Amazon Prime Video has established quite a premise at this year’s awards seasons, with another top Oscar contender available free to subscribers this weekend.
Sound of Metal has earned Riz Ahmed the mainstream recognition he has long deserved, seeing him in the role of heavy metal drummer Ruben Stone who starts to go deaf at a young age.
His powerhouse performance has put him in the running for Best Actor at this year’s Academy Awards, while the film itself is up for five other prizes including Best Picture.
If you’re in the mood for something a bit lighter, Prime Video is also home to two acclaimed comedies in Andy Samberg’s Palm Springs and Sacha Baron Cohen’s Borat: Subsequent Moviefilm.
For those wanting something a bit different, we’ve also created shortlists of the best Amazon shows, the best Netflix movies and the best Netflix series, as well as your guide to Disney+, which launched in the UK earlier this year.
Last updated 16th April 2021.
Sound of Metal (2021)
This acclaimed drama is a major contender at this year’s Academy Awards, with star Riz Ahmed (Rogue One, Venom) nominated in the hotly contested category of Best Actor. The film follows metal drummer Ruben Stone as he loses his hearing, an development that he fears will end his career and prevent him from doing what he loves most in life. His girlfriend also worries that the former addict will turn to substance abuse as a coping mechanism and checks him into rehab as a preventative measure. Sound of Metal follows Ruben’s journey as he attempts to adapt to a new way of living and has been highly praised for exploring the experience of the deaf community. Watch Sound of Metal on Amazon Prime Video
Palm Springs (2021)
Comedy stars Andy Samberg (Brooklyn Nine-Nine) and Cristin Milioti (How I Met Your Mother) lead this charming offering, which follows two strangers who meet at a wedding and find themselves caught in a time-loop. While that premise may sound similar to all-time classic Groundhog Day, you can rest assured that Palm Springs puts an inventive fresh spin on the idea. With such a clever script and two likeable lead performances, it’s no surprise that this unique romcom proved a hit with critics, earning two nods at 2021’s Golden Globes. Watch Palm Springs on Amazon Prime Video
The Mauritanian (2021)
This Golden Globe-winning legal drama made its official premiere on Amazon Prime Video in April, with The Serpent’s Tahar Rahim starring as Mohamedou Ould Slahi, a real-life Guantanamo Bay detention camp prisoner who was captured by the US government without charge of trial from 2002 unit 2016. With Jodie Foster, Shailene Woodley, Benedict Cumberbatch and Zachary Levi also featuring in this drama based on a true story, The Mauritanian follows Slahi as defence lawyers Nancy Hollander (Foster) and Teri Duncan (Woodley) try to fight for his freedom. Watch The Mauritanian on Amazon Prime Video.
With Ghostbusters turning 35 this year, why not revisit the film that made ‘Who you gonna call?’ one of the most quoted movie catchphrases of all time? Directed by Ivan Reitman, this 1984 classic stars Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd, Harold Ramis and Ernie Hudson as a group of Columbia University scientists whose investigation into the paranormal leads them to form the Ghostbusters – New York’s answer to all things ghostly. With Sigourney Weaves, Harold Ramis and Annie Potts playing now-iconic roles, it’s time to rewatch this original before the brand new sequel – Ghostbusters: Afterlife – arrives on our screens. Watch Ghostbusters on Amazon Prime Video.
American Hustle (2013)
This black crime comedy from David O. Russell stars Christian Bale and Amy Adams as Irving Rosenfeld and Sydney Prosser – two con artists who are forced to set up a sting operation on corrupt politicians by FBI agent Richie DiMaso (Bradley Cooper). With Jennifer Lawrence turning in a BAFTA-winning performance as Rosenfeld’s wife Rosalyn, American Hustle is a film based on a true story worth rewatching. Watch American Hustle on Amazon Prime Video.
How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days (2003)
The early noughties was responsible for some of the best romcoms, including Donald Petrie’s How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days. The film stars Kate Hudson as magazine journalist Andie, who is tasked with writing an article on behaviour in relationships which drives men away and plans to date a man, with the intention of completely putting them off the relationship. She sets her sites on Ben, a advertising executive played by Matthew McConaughey who, unbeknownst to her, has made a bet with colleagues that he can make any woman fall in love with him in just 10 days. With both having met their match, this charming comedy is full of cringeworthy, ridiculous moments that make it a fun watch. Watch How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days on Amazon Prime Video.
I Care A Lot (2021)
Rosamund Pike earned herself a nomination at this weekend’s Golden Globes for her performance in this darkly comedic thriller, in which she plays a con artist who has made a business out of scamming elderly people. However, she bites off more than she can chew with her latest target, when she discovers they have ties to a dangerous gangster (portrayed by Game of Thrones star Peter Dinklage). I Care A Lot is a strong offering from director J Blakeson (BBC One’s Gunpowder), which should keep you on the edge of your seat with its unpredictable story and electric lead performance. Watch I Care A Lot on Amazon Prime Video
One Night in Miami… (2021)
Academy Award-winning actress Regina King makes her feature directorial debut in this new drama, which adapts the stage play of the same name. It gives a fictionalised account of a real night in February 1964, when boxer Cassius Clay (later known as Muhammad Ali) unexpectedly defeated then-heavyweight champion Sonny Liston. He celebrated with three friends, who just so happened to be hugely influential figures in the African-American community: Malcolm X, NFL star Jim Brown and singer-songwriter Sam Cooke. The film functions as a study of these four men at this point in their lives and has received glowing reviews from critics – as well as several Golden Globe nominations. Watch One Night in Miami… on Amazon Prime Video
Gerard Butler’s disaster flick is the latest blockbuster to skip cinemas due to the coronavirus pandemic, landing exclusively on Amazon Prime Video instead. The action star plays John Garrity, a man who attempts to save himself and his family when a planet-destroying comet sets onto a collision course with Earth. While not up there with the best releases of last year, critics have praised Greenland for focusing on the human side of the crisis rather than getting caught up in mindless spectacle. Deadpool’s Morena Baccarin and Daredevil’s Scott Glenn co-star. Watch Greenland on Amazon Prime Video
Forgetting Sarah Marshall (2008)
This 2008 romcom stars Jason Segel as Peter, a soundtrack composer who decides to take a last-minute trip to Hawaii after his TV star girlfriend – the titular Sarah Marshall (Kristen Bell) –suddenly dumps him. The only problem is that he somehow finds himself at the same resort as his ex and her new rock star boyfriend (Russell Brand). Produced by Hollywood’s comedy king Judd Apatow, Forgetting Sarah Marshall is a laugh-out-loud flick, stuffed with romantic moments and hilarious raunchy scenes with a stellar cast including Mila Kunis, Paul Rudd, Jack McBrayer and Bill Hader. Watch Forgetting Sarah Marshall on Amazon Prime Video
Official Secrets (2019)
Keira Knightley leads the cast as real-life whistleblower and GCHQ analyst Katharine Gun in this true crime film, about an alleged conspiracy to influence United Nations Security Council members into supporting the invasion of Iraq in 2003. The film, which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival, also stars the likes of Ralph Fiennes, Matt Smith, Matthew Goode, Rhys Ifans, and Adam Bakri. Watch Official Secrets on Amazon Prime Video
Dark Waters (2019)
Mark Ruffalo gives a standout performance in this excellent legal thriller based on the true story of the case against chemical manufacturing corporation DuPont, which was accused of deliberately contaminated a town with unregulated chemicals and covering up the evidence. What could easily have been a run-of-the-mill true story piece becomes something more exciting in the hands of seasoned director Todd Haynes, with a real sense of tension and dread present for much of the two-hour runtime. Watch Dark Waters on Amazon Prime Video
Bong Joon-ho’s genre-defying masterpiece wowed audiences when it finally arrived in UK cinemas earlier this year, while also cleaning up at several major awards shows including the BAFTAs, Golden Globes and Academy Awards. The story follows a poor family struggling to survive in a squalid basement residence, who are able to blag and scheme their way into jobs working for the wealthy Parks family. To say much more would risk spoiling the many shocking twists that Parasite has in store, an incredibly suspenseful thriller that will keep you on the edge of your seat throughout. Watch Parasite on Amazon Prime Video
Academy Award winning director Steve McQueen (Small Axe, 12 Years A Slave) is behind this slick crime thriller, which boasts an incredible all-star cast. Four women become targets of a dangerous criminal gang when their husbands are killed in a standoff gone wrong. Their survival rests on the successful completion of an elaborate heist which is their only way to pay off the mobsters at the door. Viola Davis (How to Get Away with Murder), Michelle Rodriguez (Fast & Furious), Elizabeth Debicki (The Night Manager) and Carrie Coon (Fargo) lead the ensemble, which also includes Liam Neeson (Taken), Daniel Kaluuya (Get Out) and Colin Farrell (Fantastic Beasts). Watch Widows on Amazon Prime Video
The final screen role of Harry Dean Stanton, Lucky was a fitting end to the legendary actor’s stellar career. The film is about a 90-year old man, Lucky, living in a small Californian desert town, and follows a few days in his life as he comes to terms with his own mortality. The gentle direction of John Carroll Lynch – making his directorial debut – allows for a calm and meditative atmosphere to take hold, while iconic filmmaker David Lynch has a memorable supporting turn as a friend of Lucky who has recently lost his turtle. Watch Lucky on Amazon Prime Video.
Read our full Lucky review
The Conversation (1974)
This excellent mystery thriller is one of the finest films of the ’70s – made all the more impressive by the fact that Francis Ford Coppola made it directly between The Godfather Part I and II (in fact The Conversation and The Godfather Part II were both nominated for Best Picture in the same year, with the latter winning the award.) It stars Gene Hackman as surveillance expert Harry Caul, who finds himself becoming personally involved in a dangerous case after overhearing something suspicious in a recording, with disastrous consequences. The superb supporting cast includes Robert Duvall, Harrison Ford and John Cazale. Watch The Conversation on Amazon Prime Video
Read our full The Conversation review
Borat: Subsequent Moviefilm (2020)
Watch out, Sacha Baron Cohen is back up to his old tricks for another Borat outing, which once again delivers big on cringe humour by putting unwitting participants in some incredibly awkward situations. Owing to the greater fame of both Cohen and his character, this sequel requires him to take on a number of different disguises, each one bringing shocking consequences. Filmed largely over the most recent summer, Borat: Subsequent Moviefilm is very much a product of this chaotic time in global history, tackling both the coronavirus pandemic and the impending US Presidential election. Watch Borat: Subsequent Moviefilm on Amazon Prime Video
Let the Right One In (2008)
This excellent Swedish language film was remade in English as Let Me In a year later, but the original is the far superior film. Helmed by Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy director Tomas Alfredson, this ’80s set chiller is as much a poignant coming of age story as it is a vampire movie, with the emotional aspects of the story outweighing the scares – although it’s not without its gruesome moments as well. There are great performances from young stars Kare Hedebrant and Lina Leandersson, and the film also stands out for its impeccably realised atmosphere and snowy Stockholm setting. Watch Let the Right One In on Amazon Prime Video.
Read our full Let the Right One In review
His Girl Friday (1940)
There are few genres more likely to put a smile on your face than screwball comedy, and this is one of the defining examples of the genre. Directed by Classic Hollywood legend Howard Hawks and starring Cary Grant at the top of his game, the film follows newspaper editor Walter Burns (Grant) and his increasingly desperate and anarchic attempts to prevent his ex-wife and star reporter Hildy Johnson (Rosalind Russell) from getting remarried. The frenzied gags keep building until they reach delirious levels, and 80 years after its release the film still holds the record for the fastest-paced dialogue of all time. An absolute must-see that hasn’t lost any of its charm over time. Watch His Girl Friday on Amazon Prime Video.
Read our full His Girl Friday review
Director Sam Mendes (Skyfall) is behind this war epic, which is ingeniously executed to give the illusion it was filmed in a single take. While that wasn’t actually the case, you won’t question it for a moment thanks to the slick editing and visual effects, which bring the horrors of the conflict to life in vivid form. George MacKay and Dean Charles-Chapman take the lead roles as two young soldiers tasked with a mission that puts more than a thousand lives at stake. Mendes populates his supporting cast with some of the finest British actors working today, including Colin Firth, Benedict Cumberbatch, Richard Madden and Andrew Scott. Watch 1917 on Amazon Prime Video
The DUFF (2015)
Fans of teen comedies like Mean Girls and The Breakfast Club will get along well with this hidden gem. Mae Whitman (Scott Pilgrim, Arrested Development) stars as Bianca Piper, a high schooler who discovers that a number of her fellow students have only been talking to her in order to get to know her more popular friends. Feeling hurt and used, she hatches a plan with her friend to subvert the social hierarchy at the school. While hardly an original concept, critics were kind to The DUFF, praising its witty script and strong performances from Whitman and co-stars Robbie Amell (The Flash) and Oscar winner Allison Janney (I, Tonya). Watch The DUFF on Amazon Prime Video
Read our full The DUFF review
Sorry We Missed You (2019)
Ken Loach has long been established as one of the UK’s finest filmmakers, and his most recent effort was another bleak and sobering look at modern day Britain, this time taking aim at the injustices faced by those working in the gig economy. The film follows a man named Ricky and his family, who have been in poor financial straits ever since the 2008 financial crash. Ricky hears of an chance to make some more cash working as a self-employed delivery driver but soon discovers that the opportunity isn’t all its cracked up to be, as he finds himself the victim of an unfair system that makes it increasingly hard to balance his work with the demands of family life. This leads to major tensions developing at home. Watch Sorry We Missed You on Amazon Prime Video
Read our full Sorry We Missed You review
The Gentlemen (2019)
Guy Ritchie goes back to his anarchic roots with another darkly comedic crime story, this time featuring Matthew McConaughey as a marijuana kingpin looking to get out of the drug business for good. That’s no small task, especially with a number of rivals looking to undermine his plans and take over his empire for themselves. The star-studded cast also includes Hugh Grant, Charlie Hunnam, Henry Golding, Colin Farrell and Succession‘s Jeremy Strong. Watch The Gentlemen on Amazon Prime Video
Following the tragic passing of Chadwick Boseman, many have been revisiting some of the actor’s past work and admiring his incredible talent. Amazon Prime Video is home to 21 Bridges, a crime drama he made in collaboration with Avengers: Endgame directors Anthony and Joe Russo, which sees an NYPD detective on a citywide hunt for two alleged murderers, only to become embroiled in a much larger conspiracy. While not quite on the level of the actor’s finest work, such as 42, Black Panther and Da 5 Bloods, 21 Bridges is an entertaining ride from start to finish. Watch 21 Bridges on Amazon Prime Video
Fantastic Mr Fox (2009)
Visionary director Wes Anderson (The French Dispatch) takes on Roald Dahl’s classic children’s story about a crafty fox who steals food from neighbourhood farmers. Expect another dose of the filmmaker’s trademark quirky style, with the added charm of none other than George Clooney lending his voice to the lead role. Kids and grown-ups alike will find plenty to love about this timeless tale, which never got the attention it deserved in cinemas. Watch Fantastic Mr Fox on Amazon Prime Video
Read our full Fantastic Mr Fox review
This independent feature tells a genuinely thrilling sci-fi story on a shoestring budget, making it a testament to creative filmmaking. A group of friends get together for a dinner party on a night where a comet is passing overhead, but when relationships fracture when strange things start happening and paranoia takes hold. Emily Baldoni gives a brilliant performance in the lead role, particularly impressive given that much of the script was improvised on set, proving a compelling anchor for this intriguing mystery. Watch Coherence on Amazon Prime Video
Read our full Coherence review
Inspired by a true story, Jennifer Lopez stars in this crime thriller about a crew of strippers who begin stealing money from their wealthy customers. Many film buffs called for Hustlers to be recognised at this year’s Academy Awards for Lorene Scafaria’s slick direction and JLo’s powerful lead performance. Ultimately, the film didn’t win any Oscar gold, but it remains a hugely entertaining watch with a strong supporting cast that includes Constance Wu (Fresh Off the Boat), Julia Stiles (Riviera), Keke Palmer (Scream Queens) and music sensation Lizzo. Watch Hustlers on Amazon Prime Video
Read our full Hustlers review
The Farewell (2019)
Rising star Awkwafina stars in this touching family drama, about a Chinese-American woman living in the States who finds out that her grandmother is dying of terminal cancer. She returns to China to say her goodbyes, only to discover that her grandmother is blissfully unaware of the severity of her condition, which has been kept secret from her by her surrounding family. The film is inspired by the real experiences of director Lulu Wang and saw rave reviews from critics, with Awkwafina winning a Golden Globe for her performance. Watch The Farewell on Amazon Prime Video
Once upon a Time in America (1984)
Sergio Leone’s gangster epic chronicles 50 years in the criminal underworld in New York City, with Robert de Niro and James Woods starring as lifelong friends whose partnership unravels into chaos. Be warned, you’ll need to be made of strong stuff to watch: these are nasty people and there are two rape scenes, involving Tuesday Weld and Elizabeth McGovern, that may be among the most shocking ever filmed. Watch Once Upon a Time in America on Amazon Prime Video
Read our full Once upon a Time in America review
One of many Dario Argento classics included with Prime, Suspiria was remade in 2018 – but the original version remains unparalleled. Suzy, a ballet student arrives at a prestigious dance school, but quickly discovers that all is not what it seems. Strange, supernatural events keep occuring and several students die – leaving Suzy to wonder if she might be next… Watch Suspiria on Amazon Prime Video
Read our full Suspiria review
Michael Bond’s iconic character from children’s literature is the star of this family film, which sees Paddington Bear go up against a nefarious taxidermist played by Hollywood star Nicole Kidman. Critics heaped praise on this heartwarming adaptation, which is sure to keep the kids amused with its wacky sense of humour and memorable performances. Ben Whishaw (Skyfall) provides the voice of the title character, while Hugh Bonneville and Sally Hawkins appear as Mr and Mrs Brown, who give him a place to stay when he arrives in London. Watch Paddington on Amazon Prime Video
Read our full Paddington review
The Big Sick (2017)
Real-life husband-and-wife Kumail Nanjiani (who also stars) and Emily V Gordon penned this moving romcom about their relationship, which took a major hit in its nascent stages when Emily came down with a mysterious illness. Watch The Big Sick on Amazon Prime Video
Read our full The Big Sick review
The Founder (2016)
Ever wondered just how McDonald’s became so dominant in the world of fast food? The Founder takes you back to the 1950s, when the brand was a family business owned and run by two brothers. Along comes ruthless businessman Ray Kroc (Michael Keaton) who aggressively franchised the restaurants until they became a common sight across America – stepping on people along the way. Hot off his Oscar win for Birdman, Keaton gives a superb performance in this fascinating factual drama. Watch The Founder on Amazon Prime Video
Read our full The Founder review
Brie Larson (Captain Marvel) and Jacob Tremblay (Wonder) both give stunning performances in this heart-wrenching drama about a mother and son who have been held captive underground for years. Their desperate bid for freedom makes for utterly gripping viewing, but Room also does an excellent job exploring the psychological affects of such a life – particularly on a developing young mind. Watch Room on Amazon Prime Video
Read our full Room review
Fight Club (1999)
Brad Pitt, Edward Norton, an underground group who beat the living daylights out of each other for fun, and supreme direction from David Fincher. It’s probably one of the greatest films of all time, and undoubtedly one of the best on Amazon Prime. Watch Fight Club on Amazon Prime Video
Read our full Fight Club review
The Imitation Game (2014)
Headhunters director Morten Tyldum here takes on the important story of Alan Turing (Benedict Cumberbatch), the genius cryptographer who cracked the infamous Enigma code during the Second World War. Watch The Imitation Game on Amazon Prime Video
Read our full The Imitation Game review
Manchester by the Sea (2016)
A masterful Sundance hit from Kenneth Lonergan. Casey Affleck is on electrifying, Oscar-winning form as Lee, a surly janitor living alone in a Boston suburb. Summoned by his family after his brother suffers a heart attack, Lee returns to his seaside home town to face the secrets of his past. Watch Manchester by the Sea on Amazon Prime Video
Read our full Manchester by the Sea review
Adam Sandler’s 2006 comedy-drama Click is now available to stream on Amazon Prime Video, with the Wedding Singer star playing Michael Newman – a happily-married architect who is given a magical remote control by a mysterious man (Christopher Walken) and uses it to manipulate time. With Kate Beckinsale, David Hasselhoff, Henry Winkler, Julie Kavner, Sean Astin and Jennifer Coolidge rounding out the cast of this fantasy comedy, Click combines It’s a Wonderful Life with Back to the Future before adding Sandler’s comedic stylings into the mix. Watch Click on Amazon Prime Video.
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