The 20 Best Movies On Amazon Prime Video [Viewer’s Guide]

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There may be nothing quite so existential as surfing through hundreds of movie choices only to find yourself overwhelmed and unable to decide on anything.

But fear not, friends. Amazon Prime Video may have a giant film library, but with our help, you won’t get lost down the streaming rabbit hole.

To that end, we’ve gathered a collection of the 20 best movies you can watch right now. From comedies to thrillers and coming of age movies, there’s a little something for everyone.

Here’s your go-to list when you’re ready to get cozy on the couch and watch something really great without all the painful scrolling.

1. The Farewell (2019)

Lulu Wang’s touching and funny portrait of an Asian American family stars rapper turned actress Awkwafina. Her character Billi, an unemployed writer, finds out from her parents that her grandmother has terminal cancer. The twist is that everyone but her grandmother knows.

When Billi travels to China, she experiences conflicting emotions as she is forced to keep the secret at the family reunion and final “farewell.”

Artfully directed, Wang’s sensitive handling of cross-cultural confusion is beautifully human, funny and poignant.

Rent or Buy The Farewell 

2. Fighting With My Family (2019)

Based on the life story of Paige, a star in the real world of wrestling, this feel-good comedy will hook you in whether you’re a fan of the sport or not. At its center is a captivating performance by Florence Pugh (Little Women, Midsommar).

The film follows Paige and her family of wrestling fanatics as her career grows from small-town venues to the international stage. As an extra special treat, the terrific ensemble cast includes Dwayne Johnson and Vince Vaughn.

Whatever your stance on wrestling is, this heartwarming film will knock you out with its charm and wit.

Rent or Buy Fighting with My Family 

3. A Quiet Place (2018)

Surprisingly, this gripping sci-fi thriller was written and directed by funnyman John Krasinski and co-stars his wife, Emily Blunt.

Set in a future where terrifying aliens hunt their prey by sound, the only way to survive is by never making noise. Not an easy task when raising a family especially when there’s a baby on the way.

The tension is masterfully built as the family prepares for the imminent birth. Just be sure not to choke on your popcorn at the climax. An impressive directorial feat by Krasinski, this apocalyptic thriller will keep your heart rate in the aerobic zone.

Rent or Buy A Quiet Place 

Related: 11 Of The Best HBO Series [What’s Binge-Worthy Right Now]

4. The Report (2019)

A tense political thriller in the vein of All the President’s Men, The Report follows the Senate’s inquiry into the CIA’s use of torture after the events of 911. Adam Driver delivers a masterful performance as the lead investigator that uncovers the shockingly inhumane acts.

Eye-opening and maddening, this real-life thriller doesn’t need any bells or whistles to keep you completely engrossed.

Rent or Buy The Report

5. The Big Sick (2017)

This endearing romance is based on the real-life story of Kumail Nanjiani (Silicon Valley) and his wife, Emily Gordon.

When a Pakistani comic falls in love with a heckler from one of his shows, he’s forced to hide the relationship from his parents, who are bent on arranging his marriage with a nice Muslim girl.

As if that wasn’t complicated enough, Emily falls into a coma with a mysterious disease. As she lingers in the hospital for weeks, Nanjiani forms a relationship with her parents (Ray Romano and Holly Hunter).

Although it sounds like the stuff of a soap opera, The Big Sick is a heartwarming romance about love and family. And trust us, you’ll feel better after.

Rent or Buy The Big Sick 

6. Mission Impossible: Fall Out (2018)

There’s a reason this movie franchise has been around so long. Simply put, it has some of the best damn action sequences around and Tom Cruise is obsessed with pulling off perfect stunts.

Fall Out is the first time that a director has returned to Mission Impossible. Christopher Quarrie delivered an impeccable installment with Rogue Nation and more than lives up to expectations with Fall Out.

This time around we peek beneath the surface of Cruise’s super spy persona when a Mission fails and he has to rally his forces to make up lost ground. Just how far will he go to make up for his mistakes? Impossibly far, of course.

Rent or Buy Mission Impossible: Fall Out 

7. Meru (2015)

Meru is a documentary, but this mountain climbing film is the stuff that great movies are made of. As three determined climbers attempt to climb this daunting peak in the Himalayas, they are met with setbacks that most people don’t recover from. But these athletes aren’t most people.

Their exploits, along with the spectacular scenery, are nothing short of jaw-dropping. This is an expedition that will have you on the edge of your sofa as it explores the seemingly impossible limits that humans are able to overcome.

Rent or Buy Meru

8. Late Night (2019)

This charming comedy stars Emma Thompson as a late night talk show host whose ratings are slipping. In an attempt to get her game back, she hires a young woman (Mindy Kaling) and throws her into a lion’s den of seasoned and cynical comedy writers.

Kaling delivers an endearing performance as a naive newcomer that faces plenty of obstacles as the staff tries to turn the show and the ratings around. Together with the always impressive acting skills of Thompson, Late Night is a sweet and surprising treat.

Rent or Buy Late Night

9. The Cabin In the Woods (2012)

And then there are the times you just feel like being scared to death. When five friends head off to a lonely cabin in the woods, they discover that they’ve been set up to participate in a ritualistic sacrifice.

Cabin in the Woods delivers both bone-chilling thrills and dark laughs as it serves up the teen horror genre with plenty of twists. Bonus points: Chris Hemsworth shows up as part of the doomed ensemble cast before he became the mighty Thor.

Rent or Buy The Cabin in the Woods 

10. The Last Black Man in San Francisco (2019)

First time director Joe Talbot delivers a richly woven and poignant film about a young man’s attempt to reclaim his childhood home in a now gentrified San Francisco neighborhood.

The story is partially based on the life of its star, actor and writer Jimmie Fails. His beautiful performance is equaled by that of Jonathan Majors, who plays his best friend. As they attempt to reclaim a legacy, their determination and emotional bonds are put to the test.

Moving and thoughtful, the film explores how our past is deeply tied to our sense of belonging.

Rent or Buy The Last Black Man in San Francisco 

11. Brittany Runs a Marathon (2019)

This transformation film doesn’t run the typical course of most Hollywood makeover movies, which is precisely what makes it so great.

When overweight ne’er-do-well Brittany starts to hit rock bottom, she decides to run a marathon to lose weight and change her life. But it turns out to be a decidedly difficult road as she slowly discovers that change has to come just as much from the inside as it does from the outside.

Awkward, sweet and funny at once, Brittainy’s character is relatable and all too human. You’ll find yourself rooting for her as she overcomes both emotional and physical hurdles with some hilarious and cringe-worthy detours.

Rent or Buy Brittany Runs a Marathon 

12. First Reformed (2018)

A feel-good film it is not. Still, it’s hard not to get pulled into this taught psychological thriller featuring a stunning performance from Ethan Hawke.

In it he plays a priest who falls down an emotional rabbit hole after counseling a suicidal man whose sense of doom about the earth’s future spreads to him like an infectious disease.

Directed and written by Paul Schrader (Raging Bull, Taxi Driver), this masterful piece of filmmaking is as gripping as it is bleak.

Rent or Buy First Reformed 

13. Moonstruck (1987)

It’s been over three decades since Cher won the Academy Award for her role in this delightful romantic comedy, but this rom-com still holds up.

Cher plays Loretta, an unlucky-in-love accountant who falls in love with her fiance’s estranged brother (played by Nicolas Cage).

Though she and Cage have plenty of chemistry, it’s the writing and ensemble of incredible character actors that make this film a classic.

With hilarious performances from Vincent Gardenia, Olympia Dukakis and Danny Aiello, this movie about romance, life and family in an Italian American neighborhood will keep you laughing as you learn the true meaning of amore.

Rent or Buy Moonstruck 

14. Midsommar (2019)

Florence Pugh (Fighting With My Family, Little Women) stars as an emotionally traumatized woman who heads out of the country with her clueless boyfriend in an attempt to recover.

Instead of a healing vacation, she finds herself in the midst of a terrifying pagan ritual. Um, shock therapy, maybe?

Masterfully written and directed, Midsommar is as darkly funny as it is disturbing. Be prepared for the summer from hell.

Rent or Buy Midsommar 

15. Lady Bird (2017)

This award winning coming of age film was Greta Gerwig’s (Little Women) directorial debut. In it, Saoirse Ronan plays an out of step high school senior who insists on going by the name Lady Bird.

There’s plenty of humor as she stumbles and bumbles through school, love and friendship. But at the heart of the film is a conflicted and loving relationship she has with her mother, played brilliantly by Laurie Metcalf.

Offbeat, heart wrenching and ultimately uplifting, Lady Bird is a refreshingly honest look at the pitfalls of being a teenager.

Rent or Buy Lady Bird

16. A Simple Favor (2018) 

This tense and stylish mystery features a couple of terrific performances from Blake Lively and Anna Kendrick. Kendrick plays Stephanie, a single mother who agrees to take care of her free-spirited friend’s kid. But when Emily (Lively) goes missing, everything starts to go sideways in this apparently perfect neighborhood.

Filled with twists, turns and plenty of dark humor, A Simple Favor is simply great entertainment.

Rent or Buy A Simple Favor

17. Eighth Grade (2018)

This refreshingly honest coming of age story follows Kayla (Elsie Fisher) during her last week of junior high. Normally a loner, she spends most of her time making youtube videos. But when she ends up at a middle school pool party, she drops her self-defensive stance and immediately crumbles before the terrors of peer pressure.

Eighth Grade is an awkwardly funny and heartfelt portrayal of the angst and cringe-worthy moments that teenagers somehow have to cope with as they transition into the confusing world of near adulthood.

Rent or Buy Eighth Grade 

18. Hereditary (2018)

This truly frightening debut from Ari Aster (Midsommar) focuses on a grieving family who is terrorized by a supernatural menace.

After yet another tragedy strikes the already disintegrating family, they begin to descend into madness.  You’ll be sucked into their agony as each misstep they take pulls them deeper into a seemingly inescapable nightmare.

Superbly crafted, shot and acted, Hereditary will haunt you long after it’s over. Definitely see it with someone you can hold onto.

Rent or Buy Hereditary 

19. Up in the Air (2009)

And then there are the times you just need a little Clooney. Frequent business flyer Ryan Bingham (George Clooney) likes to travel light both physically and emotionally. He’s a corporate downsizer who crisscrosses the country racking up as many affairs as he does miles.

But when he meets his frequent flyer match, he begins to question the meaning of his no-commitment lifestyle. The question is will he finally come in for landing and or remain forever untethered?

Rent or Buy Up in the Air 

20. Some Like It Hot (1959)

This classic farce stars Tony Curtis and Jack Lemmon, a couple of musicians who are forced to go into hiding when they accidentally witness the St. Valentine’s Day massacre. Their solution to escape the mob? Join an all girl’s band that’s going on tour in Florida. In DRAG.

Once on the road, they start to compete for the affections of saxophone player Sugar, embodied by the curvaceous Marilyn Monroe. It’s a complicated task, especially since they spend most of their time in heels and makeup.

Yes, it sounds ridiculous. But in the hands of master director Billy Wilder and with the deft comic skills of all three actors, this all-time classic is a must see for real movie lovers.

Rent or Buy Some Like it Hot 

You might also be interested in: 18 Nostalgic Movies [That You Need to Share With Your Kids]

Sherry De Alba

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