The 60 Best Movies On Prime Video Right Now (June 2022)

Once considered a poor man's version of Netflix, Amazon's Prime Video service has improved by leaps and bounds in recent years, now boasting an impressive collection of films. From old classics to new releases, its library has something for everyone. Amazon has even become a legitimate player as an independent studio, with several of its films nominated for Academy Awards. In 2022, the company received four nominations: three acting nods for "Being the Ricardos," and a best hair and makeup honor for "Coming 2 America." But even if your tastes run counter to awards fodder, there's plenty on the service to tempt the budding cinephile in all of us. Here are 60 of the best films that you can find currently on Prime Video.

Updated on June 13, 2022: Prime Video makes changes to its catalog every month, adding some films while removing others. We'll be keeping this list updated to reflect the best movies you can find on the service at this very moment.

Anthropoid

Based on Operation Anthropoid, a plot by the Czech resistance to assassinate Reinhard Heydrich, the highest-ranking Nazi in Prague, "Anthropoid" is a moving World War II film that ventures outside the traditional sphere of Britain, France, and the United States. Cillian Murphy and Jamie Dornan play the two Czech operatives who have been tasked with spearheading this operation, putting together a team that will execute Heydrich while simultaneously avoiding the attention of the Nazi occupiers who lurk down every street. The stakes are high — both men are fighting for their country, and they know the deadly consequences of failure. The end result is a deeply emotional war drama that brings to life the sacrifices made by Czech freedom fighters.

  • Starring: Cillian Murphy, Jamie Dornan, Charlotte Le Bon

  • Director: Sean Ellis

  • Year: 2016

  • Runtime: 120 minutes

  • Rating: R

  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 66%

The Apartment

In "The Apartment," Bud (Jack Lemmon) reluctantly finds the key to climbing the corporate ladder: having a Manhattan apartment that he can loan out to his bosses so that they can conduct their illicit affairs in private. From the beginning, he's not entirely comfortable with this practice, but it really begins to bother him when he accidentally falls in love with his boss' mistress, Fran (Shirley MacLaine). Their relationship unfolds slowly, starting with friendship and only gradually evolving into something more. It ends with the now-famous scene of them playing gin rummy in Bud's apartment, during which their true feelings are laid bare in an understated but nonetheless romantic conclusion.

  • Starring: Jack Lemmon, Shirley MacLaine, Fred MacMurray

  • Director: Billy Wilder

  • Year: 1960

  • Runtime: 125 minutes

  • Rating: NR

  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 94%

Beasts of the Southern Wild

Set against the captivating backdrop of the Louisiana bayou, "Beasts of the Southern Wild" stars Quvenzhané Wallis as Hushpuppy, a young girl who is left to her own devices when her father, Wink (Dwight Henry), becomes seriously ill. There are plenty of reasons to watch "Beasts of the Southern Wild" — its imaginative filmmaking style, and its enchanting depiction of a unique community that seems somehow separate from the modern world, to name two — but chief among them has to be Wallis' performance as Hushpuppy. At just six years old, she commands the screen and owns every inch of "Beasts of the Southern Wild."

  • Starring: Quvenzhané Wallis, Jonshel Alexander, Dwight Henry

  • Director: Benh Zeitlin

  • Year: 2012

  • Runtime: 93 minutes

  • Rating: PG-13

Rotten Tomatoes Score: 86%

Best Years of Our Lives

In the aftermath of World War II, soldiers returning home faced quite an adjustment back to civilian life. "The Best Years of Our Lives" follows three men as they attempt to reintegrate themselves into society, despite the physical and emotional trauma of war. Homer Parrish (played by Harold Russell, who would win two Academy Awards for his work on this film — quite an accomplishment for his debut performance) would face particular difficulties, having lost both of his hands in combat. Unique amidst a sea of movies celebrating the war, "The Best Years of Our Lives" provides an unblemished look at the real problems American soldiers faced upon returning stateside with a surprising clarity for a film made just a year after World War II ended.

  • Starring: Fredric March, Dana Andrews, Harold Russell

  • Director: William Wyler

  • Year: 1946

  • Runtime: 172 minutes

  • Rating: NR

  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 98%

The Big Sick

Based on the real-life romance between Kumail Nanjiani and Emily V. Gordon (both of whom wrote this screenplay, and were eventually rewarded with an Oscar nomination for their efforts), "The Big Sick" is an unconventional love story. After a brief romance, Emily's plan to break up with Kumail hits a snag when she becomes seriously ill and falls into a coma, leaving Kumail able to do little more than sit in a hospital waiting room, hoping that she'll wake up. During this agonizing wait, he bonds with Emily's parents, played with wit and empathy by Ray Romano and Holly Hunter. As their relationship grows, Emily's illness forces him to reckon with the depths of his feelings for her. An unexpectedly genuine romantic comedy, "The Big Sick" blends laughs with emotional resonance.

  • Starring: Kumail Nanjiani, Zoe Kazan, Ray Romano

  • Director: Michael Showalter

  • Year: 2017

  • Runtime: 120 minutes

  • Rating: R

  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 98%

Blow the Man Down

A studio like Amazon is at its best when it puts its faith in the sort of low-budget, independent filmmaking that we see in "Blow the Man Down." Two sisters, living together in a small fishing town in coastal Maine and grieving the recent loss of their mother, have their lives upended when they cross paths with a violent stranger. It sounds like it's going to be pretty dark (and, at times, it is) but it's also genuinely hilarious, managing to blend tragedy and humor to make one of the better black comedies in recent years. Margo Martindale as a local brothel owner is reliably excellent, but it's the film's two stars, Morgan Saylor and Sophie Lowe, who steal the show.

  • Starring: Margo Martindale, Morgan Saylor, Sophie Lowe

  • Director: Bridget Savage Cole, Danielle Krudy

  • Year: 2019

  • Runtime: 91 minutes

  • Rating: R

  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 98%

Braveheart

We all have a pretty distinct image of "Braveheart": Mel Gibson, suffering the most brutal death imaginable, yelling, "Freedom!" in bloody defiance of his fate. But there's more to the historical war drama than just that moment. "Braveheart" is the (very historically inaccurate) story of William Wallace, a Scottish lord who would play a large role in the First War of Scottish Independence, running afoul of the English king who ultimately signed his death warrant. Between Gibson's as-yet-unsullied star quality and the vast production values that brought 13th-century Scotland to live, "Braveheart" is every inch a war epic worthy of its fame.

  • Starring: Mel Gibson, Sophie Marceau, Angus Macfadyen

  • Director: Mel Gibson

  • Year: 1995

  • Runtime: 170 minutes

  • Rating: R

  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 76%

Charade

If there was an award for the film that feels most like an Alfred Hitchcock thriller without actually being directed by Alfred Hitchcock, "Charade" would win it, hands down. This quirky little mystery stars Audrey Hepburn as a woman who returns from a vacation in the Alps only to discover that her husband has been murdered and a group of nefarious men are on the hunt for his missing fortune. Together with Cary Grant, she has to find the money before they do, and stay alive in the process. Stylish and even funny as it delivers a legitimately engaging thrill ride, "Charade" is entirely charming.

  • Starring: Audrey Hepburn, Cary Grant, Walter Matthau

  • Director: Stanley Donen

  • Year: 1963

  • Runtime: 115 minutes

  • Rating: NR

  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 94%

Chi-Raq

Leave it to Spike Lee to take the classic Greek play "Lysistrata," in which a group of women go on a sex strike in a bid to convince their husbands and lovers to stop fighting in the Peloponnesian War, and transplant it to modern day Chicago. The storyline of "Chi-Raq" is essentially the same: On the south side of Chicago, the women are exhausted by the constant gang violence in their community, and are willing to use unconventional methods to force the men to put down their weapons. Aside from a stand-out performance from Teyonah Parris as Lysistrata herself, "Chi-Raq" has the added distinction of being the very first film produced by the newly-minted Amazon Studios.

  • Starring: Teyonah Parris, Wesley Snipes, Samuel L. Jackson

  • Director: Spike Lee

  • Year: 2015

  • Runtime: 127 minutes

  • Rating: R

  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 82%

The City of Lost Children

Spooky, weird, and extremely French, "The City of Lost Children" stars Ron Perlman in a rare foreign language role. Here, he plays One, a carnival worker who gets in over his head when his younger brother is kidnapped. The villain of the piece is Krank, an unsettling figure who is driven to madness by his inability to dream. One teams up with Miette (Judith Vittet) in an attempt to rescue his brother, but their adventures take them through a steampunk hellscape that they're lucky to escape from with their lives. If you like "Edward Scissorhands" but wish that it had a more bizarre aesthetic, "The City of Lost Children" might just be the film for you.

  • Starring: Marc Caro, Judith Vittet, Ron Perlman

  • Director: Jean-Pierre Jeunet, Marc Caro

  • Year: 1995

  • Runtime: 112 minutes

  • Rating: R

  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 79%

Cold War

It's difficult to think of an on-screen romance in recent years that is more dysfunctional yet emotionally arresting than the one we see in "Cold War." Tomasz Kot stars as a scout putting together a team of dancers and singers who will travel Europe performing traditional Polish folk music. Joanna Kulig plays Zula, his star, a magnetic singer with so much talent and charisma that it's difficult to take your eyes off her. An unlikely romance unfolds between the two, but their relationship is as troubled as it is electric. They spend ages reuniting all over Europe, only to self-destruct when they finally have an opportunity to just be together. With gorgeous cinematography and two charismatic lead performances, "Cold War" is an unconventional romance for the ages.

  • Starring: Joanna Kulig, Tomasz Kot, Joanna Depczynska

  • Director: Pawel Pawlikowski

  • Year: 2018

  • Runtime: 90 minutes

  • Rating: R

  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 92%

The Conversation

In "The Conversation," Gene Hackman plays a surveillance professional who spends his days eavesdropping on the activities of others, but his life becomes infinitely more complicated when he overheads a conversation between a man and a woman who seem to be discussing a murder plot. He is unwittingly drawn into their violent schemes, and must hide what he knows in order to survive. "The Conversation" features one of Gene Hackman's very best performances (no small feat), and might also be the film that most effectively uses sound as a narrative element.

  • Starring: Gene Hackman, Harrison Ford, John Cazale

  • Director: Francis Ford Coppola

  • Year: 1974

  • Runtime: 113 minutes

  • Rating: PG

  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 97%

The Curious Case of Benjamin Button

Based on a short story by F. Scott Fitzgerald, "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button" uses technical wizardry to tell the story of an extraordinary man who lives his life in reverse. Born a tiny version of an elderly man, he grows younger and younger over the years, with star Brad Pitt physically transformed through CGI from pint-sized geriatric to smooth-faced teen. We follow him on a series of adventures as he grows up, learning about the world that is his oyster more and more each day. The film, though decidedly unconventional, was a massive success, receiving 13 Academy Award nominations.

  • Starring: Brad Pitt, Cate Blanchett, Taraji P. Henson

  • Director: David Fincher

  • Year: 2008

  • Runtime: 166 minutes

  • Rating: PG-13

  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 71%

Dead Poets Society

In the grand legacy of inspirational teacher films, "Dead Poets Society" stands out as one of the very best. Upper-class boys at an elite prep school need to get an education so that they can go on to accomplish all the impressive things their parents expect of them, but Mr. Keating (Robin Williams) is out to do more than that: He wants to teach them how to feel, how to be alive, through the magic of poetry. Full of maudlin sentimentality it may be, but "Dead Poets Society" is nonetheless incredibly effective. Featuring one of Robin Williams' best performances and star-making turns from young actors Robert Sean Leonard and Ethan Hawke, "Dead Poets Society" succeeds in packing an emotional wallop.

  • Starring: Robin Williams, Robert Sean Leonard, Ethan Hawke

  • Director: Peter Weir

  • Year: 1989

  • Runtime: 128 minutes

  • Rating: PG

  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 83%

Dirty Dancing

"Dirty Dancing," like Baby (Jennifer Grey) herself, should never be underestimated. What began as a scrappy little independent film from the 1980s that was never expected to make much of an impact has since gone on to become a cultural touchstone. "Dirty Dancing" is a coming-of-age story about Baby, a young woman on vacation with her family at a resort in the Catskills who has a summer fling with the dancing instructor, Johnny (Patrick Swayze). With an extremely catchy soundtrack, a now-iconic dance lift, and sizzling chemistry between the two leads, the film has been charming audiences for generations and shows no signs of stopping.

  • Starring: Patrick Swayze, Jennifer Grey, Jerry Orbach

  • Director: Emile Ardolino

  • Year: 1987

  • Runtime: 100 minutes

  • Rating: PG-13

  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 69%

District 9

Set amidst the backdrop of a neo-apartheid state in South Africa, "District 9" explores a world in which prawn-like aliens have become stranded on Earth, becoming reluctant refugees in the slums of Johannesburg. Sharlto Copley stars as a low-level case worker whose life is turned upside down when, while raiding the alien district, he is sprayed with a mysterious goo that causes him to turn into an alien. "District 9" eloquently casts a critical eye on society's cruel and inhumane treatment of outsiders who, mistrusted and thoroughly othered, are forced to live on starvation rations and held to ridiculous standards that make it difficult for them to survive, let alone thrive.

  • Starring: Sharlto Copley, Jason Cope, Vanessa Haywood

  • Director: Neill Blomkamp

  • Year: 2009

  • Runtime: 112 minutes

  • Rating: R

  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 90%

The Electrical Life of Louis Wain

Benedict Cumberbatch and an endless sea of adorable cats — what more do you really need? In "The Electrical Life of Louis Wain," Cumberbatch stars as the titular Louis, an English cartoonist whose engaging anthropomorphized illustrations of cats went a long way towards making the domesticated feline a staple of the middle-class Victorian household. But although his images are adorable, Louis' life isn't easy. He begins by drawing pictures of his own cat for his dying wife (Claire Foy) in an effort to cheer her during her last days, and struggles with mental illness throughout the film. Nonetheless, "The Electrical Life of Louis Wain" is a magical film that captures the beauty of unconventional points of view.

  • Starring: Benedict Cumberbatch, Claire Foy, Andrea Riseborough

  • Director: Will Sharpe

  • Year: 2021

  • Runtime: 111 minutes

  • Rating: PG-13

  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 70%

The Elephant Man

Based on the true story of John Merrick, "The Elephant Man" is an empathetic exploration of the humanity of a severely disfigured man in Victorian England. A London doctor (Anthony Hopkins) is stunned to discover that his patient, terribly abused as a member of a traveling freak show, is a man of intellect and great feeling. Merrick's sheer joy at being treated like a person by his new friends is only equaled by the continuing horror of the cruelty hurled at him by those who see him as little more than an animal. 

With an incredible leading performance from John Hurt and makeup so impressive that it would inspire the Academy to create a new category the following year, "The Elephant Man" never fails to make a profound impression on audiences.

  • Starring: John Hurt, Anthony Hopkins, Anne Bancroft

  • Director: David Lynch

  • Year: 1980

  • Runtime: 124 minutes

  • Rating: PG

  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 93%

Emergency

When two Black college students head back to their dorm room after a night of drinking, they're met with an expected problem: There's an unconscious white girl asleep in their apartment. Together, they have to figure out a way to get her safely home without endangering themselves; they worry that, as Black men, if they call the police they'll be asking for trouble. Blending dark comedy with a fresh social awareness, "Emergency" is a clever and frequently tense piece of satire that will entertain viewers while driving home certain unwelcome realities about life as a minority in America.

  • Starring: Sabrina Carpenter, RJ Cyler, Donald Elise Watkins

  • Director: Carey Williams

  • Year: 2022

  • Runtime: 105 minutes

  • Rating: R

  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 92%

The Fly

If there's one thing David Cronenberg likes, it's a little bit of body horror. Or, in the case of "The Fly," a lot of body horror. Jeff Goldblum stars as Seth Brundle, a scientist who believes that he's discovered the key to teleportation, only to accidentally merge his own body with that of a fly. Before long, he begins to transform into a grotesque half-human, half-fly creature, charmingly referred to as the "Brundlefly." Between Jeff Goldblum's lead performance, incredible makeup and prosthetic design, and a whole lot of subtext, "The Fly" is a note-perfect 1980s creature feature.

  • Starring: Jeff Goldblum, Geena Davis, Vincent Price

  • Director: David Cronenberg

  • Year: 1986

  • Runtime: 96 minutes

  • Rating: R

  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 93%

Freaks

"One of us! One of us!" If you know nothing else about "Freaks," you've probably heard that iconic line, uttered when circus performer Cleopatra marries the diminutive Hans for his money, and the freak show performers welcome her into their makeshift family. One of the most disturbing films of the pre-Code era, Tod Browning's "Freaks" is an unsettling exploration of the community that exists amongst carnival sideshow acts. Featuring a number of disabled actors who had been former freak show stars, the film walks a strangely thin line between exploitative and empowering. Although the "freaks" are undeniably included for shock value, there are also a number of sequences that show them engaging in entirely ordinary behavior, often showcasing the ways in which they've developed work-arounds for their various disabilities.

  • Starring: Olga Baclanova, Johnny Eck, Harry Earles

  • Director: Tod Browning

  • Year: 1932

  • Runtime: 64 minutes

  • Rating: NR

  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 95%

Goldeneye

In 1995, Pierce Brosnan took up the mantle of James Bond in "Goldeneye," kicking off his tenure as England's most famous superspy. And what a debut it is! Not only is Brosnan one of the best actors to assume the role, but he's also surrounded by an excellent cast, including Sean Bean as Alec Trevelyan, a former MI6 agent who has gone rogue, and Alan Cumming as Boris Greshinko, an adorably nerdy little computer programmer. After six years without a single James Bond movie, "Goldeneye" more than made up for the wait, featuring Bond's fight to prevent the Janus crime syndicate from activating a Soviet-era nuclear space-based weapon named, you guessed it, Goldeneye.

  • Starring: Pierce Brosnan, Sean Bean, Alan Cumming

  • Director: Martin Campbell

  • Year: 1995

  • Runtime: 128 minutes

  • Rating: PG-13

  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 80%

Heathers

Even though Veronica (Winona Ryder) hangs out with the popular clique at her high school with a trio of girls named Heather, she never stops feeling as though she doesn't fit in. Matters only get worse when she falls in love with teen rebel J.D. (Christian Slater) and becomes accidentally involved in a string of murders. This is "Heathers," a subversive 1989 comedy whose pitch-black sense of humor stands in defiance of the lighter and more upbeat John Hughes output from the Brat Pack. Wringing humor from subjects that have no business being funny, "Heathers" is fascinatingly surreal.

  • Starring: Winona Ryder, Christian Slater, Kim Walker

  • Director: Michael Lehmann

  • Year: 1989

  • Runtime: 103 minutes

  • Rating: R

  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 93%

Inside Llewyn Davis

Siri, show me what depression looks like. "Inside Llewyn Davis" is perhaps the most effective depiction of mental health issues in a film that isn't explicitly about mental health. Llewyn Davis (Oscar Isaac) walks through life in a cloud of self-loathing and listlessness, deflated and exhausted by even the simplest acts. Still reeling from the unexpected suicide of his best friend and musical partner, Davis struggles to get a handle on his failing solo career. Nothing ever seems to work out right for him, and it's hard for him to escape the feeling that he ruins everything he touches. With an incredible folk-rock soundtrack and one of the Coen brothers' most emotionally evocative scripts, "Inside Llewyn Davis" is a modern masterpiece.

  • Starring: Oscar Isaac, Carey Mulligan, Justin Timberlake

  • Director: Ethan Coen, Joel Coen

  • Year: 2013

  • Runtime: 105 minutes

  • Rating: R

  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 92%

I Want You Back

When Peter (Charlie Day) and Emma (Jenny Slate) are dumped by their significant others, they create a special pact: Each will befriend the other's ex, and attempt to sabotage their new relationships. This is the plot of "I Want You Back," an offbeat romantic comedy that succeeds on the charms of its two leads. Day and Slate have great comedic chemistry, which helps overcome the fact that their messed-up sabotage plan should make both of their characters extremely unlikable. As a light-hearted diversion, "I Want You Back" is pleasant enough, serving as one of Amazon Studio's most endearing romantic comedies.

  • Starring: Charlie Day, Jenny Slate, Scott Eastwood

  • Director: Jason Orley

  • Year: 2022

  • Runtime: 111 minutes

  • Rating: R

  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 87%

The Joy Luck Club

Based on a book by Amy Tan, "The Joy Luck Club" explores the relationships between a group of Chinese immigrants in San Francisco. Aside from their shared cultural heritage, these women have one major thing in common: They each have a grown-up daughter whom they struggle to connect with. Their experiences are so incredibly different from their kids' that the two generations never seem able to understand one another. A seminal work about the Asian-American experience, "The Joy Luck Club" stands out as authentic and honest after Hollywood's shameful legacy of lazy stereotypes and offensive caricatures.

  • Starring: Ming-Na Wen, Kieu Chinh, Tsai Chin

  • Director: Wayne Wang

  • Year: 1993

  • Runtime: 139 minutes

  • Rating: R

  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 86%

Late Night

"Women aren't funny," a generation of male comedians insisted. The female-driven comedy "Late Night" completely obliterates that premise. In it, Mindy Kaling stars as Molly, an aspiring writer who gets a shot at the big time when she is hired by a failing late night talk show headlined by the famously prickly Katherine Newbury (Emma Thompson). Katherine came up in a different era of comedy, and struggles to connect with younger viewers. Molly is tasked with freshening up Katherine's act, and in the process, the two form a strong bond that allows Katherine to rediscover the spark that she once had. Both a celebration of women in comedy and a commentary on the mediocrity of many talk shows, "Late Night" is an underrated gem.

  • Starring: Mindy Kaling, Emma Thompson, Hugh Dancy

  • Director: Nisha Ganatra

  • Year: 2019

  • Runtime: 102 minutes

  • Rating: R

  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 80%

A League of Their Own

Despite the fact that Tom Hanks famously says, "There's no crying in baseball," there will in fact be quite a bit of crying in "A League of Their Own" — at least on the part of the audience. One of the most charming sports films in cinematic history, "A League of Their Own" follows the creation of a women's baseball league in the midst of World War II, when many of the male ball players had enlisted to fight overseas. With a tremendous ensemble cast of female characters and a hilarious yet moving script, the film worms its way into your heart and has more rewatch value than almost anything else on this list.

  • Starring: Geena Davis, Lori Petty, Tom Hanks

  • Director: Penny Marshall

  • Year: 1992

  • Runtime: 126 minutes

  • Rating: PG

  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 80%

Les Misérables

As the big-screen adaptation of one of the most famous musicals ever made, "Les Misérables" is epic in every sense of the word. Director Tom Hooper made the decision to have every actor sing live rather than relying on recordings, giving an immediacy to Victor Hugo's sprawling saga of revolution and justice. And while the vocal performances are a mixed bag, the highs (Anne Hathaway is incredibly haunting as Fantine, earning herself an Academy Award for her rendition of "I Dreamed a Dream," and Aaron Tveit brings a Broadway-trained energy to Enjolras) far outweigh any weaknesses in the cast.

  • Starring: Hugh Jackman, Russell Crowe, Anne Hathaway

  • Director: Tom Hooper

  • Year: 2012

  • Runtime: 157 minutes

  • Rating: PG-13

  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 70%

Lincoln

When it comes to U.S. presidents, Abraham Lincoln comes across as less of a person and more of a legend. There have been plenty of films featuring him and his life story, but Spielberg's "Lincoln" breathes new life into one of the most difficult trials of his presidency: the fight to pass the 13th Amendment, abolishing slavery. Daniel Day-Lewis creates an empathetic portrayal of Lincoln, one that manages to capture the man's physical presence and mannerisms without resorting to mimicry. (He would win his third Academy Award for the performance.)

  • Starring: Daniel Day-Lewis, Sally Field, Tommy Lee Jones

  • Director: Steven Spielberg

  • Year: 2012

  • Runtime: 150 minutes

  • Rating: PG-13

Rotten Tomatoes Score: 89%

Little Miss Sunshine

As the bright, effervescent Olive in "Little Miss Sunshine," Abigail Breslin turns in one of the best child performances in recent memory. A quirky beauty pageant contestant, Olive is overjoyed to learn that she's been accepted into the Little Miss Sunshine competition. Her entire dysfunctional family, from her brother (Paul Dano), who has taken a vow of silence, to her grandfather (Alan Arkin), who choreographs all of her dances, to her clinically depressed uncle (Steve Carell), who studies Proust, pour into a van and road trip across the country so that Olive can participate. Along the way, however, the whole clan experiences a series of charmingly bizarre misadventures that take their lives in unexpected directions.

  • Starring: Abigail Breslin, Toni Collette, Greg Kinnear

  • Director: Valerie Faris, Jonathan Dayton

  • Year: 2006

  • Runtime: 100 minutes

  • Rating: R

  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 91%

Lucy and Desi

When it comes to classic TV sitcoms, "I Love Lucy" is pretty much the gold standard. Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz were beloved by American audiences when the show was on the air, and remain icons to this day. Amy Poehler's documentary "Lucy and Desi" is a love letter to their creative and personal partnership, exploring both figures as people and showing how they revolutionized the burgeoning television industry. With interviews from their daughter, Lucie Arnaz, and first-person recordings of Lucille Ball herself, "Lucy and Desi" is both informative and deeply intimate.

  • Starring: Lucille Ball, Desi Arnaz, Carol Burnett

  • Director: Amy Poehler

  • Year: 2022

  • Runtime: 103 minutes

  • Rating: PG

  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 91%

Master

"Master" is an unsettling reminder that, however much liberal arts colleges talk about inclusion and diversity, people of color still face unfair prejudices on even the most allegedly enlightened campuses. Regina Hall stars in "Master" as Gail Bishop, the new master of Ancaster, a prestigious college in New England. The school has had its fair share of tragedy: It is allegedly haunted by a woman who was hanged for witchcraft, as well as the school's first Black student, who committed suicide in her dorm room in the '60s. The psychological horror of the place weighs heavy on the minds of not just Gail, but Jasmine Moore (Zoe Renee), a Black undergraduate who is struggling to fit in with her wealthy white classmates.

  • Starring: Regina Hall, Amber Gray, Zoe Renee

  • Director: Mariama Diallo

  • Year: 2022

  • Runtime: 99 minutes

  • Rating: R

  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 75%

My Man Godfrey

In this Depression-era comedy, Carole Lombard stars as Irene Bullock, a ditzy socialite who takes part in a scavenger hunt in which a homeless man must be collected to win the game. The rich have to have their own kind of fun, after all. So, she finds one such man, Godfrey (William Powell), and decides to offer him a position in her family's house as a butler. He slips into the role perfectly, but little does Irene know that Godfrey is more of a wanderer, with a fortune that would rival her own. Lombard and Powell have incredible chemistry with one another, which makes sense: They had been married in real life, and although they divorced three years before making "My Man Godfrey," they remained good friends.

  • Starring: Carole Lombard, William Powell, Gail Patrick

  • Director: Gregory La Cava

  • Year: 1936

  • Runtime: 90 minutes

  • Rating: NR

  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 97%

O Brother, Where Art Thou?

With "O Brother, Where Art Thou?," the Coen brothers have constructed a (relatively) modern-day interpretation of Homer's epic poem, "The Odyssey." Set against the backdrop of the Great Depression and the American South, George Clooney stars as Ulysses, a convict who manages to escape the labors of his chain gang and seeks to return home. Unfortunately, life isn't that simple — he will encounter challenges and misadventures along the way, with two fellow convicts (Tim Blake Nelson and John Turturro) at his side. The Coens' script is incredibly clever and the performances are excellent, but the best part of "O Brother, Where Art Thou?" is its use of folk music, including the breakaway hit "I Am a Man of Constant Sorrow."

  • Starring: George Clooney, Tim Blake Nelson, John Turturro

  • Director: Joel Coen

  • Year: 2000

  • Runtime: 102 minutes

  • Rating: PG-13

  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 78%

One Night in Miami

What would it look like if Malcolm X, Sam Cooke, Muhammad Ali, and football-player-turned-actor Jim Brown were all in a room together? We don't actually know what would have been discussed at such a meeting, but Regina King's "One Night in Miami" explores the fascinating "what if" scenario, set in a Miami hotel room on the night of Muhammad Ali's (then Cassius Clay) title match against Sonny Liston. With powerhouse performances from Kingsley Ben-Adir, Leslie Odom Jr., Aldis Hodge, and Eli Goree, "One Night in Miami" takes on a stage-like tenor, with each actor getting the opportunity to deliver an effective monologue that highlights their character's complicated relationship with the civil rights movement.

  • Starring: Kingsley Ben-Adir, Leslie Odom Jr., Aldis Hodge

  • Director: Regina King

  • Year: 2020

  • Runtime: 110 minutes

  • Rating: R

  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 98%

Ordinary People

Directed by Robert Redford, "Ordinary People" shows us how utter dysfunction can lurk beneath the surface of even the most outwardly perfect family. Timothy Hutton stars as Conrad, a high school student who began seeing a therapist after his older brother, Buck, died while they were out on a fishing boat together. Conrad carries with him not just the trauma of that day, but the guilt that he wasn't able to save Buck and the devastating feeling that his mother wishes he were the one who had died instead. Mary Tyler Moore puts in the performance of her career as his cold, WASPy mother who, despite attempting to keep up appearances, can barely stand to be in the same room as her surviving son. "Ordinary People" gets a bad rap because it beat out "Raging Bull" and "The Elephant Man" for best picture at the Academy Awards, but it's a moving family drama in its own right.

  • Starring: Timothy Hutton, Mary Tyler Moore, Donald Sutherland

  • Director: Robert Redford

  • Year: 1980

  • Runtime: 124 minutes

  • Rating: R

  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 90%

Paper Moon

Ryan O'Neal stars in "Paper Moon" as a con man who spends his time traveling throughout the Depression-era Midwest, tricking people into believing that their recently departed loved ones had put a down payment on a Bible, which the marks would then be expected to finish paying for. But the one thing he's not expecting is to suddenly take custody of a clever young orphan who insists on joining him on his cons and becomes a loyal, if irascible, partner. The chemistry between the two makes perfect sense: Ryan and Tatum O'Neal are father and daughter in real life. Tatum would win an Academy Award for her performance, becoming the youngest-ever winner in a competitive category. 

  • Starring: Tatum O'Neal, Ryan O'Neal, Madeline Kahn

  • Director: Peter Bogdanovich

  • Year: 1973

  • Runtime: 102 minutes

  • Rating: PG

  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 93%

Paterson

In "Paterson," a man named Paterson (Adam Driver) who lives in Paterson, New Jersey wakes up every morning to drive a local bus. In his spare time, he writes poetry in his prized notebook. It's a quiet film about a quiet life, but because of the skills of both director Jim Jarmusch and Driver it leaves a tremendous impact nonetheless. "Paterson" captures the simple, unvarnished experiences of an unexpected artist — his sources of inspiration, and how he overcomes adversity when the poems he pours his soul into are suddenly destroyed by his pet dog.

  • Starring: Adam Driver, Golshifteh Farahani, Chasten Harmon

  • Director: Jim Jarmusch

  • Year: 2016

  • Runtime: 118 minutes

  • Rating: R

  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 96%

Pride

It's Britain in the 1980s, and Welsh miners are suffering through a painful and expensive strike in the face of Thatcherite austerity. They find support, however, in an unexpected place when a group of gay and lesbian Londoners commit to raising funds to support them. "Pride" is a warm and engaging movie about the bonds that are forged between unlikely parties when both make a commitment to treating each other as human beings. With a delightful ensemble cast that includes Imelda Staunton, Billy Nighy, Paddy Considine, Andrew Scott, Dominic West, George MacKay, and many others, "Pride" captures a rare sense of empathy that is impossible to resist.

  • Starring: Bill Nighy, Andrew Scott, George MacKay

  • Director: Matthew Warchus

  • Year: 2014

  • Runtime: 120 minutes

  • Rating: R

  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 92%

Raging Bull

A towering monument to toxic masculinity, Martin Scorsese's "Raging Bull" explores the rise and catastrophic fall from grace of Jake LaMotta, a famous boxer played by Robert De Niro. Jake walks through life essentially as a powder keg poised to explode, with the rage and insecurity that bubbles just beneath the surface ready to ruin everything he's built at a moment's notice. Jake is not a likable character — he's brutish and violent — but in the hands of De Niro, he's also incredibly magnetic. The young actor sacrifices his own well-being for the part, gaining and losing extreme amounts of weight to play Jake at different points in his life. The result is one of his best performances — and for De Niro, that's saying a lot.

  • Starring: Robert De Niro, Joe Pesci, Cathy Moriarty

  • Director: Martin Scorsese

  • Year: 1980

  • Runtime: 129 minutes

  • Rating: R

  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 94%

The Report

"The Report" isn't an easy watch, but it feels like an essential one. The film stars Adam Driver as a government official who is responsible for putting together a report that will examine the use of torture on suspected terrorists at Guantanamo Bay. What he uncovers is chilling, with endless stories of prisoners being subjected to every kind of torture imaginable as CIA operatives unsuccessfully try to get information out of them. A damning indictment of American war crimes in the aftermath of 9/11, "The Report" forces viewers to confront the evil deeds done in the name of national security.

  • Starring: Adam Driver, Maura Tierney, Annette Bening

  • Director: Scott Z. Burns

  • Year: 2019

  • Runtime: 118 minutes

  • Rating: R

  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 82%

Rosemary's Baby

The scariest thing in the world is to know in your bones that something is horribly wrong and to have no one believe you. "Rosemary's Baby" stars Mia Farrow as an expectant mother who grows increasingly concerned about the baby she is carrying, and who becomes paranoid as she becomes surrounded by seemingly odd, malevolent people. It's a dark and unsettling film, one that derives most of its horror not from jump scenes, but the overwhelming terror of being made to feel that you're alone and imagining things. One of the rare horror movies to receive awards attention, it would be nominated for two Academy Awards, with Ruth Gordon, who plays the malevolent next-door neighbor, winning for her performance.

  • Starring: Mia Farrow, John Cassavetes, Ruth Gordon

  • Director: Roman Polanski

  • Year: 1968

  • Runtime: 136 minutes

  • Rating: R

  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 96%

Selah and the Spades

"Selah and the Spades," which is set at an elite boarding school, takes the concept of high school cliques to extremes. This particular school is literally run by the five different "factions," with the Spades essentially operating as drug runners for the entire student body. But Selah (Lovie Simone) has a problem: She's graduating, and she has no heir apparent to take over her operations. When Selah takes the new girl in school under her wing, she thinks she's found the perfect successor, but it isn't long before she begins to feel threatened by her protege. A smart, edgy coming-of-age story, "Selah and the Spades" is a wonderful showcase for Simone's screen presence.

  • Starring: Celeste O'Connor, Lovie Simone, Jharrel Jerome

  • Director: Tayarisha Poe

  • Year: 2019

  • Runtime: 97 minutes

  • Rating: R

  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 86%

The Sixth Sense

By this point, everyone and their dog is familiar with Haley Joel Osment's most famous line: "I see dead people." Directed by genre wunderkind M. Night Shyamalan, who would become known (for better or worse) for his twist endings, "The Sixth Sense" is a masterclass in misdirection. Alternately spooky and genuinely touching, it stars Osment as a young boy cursed with the ability to see ghosts, and Bruce Willis as a psychiatrist determined to help him. Both actors put in career-best work, with Osment preternaturally mature in the role and Willis demonstrating a more nuanced side than we see in his action films. Their performances are supplemented by a tremendously talented supporting cast led by Toni Collette and a never-ending series of scares that have audiences sitting on the edge of their seat to this day.

  • Starring: Haley Joel Osment, Bruce Willis, Toni Collette

  • Director: M. Night Shyamalan

  • Year: 1999

  • Runtime: 107 minutes

  • Rating: PG-13

  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 86%

Sound of Metal

When drummer Ruben (Riz Ahmed) first begins to hear a ringing in his ears, he shrugs it off as an occupational hazard. Then, one day, he walks up to discover that he has lost the majority of his hearing and will need to adjust to an entirely new life. "Sound of Metal" is an empathetic exploration of the transition between the hearing and Deaf worlds, with Paul Raci's Joe serving as a guide and mentor to Ruben. The film utilizes sound in innovative new ways: It's used to demonstrate Ruben's fading hearing, the harsh, mechanical sounds of a cochlear implant, and, finally, the peace of silence.

  • Starring: Riz Ahmed, Olivia Cooke, Paul Raci

  • Director: Darius Marder

  • Year: 2020

  • Runtime: 120 minutes

  • Rating: R

  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 97%

Spontaneous

Perhaps the perfect pandemic-era coming-of-age story, "Spontaneous" stars Katherine Langford as an ordinary senior at an ordinary high school — ordinary, that is, until her classmates start spontaneously combusting in the middle of calculus. When they should be about to have their horizons widened, the survivors are instead forced into quarantine while scientists attempt to figure out what is causing these fatal implosions. More aware of their mortality than they've ever been, the students nonetheless find ways to live their lives as best they can. Surprisingly funny, "Spontaneous" taps into the unique experience of teenagers who are growing up under a black cloud of gloom while still trying to be, you know ... teenagers.

  • Starring: Katherine Langford, Charlie Plummer, Hayley Law

  • Director: Brian Duffield

  • Year: 2020

  • Runtime: 102 minutes

  • Rating: R

  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 97%

Sylvie's Love

Too often, people making films about Black romances seem to feel that the story needs to be tragic in some way, that the characters have to suffer to make the movie compelling. That's what makes "Sylvie's Love" such a breath of fresh air. Not everything goes perfectly between Sylvie (Tessa Thompson) and Robert (Nnamdi Asomugha), and they have their fair share of difficulties as they fall in love in 1950s Harlem, but the story is told with such a lightness of touch that makes it entirely endearing. A gorgeously filmed, optimistic story of missed connections and second chances, "Sylvie's Love" can't help but charm its viewers.

  • Starring: Nnamdi Asomugha, Tessa Thompson, Regé-Jean Page

  • Director: Eugene Ashe

  • Year: 2020

  • Runtime: 114 minutes

  • Rating: PG-13

  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 93%

The Terminator

What can we say about "The Terminator" that hasn't already been said? Although the Terminator franchise has never lived up to its promise, the standard of excellence laid down by the first two films in the series is unimpeachable. The first film in the series stars Linda Hamilton as Sarah Connor, a seemingly ordinary woman whose world is turned upside down when two figures from the future turn up in her life. One is a robot (Arnold Schwarzenegger) intent on murdering her to prevent her son, a key figure in the machines' upcoming war on humanity, from ever being born. The other is Kyle Reese (Michael Biehn), whose job is to ensure that John Connor is born. With a now-iconic character design and an engaging time travel story, "The Terminator" transcends the science fiction genre.

  • Starring: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Linda Hamilton, Michael Biehn

  • Director: James Cameron

  • Year: 1984

  • Runtime: 107 minutes

  • Rating: R

  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 100%

Time

Prime Video's catalog of documentaries isn't as well-known as that of its competitors, particularly Hulu and HBO Max, but it does have a few gems, chief among them "Time." Filmed over the course of two decades, it follows Fox Rich's efforts to have her husband Rob released from prison. The two committed a robbery in the early 1990s, a crime that would land Rob with an astonishing 60-year prison sentence. "Time" artfully manages to be both an intimate story of one family's experience with incarceration as well as a scathing indictment of a broken criminal justice system that tortures everyone it touches.

  • Starring: Fox Rich, Rob Rich II, Laurence M. Rich

  • Director: Garrett Bradley

  • Year: 2020

  • Runtime: 81 minutes

  • Rating: PG-13

  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 98%

Titanic

The disaster movie to end all disaster movies, "Titanic" stands out as a cinematic juggernaut as vast and impressive as the ship it is based on. A simple love story between an upper-class girl (Kate Winslet) and a lower-class boy (Leonardo DiCaprio) set against the tragic backdrop of the sinking of the Titanic, the film took the world by storm. "Titanic" not only made an astonishing $2.2 billion at the box office, but it was also nominated for 14 Academy Awards, winning 11, and immediately launched Winslet and DiCaprio to superstardom.

  • Starring: Leonardo DiCaprio, Kate Winslet, Billy Zane

  • Director: James Cameron

  • Year: 1997

  • Runtime: 194 minutes

  • Rating: PG-13

  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 87%

Tombstone

The story of the famous shootout at the OK Corral is well-trod territory; we've seen Wyatt Earp and Doc Holliday's exploits as they square off against a group of outlaws known as the Cowboys about as frequently as comic book fans have seen Bruce Wayne's parents shot by a mugger. "Tombstone," starring Val Kilmer and Kurt Russell as the iconic Western duo, pretty much plays it straight in conforming to the traditional narrative. Really, it's Kilmer's performance as Doc Holliday that makes this iteration of the story so memorable — he imbues the character with a vulnerable campiness, with each eccentric line reading becoming a cherished gem for "Tombstone" fans.

  • Starring: Val Kilmer, Kurt Russell, Sam Elliott

  • Director: George P. Cosmatos, Kevin Jarre

  • Year: 1993

  • Runtime: 127 minutes

  • Rating: R

  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 74%

Train to Busan

South Korean cinema is no stranger to horror, but "Train to Busan" is perhaps the country's most groundbreaking and innovative zombie film. While on a seemingly routine train ride from Seoul to Busan, the passengers are jolted from their seats by the most unexpected event: A girl infected with a strange pathogen turns into a zombie, a condition that spreads from car to car as each new zombie begins to feed. The action and horror sequences of "Train to Busan" are all well-executed, but what helps this film stand out from similar movies is its dedication to its well-developed characters — we care about them so much, and are incredibly invested in their survival.

  • Starring: Gong Yoo, Don Lee, Jung Yu-mi

  • Director: Yeon Sang-ho

  • Year: 2016

  • Runtime: 118 minutes

  • Rating: NR

  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 94%

Unbreakable

A man makes it through a seemingly unsurvivable train wreck with barely a scratch. This character is at the heart of "Unbreakable," a mystery from M. Night Shyamalan that puts a dark twist on the superhero origin story. Bruce Willis is at his best here, strong and impenetrable as he seeks to discover the truth about his invulnerability. He and Samuel L. Jackson create a fascinating hero-villain dichotomy, and the world-building is so enticing that it ultimately led to two sequels, 2016's "Split" and 2019's "Glass."

  • Starring: Bruce Willis, Samuel L. Jackson, Robin Wright

  • Director: M. Night Shyamalan

  • Year: 2000

  • Runtime: 107 minutes

  • Rating: PG-13

  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 70%

Uncle Frank

When you grow up in a small town in the South feeling different, it's hard not to count down the days until you turn 18 and can start your own life. In "Uncle Frank," Sophia Lillis stars as Beth, a girl who moves to 1970s New York City, attending the same college where her Uncle Frank (Paul Bettany), another black sheep of her family, teaches. Frank is used to living a guarded existence for one very simple reason: He's gay, which his traditional, conservative family can't accept. But when Frank and Beth embark on a road trip home for a funeral, he may no longer be able to hide his true self.

  • Starring: Sophia Lillis, Paul Bettany, Peter Macdissi

  • Director: Alan Ball

  • Year: 2020

  • Runtime: 95 minutes

  • Rating: R

  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 78%

The Usual Suspects

When federal agents investigate a heist that resulted in an explosion with massive casualties, they're chasing a ghost: the enigmatic Keyser Soze. In "The Usual Suspects," Soze is a mysterious criminal whose exploits are well-known, although his identity has never been revealed. Throughout the film, we watch the agents attempt to piece together a web of evidence to track him down, aided by the meek Verbal Kint (Kevin Spacey), a small-time con man who is cooperating with their investigation. With a talented ensemble cast that includes both industry stalwarts like Gabriel Byrne and Pete Postlethwaite as well as relative newcomers (at the time) like Benicio del Toro, "The Usual Suspects," like any good heist film, thrives on the strengths of the team it has assembled.

  • Starring: Kevin Spacey, Benicio del Toro, Gabriel Byrne

  • Director: Bryan Singer

  • Year: 1995

  • Runtime: 106 minutes

  • Rating: R

  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 88%

The Vast of Night

"The Vast of Night" is a good reminder that you don't need a massive budget to tell an interesting science fiction story. Leaning more on the tenor of "The Twilight Zone" than "Star Trek," the film is set in a small town in the 1950s. Two high school students, Everett (Jake Horowitz) and Fay (Sierra McCormick), stumble upon a strange radio frequency that interferes with their respective part-time jobs as a disc jockey and a switchboard operator, respectively. But, as they investigate, they discover that the frequency's source is from much further abroad than they expected. "The Vast of Night" is an alien film that doesn't actually require us to see aliens in order to be unsettling, as well as a tribute to the ingenuity of filmmakers who operate with limited resources.

  • Starring: Sierra McCormick, Jake Horowitz, Cheyenne Barton

  • Director: Andrew Patterson

  • Year: 2019

  • Runtime: 91 minutes

  • Rating: PG-13

  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 93%

The Virgin Suicides

A melancholy tale of female repression, "The Virgin Suicides" stars Kirsten Dunst as one of a group of sisters whose spirits are stifled by their strict parents. The girls seem distant, even mysterious, to the neighborhood boys who are fascinated by them. "The Virgin Suicides" served as Sofia Coppola's feature-length directorial debut, and launched her career as one of the most interesting rising directors in Hollywood during the early 2000s. In the years since its release, the film has grown from a small but well-loved cult classic to one of the definitive 1990s movies about the teenage experience.

  • Starring: Kirsten Dunst, Josh Harnett, A.J. Cook

  • Director: Sofia Coppola

  • Year: 1999

  • Runtime: 97 minutes

  • Rating: R

  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 78%

We Need to Talk About Kevin

A film that's (unfortunately) only become more culturally relevant since its release, "We Need to Talk About Kevin" is an uncomfortable, even unsettling, watch. Tilda Swinton stars as the mother of a teenage boy (Ezra Miller), grappling with the monstrous crimes he has committed against his classmates and his own family. Essentially, it explores how a mass-murdering sociopath is made, and is about as dark and nihilistic as they come. Is "We Need to Talk About Kevin" enjoyable? No. Will you be able to tear your eyes away from the screen? Probably not.

  • Starring: Tilda Swinton, Ezra Miller, John C. Reilly

  • Director: Lynne Ramsey

  • Year: 2011

  • Runtime: 112 minutes

  • Rating: R

  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 75%

Young Frankenstein

During the 1970s, director Mel Brooks could basically do no wrong. He created "Young Frankenstein" at the height of his powers, taking on Mary Shelley's classic story of "Frankenstein" and James Whale's 1931 film adaptation and parodying both to within an inch of their lives. "Young Frankenstein" stars Gene Wilder as Friedrich Frankenstein (pronounced "Fronk-en-steen" rather than "Frank-en-stine"), a reluctant descendant of the notorious mad scientist who, upon arriving at his ancestral castle, feels a similar compulsion to create life. With Marty Feldman as his faithful assistant Igor (pronounced "Eye-gor") and Peter Boyle as the tap-dancing creature (to say nothing of the amazing comedic prowess of Cloris Leachman, Teri Garr, and Madeline Kahn), "Young Frankenstein" packs more laughs into a minute than most films manage during their entire runtime.

  • Starring: Gene Wilder, Marty Feldman, Teri Garr

  • Director: Mel Brooks

  • Year: 1974

  • Runtime: 106 minutes

  • Rating: PG

  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 94%