40 Best Movies on Amazon Prime to Watch Right Now – as Ranked by IMDB

So, you find yourself with an Amazon Prime membership – its practically impossible no to use the megaservice without being convinced to sign up. Now what? Make the most of it by watching some of the truly fantastic movies that you can stream. Below is a list of 40 of the best movies currently offered by the service, as ranked by viewers on IMDB.

It’s a Wonderful Life (1946)

IMDB Score 8.6/10

Now you don’t have to wait until Christmas to re-watch this Jimmy Stewart classic about a man who is given the opportunity to see what the world would really be like if he had never been born. Perhaps a little overly sentimental, there is still something about this film that just keeps bringing you back.

The Apartment (1960)

IMDB Score 8.3/10

In this classic comedy John Lemmon plays a junior insurance clerk who tries to ingratiate himself with his seniors by letting them use his apartment for their affairs. Things start to go wrong when he falls for Shirley MacLaine’s character, who is having an affair with his boss. Daring in its day, it is also funnier than modern takes of the story.

Some Like it Hot (1959)

IMDB Score 8.2/10

This classic comedy stars Tony Curtis, Jack Lemmon and the unforgettable Marilyn Monroe who proves that she is more than just a pretty face. It features Lemmon and Curtis as two musicians that witness a mob hit, and then flee the state by joining an all-female band disguised as women.

Spotlight (2015)

IMDB Score 8.1/10

This film tells the story of the Boston journalists who exposed not only the rampant abuse happening within the Catholic Church, but the work of the church to cover up these atrocities. Starring Mark Ruffalo, Michael Keaton and Rachel McAdams, this is a powerful expose of the real-life events.

Shutter Island (2010)

IMDB Score 8.1/10

A psychological thriller that manages to have you guessing until the very end. It stars Leonardo DiCarpio and Mark Ruffalo as a pair of U.S. Marshals on the trail of a murderer who has escaped from a high security mental hospital. What they find is a much deeper mystery, but can you believe everything that you see?

Rosemary’s Baby (1968)

IMDB Score 8/10

A classic Roman Polanski horror featuring an impressive performance from Mia Farrow, she plays a woman who becomes convinced that her child is demonic. Her husband and neighbours try and support her through this delusion brought on by pregnancy and her isolation, but everything may not be as it seems.

The Terminator (1984)

IMDB Score 8/10

While modern efforts to reboot the franchise may have fallen flat, this original James Cameron film is still worth watching. This iconic film introduces us to the idea that robots with artificial intelligence will rise up and overthrow their human creators. We also meet our first terminator, the role that Arnold Schwarzenegger was born to play.

Rain Man (1988)

IMDN Score 8/10

This character driven drama stars Tom Cruise as a man who discovers his autistic savant brother played expertly by Dustin Hoffman. Both laughs and tears ensue as the two discover one another, and learn about themselves in the process – while having quite a bit of fun.

District 9 (2009)

IMDB Score 7.9/10

The unexpected hit of 2009, this film is set in South Africa when aliens have arrived on the planet and life in refugee camps on the edge of the city. Calling on themes of apartheid and oppression, it mixes alien thrills with genuine political and social commentary.

The Manchurian Candidate (1962)

IMDB Score 7.9/10

This adaptation of the classic novel stars Frank Sinatra as a Korean War veteran who may also be a brainwashed sleeper agent for enemies in the United States. But the situation is so much more complicated than that, not least due to the machinations of his mother, played by the beloved Angela Lansbury.

Star Trek (2009)

IMDB Score 7.9/10

This fan favourite show got a new lease of life when J.J. Abrams updated it for modern audiences. Starring Chris Pine as Captain Kirk, in a performance that pays homage to William Shatner but never mimics, it features an all-star cast in a universe that has been beloved by audiences since the 1960s for a reason.

Charade (1963)

IMDB Score 7.9/10

This thriller by Stanley Donen and starring none other that Cary Grant and Audrey Hepburn. Mixing the comedy and suspense thriller genres, Hepburn is a woman in Paris pursued by several men who are after the fortune stolen by her now murdered husband. Will she find someone that she can trust, or is it all just part of the ruse.

Mission Impossible: Fallout (2018)

IMDB Score 7.8/10

While these films may be formulaic, they do it better than most, and Tome Cruise is in his element as Ethan Hunt, the man always on a mission, impossible. All of these films, but especially these more recent versions, really do leave other action flicks in the dust.

The Conversation (1974)

IMDB Score 7.8/10

This Francis Ford Coppola movie gets so many references in later flicks that it is worth watching for that alone. It stars Gene Hackman as a surveillance expert in San Francisco. Already high paranoid, he sees things that push him over the edge. The suspense is built perfectly.

The African Queen (1951)

IMDB Score 7.8/10

Humphrey Bogart and Katharine Hepburn blaze on screen in this historic romantic comedy. Set in Africa during World War I, a straight-laced missionary (Hepburn) convinces a gin-swilling riverboat captain (Bogart) to use his boat to attack an enemy ship. The chemistry is sizzling, and Bogart won an Oscar for his performance.

Manchester by the Sea (2016)

IMDB Score 7.8/10

This Kenneth Lonergan drama stars Casey Affleck in his Oscar winning role, and the talented Michelle Williams. It focusses on a dysfunctional family, led by Affleck, who must take charge of his nephew when his brother dies.

The Shootist (1976)

IMDB Score 7.7/10

John Wayne’s final film, he plays a gunslinger with terminal cancer that spends the final days of his like seeking a way that he can die with minimal pain and maximum dignity. The movie allows the man to reflect on his own life, which seems to mirror Wayne’s career itself.

The Machinist (2004)

IMDB Score 7.7/10

The film for which Christian Bale famously transformed himself from Batman muscle to practical skeleton. He stars as an insomniac who spirals into madness when his lack of sleep causes an accident with one of his co-workers. The resulting film is a disturbing look into the darker corners of the human mind.

Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan (1982)

IMDB Score 7.7/10

Or go back to where it all began with the second ever Star Trek movie that not only sees our television favourites on the big screen, but brings back one of the best villains from the series, Khan! This movie is much darker than anything Trek that had gone before and was responsible for winning many new followers to the franchise.

The 39 Steps (1935)

IMDB Score 7.7/10

Hitchcock remains the master of suspense, and the age of his films, rather than dating them, adds an extra layer of mystery. Starring Robert Donat, he plays an everyday man who unexpectedly gets caught up in a sew of intrigue. The suspense is palpable.

12 Monkeys (1995)

IMDB Score 7.6/10

This Terry Gilliam sci-fi flick sees Brice Willis in one of his best roles. He plays a convict given the opportunity to gain his freedom by travelling back in time to discover the perpetrators of a major terrorist incident. It mixes mystery, action and suspense, and Brad Pitt also turns un an excellent performance.

Sophie’s Choice (1982)

IMDB Score 7.6/10

Meryl Streep gives a powerhouse performance in this Oscar winning role. It is a film about war and trauma. Streep’s character finds hope again with Nathan, played by Kevin Kline, as they try to build a new life after the holocaust. But how can they move forward when it is impossible to let go of the past.

Leaving Las Vegas (1995)

IMDb Score 7.5/10

Nicolas Cage turns in a stellar performance in this 1990s firm from before his career started to go south. He plays Ben Sanderson, an alcoholic that goes to Las Vegas with plans of drinking himself to death. There, of course, he finds a woman who just might be able to give him a reason to live.

West Side Story (1961)

IMDB Score 7.5/10

The original movie version of the classic Broadway hit won ten academy awards and is worth watching before seeing any of the modern retellings. Based on the classic story of Romeo and Juliet, this musical version set on the streets of New York is still a joy to behold.

Gangs of New York (2002)

IMDB Score 7.5/10

This Martin Scorsese film is set in 1860s New York with Daniel Day Lewis playing an Irish gang boss, and Leonardo DiCaprio a young man who gets tangled in his web as he seeks revenge. Scorsese had this film in the worlds for 20 years, and the result is a gripping drama, though you won’t be sure exactly who you are rooting for.

Whale Rider (2002)

IMDB Score 7.5/10

This New Zealand tale focuses on a 12-year-old girl played by Keisha Castle-Hughes, who decides that she wants to be the leader of her tribe, a role traditionally only held by men. The result is a coming of age story about female empowerment, which also offers a glimpse into the tribal cultures still alive and well on this southern island.

Lady Bird (2017)

IMDB Score 7.4/10

One of the most talked about films of recent years, this Greta Gerwig film features rising star Saoirse Ronan as a young girl in California who thinks that she is ready to outgrow her hometown. This coming of age film is smart, heartfelt and funny. Definitely worth seeing what all the fuss is about.

Thelma and Louise (1991)

IMDB Score 7.4/10

Best friends, played by Susan Sarandon and Geena Davis, find themselves on the road trip of a lifetime. But when assault turns them into criminals, they embark on a trip of an entirely different nature. This film was a landmark for telling women’s stories and hasn’t lost any of its charm over the years.

Hereditary (2018)

IMDB Score 7.3/10

This thriller from Aris Aster is one of the most rattling flocks to hit screens in recent years. It stars Toni Collette as a woman struggling with the grief of losing her mother. However, she must also get to the bottom of the dark family secret responsible for her death in order to save the future of her own family.

Sleepy Hollow (1999)

IMDB Score 7.3/10

Just one of many Tim Burton and Johnny Depp collaborations, it is probably one of the best of recent years. It tells the story of the headless horseman, with Depp playing Ichabod Crane, who arrives to investigate. A stylish flick, it includes standout performances from Christina Ricci, Miranda Richardson and a spooky Christopher Walken.

Ronin (1998)

IMDB Score 7.3/10

Starring Robert De Niro, Jean Reno and Sean Bean, this action thriller is already off to a good start. They star as a group of operatives who have the nasty habit of betraying one another. What really makes this movie stand out is the perfectly choreographed stunt work which will appeal to any action fans.

Heathers (1988)

IMDB Score 7.2/10

Starring Winona Ryder at the peak of her 1980s fame, she stars as one of the school’s cool girls, though she does not quite belong. Enter bad boy Christian Slater and she finds a new ally against the queen bees that are also her best friends. But is the kind of help he is offering too much, or exactly what the school needs.

The Virgin Suicides (1999)

IMDB Score 7.2/10

Sofia Coppola’s directorial debut tells the story of a family of sisters whose overprotective parents make them seem otherworldly to their neighbours. But sadly, dreams can’t exist in the real world. Kirsten Dunst gives a standout performance that carries us through the story of these tragic sisters.

Sixteen Candles (1984)

IMDB Score 7.1/10

One of a series of John Hughes films that defined teenage life for a generation, this outing stars Molly Ringwald as a girl preparing for her sweet sixteenth, but things go wrong after she suffers embarrassment after embarrassment. While she may not get her dream birthday, she will certainly learn about herself.

Bad Lieutenant (1992)

IMDB Score 7.1/10

In a stand-out performance, Harvey Keitel plays an NYPD lieutenant who goes completely off the rails, smoking crack, and exposing himself inf front of teenage girls. Making the mould for these kinds of characters, the premise may seem trite, but here in comes together into a special and memorable movie experience.

The Accused (1988)

IMDB Score 7.1/10

Starring a young Jodie Foster in one of the roles that marked her out as a rare talent, she is a young rape victim fighting for justice. This was one of the first films to deal with the true complications of rape, including both victim-blaming and long-lasting trauma. Foster really is unmissable in this brave drama.

Cloverfield (2008)

IMDB Score 7/10

Using the found footage approach to surprising effect, this Matt Reeve’s film shows us a group of friends escaping from monsters that have taken over the city. The smart marketing around this film ensured it was a hit, and it has now become one of the best alien invasion movies of all time.

Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure (1989)

IMDB Score 6.9/10

If you saw this back in the 1980s, you will know why it is worth revisiting. If not, this comedy that brought us Keanu Reeves should be on the list. He stars as half of a Beavis and Butthead style duo who need to travel through time to complete a history essay, and save the world, of course.

The Running Man (1987)

IMDB Score 6.7/10

Watch Arnold Schwarzenegger as a man who must fight to survive on a homicidal reality TV show that is popular in a dystopian future, but with the way things are going, would not be out of place on our screens. While this may not be a work of art, it is good fun, and part of our action movie history.

Candyman (1992)

IMDB Score 6.6/10

Responsible for why many of us can’t go to the bathroom with the lights out, this classic horror still has the power to chill. Based on the urban legend of a monster who turns up if you say his name, this movie also offers a smart commentary on social and racial issues. Watch alone in the dark.

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