When Amazon debuted Amazon Prime more than a decade ago, CEO Jeff Bezos and company simply wanted to give their loyal customers a chance to save some money 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 subscribers sift through Amazon’s sizable 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 throw on an excellent film, courtesy of our list. (Note: Some titles might not be available until later in the month.)
The Blues Brothers
John Landis directed this 1980 musical comedy based on characters originated by John Belushi and Dan Aykroyd on Saturday Night Live. The duo plays a pair of ex-convict musicians who embark on a quest to save the Catholic orphanage where they were raised by getting their old R&B band back together and raising enough money to pay for the orphanage’s tax bill. While that task alone proves to be a tough one, their mission is complicated by a mystery woman out to kill them, a group of angry neo-Nazis, and a country band out to pummel them. The film is set in and around Chicago, and features a long list of cameos and musical performances from celebrated R&B artists, including John Lee Hooker, Aretha Franklin, James Brown, Ray Charles, and Cab Calloway. Carrie Fisher and John Candy play supporting roles in the film.
Greta Gerwig’s coming-of-age comedy exploded into one of 2017’s biggest hits, thanks to widespread acclaim for the performances of Saoirse Ronan (as rebellious teen Christine McPherson) and Laurie Metcalf (as her mother). Christine, who has decided that she only wants to be called “Lady Bird,” is trying to navigate the academic difficulties of high school — at a Catholic school, no less — while finding herself in various stages of love with two very different boys (rising stars Lucas Hedges and Timothée Chalamet). At the same time, Mom is working overtime to compensate for the layoff of her husband (Tracy Letts) and battling with instincts that are tanking her relationship with Christine. Gerwig draws heavily on personal experience for Lady Bird, crafting a thoughtful and relatable look at adolescence.
The Big Sick
Comedian Kumail Nanjiani and comedy writer Emily V. Gordon adapted their real-life love story for film in The Big Sick, a charming romantic comedy with a realistic tone. The movie begins with Kumail (playing himself) struggling to build a stand-up career, mining his Pakistani background for material. After a run-in with a heckler named Emily (Zoe Kazan) turns into a one-night-stand and eventually a relationship, the two start to run into troubles. For starters, Kumail’s parents want him to settle down with a Pakistani woman, leading them to break up. Making things even more complicated, an infection leaves Emily in a coma. While visiting Emily in the hospital, Kumail meets her parents, Terry (Ray Romano) and Beth (Holly Hunter), learning more about them and Emily as he processes his own feelings.
20th Century Women
It’s 1979, the final chapter in a turbulent decade, and the attitude in America is so distraught that even the president felt the need to address the malaise, the lack of spiritual fulfillment in the country. It’s in this year, this context that Mike Mills sets 20th Century Women, which focuses on a mother, her son, and the people she wants to help him transition to adulthood. It’s largely a coming-of-age story for Jamie (Lucas Jade Zumann), who lives with his mother, Dorothea (Annette Bening), in the boarding house she runs. Not sure how to raise her son in an era of dwindling values, she turns to Abbie (Greta Gerwig), a tenant and artist, and Julie (Elle Fanning), Jamie’s very platonic best friend, for help. The three women — with a little help from William (Billy Crudup), a mechanic who also lives in the boarding house — share their experiences with Jamie. 20th Century Women is a warm, inviting film, built around an incredible performance from Bening.
What We Do in the Shadows
How do you keep up appearances when you can’t actually see yourself in the mirror? It’s a problem hilariously examined in What We Do in the Shadows, a horror-mockumentary that follows the lives of four vampires living in modern-day Wellington, New Zealand. The film is the byproduct of Taika Waititi and Flight of the Conchords‘ Jemaine Clement, and as such, is baked with impeccable comedic timing and gags that become more borderline outlandish as the film goes on. It’s the chemistry between cast members that really belies the jokes, however, many of which rely on age-old vampire clichés, including an ongoing feud with Rhys Darby’s werewolf pack. Think The Real World, but with more blood, sweat, and tears (emphasis on the blood).
The Disaster Artist
James Franco’s track record as a director is spotty at best, but The Disaster Artist is a masterful stroke of comedy, in which the Hollywood heavyweight tells about the making of The Room, an infamously bad movie from oddball auteur Tommy Wiseau. Franco plays Wiseau himself, mimicking his weird mannerisms and speech to a T, while his brother Dave plays Wiseau’s best friend, Greg Sestero (author of the memoir upon which the film is based). The odd meta-movie setup works perfectly for Franco’s performance, and he pulls in enough supporting talent — Seth Rogen, Alison Brie, Josh Hutcherson, Jacki Weaver — to bring everything together in idiotic harmony.
The highest-grossing movie of all time based on a Saturday Night Live sketch, this 1992 film brought Mike Myers and Dana Carvey to the big screen as slacker duo Wayne Campbell and Garth Algar, respectively, whose public-access television show propels them on a wild journey through the trials and tribulations of fame and celebrity. The film paired its impressive box-office returns with surprisingly good reviews, and went on to spawn an equally good sequel that hit theaters a year later. The endearing chemistry of Myers and Carvey gets a boost from a fantastic supporting cast that includes Rob Lowe, Tia Carrere, Lara Flynn Boyle, Chris Farley, Ed O’Neill, and Ione Skye, with memorable cameos from rockers Meat Loaf and Alice Cooper.