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Fortunately, every Amazon Prime member has access to a plethora of fantastic movies and TV shows available for streaming. While the company is most known for its online store, they have recently branched out and begun producing its own original media content, much like Netflix, Hulu, or any other popular streaming service.
At the moment, Amazon has a surprising number of fantastic films, some of which have gone on to be nominated for Academy Awards. With some great content already under their belt and with more to come, here is our list of the 10 best movies only available on Amazon Prime.
Updated on December 27th, 2022 by Guillermo Kurten: While Amazon’s primary field isn’t on the cinematic front, the company’s relatively new movie studio has spent the past few years padding out its catalog with some impressive entries. From powerful dramas like Sound of Metal to poignant period pieces like Cold War, Prime Video has an increasingly diverse selection of movies to enjoy.
Cold War (2018)
In addition to the serialized TV period pieces on Prime Video, Cold War is a powerful historical drama set during the titular tense era of world history. It begins in the aftermath of World War II’s devastation and goes through the events of the Cold War, using a single couple as a point of view.
The movie’s events are admittedly grim given the context of the world at the time, but it’s an engrossing one nonetheless with the romance between the story’s musical director and singer as its emotional foundation. Director Paweł Pawlikowski’s Cold War‘s striking cinematography and smart narrative pacing make for a powerful exploration of anti-war themes.
One Night In Miami… (2020)
Based on writer Kemp Powers’ 2013 stage play of the same name, director Regina King’s One Night in Miami… is one of the filmmaker’s most acclaimed projects since her directorial debut. It’s also her first time in the director’s chair for a feature film, with the movie taking an interesting spin on historical fiction.
One Night in Miami… is a fictionalized take on a real-life meeting between Malcolm X, Jim Brown, Sam Cooke, and boxer Muhammad Ali as they celebrate the latter’s title fight victory. The movie was critically acclaimed for balancing a fictional depiction of these influential people with serious introspection over the personal fights they were all dealing with at the time.
Uncle Frank (2020)
Uncle Frank is a thoughtful comedy-drama set against the backdrop of the 1970s. Starring Paul Bettany in the leading role, his character Frank Bledsoe goes on a countryside road trip with his 18-year-old niece to attend a family funeral, with his secret partner Wally Nadeem suddenly joining them.
Director Alan Ball takes this creative American family dramedy foundation to put together an equal part hilarious and touching coming-of-age story with poignant social commentary on the LGBTQ+ community. The dramatic revelations unfold in a suitably grounded and relatable manner.
Perhaps one of the best movies to come out of Amazon Studios, Sound of Metal is a compelling drama characterized by a superb performance by actor Riz Ahmed in the leading role. Directed by Darius Marder, the movie follows Ahmed’s character Ruben Stone, a drummer in an avant-garde heavy metal band who loses his hearing.
With a combination of Ahmed’s deeply passionate performance and ingenious sound design, Sound of Metal is an emotionally investing story that puts the experiences of the deaf community in the spotlight.
The Neon Demon (2016)
The Neon Demon is a very strange horror movie by director Nicolas Winding Refn. Best known for his movie, Drive (2011), Refn’s unique style of filmmaking certainly carries over. Elle Fanning stars as a young model trying to make it in the industry. As she comes to work her way in, however, she quickly learns that it may not be everything she had hoped for after things begin to take a very dark turn.
To say that The Neon Demon is weird would be an understatement. However, the film still offers very unique visuals and a lot of subtexts. It is easy to see how the plot aims to satirize the modeling industry while also offering a lot of social commentary toward women. While this certainly isn’t a movie for everyone, The Neon Demon offers enough that it is still something audiences should experience.
Shortly after his appearance as Kylo Ren in The Force Awakens, Adam Driver took a drastically different approach with Paterson. Paterson is simply an average few days in the life of a very average guy. His wife constantly bounces from one hobby or career to another while he remains in his constant state of predictability.
While nothing particularly grand and exciting happens in Paterson, the film does an excellent job of exploring humanity. This highly character-driven story expertly captures how a particularly boring individual chooses to express himself. Any fan of poetry, in particular, would want to be sure not to miss this one.
Manchester By The Sea (2016)
Manchester By The Sea stars Casey Affleck in the role that would see him win the Oscar for Best Actor. The story is a very dark family drama that follows Affleck’s character after his brother dies and he assumes responsibility for his nephew. Throughout the film, the pair go back and forth on the best way for them to go about their situation as far as living arrangements, jobs, and education are concerned.
As the plot moves forward, audiences get to see just how broken Affleck’s character truly is. Considering how the story tells itself, it is easy to see how Affleck came to win the highest award for any film actor. Whether you’re an Oscar movie buff or a fan of the drama genre, Manchester By the Sea is worthy of your attention.
Joaquin Phoenix stars as alcoholic cartoonist John Callahan in this biopic from director Gus Van Sant. Following a car accident, John is left paralyzed and sinks further into his alcoholism. Unlike most recovery stories, this one uses the assistance of some of Callahan’s cartoons to push the narrative forward.
Don’t Worry, He Won’t Get Far On Foot is a very emotional journey with a lot of ups and downs. As always, Joaquin Phoenix delivers a wonderful and powerful performance that only makes a great movie even better. Whether you like drama, biopics, or cartoons, this is one movie you will certainly want to add to your watch list.
You Were Never Really Here (2017)
Though this movie also stars Joaquin Phoenix, he plays a drastically different role. As a private investigator of sorts, he tracks down missing women and children, usually delivering a very brutal beating to whoever stands in his way. After a job goes south very quickly, Phoenix must protect his newest client while also uncovering a grand conspiracy.
While this setup sounds ideal for an action movie, the movie ignores or skips over most of its fight scenes. All of the focus is on the drama. This creates a great effect that keeps the audience on their toes. There is also a lot of implied information that furthers the story, helping to add to a much deeper layer of text. If you like movies that make you think, You Were Never Really Here does just that while maintaining great characters and phenomenal suspense.
Beautiful Boy (2018)
Beautiful Boy tells a very dark true story about a father’s relationship with his drug-abusing son. David Sheff (Steve Carell) experiences a lot of emotional ups and downs as his son Nic (Timothee Chalamet) constantly goes in and out of rehab.
The journey between the two is depressing and hard to watch, but there is never a time when it seems hopeless. The film is also structured in a way that can make the audience feel just as frustrated as the characters, further adding to the emotional aspects. Stellar performances from both actors drive the story and add a lot of realistic feel to their journey. Overall, Beautiful Boy is a beautiful film about love that audiences won’t want to miss out on.
The Lost City of Z (2016)
Charlie Hunnam stars in this true story following British explorer, Percy Fawcett, as he tries to find a lost city in the middle of South America. Upon being sent there to map the land, Fawcett begins to believe that there is evidence of an ancient civilization that has yet to be discovered. His findings go through a series of support and doubt from his peers, despite Fawcett never losing hope.
Hunnam brilliantly portrays Fawcett with an excellent supporting cast of Robert Pattinson and Tom Holland. The film also showcases a great balance of drama and adventure while never becoming too overcrowded with detail.
The Handmaiden (2016)
The Handmaiden is an odd fusion of a heist movie and a romance movie. After a young woman is hired to help swindle a wealthy woman out of her money, the two come to develop a strong romantic relationship. To avoid spoilers as much as possible, the plot is full of twists, turns, betrayals, and shocks throughout, yet the story successfully never loses focus. Despite all the activity going on, The Handmaiden remains very easy to follow, unless of course the audience is supposed to be confused.
While The Handmaiden may sound like an overcomplicated mix of genres, it finds a way to captivate its audience throughout its entirety. The heavy use of plot twists keeps audiences on the edge of their seats, waiting to see how the current lie or deception came to unfold. The romance helps people relate to the characters while also keeping them grounded in the situation. As one of the stronger films that Amazon Prime has to offer, The Handmaiden is not to be missed.
The Big Sick (2017)
Easily one of Amazon’s best is The Big Sick, which stars Kumail Nanjiani. The story follows a Muslim American as he tries to make it as a stand-up comedian. Eventually, he comes to meet a young woman who falls incredibly ill early into their relationship. This forces him to reevaluate many of his life choices and decisions. The Big Sick was also written by Nanjiani and is based on his real-life experiences.
Not only does this movie feel incredibly personal, but it expertly balances emotions throughout its entirety. One minute, you’ll find yourself laughing and the next, sobbing. The chemistry between Kumail and Emily is shown very well and audiences come to feel for Kumail during all of the struggles he faces. The film’s supporting cast also does a phenomenal job, earning actor Ray Romano an Oscar nomination in the Best Supporting Actor category. If you haven’t seen The Big Sick yet, you are missing out on one of the best original movies Amazon Prime has to offer.
MORE: The 10 Most Popular Amazon Prime Original Movies, According To Letterboxd
13 Best Original Amazon Prime Movies You Can’t See Anywhere Else – United States KNews.MEDIA
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