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.
Under The Skin
An alien in the form of a beautiful woman travels across Scotland, seducing men to harvest their flesh. The premise is simple enough for a low-budget indie flick but, as the title implies, there's much more than meets the eye here. And by that we mean it unapologetically screws with your head. To classify this as sci-fi or horror would be a gross oversimplification. It starts off like a straight-up predator movie but morphs into a coming-of-age/road-trip story, told from the alien's perspective.
In an aggressively artsy experiment, director Jonathan Glazer mixes heavily stylised visuals with hidden-camera footage. Much of the film doesn't appear to make sense, but that doesn't matter – it’s chilling enough to command attention, and the sense of unease is so gripping it will affect you regardless of your understanding. Scarlett Johansson's performance, meanwhile, is disturbing and mesmerising.
It'll certainly polarise opinions, but if you're open to something different it's a singular and utterly compelling experience.
Proof that Australian cinematic icons go further than Mick “Crocodile” Dundee, Wolf Creek introduces a character who’s just as memorable and far nastier than the knife-wielding, globe-trotting bushman.
John Jarratt plays another Aussie bloke Mick, an outback roughneck who offers to help a trio of teens after car trouble causes leaves them stranded in the national park that gives the film its name. Sounds like a predictable, clichéd slasher movie, right? It would be if Mick Taylor wasn’t so terrifyingly deranged, and it hadn’t been shot with such rare beauty for a film that descends into such horrific depravity. Not for the faint hearted.
Alan Partridge: Alpha Papa
North Norfolk’s finest broadcaster makes it to the silver screen in his debut movie – a comic hostage drama with all the awkwardness, pathos and lack of self-awareness you’d expect from Alan Partridge.
Alpha Papa is unlikely to win over non-fans, but anyone who’s adored Steve Coogan’s past work (and that’s a lot of you, we suspect) will get a huge kick out of seeing how well Partridge can work on a bigger-than-normal budget.
There Will Be Blood
Paul Thomas Anderson's modern American epic is stark and relentless; the first we see of protagonist Daniel Plainview is a 20-minute sequence in which Daniel Day-Lewis scrabbles wordlessly in the dirt for silver. From there, Plainview graduates to oil drilling; he's consumed by a relentless pursuit for the black gold, dispensing homespun charm to townsfolk as he tries to gull them out of their oil rights, using his adopted son as a prop to create an image of a family man.
The only one who sees through him is Eli Sunday, and that's because he's equally corrupt; an evangelist who sees Plainview as a threat to the supremacy of his church. The stage is set for a grand clash between religion and capitalism, played out in operatic fashion against the oil wells.
The English Patient
Anthony Minghella’s wartime romance represents the height of 1990s Hollywood ambition: a fantastic cast; a script based on a Booker Prize-winning novel; a grand, sweeping story that also embodies universal themes; and exceptional cinematography. This time, it worked, with The English Patient bagging no fewer than nine Oscars – and over 20 years later, it’s a film that holds up.
After waking up in an Italian monastery-turned-field-hospital, a terribly burnt man who can’t remember his own name recounts his story to a nurse and a Canadian intelligence operative. Taking in adventure, love, betrayal and tragedy, all set against the backdrop of the Second World War, his tale makes for a mesmerising one, told in eloquent visual style by Minghella and cinematographer John Seale. Epic stuff.
The Americans (S5)
1980s nostalgia-fests in film and TV often neglect to mention one thing: the Cold War was still well underway, meaning hundreds of millions of innocents all over the world were mere minutes away from potential nuclear annihilation.
And it’s this climate of fear, mutual distrust and competing ideologies that The Americans recreates so well, as it follows the trials and tribulations of two Soviet sleeper agents embedded in US suburbia – who happen to be a married couple. To their friends, neighbours, even their children, they are regular apple pie-loving yanks, but when duty calls they’re planting bugs, photographing secret documents and assassinating double agents for the Russkies.
Oh, and the marriage we mentioned? It’s no more a sham, a professional union of convenience to aid their cover… or is it? The complex, strained and evolving relationship between our leads is one of the series’ most powerful aspects, and make The Americans more than just espionage thriller material.
Pulp Fiction forged an amazing legacy: not only did it induct writer and director Quentin Tarantino into the Hollywood pantheon, but it also made Samuel L. Jackson a household name (and a total badass), revived John Travolta's collapsed career, and provided one of the all-time great Christopher Walken monologues.
Above all that, it's an amazing movie: a non-chronological series of interrelated stories about Los Angeles mobsters and crooks that produces a cavalcade of unforgettable scenes. It's as eminently quotable as it is perfectly framed and executed, and it's the kind of film you can watch over and over again and find some small new detail to love. Luckily, that's exactly what Amazon Prime Video is for.
The Death of Stalin
Armando Iannucci brings his brand of seemingly off-the-cuff political satire to one of modern history’s darkest chapters, as a host of self-serving Soviet grandees – including Steve Buscemi, Michael Palin and Jason Isaacs – farcically jostle for power in the wake of Joseph Stalin’s unexpected demise.
While it doesn’t quite hit the breezy highs of Iannucci’s debut movie In The Loop or his series Veep and The Thick Of It – being set in a time and place where political opponents were usually exiled or executed, it’s much more bleak and cynical even than those – The Death of Stalin spotlights the absurdity of politics just as effectively, and will make you laugh while doing so.
Directed by the Wachowskis and Tom Tykwer, this adaptation of David Mitchell’s bestselling novel can’t be faulted for ambition: running close to three hours, spanning several time periods (including two sections set in the future) and featuring a massive cast that reappears in different roles (and as different races and sexes) during said periods, it’s a sprawling art movie in blockbuster’s clothing – and that’s perhaps why it failed to set the box office alight.
Even if it may be regarded by many as something of a failure at worst, a missed opportunity at best, Cloud Atlas is a fascinating film that posits that everything we do has consequences that reverberate through the ages – that a single human act of cruelty or kindness can result in revolutions hundreds of years down the line. That it does so in such spectacular fashion, with such vast scope, makes it well worth a few hours of your time.
Denzel Washington bagged a Best Actor Oscar for his blistering performance as crooked narcotics cop Alonzo Harris in this tense thriller, in which (the also Oscar-nominated) Ethan Hawke’s rookie detective Jake Hoyt must endure a fraught 24 hours under the veteran’s tutelage.
Harris’ policing methods, naturally, won’t be found in any dusty old rulebook, and Jake quickly finds himself dragged not only into LA’s drug gang underworld but a deeply disturbing conspiracy among the cops entrusted with keeping the city safe.