An Asian woman holds a sword; a boy rides a dragon; a Black man in a suit faces forward

Though Prime Video may be seen as a secondary benefit to your Amazon Prime membership (after that glorious free two-day shipping), the streamer’s deep catalog of great movies deserves more fanfare. We’ve pored over their huge selection of new releases and classics to bring you the films we love that you can stream today. 

To keep you from having to scroll endlessly through the Prime Video app hunting for something great, (the worst, amirite?), these are our picks, aka the movies that make us swoon the second we see the title. Whether you’re looking for quality thrills, Oscar-winning prestige, a movie the whole family will enjoy (parents included), or those hidden gems you might have missed, we’ve got you covered with something for everyone. 

Here are the best movies on Prime Video. 

1. Out of Sight

A man and woman face each other in an intimate moment

Credit: Moviestore / Shutterstock

Between the glitzy charms of the Ocean’s 11 films and the goofy fun of Logan Lucky, Steven Soderbergh is a master of the heist movie. But before making those favorites, he directed 1998’s Out of Sight, a slick, near-perfect crime comedy adapted from an Elmore Leonard novel. 

Out of Sight marks the director’s first collaboration with George Clooney, who plays Jack Foley, a serial bank robber who breaks out of prison with two fellow inmates (Ving Rhames and Steve Zahn). Jennifer Lopez stars as Karen Sisco, the U.S. Marshal whom Jack briefly kidnaps in the middle of his escape before she gets away. She then joins the task force to apprehend him, while he prepares to commit for one last heist. 

Set mostly in steamy Florida and starring two incredibly attractive leads, this movie oozes sex. And its hottest scene isn’t even the sex scene (though that sequence is pretty great too; a master class in editing as much as chemistry)! That distinction goes to the famous bit that puts Jack and Karen in the trunk of a getaway car, getting to know each other while they’re on opposite sides of the law. Yet as horny as the movie is, Out of Sight knows how to have fun — and have it in style.

How to watch: Out of Sight is now streaming on Prime Video.

2. The Holdovers

This intimate comedy feels like a holdover from the decade it’s set in, like someone discovered a long-forgotten room in Chinatown screenwriter Robert Towne’s Hollywood home and unearthed a lost film from the 1970s amid the shag carpeting and wood-paneled walls. Directed by Alexander Payne and reuniting him with his Sideways star Paul Giamatti, The Holdovers has a warm, vintage vibe with a real affection for and attention to character and dialogue.

Giamatti earned an Oscar nomination for playing Paul Hunham, a New England boarding school classics teacher who has to serve as a chaperone for the students who don’t go home — or on luxury vacation with their families — over the winter holidays. He is stuck with Angus Tully (Dominic Sessa), an insolent teen whose mother leaves him in favor of a belated honeymoon with her new husband.

The broad strokes of The Holdovers feel comfortably familiar, with its story of an irascible man who slowly melts and mentors a difficult kid. However, it’s set apart by David Hemingson’s simultaneously erudite and accessible script, which boasts references to Marcus Aurelius and the Punic Wars while featuring characters who feel like real people who don’t know everything (even if they think they do). There’s also the grounding presence of Da’Vine Joy Randolph, who won an Oscar for playing Mary Lamb, a cafeteria worker grieving the loss of her son in Vietnam. Small touches elevate this into career-best work for veterans Payne and Giamatti; it’s a truly special film worthy of all the awards-season accolades it received and more. 

How to watch: The Holdovers is now streaming on Prime Video.

3. How to Train Your Dragon

A boy rides a dragon through the sky, land in the distance.

Credit: Dreamworks Animation / Kobal / Shutterstock

Even if you have the best home entertainment setup, it will be impossible to replicate the exhilaration of seeing this in 3D in theaters, but luckily there’s more to How to Train Your Dragon than just its gorgeous visuals. Its animation remains thrilling even on a smaller screen, but it’s surrounded by an engaging story, loveable characters, and a solid cast of voice actors including Jay Baruchel, Gerard Butler, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, Craig Ferguson, America Ferrera, Jonah Hill, and Kristen Wiig. This is a rare beast: an animated film full of thrills, heart, and imagination that feels timeless thanks to its mythological setting and refusal to add pop culture references. 

Based on Cressida Cowell’s book, this family film follows Hiccup (Baruchel), a Viking teen who isn’t as fierce as his peers or his clan chief father (Butler). His people fight dragons, but when he gets to know an injured one, he discovers they may not be the monsters he was led to believe. 

How to Train Your Dragon was a giant hit when it came out in 2010, raking in almost half a billion dollars worldwide and getting a pair of Oscar nominations. Its commercial and critical success earned the DreamWorks Animation favorite two sequels, which bear the rare distinction of being almost as good as the original. It’s an especially impressive feat given how great this one is. 

How to watch: How to Train Your Dragon is now streaming on Prime Video.

4. Asteroid City

The purest embodiment of Wes Anderson’s quirky, mannered style, Asteroid City is 105 minutes of wonder and delight for his fans — and likely to be an unending hell for his detractors. The first question about it under Google’s “People also ask” section is, “What the heck was Asteroid City about?” And given its structure — a fictional documentary about the production of a play that bears striking resemblance to a movie — that question might be more warranted than usual with an Anderson film. 

At first, its subject also feels like a departure for the director, whose previous work may have been creatively framed, but didn’t indicate he’d make a movie about aliens’ arrival on Earth. Asteroid City is on a bigger scale and has larger implications than anything he’s ever done. And yet, Anderson is mostly concerned with these characters’ relationships with one another and how they react in situations; it’s just that this time, there’s an extraterrestrial added to the mix instead of just fathers and sons, men and women, or brothers and … brothers.

Anderson outdoes even his own precedent with the number of notable stars involved. Alumni making an appearance include Jason Schwartzman, Scarlett Johansson, Jeffrey Wright, Edward Norton, Bryan Cranston, and Liev Schreiber, with newcomers to the filmmaker’s fold including Tom Hanks, Maya Hawke, and Hope Davis. All this could be unwieldy in another director’s hands, but Anderson has crafted a jewel of a film with precision and care. 

How to watch: Asteroid City is now streaming on Prime Video.

5. The Handmaiden

Two Asian men, one in a suit and the other in traditional clothes, stand around two Asian women, one of whom is in a maid's outfit, the other in a green dress.

Credit: Moho / Kobal / Shutterstock

Lush and lusty, twisted and twisty, The Handmaiden is a sumptuous period piece replete with both pleasures and surprises. Director Park Chan-wook and his co-writer Jeong Seo-kyeong took Sarah Waters’ Victorian England-set novel and brought it to 1930s Korea. In this delightfully filthy erotic thriller from 2016, a con man (Ha Jung-woo) chooses an heiress (Kim Min-hee) as his mark, intending to seduce her and steal her inheritance. To infiltrate her inner circle, he brings on a pickpocket (Kim Tae-ri) to serve as her handmaiden, but the two women quickly become close.

With Oldboy and Decision to Leave filmmaker Park at the helm, the only element to expect here is the unexpected. The Handmaiden is slyly funny and marvelously messed up, exactly the kind of movie Park has made for decades, even as he crosses genres and settings. But, oh, the glory of how this particular setting appears on screen. To reflect the lives of the rich in 1930s Korea, the production design is deliciously decadent, filled with rich colors and textures across the costumes and set designs.

The Handmaiden flips its narrative multiple times, causing a dizzy rush for the audience. That sensation is both a sense of discombobulation and a feeling of delight at how marvelously well-constructed this plot and these characters are. Some depictions of abuse and torture are sure to disturb the audience, but they’re outweighed by the joy of seeing Park do something this bold and get away with it. 

How to watch: The Handmaiden is now streaming on Prime Video.

6. You Were Never Really Here

With We Need to Talk About Kevin and Ratcatcher in her filmography, Lynne Ramsay is known for making movies that are tough to watch, but well worth the effort. Unsurprisingly, her 2017 film You Were Never Really Here is absolutely brutal — in the best of ways. Joaquin Phoenix stars as Joe, a bruised, bruising guy who makes a living by rescuing missing girls and returning them to their families by any means necessary. When a politician asks him for help in recovering his daughter, he is drawn into something far bigger and more dangerous than even he is used to dealing with.

Trauma is ubiquitous in You Were Never Really Here: There’s the current abuse suffered by the kids Joe rescues, as well as the violence he inflicts to save them (which is in turn inflicted upon him). The pain of Joe’s past at once allows him to go to the dark places required to do his job, while it also continues to haunt him. Yet there are small joys and touches of humor present that keep this from being a real downer. One of the (numerous) action sequences is particularly inspired, combining grisly violence, mordant humor, and a wonderfully terrible ’70s ballad as someone bleeds out on dated kitchen tiles. At just 89 minutes, You Were Never Really Here gets in and gets the job done quickly, but it continues to linger for weeks after you watch it. 

How to watch: You Were Never Really Here is now streaming on Prime Video.

7. Apocalypse Now Redux

A helicopter hovers over fires in a jungle

Credit: Zoetrope / United Artists / Kobal / Shutterstock

Generally considered one of the greatest films of all time and perhaps the greatest war film ever, Apocalypse Now serves as a grueling descent into hell, both on screen and behind the scenes. The Francis Ford Coppola movie was loosely based on Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness, but it trades 19th-century Africa for the Vietnam War for its setting, adding resonance for an audience that was still dealing with the aftereffects of the war in 1979. 

The script from John Milius and Coppola follows Capt. Benjamin L. Willard (Martin Sheen), who is sent on a nightmare of a mission to take down Colonel Kurtz (Marlon Brando), who has gone rogue — and likely gone mad — deep in the jungle. As he gets closer to his quarry, Willard encounters a variety of characters and increasingly awful situations, commenting on the insanities and moral quandaries of war. 

Though it received eight Academy Award nominations, Apocalypse Now won just two for its cinematography and sound before losing to Kramer vs. Kramer in the race for Best Picture. In the decades since its release, it has eclipsed that drama (and most other films made in the 20th century) for many cinephiles and only grown in stature, with a documentary about its troubled production and four different  edits of the movie released over the years in various formats. Fans should note that Prime Video has the Redux version of the Coppola classic, which adds 49 minutes of footage to the original. 

How to watch: Apocalypse Now Redux is now streaming on Prime Video.

8. Air

Is Air simply a 111-minute-long Nike ad? Maybe. Do I still think it’s a great movie? Absolutely. At a time when the line between “content” versus film and TV grows ever blurrier, there’s some danger in a movie like this affable Ben Affleck-directed drama that serves as a behind-the-scenes look at how a bestselling product was made and marketed, especially when you can still buy that product today. (Is this also where I admit that my main job is in marketing?) Yet there’s so much craft and attention that went into the production of Air that it passes the sniff test (unlike those Air Jordans that you haven’t been cleaning like you should, tsk). 

Air shares the story of how Nike wooed Michael Jordan over to their brand in 1984, changing sports and sneakers forever in the process. Affleck BFF Matt Damon stars as Nike exec Sonny Vaccaro, who has to convince Nike, including Nike CEO Phil Knight (Affleck), that the rookie Jordan deserves his own Nike shoe and the entirety of their basketball budget, even though he hadn’t yet proven himself in the NBA. Sonny also has the equally tough task of demonstrating to Jordan and especially his mother (Viola Davis) that Nike will be a better fit than Adidas for the athlete’s merch. 

Affleck assembles an incredible cast that also includes Jason Bateman, Chris Tucker, and a scene-stealing Chris Messina, but this entertaining drama is still greater than the sum of its parts. With a confident Affleck at the helm, Air ends up being far more powerful than a product origin story should be, offering a tale of vision and opportunity beyond just a pair of shoes.  

How to watch: Air is now streaming on Prime Video.

9. The Host

More than a decade before he won Oscar gold with Parasite, Bong Joon-ho made this marvelous monster movie that broke box office records in South Korea with its 2006 release. However, fans who have seen his other work, like Snowpiercer, Okja, and Memories of Murder, won’t be shocked to learn that The Host doesn’t limit itself to that genre’s conventions — or even a single genre. Instead, Bong mutates the form audiences might expect to see, shifting tones, offering incisive commentary, and evoking real emotions.

To write the screenplay, Bong began with a real-world event: In 2000, an American ordered Korean employees to dispose of toxic chemicals in the Han River. Though that incident didn’t result in any giant monsters emerging from the water (yet), Bong’s story imagines that it could have. In The Host, a family who lives and works along the river is terrorized by the appearance of a huge, slimy … thing that takes the teenage daughter (Ko Ah-sung) into his sewer lair. Led by her dim-witted dad (Bong favorite Song Kang-ho), the family tries to rescue her when the authorities prove to be no help.

The Host offers plenty of genre pleasures with solid creature design, good special effects (for the time), and some very funny moments, without skimping on character development or thoughtful satire. But as much fun as this can be (especially in its action sequences and ickier moments), Bong’s movie is surprisingly serious, refusing to give in to just being entertaining.

How to watch: The Host is now streaming on Prime Video.

10. Malcolm X

A Black man wearing a suit faces forward

Credit: Warner Bros / Largo International / 40 Acres and a Mule / Kobal / Shutterstock

The creative partnership of Spike Lee and Denzel Washington has been a fruitful one, resulting in four films to date (with another one on the way), but their collaboration has never been better than in this 1992 biographical drama about the civil rights leader. Malcolm X runs almost three-and-half hours, covering Malcolm’s life from his childhood through his assassination.

In his first five features (She’s Gotta Have It, School Daze, Do the Right Thing, Mo’ Better Blues, and Jungle Fever), Lee chronicled the contemporary Black experience with sharp insight and wit, but Malcolm X marked his first foray into Black history. This is also the first film Lee made that he didn’t write himself, adapting Alex Haley’s The Autobiography of Malcolm X with Arnold Perl, but it still feels like a Spike Lee joint, as a result of his signature style present in every frame. With its decades-spanning scope, Malcolm X was an ambitious step up for the director — and it paid off. This is an epic biopic with an Oscar-nominated performance from Washington that feels both larger than life and entirely human. Lee surrounds Washington with a talented cast, including Angela Bassett, Delroy Lindo, Albert Hall, and Al Freeman Jr. However, as great as they all are, Malcolm X is undeniably the Denzel Washington show. 

How to watch: Malcolm X is now streaming on Prime Video.

11. The Great Escape

Director John Sturges may be most famous for his Westerns like The Magnificent Seven and Gunfight at the O.K. Corral, but this 1963 war film has the fizzy feel of a heist movie — but with even higher stakes. Loosely based on real World War II events, The Great Escape depicts exactly what its title implies: a breakout of hundreds of American and British POWs from a German camp. To execute their plan, they’ll need an assemblage of men, each adding their own skills and value to the effort, including a forger, scrounger, strategist, and tailor. Each member of Sturges’ cast also brings something to the table with the varied charms of Steve McQueen, James Garner, Richard Attenborough, Charles Bronson, Donald Pleasence, James Coburn, and David McCallum.

Set to a cheery march of a theme from Elmer Bernstein, The Great Escape breezes by, even though it clocks in at almost three hours. Sturges’ movie is wildly entertaining, remaining riveting in both its action sequences and in all the prep scenes that precede them, which are full of nice character details and enjoyable banter. Given its setting, the film is imbued with gravitas, but it’s never grim. Not every character gets a happy ending, but there’s triumph even in death for those who don’t make it, since they are no longer imprisoned by the Germans. 

How to watch: The Great Escape is now streaming on Prime Video.

12. Call Me by Your Name

First love has rarely looked as dreamy as it does in this Luca Guadagnino drama set during the summer of 1983 in northern Italy. Full of skin and sun, 2017’s Call Me by Your Name is a heady romance starring Timothée Chalamet as Elio, a 17-year-old who is charmed by Oliver (Armie Hammer), the more experienced doctoral student staying at his family’s villa for the season. 

Call Me by Your Name captures with vivid intensity all the longing, wonder, and heartache experienced when you first fall in love. Chalamet earned one of the film’s four Oscar nominations for his tentative and tender portrayal of Elio, and James Ivory won for his adapted screenplay based on André Aciman’s novel. It’s a thoughtful script, driven by intellectual and sensual pleasures alike, but it is also suffused with sensitivity and empathy for these characters. Michael Stuhlbarg deserves a special shout-out for his warm portrayal of Elio’s dad, whose supportive approach to parenting his teen son should be taught in seminars for all fathers. 

Thanks to the off-screen troubles of Hammer, a promised sequel is looking less likely, but there’s something profound about this lovely gem of a film simply existing as its own thing. That said, if a follow-up is ever released, I’ll be there opening weekend.  

How to watch: Call Me by Your Name is now streaming on Prime Video.

13. Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon 

An Asian woman holds a sword and her hand out

Credit: Moviestore / Shutterstock

If Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon is your first experience with wuxia films — as it was for many Americans who saw it in the theater back in 2000 — prepare for it to leave you breathless. Yet even if you’re a martial arts movie master, this Ang Lee epic is still a jaw-dropping watch with its impressive production design, sweeping romance, and astonishing fight sequences choreographed by the legendary Woo-Ping Yuen.

Set in 19th-century China, Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon centers on the theft of a treasured sword. Chow Yun-Fat and Michelle Yeoh star as warriors intent on getting it back, while hiding their romantic feelings for each other. Meanwhile, a princess (Zhang Ziyi) is about to be married off, but her skills as a fighter beckon her toward another life. 

This international co-production was the first foreign-language film to cross the $100 million mark at the U.S. box office, paving the way for films like Hero and House of Flying Daggers to succeed with American audiences. However, it wasn’t just a huge hit; it also scored 10 Oscar nominations, including Best Picture. It won four of those, including a statuette for its sumptuous cinematography by Peter Pau. Two decades after all those initial accolades, Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon remains a thrilling watch — or rewatch.

How to watch: Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon is now streaming on Prime Video.

14. Bottoms

This raunchy comedy makes a compelling argument for letting teen girls be just as horny and weird as their male movie counterparts — and for letting Marshawn Lynch just do whatever the hell he wants on screen. After the amazingly awkward Shiva Baby, director Emma Seligman and star Rachel Sennott reteam for Bottoms, co-writing the shockingly funny script about two unpopular high school lesbians (Sennott and Ayo Edebiri) who start a girls-only fight club so they can get laid by two queen bees (Havana Rose Liu and Kaia Gerber). As one does. 

Bottoms is bonkers, somehow surpassing its wild basic premise and getting even crazier than you’d expect. Even if you go in having read that last sentence and expecting something cuckoo bananas, you still won’t be able to predict the turn it takes. Which is great! We’ve seen so many teen comedies that a film’s capacity to truly surprise the audience — while making them cackle with laughter at some truly dirty jokes — is invaluable. 

Sennott and Edebiri are hilarious and so well-paired as leads for the different energy they bring, but Lynch elevates Bottoms to the next level of comedy. How this man was apparently so good at football and such a comic genius, I will never understand, but I’m grateful for it every day. 

How to watch: Bottoms is now streaming on Prime Video.

15. The Station Agent

A woman and man sit smiling at each other

Credit: Miramax / Senart / Kobal / Shutterstock

This gently affecting, immensely charming indie from 2003 casts a pre-Game of Thrones Peter Dinklage as Finbar McBride, a taciturn man who inherits a railroad depot in rural New Jersey after the death of his only friend. Eager for isolation, he moves to the remote location, but his solitude is quickly interrupted by the arrival of chatty food truck operator Joe (Bobby Cannavale). He soon reluctantly connects with Joe, as well as with Olivia (Patricia Clarkson), an artist who like Finbar also craves quiet. 

The Station Agent is a meditation on how what we want isn’t always what we need, but it offers gentle humor to keep it from ever feeling overly sentimental. Writer-director Tom McCarthy went on to win an Oscar for co-writing Spotlight, but his directorial debut here is equally worthy of accolades, if intentionally less ambitious in scope. Recognizable character actors like Richard Kind, Lynn Cohen, and John Slattery make brief appearances, and Michelle Williams plays a supporting role, but The Station Agent is really just about the three people at its heart. Dinklage, Cannavale, and Clarkson are all perfectly cast in these well-written roles. They each feel like people we’ve met before and who have whole lives before and after this movie. McCarthy’s script displays clear affection and warmth for them and their flaws, and it’s difficult for the audience not to feel the same. 

How to watch: The Station Agent is now streaming on Prime Video.