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The 23 Best Movies on Amazon Prime (December 2021)

Stop scrolling and watch one of these great films now

Finding a good movie to watch on Amazon Prime Video can be difficult to say the least. While Amazon’s robust library of titles is available to every Amazon Prime subscriber, they don’t exactly make it easy to find what you’re looking for. That’s where we come in. Below, we’ve assembled a growing list of the best movies on Amazon Prime right now. Our carefully curated selection runs the gamut from crowd-pleasing blockbusters to Oscar-winning dramas to delightful rom-coms and beyond. There’s a little something for everyone, so stop the endless scrolling and simply choose one of these great movies to watch.

Check out our list of the best movies on Amazon Prime video below. The list will be updated weekly with new titles.

Dead Poets Society

Buena Vista Pictures

Director Peter Weir’s 1989 drama “Dead Poets Society” continues to inspire generation after generation, and the film (which won the Best Original Screenplay Oscar) holds up tremendously well three decades on. The story follows a group of students at an elite conservative Vermont boarding school, where a charismatic English teacher played by Robin Williams forces them to reconsider their place in the world and embrace the power of art – specifically through poetry. The film has an added resonance at this particular time, and the performances from young Ethan Hawke, Robert Sean Leonard, Josh Charles and others are excellent.

Children of Men

children-of-men-clive-owen
Universal Pictures

If you don’t mind a rather bleak look at humanity’s future, filmmaker Alfonso Cuarón’s 2006 sci-fi film “Children of Men” is particularly prescient. Set in the year 2027, the world has been rocked by a sudden and immediate infertility — no one on Earth is able to bear children. As the population dwindles and resources become more scarce, a civil servant played by Clive Owen finds he may hold the key to humanity’s future as he’s tasked with escorting a refugee who, against all odds, is pregnant. The filmmaking in the film is stunning, and it features one of the most impressive “oners” in cinematic history thanks to cinematographer Emmanuel Lubezki.

Moulin Rouge!

Universal Pictures

Before “Glee” or “The Voice” or even “American Idol,” the 2001 film “Moulin Rouge!” made the jukebox musical cool again through the unique lens of co-writer/director Baz Luhrmann. Set in Paris on the cusp of the 20th century, the story concerns a writer played by Ewan McGregor who joins a troupe of performers and falls in love with a courtesan played by Nicole Kidman. Intrigue, love and betrayal ensue, and it’s all wrapped up in a earworm-filled soundtrack that’ll have you cheering and crying in equal measure. The film was nominated for 8 Oscars including Best Picture.

Heartburn

Paramount Pictures

Director Mike Nichols’ 1986 romantic comedy/drama “Heartburn” got a bad rap upon release, but it’s only grown in stature over the years. Scripted by Nora Ephron, the film is based on her relationship with journalist Carl Bernstein and covers their marriage and contentious divorce. Meryl Streep plays a Manhattan food writer and Jack Nicholson plays her political columnist, womanizing husband. As most Nichols films do, this romance zeroes in on the humanity of its characters.

Cold War

Amazon Studios

If you’re into period dramas, the 2018 film “Cold War” is a must-see. Directed and co-written by Pawel Pawlikowski, the Polish-language drama takes place in Poland and France and begins in the 1940s before ending in the 1960s as it follows the relationship between a musical director and a young singer he discovers. Against the backdrop of their love affair, the war rages on.

Alien

alien-1979-sigourney-weaver
20th Century Fox

A bona fide horror and sci-fi classic, “Alien” is quite simply one of the best films ever made. Director Ridley Scott’s 1979 film takes place in deep space and follows the crew members of a commercial tug ship who, after being diverted by their corporate owners to a mysterious planet, contend with a murderous alien creature lurking onboard. Much the way “Jaws” allowed the terror of the unknown to keep the audience on the edge of their seat, “Alien” relishes in shadows and the tension of silence. It’s a horror sci-fi film unconcerned with rushing forward, and is all the better for it. Throw in some thematic meat with regards to how corporations treat blue collar workers and a star-making performance from Sigourney Weaver, and you’ve got yourself an iconic cinema classic.

The Big Sick

Amazon Studios/Lionsgate

A romantic comedy straight from the heart, the based-on-a-true-story “The Big Sick” is delightful and emotional all at once. Written by Kumail Nanjiani and Emily V. Gordon, the film is based on the origins of their relationship as Gordon slipped into a coma soon after they started dating, and Nanjiani was forced to confront his own fears and contend with Gordon’s parents all with the uncertainty of her condition looming large. Zoe Kazan portrays Gordon in the film with a hearty dose of moxie, and Nanjiani delivers a complex performance that clearly pulls from the depths of his personal life – not just his relationship with Kazan’s character, but his own relationship to his family.

Fantastic Mr. Fox

20th Century Fox

Filmmaker Wes Anderson’s first foray into the world of stop-motion animation resulted in one of his best movies, full-stop. 2009’s “Fantastic Mr. Fox” is a rollicking, whimsical, and slightly melancholy story of a feisty fox father who attempts to combat middle age by acting out – at the expense of his family. The film is based on the book of the same name by Roald Dahl and features an impeccable voice cast that includes George Clooney, Meryl Streep, Jason Schwartzman, Bill Murray, Willem Dafoe, Owen Wilson and Michael Gambon. This one is great for kids and adults alike.

The Handmaiden

CJ Entertainment

“Oldboy” filmmaker Park Chan-wook’s 2016 epic erotic drama “The Handmaiden” is absolutely one of his best films, and is a blast from start to finish. The psychological thriller plays out in three parts chock full of twists and turns, but begins as the story of a con man who conspires with a pickpocket to hatch a plan that would involve marrying a Japanese heiress and committing her to an asylum, thus stealing her wealth. But the film takes a number of turns as various romantic and sexual entanglements ensue. This one’s for adults only.

Knives Out

knives-out-daniel-craig
Lionsgate

If you want to watch a fun murder mystery that also happens to be one of the best and most entertaining movies of the last few years, check out “Knives Out.” Writer-director Rian Johnson’s Oscar-nominated whodunnit stars Daniel Craig as a private detective named Benoit Blanc who is called to investigate the death of a wealthy mystery novelist (Christopher Plummer). Twists and turns ensue, as a stacked ensemble cast that includes Ana de Armas, Chris Evans, Michael Shannon and Toni Collette are an absolute hoot to watch. This one will keep you guessing.

The Social Network

the-social-network
Sony Pictures

Quite simply one of the best films of the 21st century, David Fincher’s “The Social Network” feels more relevant each and every day. The film chronicles the origins of Facebook through the eyes of Mark Zuckerberg (Jesse Eisenberg) and his college friend Eduardo Saverin (Andrew Garfield), covering the ups and downs of those early years and the Machiavellian maneuvering that saw Eduardo shoved out of the company he helped create. This is a tremendously entertaining and immaculately crafted film that never fails to get old, boasting an Oscar-winning screenplay by Aaron Sorkin and an Oscar-winning score by Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross.

Almost Famous

almost-famous
Columbia Pictures

Watching Cameron Crowe’s masterpiece “Almost Famous” feels reading like a letter from an old friend, and in that way it serves as a pretty terrific comfort movie. Inspired by Crowe’s experiences as a young reporter for Rolling Stone, the film follows a teenager who somewhat cons his way into going on the road with a breakout band called Stillwater for a profile in Rolling Stone magazine. What follows is a coming-of-age story in the midst of chaos, packed with colorful and loving characters that feel rich and defined. The ensemble cast includes Kate Hudson, Billy Crudup, Frances McDormand and Philip Seymour Hoffman.

The Princess Bride

the-princess-bride-cary-elwes-robin-wright
20th Century Fox

A classic for a reason, Rob Reiner’s 1987 film “The Princess Bride” is a wonderful fairy tale full of romance, humor and self-awareness. The film opens as a bedtime story being told by a grandfather to his grandson, and audiences are whisked away to a fantastical land where a young woman named Buttercup (Robin Wright) is forced to marry a man she doesn’t love, only to be kidnapped by three pirates. Her lifelong love (presumed dead) comes back into the picture in the form of Cary Elwes’ Westley, and swashbuckling sword fights (and wordplay) ensue.

Manchester by the Sea

manchester-by-the-sea-casey-affleck-michelle-williams
Amazon Studios

“Manchester by the Sea” is a brilliant film, but fair warning it’s also a significant bummer. This 2016 film won Oscars for Best Actor and Best Original Screenplay and stars Casey Affleck as a janitor living in Massachusetts who is suddenly tasked with caring for his nephew following his brother’s abrupt death. The event triggers substantial trauma that Affleck’s character has yet to process, and what follows is a somber, sometimes darkly funny and ultimately touching meditation on grief and guilt.

One Night in Miami

one-night-in-miami-cast
Amazon Studios

Regina King’s 2020 drama “One Night in Miami” is an excellent snapshot of a moment in time, and how four of the most famous African-Americans in history each approached the changing societal landscape of the 1960s. Set over the course of one night in 1964, the story follows four friends – Cassius Clay (Eli Goree), Malcolm X (Kingsley Ben-Adir), Jim Brown (Aldis Hodge) and Sam Cooke (Leslie Odom Jr.) – as a night of celebrating soon turns into a night of lively conversation about their roles and responsibilities to the African-American community. The film is cleverly drawn and tremendously compelling, and provides much food for thought as it connects the struggles of the 1960s to today.

Casino Royale

EON / MGM / Sony

Arguably the best James Bond movie ever made, 2006’s “Casino Royale” forever changed the franchise and introduced Daniel Craig as a more vulnerable iteration of the character. It’s also a blast and a half. The film is a semi-origin story for 007 as it rebooted the series to focus on a younger and more green James Bond who is tasked with sniffing out a bankrupt terrorist financier (played by Mads Mikkelsen), and along the way he teams up with a treasury employee played by Eva Green. The film is intense but also surprisingly humanistic and sensitive, with Bond and Vesper considering the impact of actually killing another human being. And yet, given that this is a James Bond movie, it’s also suave and thrilling.

Young Frankenstein

young-frankenstein
20th Century Fox

There’s no bad time to watch “Young Frankenstein,” Mel Brooks’ masterful 1974 comedy that serves equally as a parody of classic horror films and a love letter to the same genre. Gene Wilder plays Dr.  Frederick Frankenstein, the grandson of the infamous Victor Frankenstein who had dismissed his grandfather’s work as silly and mad. That is, until he’s called to his family’s estate in Transylvania where he picks up his grandfather’s work and crafts a creation all his own. The craft of “Young Frankenstein” is stellar, and the film features some of the best comedic performances ever put onscreen.

The Vast of Night

the-vast-of-night
Amazon Studios

If you like hidden gems, 2020’s “The Vast of Night” is one of the most exciting indies of the last few years. Set in 1950s New Mexico, the story takes place over the course of one evening where a young switchboard operator and a radio DJ pick up a mysterious audio frequency that may or may not be inhuman in nature. This small-scale sci-fi mystery is light on effects but heavy on evocative filmmaking, intrigue and dimensional characters. It’s so good, a scene with a man talking about his experience with aliens over the radio will have you on the edge of your seat.

Fight Club

fight-club-brad-pitt-edward-norton
20th Century Fox

David Fincher’s 1999 film “Fight Club” is woefully misunderstood, and in that regard is well worth revisiting if you haven’t seen it in a while. Based on Chuck Palahniuk’s novel of the same name, the story follows a disillusioned young man (played by Edward Norton) whose life is suddenly given meaning when he meets a freewheeling soap salesman named Tyler Durden (Brad Pitt). The two start a fight club, which then leads to them starting an entire anarchic enterprise that quickly spirals out of control. But “Fight Club” is not about a fight club, it’s about toxic masculinity – or, more specifically, the fragility of the male ego and the impact of consumerism on male culture in the 1990s. It’s also kind of a twisted romantic comedy at heart, with Helena Bonham Carter’s colorful Marla serving as the object of both Tyler and the narrator’s affection.

Sound of Metal

the-sound-of-metal-riz-ahmed
Amazon Studios

2019’s “Sound of Metal” is an indie with a heart of gold – and an Oscar-winning one at that. The film stars Riz Ahmed as a metal drummer named Ruben who begins to lose his hearing. He leaves his bandmate to go to a facility for Deaf recovering addicts, where he begins to learn how to live his life differently but also struggles with his own demons. Ahmed gives a powerhouse performance, and the film’s sound design puts you right in Ruben’s headspace.

Love and Friendship

love-and-friendship-kate-beckinsale
Amazon Studios

If it’s a lovely costume dramedy you’re in the mood for, 2016’s “Love and Friendship” is an absolute delight. Based on the Jane Austen novel “Lady Susan,” the film is written and directed by Whit Stillman and stars Kate Beckinsale as a recently widowed woman who sets out to secure wealthy husbands for herself and her daughter. A comedy of errors ensues, with Beckinsale and Chloe Sevigny sharply leading an ensemble that also includes Stephen Fry, Tom Bennett and Xavier Samuel.

Midsommar

midsommar-florence-pugh
A24

“Midsommar” is a film that will churn your stomach in the best way. The A24 horror movie hails from “Hereditary” writer/director Ari Aster and stars Florence Pugh as a young woman grieving the death of her family who follows her boyfriend and his friends to Sweden to attend a festival that only occurs once every 90 years. But once they arrive, the group finds themselves in the midst of a deadly pagan ritual. The terror of the film comes not from jump scares but from the palpable tension and horrific visuals that Aster conjures, with Pugh serving as the film’s emotional center. This is a deeply upsetting film, but a great one. You’ve been warned.