The top movies on Amazon Prime
It's crazy to think that we live in a world with a plethora of options for beaming movies straight into our homes at the click of a button. But here we are: ciao, Blockbuster. Adios, Redbox. While Netflix might the most well-known streaming service, close behind nipping at its heels, is Amazon Prime with just as extensive a catalogue - if you're willing to trawl through it.
Luckily we've done the hard work for you, combing through the far reaches of the Amazon Prime database to bring you an up-to-date list of the very best movies available. Comedies, action, drama, horror and sci-fi are all included in our top 30 picks now streaming. You're welcome.
30. A Most Violent Year (2014)
Region: UK, US
The film: AKA - the one where Jessica Chastain somehow wasn't nominated for an Oscar. Hot off the superb Margin Call J.C. Chandor delivers a dark and unyielding glimpse into the brutal inner workings of a NYC business in the early eighties. Oscar Isaac stars as an oil company owner urged by his wife to protect his livelihood and family whatever the cost.
Why it's worth watching: Watching Chastain puffing on a cigarette, wagging her fingers at thugs while admonishing them for being "very disrespectful" in a New Yawk drawl.
29. Man Up (2015)
The film: You know the story; boy meets girl, there's a "hilarious" misunderstanding, and they live happily after after. Thankfully Man Up avoids all the expected rom-com trappings. Simon Pegg and Lake Bell play two singletons who embark on an evening of R-rated chicanery after he mistakes her for his blind date.
Why it's worth watching: Tess Morris' script renews the romantic comedy format, giving Bell and Pegg fleshed-out characters and plenty of genuinely funny one-liners.
28. While We're Young (2014)
Region: UK, US
The film: Noah Baumbach imbues each successive film with commentary on his own life. In While We're Young Ben Stiller and Naomi Watts' forty-somethings take on his woes about growing old. When the childless couple befriend an achingly hip duo played by Amanda Seyfriend and Adam Driver, they re-evaluate how to get the most out of living. Funny, moving and at times, downright bizarre.
Why it's worth watching: Hipster culture gets a heavy skewering - always a bonus - and the final act takes an unexpected swerve into mystery territory.
27. Interstellar (2014)
The film: A year after space drama Gravity came Christopher Nolan's mega-blockbuster. Packed with existentialist ponderings and CGI-worm holes Matthew McConaughey leads a top tier cast into the far reaches of space as he tries to secure a future for mankind away from our sterile planet.
Why it's worth watching: Hans Zimmer's sweeping score is to die for.
26. Spring (2015)
The film: If you happened to catch Justin Benson and Aaron Moorhead's Resolution, you might have an idea of the unorthodox horror they create. Spring is no exception, beginning as an ode to frustrated youth and transforming into a romantic cautionary tale. With one helluva twist.
Why it's worth watching: There's not a lot of horror that shakes itself free from the tried-and-tested tropes of the genre. Forget your jump scares. This is the real deal.
25. Under the Skin (2013)
The film: A cold, washed-out Glasgow is an unusual location for a cerebral sci-fi flick. But this is Jonathan Glazer's point: weird shit can happen anywhere, so why not there? Scarlett Johansson stars as a perplexed extraterrestrial disguised as a perplexed young woman, who ambles around the Glaswegian streets luring men into her Transit van. Why? Well, you'll have to watch it.
Why it's worth watching: This is a haunting exercise in painting a mood... And it birthed the Scarlett Johansson falling down meme.
24. The Wolf Of Wall Street (2013)
The film: Another outing for Martin Scorsese and Leonardo DiCaprio, with the latter on top form as Wall Street shark Jordan Belfort. The movie charts his rise as a stockbroker who seeks fortune and fame, cataloguing the amusing by-products of his journey, that includes copious amounts of drug-taking, fraud, and general debauchery.
Why it's worth watching: So many reasons; all of them involve DiCaprio out of his gourd.
23. Gravity (2013)
The film: Set in the eerie silence of space, Alfonso Cuaron's ambitious sci-fi drama is a visual feast, incorporating state-of-the-art effects to make it seem like Sandra Bullock really is all alone on that shuttle.
Why it's worth watching: It's hard to fathom how the boundless echoes of space can seem so darn claustrophobic, yet Cuaron and his team nail the isolation and fear of that scenario.
22. Goodnight Mommy (2014)
The film: Two young boys are startled by the sudden change in their mother when she arrives home after undergoing cosmetic surgery. Is she really their mother? Has the hospital instigated some kind of mix-up and sent them an impostor instead? The brothers decide it's best to err on the side of caution and put the bandaged woman through the wringer.
Why it's worth watching: This is tense stuff, that you won't so much watch, as catch glimpses of through your fingers.
21. Rush (2013)
The film: Who doesn't love a good rivalry flick? In Ron Howard's zippy sports drama, Chris Hemsworth and Daniel Bruhl play James Hunt and Niki Lauda, two Formula 1 drivers desperate to push themselves to the top of their game. It takes place during the 1976 racing season, and unfolds like a double biopic of both iconic drivers, told with comedic flourishes and some crazy tense competition sequences.
Why it's worth watching: Typically, sporting rivalry movies are at their best when focused on close contact activities (see: the entire boxing genre), but that's where the skillful edits and Hans Zimmer's lush score truly come into play. This will get your heart racing.
20. Blue Jasmine (2013)
The film: Woody Allen's bi-coastal dramedy follows Jasmine (Cate Blanchett), a well-to-do socialite as she hightails it from New York to San Francisco in an attempt to re-start her life. Leaving her treacherous husband behind she moves in with her sister, and everything continues to fall apart.
Why it's worth watching: Blanchett. She relishes every nook and cranny of Allen's finest anti-heroine.
19. Planes, Trains and Automobiles (1987)
The film: The torment of a canceled flight is made a million times worse for Neal Page (Steve Martin). He attracts the attention of chatty, happy-go-lucky Del Griffith (John Candy) during a hellish Thanksgiving weekend, and the pair become stuck together for a three-day cross-country hike in order to get Neal into the loving embrace of his family.
Why it's worth watching: Typically, John Hughes' movies are just about the laughs, yet this one comes tinged with a bittersweet edge that makes its central message all the more resonant.
18. Bridesmaids (2011)
The film: Paul Feig enlisted a stellar cast to tell the story of modern female friendship at that most trying of times: the pre-wedding hoopla. Kristen Wiig plays Annie, a down-on-her-luck thirtysomething who's asked by her best friend Lilian (Maya Rudolph) to be her maid of honor. Roping in the rest of Lilian's pals as bridesmaids, the group's bonding sessions don't go exactly to plan. Well, it wouldn't be such a riot if it all went smoothly, would it?
Why it's worth watching: Arriving at a point when R-rated comedies was the domain of all-male leading casts, Bridesmaids gave a bunch of the funniest actresses today a chance to cut loose in those same debauched ways. Rose Byrne's turn as the bitchy Helen is an underrated highlight.
17. Source Code (2011)
The film: A U.S. Army pilot (Jake Gyllenhaal) wakes on a commuter train, with no idea of how he got there or why when he looks in the mirror he appears to be someone else. Eight minutes later the train explodes, and he wakes in the confines of a cockpit where it's revealed he's actually inside an alternate timeline (the "source code")where it's up to him to identify the bomber.
Why it's worth watching: There's so much to take in on initial viewing, that you'll be reaching for the play button to get your head around the finale's genius little twist.
16. All The President's Men (1976)
The film: With the Watergate scandal fresh in everyone's minds, this was the perfect time to retell those events with two of cinema's finest thesps tackling the lead roles. Robert Redford and Dustin Hoffman star as Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein, two Washington Post journalists reporting on the Democratic Party burglary at the Watergate hotel. Before long, they're caught up in hush-hush meetings down dark alleys and liaising with an inside man known as.... Deep Throat. Yeah, you know that name.
Why it's worth watching: It's a slice of history that's eerily relevant today, with the nature of public privacy still a hot-button topic. If you enjoy House of Cards - in particular its first season - then add this to your list, pronto!
15. Attack The Block (2011)
The film: Years before he yielded a lightsaber, John Boyega took the lead in Joe Cornish's directorial debut. This savvy homage to alien invasion movies takes place on a council estate in London, where it's up a bunch of young street kids to save the planet from extraterrestrials.
Why it's worth watching: There's a lot to love about Cornish's movie, from the sly winks to sci-fi icons J.G. Ballard and John Wyndham, yet its biggest win is the sterling cast of youngsters.
14. Extract (2009)
The film: You'd be hard pressed to find an actor who does the 'regular joe wronged by the system' schtick better than Jason Bateman. He's in the zone here as factory owner Joel Reynold, a guy desperate to break free from his wife (a nag-tastic Kristen Wiig), who sets in motion a series of events that will 'allow' him to have an affair with the hot young company employee Cindy (Mila Kunis). Hilarity ensues as his plan backfires.
Why it's worth watching: If you dug Office Space then this ought to be right up your alley. Mike Judge (he of Beavis and Butthead fame) is responsible for this superb workplace comedy.
13. Man Of Steel (2013)
The film: Zack Snyder's Superman reboot kickstarted Warner Bros. cinematic universe. Heading back to Kal-El's roots, Henry Cavill takes over as the titular superhero who comes to grips with his alien heritage right as a former villain of his homeplanet threatens to destroy Earth. Chaos naturally ensues.
Why it's worth watching: The lush visuals, Hans Zimmer's stonking score, and yes, that climatic final battle between Superman and Zod.
12. It Follows (2015)
The film: After having sex, Jay (Maika Monroe) discovers that a supernatural thing is stalking her. The "it" follows her wherever she goes, frequently in the guise of people she knows or people who have died. The only way to shake herself loose of its murderous plan? To pass on the curse by sleeping with someone else.
Why it's worth watching: Imagine if you discovered a bounty of lost horror movies from the '70s and '80s; watching It Follows is like taking a trip back to the era of John Carpenter, from the music cues to the shooting style. What separates it, though, is its strange blending of epochs. That's pure Lynch.
11. Mr. Holmes (2015)
The film: Sherlock Holmes (Ian McKellen) is in the autumn of his life, having retired to the coast to live out the rest of his days drama-free. One thing continues to nag him - the specifics of his last case. Luckily, his housekeeper's eager son helps him to recall what truly took place, allowing him to embark on one final investigation.
Why it's worth watching: It's a terrific twist on the typical Sherlock Holmes adaptations we've seen before. Whereas he's normally a young, buff raring-to-go type, he's anything but here, having to rely on his sharp wits instead.
10. Bone Tomahawk (2015)
The film: This slow-burning western starring Kurt Russell, Matthew Fox, Patrick Wilson and Richard Jenkins descends into a genre-blend of horrific proportions when a Sheriff leads his gang into the desert to retrieve three hostages. What they find is far, far worse than parched prisoners.
Why it's worth watching: It's really all down to the unexpected swerve towards the end.
9. The Mist (2007)
The film: The adaptation of Stephen King's novella is one of the best screen versions of the horror author's works. It's scary, yes, and it's also densely-packed with tons of fully-formed characters that make us really care when their lives are invaded by monsters from another dimension. Thomas Jane takes charge when citizens of a small town hole up in a supermarket to wait out the attack.
Why it's worth watching: Okay, other than its bold, brave ending (seriously, it's brilliant) it's got to be all the great King stuff: a strong good vs. evil battle between the people in the store. There might be monsters just outside the doors, but there's a much more dangerous villain inside.
8. Swimming With Sharks (1994)
The film: Kevin Spacey's scathing studio executive Buddy Ackerman makes day-to-day life a living hell for his new assistant Guy (Frank Whaley). Gradually wearing down his optimistic lackey, Buddy teaches Guy a ruthless and important lesson - how to get ahead in business.
Why it's worth watching: Spacey's performance is gripping as he puts everything he's got into making Ackerman a despicable human being. Which makes the third act twist even more nerve-shredding.
7. Paddington (2014)
The film: Everyone's favourite marmalade-eating bear receives the big-screen treatment. After his home is destroyed, the pint-sized Paddington makes his way from Peru to London, England, in the hopes of finding a new place to live.
Why it's worth watching: It's a warm and loving adaptation of Michael Bond's classic children's character, brimming with wit and invention thanks to the furry little chappie at its heart.
6. Ghost World (2001)
The film: It's tricky capturing the struggle of being a teen about to leave school for the Real World. That's why Terry Zwigoff chose to make that transition as darkly funny as possible, with his adaptation of Daniel Clowes' graphic novel Ghost World. It stars Thora Birch and Scarlett Johansson as two best friends who aren't exactly nerds but aren't the cool kids either. That's one of the film's strongest points; in real life that distinction is rarely so black and white.
Why it's worth watching: The way Birch and Johansson's friendship is depicted is refreshing and will make you wonder what the hell they're gonna try and pull next. An additional bright spot is Illeana Douglas as Birch's art teacher.
5. The Big Lebowski (1998)
The film: Responsible for endless memes, posters on dorm walls, and a general acceptance of laziness over productivity; The Big Lebowski is a cult classic for a reason. That's largely down to the barmy plotting. The Coens' most celebrated movie finds Jeff Bridges' lead character - loveable stoner, The Dude - caught up in a case of mistaken identity, as he shares a name with a millionaire whose wife owes people cash.
Why it's worth watching: It's the Coens at their flat-out best. A nutty story, a cast of larger-than-life characters, brilliantly-timed jokes, and it has modern cinema's finest actors playing against type.
4. The Adjustment Bureau (2011)
The film: On the cusp of winning a Senate seat David Norris (Matt Damon) meets the alluring Elise, a ballet dancer. The pair strike up conversation, and immediately find themselves drawn to one another. Norris' attempts to reconnect with her are thwarted by a series of shady men who claim that they work for Fate...
Why it's worth watching: A movie dealing with the heavy topic of fate vs. free will might get bogged down - but first-time director George Nolfi spins it into a fast-paced thriller.
3. The End of The Tour (2015)
The film: Rather than do a straight adaptation - as if that's even possible with the book in question - of David Foster Wallace's Infinite Jest, this movie delves into biopic territory. It's actually based on the non-fiction book by Rolling Stone reporter David Lipsky (Jesse Eisenberg) who tags along for five days of Wallace (Jason Segel)'s book tour, hoping to get insight and perspective on the legendary author.
Why it's worth watching: For fans of Wallace, it's the closest we'll ever get to an autobiography. For everyone else? Watching Segel tap into another side of his acting persona is mesmerising.
2. Splice (2009)
The film: We all know what happens when scientists meddle with mother nature at a genetic level; dinosaurs. But enough about Jurassic Park. Splice dallies with the DNA of humans and the terror that brings when Adrien Brody and Sarah Polley's over-eager geneticists create a hybrid species.
Why it's worth watching: Director Vincenzo Natali has made some of the most underrated sci-fi movies of the last twenty years and this is no different: check this out if you dug Cube and Cypher.
1. Ex Machina (2015)
The film: A computer programmer (Domhnall Gleeson) wins a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to spend a week with his firm's CEO (Oscar Isaac) - little does he realise that he was specifically chosen to take part in a test to evaluate a robot's consciousness. Turns out the robot is also quite attractive.
Why it's worth watching: Movies concerning robots imbued with artificial intelligence tend to make a case for their 'souls' being equally as important as ours, and all that they need is love and understanding. Alex Garland's foray into robotic sentience tussles with a similar topic, except Ava ain't no Bicentennial Man or Iron Giant.