Amazon Prime has some fantastic original movies – and we’re here to discuss it. There are many outstanding original projects from streaming platforms, considering the sites have been on top of the world. You could think of the best original films on Disney+, like Luca or Hocus Pocus 2, or some fabulous original movies on Netflix, like The Irishman. Today, we will talk about the best Amazon Prime original movies.
From heartbreaking dramas to hilarious comedies to horrors unlike any other, Amazon Studios has produced and made some seriously impressive original movies. And today, we will dive deep into the ones you should watch. Keep in mind that some of these did have theatrical releases, but Amazon still made them.
Uncle Frank (2020)
First up on this list is Uncle Frank. The comedy-drama released in 2020 details the story of a man named Frank in the 1970s and his journey of self-acceptance as he travels across the country with his niece to the funeral of his family’s patriarch. But along the way, he runs into his past.
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Uncle Frank was such an under-the-radar film and so good. Not only is it something you should watch if you like Paul Bettany, considering he's the star of it, but the story is almost like an adult coming-of-age story. It has a lot of heart and a lot of lessons that anyone can understand.
Not only that, but it co-stars the amazing Sophia Lillis, who has been on a roll since she first broke out onto the scene with the Stephen King adaptation of IT: Chapter One in 2017. Her chemistry with Bettany is unlike any other.
The Big Sick (2017)
If you want a romantic comedy, then The Big Sick is the film for you. Starring Kumail Nanjiani and Zoe Kazan, the film is inspired by Nanjiani and his real-life partner Emily Gordon's relationship. It follows the couple after one of them is placed in a medically induced coma, and it documents the complexities they face as they navigate their families and cultural differences.
The Big Sick is one of those movies that, once you see it, you’ll fall in love with it. You should watch it if you like Kumail Nanjiani, who has been blowing up over the last few years. But besides that, the cast is full of life, and there’s plenty of hilarious comedy that balances itself out with the drama. Michael Showalter is even directing another movie soon called The Idea of You, so you better check out one of his best here.
One Night In Miami…(2020)
This Academy Award-nominated film is a must-watch. One Night In Miami… is Regina King's directorial debut, and it is based on the actual meeting between some of the most influential people of the 1960s – Malcolm X, Muhammad Ali, Jim Brown, and Sam Cooke -- in a Hampton room in Miami when they were celebrating Ali’s win.
Regina King kills it in everything she does, but her directing is fantastic. This movie will not only grip you from the beginning, but you’ll want to watch it again because it’s unlike anything else. The One Night In Miami…cast is brilliant – especially Leslie Odom Jr. You must watch this movie if you like him.
You Were Never Really Here (2017)
If you want a neo-noir crime psychological thriller film, then You Were Never Really Here is the one. Starring Joaquin Phoenix, the movie (based on the novella of the same name) follows a mercenary who has gone through some serious stuff and is hired to find a politician’s daughter, who has been taken and is a victim of human trafficking.
Along with Phoenix's Academy Award-winning role in Joker, this movie shows just how badass the actor is while also showing off his acting abilities in more ways than one. Not only does he bring a killer performance (literally), but the range of emotions you’ll see on this mercenary’s face is unlike any other. I swear, I was in shock the whole way through.
Borat Subsequent Moviefilm (2020)
You knew it was going to be on here, don’t lie. Borat Subsequent Moviefilm is the sequel to the legendary movie Borat. Starring Sacha Baron Cohen, it marks the return of the Kazakh journalist Borat, who travels to the United States with his daughter to offer her as a bride for the former Vice President of the United States, Mike Pence.
This movie is just so out there. You have to be a fan of Cohen’s comedic style to enjoy it, but it’s clear there are plenty because of how successful it was. While it is weird in many ways, it surprisingly has a lot of heart and genuine moments. Also, Borat's sequel received good reviews, and it was nominated for two Academy Awards.
Maria Bakalova, who plays Cohen’s daughter, scored a nomination for Best Supporting Actress, and she has even appeared in a Marvel movie since then. And that perfect Tom Hanks cameo is just amazing.
Somebody I Used To Know (2023)
This 2023 movie will make you laugh and cry at the same time. Somebody I Used To Know stars Alison Brie and Jay Ellis as two people who were once together, and when Ally (Brie) decides to return home, she runs into her ex (Ellis). There, she starts to question everything she has done thus far and if she made the right decisions in how she pushed her life forward.
While the movie is marketed as a romantic comedy, I see it as a film that describes the process of self-acceptance. We all make decisions that we sometimes question down the line, and we see that process happen with Ally. I would say this movie is more about growing up, learning to be comfortable with who you are and what you’ve become, and not staying stuck in the past, which is a great thing to do.
Manchester By The Sea (2016)
In a gut-wrenching pick, Manchester By The Sea is directed by Kenneth Lonergan and stars Casey Affleck, Michelle Williams, and more. The movie, which won two Oscars for Best Actor and Best Original Screenplay, follows a man who has gone through the worst loss imaginable, and now he has to become the legal guardian for his nephew after he loses his brother.
This movie will wreck you. I mean that in the best way possible. Is it a great movie overall? Of course, it is. But God, it will break you to pieces, and you will struggle to place all of them back together. You’ll need a few moments to collect yourself afterward. The story is heartbreaking, and the acting is out of this world. No matter what, you will most likely cry. But that’s a good thing, right?
There are some tremendous psychological horror movies out there, and I think it’s time we add Nanny to that list. Nikyatu Jusu directs the film that follows a young woman who works as an undocumented nanny in NYC. But as she gets her life together to prepare for her son's arrival in the United States and finally build her life here, her world turns upside down, and something threatens her existence.
This movie is one that will sit with you for a while when you’re done with it. Nanny starts slow, but as the film progresses, it turns darker and stranger until you’re questioning your reality within the film. Not only that, but Anna Diop gives a fantastic performance. It’s one of Blumhouse’s best horror movies, and I’m happy Amazon Prime was the one to distribute it.
Cassandro was just released on the 2023 movie schedule; honestly, it’s so much fun. The movie stars Gael García Bernal, and it is a biographical drama movie about the real Cassandro. He is a newbie gay wrestler whose real name is Saúl Armendáriz, who shoots up to stardom when he creates this character, turning his life upside down.
I never expected to enjoy Cassandro as much as I did because I didn’t know if Bernal would give an outstanding performance, but he takes it home in this movie. It’s always interesting to learn about something I never knew before, and fun fact – Bad Bunny is also in this movie. It’s certainly a movie to see during Hispanic Heritage Month.
Being The Ricardos (2021)
Directed and written by Aaron Sorkin, Being the Ricardos is another great biographical drama you should check out. Starring Nicole Kidman and Javier Bardem, the movie documents the relationship between the real-life couple Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz and their time on the iconic and legendary show I Love Lucy.
As someone who grew up watching reruns of I Love Lucy with my dad and mom, I loved watching this film. It’s still a biographical drama, so you must take it with a grain of salt for certain things, but there’s no denying the captivating story. Also, this is one of Nicole Kidman’s best movies. She earned that nomination for Best Actress at the Academy Awards.
Sound Of Metal (2019)
Starring Riz Ahmed, Sound of Metal is something that I’m pretty sure anyone can get behind. It follows a young man who loses his hearing after being a drummer for an avant-garde metal band, causing his life to turn upside down.
The movie was nominated for six awards at the Oscars, and it won two for Best Sound and Best Film Editing. Not only that, but it’s undoubtedly one of Riz Ahmed’s best movies, and he did earn a nomination for Best Actor for his performance.
Last but not least, we have the solidly reviewed Air. This movie, directed by Ben Affleck, is another biographical drama, this time centered around sports. It tells the true story of how Nike decided to create the Air Jordan, a shoe line that became one of the biggest lines in the world, all because of a rookie player – Michael Jordan.
I will be honest – I don’t even like basketball, and this film got me in many ways. It’s entertaining, well-acted by the whole Air cast that is led by Matt Damon, and it details a fascinating story that made me want to look up more information about this deal. If a movie makes me more interested in a topic that you never held any interest in originally, it’s a win.
These are just some of the best movies Amazon Prime offers, and I’m sure only more awesome films will come out from them in later years. For now, I’ll re-watch Borat Subsequent Moviefilm for the umpteenth time with my Amazon Prime subscription.