More than free shipping: The best movies on Amazon Prime right now

When Amazon debuted its Amazon Prime service more than a decade 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, the company continued adding a slew of incredible perks, such as access to Prime Pantry, same-day delivery, and Amazon Prime Instant Video. Now, anyone with an Amazon Prime subscription has easy access to thousands of hit movies and TV shows,  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, find your favorite spot on the couch, and watch one of the best movies on Amazon Prime, courtesy of our exhaustive list.

If you’re looking to use another streaming service, we’ve got you covered with our picks for the best movies on Netflix, best movies on HBO, and best movies on Hulu.

Drama

‘A Ghost Story’

David Lowery’s A Ghost Story takes a simple — some might even say silly — premise as its foundation, and builds atop it a beautiful, mournful film about death and the passage of time. The film begins with a man, C (Casey Affleck), and a woman, M (Rooney Mara). C dies in a car crash early on, but his soul continues to wander, draped in a hospital sheet under which he spends the rest of the film. C returns to the house he shared with M, watching as she grieves and eventually moves on. He remains, watching as the house changes hands, and the world changes entirely. A Ghost Story is light on plot and even dialogue, with Lowery using thoughtful shots and beautiful scene compositions to convey emotion.

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‘Brawl in Cell Block 99’

Although it sounds like a pulpy action movie, Brawl in Cell Block 99 takes a while to build up to its titular melee, unwinding slowly as its lead character gets deeper into trouble. The film follows Bradley Thomas (Vince Vaughn), who loses his job only to come home and discover that his wife, Lauren (Jennifer Carpenter), is cheating on him. After smashing her car with his bare hands, Bradley decides to work on their marriage, the first sign that this is a film that doesn’t fit into easy categorization. Bradley also turns to crime in order to pay the bills, and that decision leads him down a dark and violent path. Brawl in Cell Block 99 treads a narrow line between highbrow and low; Bradley is a fascinating character, and the movie explores his complicated mindset, but there is also violence aplenty for those who want to see some action.

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‘Fences’

An adaptation of August Wilson’s Pulitzer Prize-winning play, Fences is a fascinating study of a man in slow collapse. Troy Maxson (Denzel Washington) was an accomplished baseball player in the Negro Leagues, whose career ended before Major League Baseball integrated. By the time the film begins in the 1950s, he works as a garbageman in Pittsburgh, living with his wife, Rose (Viola Davis); and son, Cory (Jovan Adepo). Troy seethes at the world, and the story is focused on the ways in which he chips away at his relationships with everyone in his life, cheating on his wife and grinding down his son’s ambitions. It’s a powerful story, and Washington (who also directed) gives it a skillful treatment.

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‘Paterson’

Set over the course of a week in the life of a bus driver named Paterson (Adam Driver), this drama from eclectic director Jim Jarmusch meditate on the beauty and meaning in mundane events. Paterson lives in Paterson, New Jersey, with his eccentric wife, Laura (Golshifteh Farahani); and her dog, named Marvin. His daily routine is simple: He goes to work, driving his route and listening to the conversations of the passengers. In his free moments, he writes poetry that he never shares with the world. There’s not much more to the plot than that; like a poem, Paterson revels in imagery and rhythm. It’s a quiet film, but it feels like thunder.

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‘Silence’

Set in 17th-century Japan, Martin Scorsese’s Silence (an adaptation of Shūsaku Endō’s novel of the same name) follows a pair of Jesuit priests on a mission to find their missing mentor, Cristóvão Ferreira (Liam Neeson), who renounced his faith following torture at the hands of the shogunate, which has outlawed Christianity. The priests, Sebastião Rodrigues (Andrew Garfield) and Francisco Garupe (Adam Driver), sneak into Japan, taking refuge among the remaining Japanese Christians. During their search for Ferreira, Rodrigues, and Garupe witness terrible atrocities, and find themselves in a moral quandary that drives them to the brink. At times beautiful, at others horrifying, Silence is a deeply spiritual film, reflecting on the nature of faith, and whether God cares about the suffering of his servants.

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‘Manchester by the Sea’

This bleak drama, directed by playwright Kenneth Lonergan, is set in the titular town of Manchester, a town Lee Chandler (Casey Affleck) would prefer never to return to. Chandler lives out his days working as a janitor in Quincy, away from any connections to his past. Tragedy brings him home; his brother Joe (Kyle Chandler) dies, leaving behind a teenage son, Patrick (Lucas Hedges), and a will asking Lee to take care of him. Manchester by the Sea is a deeply personal drama, examining the ways disaster can wear away at a person’s soul, and whether it is possible to come back from the brink. Despite the premise, the movie is not gloomy from start to end; the script allows for plenty of humor and warmth throughout, making for a film that captures the complexity of life.

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‘Moonlight’

Some of Moonlight’s most important scenes take place near water; always shifting, water proves to be a potent symbol for protagonist Chiron’s journey through the film. The film follows Chiron from his time as a young man growing up, impoverished, in Miami, to his tragic, conflicted adulthood. The film’s three acts, set during different stages of his life, show him struggling with his identity and sexuality, as he develops an attraction to his best friend and faces pressure and bullying from other boys his age. Buoyed by excellent performances — particularly Mahershala Ali‘s, which won him an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor — Moonlight is a powerful character study, one rife with mesmerizing imagery.

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Amazon

’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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‘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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‘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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‘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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