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Do not sleep on Prime Video’s movies. Yes, the app isn’t exactly the most easy to navigate, but (yet again) we’ve found that Amazon Prime membership comes with fantastic movies.
This month’s additions to the Prime Video library include one of our favorite action movies, tense dramas and a heart-warming tale with excellent banter. Also, you get an important documentary and an excellent coming-of-age sports biopic starring Florence Pugh.
Each serves as a reminder that Prime Video is of the best streaming services. And while we have an overall and updated list of the best movies on Prime Video, we know sometimes people want a shorter and differently curated stack. This is why we keep making new guides to the latest top-rated Prime Video movies.
Fighting with My Family (2019)
One of Florence Pugh’s lesser-known movies, Fighting with My Family is a biopic for pro wrestler Saraya Jade Bevis, who was better known by the name Paige when she made it to the WWE. Born into a family of pro wrestlers, Saraya (Pugh) and her brother (Jack Lowden) pursued their dreams and got try-outs with World Wrestling Entertainment. And while they met Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson (playing himself) early on, they met hardship — and different degrees of success.
Writer/director Stephen Merchant deserves a fair amount of credit for pushing Fighting with My Family past the cliches of an average sports movie. Even though its story is mostly predictable, Fighting with My Family is a success thanks to its strong performances and snappy script. While Lowden and Pugh both put in solid work, Lena Heady and Nick Frost also impress as the siblings’ parents.
Whose Streets? (2017)
Whose Streets? draws its title from the protest chants that rang out following the killing of unarmed Black teenager Michael Brown by the police in Ferguson, Missouri. This documentary from director Sabaah Folayan and co-director Damon Davis won critical acclaim for capturing a passionate and intimate snapshot of how the public reacted to that death.
Unafraid of just telling their own side of the story, Folayan and Davis bring audiences into the lives of those in the affected communities. With on-the-ground views, showing what it’s like to live in the neighborhood where everything happened, Whose Streets? provides a powerful alternative to the story primarily told on cable news networks.
Young drummer Andrew (Miles Teller) is proud that he’s climbing the ranks of the jazz world, especially the fact that he’s learning from the demanding Terence Fletcher (J.K. Simmons). Until, of course, Fletcher starts hitting him and throwing things at him.
Writer/director Damien Chazelle may be best known for his recent divisive and epic-length film Babylon, but Whiplash is a taut and perfectly told drama. Simmons deservedly earned tons of applause for his performance as the terrifying teacher, and Chazelle was equally applauded for how the film doesn’t actually take sides in this situation. An exhilarating investigation into how personal drive can push you too far, Whiplash will stick with you after its credits roll.
Based on a true story, Philomena is about a family reunion decades in the making. It begins with Irish teenager Philomena, pregnant out of wedlock in the 1950’s, and sent to a convent. There, the nuns decided that her baby son Anthony should be put up for adoption in the United States. 50 years later, Philomena (Judi Dench) is still trying to track Anthony down.
Fortunately, she gains the attention of ex-BBC correspondent Martin Sixsmith (Steve Coogan), and helps her track down adult Anthony. Along the way, Martin and Philomena actually become friends. While Philomena is stacked high with important themes such as justice, class and forgiveness, Coogan and Dench’s banter keeps Philomena as comedic as it is dramatic.
Dirty Pretty Things (2003)
London’s seedy underbelly is pushing Nigerian Okwe (Chiwetel Ejiofor) to his limits, which are already being tested. The former doctor is currently an illegal immigrant operating as a cab driver and hotel clerk, while giving medical help to his fellow undocumented aliens on the side.
One fateful evening, Okwe happens upon a bloody mess that reveals the hotel manager is swapping bodily organs for falsified passports. At the same time, he comes across Senay (Audrey Tatou), an asylum seeker also is also in a desperate situation. The two get tangled up, and the hotel manager’s demands of Senay complicate things further.
Critics praise Dirty Pretty Things for its thrilling suspense, fantastic script and sense of humor.
Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (2001)
The highly influential Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon has leapt to Prime Video this month, and this feels like a perfect time to watch this instant classic if you haven’t already. Not only because you’ll probably notice visual references from the films that tried to follow its lead, but because it stars recent Academy Award-winner Michelle Yeoh as the warrior Yu Shu Lien.
In 19th-century Qing dynasty China, Shu Lien and swordsman Li Mu Bai (Chow Yun-fat) have kept their feelings for each other secret, with good reason. She was engaged to his now-deceased close friend, and neither feels comfortable sharing their feelings out of respect. But when Mu Bai decides he wants to retire, his request to have Shu Lien deliver his iconic sword to their benefactor starts a chaotic series of events. No matter how much action and drama piles up, director Ang Lee makes every shot look picture perfect.
This is the film that made audiences around the world — or at least, those outside of China — know who Ang Lee is, and it was also a huge moment for co-star Zhang Ziyi’s career.
Speaking of timely recommendations, if you just saw John Wick: Chapter 4 and want to see where it all started? It’s a good time to go stream one of Keanu Reeves’ first action roles. In Speed, he plays LAPD SWAT team member Jack Traven, a bomb-disposal expert. Unfortunately for Jack, the latest explosive device in his life is attached to the bus he’s riding on.
While most of the people on the bus are of little help, a passenger named Annie Porter (Sandra Bullock) takes the wheel to help him. All because a creepy bomber (Dennis Hopper) rigged the bus to explode if its speed goes below 50 miles per hour.
While we were slightly surprised to see critics praised Speed enough to get it past 90%, we won’t complain. One of the best action movies of its era, Speed is utterly rewatchable.