As we head into July, Amazon Prime Video has re-upped its movie offerings with a pack of new titles to choose from when you’re hunkering down inside to avoid the heat or taking advantage of the beautiful summer air for a backyard movie night. Whatever you’re in the mood for — be it a bizarre documentary about the American Dream coming crashing down in The Queen of Versailles, classic Russell Crowe action with Gladiator, or just wacky British comedy with Hot Fuzz — this is just the start of what the best movies on Amazon Prime look like for the month.
You really can’t go wrong when the top-billed cast of the comedy you’re watching is Will Ferrell, Paul Rudd, Steve Carell, and David Koechner. In this sequel to 2004’s Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy, Ron (Ferrell) and his dimwitted news team are back in the spotlight after making a splash on New York’s first 24-hour news channel, GNN. But Ron’s got problems: His marriage to Veronica Corningstone (Christina Applegate) is on the rocks after she, again, one-ups him for a prestigious anchor position on the nightly news, and his ego is so bruised he’s neglecting their son; he’s got stiff competition from the dashing Jack Lime (James Marsden); and he goes blind. All in a day’s work for Ron Burgundy.
Regina Hall (Nine Perfect Strangers, Insecure) 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.
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.
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.
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