What are the best movies on Amazon Prime Video? The two dozen odd titles below star the likes of Leonardo DiCaprio, Matt Damon, Christian Bale, Emma Watson, Meryl Streep, Brie Larson, Marlon Brando, Al Pacino, Robert De Niro, Russell Crowe, Tom Hardy, Charlize Theron, Irrfan Khan, Tabu, Keanu Reeves, Hugh Jackman, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Chris Pine, and Gal Gadot. And they come from directors such as Christopher Nolan, Steven Spielberg, Greta Gerwig, Patty Jenkins, Francis Ford Coppola, James Cameron, Peter Jackson, Paul Greengrass, George Miller, Ron Howard, Sean Baker, Vishal Bhardwaj, Barry Jenkins, Fernando Meirelles, Sebastián Lelio, Bong Joon-ho, Céline Sciamma, and Asghar Farhadi.
Of course, this list cannot possibly cover everything. And that’s why we have separate recommendations for some select genres that you should also check out.
- A Beautiful Mind (2001)
The life of John Nash (Russell Crowe), a brilliant but asocial mathematician, from his spiral into paranoid schizophrenia and working on a secret project he made up, to regaining control over his life and becoming a Nobel Laureate. Ron Howard directs.
- The Bourne trilogy (2002–07)
Technically not a trilogy, but the first three chapters — Identity, Supremacy, and Ultimatum — starring Matt Damon in the lead as the titular CIA assassin suffering from amnesia were so good that they changed the longest-running spy franchise of all-time: James Bond.
- Capernaum [Capharnaum] (2018)
In the award-winning, highest-grossing Arabic film of all time, a 12-year-old from the slums of Beirut recounts his life leading up to a five-year sentence he’s handed for stabbing someone, and in turn, his decision to sue his parents for child neglect. Nadine Labaki directs.
- City of God (2002)
The rise of organised crime in the Rio de Janeiro suburb of Cidade de Deus — that’s Portuguese for the film’s title — between the end of the 1960s and the beginning of the 1980s, depicted with the help of non-professional actors hailing from the favelas itself.
- The Dark Knight (2008)
In the second part of Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight trilogy, regarded as the greatest comic book movie ever, Batman (Christian Bale) faces a villain, the Joker (Heath Ledger), he doesn’t understand, and must go through hell to save Gotham and its people.
- A Fantastic Woman (2017)
Chile’s first openly transgender actor Daniela Vega stars as a trans waitress and singer in this socially aware and compelling character study film, who feels the full wrath of society after the unexpected and sudden death of her older male lover. She must fight for the right to be herself: a woman. Won the Oscar for best international film.
- The Florida Project (2017)
Set in the shadow of Disney World, a precocious six-year-old girl (Brooklynn Prince) makes the most of her summer with her ragtag playmates, while her rebellious mother tries to make ends meet with the spectre of homelessness always hanging over them. Willem Dafoe stars alongside.
- The Godfather (1972)
In what is considered one of the greatest films of all-time, an aging leader (Marlon Brando) of a New York mafia transfers control of his empire to his youngest son (Al Pacino), who goes from a reluctant outsider to a ruthless boss.
- The Godfather Part II (1974)
Francis Ford Coppola’s follow-up to his original, centring on Michael Corleone (Al Pacino) at the top of the pecking order while offering a look back at his father’s (Robert De Niro) past, is considered by some to be better than its predecessor.
- Inception (2010)
From the mind of Christopher Nolan, Leonardo DiCaprio stars as a thief who has the power to enter other’s dreams and steal their ideas, and is then given the mission of his life if he wants to be reunited with his family. Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Elliot Page, Tom Hardy co-star.
- Jurassic Park (1993)
It might be over 25 years old at this point but watching the very first Jurassic film from Steven Spielberg — based on Michael Crichton’s novel, which he co-adapted — is a great way to remind yourself why the new series, Jurassic World, has no idea why it’s doing.
- Little Women (2019)
Saoirse Ronan, Emma Watson, Florence Pugh, Laura Dern, Timothée Chalamet, and Meryl Streep lead the ensemble cast of writer-director Greta Gerwig’s clever metatextual ode to Louisa May Alcott, whose 1868 novel of the same name, about four young women who live life on their terms, this seventh live-action adaptation is based on.
- The Lord of the Rings trilogy (2001–03)
Peter Jackson brought J.R.R. Tolkien’s expansive Middle-Earth to life in these three three-hour epics, which charts the journey of a meek hobbit (Elijah Wood) and his various companions, as they try to stop the Dark Lord Sauron by destroying the source of his power, the One Ring.
- Mad Max: Fury Road (2015)
Tom Hardy and Charlize Theron star in director George Miller’s reboot of his own franchise, which finds a woman (Theron) rebelling against a tyrannical ruler of postapocalyptic desert, and giving us some of the best action sequences in the process.
- Maqbool (2004)
Vishal Bhardwaj kicked off what would become his Shakespeare trilogy with this adaptation of Macbeth set in the Mumbai underworld, starring Irrfan Khan in the conflicted titular role, Tabu in the role of the ambitious Lady Macbeth, Pankaj Kapur as the king, and Om Puri and Naseeruddin Shah in the gender-flipped roles of the Weird Sisters.
- The Matrix (1999)
A computer hacker (Keanu Reeves) starts to question the nature of his reality in the Wachowskis’ seminal work, and with help from a group of rebels (Laurence Fishburne and Carrie-Anne Moss), he begins the fight against the machines that now rule the world.
- Moonlight (2016)
Oscar winner for best picture, the story of a young black man through three defining chapters of his life, all while he grapples with his sexuality, and the ecstasy, pain, and beauty of falling in love. Heralded for its moving portrait of the African-American experience. Mahershala Ali, who co-stars, won the Oscar for best supporting actor.
- Newton (2017)
Winner of the National Award for best Hindi film, in which Rajkummar Rao stars as a government clerk who tries to run a free and fair election in the Naxal-controlled conflict-ridden jungles of India.
- Parasite (2019)
A poor street-smart family of four ingratiate themselves into the lives of a much wealthier one, before running into something wholly unexpected that threatens to undo their newly-developed symbiotic relationship. A biting, satirical look at classism and capitalism. Won the Oscar for best picture, becoming the first South Korean film to do so.
- Portrait of a Lady on Fire (2019)
Set in 18th-century in the northwesternmost region of France, a painter (Noémie Merlant) falls in love with the aristocratic reluctant bride-to-be (Adèle Haenel) she’s been secretly commissioned to paint. Powered by the captivating direction of Céline Sciamma, who won two Cannes awards for her work.
- The Prestige (2006)
Hugh Jackman and Christian Bale are rival magicians in late 19th-century London who are obsessed with creating the best stage illusion, in what some consider Christopher Nolan’s best movie, and a metaphor for the art of filmmaking itself.
- Room (2015)
Having been born in captivity, a five-year-old boy (Jacob Tremblay) gets to experience the outside world after a miraculous escape thanks to his mother (Brie Larson), who must deal with her own monsters after getting out. Larson won the Oscar and BAFTA for best actress. Based on writer Emma Donoghue’s novel of the same name.
- A Separation (2011)
Asghar Farhadi’s Oscar-winning drama follows an Iranian middle-class couple, whose 14-year-old marriage begins to dissolve after they reach a crossroads over the wife’s wishes to leave the country and the husband’s concerns for his elderly Alzheimer’s father.
- Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991)
Arnold Schwarzenegger returns as the android, now reprogrammed and sent back in time (again) to protect a younger version of a resistance leader, in James Cameron’s sequel to the original that is considered one of the greatest films of all time.
- Wonder Woman (2017)
After a pilot (Chris Pine) crashes and informs them about an ongoing World War, an Amazonian princess (Gal Gadot) leaves her secluded life to enter the world of men and stop what she believes to be the return of Amazons’ nemesis.