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3 underrated Amazon Prime Video movies you should watch this weekend (June 7-9)

5 men look at a woman in Beautiful Girls.
Miramax

By now, we’ve reached the point in the year when the kids are all on summer vacation, and some adults have gotten a break from their summer work schedule. Movies are a good way to pass the time, and streaming has tons of options to choose from.

One of the top streamers, Amazon Prime Video, has almost every movie from every genre and time period. Too many options is a good problem to have, and fortunately, we’ve created a short list of underrated movies to watch this weekend. From an ’80s classic coming-of-age drama to a zany comedy starring one of TV’s best comedic actors, these movies are guaranteed to pull you away from those swimming pools and pickup basketball games occurring outside.

St. Elmo’s Fire (1985)

A man and a woman talk in St. Elmo's Fire.
Columbia Pictures

On June 13, Hulu will premiere the new documentary Brats, which depicts the quick rise and even faster fall of the Brat Pack, a group of 1980s actors that included Rob Lowe, Demi Moore, Molly Ringwald, and more. The key image for that doc, and the defining movie for that group, is from St. Elmo’s Fire, a 1985 drama that was a big hit and a critical dud. Almost 40 years later, time has been kinder to the movie, which has a bittersweetness to it that wasn’t apparent the first time around.

The film follows seven college graduates as they navigate young adulthood in or around Washington, D.C. They laugh, they hang out, some do drugs, some sleep around, and at least one nearly dies. As directed by future Batman Forever filmmaker Joel Schumacher, St. Elmo’s Fire never gets too serious, and it’s packaged well with bright visuals and a very ’80s soundtrack. (You’ll be humming Man in Motion long after the credits have rolled.) Moore and co-star Mare Winningham leave the best impression as the party girl and the mousy one, respectively, and the movie ends up being a trippy time capsule of a decade dominated by excess and superficiality. The movie is almost all style, but in this case, that’s not a bad thing.

St. Elmo’s Fire is streaming on Prime Video.

Stay Tuned (1992)

Two people are trapped in chairs in Stay Tuned.
Warner Bros.

It’s been over 20 years since John Ritter has passed away, and his legacy still revolves around his time on the hit ’70s TV show Three’s Company. While the actor became famous as a TV star, he built a solid body of work in film, too, and in Stay Tuned, he had a rare leading role that showed off his comedic talents.

Now, don’t get me wrong, Stay Tuned is really silly. The premise is out-there: Couch potato Roy and his aggravated wife Helen get sucked into their TV due to a satanic satellite dish set up by, er, the devil. In this hellish TV world, Roy and Helen must survive lethal parodies of popular TV shows (including a nod to Ritter’s famous sitcom) to get back to Earth. I told you it was silly, but it’s also really entertaining, in a slightly guilty pleasure kind of way. Ritter’s manic energy sells the ridiculous concept, and Jeffrey Jones, as the devil, has a good time being evil across 1,000 channels.

Stay Tuned is streaming on Amazon Prime Video.

Beautiful Girls (1996)

A man and a child smile in Beautiful Girls.
Miramax

Natalie Portman’s been a star since she was barely a child, and one of her early notable roles was in 1996’s Beautiful Girls, an ensemble comedy-drama that starred every ’90s character actor working that year. Portman plays Marty, the next-door neighbor to Willie (Timothy Hutton), who returns to his hometown in Massachusetts to attend his 10-year high school reunion.

Once there, he reconnects with old friends and lovers, and muses on his own present problems, which include deciding to marry his longtime girlfriend and giving up his music career for something more stable. Beautiful Girls doesn’t break any new ground, but its talented cast, which includes Matt Dillon, Uma Thurman, Mira Sorvino, and Rosie O’Donnell, make the movie seem fresh. Portman is, of course, enchanting, and steals the spotlight the few minutes she pops up in the movie.

Beautiful Girls is streaming on Prime Video.

Editors' Recommendations

Jason Struss
Section Editor, Entertainment
Jason is a writer, editor, and pop culture enthusiast whose love for cinema, television, and cheap comic books has led him to…
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