The 42 best things to watch on Amazon Prime Video

Our pick of the streaming service's highlights. Updated for October 2021

We know, we know: there's too much choice these days. You can't just sit down and watch a movie because there are too many to choose from, so you just spend hours scrolling through potential films and then go to bed.

Not now, you don't - everything on this list is worth watching. And we know, because we've watched them all. The lengths we go to keep you guys happy, eh...

Of course to watch the films and TV shows here you'll need an Amazon Prime Video subscription. Come on, you didn't think it was going to be free, did you? 

You're also going to need a player that supports it. Take your pick from any of the following: Roku players, Google Chromecast, Sony PlayStation, Microsoft Xbox and of course Amazon Fire TV and Amazon Fire Stick. Or maybe you have the Prime Video app built into your smart TV.

Got Netflix too? Then you'll want to check out our 40 best movies and TV shows on Netflix UK and New on Netflix UK lists.

Joker

Joaquin Phoenix gives a tour-de-force performance in this Oscar-winning origin story. How did an aspiring stand-up comedian become Gotham City’s greatest villain? Director Todd Phillips crafts a much more nuanced and tragic superhero movie than we’ve seen from recent DC Comics-derived efforts – it’s more Taxi Driver than Man of Steel, and all the better for it.

Watch Joker on Amazon Prime Video

Invincible (S1)

The Walking Dead creator Robert Kirkman brings another of his cult comic books to the screen. This adult animated series tells the story of a teenage superhero coming to terms with his newfound powers – and dealing with the fact that his father is the most powerful and famous masked crusader on the planet.

If that sounds like something you’ve seen a thousand times before in superhero fiction, we urge you to give it a chance anyway: the show throws a shocking curveball early on that is guaranteed to make you pay attention. Stephen Yuen, J.K. Simmons, Sandra Oh, Mahershala Ali and Mark Hamill are among the star-studded voice cast.

Watch Invincible on Amazon Prime Video

Us

Writer-director Jordan Peele’s follow-up to the astonishing Get Out doesn’t initially feel as hard-hitting as its predecessor, but cleverly concealed just beneath its home invasion horror exterior sits a pointed critique of class, upward mobility and the American Dream. Even on the surface it makes for an exciting and gory thrill ride, as a middle-class African-American family is assaulted by a pack of twisted doppelgangers. Dig a little deeper and it might give you cause to question your own position in society’s hierarchy, though – and whether or not your own aggrieved double is out there somewhere, just waiting for the right time to take your place.

Watch Us on Amazon Prime Video

Django Unchained

Quentin Tarantino’s western (or, more accurately “southern”) takes its cinematic cues noth from spaghetti westerns and blaxploitation flicks. Set mostly in the Deep South, Django Unchained pits Jamie Foxx’s former slave against the plantation owners and overseers who’ve separated him from his wife.

He’s joined on his mission by sharpshooting German bounty hunter Dr King Schultz (Christoph Waltz), but Leonardo DiCaprio steals the show as chief villain Calvin Candie, who cloaks the barbarity of his gladiatorial slave fights beneath a veneer of civilisation, and Samuel L Jackson as Candie’s house slave (and éminence grise) Stephen.

Foxx plays Django as a modern Man with No Name – though in his case his silence is more the result of tightly-wound fury than stoicism; when he eventually unleashes vengeance on his oppressors, it’s spectacularly cathartic.

Watch Django Unchained on Amazon Prime Video

Unforgiven

While traditional Westerns celebrated the derring-do of their sixgun-toting, Stetson-wearing heroes, Unforgiven was one of the first to explore darker themes. Its own protagonist, Clint Eastwood’s William Munny, is a former gunslinger with a violent past: “That’s right, I’ve killed women and children. I’ve killed just about everything that walked or crawled at one time or another.”

Munny, now a widowed pig farmer with two young children, is hired by a group of sex workers after one of their number has been disfigured by a pair of cowboys. He and his companions’ job is to dispense Old West-style justice to the miscreants, but there are two obstacles in his way: Munny’s reluctance to return to a life of killing; and local lawman Little Bill Dagget (Gene Hackman), another former gunfighter who takes an extremely dim view of assassins.

Watch Unforgiven on Amazon Prime Video

Blade Runner 2049

The sequel to Ridley Scott’s enduring cyberpunk thriller has been a long time coming (30 years in fact), but it’s worth the wait: Blade Runner 2049 is among the best-looking movies ever made, with the masterful cinematography of Roger Deakins bringing director Denis Villeneuve’s nightmarish vision of a future Los Angeles to life.

As a whole, the film isn’t quite as peerless as its visuals. At nigh-on three hours it’s too ponderous for its own good, despite retaining the original Blade Runner’s spirit through a mixture of thrilling action sequences, philosophical pondering and memorable characters – including a few familiar faces. It’s all tied together by a compelling detective yarn, in which Ryan Gosling’s latest generation replicant seeks answers to a deadly riddle.

Watch Blade Runner 2049 on Amazon Prime Video

Fleabag (S1-2)

Phoebe Waller-Bridge writes and stars in this beloved sitcom about a single woman’s attempts to navigate the many pitfalls of modern London life: love, family, work. Even if that sounds like a hackneyed synopsis, or one that could describe something in the region of 10,000 British sitcoms, you should delve into Fleabag anyway; Waller-Bridge’s eyes-open approach – acerbic, unashamed, raw – doesn’t feel unoriginal in the slightest. It’s also extremely funny, which is probably worth mentioning too.

Watch Fleabag on Amazon Prime

Hannibal (S1-3)

Mads Mikkelsen is, quite frankly, one of the most interesting and watchable actors of his generation, and never more so than when clad in the perfectly cut suits of this TV incarnation of cannibalistic serial killer Hannibal Lecter. As per Thomas Harris’ original books, Lecter is a psychiatrist brought in to assist FBI profiler Will Graham (Hugh Dancy), but it's not long before the doctor is manipulating the fragile Graham. This is high-brow stuff by the standards of its genre, chock-full of startling imagery, Lynchian characters and dinner scenes that will make your stomach rumble – a little unsettling once you realise what's in most of them.

Watch Hannibal on Amazon Prime Video

Dawn of the Dead (1978)

George Romero’s Dawn of the Dead is one of the most iconic and influential horror movies of all time. When an outbreak of the undead ushers in the fall of civilization, a quartet of survivors decamp to an abandoned shopping mall in a bid for safety – only to discover that the shambling brain-chomping hordes have also found themselves drawn to this palace of consumerism.

You’d have to be braindead to miss the satire, sure – but there’s so much else going on here that it hardly matters. Zack Snyder’s 21st-century reimagining isn’t a patch on this for atmosphere, and the practical effects and prog-rock synth score give it an eerie atmosphere you simply don’t get with modern horror flicks.

Watch Dawn of the Dead on Prime Video

The Babadook

This Australian indie horror movie is likely to stick with you for some time. In addition to all the thrills, spills and chills you'd expect from a standard horror flick, The Babadook has something extra hidden in its basement under the stairs: smarts.

Yes, this film will fray your nerves like wool dragged across a barbed wire fence, but it's also a meditation on loss and trauma. Can widowed mother Amelia finally lay the repressed memory of her husband to rest and save her son Samuel from the malevolent force stalking them in the process? You’ll just have to watch this modern classic to find out.

Watch The Babadook on Amazon Prime Video

Raiders of the Lost Ark

Steven Spielberg and Harrison Ford’s first Indiana Jones movie is a brilliant blockbuster that set the standard for every action-adventure flick since. A throwback to the swashbuckling serials of producer and writer George Lucas’ childhood, it sees Ford’s roguish archaeologist seeking to locate the Ark of the Covenant ahead of the Third Reich, who plan to use the ancient artefact’s powers to subjugate the world.

The special effects and ‘cultural depictions’ have noticeably aged somewhat since the film’s 1981 release, but when something’s this good it’s easy to look beyond that. This is Hollywood filmmaking at its purest: an entertaining, fast-paced and iconic movie that the whole family will adore.

Watch Raiders of the Lost Ark on Amazon Prime Video

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