Summer is in full swing, and the best way to beat the heat is by staying inside and watching a film from the comfort of your own home. That’s an idea that the people behind Amazon Prime Video have readily embraced. While Prime Video’s original selections are still a little thin, there’s a robust lineup of modern and classic flicks from various studios across Hollywood and beyond. The downside is that not even Prime Video can hang on to these selections forever. To help you get the most out of your Prime Video subscription, we’ve put together this list of the best movies leaving at the end of June.
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This year marks the 40th anniversary of Eye of the Needle, a British spy thriller that turns the clock back to World War II. Donald Sutherland stars as Henry Faber, a German spy whose codename is the “Needle.” Henry is very effective at his job from within the United Kingdom, and he uncovers critical intel about the Allies’ plans to invade Normandy. While trying to get word to Germany, Henry is stranded on an isolated island with the Rose family. Henry even seduces Lucy Rose (Kate Nelligan), thanks in part to her estrangement from her husband, David Rose (Christopher Cazenove). When Lucy realizes the truth about Henry, the outcome of the war falls on her shoulders.
Rotten Tomatoes: 82%
Stars: Donald Sutherland, Kate Nelligan, Ian Bannen, Christopher Cazenove
Director: Richard Marquand
Runtime: 112 minutes
Fargo wasn’t the Coen brothers’ first movie, but it won several Oscars and set the tone for everything they did after. Frances McDormand has a star-making turn as Marge Gunderson, a police chief who stumbles upon a kidnap scheme gone wrong. A financially troubled car dealer, Jerry Lundegaard (William H. Macy), has his wife, Jean (Kristin Rudrüd), kidnapped in order to extort money from her wealthy father. Unfortunately, Jerry hired an unstable duo, Carl Showalter (Steve Buscemi) and Gaear Grimsrud (Peter Stormare), to pull off the job. And when things go south, the body parts and the murders quickly pile up.
Rotten Tomatoes: 94%
Stars: Frances McDormand, William H. Macy, Steve Buscemi, Harve Presnell, Peter Stormare
Director: Joel Coen, Ethan Coen
Runtime: 98 minutes
Robert Townsend directed, co-wrote, and starred in Hollywood Shuffle, a cult classic film that lampooned the treatment of Black actors and actresses in the movie industry. Townsend plays Bobby Taylor, a fast-food worker who has dreams of making it in Hollywood. Almost everyone around Bobby discourages him from pursuing his life’s ambition, and even his subconscious mind strikes through dreams and daydreams that place him in some very familiar situations. Yet when Bobby finally gets his big break, it may cost him both his dignity and his principles. The price of fame is high, and Bobby has to determine for himself if he’s willing to pay it.
Rotten Tomatoes: 85%
Stars: Robert Townsend, Anne-Marie Johnson, Craigus R. Johnson, David McKnight, Keenen Ivory Wayans
Director: Robert Townsend
Runtime: 78 minutes
Hoosiers is loosely based on a true story. And we mean very loosely. Regardless of its tenuous connections to reality, it’s still one of the all-time great underdog sports flicks. Gene Hackman stars as Norman Dale, a former college basketball coach who is recruited to take over the basketball team of a small-town high school. Even without his best player, Jimmy Chitwood (Maris Valainis), Norman gets the most out of his kids. He also brings out the best in Shooter Flatch (Dennis Hopper), an alcoholic father to one of his players. Norman challenges Shooter to remain sober during game days and to prove his worth to the team and his son.
Rotten Tomatoes: 89%
Stars: Gene Hackman, Barbara Hershey, Dennis Hopper, Sheb Wooley, Maris Valainis
Director: David Anspaugh
Runtime: 115 minutes
Hotel Rwanda is another film based on a true story, but it presents a much darker aspect of humanity. During the Rwandan Genocide in 1994, hotel manager Paul Rusesabagina (Don Cheadle) and his wife, Tatiana (Sophie Okonedo), find themselves trapped between two warring factions. As the Hutu extremists begin to exterminate the Tutsi, Paul allows members of both groups to hide from the carnage within the hotel itself. While the United Nations peacekeepers are helpless to stop the slaughter, Paul’s efforts save lives even in the face of despair.
Rotten Tomatoes: 91%
Stars: Don Cheadle, Sophie Okonedo, Joaquin Phoenix, Nick Nolte
Director: Terry George
Runtime: 121 minutes
“Never give up, never surrender!” Galaxy Quest may be one of the best Star Trek movies ever made, even though it’s also a parody of the great sci-fi franchise. Tim Allen stars as Jason Nesmith, a faded actor who is best known for playing Commander Peter Quincy Taggart on the Galaxy Quest TV series. When Mathesar (Enrico Colantoni), the leader of the alien Thermians, mistakes the show for a historical record, Jason, Alexander Dane (Alan Rickman), Gwen DeMarco (Sigourney Weaver), and the rest of the cast are thrust into an outer space adventure that is all too real.
Rotten Tomatoes: 90%
Stars: Tim Allen, Sigourney Weaver, Alan Rickman, Tony Shalhoub, Sam Rockwell, Enrico Colantoni
Director: Dean Parisot
Runtime: 102 minutes
Director Billy Wilder struck comedy gold when he signed Marilyn Monroe, Tony Curtis, and Jack Lemmon to headline Some Like It Hot. In the film, Curtis and Lemmon play Joe and Jerry, two musicians who end up on the run from mobster “Spats” Colombo (George Raft). To escape with their lives, Joe and Jerry pretend to be women and go undercover as members of an all-female band led by Sugar “Kane” Kowalczyk (Monroe). Joe soon becomes so enamored with Sugar that he adopts a second fake identity as an oil heir just to woo her. And as for Jerry/Daphne, he has to deal with a rich romantic suitor who simply won’t take no for an answer.
Rotten Tomatoes: 95%
Stars: Marilyn Monroe, Tony Curtis, Jack Lemmon, George Raft, Joe E. Brown
Director: Billy Wilder
Runtime: 121 minutes
Long before Galaxy Quest, Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home successfully mixed sci-fi and comedy. After the resurrection of Spock (Leonard Nimoy) and the destruction of the Enterprise, Admiral James T. Kirk (William Shatner) and his crew head to Earth to face the consequences of their actions. But first, they have to take an emergency trip to the past and bring a pair of extinct humpback whales back to the 24th century in order to prevent a catastrophe. The crew’s fish-out-of-water antics in 1986 are incredibly hilarious, but the dramatic moments land too. There are even some gasp-worthy moments for fans of the franchise, especially in the film’s closing seconds.
Rotten Tomatoes: 81%
Stars: William Shatner, Leonard Nimoy, DeForest Kelley, James Doohan, George Takei
Director: Leonard Nimoy
Runtime: 122 minutes
It turns out that it’s really hard to make a sequel to The Terminator. Terminator 2 is a classic in of itself, but the original movie is a sci-fi masterpiece with an unforgettably frightening performance by Arnold Schwarzenegger as the T-800 Terminator. This cybernetic menace has been sent back in time to eliminate Sarah Connor (Linda Hamilton), an unassuming waitress, before she can give birth to humanity’s savior in the war against the machines. Fortunately, Sarah’s future son, John, has sent Kyle Reese (Michael Biehn) back to the past to protect her.
Rotten Tomatoes: 100%
Stars: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Michael Biehn, Linda Hamilton, Paul Winfield, Lance Henriksen
Director: James Cameron
Runtime: 107 minutes
There is a remake of West Side Story coming later this year from director Steven Spielberg. But can it really compare to the original? This is a wonderful musical that updates the Romeo and Juliet template in a more modern setting. In the film, New York’s streets are ruled by two rival gangs: The Jets and the Sharks. Tony (Richard Beymer), a former member of the Jets, meets the girl of his dreams, Maria (Natalie Wood). Unfortunately, Maria is the sister of Bernardo (George Chakiris), the leader of the Sharks. As tensions between the two gangs spiral out of control, Tony and Maria plot their escape. But no one emerges unscathed from this conflict, not even the young lovers.
Rotten Tomatoes: 92%
Stars: Natalie Wood, Richard Beymer, Rita Moreno, George Chakiris, Russ Tamblyn
Director: Robert Wise, Jerome Robbins
Runtime: 152 minutes
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