Subscribers to Amazon Prime have access to thousands of movies for free with their subscriptions. If you’re looking for something to watch, here are the best movies to watch for free with Amazon Prime Video.
Update, 11/19/21: We’ve reviewed our recommendations and are confident these are still the best movies you can watch on Amazon Prime Video.
Filmmaker Rian Johnson puts together an all-star cast for the old-fashioned murder mystery Knives Out. A wealthy mystery novelist (played by Christopher Plummer) is killed under mysterious circumstances, and everyone in his family (plus his longtime caretaker) is a suspect.
Jamie Lee Curtis, Don Johnson, Chris Evans, Michael Shannon, and Toni Collette are among the actors playing the family members, with Ana de Armas as the caretaker and Daniel Craig as renowned detective Benoit Blanc. In the tradition of Agatha Christie, Knives Out is full of surprises and reveals, plus an added layer of sharp social commentary and a wry sense of humor.
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Cult classic Heathers is one of the best comedies on Amazon Prime. This dark satire takes on the teen movies of its era (the 1980s), bringing a violent edge to the story of an upstanding young woman falling in love with a rebellious bad boy. Veronica (Winona Ryder) and J.D. (Christian Slater) take their crusade against the vapid popular students at their high school to deadly extremes, while the movie retains a sense of the absurd. The filmmakers mix whip-smart dialogue with cutting commentary on conformity.
Christopher Nolan’s obsession with intricate plotting meets the perfect high concept in Inception. This thriller involves a “heist” of ideas literally within the world of dreams as trained operatives infiltrate the subconscious mind of a corporate executive.
The twisty plot is matched by Nolan’s elaborate, mind-bending visuals, which he deploys in some truly astonishing action set pieces. Leonardo DiCaprio, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Marion Cotillard, and Tom Hardy lead a strong cast who bring some emotional depth to Nolan’s heady concepts.
Cary Grant and Rosalind Russell star as bickering newspaper reporters (and ex-spouses) in Howard Hawks’ classic comedy His Girl Friday. Hawks swaps the gender of one of the main characters of the popular play The Front Page, turning the story into a comedy about remarriage as well as a farce. The rapid-fire dialogue is filled with clever put-downs and wordplay, and Grant and Russell continually one-up each other as their characters pursue the biggest story of their careers (and also fall in love again).
One of the Coen brothers’ best films, Inside Llewyn Davis, stars Oscar Isaac as the title character, a struggling folk singer in 1960s New York City. Perpetually living in the shadow of his more successful peers, Llewyn drifts from one friend’s couch to another’s, trying to scrounge together money from occasional gigs. The movie has a bittersweet, melancholy tone, with Llewyn serving as a stand-in for anyone who’s faced the prospect of giving up on their dreams.
One of Amazon’s best original movies, Love & Friendship is a delightful Jane Austen adaptation from filmmaker Whit Stillman. Based on Austen’s early novel Lady Susan, the movie stars Kate Beckinsale as a ruthless, sharp-tongued social climber with witty rejoinders for everyone she meets. Love & Friendship adds a nasty edge to Austen’s typical romantic narrative while still satisfyingly pairing off all the main characters in suitable marriages.
Ari Aster’s Midsommar delivers unspeakable horrors in broad daylight as its main characters visit a remote Swedish village during a traditional summer festival. There’s far more going on than dancing and creating flower crowns, though, as these American grad students learn the hard way. Florence Pugh plays a young woman in the midst of grieving who discovers a well of internal strength as she participates in the village’s arcane rituals. In horror, she finds her identity and her power.
Alfred Hitchcock’s To Catch a Thief is more lighthearted than many of the master of suspense’s thrillers, but it’s no less engrossing. Cary Grant plays an expert jewel thief whose retirement is threatened by an impostor robbing wealthy tourists on the French Riviera.
Determined to clear his name, the burglar, known as “the Cat,” decides to catch the real thief. Along the way, he falls in love with a wealthy heiress played by Grace Kelly. It’s a stylish caper that benefits from the stars’ playful chemistry and Hitchcock’s mastery of the camera.
The zombie genre wouldn’t even exist without George A. Romero’s landmark 1968 horror movie Night of the Living Dead. Romero pioneered most of the key elements of zombie movies with his creepy, low-budget film about the dead rising from the grave, hungry for human flesh.
Taking place mostly within an abandoned house where characters hide from the growing undead hordes, Night of the Living Dead creates indelible scares on minimal resources. It’s one of the most influential movies of all time (in any genre).
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