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Veteran subscribers of the streaming platform would agree that the ever-evolving catalog of movies on Amazon Prime Video is in endless supply. There is almost too much to choose from, which often leads to more time scrolling to find the best movies on Amazon Prime Video than actually spent enjoying the film.
This is something any movie buff can empathize with, as some viewers might start the night off interested in an action-packed romance before quickly changing their tune to something more fantastic with a humorous twist. Then, there are those moments when the young ones pop in wanting to join in on the fun, meaning something more family-friendly is in order.
Luckily, you can find all of that and more on Amazon Prime. Of course, as any frequent streamer should know, access to that much content is both a blessing and a curse. Allow us to help narrow down your search with our picks for the 25 best films currently available to stream as of April 1, 2021, unless otherwise specified.
Forgetting Sarah Marshall (2008)
Jason Segel writes and stars in the uproarious and heartfelt “romantic disaster comedy” Forgetting Sarah Marshall as a TV music composer whose post-break-up Hawaii trip is interrupted by his actress ex (Kristen Bell) and her new rock star beau (Russell Brand).
How To Train Your Dragon (2010)
The bumbling son of a village’s top dragon hunter (Jay Baruchel) discovers an injured firebreather and strikes up a relationship that could change his world forever in How to Train Your Dragon - the first in Dreamworks Animation’s hit adventure trilogy.
Moonrise Kingdom (2012)
Wes Anderson writes and directs one the most winning celebrations of young love ever put to film in Moonrise Kingdom, which follows an orphaned boy (Jared Gilman) and girl with divorcing parents (Kara Hayward) outrunning their adult peers to be together in 1960s New England.
My Cousin Vinny (1992)
Marisa Tomei won an Oscar for playing the tough-as-nails fiancée of Joe Pesci’s titular New York lawyer defending his young cousin (Ralph Macchio) and friend (Mitchell Whitfield) in an Alabama murder case in My Cousin Vinny - arguably the funniest courtroom movie of all time.
That Thing You Do! (1996)
An Oscar nomination for Best Original Song was given to “That Thing You Do!” - the fictional, titular one-hit wonder from the directorial debut of Tom Hanks, who also writes and acts, about four young musicians who get a crash course in fame and fortune in the mid-1960s.
Waiting To Exhale (1995)
Future Oscar-winning actor Forest Whitaker made his feature-length directorial debut with this adaptation Terry McMillan’s novel Waiting to Exhale, which chronicles the romantic struggles of four Black women, including Angela Bassett and the late Whitney Houston, who sang several songs from the stirring soundtrack.
The Abyss (1989)
The Oscar-winning special effects in writer and director James Cameron’s The Abyss, in which a team of divers tasked to retrieve a missing nuclear submarine make an otherworldly discovery underwater, set the precedent for what the visual effects in Terminator 2: Judgment Day would accomplish two years later.
Back To The Future (1985)
With the help of his nuclear physicist friend (Christopher Lloyd), an '80s teenager (Michael J. Fox) stuck in the 1950s must play matchmaker for his own parents before he can go Back to the Future in director Robert Zemeckis' beloved time travel adventure.
48 Hrs. (1982)
Witness the birth of a movie star in Eddie Murphy's first feature film 48 Hrs., a hilarious and thrilling buddy movie in which the then 21-year-old plays an ex-con who teams up with a hardened cop (Nick Nolte), much to his chagrin, on a two-day hunt for a pair of vicious murderers in San Francisco.
The Terminal (2004)
As his country is suffering a war-torn governmental collapse that makes him ineligible to enter the United States, a European visitor (Tom Hanks) is forced to make himself at home inside New York's John F. Kennedy Airport where he grows close with an attractive flight attendant (Catherine Zeta Jones) and other employees in the endearing romantic dramedy The Terminal, from director Steven Spielberg.
Sound Of Metal (2020)
Riz Ahmed received a Golden Globe nomination for his performance in the powerful, heartbreaking, and inventively executed Amazon Prime original Sound of Metal as a rock and roll drummer struggling with his own identity and purpose when he begins to lose his hearing.
E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial (1992)
One of director Steven Spielberg's most iconic, successful, and heartwarming family-friendly adventures is E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial, the story of two young, lonely people (one from Earth and one from outer space) who form a bond that redefines the meaning of "close" while figuring out how to help the alien visitor find his way home.
Rain Man (1988)
Tom Cruise is at his most emotionally grounded and Dustin Hoffman is at his most Oscar-winningly transformative is as a selfish auto dealer and the autistic savant older brother who never knew he had director Barry Levinson's beautifully told drama Rain Man, which also won the Academy Award for Best Picture in 1989.
Shine A Light (2008)
See The Rolling Stones like never before as only a filmmaker and famed fan like Martin Scorsese could capture in Shine a Light, which combines an archival chronicle of the legendary, almost literally immortal rock band's decades-long career with intimate footage from their monumental, two-night performance at New York's Beacon Theater in 2006.
Dazed And Confused (1993)
Writer and director Richard Linklater channels the best (and worst) memories of his days growing up in 1970s Texas into his third feature-length effort Dazed and Confused, which depicts one life-changing first day of summer through the eyes of a disparate group of former and soon-to-be high schoolers and a badass soundtrack.
You’re Next (2011)
Before helming a new interpretation of one of the most iconic monster mash-ups of all time, director Adam Wingard (from a screenplay by his frequent collaborator Simon Barrett) introduced a new interpretation of the home invasion thriller with You’re Next that is refreshingly clever, relentlessly action packed, and tastefully funny when it is not offering some of the most shockingly revolting kills in recent memory.
A cartoonist (Jake Gyllenhaal), a crime reporter (Robert Downey Jr.), and an FBI agent (Mark Ruffalo) each make increasingly desperate attempts to identify and capture one of San Francisco’s most deadly notoriously elusive serial murderers in Zodiac - as much an informative and engaging dramatization of the hunt for the famous killer as it is a fascinating cautionary parable about obsession from director David Fincher.
The Last Black Man In San Francisco (2019)
After returning to his birthplace in California, a man struggles to feel at home again for a variety of devastating reasons in the A24 produced drama The Last Black Man in San Francisco, a stunning semi-autobiographical retelling of star and co-writer Jimmie Fails’ life story from first-time director Joe Talbot that also features Lovecraft Country star Jonathan Majors.
A group of men break into a house to find a rare videocassette, only to find tapes with footage of a deadly night of debauchery, a young couple’s ill-fated road trip, one very strange Halloween, and other increasingly disturbing tales in V/H/S - arguably one of the most unapologetically raw and satisfyingly scary examples of both horror anthologies and found footage thrillers there is.
Stream V/H/S on Amazon Prime. *
Also try streaming Hell House LLC on Amazon Prime.*
Witness the life of the genius singer, songwriter, and piano player Elton John like you could never imagine in Rocketman - director Dexter Fletcher’s whimsical musical biopic starring Taron Egerton in a Golden Globe-winning performance that sees him disappear into the role of the beloved artist while boldly making the role all his own at the same time.
Reservoir Dogs (1992)
The crime genre would never be the same after writer and director Quentin Tarantino’s first feature Reservoir Dogs, which chronicles the non-linear moments leading up to and following after a disastrous jewelry store heist the audience never sees with the same unflinching realism and razor sharp dialogue that we have come to know and love the unique and extremely passionate filmmaker for today.
The Prestige (2006)
The world of magic would never look the same after the shocking secrets revealed in Christopher Nolan’s surreal, mind-boggling period piece The Prestige, in which Christian Bale and Hugh Jackman as a pair of talented rival illusionists who grow increasingly and devastatingly desperate to surpass one another in a long-standing battle of wits.
Moulin Rouge! (2001)
Quite possibly the peak of Baz Luhrmann’s eye for visually intoxicating, dream-like glimpses of yesteryear set to a modern soundtrack is the Oscar-winning musical Moulin Rouge!, starring Ewan McGregor as a poet who falls for Nicole Kidman as the star performer at the immoral, titular establishment in late 19th Century Paris.
Star Trek II: The Wrath Of Khan (1982)
James T. Kirk (William Shatner) and his trusted Enterprise take on a legendary nemesis (Richard Montalban) in Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, which is considered by most Trekkies to be the finest cinematic continuation of Gene Roddenberry’s original cult favorite TV series.
Gretel And Hansel (2020)
Director Osgood Perkins puts a darker spin on an already quite dark bedtime story in Gretel and Hansel, which stars young Samuel Leakey as young boy who encounters a dubious old woman (Alice Krige) with his older sister, played by It star Sophia Lillis, fully earning her Scream Queen status.
One Night In Miami (2020)
In her first feature-length directorial effort, Academy Award-winning actress Regina King guides four actors at the top of their game (Leslie Odom Jr., Aldis Hodge, Kingsley Ben-Adir, and Eli Goree) as four of the most famous faces of the 1960s civil rights movement in their prime in One Night in Miami, which writer Kemp Powers' also adapts from his own acclaimed stage play.
Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (2000)
Taiwanese-born director Ang Lee became one of the most sought after filmmakers in America due to the success of his stunning kung-fu hit Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, which also earned the 2001 Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film.
Knives Out (2019)
Agatha Christie would have been proud of Knives Out, truly a "whodunnit like they’ve never done it before" from writer and director Rian Johnson that incorporates a stellar cast (most notably Daniel Craig's dazzling detective role) and inventively puzzling twists on the mystery thriller structure that never cease you keep you guessing.
With the recent resurgence of Twilight Zone-esque anthology TV series, many films have unsurprisingly attempted to emulate similar styles of analogous, sci-fi social commentary, with Vivarium (starring Imogen Poots and Jesse Eisenberg trapped in a terrifying maze bearing a soulless resemblance to an idyllic suburb) being one of the more unique and persistently unnerving.
Fighting With My Family (2019)
A former professional wrestler's daughter (future Oscar nominee Florence Pugh) tries to make it in world of WWE with help from Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson (appearing as himself) in. Fighting with my Family, which is based on the life of Saraya-Jade Bevis, or "Paige" as she is better known as in the ring.
Bill Paxton puts in double duty as the director and one of the central characters of Frailty, a deeply disturbing drama with a killer twist conclusion starring Matthew McConaughey as the son of man with a fanatical, dangerous obsession with hunting demonic forces who decides to confess his father's deeds as he witnessed them throughout his youth to an FBI agent (Powers Boothe).
Even the most intense military training imaginable cannot prepare a group of American soldiers for the weird, unspeakable horrors they will encounter in Nazi-occupied France in Overlord, a J.J. Abrams-produced epic set during World War II that is a little bit Call of Duty, a little bit Call of Duty: Zombies, and all glorious, B-movie entertainment.
As she continues to process a horrific tragedy and endure a rocky relationship with her longtime beau (Jack Reynor), Dani (Florence Pugh) is awfully unprepared for the traumatic and devastating events in store at Midsommar, the seemingly serene, titular Swedish festival in Ari Aster's second, alarmingly successful attempt at unlocking the darkest corners of his audience's souls.
The Peanut Butter Falcon (2019)
An on-the-run criminal (Shia LaBeouf) welcomes an aspiring professional wrestler with Down's Syndrome (Zack Gottsagen in his feature-length acting debut) onto his makeshift sailboat for a trip to find a new scene that becomes a journey self rediscovery in The Peanut Butter Falcon, one of the sweetest and most inspiring dramas in recent years.
Super 8 (2011)
As the director of alien flicks like the aforementioned E.T. and a producer on family adventures like The Goonies, it makes sense that Steven Spielberg would sing on as an EP on a film that pays tribute to the ideas and tones of both like director J.J. Abrams' Super 8, in which a group of aspiring pre-teen filmmakers catch a glimpse of something beyond their imaginations while trying to make their B-movie in 1979.
Well, a subscriber to the streaming giant certainly cannot ask for a better assortment of flicks for the ultimate binge. Or could they? What do you believe is the best of the best movies on Amazon Prime Video currently available to stream the moment?