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The 62 best movies on Amazon Prime Video (May 2022)

So far, May is full of classic movie titles from the ’80s, ’90s, and ’00s helping to make our list of the best movies on Amazon Prime a fun trip down memory lane. And while there is a ton of lighter fare such as Office Space, Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story, and Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure, there’s also a lot of, er, baseball, with titles like Field of Dreams, Bull Durham, and A League of Their Own. Of course, there’s also a ton more movies to watch on Prime Video, but finding them isn’t always easy, so we curate this weekly-updated list of the best movies available to Prime subscribers for free, to help you cut down the searching and do more watching.

We’ve also put together guides to the best shows on Prime Video, the best movies on Hulu, the best movies on Netflix, the best new movies to stream, and the best movies on Disney+.

Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure (1989) new

Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure
50 %
6.9/10
pg 90m
Genre Adventure, Comedy, Science Fiction
Stars Keanu Reeves, Alex Winter, George Carlin
Directed by Stephen Herek
“Be excellent to each other. And party on, dudes.” As far as life mantras go, we could do worse. While Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure may not be a save-the-world, time-travel movie like so many others in this sub-genre of sci-fi flicks, the story of Bill S. Preston, Esq. (Alex Winter) and Ted “Theodore” Logan (Keanu Reeves), two happy-go-lucky California dudes who travel through time in a phone booth collecting historical figures for a high school presentation, is an endearing classic. But wait, there is a bigger goal at stake after all. It’s Rufus (George Carlin), a man from the future, who helps the dudes along, because if they don’t pass their history class they’ll never become the rock band Wyld Stallyns, whose music is so good it saves humanity. 

A League of Their Own (1992) new

A League of Their Own
69 %
7.3/10
pg 128m
Genre Comedy, Drama, Family
Stars Tom Hanks, Geena Davis, Lori Petty
Directed by Penny Marshall
During the Second World War, the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League was created to help keep baseball alive while many male players were shipped off to fight in the war. A League of Their Own is the fictionalized story of the most winningest team in the league, Illinois’ real-life Rockford Peaches, and its players, including catcher Dorothy “Dottie” Hinson (Geena Davis), her sister, pitcher Kit Heller (Lori Petty), center fielder “All the Way” Mae Mordabity (Madonna), and third basewoman, Doris Murphy (Rosie O’Donnell). Coached by washed-up Major Leaguer Jimmy Duggan (Tom Hanks), the team struggles to get its act together while also dealing with the realities of being at home during wartime. A fierce rivalry brews between the Peaches and Wisconsin’s Racine Belles, but that pales in comparison to the sibling rivalry between Dottie and the younger Kit, who defects to the Belles in an effort to get out from under the shadow of her all-star sister. 

Office Space (1999) new

Office Space
68 %
7.7/10
r 89m
Genre Comedy
Stars Ron Livingston, Jennifer Aniston, David Herman
Directed by Mike Judge
Okay, so we know that Apple TV’s Severance has taken the office space to a whole weirder level, but more than 20 years ago Mike Judge (Beavis and Butthead, Silicon ValleyIdiocracy) nailed the drudgery of office culture right on the malfunctioning printer with this classic workplace comedy. Peter Gibbons (Ron Livingston) is a disgruntled software programmer at the vapid and grey-cubicled company Initech, where he works and commiserates with his work friends Samir Nagheenanajar and Michael Bolton (no relation). In the middle of a hypnotherapy session to get him out of his funk, the doctor keels over and dies, leaving Peter stuck in a permanent state of blissful don’t-give-a-shit-ness, that he brings with him to the office with joyful audacity — he even finds the courage to ask out the cute waitress at the nearby restaurant (Jennifer Aniston) he’s had a crush on. But things get out of hand when Peter, Samir, and Michael’s scheme to bilk Initech out of thousands of dollars backfires leaving them all fearing for their futures.

Field of Dreams (1989) new

Field of Dreams
57 %
7.5/10
pg 107m
Genre Drama, Fantasy
Stars Kevin Costner, Amy Madigan, Gaby Hoffmann
Directed by Phil Alden Robinson

The second of back-to-back baseball films Kevin Costner did in 1988-89 (the first was Bull Durham, which you also watch on Prime Video now), this classic drama-fantasy is all about redemption and reconciliation, creatively wrapped by director/screenwriter Phil Alden Robinson in a charming film about baseball. Costner is Ray Kinsella, an Iowa farmer who is compelled by a mysterious voice to risk his livelihood and build a baseball field in the middle of his cornfield. When he does, the ghosts of several baseball legends, including disgraced Chicago White Sox player Joseph “Shoeless Joe” Jackson (Ray Liotta) and other players involved in the notorious Black Sox Scandal, appear to play in Ray’s field. Lead by the voice, Ray begins to piece the mystery together, and that the real reason he’s being compelled to continue may be more about his own demons than the players appearing to face theirs. 

Sideways (2004) new

Sideways
94 %
7.5/10
r 127m
Genre Comedy, Drama, Romance
Stars Paul Giamatti, Thomas Haden Church, Virginia Madsen
Directed by Alexander Payne
Nominated for five Academy Awards in 2005, including Best Picture and Director for Alexander Payne (who also won for Best Adapted Screenplay, by the way), Sideways is a charming, California wine country-set dramedy drenched in sun-kissed landscapes, flowing reds, and … a wine snob yelling about merlot. OK, it’s a lot more than that. Paul Giamatti is the delightfully disgruntled Miles, a middle-aged failed writer and recovering divorcé, who escapes with his friend Jack (Thomas Haden Church) for a week of wine tasting in the Santa Ynez Valley before Jack ties the knot. But Jack’s got other ideas for the week, as he sets his sights on Stephanie (Sandra Oh), a wine server, and swears Miles to secrecy about his upcoming nuptials. Things get hot between Jack and Stephanie, while Miles and Stephanie’s friend Maya (Virginia Madsen), also a divorceé with some baggage, begin to fall for each other. Can Miles keep Jack’s secret? Does he even want to? And what of his budding romance with Maya if he lets it slip? Full of wit, humor, and more than a few jabs at the pretentiousness of the wine elite, Sideways is a rom-com well paired with, perhaps, a nice cab sav (spit).

DodgeBall: A True Underdog Story (2004) new

DodgeBall: A True Underdog Story
55 %
6.7/10
pg-13 92m
Genre Comedy
Stars Vince Vaughn, Christine Taylor, Ben Stiller
Directed by Rawson Marshall Thurber
In the immortal words of legendary dodgeball coach Patches O’Houlihan (Rip Torn), “If you’re going to become true dodgeballers, then you’ve got to learn the five D’s of dodgeball: Dodge, Duck, Dip, Dive, and Dodge!” Of course, this wisdom was immediately followed by Patches whipping wrenches at his team, but that’s beside the point. This is the kind of necessary training the losers of Average Joe’s Gymnasium’s dodgeball squad need if they’re going to win the American Dodgeball Association of America’s (ADAA) International Dodgeball Competition. The $50,000 prize is a last-ditch effort by Joe’s owner, Peter LaFleur (Vince Vaughan), to keep the megalomaniacal owner of rival Globo Gym, White Goodman (Ben Stiller), from putting him out of business. Teeming with memorable characters and quotable lines, Dodgeball culminates in one hell of a tournament sequence in which Peter and his misfits battle teams from around the world (and their own demons) toward their eventual showdown with White and his Purple Cobras. Watch for Jason Bateman’s hilarious cameo as spaced-out tournament commentator Pepper Brooks.

Jiro Dreams of Sushi (2011) new

Jiro Dreams of Sushi
77 %
7.8/10
pg 82m
Genre Documentary
Stars Jiro Ono, Masuhiro Yamamoto, Yoshikazu Ono
Directed by David Gelb
This is a beautiful and often frustrating documentary about Japan’s Jiro Ono, considered to be the greatest sushi chef who ever lived. We say “frustrating” for a couple of reasons: One, because of Jiro’s relentless and obsessive pursuit of perfection, it’s sometimes hard to watch someone create such mind-boggling dishes that are at the peak of the industry (his Toyko restaurant, Sukiyabashi Jiro, was the first sushi restaurant in the world to achieve three Michelin stars), yet still seem unfulfilled — perhaps that’s what makes him so great, though. The second frustrating point about the critically-acclaimed film is that it makes you want to eat everything on the screen, but you can’t. All jokes aside, Jiro Dreams of Sushi is a sweetly-told story of the then 85-year-old Jiro (he’s 96 now), his life and career, and the legacy that his two sushi chef sons, Yoshikazu and Takashi Ono, must take up and continue while carving their own paths as well.

All the Old Knives (2022) new

All the Old Knives
62 %
6.1/10
r 102m
Genre Thriller, Action
Stars Chris Pine, Thandiwe Newton, Jonathan Pryce
Directed by Janus Metz Pedersen
Chris Pine and Thandie Newton steam things up in this spy thriller about two CIA operatives who meet again years after the events of a job they did together in Vienna, where they were not only colleagues but lovers as well. Some new information about a potential mole in the operation, which surrounds the events of a terrorist hijacking, materializes, and Henry (Pine) and Celia (Newton) are forced to recount the operation, as well as their love affair, to get to the truth about both. Told in flashback scenes and filled with all the intense spy stuff you’d expect from bestselling espionage novelist Olen Steinhauer (The Tourist, Berlin Station), we’re along for the ride as we try to figure out for ourselves who the mole is — is it Celia? Is it Henry? Were they playing each other the whole time, or was it real? All the Old Knives also stars the excellent Laurence Fishburne and Jonathan Pryce.

The Vast of Night (2019)

The Vast of Night
84 %
6.7/10
pg-13 91m
Genre Mystery, Science Fiction, Thriller
Stars Sierra McCormick, Jake Horowitz, Bruce Davis
Directed by Andrew Patterson
This nostalgic throwback to classic sci-fi thrillers follows a young switchboard operator and a radio DJ whose discovery of a mysterious audio frequency sets off a series of discoveries that lead them deep into the unknown. The Amazon Studios film is the directorial debut of Andrew Patterson and has earned high praise from critics and streaming audiences alike for its suspenseful, low-budget spin on the genre.

Inside Llewyn Davis (2013)

Inside Llewyn Davis
93 %
7.5/10
r 104m
Genre Drama, Music
Stars Oscar Isaac, Carey Mulligan, John Goodman
Directed by Ethan & Joel Coen
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 (although Isaac’s future Star Wars nemesis also has a memorable musical cameo).

Young Frankenstein (1974)

Young Frankenstein
80 %
8/10
pg 106m
Genre Comedy
Stars Gene Wilder, Teri Garr, Marty Feldman
Directed by Mel Brooks
“From the deep, dark recesses of the mind of Mel Brooks,” Young Frankenstein is one of the genius comic writer/director’s first, and still best, send-up films, this time paying homage to Mary Shelley’s classic, Frankenstein. In the title role is the film’s co-writer, Gene Wilder, who plays American doctor Frederick Frankenstein, the grandson of the infamous mad scientist, who finds himself in Transylvania after his grandfather’s death. Picking up where grandpa left off, Frederick and his bug-eyed assistant Igor (Marty Feldman) once again meddle in bringing the dead back to life, this time in the form of the hilarious Peter Boyle as the grunting, dimwitted Monster. Shot in black and white and using many of the sets and props from the 1931 film FrankensteinYoung Frankenstein is a wacky, gut-busting parody of one of cinema’s most famous monster genres, as only Mel Brooks could have done. 

Good Morning, Vietnam (1987)

Good Morning, Vietnam
67 %
7.3/10
r 121m
Genre Comedy, Drama, War
Stars Robin Williams, Forest Whitaker, Tung Thanh Tran
Directed by Barry Levinson
In a role seemingly made for him, Robin Williams stars as Armed Forces Radio Service DJ Adrian Cronauer, an Airman Second Class stationed in Saigon in 1965 during the Vietnam War. Cronauer’s loose and comedic broadcasts and rock music are a hit and he quickly makes a name for himself with his colleague Edward Garlick (Forest Whitaker) and among the U.S. troops. But his derisive and sarcastic musings are a thorn in the side of his superiors, the strict and politically-charged Lieutenant Steven Hauk (Bruno Kirby) and Sergeant Major Phillip Dickerson (J.T. Walsh), who threaten to take him off the air. When Cronauer falls for a local Vietnamese woman and befriends her brother, he begins looking at the war from different points of view, which he starts bringing to his broadcasts, threatening his job as well as his life.

Raging Bull (1980)

Raging Bull
89 %
8.2/10
r 129m
Genre Drama, History
Stars Robert De Niro, Joe Pesci, Cathy Moriarty
Directed by Martin Scorsese
Martin Scorcese’s Raging Bull is a stunning, gritty piece of iconic cinema that tells the tumultuous story of real-life middleweight boxer Jake La Motta (Robert Deniro). Based on La Motta’s own 1970 memoir, Raging Bull: My Story, the film shadows the violent, unhinged man whose fits of uncontrolled rage were as prevalent outside of the ring as they were in it. De Niro won his second Oscar for his performance as La Motta, whose jealousy and paranoia destroyed his marriage to his wife Vickie (Cathy Moriarty), his relationship with his brother Joey (Joe Pesci), and landed him in trouble with the law and the Mob. It’s a powerful character study that’s less about boxing and more about the destructive life and downfall of a troubled man.   

Steve Jobs: The Man in the Machine (2015)

Steve Jobs: The Man in the Machine
72 %
6.9/10
r 129m
Genre Documentary
Stars Bob Belleville, Chrisann Brennan, Nolan Bushnell
Directed by Alex Gibney
Released four years after the death of Steve Jobs, Oscar-winning writer/director Alex Gibney’s (Taxi to the Dark SideGoing Clear: Scientology & the Prison of Disbelief) documentary Steve Jobs: The Man In the Machine is a fascinating, in-depth look at the iconic Apple founder’s life. From the company’s famous humble beginnings in Jobs’ parents’ Los Altos garage through the rise of Macintosh, the creation of the iMac, iPod, iPhone, and everything in between, the film explores the highs and lows of what it took to build one of the world’s most powerful companies, including the toll it took on the lives of those caught up in Jobs’s “reality distortion field.”  

O Brother, Where Art Thou? (2000)

O Brother, Where Art Thou?
69 %
7.7/10
pg-13 107m
Genre Adventure, Comedy, Crime
Stars George Clooney, John Turturro, Tim Blake Nelson
Directed by Joel Coen
Buckle up for one of the Coen brothers’ greatest. Loosley based on Homer’s The OdysseyO Brother, Where Art Thou? is a non-stop crime comedy of the highest order, with a Grammy-winning soundtrack. George Clooney, John Turturro, and Tim Blake Nelson star as escaped convicts Everett, Pete, and Delmar, respectively, on the run in 1930s rural Mississippi. Everett, the brains of the outfit, dupes Pete and Delmar into retrieving a hidden treasure before it’s lost forever at the bottom of a lake. But really, Everett’s trying to get back to his estranged wife, Penny (Holly Hunter), before she remarries. Along the way, the trio lands themselves in all kinds of unreal situations, including run-ins with an ethereal group of beautiful river-side sirens, the Ku Klux Clan, and a Robert Johnson-inspired guitar prodigy who helps the guys record a hit song as The Soggy Bottom Boys. The music is amazing and Clooney’s performance at Everett is unforgettable.

The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (2005)

The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy
63 %
6.7/10
pg 109m
Genre Adventure, Comedy, Family, Science Fiction
Stars Martin Freeman, Zooey Deschanel, Sam Rockwell
Directed by Garth Jennings
Whether or not you know the answer to life, the universe, and everything — or all the words to So Long, and Thanks for All the Fish — if you’re into weird and wacky esoteric comedy sci-fi, it doesn’t get much better than Douglas Adams’ classic franchise, The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy, upon which this 2005 film is based. Martin Freeman plays the protagonist, Arthur Dent, a painfully British doormat of a man who finds himself whisked into outer space (moments before it’s destroyed) by his friend Ford Perfect (Mos Def), who, it turns out, is actually an alien who has been living on Earth while writing the titular universal guidebook, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. Arthur eventually finds himself aboard the Heart of Gold, a starship piloted by the Galaxy’s president, the eccentric Zaphod Beeblebrox (Sam Rockwell), an Earth woman named Trillian (Zooey Deschanel), and a mopey, depressed robot named Marvin, impeccably voiced by the late, great Alan Rickman. While the movie is not for everyone, it’s full of likable characters and performances, as well as some pretty incredible alien puppets created by Jim Henson’s Creature Shop.     

Carrie (1976)

Carrie
85 %
7.4/10
r 98m
Genre Horror, Thriller
Stars Sissy Spacek, Piper Laurie, Amy Irving
Directed by Brian De Palma
Stephen King’s 1974 book Carrie was his first published novel, and what a way to start things off. Adapted into a screenplay by Lawrence D. Cohen and directed by Brian De Palma, the film version was an instant hit at the box office upon its release in 1976 and is widely regarded as one of the greatest horror films ever made. In a career-changing role for which she received a Best Actress Oscar nomination, Sissy Spacek stars as Carrie White, a 16-year-old high school student with a fanatically religious mother (Piper Laurie) who constantly scorns and smothers her. After Carrie is bullied at school and the students involved are punished with detention, the main perpetrator, Christine (Nancy Allen), and her boyfriend, Billy (John Travolta), plan sinister revenge to embarrass Carrie at the school prom. But Carrie has a supernatural secret of her own, and everyone who’s wronged her is about to find out about it.

Garden State (2004)

Garden State
67 %
7.4/10
r 102m
Genre Comedy, Drama, Romance
Stars Zach Braff, Natalie Portman, Ian Holm
Directed by Zach Braff
Neverminding the fact that the soundtrack for Zach Braff’s directorial debut introduced the world to such great bands as The Shins and Iron & Wine, as well as bringing the late, great Nick Drake’s music to a new audience, Garden State still stands out as one of the best indie films of the early aughts. Braff stars as Andrew “Large” Largeman, a struggling actor in Los Angeles who returns home to New Jersey after his mother dies. As he struggles to reconcile some deep issues with his father, whom he hasn’t spoken to in years, Andrew must learn to forgive himself and retake control of his flailing life so he can move on. And with the help of an old friend, Mark (Peter Sarsgaard), and potential new love Sam (Natalie Portman), Andrew might just find the peace he’s been deprived of for years.

Signs (2002)

Signs
59 %
6.8/10
pg-13 106m
Genre Drama, Thriller, Science Fiction, Mystery
Stars Mel Gibson, Joaquin Phoenix, Rory Culkin
Directed by M. Night Shyamalan
M. Night Shyamalan’s Signs was his third in a string of critical and box-office hits, beginning with 1999’s The Sixth Sense (which is also on this list), and it’s his first film to veer from his usual supernatural-based storytelling and scare the hell out of us with aliens instead. Mel Gibson stars as Graham Hess, a former preacher who’s lost his faith since the death of his wife. Now a farmer in rural Pennsylvania, Graham lives a simple life with his two kids, Morgan (Rory Culkin) and Bo (Abigail Breslin), and his brother, Merrill (Joaquin Phoenix), as they all continue to heal from their loss. Signs‘ slow, creeping build is palpable as it becomes clear that the strange crop circle that’s appeared in Graham’s cornfield and the dark figures spotted lurking around their farm (and the rest of Doylestown) aren’t of this world and could be part of a global extraterrestrial invasion. Put your tinfoil hats on for this one.

Rushmore (1998)

Rushmore
86 %
7.6/10
r 93m
Genre Comedy, Drama
Stars Jason Schwartzman, Bill Murray, Olivia Williams
Directed by Wes Anderson

Jason Schwartzman made his acting debut in this Wes Anderson coming-of-age story as 15-year-old eccentric prep school student Max Fischer, a kid whose laundry list of extracurricular activities (among them, he’s the VP of the Stamp & Coin Club, lacrosse team manager, and the founder of both the Trap & Skeet Club and the Max Fischer Players theater club) is threatening his enrollment in the private Rushmore Academy. When Max meets Herman Blume (Bill Murray), the wealthy father of another student, the pair develop a close friendship. That is until Herman moves in on Max’s crush, the much older first-grade teacher Rosemary Cross (Olivia Williams), whom Max has fallen hard for. From then on, the gloves come off as Max and Herman engage in an all-out revenge war of pranks, slander, and sabotage to win Rosemary’s favor, but at what cost?

The Sixth Sense (1999)

The Sixth Sense
64 %
8.2/10
pg-13 107m
Genre Mystery, Thriller, Drama
Stars Bruce Willis, Haley Joel Osment, Toni Collette
Directed by M. Night Shyamalan
When M. Night Shyamalan’s The Sixth Sense was in theaters in 1999, its competition included Toy Story 2, The Matrix, and a little movie called Star Wars: Episode 1 — The Phantom Menace. No pressure. Shyamalan’s creepy-cool thriller went on to beat all but Phantom Menace at the box office that year (and earn six Oscar nods), perhaps because it had one thing the other films didn’t, something that would become the writer/director’s calling card — that jaw-dropping twist ending. Then 10-year-old newcomer Haley Joel Osment holds his own on-screen as Cole, a boy who can “see dead people.” Bruce Willis stars as Cole’s therapist, Dr. Malcolm Crowe, who, years before, worked with a similar patient (Donnie Wahlberg) who took his own life — a failure Malcolm has never gotten over. Tormented by his visions, Cole begins to open up to Malcolm, but nothing can prepare the good doctor for what he’s about to discover.

Cast Away (2000)

Cast Away
73 %
7.8/10
pg-13 143m
Genre Adventure, Drama
Stars Tom Hanks, Helen Hunt, Chris Noth
Directed by Robert Zemeckis
America’s dad Tom Hanks had already risen from his comedic roots into more important and dramatic fare like PhiladelphiaForrest Gump, Saving Private Ryan, and The Green Mile before taking on the role of everyman Chuck Noland in Cast Away. And if you haven’t seen it, buckle up for some primo Hanks. After being called away from yet another Christmas with his loving girlfriend Kelly (Helen Hunt), the workaholic, jet-setting FedEx operations executive boards a cargo plane that plummets into the south Pacific — gone, without a trace. Chuck miraculously survives the crash and washes up on a deserted island along with some wreckage and a pile of FedEx boxes. An intensely isolating film driven by Hanks’ Oscar-nominated performance, we get to be a fly on the palm tree as Nolan struggles to make fire, survive off the land, and stave off insanity by befriending the now-famous Wilson the volleyball (named after Hanks’ real-life wife, Rita Wilson) while he plans his escape from his tropical prison to get back to Kelly before she moves on for good.

Beasts of the Southern Wild (2012)

Beasts of the Southern Wild
86 %
7.2/10
pg-13 93m
Genre Drama
Stars Quvenzhané Wallis, Dwight Henry, Levy Easterly
Directed by Benh Zeitlin

In this four-time Oscar-nominated adventure drama from writer/director Benh Zeitlin and co-writer Lucy Alibar, adapted from Alibar’s one-act play Juicy and Delicious, a six-year-old girl named Hushpuppy (Quvenzhané Wallis) struggles to survive in the flood-ravaged Louisiana bayou region known as The Bathtub. Her father Wink’s (Dwight Henry) health is ailing and he must teach Hushpuppy how to take care of herself as her overactive imagination leads her to believe that the universe is coming apart and that mythical creatures called aurochs are coming to terrorize them. As a vicious storm approaches and the levees are threatened, Hushpuppy tries to restore the balance between nature and the universe, as well as save her father and her home. Wallis is a wunderkind in the role, and it earned her a Best Actress Academy Award nomination, making her the youngest to do so in history.

Master (2022)

Master
65 %
4.9/10
r 99m
Genre Horror, Thriller, Drama, Mystery
Stars Regina Hall, Zoe Renee, Talia Ryder
Directed by Mariama Diallo

Regina Hall (Nine Perfect StrangersInsecure) stars in this social thriller/horror about an elite New England university that’s as old as the country itself and has just as many dark secrets. Hall plays Gail Bishop, the school’s new headmaster and the first Black person to hold the position. A Black student, Jasmine Moore (Zoe Renee), arrives as a freshman and is soon subjected to anonymous racist attacks that she is convinced are being done by an ancient presence from the school’s past — turns out the school was built on the site of some Salem-era witch trials. As Gail and Jasmine learn to navigate the school’s elite politics and privilege, they uncover the truth about the school and just how tied to its past it really is.

Prometheus (2012)

Prometheus
64 %
7/10
r 124m
Genre Science Fiction, Adventure, Mystery
Stars Noomi Rapace, Michael Fassbender, Charlize Theron
Directed by Ridley Scott
Ridley Scott ended his 30-year hiatus from sci-fi with this visual spectacle in 2012, offering up a sort-of prequel to his 1979 genre-defining film Alien. Taking place 30 years before those events, Prometheus could be construed as a cautionary tale for humanity that perhaps discovering the origins of our species isn’t such a good idea. When scientists Elizabeth Shaw (Noomi Rapace) and Charlie Holloway (Logan Marshall-Green) discover an ancient map on Earth that they think is inviting them to a distant planet to meet our maker, a crew (made up of supporting castmembers Idris Elba, Michael Fassbender, Charlize Theron, and others) traverses the cosmos in the USCSS Prometheus to get there. Upon arrival, their discoveries are, well, not what they’d hoped for. The remnants of an ancient advanced civilization of “Engineers” is found, and their intentions toward humankind — and connection to a certain stomach-bursting, nasty alien — are horrifying.

Chronicle (2012)

Chronicle
69 %
pg-13 84m
Genre Science Fiction, Drama, Thriller
Stars Dane DeHaan, Alex Russell, Michael B. Jordan
Directed by Josh Trank
Could you imagine how much different the MCU would have been if Iron Man, Thor, and Captain America just decided to take a path of evil instead of good? Director Josh Trank’s chilling 2012 sci-fi drama Chronicle is a less-tights-more-jeans-and-backpacks look at what happens when a group of introverted high school friends (played by Dane DeHaan, Michael B. Jordan, and Alex Russell) are bestowed with some serious telekinetic powers after stumbling upon a strange substance in an underground cave one day. At first, it’s all fun and games, as they play pranks on unsuspecting passersby and test their powers moving cars in parking lots. But with great power comes great, er, you know the rest, as the darker side of the boys starts to seep to the surface and they are tested with what’s right and what’s wrong.

Blackfish (2013)

Blackfish
83 %
8.1/10
pg-13 83m
Genre Documentary
Stars Dean Gomersall, Samantha Berg, John Jett
Directed by Gabriela Cowperthwaite
Documentary filmmaking’s power as an agent of awareness and societal change is undeniable, and those making them with passion and determination should be applauded. Gabriela Cowperthwaite’s unsettling but eye-opening documentary, Blackfish, shines a light on the controversial practice of holding killer whales in captivity, highlighting the story of one animal in particular, Tilikum, a performing Orca at SeaWorld Orland, who was responsible for the deaths of three humans between 1991 and 2010. Cowperthwaite’s documentary tracks Tilikum’s life from his capture in the wilds of Iceland (which is recalled with poignant emotion and regret by one of its participants) and advocates that Orcas are intelligent, sentient beings that should not be living in tanks and used for human entertainment. 

Lucy and Desi (2022)

Lucy and Desi
73 %
7.8/10
pg 102m
Genre Documentary
Stars Lucille Ball, Desi Arnaz, Lucie Arnaz
Directed by Amy Poehler
Amy Poehler’s stunning love letter to legendary television power couple Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz digs deep with Poehler gaining access to some never-before-seen footage of the pair to help tell the incredible story of their rise to entertainment royalty. Poehler’s documentary feels as though it’s being narrated by Lucy and Desi themselves, with the help of rare home movies and cassette audiotapes the couple made over the years, and insightful and touching interviews with, among others, their daughter Lucie Arnaz Luckinbill, Desi Arnaz Jr., Norman Lear, Carol Burnett, Charo, and Bette Midler. Lucy and Desi is a timeline of a remarkable legacy that spans from their early days in show business and their marriage, through the transition from radio to TV, the creation and explosive success of I Love Lucy and their production company, Desilu, to their eventual divorce. It even touches on the difficult period in Lucy’s life where she was accused of being a member of the Communist party. And if Poehler’s superb film isn’t enough Lucy and Desi for you, Amazon is also home to Aaron Sorkin’s excellent dramatized film Being the Ricardos, starring Nicole Kidman and Javier Bardem.

Weekend at Bernie's (1989)

Weekend at Bernie's
32 %
6.4/10
pg-13 97m
Genre Comedy, Crime
Stars Andrew McCarthy, Jonathan Silverman, Catherine Mary Stewart
Directed by Ted Kotcheff

Sure, actors like Brando, Denzel, Pacino, and Day-Lewis are thespians of the highest order, commanding audiences with nuclear-strength dramatic skill. It is known. But no one, I mean no one, plays dead like Terry Kiser. In this classic ’80s comedy, Larry (Andrew McCarthy) and Richard (Jonathan Silverman) are two corporate-climbing financial bros desperate to impress their boss, Bernie Lomax (Kiser). When Bernie invites them to his swanky Hamptons beach house for the weekend, the boys see it as their big chance. But things get, um, weird, when Larry and Richard arrive to find Bernie dead, the apparent victim of a mob hit. In an attempt to not let Bernie’s rigor mortise stand in the way of their good time (and not be suspected in his killing) the guys throw a hat and sunglasses on the corpse in a hilariously-morbid marionette act to buy them some time to figure things out. To say that Kiser’s performance is stiff is an understatement but in the best possible way.

Dead Poets Society (1989)

Dead Poets Society
79 %
8.1/10
pg 128m
Genre Drama
Stars Robin Williams, Ethan Hawke, Robert Sean Leonard
Directed by Peter Weir
One of the most emotionally powerful films of the late ’80s, Dead Poets Society has since made its way to the favorite films of all-time lists of many a lad growing up in the era. The Peter Weir-helmed, Oscar-winning film follows the lives of a group of young men at Welton Academy, an elite private boys’ school in Vermont, where the pillars of tradition, honor, excellence, and discipline are strictly followed. It’s 1959, and the boys, most notably Neil (Robert Sean Leonard), Todd (Ethan Hawke), and Knox (Josh Charles), are inspired to carpe diem and think for themselves by their liberal new English teacher, Mr. Keating (Robin Williams). With budding self-confidence, the boys form a secret club called the Dead Poets Society and meet to read poetry and explore their individual self-expression. Things come to a head when Neil, who defies his overbearing father’s wishes by joining the cast of a school play, breaks under the pressure and commits suicide. The final scene is perhaps one of the most moving in film history.

Lincoln (2012)

Lincoln
86 %
7.3/10
pg-13 149m
Genre History, Drama
Stars Daniel Day-Lewis, Sally Field, David Strathairn
Directed by Steven Spielberg
Daniel Day-Lewis’ Best Actor-winning portrayal of America’s 16th president is nothing short of astonishing in this 2012 drama directed by Steven Spielberg. It tells the complex story of Abraham Lincoln as he struggles through the American political process — while the Civil War rages on, no less — to pass the 13th Amendment and end slavery. With a stellar supporting cast that includes Sally Field, James Spader, Tommy Lee Jones, David Strathairn, and Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Lincoln tells the story of a deeply conflicted man trying desperately to stand up for what is right in a divided country that must also face its own conscience.

I Want You Back (2022)

I Want You Back
61 %
6.7/10
r 111m
Genre Comedy, Romance
Stars Jenny Slate, Charlie Day, Scott Eastwood
Directed by Jason Orley
Sometimes a good romantic comedy is just the kind of light fare you need for a chill weekend evening. I Want You Back is a new Amazon Original that checks all the rom-com boxes. Peter (Charlie Day) and Emma (Jenny Slate) are heartbroken strangers who meet when they’ve both just been dumped by their respective partners who have moved on. Down in the dumps, Peter and Emma become friends and commiserate over drinks, which, in pure rom-com fashion, hatches into a scheme to infiltrate and break up their exes’ new relationships and win them back. I Want You Back is a fun, edgy-at-times rom-com of “the love you’re looking for is right in front of your face” variety, but Day and Slate have great on-screen chemistry, and the film’s supporting cast, including Gina Rodriguez, Scott Eastwood, and Pete Davidson, make for a fun ride.    

The Terminator (1984)

The Terminator
84 %
8.1/10
r 108m
Genre Action, Thriller, Science Fiction
Stars Arnold Schwarzenegger, Linda Hamilton, Michael Biehn
Directed by James Cameron
Long before James Cameron sank the Titanic and started dreaming up distant worlds with cool blue warriors fighting off Big Unobtanium, he already had a whole other post-apocalyptic world under his belt with the Terminator franchise. And this is the one that started it all. In a future where artificial intelligence has turned against humanity, sparking an all-out man-versus-machine war, the machines turn to time travel to gain the upper hand. When an unstoppable Terminator cyborg (Arnold Schwarzenegger) is sent back in time from 2029 (doesn’t seem that far away now) to 1984 to preemptively kill Sarah Connor (Linda Hamilton), the mother of future freedom fighter John Connor, the resistance sends one of their own, Kyle Reese (Michael Biehn), to protect Sarah and stop the metal killing machine. This one is classic ’80s sci-fi and shouldn’t be missed.

Train to Busan (2016)

Train to Busan
73 %
7.6/10
r 118m
Genre Action, Horror, Thriller
Stars Gong Yoo, Jung Yu-mi, Ma Dong-seok
Directed by Yeon Sang-ho
Korean horror movies are a special kind of scary. They range from deeply psychological to disturbingly supernatural to freaky monsters and beyond. Train to Busan is unique in that it adds a bullet train to the mix — a bullet train full of zombies. Seok-woo (Gong Yoo) is a businessman and divorced father in Seoul who is attempting to get his young daughter, Soo-an (Su-an Kim), home to her mother in Busan. It’s just a two-hour trip, but when an apocalyptic zombie outbreak starts rapidly spreading across the country, all hell breaks loose. It starts with one infected passenger making it on the train, and before you know it, it’s overrun with flesh-hungry walkers. With passengers quarantined in the front and back cars of the zombie-filled train, Seok-woo, Soo-an, and a handful of other passengers band together to make it to Busan alive — or, rather, un-un-dead.

Hotel Transylvania: Transformania (2022)

Hotel Transylvania: Transformania
46 %
6/10
pg 88m
Genre Animation, Family, Fantasy, Comedy, Adventure
Stars Selena Gomez, Andy Samberg, Kathryn Hahn
Directed by Derek Drymon, Jennifer Kluska
If your kids are fans of the first three of Sony’s hugely popular Hotel Transylvania animated movies, then they’ll find this final installment, which has so far received mixed reviews, just as cute and fun as its predecessors. Originally set for a theatrical release in October of last year, Sony pulled the plug amidst rising COVID-19 cases and sold the distribution rights to Amazon. True to its pedigree of colorful animation, a thumping soundtrack, and punny monster sight gags, Transformania sees its main character, Drac (previously voiced by Adam Sandler, but here taken over by Brian Hull who does a solid impersonation), about to retire and leave the hotel to his daughter Mavis (Selena Gomez) and her human hubby Johnny (Andy Samberg). Things go haywire when Johnny is transformed into a fire-breathing monster while Drac is zapped into human form, and the two must journey into the jungles of South America to find a special crystal to turn them back. As viewers have come to expect from the franchise, Transformania is laced with themes of acceptance and forgiveness in its world where monsters and humans live together despite their differences.

Fargo (1996)

Fargo
85 %
8.1/10
r 98m
Genre Crime, Drama, Thriller
Stars Frances McDormand, William H. Macy, Steve Buscemi
Directed by Joel Coen
In this Coen Brother’s masterpiece that spawned a whole franchise of critically-acclaimed TV seasons, Jerry Lundergaard (William H. Macy) is a sad and miserable car salesman in rural Minnesota who gets the not-so-bright idea of having his wife kidnapped so he can collect the ransom from his wealthy father-in-law. Jerry learns all-too-quickly that the henchmen he enlists — the scheming Carl (Steve Buscemi) and sociopathic Gaear (Peter Stormare) — are complete idiots, and when the plan takes a disastrous turn, Jerry spirals out of control as the sharp-as-a-tack (and pregnant) local police chief Marge Gunderson (Frances McDormand) zeroes in.

Being the Ricardos (2021)

Being the Ricardos
60 %
6.8/10
r 132m
Genre Drama, History
Stars Nicole Kidman, Javier Bardem, J.K. Simmons
Directed by Aaron Sorkin
Lucille Ball remains one of the greatest comediennes of all time. Her sitcom, I Love Lucy, which she created and starred in with her husband Desi Arnaz, aired from 1951 to 1957 and is considered to be one of the most groundbreaking television shows to have ever aired, pioneering production and format techniques still in use today. But I Love Lucy wasn’t all grape-crushing, chocolate-eating gags and fun. In Aaron Sorkin’s week-in-the-life dramatized biopic, we go behind the scenes with Lucy (Nicole Kidman) and Desi (Javier Bardem), on set and in their personal lives, during the production week of an episode of the iconic sitcom as the couple’s personal and professional lives are put to the test, in front of a live studio audience.  

The Usual Suspects (1995)

The Usual Suspects
77 %
8.5/10
r 106m
Genre Drama, Crime, Thriller
Stars Gabriel Byrne, Stephen Baldwin, Kevin Spacey
Directed by Bryan Singer

A film with one of the most compelling twists of all time, director Bryan Singer’s The Usual Suspects is the story of a group of hardened criminals, Hungarian mobsters, and a ghostly mastermind known as Keyser Soze, who may or may not exist. After a docked ship mysteriously explodes in San Pedro Bay killing 27 bad people, one of only two survivors, con artist Roger “Verbal” Kint (Kevin Spacey), recounts the entire story to U.S. Customs agent Dave Kujan (Chazz Palminteri) in an LA police station. Told in flashbacks, Verbal’s story is tall, involves drugs and jewels, and includes his crew of five, including Keaton (Gabriel Byrne), McManus (Stephen Baldwin), Fenster (Benicio Del Toro), and Hockney (Kevin Pollak). “The greatest trick the Devil ever pulled was convincing the world he didn’t exist,” Verbal tells Kujan. But who is Keyser Soze? Is he the Devil? The Usual Suspects will have you asking the same questions.

The Electrical Life of Louis Wain (2021)

The Electrical Life of Louis Wain
63 %
6.8/10
pg-13 111m
Genre Drama, History
Stars Benedict Cumberbatch, Claire Foy, Andrea Riseborough
Directed by Will Sharpe

Based on the true story of turn-of-the-century English artist Louis Wain, whose paintings and illustrations of cats depicted our feline friends with psychedelic colors and imagery that no one had ever seen in the early 1900s, prompting many to believe that Wain suffered from schizophrenia. Benedict Cumberbatch depicts the eccentric artist with power and control, but by his side as Wain descends slowly into madness is the equally-powerful Claire Foy (The Crown) as Wain’s wife Emily. It’s their deep love for one another that helps keep Wain above water during a dark time in Wain’s, and the country’s, life. “How you’ve managed to conjure images of such delight in such a dark time, I don’t know,” Wain’s boss (Toby Jones) at the Illustrated London News tells him. While not a critical darling, The Electrical Life of Louis Wain will definitely add some color to your movie night.

It's a Wonderful Life (1946)

It's a Wonderful Life
8.6/10
pg 130m
Genre Drama, Family, Fantasy
Stars James Stewart, Donna Reed, Lionel Barrymore
Directed by Frank Capra
A classic Christmas movie with an iconic James Stewart performance, It’s a Wonderful Life follows George Bailey (Stewart), a banker in the town of Bedford Falls who is preparing to throw himself off a bridge. An angel named Clarence (Henry Travers) appears to save George, and takes him on a journey through the most important moments in George’s life, showing him all the good things he’s done for other people despite the costs to himself. It’s a Wonderful Life is a charming story about perseverance in the face of an often cruel universe and the value of relationships.

My Name Is Pauli Murray (2021)

My Name Is Pauli Murray
73 %
6.0/10
pg-13 91m
Genre Documentary
Stars Patricia Bell-Scott, Dolores Chandler, Brittney Cooper, Ruth Bader Ginsburg
Directed by Julie Cohen, Betsy West
From the same directing team behind 2018’s Oscar-nominated RBGMy Name Is Pauli Murray is the long-overdue telling of the life and influence of pioneering lawyer, civil and women’s rights activist, poet, and priest Pauli Murray. The film is a tribute to the largely unsung hero, the struggles they faced as a non-binary African American, and the legal contributions they made arguing for gender and race equality, most notably with the passing of the equal protection clause of the 14th Amendment in 1968, which outlawed discrimination based on sex. Murray’s influence on the late Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg is highlighted throughout the documentary, which, like RGB, is destined for Oscar greatness.

The Mad Women's Ball (2021)

The Mad Women's Ball
72 %
6.6/10
121m
Genre Drama, Thriller
Stars Lou de Laâge, Mélanie Laurent, Emmanuelle Bercot
Directed by Mélanie Laurent
The perfect dark and disturbing psychodrama thriller for the coming weather, The Mad Women’s Ball was adapted for the screen by French actress and director Mélanie Laurent, who most will remember as Shoshana, who takes her glorious revenge on the Nazis is Quentin Tarantino’s brilliant Inglorious Basterds. Based on Victoria Mas’s 1977 novel Le bal des folles, the film follows Eugénie (Lou de Laâge), a young woman who is committed to Paris’ Salpêtrière psychiatric hospital in the late 1800s because she can talk to the dead. Laurent plays Geneviève, the Salpêtrière’s head nurse, who bears witness to the dark and often barbaric “treatments” administered by head neurologist Jean-Martin Charcot (Grégoire Bonnet), which include parading the asylum’s female patients out in front of the public in a grotesque “ball.” Luckily for Eugénie and the other “mad women,” Geneviève has different plans. Not for the faint of heart, The Mad Women’s Ball is a chilling but satisfying watch.

Everybody's Talking About Jamie (2021)

Everybody's Talking About Jamie
62 %
6.2/10
pg-13 115m
Genre Music, Drama, Comedy
Stars Max Harwood, Sarah Lancashire, Lauren Patel
Directed by Jonathan Butterell
If you’re in need of a fun, fabulous, feel-good movie this weekend, this West End stage play-turned-feature film will likely have you not just off the couch, but setting up a runway in your living room. Originally based on Jenny Popplewell’s popular TV movie, Jamie: Drag Queen at 16, this Amazon Original Movie is an adaptation of the stage musical from the same team – director James Butterell, composer Dan Gillespie, and lyricist Tom McRae. Sixteen-year-old Sheffield high schooler Jamie New (Max Harwood) has big dreams of becoming a drag queen. And while his chosen path is unconventional and even frowned upon by his classmates, his own father (Ralph Ineson), and the locals, Jamie gets nothing but support from his loving mum (Sarah Lancashire), best friend, Pritti (Lauren Patel), and old drag legend Miss Loco Chanelle (Richard E. Grant), who agrees to teach Jamie all he knows about drag. Full of big, bold, and colorful musical numbers (there’s a lot of dancing on desks going on), if Everybody’s Talking About Jamie doesn’t help you shake off the fall funk, you may want to check your pulse.

Annette (2021)

Annette
67 %
6.4/10
r 140m
Genre Drama, Romance, Music
Stars Adam Driver, Marion Cotillard, Simon Helberg
Directed by Leos Carax
If you’re among the multitude of people whining that everything’s been done before or that remakes and re-imaginings are all anyone does anymore, then for that reason alone, Annette is worth a try. We’re not saying you’re going to like it. The critics seem to be pretty divided on this one, with many praising it for its originality, while others call it too odd for its own good. But risky performances from two Hollywood greats, Oscar-winner Marion Cotillard and the twice-nominated Adam Driver, make Annette already worth the price of your Prime membership. With a story and original music (yes, it’s a rock opera with lots of singing, so buckle up) written by Ron and Russell Mael of the quirky ’80s pop band Sparks (who are kind of having a moment right now with the Edgar Wright documentary about them, The Sparks Brothers), Annette follows the love journey of a most unlikely couple, Henry (Driver), a harsh stand-up comedian, and Ann (Cotillard), a beautiful and world-famous opera singer, whose lives in the spotlight are rocked with the arrival of their daughter, Annette, who has mysterious abilities. Intrigued?
Image: https://www.amazon.com/gp/video/detail/B093K9VTV5/ref=atv_dp_share_cu_r

Val (2021)

Val
73 %
7.7/10
r 109m
Genre Documentary
Stars Val Kilmer, Jack Kilmer, Mercedes Kilmer
Directed by Leo Scott, Ting Poo
Whether the Val Kilmer in your mind’s eye is him in some of his iconic roles like Top Gun‘s Iceman, The Doors‘ Jim Morrison, or Batman Forever‘s caped crusader, or you kept up with the ’80s heartthrob into his later, quieter career for films such as Kiss, Kiss, Bang, Bang and beyond, one thing is for sure — you’ve never seen Val Kilmer like this. Fascinating and often heart-wrenching, Val is an Amazon Original autobiographical documentary assembled by the actor and directors Leo Scott and Ting Poo from more than 40 years of home video recordings Kilmer obsessively took throughout his life and career — including behind-the-scenes footage with Tom Cruise, Sean Penn, Kevin Bacon, and more. Now in his ’60s and recovering from throat cancer surgery that has left him with the need to speak through a voice box on his trachea, Kilmer’s doc is a deep look inward at his life, his rise and fall from fame, his personal triumphs and failures, and, ultimately, his coming to terms with all of it.

The Tomorrow War (2021)

The Tomorrow War
45 %
6.6/10
pg-13 138m
Genre Action, Science Fiction, Adventure
Stars Chris Pratt, Yvonne Strahovski, J.K. Simmons
Directed by Chris McKay
In what should have brought audiences to the theater in droves, this end-of-the-world action-adventure from one of the guys behind The Lego Movie (Chris McKay) is getting the Amazon Original treatment because of that pandemic thing we’ve all been dealing with. But don’t let that fool you — there’s enough explosive action here to impress even in your living room. The Tomorrow War is kind of a Terminator in reverse, where instead of forces from a future war coming to battle it out in the present, this time, the good guys fighting an alien invasion in 2051 come back in time to recruit soldiers and civilians to join the fight in the future before humankind is wiped out. Chris Pratt stars as Dan Forester, a high school teacher with some serious gun skills who is among the recruits crossing time to save the world.

Pinocchio (2019)

Pinocchio
6 %
6.2/10
pg-13 125m
Genre Fantasy, Adventure, Drama
Stars Federico Ielapi, Roberto Benigni, Marine Vacth
Directed by Matteo Garrone
Italian author Carlo Collodi’s classic children’s story dates back to 1881, and since then, it’s been reimagined and adapted countless times in print, on television, for the stage, and in film — perhaps most notably in Disney’s 1940 animated movie. With this most recently released feature version, Italian filmmakers Matteo Garrone and Massimo Ceccherini use live-action, stunning CGI, and some pretty fantastic costumes and makeup to once again tell the tale of a lonely carpenter, Gepetto (Roberto Benigni), who creates a wooden boy puppet who magically comes to life. Pinocchio‘s universal themes of perseverance through adversity, honesty, and redemption ring true in Garrone’s adaptation as well, as the boy puppet heads out into the film’s bizarre world of animal tricksters, blue fairies, and gigantic fish to learn the lessons he needs to get back to Gepetto and realize his dream of becoming a real boy.

The Map of Tiny Perfect Things (2021)

The Map of Tiny Perfect Things
61 %
6.8/10
pg-13 99m
Genre Fantasy, Romance
Stars Kathryn Newton, Kyle Allen, Jermaine Harris
Directed by Ian Samuels
Heavily in line with the time-loop movies that this cute coming-of-age romantic comedy itself references, The Map of Tiny Perfect Things is like Groundhog Day or Edge of Tomorrow (without all the death and aliens) for a new generation. Mark (Kyle Allen) is your typical teenager trying to figure life out, except that he seems to be the only one aware that he’s living the same day over and over again — he argues with his dad over his future, plays video games with his clueless best friend, and, like Bill Murray’s Phil Connors, learns the routine so well he can do little things like rescue folks from their everyday annoyances. Mark seems content in his loop, and then he meets Margaret (Kathryn Newton), who, as if fate planned it, is also stuck in the same unremarkable day. Now with something more to live for, the pair revel in their predicament and, of course, fall for each other. Written by The Magicians author Lev Grossman, The Map of Tiny Perfect Things is a sweet exploration of youth and the fear that comes with taking that leap of faith to get out of our own ruts and move forward with life.

Sylvie's Love (2020)

Sylvie's Love
74 %
6.8/10
pg-13 114m
Genre Drama, Romance
Stars Tessa Thompson, Nnamdi Asomugha, Aja Naomi King
Directed by Eugene Ashe
Can we all just agree that Tessa Thompson is great in just about everything she’s in? Alright, then. In this dreamy period melodrama by Eugene Ashe, Thompson plays Sylvie, an aspiring television producer in late ’50s-early ’60s New York. While working in her dad’s record shop, Sylvie meets Robert (Nnamdi Asomugha), a talented up-and-coming jazz saxophonist with big dreams of his own. Robert takes a job in the store and the two begin a friendship that blossoms into love, despite Sylvie having a fiancé who is away at war. But as Robert’s career begins to take off and Sylvie is torn between her own ambitions and obligations, the two go their separate ways … for a little while, anyway. The pair eventually meet again, with Sylvie, having overcome many of the struggles of the era’s racism and women’s rights obstacles to become a successful TV producer, and Robert’s career skyrocketing. Is the love still there? Can and will they pick up where they left off? Sylvie’s Love is a refreshing take on the over-done love-conquers-all trope and is a romantic must-watch.

One Night in Miami... (2020)

One Night in Miami...
83 %
7.1/10
r 114m
Genre Drama
Stars Kingsley Ben-Adir, Eli Goree, Aldis Hodge
Directed by Regina King
In actress Regina King’s excellent directorial debut, she takes Kemp Powers’ screenplay of his own stage play and turns it into a riveting drama. One Night in Miami is a fictionalized ponderance of a real-life meeting that happened in Miami Beach in 1964 in which famous friends Cassius Clay (Eli Goree), who earlier that night just beat Sonny Liston for the world championship, Malcolm X (Kingsley Ben -Adir), singer Sam Cooke (Leslie Odom Jr.), and football star Jim Brown (Aldis Hodge) gathered to enjoy each other’s company, debate, and discuss their roles in affecting change in Black America. Each star holds his own portraying such cultural heavyweights, and the film mixes beautifully shot sequences of their individual lives and achievements with fly-on-the-wall ensemble scenes that give you a sense of what it might have been like being in the room with these icons.

Herself (2020)

Herself
70 %
7.0/10
r 97m
Genre Drama
Stars Clare Dunne, Molly McCann, Ruby Rose O'Hara
Directed by Phyllida Lloyd
Get ready for a tear-jerker of a drama that’s full of both pain and beautiful redemption in this Amazon Original film that won the Human Rights Film Award at last year’s Dublin International Film Festival. Actress Clare Dunne, who co-wrote the film with Shameless U.K. writer Malcolm Campbell, is Sandra, a mother of two in Dublin who, after escaping her abusive husband, finds herself on the cusp of homelessness. Told with care and often intense reality by The Iron Lady director Phyllida Lloyd, Sandra eschews Ireland’s bureaucratic social housing system and decides to try to build her own house DIY-style — all she needs is a bit of land. As Sandra’s friends and strangers alike pitch in to help rebuild (literally) her life, it’s hard not to get swept up in this touchingly unique story.

Sound of Metal (2020)

Sound of Metal
82 %
7.8/10
r 121m
Genre Drama, Music
Stars Riz Ahmed, Olivia Cooke, Paul Raci
Directed by Darius Marder
Sound of Metal doesn’t mess around, getting straight to the intense and terrifying moments that Ruben (Riz Ahmed), a drummer in a heavy metal duo with his girlfriend (the wonderful Olivia Cooke), starts to lose his hearing. It’s the little things we take for granted that director/screenwriter Darius Marder zeroes in on in the film’s opening minutes — the excruciating silence of a blender, the subtle drip of percolating coffee, or the shushing spray of a showerhead — all gone. But Sound of Metal isn’t about deafness, it’s a story about change and the journey we must take to embrace it, as Ruben enters a facility to help him learn to live with his deafness while also avoiding a relapse into his old life of drug abuse. It’s a beautiful film about life-changing loss and redemption and shouldn’t be missed.

I'm Your Woman (2020)

I'm Your Woman
63 %
6.2/10
r 120m
Genre Drama, Crime
Stars Rachel Brosnahan, Marsha Stephanie Blake, Arinzé Kene
Directed by Julia Hart
Premiering in October at this year’s virtual edition of AFI Fest, this gritty 1970s-era crime drama features Mrs. Maisel as you’ve never seen her before. The marvelous Rachel Brosnahan trades swing dresses and handbags for bellbottoms and handguns in I’m Your Woman, playing Jean, the bored suburban housewife of Eddie (Bill Heck), a hustler and thief with some shady associates. Jean learns just how shady when Eddie shows up one night with an infant, declaring “he’s our baby,” and then disappears a couple of days later, triggering a series of events that has Jean terrified, confused, and on the run from gun-toting henchmen. Jean’s only respite from the madness is Cal (British-Nigerian actor Arinzé Kene), who shepherds Jean and baby to a safe house where his wife, Teri (Marsha Stephanie Blake), and father, Art (Frankie Faison), teach her how to navigate her new life on the lam. Dripping with ’70s style, loud wardrobe choices, boat-sized cars, and a groovy Motown soundtrack, I’m Your Woman is a great way to time-warp out of your daily grind.

Borat Subsequent Moviefilm (2020)

Borat Subsequent Moviefilm
68 %
6.6/10
r 96m
Genre Comedy
Stars Sacha Baron Cohen, Maria Bakalova, Tom Hanks
Directed by Jason Woliner
There are very few performers in the world who can switch gears so expertly as Sacha Baron Cohen. Comedian, actor, and activist, in the last two years, Cohen has navigated the roles of famous Israeli spy Eli Cohen in The Spy and American “Yippy” activist Abby Hoffman in The Trial of the Chicago 7 (both on Netflix). But perhaps his greatest role of all is Borat. Cohen’s clueless reporter from Kazakhstan is back for another go at America in this sequel to 2006’s Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan. After spending 14 years in prison, Borat is released not only to find that he has a daughter, Tutar (Bulgarian actress Maria Bakalova), but that he must return to the U.S. to redeem the reputation of his homeland by gifting the feral Tutar to Mike Pence. Along the way, Cohen, of course, resumes his pranking of Trump-era America, but with his cover mostly blown from the first film, much of the task lands on the brilliant Bakalova, who delivers some bewilderingly-awkward situations and poignant political skewering.

Chi-Raq (2015)

Chi-Raq
77 %
5.8/10
r 127m
Genre Drama, Crime, Comedy
Stars Nick Cannon, Teyonah Parris, Wesley Snipes
Directed by Spike Lee
Aristophanes’ classic Greek comedy Lysistrata gets a modern update in this 2015 film directed by Spike Lee. The film follows a group of women who decide to withhold sex from their partners until they agree to curb the gang violence plaguing their Chicago neighborhood. Told in a mixture of music and verse, the film stars Nick Cannon, Wesley Snipes, Teyonah Parris, Jennifer Hudson, Angela Bassett, John Cusack, and Samuel L. Jackson.

Honey Boy (2019)

Honey Boy
73 %
7.3/10
r 94m
Genre Drama
Stars Shia LaBeouf, Lucas Hedges, Noah Jupe
Directed by Alma Har'el
Shia LaBeouf’s debut script is directed by Alma Har’el and follows the life of child actor Otis Lort as he rises through young success to self-destructive Hollywood star. Navigating fame and his abusive, alcoholic father proves to be next to impossible as their contentious relationship crumbles across the course of a decade. LaBeouf also stars in this semiautobiographical tale that draws from his experience with his father.

The Handmaiden (2016)

The Handmaiden
84 %
8.1/10
145m
Genre Thriller, Drama, Romance
Stars Kim Min-hee, Kim Tae-ri, Ha Jung-woo
Directed by Park Chan-wook
From Korean director Park Chan-wook, award-winning director of OldboyThe Handmaiden is an intense, pulse-pounding crime drama set in the early 1900s during the Japanese occupation of Korea. The film follows two women — a young Japanese lady on a secluded estate, and the Korean woman who is hired as her new handmaiden. Little does the former know, though, that the latter is conspiring with a con man to defraud the woman out of her inheritance.

You Were Never Really Here (2017)

You Were Never Really Here
84 %
6.8/10
r 89m
Genre Thriller, Drama
Stars Joaquin Phoenix, Judith Roberts, Ekaterina Samsonov
Directed by Lynne Ramsay
This Amazon Original was nominated for four 2019 Independent Spirit Awards, including Best Feature and Best Actor (Joaquin Phoenix). Phoenix stars as a traumatized veteran who harnesses his trauma into hunting down missing girls for a living. However, as his nightmares begin to overtake him and he continues to get in over his head, he begins to uncover a conspiracy that threatens to destroy or save him, depending on the paths he takes.

Cold War (2018)

Cold War
90 %
7.6/10
r 89m
Genre Drama
Stars Joanna Kulig, Tomasz Kot, Borys Szyc
Directed by Pawel Pawlikowski
Paweł Pawlikowski’s gorgeous historical drama Cold War follows Wiktor (Tomasz Kot) and Zula (Joanna Kulig), a music director and singer respectively, who meet and fall in love in Poland after the end of World War II. As the years drag on and the Soviet grip over Eastern Europe tightens, the two drift across borders, in and out of each other’s lives. Their turbulent romance, set against a backdrop of paranoia and repression, is messy but moving. Filmed in stark black and white, Cold War is a beautiful film full of masterfully composed shots.

The Big Sick (2017)

The Big Sick
86 %
7.5/10
r 120m
Genre Comedy, Drama, Romance
Stars Kumail Nanjiani, Zoe Kazan, Holly Hunter
Directed by Michael Showalter
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 that was one of Digital Trends’ favorite movies of 2019 and helped score Nanjiani and Gordon their own Apple TV+ show. The movie begins with Kumail (playing a loosely fictionalized version of 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.

Blow the Man Down (2019)

Blow the Man Down
72 %
6.4/10
r 90m
Genre Drama, Mystery, Comedy
Stars Morgan Saylor, Sophie Lowe, Margo Martindale
Directed by Danielle Krudy, Bridget Savage Cole
Blow the Man Down is a dark comedy and a hidden gem that arrived on Amazon Prime under the radar earlier this year. Morgan Saylor and Sophie Lowe co-headline the film as feuding sisters Mary Beth and Priscilla Connolly, respectively. When Mary Beth kills a man who tried to harm her, Priscilla decides that blood is thicker than water and she helps her sister cover up the evidence. Unfortunately for the Connolly sisters, secrets are hard to keep in a small town, and they never quite know who they can trust. Margo Martindale also has a terrific supporting turn as Enid Nora Devlin, a local brothel owner who may know too much.

Paterson (2016)

Paterson
90 %
7.4/10
r 118m
Genre Comedy, Drama, Romance
Stars Adam Driver, Golshifteh Farahani, Barry Shabaka Henley
Directed by Jim Jarmusch
The stakes aren’t particularly high for Paterson the film. But for Paterson himself, they’re everything. Adam Driver stars as the title character, a man who works as a bus driver. But in reality, Paterson is a poet who hasn’t learned to fully accept that aspect of himself. The entire movie takes place over the course of a week, and we see the daily routine of both Paterson and his wife, Laura (Golshifteh Farahani). But when the pattern breaks and misfortune strikes, it will take a minor miracle to get Paterson back on the right track.

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