3 dramas on Amazon Prime Video you need to watch in May 2024

Albert Finney and Julia Roberts in Erin Brockovich.
Universal Pictures
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This month, the three best dramas on Amazon Prime Video are all Oscar winners for their respective stars: Philip Seymour Hoffman, J.K. Simmons, and Julia Roberts. They’re also excellent examples of the drama genre itself, even among Prime Video’s deep library of titles.

Two out of the three picks for dramas on Amazon Prime Video that you have to watch in May are biopics, while the other is one of the most intense music school stories in recent history. Beyond the Academy Awards that the films took home for their stars, all three movies are captivating motion pictures that deserve to be on your watch list this month.

Capote (2005)

Philip Seymour Hoffman in Capote.
Sony Pictures Classics

Capote was the crowning achievement of the late Philip Seymour Hoffman, who won Best Actor at the Oscars for his portrayal as writer Truman Capote. The story begins in 1959, in the aftermath of the Clutter family murders by Perry Smith (Clifton Collins Jr.) and Richard “Dick” Hickock (Mark Pellegrino). The brutality of the crime attracts Capote’s attention, and he goes to investigate it for a new book alongside his best friend, Nelle Harper Lee (Catherine Keener).

Over the years that follow, Capote meets with and forms a bond with Smith. Capote is also determined to get Smith to open up about the murders so he can get an ending for his novel. But Capote’s single-mindedness and his obsession is slowly destroying him.

Watch Capote on Prime Video.

Whiplash (2014)

Miles Teller and J. K. Simmons in Whiplash.
Sony Pictures

J. K. Simmons won Best Supporting Actor at the Oscars for his performance as jazz instructor Terence Fletcher in Whiplash, director Damien Chazelle’s psychological drama. Top Gun: Maverick‘s Miles Teller stars as Andrew Neiman, a drummer studying under Fletcher at the Shaffer Conservatory. More than anything else, Andrew wants to be one of the best and he believes that Fletcher can push him to the next level.

Andrew’s desire is so all-encompassing that he allows Fletcher to bully and emotionally abuse him. Andrew even pushes aside his girlfriend, Nicole (Melissa Benoist), just to focus on the music. It’s a downward spiral for Andrew that may end with his dreams shattered and little to show for it.

Watch Whiplash on Prime Video.

Erin Brockovich (2000)

Julia Roberts and Albert Finney in Erin Brockovich.
Universal Pictures

Wrapping up this list of Oscar-winning dramas, Julia Roberts finally took home an Academy Award for Best Actress as the title character of Erin Brockovich. At first, Brockovich is simply a client of attorney Ed Masry (Albert Finney). But after the case goes against Brockovich, Masry agrees to hire her for his legal office.

This turns out to be a boon for both Masry and Brockovich, as she has an innate ability to get ordinary people to open up to her. Through Brockovich’s investigation into the activities of Pacific Gas and Electric Company, she discovers that the company knowingly allowed the water of Hinkley, California, to be contaminated by a deadly chemical. Masry uses that information to bring a class-action lawsuit against PG&E, but it’s Brockovich’s job to keep the clients united.

Watch Erin Brockovich on Prime Video.