The 15 best films coming to Prime Video in November 2022

(from left) Val Kilmer in The Doors; Michael B. Jordan in Fruitvale Station; Harry Styles in My Policeman
(from left) Val Kilmer in The Doors; Michael B. Jordan in Fruitvale Station; Harry Styles in My Policeman

Thanksgiving and November in general marks the official start of the holiday season (Halloween got dissed), and that means lots of gathering of family and friends. No matter how you celebrate, it’s always nice to circle up around some home entertainment, and Amazon Prime has got some delicious plans on its menu—including indies, oldies, franchises, and many courses in between.

Black Rain (November 1)

BLACK RAIN - Trailer - (1989) - HQ

The great Sir Ridley Scott went neo-noir alongside then-cinematographer Jan De Bont in 1989 with Black Rain, an adaptation of Shōhei Imamura’s Japanese film of the same name. Michael Douglas plays NYPD officer Nick Conklin, who lands on Internal Affairs’ radar due to some shady dealings by his former partner. In an admittedly kind of flimsy turn of events, Nick ends up escorting a dangerous Japanese mafioso back to Japan where he is to stand trial. Because this ain’t no meet cute rom-com, the plot thickens from there, and audiences are left wondering what side Conklin is on as the tension ratchets. The film was a huge hit due to Scott’s compelling visuals and Douglas’ ’80s stardom; it was also the final film of Japanese icon Yūsaku Matsuda. In a 2000 revisit of the film for Empire magazine, Ian Nathan notes, “Scott is aiming to comment on post-war cross-cultural lack-of-relations.”

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Cujo (November 1)

CUJO Trailer

As the pop culture world and “Constant Readers” revel in the resurgence of author Stephen King, so too have fresh takes on his incredibly uneven adaptations. One such film that’s recently been given a stamp of “Hey, that’s actually pretty good!” approval is 1983’s Cujo, starring Dee Wallace. In a 2013 revisit of the film for The A.V. Club, Scott Tobias was so-so on it, but said, “the last half-hour of Cujo would make a fine standalone short film, because it cuts away all the superfluous melodrama of the previous hour and offers a simple, terrifying dilemma akin to a rowboat drifting into shark-infested waters.”

High Fidelity (November 1)

High Fidelity (2000) Trailer #1 | Movieclips Classic Trailers

2000’s outstanding High Fidelity is a movie that never gets old. Coming out at a time when John Cusack was, until that point, struggling a bit to overcome his forlorn teen heartthrob typecasting, his casting here and in 1997’s Grosse Point Blank was brilliant as both films are extensions of what may have become of Lloyd Dobler of Say Anything once Diane Court (Ione Skye) finally dumped him. Based on an also excellent book by Nick Hornby, the film spawned a criminally underrated gender-swapped Hulu show in 2020. In a re-appreciation article on the film for The A.V. Club, Erik Adams wrote “High Fidelity is a film colored by a love of music, but it’s also about love love, the complexities of romantic relationships and the path toward becoming a better, fuller person.”

My Policeman (November 4)

My Policeman - Official Trailer | Prime Video

When pop sensation Harry Styles was cast in Christopher Nolan’s 2017 WWII film Dunkirk, people were skeptical about whether the boy-band darling could actually, you know, act. Nevermind that we’re talking about Christoper Nolan who is pretty great at casting. And alas, Styles was a pleasant surprise. We really, really don’t need to go back over the whole Don’t Worry Darling debacle, so let’s focus on Styles’ awkwardly named My Policeman, which is in theaters now and on Prime Video on November 4. The film details the story of Brighton cop Tom (Styles), who marries a local schoolteacher (Emma Corrin) and all seems well in the world of the young couple—that is, until Tom begins a same-sex affair with museum curator Patrick (Linus Roache). Not only does this create some serious drama for all involved, but homosexuality is illegal in 1950s Britain. In a lukewarm review for The A.V. Club, Murtada Elfadi said “Everything looks handsome, the sets, the clothes, and, of course, the three lead actors—but the story remains maudlin.”

Cyrano (November 23)

CYRANO | Official Trailer | MGM Studios

Man, Peter Dinklage really can do no wrong. The Game Of Thrones breakout was already a major star on the rise, and many firmly believe his performance in Joe Wright’s Cyrano was not only the best performance of 2021, it was one of the biggest Oscar snubs in recent history. For those unfamiliar with the Cyrano plotline, it involves brilliant wordsmith Cyrano de Bergerac (Dinklage), who has a longstanding, unrequited love for childhood friend Roxanne (Haley Bennett). The love remains unfulfilled because Cyrano fears Roxanne could never love “a man like him” due to, in the case of this film, his dwarfism. In his review for The Guardian, Peter Bradshaw said “Dinklage always holds the screen with his natural charisma.”

Superbad (November 1)

SUPERBAD – Official Trailer [2007] (HD)

Firstly, how was Superbad a new film in theaters 15 years ago? Ridiculous. Secondly, Superbad is a hilarious all-timer that’s also an incredibly sweet and endearing film that was way ahead of its time in terms of respectful treatment of women by bros. The film details the last part of senior year for lifelong friends Seth (Jonah Hill) and Evan (Michael Cera), who are based on the real life friends and screenwriters Seth Rogen and Eva Goldberg. Neat! In his positive review, Roger Ebert said, “The movie is astonishingly foul-mouthed, but in a fluent, confident way where the point isn’t the dirty words, but the flow and rhythm, and the deep, sad yearning they represent.”

Rise Of The Guardians (November 1)

Rise of the Guardians: Official Trailer

2012’s animated film Rise Of The Guardians was a lowkey bomb for notoriously uneven Dreamworks Animation. Featuring an all-star lineup of childhood imaginary fairytale icons whose names were changed to protect the innocent like Nicholas North (ie, Santa Claus, Alec Baldwin) Toothiana (the Tooth Fairy, Isla Fisher), E. Aster Bunnymund (the Easter Bunny, Hugh Grant) Jack Frost (Chris Pine) and Sanderson Mansnoozie (Warwick Davis) who are brought together to fight off the evil Pitch Black (Jude Law), who seeks to create a world of darkness wherein dreams fight one another for eternity. Sounds chaotic! In a review for The A.V. Club where she gave the film a solid “B” rating, Tasha Robinson said the film “attempts to flesh out that bog-standard good-vs.-evil plotline into something more uniquely textured.”

Blade Runner 2049 (November 1)

BLADE RUNNER 2049 - Official Trailer

Without a doubt, 2017’s Blade Runner reboot Blade Runner 2049 was a massively anticipated film that, upon release, blew away fans of the original but failed to capture audiences who hadn’t ingested the myriad cuts of Ridley Scott’s magnificent Blade Runner. In 2017, director Denis Villeneuve was an odd choice to helm the massive undertaking but his films Incendies (2010), Prisoners (2013), and Sicario (2015) were widely respected, yet it remained to be seen what he could do for science-fiction noir. The answer was a resounding and jaw dropping one as the film, which cast Ryan Gosling as “K,” whose job as a “blade runner” is to capture and destroy rogue replicants. He uncovers a secret that sends him on a quest for answers that only his predecessor Deckard (Harrison Ford) possesses—if he’s alive. The film is a visual stunner that really needs to be witnessed rather than explained. Plus, it introduced Ana de Armas to American audiences. A.A. Dowd gave the film a “B+” rating in his review for The A.V. Club, saying Villeneuve’s “transformation from Québecois arthouse maverick to studio visionary is now complete.”

Fruitvale Station (November 1)

Fruitvale Station — Official Trailer 2013 — Regal Cinemas [HD]

Filmmaker Ryan Coogler burst on the scene in 2013 with Fruitvale Station, a wonderful film dappled with crushing, real-world frustrations. Based on the true story of Oscar Grant (here played by Michael B. Jordan) who was gunned down by a public transportation officer in 2009, Coogler (who also wrote the film) does a simply perfect job detailing Grant for all his human traits—positive and negative—as he marches towards a short future everyone watching knows is coming. In his “B-” review of the film for The A.V. Club, A.A. Dowd said, “Fruitvale Station, which won both the Grand Jury Prize and the Audience Award at this year’s Sundance Film Festival, looks past the media frenzy to the life of the victim, portraying him as an ordinary guy with friends and family who loved him.”

The Doors (November 1)

The Doors (1991) Official Movie Trailer

In 1991, budding megastar Val Kilmer was looking to do some real acting. Following iconic performances in Top Secret! (his excellent debut in 1984), Real Genius (1985), and Top Gun (1986), Kilmer wanted to show that he was more than just a handsome guy with serious likability. Along came Oliver Stone with 1991’s music biopic The Doors, which was not only a departure for Stone, whose previous output was more politically charged, but also for Kilmer, who was cast as the famous (or infamous) Doors frontman Jim Morrison. Long story short, Kilmer completely nails the role, embodying the young alcoholic poet on his rise to stardom and doom. In his review for The L.A. Times, Michael Wilmington wrote “The whole movie is white hot, lapped in honeyed golds, evilly blue and black or drenched in those swoony, fiery reds.”

Prince Avalanche (November 1)

Prince Avalanche Official Trailer #2 (2013) - Paul Rudd, Emile Hirsch Movie HD

A great example of a pretty good little indie film that flew under the radar upon its release in 2013, David Gordon Green’s adaptation of the Icelandic film Either Way is a charming diversion that stars Paul Rudd and Emile Hirsch as two bored dudes hired to repaint traffic lines down a country road following a massive wildfire. Yes, before David Gordon Green started doing what he’s doing now—hilarious HBO shows alongside Danny McBride and divisive horror reboots—he was making smaller art films that resemble the work of Richard Linklater. In a “B+” review for The A.V. Club, A.A. Dowd says “for the first time in years, Green’s personality pokes through the pratfalls. His touch is detectable from the opening scene, in which real footage of a raging inferno fades into early-morning images of the aftermath. Two weary laborers wander a highway, hammering posts into its damaged concrete.”

Heaven’s Gate (November 1)

Heaven’s Gate trailer

Pretty much since its debut in 1980, up-and-coming filmmaker Michael Cimino’s Heaven’s Gate has been considered a cautionary tale by film nerds and historians. In fact, the film is still considered one of the biggest financial flops of all time. However, recently another wrinkle in the Heaven’s Gate saga unfolded, as the original Cimino version has been restored and discovered to be one not nearly deserving of the grief it’s been given over the decades. Following his critical and box office smash The Deer Hunter (1978), Cimino took his newfound clout to the mountains of Wyoming, bringing along stars Kris Kristofferson, John Hurt, Christopher Walken, Isabelle Huppert, and Joseph Cotten (in one of his final films) for his telling of a dispute between land barons and American immigrants in the 1890s.

The film was received so poorly that it not only ruined Cimino’s rising career, but it’s also credited for the detonation point of the director-driven film. However, in 2015, the BBC ranked it as one of the 100 Greatest American Films of all time. So, which is it? In a review of the Director’s Cut, The A.V. Club’s Ignatiy Vishnevetsky said, “Could it use some tightening up? Definitely not—the jumbo-sized, megalomaniacal sweep, which completely envelops the conflicts and cast, is what Heaven’s Gate is all about.”

Primal Fear (November 1)

Primal Fear (1996) Trailer #1 | Movieclips Classic Trailers

1996’s Primal Fear is one of the best examples of a “mid” film brought up to memorable experience by one performance—in this case, the big screen debut of Edward Norton. Supporting arguably one of the biggest male leads at the time in Richard Gere, Norton acts circles around him which, granted, may not be that hard to do, but for a guy coming out of nowhere to steal the show from Gere and also earn a Best Supporting Actor nomination for a very tepid, pulpy legal thriller, one simply must take notice. Primal Fear is an entertaining enough thriller—but again, it’s all Ed Norton. It also includes an all-time great twist ending that you really shouldn’t look into if you don’t already know. In a review for The Washington Post, Rita Kempley said the film is “a crackling courtroom drama with more twists than O.J. had alibis, finds middle-aged himbo Richard Gere at his sexiest and most self-assured as a celebrity lawyer caught up in a mind-boggling whodunit.”

Miami Blues (November 1)

Miami Blues Official Trailer #1 - Alec Baldwin Movie (1990) HD

In 1990, Alec Baldwin was at the height of his sweaty, swanky, brooding stardom when he took the lead in George Armitage’s funny, pulpy, and great Miami Blues. Freshly released from prison, Junior (Baldwin) almost immediately murders someone and, while fleeing the crime, bumps into hooker-with-a-heart-of-gold Susie (Jennifer Jason Leigh). After stealing a badge and a gun to impersonate an officer, Junior involves Susie in a crime spree that takes off faster than you can say “I love you Hunny-Bunny.” In his positive review of the film for the Chicago Reader, Jonathan Rosenbaum said “Some of the characters and situations, such as the thief’s stylish chutzpah and his relationship to the hooker, recall Godard’s Breathless, but Armitage’s handling of the material is consistently fresh and pungent.”

The Relic (November 1)

The Relic [1997 / Official Trailer / english]

Is 1997’s The Relic realllllly one of the “best” films on Prime this November? Eh, probably not. But The Relic is a darn good old-fashioned monster movie, and those are always fun! It stars Tom Sizemore as gritty Chicago cop Vincent D’Agosta, who is investigating the case of a grisly discovery aboard a cargo ship destined for a museum in Chicago. Unclear as to what could have decapitated the entire crew, Vincent soon stumbles across a similarly headless murder at a Chicago museum. There he meets biologist Margo Green (Penelope Ann Miller) who, speaking of stumbling across plot points, has discovered a beetle that has both reptile and insect DNA. We could keep going on, but the point is there’s a bizarre creature loose in Chicago who enjoys ripping the heads off its victims, and Tom Sizemore and Penelope Ann Miller are aiming to stop it. Roger Ebert got what was going on and enjoyed the film saying The Relic “is actually a lot of fun, if you like special effects and gore.”

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