Amazon Prime Video has an enormous collection of films spanning every genre. Yet, for reasons beyond comprehension, fantasy flicks are very few and far between on Prime Video. Amazon is making a Lord of the Rings television series and yet still have a depressingly mundane fantasy film library. But, fear not, if you are in the mood for some fantasy, your Amazon Prime subscription does entitle you to a few quality entries. They’re just not easy to find, so we’ve already completed the quest for you. Check out our list of the best fantasy movies on Amazon Prime Video.
Roberto Benigni seems to have a great deal of affection for the story of Pinocchio. Nearly two decades ago, Benigni played the living puppet and directed his own adaptation of Pinocchio. For this more recent film, Benigni plays Pinocchio’s father/creator, Geppetto, and Federico Ielapi takes over the role of Pinocchio. This film stays closer to Carlo Collodi’s original story than the famous Disney adaptation did. Poor Pinocchio wants to be a real boy, but he falls to temptation far more often than he stays on the straight and narrow. And when Pinocchio lies, we all know what happens to his nose.
Rotten Tomatoes: 83%
Stars: Roberto Benigni, Federico Ielapi, Rocco Papaleo, Massimo Ceccherini, Marine Vacth
Director: Matteo Garrone
Runtime: 125 minutes
The Man Who Fell to Earth (1976)
In hindsight, it’s perfectly believable that David Bowie came from another world. For his first leading role in a feature film, Bowie played Thomas Jerome Newton, a.k.a. The Man Who Fell to Earth. Thomas is an alien disguised as a human on an urgent mission to save his homeworld by bringing water from Earth during his return trip. However, Thomas proves to be more human on the inside than even he suspected. While caught up in an affair with a woman named Mary-Lou (Candy Clark), Thomas becomes hopelessly addicted to alcohol and TV. And when his secret comes out, Thomas finds that he no longer has the means to defend himself or his mission.
Rotten Tomatoes: 81%
Stars: David Bowie, Rip Torn, Candy Clark, Buck Henry, Bernie Casey
Director: Nicolas Roeg
Runtime: 138 minutes
Cool World (1992)
Audiences and critics were not ready for director Ralph Bakshi’s Cool World, a wild combination of animation and live-action. In this film, the human world and the cartoon-like Cool World exist in separate realities. For decades, Detective Frank Harris (Brad Pitt) has been the lone human living in Cool World. In the real world, cartoonist Jack Deebs (Gabriel Byrne) believes that he created Cool World, and he is frequently visited by visions of Holli Would (Kim Basinger), a “doodle” who wants to become a human and escape from her realm. When Holli’s ambitions threaten both worlds, Frank and Jack are forced to team up to stop her.
Rotten Tomatoes: 4%
Stars: Kim Basinger, Gabriel Byrne, Brad Pitt, Deirdre O’Connell, Charlie Adler
Director: Ralph Bakshi
Runtime: 102 minutes
Death is a part of life that we’ve never conquered. But within the realm of fantasy and sci-fi, it can be overcome. Archive stars Theo James as George Almore, a widowed man who may have found a way to bring his late wife, Jules (Stacy Martin), back to some semblance of life. George uses his highly specialized scientific knowledge to create a robot, J2, that captures several aspects of Jules’ personality. That leads to an improved model, J3, that physically resembles Jules as well. Unfortunately, George was a bit too successful with J2, because she displays jealousy over his feelings for J3. And a jealous robot is always bad news.
Rotten Tomatoes: 74%
Stars: Theo James, Stacy Martin, Rhona Mitra, Peter Ferdinando, Richard Glover
Director: Gavin Rothery
Runtime: 105 minutes
There can be only one Highlander! And it’s on Amazon Prime. This centuries-spanning epic takes flight after mystical warrior Russell Nash (Christopher Lambert) kills a man in a sword fight in a New York City parking lot. In the process, he leaves a sliver of an ancient weapon lodged in a car. When forensics specialist Brena Wyatt (Roxanne Hart) recovers evidence of the mysterious weapon, she and her partner embark on an investigation of Nash — the Highlander — and find themselves embroiled in a centuries-old feud between immortals.
Rotten Tomatoes: 69%
Stars: Christopher Lambert, Sean Connery, Roxanne Hart
Director: Russell Mulcahy
Runtime: 116 minutes
Odd Thomas (2014)
Based on the 2003 Dean Koontz novel of the same name, Odd Thomas stars the late Anton Yelchin as the titular character, Thomas, a line cook and a gifted psychic (imagine being handed that résumé). When Thomas encounters a man named Robert Robertson (Shuler Hensley), a fellow with some kind of mold-like substance for hair, Odd’s clairvoyance kicks in full force in the form of disturbing dreams that point to Robertson as a figure of evil. It’s up to Thomas, the local sheriff (Willem Dafoe), and Thomas’s girlfriend (Addison Timlin) to thwart Robertson’s wretched plan before it’s too late. A whimsical tour de force of thrills and chills, Odd Thomas may not always stand on two feet, but Yelchin’s performance brings enough spunk and energy to move mountains.
Rotten Tomatoes: 38%
Stars: Anton Yelchin, Willem Dafoe, Nico Tortorella
Director: Stephen Sommers
Runtime: 96 minutes
After the Dark (2014)
In John Huddle’s After the Dark (known as The Philosophers outside the U.S.), a group of international university students is given the final exam of a lifetime by one Mr. Zimit (James D’Arcy), their esteemed philosophy instructor. Alluding to a post-apocalyptic world, Mr. Zimit poses a challenge to his class: The students must choose 10 of their peers to live life in a nuclear-proof bunker, with each chosen student receiving designated end-of-the-world professions, with positions including published poet, harpist, and soldier. Combining coming-of-age elements with a big blast of sci-fi, After the Dark is an excellent piece of elevated cinema that makes us wonder how we’d fare in Mr. Zimit’s imagined wasteland.
Rotten Tomatoes: 71%
Stars: Daryl Sabara, James D’Arcy, Bonnie Wright
Director: John Huddles
Runtime: 114 minutes
A devout dissection of Nordic mythology, co-writer-director André Øvredal’s Mortal follows Eric (Nat Wolff), an early twenty-something living on the fringes of Norwegian society who possesses the miraculous ability to set things ablaze, literally. After Eric is picked up by local authorities, Christine (Iben Arkelie), a psychologist, is drawn to him. Law enforcement wants to question Eric about a series of murders that occurred years before. When Christine learns that the victims were all members of Eric’s family, a symbolic line begins tracing backward from Eric’s fiery abilities to ancient Nordic mythology. Part superhero film, part fantasy, Mortal shoots for the stars with its larger-than-life narrative but delivers major set pieces with big energy and strong performances.
Rotten Tomatoes: 56%
Stars: Nat Wolff, Priyanka Bose, Iben Akerlie
Director: André Øvredal
Runtime: 104 minutes
Tom (Jesse Eisenberg) and Gemma (Imogen Poots) are in search of real estate. When they visit a development of identical suburban homes called Yonder, the couple is seemingly abandoned by their realtor. They decide to pack it in and head home, but it turns out that Yonder keeps the twenty-somethings in some kind of time loop where no matter how far they drive, they always return to house #9 — the domicile their agent showed them. Tom and Gemma decide to stay at the house for the night, but when a newborn baby arrives with instructions stating, “Raise the child and be released,” Tom and Gemma become the unwilling victims of unseen, otherworldly forces. Vivarium combines fantasy, horror, and sci-fi elements in a rather remarkable way. Whenever the story seems to slip, Eisenberg and Poots wrangle it right back in.
Rotten Tomatoes: 72%
Stars: Jesse Eisenberg, Imogen Poots, Jonathan Aris
Director: Lorde Finnegan
Runtime: 97 minutes
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