X

Join or Sign In

Sign in to customize your TV listings

Continue with Facebook Continue with email

By joining TV Guide, you agree to our Terms of Use and acknowledge the data practices in our Privacy Policy.

The 40 Best Movies to Stream on Amazon Prime Video Right Now (August 2022)

Ron Howard's thriller is still one of Amazon's top movies

screen-shot-2020-04-02-at-8-50-16-am.png
Allison Picurro

We have one more week until Amazon Prime Video's next big original film is released. *Rocky theme intensifies* On Aug. 26, Samaritan comes to Prime Video with Sylvester Stallone playing a superhero who is sort of "retired," until a young fan finds him and gets him back in the cape game. Until that day, if you're looking for a movie to watch on Prime Video, we've put together a list of  the best movies to watch right now. 

Just to let you know how we put this list together: In order to keep the list as relevant as possible, we're putting importance on the new releases, Prime Video originals, and critics' favorites. But we're also adding 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. 

Last updated on August 18; the most recent additions are at the top


The Lost City (2022)

For fans of: Romancing the Stone, sweaty A-listers

Sandra Bullock and Channing Tatum, The Lost City

Sandra Bullock and Channing Tatum, The Lost City

Director: Aaron Nee and Adam Nee
Stars: Channing Tatum, Sandra Bullock, Daniel Radcliffe, Brad Pitt
Genre: Adventure, Romance, Comedy
Rating: PG-13
Metacritic score: 60

This throwback adventure stars Sandra Bullock as a romance novelist who gets kidnapped by an evil billionaire (Daniel Radcliffe) who hopes she'll lead him to a secret treasure described in one her books. The vapid male model (Channing Tatum) who posed for her book covers decides to come to her rescue, and you can probably guess what happens next. It's a fun film for when you have two hours and a pint of ice cream to kill. Also, Patti Harrison is in it! -Tim Surette [Trailer   


Thirteen Lives (2022)

For fans of: Ron Howard drama, real-life heroism, confined spaces

Thira "Aum" Chutikul and Viggo Mortensen, Thirteen Lives

Thira "Aum" Chutikul and Viggo Mortensen, Thirteen Lives

Vince Valitutti / Metro Goldwyn Mayer Pictures

Director: Ron Howard
Stars: Viggo Mortenson, Collin Farrell, Joel Edgerton
Genre: Drama
Rating: PG-13
Metacritic score: 66

Ron Howard directs this thriller film about the 2018 Tham Luang Thai cave rescue of a boys soccer team and its coach by an international group of cave divers. It's one of three projects about the rescue, including National Geographic's already released (and excellent) documentary The Rescue, which focused on the divers and the rescue efforts and is on Disney+, and Netflix's upcoming limited series Tham Luang, which focuses on the rescuees. This film covers the whole shebang, with Viggo MortensenColin Farrell, and Joel Edgerton playing the heroes. -Tim Surette [Trailer   



Licorice Pizza (2021)

For fans of: The '70s, first loves

Cooper Hoffman and Alana Haim, Licorice Pizza

Cooper Hoffman and Alana Haim, Licorice Pizza

Metro Goldwyn Mayer Pictures Inc.

Director: Paul Thomas Anderson
Stars: Cooper Hoffman, Alana Haim, Sean Penn, Bradley Cooper
Genre: Drama, Comedy
Rating: R
Metacritic score: 90

One of 2021's most cherished films is Paul Thomas Anderson's teen romance, which was nominated for three Academy Awards, including Best Picture, Best Director, and Best Original Screenplay. Set in 1973 in Southern California's San Fernando Valley, it follows a 15-year-old actor (Cooper Hoffman) and his budding relationship with an early-20s photographer's assistant (Alana Haim). -Tim Surette [Trailer]      


More recommendations:


Anything's Possible (2022)

For fans of: Queer teen romance, coming-of-age stories

Eva Reign and Abubakr Ali, Anything's Possible

Eva Reign and Abubakr Ali, Anything's Possible

Amazon Studios

Director: Billy Porter
Stars: Eva Reign, Abubakr Ali, Renée Elise Goldsberry, 
Genre: Romance
Rating: PG-13
Metacritic score: 65

The ridiculously talented Billy Porter makes his feature film directorial debut with this sweet high school coming-of-age story about a trans girl (Eva Reign) and the boy (Abubkar Ali) who musters up the courage to ask her out, even though he knows the drama it will cause at school. Important casting note: The inimitable Renée Elise Goldsberry is in this. -Tim Surette [Trailer



Don't Make Me Go (2022)

For fans of: Father-daughter tearjerkers, internet boyfriend John Cho

John Cho and Mia Isaac, Don't Make Me Go

John Cho and Mia Isaac, Don't Make Me Go

Amazon Studios

Director: Hannah Marks
Stars: John Cho, Mia Isaac, Kaya Scodelario, Jemaine Clement
Genre: Drama, Comedy
Rating: R
Metacritic score: 60

If you have a condition that doesn't allow you to cry, this John Cho film may be the cure. Cho stars as a single dad who, after discovering he has a terminal illness (but not a terminal list), embarks on a road trip from California to New Orleans with his teenage daughter to attend his 20-year college reunion. Road trip movies are like totally metaphors, man. This one's about getting to the end and growing up. But be warned: A controversial twist ending has many beating their heads against the wall. -Tim Surette [Trailer]



House of Gucci (2021)

For fans of: Glamour, excess, Lady Gaga

Lady Gaga and Adam Driver, House of Gucci

Lady Gaga and Adam Driver, House of Gucci

Fabio Lovino/MGM

Director: Ridley Scott
Stars: Lady Gaga, Adam Driver, Jared Leto, Jeremy Irons, Jack Huston, Salma Hayek, Al Pacino
Genre: Drama, Crime
Rating: R
Metacritic score: 59

House of Gucci, the extravagant crime drama that strutted through theaters late last year, is now on Prime Video. The movie, which tells the tragicomic story of how the Gucci family lost ownership of the fashion brand, is directed by Ridley Scott and stars Lady GagaAdam DriverAl Pacino, and Jared Leto doing the Jared Leto thing of being unrecognizable under layers of prosthetics. If you didn't venture out to see it in theaters, you can now watch it for free at home, where you can imitate Lady Gaga's Italian accent without offending anyone. -Liam Mathews [Trailer]



Marry Me (2022)

For fans of: J. Lo, Owen Wilson's whole thing, Instagram Live

Jennifer Lopez and Owen Wilson, Marry Me

Jennifer Lopez and Owen Wilson, Marry Me

Universal Pictures

Director: Kat Coiro
Stars: Jennifer Lopez, Owen Wilson, Sarah Silverman, Maluma, Michelle Buteau
Genre: Comedy, Romance, Music
Rating: PG-13
Metacritic score: 51

There's no help for people who don't see the joy in Marry Me. It's a classic Jennifer Lopez rom-com, with J. Lo essentially playing herself — uh, sorry, playing Kat Valdez, a famous pop star who gets stood up by her fiancé (played by Maluma) on the night of their livestreamed hybrid concert/wedding (normal!) and picks a random regular Brooklyn dad (Owen Wilson) out of the audience to marry instead. And wouldn't you know it, they fall in love for real. But they live in two different worlds! Listen, I didn't say it broke the mold, I just said I had a good time watching it. [Trailer



No Time to Die (2021)

For fans of: Bond... James Bond

Daniel Craig and Ana de Armas, No Time to Die

Daniel Craig and Ana de Armas, No Time to Die

MGM

Director: Cary Fukunaga
Stars: Daniel Craig, Rami Malek, Léa Seydoux, Ana de Armas, Naomie Harris, Jeffrey Wright, Lashana Lynch, Ralph Fiennes, Ben Whishaw
Genre: Action, Adventure, Thriller
Rating: PG-13
Metacritic score: 68

No Time to Die is neither the best nor the worst Daniel Craig Bond movie, but it does mark his final appearance as the character, which makes it significant. It's a lengthy, stylish, occasionally inexplicable film that picks up after Bond has left active service with MI6 and is just trying to enjoy living a quiet life as a normal, extraordinarily handsome man. But you can't make a Bond movie about that, so it's all very quickly disrupted when the CIA recruits him to hunt down a mysterious and dangerous villain (Rami Malek). [Trailer



The Twilight film series

For fans of: The internet, vampires, CGI babies, Robert Pattinson and Kristen Stewart 

Kristen Stewart and Robert Pattinson, Twilight

Kristen Stewart and Robert Pattinson, Twilight

Lionsgate

Year: 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012
Director: Catherine Hardwicke, Chris Weitz, David Slade, Bill Condon
Stars: Kristen Stewart, Robert Pattinson, Taylor Lautner
Genre: Drama, Thriller, Fantasy, Romance
Rating: PG-13
Metacritic score: 56, 44, 58, 45, 52

What is there to say about Twilight that hasn't already been said? Stephanie Meyer's teen vampire romance books were adapted into a five-movie franchise that defined the late 2000s/early 2010s, introducing us to the love story between human high school student Bella (Kristen Stewart) and her undead boyfriend Edward (Robert Pattinson), but most importantly, these are the films that inspired a thousand memes. When people say "so bad it's good," they're talking about Twilight. [Trailer



Emergency (2022)

RJ Cyler and Donald Elise Watkins, Emergency

RJ Cyler and Donald Elise Watkins, Emergency

Amazon Studios

Director: Carey Williams
Stars: Sabrina Carpenter, Donald Elise Watkins, RJ Cyler
Genre: Drama, Comedy
Rating: R
Metacritic score: 75 

This Amazon film will likely get lost in the noise of the high-profile releases, but do not let it slip by if you're a fan of party comedies. The indie film follows a pair of young Black college seniors (RJ Cyler and Donald Elise Watkins) ready to let loose in a string of parties before spring break when they discover an unconscious white girl in their apartment, with no idea how she got there. Realizing the bad optics of the situation, they (and their Latino roommate) set out to return her to safety without their good intentions being misinterpreted. The movie got great reviews when it did the festival circuit earlier this year. -Tim Surette [Trailer]    



All the Old Knives (2022)

Thandiwe Newton and Chris Pine, All the Old Knives

Thandiwe Newton and Chris Pine, All the Old Knives

Stefania Rosini/Amazon Studios

Director: Janus Metz Pederson
Stars: Thandiwe Newton, Chris Pine, Jonathan Pryce, Laurence Fishburne
Genre: Drama, Thriller
Rating: R
Metacritic score: 63 

All the Old Knives sounds like a Knives Out sequel set in a nursing home (that's a free idea for Rian Johnson), but it's actually a thriller starring Chris Pine and Thandiwe Newton as spies who are also ex-lovers. I have no complaints about that concept. Based on the novel of the same name by Olen Steinhauer, who wrote the film's screenplay, the movie follows Pine's Henry Pelham as his investigation into a CIA mole becomes entangled in his history with Newton's Celia. Laurence Fishburne and Jonathan Pryce also star. Pine promoted this one in a series of to-die-for outfits. -Kelly Connolly [Trailer]     



Master (2022)

Regina Hall, Master

Regina Hall, Master

Sundance Institute

Director: Mariama Diallo
Stars: Regina Hall, Amber Gray, Zoe Renee
Genre: Drama/Horror
Rating: R
Metacritic score: 67 

The buzz out of Sundance and SXSW is that Regina Hall gives one of the best performances of her career in this horror movie about racism in the vein of Get Out. She plays a professor at a prestigious, predominately white New England university with a historical connection to the Salem Witch Trials and a legacy of racism that continues into the present. She, a Black first-year student (Zoe Renee), and another Black faculty member (Amber Gray) experience racism at the school as a literal haunting. It's an assured debut film from writer-director Mariama Diallo (a Yale graduate) that's adept at scares and social commentary. -Liam Mathews [Trailer]



Lucy and Desi (2022)

Desi Arnaz and Lucille Ball, Lucy and Desi

Desi Arnaz and Lucille Ball, Lucy and Desi

Library of Congress

Director: Amy Poehler (yes, that Amy Poehler)
Stars: Lucille Ball, Desi Arnaz
Genre: Documentary
Rating: NR
Metacritic score: 75 

Sure, Nicole Kidman played a great Lucille Ball in Aaron Sorkin's biopic Being the Ricardos (also on Amazon), but have you seen Lucille Ball play Lucille Ball? Amy Poehler directs this documentary looking at the lives of I Love Lucy's stars, both on set and at home. (Not to be confused with Lucy and Desi: A Home Movie, a 1993 documentary directed by Lucy and Desi's daughter, Lucie Arnaz, that is also on Amazon.) -Tim Surette [Trailer



The Protégé (2021)

Maggie Q and Michael Keaton, The Protégé

Maggie Q and Michael Keaton, The Protégé

Lionsgate

Director: Martin Campbell
Stars: Maggie Q, Michael Keaton, Samuel L. Jackson
Genre: Action, Thriller, Crime
Rating: R
Metacritic score: 48 

Look, if you tell me Maggie Q is starring in an action movie, I'm pretty much already on board. Here, she stars as a contract killer who vows to get brutal, bloody revenge on the people who killed her mentor (Samuel L. Jackson). Along the way, she becomes entangled in a game of cat and mouse with another ruthless criminal (Michael Keaton), and the two of them have such effortless chemistry it'll make you forget about the movie's shortcomings. The Protégé received middling reviews when it was released in theaters, but the fight scenes are well choreographed spectacles that make it the ideal watch when you want to turn your brain off. -Allison Picurro [Trailer


Book of Love (2022)

Sam Claflin and Verónica Echegui, Book of Love

Sam Claflin and Verónica Echegui, Book of Love

Amazon Studios

Director: Analeine Cal y Mayor
Stars: Sam Claflin, Verónica Echegui
Genre: Comedy, Romance
Metacritic score: 44 

In this silly, sweet romantic comedy, Sam Claflin plays the kind of character Hugh Grant would've played back in the '90s: an uptight British romance author who learns that his latest (and not very good) novel has become a huge hit in Mexico, spurring him to travel there for a book tour. He only realizes after he arrives that the Spanish version of his book has actually been rewritten into a much spicier story that's way more interesting than his original story, all thanks to Maria (Verónica Echegui), the woman who translated it. This is the kind of classic rom-com premise that I can't help being utterly endeared by. [Trailer


I Want You Back (2022)

For fans of: Jenny Slate, Charlie Day, ill-advised schemes

Jenny Slate, Charlie Day, I Want You Back

Jenny Slate, Charlie Day, I Want You Back

Amazon Studios

Director: Jason Orley
Stars: Charlie Day, Jenny Slate, Gina Rodriguez, Manny Jacinto, Scott Eastwood
Genre: Comedy, Romance
Rating: R
Metacritic score: 62

It's a Jenny Slate rom-com; it's a Charlie Day rom-com; it's a combination Jenny Slate-Charlie Day rom-com! And that means it's actually funny. I Want You Back pairs up two of Hollywood's most reliable chaos agents as a pair of strangers who bond over being recently dumped, then team up to win back their exes by destroying their new relationships. It's a solid romantic comedy that actually feels fresh, and who doesn't love a messy scheme? -Kelly Connolly [Trailer]


A Hero (2021)

For fans of: International films, twisty morality tales

Amir Jadidi, A Hero

Amir Jadidi, A Hero

Amir Hossein Shojaei

Director: Asghar Farhadi
Stars: Amir Jadidi, Mohsen Tanabandeh, Sahar Goldoost 
Genre:
Drama, Thriller
Rating: PG-13
Metacritic score: 82

The latest movie from Iranian filmmaker and two-time Oscar-winner Asghar Farhadi is this tense morality tale that's getting rave reviews from critics. It follows a man (Amir Jadidi) whose debt has landed him in jail, but a chance discovery of some gold coins while on furlough turns him into a national hero when he decides to return the bag of coins to its rightful owner. But beneath this seeming act of altruism lie questions of the man's true intentions. -Tim Surette [Trailer]


Being the Ricardos (2021)

For fans of: Aaron Sorkin, backstage drama

Nicole Kidman and Javier Bardem, Being the Ricardos

Nicole Kidman and Javier Bardem, Being the Ricardos

Amazon Studios

Director: Aaron Sorkin
Stars: Nicole Kidman, Javier Bardem, J.K. Simmons, Nina Arianda, Tony Hale, Alia Shawkat
Genre:
Biography, Drama, History
Rating: R
Metacritic score: 60

Ever want to see Aaron Sorkin stuff the mouths of Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz with his wordy monologues? Sorkin wrote and directed Being the Ricardos, a biopic following I Love Lucy's Ball and Arnaz during a critical moment in their careers when Ball was accused of being a communist and the gossip rags wondered if their relationship was on the fritz. Early reviews are middling, but the draw here is watching Nicole Kidman as Ball and Javier Bardem as Arnaz, accompanied by J.K. SimmonsTony HaleAlia Shawkat (Arrested Development reunion!), and Nina Arianda. -Tim Surette [Trailer]


Encounter (2021)

For fans of: Aliens, bugs, aliens that look like bugs

Lucian-River Chauhan, Riz Ahmed, and Aditya Geddada, Encounter

Lucian-River Chauhan, Riz Ahmed, and Aditya Geddada, Encounter

Amazon Studios

Director: Michael Pearce
Stars: Riz Ahmed, Octavia Spencer, Rory Cochrane, Janina Gavankar
Genre:
Sci-Fi, Thriller
Rating: R
Metacritic score: 57

Riz Ahmed follows up his Oscar-nominated turn in last year's The Sound of Metal with this paranoid sci-fi thriller that looks like a mix of Take Shelter and War of the Worlds. Ahmed plays Malik Khan, a decorated Marine who takes his two sons and goes AWOL to protect them from an alien threat – and military operatives who are trying to make sure the secret of that threat doesn't get out. It comes from writer-director Michael Pearce, who made the excellent 2017 psychological thriller Beast, so you can bet there will be some gut-punching twists and some meaty material for Ahmed to work with. The supporting cast includes Octavia SpencerJanina Gavankar, and Rory Cochrane-Liam Mathews [Trailer]


The Electrical Life of Louis Wain (2021)

For fans of: Benedict Cumberbatch, cats

Benedict Cumberbatch and Toby Jones, The Electrical Life of Louis Wain

Benedict Cumberbatch and Toby Jones, The Electrical Life of Louis Wain

Amazon Studios

Director: Will Sharpe
Stars: Benedict Cumberbatch, Claire Foy, Andrea Riseborough, Toby Jones
Genre:
Biography, Drama, History
Rating: PG-13
Metacritic score: 63

Benedict Cumberbatch plays the eccentric late 19th and early 20th century artist Louis Wain, known for his cat portraits, who falls for his sisters' governess (Claire Foy), in this fanciful biographical drama. Reviews for the film have been polite but rarely glowing — which is to be expected from a film created and directed by the dark and whimsical Will Sharpe (Flowers) — but it's got Benedict Cumberbatch and cats, so there are a lot of very online people who will certainly love it. Plus, Olivia Colman narrates. -Kelly Connolly [Trailer]


Everybody's Talking About Jamie (2021)

For fans of: Musicals, sweet coming-of-age stories

Max Harwood, Everybody's Talking About Jamie

Max Harwood, Everybody's Talking About Jamie

Amazon Studios

Directors: Dan Gillespie Sells, Jonathan Butterell, and Tom MacRae
Stars: Max Harwood, Lauren Patel, Sarah Lancashire, Richard E. Grant, Ralph Ineson, Sharon Horgan
Genre: Biography, Drama, Comedy, Musical
Rating: PG-13
Metacritic score: 62

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]


The Big Sick (2017)

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

Kumail Nanjiani and Zoe Kazan, The Big Sick

Kumail Nanjiani and Zoe Kazan, The Big Sick

Amazon Studios

Director: Michael Showalter
Stars: Kumail Nanjiani, Zoe Kazan, Ray Romano, Holly Hunter
Genre: Drama, Comedy, Romance
Rating:
Metacritic score: 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]


Cinderella (2021)

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

Director: Kay Cannon
Stars: Camila Cabello, Idina Menzel, Billy Porter, Minnie Driver, Nicholas Galitzine, Pierce Brosnan
Genre: Fantasy, Comedy, Romance, Family, Musical
Rating: PG
Metacritic score: 41

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]


Annette (2021)

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

Director: Leos Carax
Stars: Adam Driver, Marion Cotillard, Simon Helberg, Devyn McDowell
Genre: Drama, Romance, Musical
Rating: R
Metacritic score: 67

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]


Borat Subsequent Moviefilm (2020)

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

Sacha Baron Cohen, Borat Subsequent Moviefilm

Sacha Baron Cohen, Borat Subsequent Moviefilm

Amazon Studios

Director: Jason Woliner
Stars: Sacha Baron Cohen, Maria Bakalova
Genre: Comedy
Rating: R
Metacritic score: 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]


Get Duked! (2019)

For fans of: Trainspotting, psychedelics

Get Duked!

Amazon Studios

Director: Ninian Doff
Stars: Eddie Izzard, Kate Dickie, Samuel Bottomley, Viraj Juneja, Rian Gordon, Lewis Gribben
Genre: Action, Horror, Comedy, Music
Rating: R
Metacritic score: 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 (2016)

For fans of: Deception, but in a sexy way

The Handmaiden

Amazon Studios

Director: Chan-wook Park
Stars: Kim Min-hee, Kim Tae-ri, Ha Jung-woo, Cho Jin-woong
Genre: Drama, Thriller, Romance
Rating: Not rated
Metacritic score: 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 (2021)

For fans of: Kate Beckinsale violently brutalizing goons

Kate Beckinsale, Jolt

Kate Beckinsale, Jolt

Amazon Studios

Director: Tanya Wexler
Stars: Kate Beckinsale, Bobby Cannavale, Laverne Cox, Stanley Tucci, Jai Courtney
Genre: Action, Comedy
Rating: R
Metacritic score: 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]


Late Night (2019)

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

Late Night

Amazon Studios

Director: Nisha Ganatra
Stars: Emma Thompson, Mindy Kaling, Max Casella, Hugh Dancy
Genre: Comedy, Drama
Rating: R
Metacritic score: 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]


One Child Nation (2019)

For fans of: Learning about history without opening a book

One Child Nation

One Child Nation

Amazon Studios

Directors: Nanfu Wang, Zhang Lynn
Genre: History, Documentary
Rating: R
Metacritic score: 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... (2020)

For fans of: Historical figures, monologues

One Night in Miami

Amazon

Director: Regina King
Stars: Kingsley Ben-Adir, Eli Goree, Aldis Hodge, Leslie Odom Jr.
Genre: Drama
Rating: R
Metacritic score: 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 (2021)

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

Pink

Pink

David Crotty, Patrick McMullan via Getty Image

Director: Michael Gracey
Genre: Biography, Music, Documentary
Rating: Not rated
Metacritic score: 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]


Small Axe (2020)

For fans of: Social justice stories, period pieces

Small Axe

Small Axe

Amazon Studios

Director: Steve McQueen
Stars: John Boyega, Letitia Wright, Michael Ward, Amarah-Jae St. Aubyn, Sheyi Cole, Kenyah Sandy
Genre: Drama
Rating: R
Metacritic scores: 909584, 7787

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 (2020)

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

The Sound of Metal

Amazon

Director: Darius Marder
Stars: Riz Ahmed, Olivia Cooke, Paul Raci
Genre: Drama, Music
Rating: R
Metacritic score: 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 (2018)

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

Suspiria

Suspiria

Amazon Studios

Director: Luca Guadagnino
Stars: Dakota Johnson, Tilda Swinton, Mia Goth
Genre: Mystery, Thriller, Fantasy, Horror
Rating: R
Metacritic score: 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]


Sylvie's Love (2020)

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

Director: Eugene Ashe
Stars: Tessa Thompson, Nnamdi Asomugha
Genre: Drama, Romance, Music
Rating: PG-13
Metacritic score: 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 (2021)

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

Director: Chris McKay
Stars: Chris Pratt, Yvonne Strahovski, J. K. Simmons, Betty Gilpin, Sam Richardson
Genre: Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi, Drama, Thriller, War
Rating: PG-13
Metacritic score: 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 (2020)

For fans of: Road trips, Paul Bettany's American accent

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

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

Amazon Studios

Director: Alan Ball
Stars: Paul Bettany, Sophia Lillis, Peter Macdissi, Judy Greer, Steve Zahn
Genre: Drama, Comedy
Rating: R
Metacritic score: 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 (2021)

For fans of: Intimate portraits of '80s icons

Val Kilmer, Val

Val Kilmer, Val

Amazon Studios

Directors: Leo Scott, Ting Poo
Genre: Documentary
Rating: R
Metacritic score: 73

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's more revealing than the standard celebrity doc. [Trailer]


The Vast of Night (2019)

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

Director: Andrew Patterson
Stars: Sierra McCormick, Jake Horowitz
Genre: Sci-Fi, Drama, Mystery, Thriller, Fantasy
Rating: PG-13
Metacritic score: 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]