Amazon Prime Video is the retail giant's rival to Netflix, a streaming service that gives you immediate access to an array of films and TV shows to stream or download and watch offline, including some original content that you can't watch anywhere else. There are thousands of things to watch, which is brilliant right up until the moment you sit down and actually have to try and pick something.
Also read: Netflix vs Amazon Prime Video
So, to save you from indecision, we've rounded up 20 of the best films Amazon has to offer. Every single one of these is currently included for free as part of the Prime subscription service, but if you're not a subscriber then you can always rent or buy a digital copy directly from Amazon too.
Got a favourite we didn't include? Let us know in the comments, and we'll be updating this piece regularly as the Amazon Prime film library changes.
Don't have Prime? Take a look at our complete guide to Amazon Prime to find out more about the service and how to sign up.
Giant robots vs. giant monsters. Need we say more? Idris Elba leads humanity’s last line of defence against the invading ‘kaiju’ in the form of a series of giant mechs, the Jaegers, each controlled by a pair of pilots. It’s big, it’s a little bit dumb, it’s a ludicrous amount of fun.
The Lego Movie
Making a film out of Lego seemed like a terrible idea right up until The Lego Movie arrived and somehow turned out to be brilliant. It’s a suitably meta tale, bringing in the likes of Batman, Han Solo, a pirate, and a ‘1980-something space guy’. It’s already earned a sequel and three spin-off films, proving definitively that everything is awesome.
Live Die Repeat: Edge of Tomorrow
Tom Cruise lives the same day over and over again until he gets it right. So far, so Groundhog Day. Except he has to use a powered armour suit to fight off alien invaders, and has to die (usually painfully) over and over and over again.
Midnight in Paris
The modern Woody Allen films have been a bit of a mixed bag, to put it kindly, but Midnight in Paris is a clear highlight. Owen Wilson is the requisite Allen stand-in, an American writer who finds himself transported to 1920s Paris, surrounded by the authors he idolises. It’s poignant and thoughtful, beautifully shot, and one of Allen’s wittiest films in years.
Monsters have never been moodier than in Gareth Edwards’ 2014 Godzilla reboot. The giant lizard is scaled up to skyscraper size to fight off other monsters (and a few pesky humans), though the emphasis here is mostly on the people caught in his path. It’s a bit more serious than you might expect a movie about rampaging monsters to be, but it boasts some pretty unforgettable visuals.
Paddington is basically just lovely. It’s a big, warm, marmalade-y hug of a film, pairing slapstick comedy with a surprisingly strong message celebrating diversity and immigration. Ben Whishaw is brilliant as the titular bear, but it’s Nicole Kidman and Peter Capaldi (Doctor Who himself) who steal it as the film’s villains.
Amy Winehouse’s tragically brief life and career are chronicled in this moving documentary. Director Asif Kapadia avoids the usual talking heads format, instead relying entirely on family videos and TV footage of Winehouse, along with audio-only interviews with friends and family. It’s powerful stuff, and backed up by a selection of never-before-heard songs and live recordings.
The film that made a star out of Melissa McCarthy, Bridesmaids proved that there was a market for female-led comedies that didn’t focus on someone pining for Colin Firth or Ryan Reynolds. It’s rude, it’s crude, and it’s still absolutely hilarious.
The Raid is one of those films that only does one thing, but it does it really, really well. In this case, it’s violence - more specifically the Indonesian martial art of pencak silat. A squad of 20 cops entire a high-rise ruled by a local crime lord and have to fight their way to the top, treating us to some of the best fisticuffs on film.
A Bigger Splash
Tilda Swinton is the androgynous, Bowie-esque rockstar she was born to be in A Bigger Splash, and yet somehow she’s not the best part of the film. That honour lies with Ralph Fiennes, who steals the show with an extended dance routine set to the Rolling Stones - it’s probably the best five minutes of any film in 2016.
Song of the Sea
This Irish animation delves into gaelic mythology for a sweet tale about a brother and sister who have to work to save the faeries from the goddess Macha. The intricate hand-drawn animation echoes old Celtic art, and is just one of the reasons Song of the Sea is one of the most beautiful films of the last few years - and helped to land it an Oscar nomination too.
In the Loop
This cinematic spin-off of The Thick of It bridged the gap between that show and creator Armando Iannucci’s American follow-up Veep, spotlighting the many and varied things that go wrong when UK and US politics intersect. Best of all, Peter Capaldi’s foul-mouthed spin doctor Malcolm Tucker is back in the lead, finding whole new ways to swear about international relations.
My Scientology Movie
Watch My Scientology Movie on Amazon Prime
Louis Theroux’s big-screen debut harks back to his early work, most of all the light-hearted Weird Weekends. He gently pokes fun at the notoriously secretive scientologists in Los Angeles, resorting to increasingly creative responses to their refusal to grant him any media access. It’s a film that sees the funny side of Tom Cruise’s favourite cult/religion, without ever forgetting the damage it’s allegedly done to many of its members.
Lost in Translation
Bill Murray and Scarlett Johansson get depressed (but, you know, in a funny way) in Japan in this 2003 classic by Sofia Coppola (daughter of Francis Ford Coppola). It’s the film that proved Murray was more than just a funny face, picking up his first Oscar nomination and winning a BAFTA and Golden Globe, while giving us an unforgettable introduction to Suntory whisky.
Watching Drive is brilliant, but listening to it is the real treat, as the film’s pulsating electronic soundtrack is undoubtedly one of the absolute best of the last decade. That’s not to say the rest of the film isn’t brilliant too though - Ryan Gosling is suitably intense as the central getaway driver, while the neon-soaked visuals are totally mesmerising.
This undisputed classic survived a famously disastrous shoot to become one of the all-time best war movies. Marlon Brando is hypnotic as the lunatic Colonel Kurtz, the cinematography is stunning throughout, and none of us will ever be able to hear ‘Ride of the Valkyries’ the same way again.
Horror films have long punished promiscuous teens for getting their rocks off, but It Follows takes it to another level by inventing the sexually transmitted horror monster. The titular ‘It’ is a monster that can look like anyone and simply walks resolutely towards its victims, at a steady pace, forever. It only ends one of two ways: it kills you, or you pass it on and create another victim.
If the thought of being stuck alone, spinning off into the vacuum of space until your air runs out fills you with fear, then proceed with caution: Gravity might get to you. The bravura, uninterrupted 13-minute opening shot alone is about the closest any of us will get to the feeling of being in space, but it doesn’t exactly end well. Watch this on the biggest screen you can find.
Jake Gyllenhaal is at his absolute creepiest in Nightcrawler, as a budding L.A. cameraman who realises there’s big money in selling footage of crimes and car accidents to TV news shows. It challenges our collective fascination with death and destruction, but in that sort of quiet, unsettling way that makes you question just how far you’d be willing to go for the sake of a payday.
Macbeth isn’t exactly new to cinema, and it takes guts to tackle a play that’s already been filmed by the likes of Oscar Welles and Roman Polanski. Still, that didn’t stop Justin Kurzel, who recruited Michael Fassbender and Marion Cotillard for the purpose. It’s a vicious, violent Macbeth, with stunning performances, atmospheric visuals, and feels like a genuinely new take on the play.