In this article we will take a look at the 30 best movies on Amazon Prime. You can skip our detailed analysis of the movie industry’s outlook for 2021, and go directly to the 5 Best Movies on Amazon Prime.
Video-on-Demand (VoD) has become the latest trend ever since Netflix came into the streaming media industry in 2007. Companies such as Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ: AMZN), Hulu, The Walt Disney Company (NYSE: DIS), and Netflix, Inc. (NASDAQ: NFLX) have created a new industry which has transformed the way people consume video content such as movies and TV shows. What makes these platforms special is the convenience they provide their users and the large library of ad-free content for a minimal price. You can access these platforms on different devices, pause and play movies in high definition whenever you want to, and binge watch entire TV shows in the comfort of your room.
Amongst the companies with the biggest impact on digital video, Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ: AMZN) ranks third, behind Netflix, Inc. (NASDAQ: NFLX) and The Walt Disney Company (NYSE: DIS), with its on demand service called Amazon Prime Video. Amazon Prime has also earned the second position in the VoD industry within the United States.
As there is a growing demand for online entertainment options with the COVID-19 pandemic forcing people to stay at their homes, Amazon Prime has experienced strong growth over a small span of time. As of 2020, Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ: AMZN) has spent $7 billion on the company’s video content budget. In 2019 alone, the company released 70 new original content titles. From the Marvelous Mrs. Maisel to Homecoming, original shows have attracted more people towards the platform which can be seen in Jeff Bezos annual letter to shareholders in which he states that Amazon’s Prime membership program has 200 million members by April 2021 as compared to 150 million subscribers in January 2020.
A study by the research firm Consumer Intelligence Research Partners (CIRP) has estimated that as of March 2021, the number of subscribers to Amazon prime grew to 147 million members in the U.S which is up 24.6% year-over-year.
According to Barclays, Amazon Prime has 18,405 movies and 1,981 TV shows currently streaming in the U.S which is almost four times as many as Netflix, Inc. (NASDAQ: NFLX) . The most frequent viewers of Amazon’s content are younger people aged 18 to 34 years. Amazon Prime’s streaming hours are up more than 70% on a year-over-year basis according to the company’s Q1 report. In additional to its original movies and TV series, Amazon has also increased its library of popular movies and TV shows.
From popular classics such as Almost Famous and The Shining, to contemporary dramas like The Farewell and Herself, there is a plethora of top movies that are worth watching on Prime.
To rank the 30 best movies on Amazon Prime, we conducted a thorough research on various websites and internet forums where people share their feedback on movies and TV series. The common titles found in these lists were selected and were ranked according to their IMDB rating. For movies with the same rating, we used Rotten Tomatoes ratings to determine the movies spot on the list. It is important to note that these movies are currently available on Amazon Prime United States and may not be available in every region.
Let's now start our list of the 30 best movies on Amazon Prime.
Best Movies on Amazon Prime
30. Sonic the Hedgehog
IMDB Rating: 6.5
The childhood video game is brought to life in Jeff Fowler’s take on Sonic the Hedgehog. It is a feel-good movie that is fun for the whole family and takes audiences on a giddy ride. Ben Schwartz voices Sonic while James Marsden is the voice of the local cop who helps him. Jim Carrey who is the master of comedy plays the villainous Doctor Robotnik.
29. The Aeronauts (2019)
IMDB Rating: 6.6
Eddie Redmayne and Felicity Jones team up in The Aeronauts to provide an enthralling movie experience to the audiences. Set in 1862, James Glaisher, a meteorologist, teams up with Amelia Rennes, a balloon pilot, to embark on a journey to the top of the earth. Their aim to reach the edge of existence results in a perilous ascent full of physical and emotional challenges that the pair must overcome. The journey soon becomes a fight for survival as the brave duo tries to navigate through the odyssey and find a true place for themselves in the world. Tom Harper directs this action-adventure drama that is one of the 30 best movies on Amazon Prime.
28. Saint Maud (2019)
IMDB Rating: 6.7
Saint Maud is a psychological horror film which is a bold portrayal of religion, madness, and salvation. The movie follows a young nurse who is caring for a terminally ill dancer called Amanda. The nurse, Maud, has become a devout Roman Catholic to try to escape her sinful past. She starts to believe that saving Amanda's soul is her holy calling and becomes obsessed with the idea that brings her at odds with sinister forces beyond her control. Rose Glass's directorial debut has been a hit amongst the critics and has a 93% rating on Rotten Tomatoes based on 179 reviews.
27. Herself (2020)
IMDB Rating: 7.0
Herself is an inspiring story about rebuilding a life and re-discovering yourself. A single mother with two children escapes her violent partner. However, she soon realizes that she has no place to call home and would be stuck in temporary accommodation. Sandra then gets inspired from one of her daughter's bedtime stories and decides to build a home for her family herself.
26. One Night in Miami…
IMDB Rating: 7.1
One Night in Miami is Regina Kings’ directorial debut featuring a historical drama set in Florida. In the movie, Malcolm X, Sam Cooke, Muhammad Ali, and Jim Brown spend a night together in a hotel room and delve into an imaginary discourse arising from historical events. We see how these remarkable black men stood out and took a public stand during the civil rights movement. Performances from Odom and Ben-Adir help the film reach moving dramatic heights. With a 92% rating on Rotten Tomatoes, One Night in Miami is one of the 30 best movies on Amazon Prime.
25. Midsommar (2019)
IMDB Rating: 7.1
Ari Aster's Midsommar is an ambitious and incredibly unsettling horror movie that has made waves in the horror genre. Dani and Christina, a young American couple with a faltering relationship join their friends to a midsummer festival in a remote village somewhere in Sweden. However, the village soon transforms into an unnerving and sinister nightmare as the locals reveal their true motives. If you are a fan of nail-biting horror movies that keep you on the edge of your seat, Midsommar is a great pick for you. The movie is a true depiction that not all horrors are unearthed under the cover of darkness, some can unravel even in the daylight.
Midsommar ranks 25th in the 30 best movies on Amazon Prime list.
24. Booksmart (2019)
IMDB Rating: 7.2
Fast-paced, funny, and exciting, Olivia Wilde’s directorial debut Booksmart adds an intelligent spin to the coming-of-age comedy film. In the movie, two academically talented high schoolers who are soon to go off to their Ivy-league colleges, realize that only working and studying was not how they should have spent all their time. Trying not to fall short of their peers, Amy and Molly, they reevaluate their choices and decide to have four years’ worth of fun in just one adventurous night. They soon find themselves in an adventure that no amount of book smarts could have prepared them for. Critics have called the film refreshing and witty and the movie has earned a 96% rating on Rotten tomatoes.
Booksmart ranks 24th in the 30 best movies on Amazon Prime list.
23. The Report (2019)
IMDB Rating: 7.2
The Report is a thriller based on real life events in which a Senate staffer played by Adam Driver is asked by his boss, Senator Dianne Feinstein, to lead an investigation of the CIA’s detention and interrogation program. The relentless pursuit of truth uncovers some serious findings which prove the lengths the CIA is willing to go to eradicate evidence. Directed by Scott Z. Burns, the movie is an excellent procedural thriller with Driver delivering one of the best performances of his career.
The Report ranks at number 23rd in the 30 best movies on Amazon Prime list.
22. Leave No Trace (2018)
IMDB Rating: 7.2
Leave No Trace is an enthralling drama directed by Debra Granik. The movie follows a father and daughter who are living mysteriously in Forest Park, a nature reserve near Portland. They have a perfect relationship, rarely needing or making any contact with the outside world. However, their life off the grid is suddenly disrupted when a small mistake tips them off to the authorities. Will and Tom find themselves on an erratic and harrowing journey back to their home. Leave No Trace has an IMDB rating of 7.2 and is certified a 100% “fresh” by rotten tomatoes, earning it a spot amongst the 30 best movies on Amazon Prime.
21. Instant Family (2018)
IMDB Rating: 7.3
Pete and Ellie Wagner feel the absence of children in their married life and visit a foster care center with the hope of becoming adoptive parents. They end up adopting a teen Lizzie and her younger siblings, Juan and Lita. However, their decision to go ahead with the adoption of the seemingly perfect kids soon becomes a challenge for the new parents as the kids test their patience and much more. Instant Family is a refreshing and earnest movie about the struggles and joys of foster parenting which depicts an emotional journey without losing sight of the laughs. Starring Mark Wahlberg and Rose Byrne, the movie is rated 81% on Rotten Tomatoes and 7.3 out of 10 on IMDB landing a spot amongst the 30 best movies on Amazon Prime.
20. The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society (2018)
IMDB Rating: 7.4
This historical drama is set in 1946 where a writer from London, Juliet Ashton, starts a correspondence with the residents of Guernsey, an island which was occupied by the Germans during World War II. Juliet eventually goes to visit the island and interacts with the Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society to learn more about the experiences of the residents during the war to write in her new book. Her journey leads to her having a life-changing experience at the island, while navigating the challenges of her engagement. With a stellar cast that includes Lily James, Michiel Huisman, Dame Penelope Wilton, Sir Findlay, Florence Keen, Tom Courtenay, and Katherine Parkinson, the movie provides an enchanting experience being told by the way of letters.
19. Begin Again (2013)
IMDB Rating: 7.4
This heartwarming musical film has made the list of the 30 best movies on Amazon Prime. Keira Knightley plays Gretta who is a songwriting partner and lover of Dave, played by Adam Levine who is headed to New York to sign a record deal with a famous label. Gretta starts being overlooked and is left on her own as Dave becomes involved in his newfound fame. She soon finds a music business executive which leads to the best musical collaboration of her life.
18. Collateral (2004)
IMDB Rating: 7.5
A cab driver is unknowingly driving a hit man around from his mark to mark. He eventually figures out what is going on and tries to prevent the assassin from killing his last witness without becoming a victim himself. Collateral is a visually striking and creative movie directed by Michael Mann and starring Tom Cruise and Jamie Foxx who deliver excellent performances in this 2004 thriller. Rotten Tomatoes has given the movie a 86% rating based on 237 reviews.
Collateral ranks 18th in the 30 best movies on Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ: AMZN) Prime list.
17. The Lighthouse (2019)
IMDB Rating: 7.5
The lighthouse is a brutal yet hilarious mythological story of two men who are driven to madness on a small island off the coast of late 19th century New England after a month of back-breaking work and horrible conditions. The men find themselves stranded with no one else but each other for company and are forced to endure their burgeoning hatred and bottled-up resentment.
16. Inside Llewyn Davis (2013)
IMDB Rating: 7.5
This beautiful yet sad Coen-brothers comedy drama has earned the number 16 spot in the 30 best movies on Amazon Prime list. Oscar Isaac plays Llewyn Davis, a folk singer trying to break into the New York music scene. He goes through some major obstacles to make a name for himself embarking on an odyssey which takes him to a club in Chicago. There he finds a music mogul that could give him his big break.
15. The Farewell (2019)
IMDB Rating: 7.6
In The Farewell, a young woman returns to China to see her terminally ill grandmother. Her dilemma intensifies when she learns that her family wants to keep the diagnosis a secret from her grandmother so that she can spend the remainder of her life in peace. The movie encapsulates a rich emotional story and a thorough examination of when cultural values clash during a crisis. It also shows an honest depiction of mortality that is heartwarming yet tragic. Starring Awkwafina and Shuzhen Zhao, the Farewell is a one-of-a-kind film that should not be missed.
14. Zodiac (2007)
IMDB Rating: 7.7
David Fincher’s Zodiac is a frightening crime procedural movie that is full of fear and excellent performances by the stellar cast which includes Robert Downey Jr, Jake Gyllenhaal, and Mark Ruffalo. Based on a book by Robert Graysmith, Zodiac focuses on the lives and careers of the detectives and newspaper journalists. When a serial killed in the Bay Area is taunting the police with cryptic messages on the murder scene, the investigators become obsessed with learning the identity of the killer and bringing him to justice. Rated 7.7 out of 10 by IMDB, the Zodiac has landed a spot in the 30 best movies on Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ: AMZN) Prime list.
13. Sound of Metal (2019)
IMDB Rating: 7.8
Metal drummer Ruben, played by Riz Ahmed, keeps his inner demons in check and lives in the moment. But things take a turn when he is on tour with his girlfriend Lou, when Ruben realizes that his sense of hearing is deteriorating rapidly. This sudden loss of hearing turns his world upside down. Soon after, Ruben decides to join a small deaf community which helps him realize that deafness is not something that needs to be fixed as he finally begins to accept his new life and to navigate the world without sound.
12. The Big Sick (2017)
IMDB Rating: 7.8
The Big Sick is a romantic comedy with a heart and soul to spare. It is based on the real-life experience between the leading actor Kumail Nanjiani and his wife Emily V Gordon. Kumail is a Pakistani comedian who meets an American student Emily at one of his shows. As their relationship starts to blossom, Emily suddenly comes down with a serious disease that puts her in a coma. Kumail is left to face her high-strung parents and his own family’s expectations, developing a deeper bond with the families along the way. Critics have called this movie fresh, heartfelt, and intelligent proving that romcoms can still have new angles to explore.
11. Moonrise Kingdom (2012)
IMDB Rating: 7.8
Moonrise Kingdom follows the story of a young boy and girl who fall in love in 1960s on an island off the coast of New England. They attempt to run away from their homes together and are followed by a search party including the police, their parents, social services and boy scout masters. In the search for the couple the whole town is turned upside down which might not be such a bad thing as the story unfolds.
10. Manchester By the Sea (2016)
IMDB Rating: 7.8
Manchester by the Sea is an emotional drama which deeply examines grief, family, and solitude in a life-affirming and uplifting manner. The movie follows Lee Chandler who is an irritable loner working as a handyman in Boston who finds himself responsible for his nephew when his only sibling suddenly passes away. His doubts about raising a teenager makes him revisit his past and relive an unspeakable tragedy that had separated him from his wife. Starring Casey Affleck and Michelle Williams, this tear-jerking drama has been critically acclaimed landing the number 10 spot in the 30 best movies on Amazon Prime list. The movie has earned a 96% rating on Rotten tomatoes.
9. Almost Famous (2000)
IMDB Rating: 7.9
One of the most popular Cameron Crowe movies, Almost Famous is a must watch on Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ: AMZN) Prime. Based on the experiences of a young Rolling Stones journalist, the movie is set in 1975 and follows William Miller as he travels with a hot new band on tour. The movie captures the ups and downs that come with the burgeoning celebrity life of a rock band and is a terrific ride from start to finish. It has an 89% rating on Rotten Tomatoes.
Almost Famous has landed the number 9 spot in the 30 best movies on Amazon Prime.
8. Arrival (2016)
IMDB Rating: 7.9
Amy Adams plays a linguistics professor that leads an investigation team when giant spaceships suddenly land in different locations around the world. As countries around the world contemplate a global war, Louise and her team must discover a way to communicate with the aliens. Hoping to unravel the mystery, she makes a choice that could threaten her life or even the entire mankind. Arrival is a stunning sci-fi movie with gorgeously composed cinematography and background score that takes the movie on another level. It is said to be a slow-burn thriller that provides an enthralling experience to the audiences. Earning a 95% rating on Rotten Tomatoes, Arrival is amongst the 30 best movies on Amazon Prime.
7. Knives Out (2019)
IMDB Rating: 7.9
Ryan Johnson’s tribute to Agatha Christie novels come into fruition with this classic style “whodunnit” movie with a stellar ensemble cast. Knives Out surrounds the mysterious death of a renowned crime novelist called Harlan Thrombey which makes everybody in Thrombey’s family a suspect. Detective Benoit Blanc played by Daniel Craig goes through the incidents of the day in hopes of uncovering the truth. Starring Daniel Craig, Chris Evans, Ana de Armas, and Jamie Lee Curtis along with many more, Knives Out is an exhilarating ride from the start to the end. The movie scored 97% on the rotten tomatoes meter and an IMDB rating of 7.9. It is easily one of the 30 best movies on Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ: AMZN) Prime to watch right now.
6. The Imitation Game (2014)
IMDB Rating: 8.0
The Imitation Game is based on a true story of cryptanalyst Alan Turing during the second World War. Benedict Cumberbatch plays the brilliant Alan Turing working tirelessly to break the Enigma during the war. The movie has much more than mathematics and victory rolls such as Turing’s tragic fate which leaves audiences with a lasting impression. The movie has earned an 89% rating on Rotten Tomatoes earning it a spot amongst the 30 best movies on Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ: AMZN) Prime.
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Disclosure: No stakes in Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ: AMZN),Netflix, Inc. (NASDAQ: NFLX) and The Walt Disney Company (NYSE: DIS). 30 Best Movies on Amazon Prime is originally published on Insider Monkey.