The 22 best movies on Amazon Prime to watch right now (November 2020)

Jack Shepherd
·15-min read
 A still from Knives Out, one of the best movies on Amazon Prime right now
A still from Knives Out, one of the best movies on Amazon Prime right now

The best movies on Amazon Prime are here to keep you company now that the nights are getting longer and colder. They are the movies to snuggle up under the duvet with, whether you're alone or with someone, and watch until that day's finally over. Some are classics and some are just fun romcoms. Whatever you're into, there's a movie on the streamer for you.

However, choosing what to watch on Amazon can be a battle in itself. There's so much to choose from. That's why we've put together this very list of the best movies on Amazon Prime right now in both the UK and US. Whichever side of the pond you live in, the below flicks are available to you – and they're all worth your time.

You Were Never Really Here

You Were Never Really Here
You Were Never Really Here

Lynne Ramsey has only directed a handful of movies, yet she has established herself as one of the UK's premiere filmmakers. You Were Never Really Here, Ramsey's follow up to We Need To Talk About Kevin, is a visceral revenge flick that centres on Joaquin Phoenix's former American military man who's afflicted with PTSD.

The action is brutal, the editing is unlike anything else, and Phoenix's performance is awards worthy – arguably even stronger than his portrayal of the Joker in that controversial supervillain blockbuster. Come for the Oscar-winning actor, stay for the thrilling direction.

Borat Subsequent Moviefilm

Borat 2
Borat 2

"Very niiiiiice!" If you didn't say that in the voice of Khazakstan's most famous news reporter Borat, then this one may not be for you. Sacha Baron Coan returns as the eponymous Borat to cause more mischieve in America. This time, he's joined by his daughter, played by Maria Bakalova, who frankly steals the show. The cojones on these two performers to do some of the stuff they do...

The movie starts with Borat attempting to make peace with America by offering Kazakstan's head of culture, a monkey named Jimmy, as a gift to Vice President Mike Pense. The monkey gets eaten en-route, and Borat improvises by offering his daughter to Pense. Yes, it gets worse – so much worse – from there. 

Midsommar

Midsommar
Midsommar

Midsommar marks the sophomore feature from writer/director Ari Aster, coming after his disturbing horror Hereditary. That movie wasn’t just an arresting and confident debut, it was also one of the best (and scariest) horror films of the decade. Tense and stylish, with rounded performances and a tragic twist, Midsommar delivers a confident follow-up that's just as terrifying and unnerving. 

Aster showcases a unique visual style, that feels like a distinct and fully formed trademark after just two features. From striking cuts, formal compositions, and carefully etched background clues, he’s a devil when it comes to detail. It’s a bold move to set a horror film mostly in daylight, and green fields and flower garlands are made to seem impressively ominous. And once again, there are a couple of shockingly gruesome moments that puncture the pastoral idyll.

Suspiria

Suspiria
Suspiria

Suspiria doesn't so much nail the Bechdel test as set fire to it and then do a naked victory dance around the flames. This is a film entirely about women and their bodies and their relationships – but that's not why you should get streaming this immediately.

You should see Suspiria because it's one of the most shocking horror movies in recent memory. Every second is calibrated to keep you rigid with suspense, tugging you further and further into its world of dance and the occult so skillfully that you reach the spectacular climax in what feels like mere minutes, despite the two hours and 30 minutes running time. Dakota Johnson and Tilda Swinton are excellent in this timely remake.

Inception

Inception
Inception

Inception is not only a high-concept movie with an ambiguous ending – something test audiences famously hate – but it’s packed to the rafters with some outrageous acting talent. Leonardo DiCaprio is joined by Tom Hardy, Cillian Murphy, Ken Watanabe, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Marion Cotillard, Ellen Page, and Michael Caine for an incredibly entertaining two hours that effortlessly marries Bond-level action sequences with a mind-melter of a premise.

If this is your first rodeo around Nolan’s dreamscape, then here’s what to expect: Dom Cobb (DiCaprio) and (Gordon-Levitt) are able to extract classified info out of people’s dreams but the deeper you go into the subconscious, the less clear things become and less time passes in the ‘real world.’ What follows is a heist caper that flits between the surreal and the cinematic – all while leaving us pondering what’s real and what isn’t. A Nolan classic.

Knives Out

Knives Out
Knives Out

There's foul play afoot! On the morning after his 85th birthday party, mystery novelist Harlan Thrombey is found dead in his study. For Lieutenant Elliot this is an open and shut case of suicide – that is until Private Eye Benoit Blanc arrives on the scene. Suspects? The entire Thrombey family. And what a horrible bunch of backstabbers they are... or are they? You never know in Knives Out. 

Rian Johnson’s whip-smart who-dunnit is spectacular fun. Knives Out takes on tricky subjects such as privilege, class, and immigration with bounds of wit and perfect precision. Johnson’s movie is filled with a fantastic ensemble cast and so many twists and turns it will leave your head spinning. Knives Out is a must-see.

The Big Sick

The Big Sick is one of the best movies on Amazon Prime
The Big Sick is one of the best movies on Amazon Prime

Region: UK, US

Silicon Valley’s Kumail Nanjiani writes and stars in this comedy based on his own marriage. The trials of cross-cultural romance come under scrutiny as stand-up comic Kumail falls for an American student at one of his shows. Not exactly the life his Muslim parents had in mind for him, but that’s the least of his concerns; shortly after they start dating, Emily falls into a coma, leaving Kumail to have to deal with her parents.

Billed as a traditional romantic comedy, The Big Sick has a lot more heart and edge than the posters and trailers would have you believe. The chemistry between Nanjiani and Holly Hunter and Ray Romano - as Emily’s parents - provides most of the real grit. Realistic, and proof that there is still a lot of originality left in the genre, The Big Sick is one of the best movies on Amazon Prime Video.

Zodiac

Zodiac
Zodiac

After first mastering the serial killer landscape in 1995’s Seven, David Fincher tackles the real-life world with a lengthy delve into the hunt for the Zodiac Killer. The dark, gloomy newsroom of the San Francisco Chronicle is the perfect backdrop for such a macabre tale, that starts all the way back at the Zodiac’s first victims, and his subsequent correspondence – and ciphers – with the Chronicle. His indecipherable notes snag the interest of Jake Gyllenhaal’s Robert Graysmith, a cartoonist whose intrigue in the case swells into obsession, alongside cop David Toschi (Mark Ruffalo) and journalist Paul Avery (Robert Downey Jr).

The world of thrillers is typically populated by characters whose arcs come to a nice, rounded conclusion: the bad guys are carted away and locked up, and those tensions simmering throughout? They simply melt away, letting the audience breathe a sigh of relief. Zodiac does away with all of that. It simply doesn’t obey the traditional rules. Mainly because screenwriter James Vanderbilt refused to wrap up the ending, and because well, the Zodiac has never been found, the movie ends on a note that’s entirely its own. What makes it so powerful is that the film is easily Fincher’s best work, in spite of that ending which offers no closure, you will find yourself looking through your fingers at the screen, and jumping when you least expect it. 

Honey Boy

Honey Boy
Honey Boy

Written by Shia LaBeouf himself, Honey Boy tackles the actors own relationship with his father and growing up in the spotlight. Directed by Alma Har’el in her narrative feature debut, the movie stars LaBeouf as his own father, Lucas Hedges, Noah Jupe, and FKA Twigs. It’s a heart-wrenching exploration of forgiveness, as LaBeouf wrote the script as a form of therapy whilst in rehab. At a tight 90 minutes, it’s well worth your time this weekend to watch this moving portrayal of adolescence and a career-making performance from, well, everyone.

Late Night

Late Night
Late Night

Based on Mindy Kaling's own experiences in the industry, Late Night focuses on a struggling late-night show that's experiencing a lag in the ratings. Emma Thompson plays the host of the show and, desperate to change things up, spotlights a new assistant – played by Kaling – and recruits her to become the driving force behind changing her image. With two great leading performances, Late Night is an easy-going comedy that's earnest, funny, and not afraid to occasionally show its teeth.

Brittany Runs a Marathon

Brittany Runs a Marathon
Brittany Runs a Marathon

Showcasing a breakout turn from Jillian Bell (Eastbound & Down, 22 Jump Street), this Sundance award-winner from playwright-turned-director Paul Downs Colaizzo ploughs a familiar furrow with honesty, hilarity, and heart. Inspired by a friend who made her own journey from couch potato to long-distance runner, Colaizzo’s film surrounds its hero, played by Bell, with an amusing selection of characters that range from a vacuous Instagram wannabe (Alice Lee) to new bestie Seth (Micah Stock). In the end, it’s Bell who makes Brittany a ringing success. 

The Report

The Report
The Report

Tasked by Senator Dianne Feinstein (a coolly commanding Annette Bening) with leaving no stone unturned, Senate staffer Daniel Jones – infused here with simmering indignation by a driven Adam Driver – systematically details the brutalities inflicted on all of the Agency’s 119 detainees. Having assembled his torture dossier, though, Jones faces another uphill struggle to get it published. As Matthew Rhys’ reporter ruefully observes, “they sent you off to build a boat they had no intention of sailing.” 

As vessels go, The Report is one so overloaded with names, dates, flashbacks, and acronyms it’s a wonder it stays afloat. That it does should be attributed not just to the dogged conviction Driver exudes as its righteous hero but also to the film’s unshakeable belief that the ugly truth will ultimately out. Burns’ film is not an easy watch, not least when it depicts what took place in Langley’s infamous “black sites”. Like the harrowing data that inspired it, though, it defies redaction. 

Cold War

Cold War
Cold War

Polish-British writer-director Pawel Pawlikowski’s Cold War is full of dazzling monochrome compositions. The movie spans the entirety of the '50s and digs into Poland’s past, beginning with Zula (Joanna Kulig) auditioning for a folk troupe mentored by pianist Wiktor (Tomasz Kot), and then following its co-option by the state to pipe out Communist propaganda.

At 84 minutes and with a decade covered, each new chapter quickly immerses the viewer back into the fast-forwarded action. It doesn’t linger – and somehow has that bewitching quality of feeling like it was made at the time and only now unearthed to be pored over with relish. Not one to miss.

Beautiful Boy

Beautiful Boy
Beautiful Boy

Steve Carell plays David Sheff, a newspaper writer whose son, portrayed by Timothée Chalamet, disappears for two days. Upon his return, there are obvious signs of drug use, and Chalamet's Nic is taken to rehab. What follows is a heartbreaking story of a father-son bond that struggles as Nic relapses and goes in and out of medical facilities. With two powerhouse performances at its centre, Beautiful Boy showcases what these actors are capable of.

Manchester by the Sea

Manchester by the Sea
Manchester by the Sea

Boston janitor Lee (Casey Affleck) returns to the titular town in Massachusetts when his older brother Joe (Kyle Chandler) dies of a heart attack. A morose, taciturn loner given to communicating with his fists after too many beers, Lee is horrified to find that he has been named legal guardian of his teenage nephew Patrick (Lucas Hedges), whose ties to Manchester-by-the-Sea – hockey team, rock band, two girlfriends – mean Lee will need to stick around his hometown for a good while to come.

Under grey skies clogged with pellets of snow, the drama inches along, with flashbacks revealing that Lee was once married to Randi (Michelle Williams), who still lives in the area. True, withholding the source of Lee’s emotional shutdown for a late reveal is something you expect from a thriller rather than a sombre character study. But such is the authenticity on display elsewhere, it doesn’t feel schematic. If it’s thrills or cheer you’re after, you’re in the wrong place. Yet Manchester by the Sea offers its own particular joys, going places that few movies dare to consider these days.

Guava Island

Guava Island
Guava Island

Hiro Murai (Atlanta) makes his directorial debut with this beautiful, musical tale from Donald Glover. The Lando Calrissian actor portrays Demi, a man who wants to hold a great musical festival but is mugged in the run-up to the event. Glover's joined by Rihanna, who plays his musical inspiration and partner, and Letitia Wright. At just 56 minutes, Guava Island is a brisk sun-kissed slice of escapism.

Peterloo

Peterloo
Peterloo

Mike Leigh's grandest movie to date, Peterloo tells of the build-up to the horrendous Peterloo massacre in Manchester, UK. As with many of the director's films, this one's filled with righteous fury – anger that echoes today as much as it did in the early 1800s. It's an energising, difficult watch that occasionally leans too hard into the message. However, make your way through the 154-minute runtime, and you'll feel greatly rewarded.

The Vast of Night

The Vast of Night
The Vast of Night

Now for something a little different. The Vast of Night is an obscure '50s set science-fiction flick that centres on a DJ and switchboard operator who discover a strange radio frequency – one caused by extraterrestrial beings. We won't say anything more, for the mystery is half the fun. The other half is the eery atmosphere and brilliant central performances from Sierra McCormick and Jake Horowitz. There's also a fantastic tracking shot that has put director Andrew Patterson on the map.

21 Bridges

21 Bridges review
21 Bridges review

Chadwick Boseman stars as Andre Davis, an NYPD detective known for hunting down cop killers. His speciality proves unfortunately handy when two robbers (Stephan James, Taylor Kitsch) raid a high-end wine store that’s actually a front for a massive drug-dealing operation. In the back room is 300 kilos of cocaine – far more than these two chancers were expecting. Before they know it, cops are everywhere, but Kitsch’s expert gunman shoots his way out, slaughtering eight boys in blue. 

The narrative gusto of the cops tightening a cordon around their suspects provides excitement and there’s some zingy, slang-heavy dialogue from Adam Mervis and Matthew Michael Carnahan (brother to director Joe). The corruption-filled final act helps elevate the film from being just another American cop movie.

Radioactive

Radioactive
Radioactive

Marie Curie is a name known by many. Yet, her story is still relatively unexplored on screen. Rosamund Pike brings the famous radiologist to life in Radioactive, a movie that rests entirely upon the actor's shoulders. Told through flashback, Radioactive starts after Curie has an accident and as she reflects on her life – and what a life it is, filled with drama by personal and work-related. Pike is phenomenal.

Chi-Raq

Chi-Raq
Chi-Raq

Spike Lee doesn’t do subtle, but then he’s hardly cracking nuts. Chi-Raq, set in Englewood, Chicago, is a state-of-the-union address on America’s hot issues of gangs and guns. Full of righteous anger packaged in signature swagger, it’s as purposeful and provocative as any Spike Lee joint.

Updating Greek play Lysistrata to the windy city (where more Americans have been killed in the last 15 years than in the Iraq and Afghanistan conflicts combined), Chi-Raq sees rival gangs the Spartans and Trojans trading bullets. With no end in sight, Lysistrata (a terrific Teyonah Parris), the girlfriend of the Spartans’ leader, persuades womenfolk on both sides of the divide to take control of the situation. “No peace, no pussy,” goes their slogan, with the ladies modelling bling-tastic chastity belts until all weapons are discarded.

With its rhyming couplets, bursts of rap, swathes of broad humour, rampant machismo and a garishly suited Samuel L. Jackson serving as a one-man Greek chorus, this throbs with the kind of passion and (people) politics that so energised Do the Right Thing.

The Aeronauts

The Aeronauts
The Aeronauts

Felicity Jones plays the fictional balloonist Amelia Wren in The Aeronauts, co-starring Eddie Redmayne, who appears as scientist James Glaisher. Interestingly, the character of Amelia is a fictional character based loosely on elements of Amelia Earhart's life, whereas Glaisher was indeed a real man. While this movie Tom Harper may play loosely with history, it's a high-thrills adventure up into the skies that's captivating and heart-pounding.