Best movies on Amazon Prime Video to watch now (May 2020)

Your guide to the best critically acclaimed comedies, romance movies and sci-fi adventure films streaming right now on Amazon Prime Video UK

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From cinema classics to brilliant modern comedies and dramas, here’s our (regularly updated) pick of the best movies to watch on Amazon Prime Video.

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Last updated 29th May 2020

Mad Max: Fury Road (2015)

After a lengthy absence, George Miller returned to his Mad Max franchise in 2015 with Tom Hardy and Charlize Theron in tow, producing arguably the best film in the series. Admittedly, Fury Road might not satisfy those looking for complex narrative given that it’s essentially a feature-length car chase. But, in terms of sheer breathtaking spectacle, it’s a hugely ambitious blockbuster and one of few to bag a Best Picture nomination at the Academy Awards. Watch Mad Max: Fury Road on Amazon Prime Video

Read our full Mad Max: Fury Road review

The Lord of the Rings Trilogy (2001-2003)

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One way of getting through a weekend in lockdown is challenging yourself to a marathon on Middle-Earth. The complete Lord of the Rings trilogy from director Peter Jackson is available to stream on Amazon Prime Video, three epic films that clock in at more than nine hours long (consider yourself lucky these aren’t the extended editions). In all seriousness, these adaptations of JRR Tolkein’s classic stories are widely regarded as some of the best fantasy films ever made, so these could well be the perfect choice if you find yourself with a hunger for adventure. The star-studded cast includes Elijah Wood (Sin City), Orlando Bloom (Pirates of the Caribbean), Ian McKellen (X-Men) and Christopher Lee (Star Wars).

Watch The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring on Amazon Prime Video
Watch The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers on Amazon Prime Video
Watch The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King on Amazon Prime Video

The Farewell (2019)

American comedy 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

Watchmen (2009)

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Following the confirmation that Zack Snyder’s Justice League is coming to HBO Max, now might be a good time to revisit arguably the director’s most ambitious comic book adaptation. Watchmen is based on the iconic graphic novel by Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons, long thought impossible to adapt for the big screen, about vigilantes operating in a world on the brink of apocalyptic nuclear war. Snyder’s version is certainly nowhere near as good as the source material (seriously, read it if you get a chance), but it’s a strong attempt with some very memorable moments and a striking sense of style. Patrick Wilson (The Conjuring), Jeffrey Dean Morgan (The Walking Dead) and Carla Gugino (Gerald’s Game) star. Watch Watchmen on Amazon Prime Video

Read our full Watchmen review

John Wick (2014)

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This stylish action flick set Keanu Reeves on the path towards his meteoric comeback and it’s easy to see why. John Wick is a triumph of stunt work and fight choreography, which delivers big on thrilling action sequences, but that’s not all it has to offer. The film goes one further than your typical action flick, by weaving in a fascinating story that slowly reveals a seedy underworld of assassins and secret organisations. Reeves is delightful as the eponymous legendary hitman, his performance packing a certain B-movie charm that fits this story perfectly. This first instalment also sees memorable supporting roles for Ian McShane (Deadwood), Lance Reddick (The Wire) and Adrianne Palicki (Agents of SHIELD). Watch John Wick on Amazon Prime Video

Read our full John Wick review

Coherence (2015)

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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

Jurassic Park (1993)

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Sam Neill stars in Jurassic Park

Steven Spielberg’s classic blockbuster really needs no introduction, but we’re going to give it one anyway. Jurassic Park Sam Neill, Laura Dern and Jeff Goldblum as three scientists invited to an island, where a wealthy businessman (Richard Attenborough) has brought dinosaurs back from extinction. But an incredible accomplishment is soon revealed to be disastrously misguided, when sabotage sets the mighty beasts loose and puts everybody’s lives in danger. Jurassic Park is thrilling from start to finish, boasting an intelligent script, brilliant performances and impressive special effects that still hold up almost 30 years later. It’s an absolute must-watch. Watch Jurassic Park on Amazon Prime Video

Read our full Jurassic Park review

Booksmart (2019)

Beanie Feldstein in Booksmart
Beanie Feldstein in Booksmart

Olivia Wilde directs this critically acclaimed comedy following two academic overachievers as they let loose on their final day of high school. Kaitlyn Dever and Beanie Feldstein are fantastic in the lead roles, the latter receiving a Golden Globe nod for her performance, with memorable appearances from Lisa Kudrow (Friends), Jason Sudeikis (Horrible Bosses) and Will Forte (30 Rock). Many critics hailed Booksmart as one of the best films of 2019, providing a fresh and contemporary spin on the coming-of-age story. Watch Booksmart on Amazon Prime Video

Contagion (2011)

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Kate Winslet stars in Contagion

Understandably, some people may wish to avoid this sobering thriller from director Steven Soderbergh (Ocean’s 11), but it has spiked in popularity since the coronavirus outbreak due to its relevance to our current crisis. Contagion depicts the spread of a respiratory virus that sweeps across the world while scientists desperately search for a cure. Highly praised for its realism and accuracy upon release, the film also boasts an impressive cast including Matt Damon, Kate Winslet, Gwyneth Paltrow and Bryan Cranston. Not one to pick if you’re looking for escapism, but it’s a smart and well made thriller nonetheless. Watch Contagion on Amazon Prime Video

Read our full Contagion review

Silver Linings Playbook (2012)

Jennifer Lawrence and Bradley Cooper star in this charming romantic comedy-drama, as two troubled people trying to piece their lives back together after suffering severe emotional trauma. They form an unlikely friendship which has the potential to develop into something more, if only they can prevent their own baggage from getting in the way. The screenplay by David O. Russell (American Hustle) is witty and heartfelt, while the two leads give truly phenomenal performances, picking up several major award nominations for their work. Watch Silver Linings Playbook on Amazon Prime Video

Read our full Silver Linings Playbook review

Green Book (2018)

L to R: Viggo Mortensen and Mahershala Ali
Viggo Mortensen and Mahershala Ali in Green Book

Green Book tells the true story of Tony Lip (Viggo Mortensen), a working-class chauffeur for classical pianist Dr Don Shirley (Mahershala Ali) during his 1962 tour of the Deep South, an area of America that was rife with racism at the time. Ali picked up his second Oscar trophy for his performance here, but the dynamic between him and Mortensen is what won many hearts when the film played in cinemas. Green Book was crowned Best Picture at the Academy Awards in 2019, beating tough competition from BlacKkKlansman and The Favourite.  Watch Green Book on Amazon Prime Video

Read our full Green Book review

The Wolf of Wall Street (2014)

Leonardo DiCaprio in The Wolf of Wall Street
Leonardo DiCaprio in The Wolf of Wall Street

Leonardo DiCaprio gives one of his most iconic performances in The Wolf of Wall Street, his fifth collaboration with superstar director Martin Scorsese. The film tells the true story of Jordan Belfort, a Wall Street stockbroker whose firm was found guilty of corruption and fraud. This three-hour epic charts his meteoric rise to success as well as his catastrophic downfall, with a star-studded supporting cast that includes Jonah Hill, Margot Robbie and Matthew McConaughey. It’s a wild ride… Watch The Wolf of Wall Street on Amazon Prime Video

Read our full The Wolf of Wall Street review

Hustlers (2019)

Jennifer Lopez and Constance Wu in Hustlers
Constance Wu and Jennifer Lopez in Hustlers

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

Paddington (2014) and Paddington 2 (2017)

Everybody’s favourite CGI bear gets up to some charming antics in these two beloved films. The first puts him up against a cruel taxidermist played by Nicole Kidman, while the second sees him sent to prison after a run-in with a failed actor-turned-thief (portrayed wonderfully by Hugh Grant). Both Paddington and its sequel earned rave reviews from critics and are feel-good viewing for the whole family.

Watch Paddington on Amazon Prime Video
Watch Paddington 2 on Amazon Prime Video

Read our full Paddington review
Read our full Paddington 2 review

The Big Sick (2017)

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Kumail Nanjiani and Zoe Kazan in The Big Sick

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 on Amazon Prime Video

Read our full The Big Sick review

Chicken Run (2000)

This children’s classic from Wallace and Gromit creators Aardman Animation never gets old. The charming story follows a ragtag group of chickens desperately attempting to escape confinement before they get turned into pies, turning to a former circus rooster for help. The script is packed full of witty gags, painstakingly brought to life in Aardman’s distinctive stop-motion style. A classic. Watch Chicken Run on Amazon Prime Video

Read our full Chicken Run review

Midsommar (2019)

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Florence Pugh in Ari Aster’s Midsommar

Director Ari Aster followed up his acclaimed debut film Hereditary with this eerie horror flick. Florence Pugh takes the lead role as a young woman who takes a trip with her friends to a rural commune in Sweden, only to find themselves disturbed by their horrifying customs. Perhaps it could have been a tad shorter, but the sterling performances and excellent production design will keep Midsommar in your memory long after the credits roll. Watch Midsommar on Amazon Prime Video

Read our full Midsommar review

Inside Llewyn Davis (2013)

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Oscar Isaac in Inside Llewyn Davis

Superstar directors the Coen Brothers helm this beloved drama about a young folk singer trying to make a name for himself in 1960s New York City. Oscar Isaac (Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker) stars as Llewyn Davis, a musician who recently lost his writing partner to suicide and now finds himself drifting through life with little purpose. While providing a glimpse into his difficult private life, the film never loses that distinct Coen sense of humour. Featuring Justin Timberlake (The Social Network) and Carey Mulligan (The Great Gatsby). Watch Inside Llewyn Davis on Amazon Prime Video

Read our full Inside Llewyn Davis review

Animals (2019)

Alia Shawkat and Holliday Grainger in Animals
Alia Shawkat and Holliday Grainger in Animals

Alia Shawkat (Arrested Development) and Holliday Grainger (The Capture) star in this comedy-drama about two women who find themselves at a crossroads. Aspiring novelist Laura (Grainger) feels it may be time for them to let go of their rowdy lifestyle, while Tyler (Shawkat) isn’t ready to ditch the drink, drugs and casual sex. Led by two strong central performances, Animals is a funny and insightful look at the complexities of friendship. Watch Animals on Amazon Prime Video

Read our full Animals review

Seven Psychopaths (2012)

Sam Rockwell and Colin Farrell in Seven Psychopaths
Sam Rockwell and Colin Farrell in Seven Psychopaths

This comedy-drama from writer-director Martin McDonagh (Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri) stars Colin Farrell as a struggling screenwriter attempting to pen the next big hit. He gets mixed up in a dangerous situation, when his friend (Sam Rockwell) kidnaps the dog of a deranged crime boss played by the legendary Woody Harrelson. The cast assembled for this highly original feature is incredibly strong, but McDonagh’s sharp writing is its strongest asset, packing a number of hilarious lines as well as some truly heartbreaking moments. Watch Seven Psychopaths on Amazon Prime Video

Read our full Seven Psychopaths review

The Founder (2016)

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Michael Keaton stars as Ray Kroc in The Founder

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

Stan & Ollie (2018)

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John C Reilly and Steve Coogan as Laurel and Hardy in Stan & Ollie

Stan & Ollie tells the true story of one of comedy’s most famous double acts: Laurel and Hardy. Steve Coogan and John C Reilly take the two lead roles and were acclaimed for how well they embody the late performers, earning a BAFTA and Golden Globe nomination respectively for their efforts. Fans of the iconic duo will no doubt be delighted by how this feature pays tribute to their work. Watch Stan & Ollie on Amazon Prime Video

Read our full Stan & Ollie review

Room (2015)

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 on Amazon Prime Video

Read our full Room review

Wild Rose (2018)

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Jessie Buckley in Wild Rose

Wild Rose tells the story of a Scottish woman who, upon being released from prison, wants to reform her life by becoming a country music singer. She gets the chance to fly out to Nashville to see if she can make it big, but can she truly leave her past behind? Lead actress Jessie Buckley (Chernobyl) earned a BAFTA nomination for her performance in this critically acclaimed indie hit, which has no shortage of emotional moments. Watch Wild Rose on Amazon Prime Video

Read our full Wild Rose 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 on Amazon Prime Video

Read our full Fight Club review

12 Years a Slave (2013)

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Chiwetel Ejiofor in 12 Years A Slave
E1 Entertainment

Leaving Prime Video in June

Sir Steve McQueen directs this hard-hitting drama which adapts the memoirs of Solomon Northup, who was enslaved in the mid-19th century. 12 Years a Slave took home dozens of awards on the year it released including Best Picture at the Academy Awards, earning acclaim for the way in which it tackles such a tragic and horrifying true story. Chiwetel Ejiofor and Lupita Nyong’o give powerful performances, with supporting roles for Michael Fassbender, Benedict Cumberbatch and Brad Pitt. Watch 12 Years a Slave on Amazon Prime Video

Read our full 12 Years a Slave review

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 on Amazon Prime Video

Read our full Once upon a Time in America review

Fantastic Mr Fox (2009)

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Mr Fox (voiced by George Clooney) in Wes Anderson’s Fantastic Mr Fox

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

Four Lions (2010)

Fiercely black comedy from Brass Eye creator Chris Morris, which sees a group of young Muslim men hatch an inept plan to become suicide bombers. With a premise like that, Four Lions could have been a terribly distasteful misstep, but through some sharp writing and strong performances it establishes itself as one of Britain’s strongest satires in recent memory. Riz Ahmed (Star Wars: Rogue One) and Kayvan Novak (Fonejacker) lead the cast, with appearances from Benedict Cumberbatch (Doctor Strange) and Julia Davis (Gavin & Stacey). Watch on Amazon Prime Video

Read our full Four Lions review

Capernaum (2018)

This Academy Award-nominated drama tells the heartbreaking story of a young boy who asks to sue his parents for bringing him into the world. It’s an unflinching look at the poverty and extreme hardship faced by a Syrian refugee in a Beirut slum which makes for profoundly thought-provoking viewing. Watch Capernaum on Amazon Prime Video

Read our full Capernaum review

The Disaster Artist (2017)

James Franco as Tommy Wiseau in The Disaster Artist
James Franco as Tommy Wiseau in The Disaster Artist

This comedy drama tells the true story behind what is widely regarded as one of the worst films ever made: The Room. James Franco directs and stars as oddball filmmaker Tommy Wiseau, whose mysterious past and unusual appearance have made him a fascinating figure to many movie buffs. Those familiar with the abysmal production that inspired it will find themselves chuckling along with The Disaster Artist, while those not in the know will be simply bewildered that this is actually a true story. Watch The Disaster Artist on Amazon Prime Video

Read our full The Disaster Artist 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 on Amazon Prime Video

Read our full Manchester by the Sea review

Zodiac (2007)

Years after the release of the highly disturbing Seven, David Fincher takes on another dark crime drama. Zodiac features a star-studded cast including Robert Downey Jr, Mark Ruffalo and Jake Gyllenhaal, as three men attempting to hunt down the notorious Zodiac Killer. At two hours and 40 minutes, its a sizeable time commitment, but most will find themselves easily gripped by the mystery and Fincher’s trademark moody style. Watch Zodiac on Amazon Prime Video

Read our full Zodiac review

Andy Murray: Resurfacing (2019)

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Tennis superstar Andy Murray

This documentary charts two years in the life of British tennis player Andy Murray as serious injury threatens to take him out of the sport for ever. The cameras follow him as he pushes himself to get back to peak performance, featuring interviews with those closest to him. Watch on Amazon Prime Video

Next Goal Wins (2014)

This critically acclaimed documentary follows the national football team of American Samoa as they attempt to bounce back from an unprecedented losing streak to qualify for the 2014 Fifa World Cup. The documentary will soon be adapted into a feature film starring Michael Fassbender and Elisabeth Moss, directed by Taika Waititi. Watch on Amazon Prime Video

Read our full Next Goal Wins review

The Imitation Game (2014)

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Benedict Cumberbatch as Alan Turing in The Imitation Game

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 on Amazon Prime Video

Read our full The Imitation Game review

Catfish (2010)

While its impact may be somewhat diminished by the many inferior reality shows that came after it, this 2010 documentary was acclaimed upon release. As a man grows infatuated with a woman he has met online, camera crews follow him as he arranges to meet her in person for the first time. Watch Catfish on Amazon Prime Video

Read our full Catfish review

Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy (2011)

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Gary Oldman in Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy

A classic spy movie based on John Le Carre’s 19874 novel, featuring an all-star cast including Gary Oldman, Colin Firth, Tom Hardy, John Hurt, Toby Jones, Mark Strong and Benedict Cumberbatch. Watch on Amazon Prime Video

Read our full Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy review

The Hurt Locker (2008)

War film about an Iraq Explosive Ordnance Disposal team, directed by Kathryn Bigelow, who became the first woman to win the best director Academy Award in 2009. Watch on Amazon Prime Video

Read our full The Hurt Locker review

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