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Best Movies on Amazon Prime Video Right Now (September 2021)

Your new favorite movie lies within

screen-shot-2020-04-02-at-8-50-16-am.png
Allison Picurro
Adam Driver, Annette

Adam Driver, Annette

Amazon Studios

For anyone on the hunt for a movie to watch on Amazon Prime Video, your search ends here. Amazon added some great older favorites at the beginning of the month, including Jennifer's Body and Do the Right Thing, that we couldn't resist adding, but if you're looking for something everyone's talking about right now, we can help you there, too. Recently, we're suggesting you check out the big, flashy, and delightful musical about a teen with a dream, Everybody's Talking About Jamie, Adam Driver's surreal showbiz satire Annette, and the intimate Val Kilmer documentary, Val. There's so much here, and all we're asking is that you make yourself comfortable on the couch.

An important note about how this list was made: In order to keep the list as relevant as possible, we're stressing the best recent releases, Amazon Prime Video originals, and critics' favorites. But we're also putting our own personal spin on the list, with underrated gems we're recommending to our friends, classic favorites, and important selections that highlight diverse voices. We'll be updating the list regularly. 

Looking for the 50 best movies and TV shows to watch on Amazon or the best TV shows to watch on Amazon? Or more recommendations of what to watch next? We have a ton of them! We also have hand-picked selections based on shows you already love.

Last updated on September 24, 2021; the most recent additions are at the top


Everybody's Talking About Jamie

For fans of: Musicals, sweet coming of age stories

Everybody's Talking About Jamie

Everybody's Talking About Jamie

/ Amazon Studios

Metascore: 59

This stage-to-screen musical film is destined to set your heart aflame -- provided you aren't a hateful malcontent -- as it tells the story of a 16-year-old high schooler's journey against bullying and toward realizing his dream to become a drag queen. It's been reviewed positively with critics likening it to Billy Elliott, and is exactly the feel-good salve you're desiring. -Tim Surette [Trailer]

Watch on Amazon Prime Video

Cinderella

For fans of: Pop songs, using the phrase "so bad it's good"

Nicholas Galitzine and Camila Cabello, Cinderella

Nicholas Galitzine and Camila Cabello, Cinderella

/ Amazon Studios

Metascore: 43

Did we need another Cinderella re-telling? Probably not, but here's this movie anyway. In this latest version, Camila Cabello plays the fairy tale heroine, now going by simply "Ella," as an aspiring fashion designer with big dreams the traditional society she lives in just isn't ready for. She gets help from her fairy godparent (Billy Porter), pushes back against her evil stepmother (Idina Menzel), and belts out a lot of classic pop tunes you already know, because this confounding movie is also a jukebox musical. If all of that doesn't turn you off, you're definitely ready for Cinderella, girlboss edition. It's not "good," per se, but the baffling choices will certainly make you laugh. This could be a new camp classic in the making. [Trailer]

Watch on Amazon Prime Video

Annette

For fans of: Adam Driver, creepy puppet babies, A Star Is Born

Adam Driver and Marion Cotillard, Annette

Adam Driver and Marion Cotillard, Annette

/ Amazon Studios

Metascore: 66

If you care at all about film festivals, you've probably already heard of Annette, but if you haven't, listen carefully: This is a musical where Adam Driver, speaking in an even lower register than usual, plays Henry, a stand-up comedian who falls in love with Marion Cotillard's Ann, an opera singer. Their relationship declines after the birth of their mysteriously prodigious daughter Annette (who is played, confoundingly, by a puppet), and from there it becomes A Star Is Born by way of Marriage Story, but with a touch of surrealism. It's a fast-paced, hallucinatory rollercoaster that is certainly not for everyone, but will definitely have you walk away reeling. [Trailer]

Watch on Amazon Prime Video

Jennifer's Body

For fans of: Cult classics, fake blood, the Megan Fox-aissance

Megan Fox, Jennifer's Body

Megan Fox, Jennifer's Body

/ Twentieth Century Fox

Metascore: 47

Despite being utterly panned when it was first released, time has been kind to Jennifer's Body. Karyn Kusama's 2009 teen horror film was recently added to Amazon Prime Video but it earned cult classic status a few years ago, largely thanks to its voracious internet fandom, who rightfully pointed out all the ways this movie was not only very good but also very ahead of its time. Megan Fox stars as Jennifer, a high school girl who gets (spoiler) possessed and has to feed on boys in order to stay alive, with her best friend Needy (Amanda Seyfried) the only one able to stop her. It's infinitely quotable, incredibly funny, and so, so smart. [Trailer]

Watch on Amazon Prime Video

Do the Right Thing

For fans of: Spike Lee, the heat, realizing that society is actually not moving forward at all

Do the Right Thing

Do the Right Thing

/ Anthony Barboza/Getty Images

Metascore: 93

Spike Lee's opus, Do the Right Thing, might be even more relevant today than it was when it came out in 1989. Set in a Brooklyn neighborhood on the hottest day of the year, it explores the simmering tension between Black and Italian American communities. Lee directs and also stars as Mookie, whose job as a delivery man at a pizzeria is complicated by his boss' racist son. It's an excellent film that will make you realize that we haven't actually come very far! It's also worth mentioning that it's rarely streaming anywhere for free (well, free with a subscription to the service), which is another great reason to check it out now. [Trailer]

Watch on Amazon Prime Video

The Descent

For fans of: Gore, the freakiest monsters you could ever dream of, claustrophobia

The Descent

The Descent

/ Pathe Distribution

Metascore: 71

The 2006 cult horror film that put director Neil Marshall on the map is one of the most claustrophobic, terrifying, and female-forward action movies this century, meaning it still holds up very well today, and since it was added to Amazon Prime Video on Sept. 1, it might be new to you. Following a group of female spelunkers on a trip that goes horribly wrong — like, "What the hell are those creatures?" wrong — it's a brutal and violent tale of survival in a unique environment. A must-watch for horror fans, and hopefully this version keeps the bleak U.K. ending that was cut from the American version. This is not a happy film, but it is a very good one. -Tim Surette [Trailer]

Watch on Amazon Prime Video

The Big Sick

For fans of: Pre-Marvel Kumail Nanjiani, heartfelt rom-coms

The Big Sick

The Big Sick

/ Amazon Studios

Metascore: 86

This romantic comedy is based on the actual love story between Kumail Nanjiani and his wife, Emily V. Gordon. Nanjiani plays the fictionalized version of himself while Zoe Kazan plays the fictionalized version of Emily, whose sudden diagnosis with adult-onset Still's disease -- and the coma she falls into -- throws a major wrench into their burgeoning relationship. While Kumail and Emily's story is undoubtedly the thing that drives The Big SickRay Romano and Holly Hunter, who play Emily's parents, are the movie's grounding forces. You'll probably walk away from this mostly wishing they could adopt you. [Trailer]

Watch on Amazon Prime Video

Borat Subsequent Moviefilm

For fans of: Sequels, the way Borat says "my wiiiiife"

Sacha Baron Cohen, Borat Subsequent Moviefilm

Sacha Baron Cohen, Borat Subsequent Moviefilm

/ Amazon Studios

Metascore: 68

It's hard not to be wary when a beloved character is resurrected for a second go-around years later, but Borat Subsequent Moviefilm (full title Borat Subsequent Moviefilm: Delivery of Prodigious Bribe to American Regime for Make Benefit Once Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan) is the rare sequel that works. Sacha Baron Cohen returns as Kazakh journalist Borat, and the international fame he's racked up since the first film has hurt more than helped his home country. In an attempt to redeem Kazakhstan, he returns back to America with the hopes of delivering a gift to former President Donald Trump (this movie was released right before the 2020 election, which does admittedly give some of the jokes a ten-second expiration date), but more compelling than all of that is Borat's legitimately sweet relationship with his daughter, Tutar (Maria Bakalova, who absolutely earned the Oscar nomination she received for her performance), who accompanies him on his mission, much to his chagrin. Honestly, the Rudy Giuliani stuff is the least interesting thing about this movie. It's good! Wa wa wee wa indeed. [Trailer]


Clue

For fans of: Campy mysteries, the board game Clue

Clue

Clue

/ Paramount Pictures

Metascore: 39

Board games couldn't ask for better press than Clue, everyone's favorite box office flop. The cult classic 1985 murder mystery takes an Agatha Christie-style premise — six strangers are invited to dinner at a mansion — and turns it into a madcap comic romp packed with wordplay so silly it's smart. Eileen BrennanMadeline KahnChristopher LloydMichael McKeanMartin Mull, and Lesley Ann Warren form an all-star ensemble of mysterious dinner guests who share the same blackmailer; Tim Curry, in one of his all-time best performances, plays the butler. Curry carries Clue's memorable gimmick of an ending, which offers up three possible resolutions, on his back, reenacting the whole film as he reveals who did it. -Kelly Connolly [Trailer]


The Farewell

For fans of: Lovable grandmas, dysfunctional families

The Farewell

The Farewell

/ A24

Metascore: 89

In 2020, Awkwafina became the first Asian American woman to win a Golden Globe for her performance in Lulu Wang's beautiful dramedy about a Chinese-American family who decide not to tell their terminally ill grandmother that she only has a short while left to live. While that stat sounds absolutely insane, she more than deserved the award for the beautiful work she does in The Farewell. This movie has a lot of wonderful parts that add up to a heart-wrenching package: a reflection on the immigrant experience, an exploration of identity, a celebration of the messiness of family. [Trailer]


Get Duked!

For fans of: Trainspotting, psychedelics

Get Duked!

Get Duked!

/ Amazon Studios

Metascore: 69

This 2019 British black comedy film will easily remind you of Danny Boyle's bonkers classic Trainspotting, and it should: three Scottish teens with a knack for partying and doing drugs get into trouble. In Get Duked!, they're joined by a do-gooder and wander the Highlands to win the Duke of Edinborough Award, a survival challenge that turns boys into men, but they get stuck in the middle of a hunt-or-be-hunted situation with Eddie Izzard playing a psycho with a sniper rifle. Believe it or not, it gets weirder from there. Hilarious, ridiculous, and packed with social commentary, this would be regular viewing in weed smoke-filled dorm rooms of the late-'90s. -Tim Surette [Trailer]


The Handmaiden

For fans of: Deception, but in a sexy way

The Handmaiden

The Handmaiden

/ Amazon Studios

Metascore: 84

The Handmaiden
 is one of those movies where every character is scamming another character, resulting in an exciting, dramatic thriller. It starts out as a film about a Korean con man (Ha Jung-woo) who devises a pan to seduce a Japanese heiress (Kim Min-hee) out of her inheritance. He enlists the help of a pickpocket (Kim Tae-ri) to act as the heiress' maid and confidant, tasking her with encouraging marriage between the two. Things begin to get more dangerous as deeper relationships develop in the messy, intertwined trio, which is all I want to say without actually spoiling the plot's genius twists. What you should know going in is that this movie was directed by Park Chan-wook, who gave us the brutal, bloody Oldboy, so you should expect some gruesome imagery. [Trailer]


Jolt

For fans of: Crank, Kate Beckinsale violently brutalizing goons

Kate Beckinsale, Jolt

Kate Beckinsale, Jolt

/ Amazon Studios

Metascore: 48

Kate Beckinsale could have coasted in her career and played a lonely single mom who gets wooed by a hunk in various rom-coms, but thank god she's decided to be a butt-kicking action hero instead. In Jolt, she plays a woman with a unique condition that you'll only find in movies: If she doesn't electroshock herself with a custom-made harness, she loses her temper and starts to beat the sh-- out of everyone. Let's just say she doesn't always get the jolt she needs in time... a lot. There's also a scene in which she throws babies, and there are many swift kicks to the groin. Dumb fun, good time. -Tim Surette [Trailer]


Knives Out

For fans of: Chris Evans wearing that white sweater, twisty mysteries

Ana de Armas and Daniel Craig, Knives Out

Ana de Armas and Daniel Craig, Knives Out

/ Claire Folger/Lionsgate

Metascore: 82

Has there been a bigger crowd-pleaser from the past few years than Rian Johnson's mystery-comedy film Knives Out? It centers around the exorbitantly wealthy Thrombey family, who come together when their crime novelist father (Christopher Plummer) commits suicide. Or does he? When an eccentric private investigator (Daniel Craig, doing some serious accent work) shows up suspecting foul play, the motives of every member of the family are suddenly in question. This is just one of those movies where it seems like everyone in the stacked cast -- Jamie Lee CurtisChris EvansAna de ArmasToni Collette, and more -- had the time of their lives making it, which makes an already fun story even more fun to watch. Plus, yeah, the sweater[Trailer]


Late Night

For fans of: Comedies about going to work, Emma Thompson wearing suits

Late Night

Late Night

/ Amazon Studios

Metascore: 70

Mindy Kaling and Emma Thompson star in this extremely sweet-hearted movie, written by Kaling, about a talk show host (played by Thompson) whose popularity is waning as she ages. To help freshen up her writers' room and stop the network from replacing her, she hires a new, inexperienced writer (Kaling). Some of the jokes and job responsibilities admittedly delve a little too far into the inside baseball territory -- a lot of importance is placed on Kaling's character becoming co-monologue writer, for example -- but overall, Late Night is a fun movie about the lengths women have to go to in order to be taken seriously in their careers. [Trailer]


Midsommar

For fans of: Psychological warfare, a Florence Pugh crying face, Scandinavian cults

midsommar.jpg

Midsommar

/ Amazon Studios

Metascore: 72

Even if you haven't seen Midsommar, you've probably at least seen the memes or heard someone quote one of its most iconic lines: "Do you feel held by him?" This is the break-up movie to end all break-up movies, starring Florence Pugh as a girl who, while emotionally recovering from a devastating family tragedy, tags along on a trip to Sweden with her terrible boyfriend and his terrible friends to attend a festival that only occurs once every 90 years. And because this was directed by Ari Aster, the guy whose twisted mind brought us Hereditary, it naturally devolves into a story about a neopagan cult, flower crowns, and unspeakable horrors occurring in broad daylight. If that's not enough to hook you, it's also one of Ariana Grande's favorite films[Trailer]

Watch on Amazon Prime Video

One Child Nation

For fans of: Learning about history without having to open a book

One Child Nation

One Child Nation

/ Amazon Studios

Metascore: 85

This award-winning documentary will teach you all about a painful chapter in China's history via the one-child policy, which lasted from 1979 to 2015. Real people who lived through such a devastating period speak on their experiences, and the film delves into the damaging effects of government propaganda. Interestingly, One Child Nation is given a personal touch by co-director Nanfu Wang, who weaves stories of her own experience as a new mother in with the documentary's overall narrative. [Trailer]


One Night in Miami...

For fans of: Historical figures, monologues

One Night in Miami

One Night in Miami

/ Amazon

Metascore: 83

Directed by Regina King and based on a play by Kemp Powers, One Night in Miami... tells a dramatized account of a 1964 meeting between Malcolm X (Kingsley Ben-Adir), Muhammad Ali (Eli Goree), Sam Cooke (Leslie Odom Jr.), and Jim Brown (Aldis Hodge). They spend the night in a Miami hotel room together and end up arguing for a good portion of it, about X's belief that Cooke has sold out by pandering to white audience with his music, and Ali's, referred to in the film as Cassius Clay, decision to convert to Islam and change his name. It's an interesting movie that succeeds in peeling back the curtain on four pretty untouchable cultural icons, revealing more about their anxieties, inner lives, and ambitions than the average biopic would. [Trailer]


Pink: All I Know So Far

For fans of: P!nk, acrobatics, good music

Pink

Pink

/ David Crotty, Patrick McMullan via Getty Image

Metascore: 60

What do you know about Pink? (Or, sorry, P!nk, as she apparently prefers to be addressed.) You're probably aware she has the voice of an angel, and that she really, really loves singing while performing aerial tricks, but you might not know much beyond that. This documentary is a highly personal look into her life as a mother. Expect a lot of very sweet scenes of her carting her young children around on tour, some emotional behind the scenes interviews, and to be blown away by her sheer vocal range. It's a fun watch for Pink devotees and new fans alike. [Trailer]


Saint Maud

For fans of: A24s brand of horror, people going crAaAaAzy

Morfydd Clark, Saint Maud

Morfydd Clark, Saint Maud

/ Epix

Metascore: 83

A24 is really good at making scary movies, and Saint Maud is no exception. The film follows Maud (Morfyyd Clark), a nurse who becomes a staunch follower of Catholicism after an upsetting incident, and Amanda (Jennifer Ehle), the terminally ill dancer she cares for. Maud believes she's been tasked with saving Amanda's soul, which she intends to do at all costs. Watch if you love feeling unsettled! [Trailer]


Small Axe

For fans of: Social justice stories, period pieces

Small Axes

Small Axe

/ Amazon Studios

Metascore: 90

Small Axe
 is peak prestige television in that it's not actually television at all, but instead it's an anthology collection of five films directed by Steve McQueen. Every installment focuses on London's West Indian community in the years between 1969 and 1982, and each stars a great group of actors that includes John BoyegaLetitia WrightJack Lowden, and more. The stories don't overlap, but they all do a beautiful job of building out the world, and deal with issues and themes that impact the community, like police brutality, education, and what it means to be part of British society as a person of West Indian descent. On one hand, yes, five films is a lot to ask of viewers, but on the other, it just so happens that McQueen is an incredible director with a strong vision and every one is worth your time. If you only want to try one, give "Lovers Rock," a romance centered around a reggae house party, a spin. [Trailer]


Sound of Metal

For fans of: Heavy metal band t-shirts, being emotional

The Sound of Metal

Sound of Metal

/ Amazon

Metascore: 82

I am of the opinion that Riz Ahmed gave the best performance of 2020 as a heavy metal drummer losing his hearing in Sound of Metal, and he very correctly earned an Oscar nomination for it. As Ruben, he explores the emotional trauma of sudden deafness -- literally, as it plays out in the film, one minute he can hear perfectly, and the next everything is muffled -- and the importance of finding community as he goes to live in a rural home for deaf recovering addicts in order, run by Joe (Paul Raci, also rightfully Oscar-nominated for his work). The way the film utilizes sound design is nothing short of incredible, and most notably, director Darius Marder cast many actual Deaf actors who help bring the story to life. [Trailer]


Suspiria

For fans of: Witches, dancers, witchy dancers, Tilda Swinton

3-suspiria.jpg

Suspiria

/ Amazon Studios

Metascore: 64

Luca Guadagnino directs this remake of the 1977 Dario Argento horror classic. Dakota Johnson stars as Susie, a seemingly fresh-faced dancer who travels from Ohio to Berlin to study at an elite dance academy and is quickly named head dancer. As Suspiria unfolds, and as more students and teachers are found dead or go missing entirely, and it becomes increasingly clear that something very sinister and supernatural is going on underneath the surface. Also, Tilda Swinton plays three roles, and for one of them she gets to dress up as an old man. It's kooky, it's campy, and it's also very, very scary. [Trailer]


Sylvies Love

For fans of: Tessa Thompson, period romance

Tessa Thompson and Nnamdi Asomugha, Sylvie's Love

Tessa Thompson and Nnamdi Asomugha, Sylvie's Love

/ Amazon Studios

Metascore: 74

If sweeping romance is your thing, Sylvie's Love should be your next watch. Set in New York City in 1962, Tessa Thompson stars as Sylvie, an aspiring TV producer who strikes up a summer romance with a saxophonist (Nnamdi Asomugha) who works at her father's record store. Life eventually drags them apart, and they both go on without each other for a while, only to reunite years later to find that their connection remains just as strong. [Trailer]


The Tomorrow War

For fans of: Independence Day, action broken up with passable humor

Chris Pratt, Keith Powers, and Sam Richardson, The Tomorrow War

Chris Pratt, Keith Powers, and Sam Richardson, The Tomorrow War

/ Amazon Prime Video

Metascore: 45

A muscly and brainy Chris Pratt stars as a scientist who, along with thousands of others, is zapped 30 years into the future to help future soldiers fight an alien invasion and save the human race. Yeah, if that insane logline doesn't turn you off then you should enjoy this popcorn flick that doesn't take itself too seriously -- as evidenced by the many one-liners from comedians Sam Richardson, Mike Mitchell, and Mary Lynn Rajskub -- but doesn't skimp on hours of soldiers unloading clips into grotesque aliens. It'll remind you of Starship Troopers without that sharp commentary. [Trailer]


Uncle Frank

For fans of: Road trips, and a Paul Bettany American accent

Paul Bettany, Sophia Lillis, and Peter Macdissi, Uncle Frank

Paul Bettany, Sophia Lillis, and Peter Macdissi, Uncle Frank

/ Amazon Studios

Metascore: 58

This movie is a little bit like if someone tried to update Little Miss Sunshine and focus primarily on Steve Carell's character, but in a good way. Beth (Sophia Lillis) moves from her small North Carolina hometown to good ol' New York City, and immediately crashes into her favorite uncle's life. She finds out that Frank (Paul Bettany) is gay and has been living with his boyfriend Wally (Peter Macdissi) for years, while successfully keeping it a secret from the rest of their family. And because this is a movie, the secret is of course put in jeopardy when Frank's father dies and he, Beth, and Wally embark on a road trip to attend the funeral. Uncle Frank balances its comedic and dramatic moments well, and your heart will ache during the flashbacks to Frank's adolescence, where he was first confronted with his family's homophobia. Plus, an always perfect Judy Greer co-stars. [Trailer]


Val

For fans of: Intimate portraits of '80s icons

Val Kilmer, Val

Val Kilmer, Val

/ Amazon Studios

Metascore: 72

Val Kilmer gets the autobiographical treatment in this intimate documentary about his life and career. Kilmer lends his own home movies he's taken over the years to the film -- which includes videos from the set of Batman Forever, and footage of younger versions of Sean Penn and Kevin Bacon just hanging out -- and provides a look at his struggle with throat cancer, from which he's still recovering and has left him using a prosthesis in order to speak. It seems more revealing than the standard celebrity doc, and that's enough to get me to watch. [TRAILER]

Watch on Amazon Prime Video

The Vast of Night

For fans of: That 80s and 90s sci-fi feel, first-time directors making a huge splash

Sierra McCormick, The Vast of Night

Sierra McCormick, The Vast of Night

/ Amazon Studios

Metascore: 84

This 2019 science-fiction film from director Andrew Patterson is one of the best directorial debuts of the last decade, with Patterson's keen eye able to bring to life a small town experiencing strange phenomena from the sky. Featuring some truly incredible continuous shots featuring hundreds of extras and one of my favorite intimate cinematic scenes featuring just one person on screenThe Vast of Night is a film school student's dream that follows a young switchboard operator and a disc jockey in 1950s New Mexico trying to find the source of unidentified sounds, and it's an entrancing thriller from the opening shot to the closing seconds. -Tim Surette [Trailer]

Watch on Amazon Prime Video

Val

For fans of: Intimate portraits of '80s icons

Val Kilmer, Val

Val Kilmer, Val

/ Amazon Studios

Metascore: 72

Val Kilmer gets the autobiographical treatment in this intimate documentary about his life and career. Kilmer lends his own home movies he's taken over the years to the film -- which includes videos from the set of Batman Forever, and footage of younger versions of Sean Penn and Kevin Bacon just hanging out -- and provides a look at his struggle with throat cancer, from which he's still recovering and has left him using a prosthesis in order to speak. It seems more revealing than the standard celebrity doc, and that's enough to get me to watch. [TRAILER]

Watch on Amazon Prime Video