titled The Cellar, 10 Cloverfield Lane was acquired by Bad Robot, a production team owned by J.J. Abrams, and turned into a spiritual successor to found-footage monster movie Cloverfield. John Goodman gives an incredible performance as a paranoid man who abducts a young woman (Mary Elizabeth Winstead) and holds her captive in an underground bunker under the premise that a catastrophic event has rendered the Earth’s surface uninhabitable. The movie oozes creepiness, eschewing traditional jump scares in favor of a more cerebral, psychological horror.

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The Talented Mr. Ripley

Matt Damon shows off his acting chops in this adaptation of author Patricia Highsmith’s novel of the same name. The plots centers on Tom Ripley (Damon), a struggling youth in New York City in the 1950s, who finds himself on a boat to Europe as the result of a lucky encounter with a wealthy shipbuilder. When the shipbuilder’s son, Dickie (Jude Law), refuses to accompany Ripley back to America, Ripley ingratiates himself with Dickie, before killing him and assuming his identity. Fantastic supporting performances by Law, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Cate Blanchett, and Gwyneth Paltrow help create a twisting, turning tale that will keep you guessing until the bitter end. For a film with no true protagonist, The Talented Mr. Ripley is exceptionally enjoyable.

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Inside Llewyn Davis

In the soft shadows of The Gaslight Cafe, folk singer Llewyn Davis (Oscar Isaac) croons that he “wouldn’t mind the hanging.” Leave it to the Coen Brothers to oblige him. Two of America’s most mercurial filmmakers, the Coens have approached both grim tragedy and madcap comedy in their films, sometimes at the same time. Inside Llewyn Davis falls on the bleaker end of the spectrum, following Davis as he attempts to get his music career on track in the wake of his musical partner’s suicide. His finances are not the only part of his life falling apart; his former lover Jean (Carey Mulligan), pregnant with a child that is likely his, wants nothing to do with him. Davis’ struggle, set against the frost-glazed backdrop of New York, is a tragic one, but the film is not without humor, black though it may be. The characters surrounding Llewyn are as vibrant as he is cold… particularly Justin Timberlake as Jane’s new boyfriend.

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A Most Violent Year

As one might expect from the delightfully descriptive title, J. C. Chandor’s A Most Violent Year takes place in a time of violence, specifically New York City in 1981. Abel Morales (Oscar Isaac) runs Standard Heating Oil, a company with more than a few problems. One of Morales’ rivals has hired men to hijack his trucks at gunpoint, and Morales’ wife Anna (Jessica Chastain) wants him to fight back. Abel would prefer not to, but the legal system will be no help, as ADA Lawrence (David Oyelowo) wants to bust Abel for tax evasion. Isaac’s Abel is the moral heart of the film. With slicked back hair and a quiet demeanor, he evokes Al Pacino circa The Godfather, and like Michael Corleone, Abel struggles with his desire to be an upstanding family man and business-owner and the pressure to exact retribution on his rivals.

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Amazon

Sicario

Sicario begins with FBI agent Kate Macer (Emily Blunt) leading a squad into a cartel safehouse, where they discover walls lined with corpses. That is only the first of many horrors the film offers, as Macer joins a CIA task force led by Matt Graver (Josh Brolin), whose goal is to shut down the cartel responsible. Contrary to Kate’s expectations and standard operating procedure, Graver’s team, accompanied by a mystery man named Alejandro (Benicio del Toro), ventures into Mexico to capture a kingpin. Like a cruel roller coaster, Sicario takes its time raising the tension before sending Macer hurtling downward, and Denis Villeneuve’s tight direction is key to that.

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No Country for Old Men

Drawing on the novel of the same name by Cormac McCarthy, the Coen Brothers’ No Country for Old Men is a bleak meditation on violence and greed, following men who try to outrun fate and consequence in pursuit of their goals. The film’s avalanche of misfortune begins when Llewelyn Moss (Josh Brolin) finds a briefcase full of money amidst the ruins of a drug deal gone wrong. He takes the money and runs, unaware of a tracking device in the briefcase that alerts cartel members to its location. One of Moss’ pursuers is Anton Chigurh (Javier Bardem), a cold and unrelenting hitman who at times seems like fate personified. No Country for Old Men is a modern Western, and the film shows off the strengths of the genre, with dry, poetic dialogue and gorgeous shots of the vast Texan landscapes.

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Amazon

Selma

The voting rights marches of 1965 that took place in Selma, Alabama, were a watershed moment in the Civil Rights Movement. Led by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Ben Lewis, James Bevel, and Hosea Williams, they gained national attention and served as the inspiration for President Lyndon B. Johnson to finally take notice and sign the Civil Rights Act into law. The award-winning Selma, directed by Ava DuVernay, chronicles the marches and the events surrounding them, as well as the vitriolic resistance faced by Dr King and his fellow activists. The film stars David Oyelowo as King and Carmen Ejogo as King’s wife, Loretta Scott King, as well as Tom Wilkinson, Tim Roth, Oprah Winfrey, and Common.

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Bone Tomahawk

Set in the unforgiving frontier of the American West, Bone Tomahawk blurs the lines between western and thriller. The movie begins in the small town of Bright Hope, where sheriff Franklin Hunt is investigating a series of strange murders and disappearances. An arrow is discovered at one of the crime scenes, and a Native American man tells Hunt it likely belongs to of a tribe of troglodyte cannibals living in the mountains. Hell-bent on wiping out the oppressive attackers, Hunt rallies a small band to hunt down the cannibals. Director S. Craig Zahler’s film stars Kurt Russell as sheriff Hunt, as well as Matthew Fox, Patrick Wilson, and Lili Simmons in various roles.

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Amazon

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