An Amazon Prime membership’s benefits go way beyond giving you super-speedy deliveries for free – there’s also a fantastic streaming video service included, offering up loads of movies and TV shows for instant viewing.
Like Netflix, Amazon is constantly adding fresh eyeball fodder to its streaming library, so much so that it can be difficult to keep up with all the new stuff. So, as we do with Netflix each month, we’ve decided to dedicate a regularly-updated article to what’s new – as long as we deem it worth watching, of course.
Looking for the latest thing to stream? Read on, and allow us to guide you through all the best recent additions.
And why not check all these out with a free 30-day trial of Amazon Prime Video here.
Note: the newest stuff is at the top of the list, with material getting progressively older as you scroll down.
Blade Runner 2049
The sequel to Ridley Scott’s iconic cyberpunk thriller was a long time coming (30 years in fact), but most will find it worth the wait: Blade Runner 2049 counts among the most visually striking movies ever made, with Roger Deakins’ masterful cinematography bringing director Denis Villeneuve’s nightmarish vision of the future to life. As a whole, the film isn’t quite as noteworthy as its visuals.
At almost 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. Overall it works, just about, being held together by a competent detective yarn in which Ryan Gosling’s new-gen replicant seeks answers to a deadly riddle.
Straight Outta Compton
Dr. Dre has become a household name (as much for his billion-dollar headphones as his music, perhaps) but back in the 1980s he was just another struggling DJ in South Central Los Angeles – until he linked up with Ice Cube, Eazy-E, MC Ren and Yella to form NWA, who quickly became one of the US’s best-loved – and most-hated – musical acts.
Inventing gangsta rap and making white America extremely uncomfortable, NWA and its rise is documented in this wildly entertaining biopic which has just re-dropped onto Netflix. While it may gloss over or skirt around some of the more distasteful occurrences in the group’s history, it’s a quick and engrossing primer on one of the most important acts in hip-hop history.
Is it possible to make a decent erotic thriller in the post-Me Too era? Judging by this new Amazon original movie, the answer is “maybe, but not like this”. An attractive young couple move into a loft apartment in downtown Montreal, quickly becoming obsessed by the goings-on in the swanky pad across the street, where an even more attractive young couple are up to all sorts – much of it involving no clothes.
If you’re thinking The Voyeurs is inspired by the likes of Rear Window or Sliver, you’d be right – but despite far more nudity and twists than either of those, it doesn’t really go anywhere truly shocking or exciting. But when the final reveal makes you burst out laughing rather than recoil in shock, can we really say it’s a terrible film? There’s a fair bit of entertainment to be had, even if the thrills aren’t quite there.
Kevin Can F*** Himself (S1)
This comedy-drama cleverly deconstructs the classic multi-camera sitcoms of the 1990s and 2000s by focussing on the downtrodden wife of the show’s schlubby, chauvinistic star by abruptly switching visual and writing styles. Basically, imagine if Leah Rimini in King of Queens was fully aware of how selfish and annoying Kevin James is, and how directionless her life was – and decided to do something drastic about it. Like murder…
Nine Perfect Strangers (S1)
The minds behind two recent Nicole Kidman-fronted suspense thrillers – Big Little Lies and The Undoing – have reunited. The result? A suspense thriller starring Nicole Kidman – albeit one that’s a little more in the slightly satirical vein of Big Little Lies than a straight-up whodunnit like The Undoing.
In Nine Perfect Strangers (based on the novel by Liane Moriarty) Kidman plays a mysterious, thickly accented life coach. She invites nine stressed-out city dwellers (played by a host of stars including Melissa McCarthy and Luke Evans) to her luxury retreat with a promise to heal them in both body and mind. But there’s much more on the menu than some plant-based meals and a spot of reiki – this guru’s techniques are a little more unconventional. And a lot more dangerous.
Working both as a compelling crime thriller and a brutal examination of the United States’ War on Drugs and its latent effects on the cartel-run Mexican border cities, Sicario isn’t one for the faint-hearted or weak of stomach. Taut and tense, the plot works chiefly due to Emily Blunt and Benicio del Toro, who sell their somewhat implausible characters through sheer force of performance.
Lock, Stock & Two Smoking Barrels
Guy Ritchie’s low budget debut launched the acting careers of Jason Statham and Vinnie Jones, as well as establishing the director’s penchant for snappy dialogue, clever editing tricks and semi-comedic cockney crime capers. Viewed over 20 years on, its story of East End wide boys feels a touch hackneyed (no pun intended), the acting at times a tad wooden – but there’s an upstart energy here that hints at the success Ritchie was to soon after enjoy with his far superior follow-up Snatch.
The Other Guys
Before Adam McKay was tackling weighty subjects like big finance, media empires and politics (in The Big Short, Succession and Vice respectively), he was churning out killer mainstream comedies with his buddy Will Ferrell; The Other Guys is just as enjoyable the much better-known Anchorman. A clever twist on buddy cop movies (albeit one that actually ticks off all the genre’s tropes), the film sees Ferrell’s pen-pushing desk jockey detective partnered up with testosterone-fuelled meathead Mark Wahlberg.
Dawn of the Dead (1978)
The second of George Romero’s zombie series, 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 small band of survivors decamp to a giant abandoned shopping mall in a bid for safety – only to discover that the shambling hordes also find themselves drawn to this palace of consumerism.
You’d have to be braindead to miss Romero’s satire, yes – 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 synth score give it an eerie atmosphere you simply don’t get with modern horror flicks.
NB: Interestingly, the movie is available on Prime Video in two different versions: Romero’s 127-minute theatrical cut (linked below) and the 119-minute European cut by Italian horror maestro Dario Argento, which trims out some of the more comedic scenes.
Raiders of the Lost Ark
Steven Spielberg and Harrison Ford’s first, and best, Indiana Jones movie is a globe-trotting blockbuster set the standard for all adventure flicks since. A throwback to the swashbuckling serials of producer and writer George Lucas’ childhood, it sees Ford’s bullwhip-brandishing archaeologist strive to locate the Ark of the Covenant ahead of the Third Reich, who plan to use the ancient artefact’s fabled powers to conquer the world.
The camerawork, special effects and ‘cultural depictions’ have noticeably aged somewhat since 1981, but when a film’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.