The 25 best movies on Amazon Prime

Out of the many, MANY services available that rival Netflix, its biggest competitor is Amazon Prime. It might not pack the same heft and status, but to be honest? Who's fussed about that when the movie selection is just as enticing, if not better, than Netflix which is currently sinking billions into original content. Amazon Prime's catalog of movies is way more extensive, varied and quite surprising. If you're willing to explore it, that is. 

After combing through the dark, dusty parts of its database that no-one dares to meander (hey - those mockbusters won't watch themselves!), I've concocted an up-to-date list of the very best movies available on Amazon Prime. Comedies, action, drama, horror and sci-fi are all included in the top 25 currently streaming. What are you waiting for?  

25. A Most Violent Year (2014) 

Region: 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: Chastain puffing on a cigarette, wagging her fingers at thugs for being "very disrespectful" in a New Yawk drawl.  

Watch A Most Violent Year now on Amazon Prime Video 

24. The Lego Movie (2014)

Region: UK 

The film: Phil Lord and Chris Miller proved their worth by delivering one of the funniest, warmest and flat-out entertaining "product" movies ever made. Who knew that a bunch of minifigs could tell such a moving story about individuality! Chris Pratt leads the vocal cast as Emmet, a construction guy who begins to question if they should always follow the instructions... 

Why it's worth watching: Fun characters, terrific vocal work (it's no wonder Will Arnett landed his own spin-off), and a neat little twist toward the end.  

Watch The Lego Movie now on Amazon Prime Video 

23. Paddington (2014) 

Region: UK

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.  

Watch Paddington now on Amazon Prime Video 

22. Spring (2015) 

Region: US 

The film: If you happened to catch Justin Benson and Aaron Moorhead's Resolution, you might have an idea of the... unusual horror they create. Spring is no exception, beginning as an ode to frustrated youth and transforming into a romantic cautionary tale. This comes packed 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. 

Watch Spring now on Amazon Prime Video 

21. Pacific Rim (2013)

Region: UK 

The film: If you like your sci-fi served up with a heavy dose of action, look no farther. Guillermo Del Toro's 2013 monster flick ponders the idea of HUGE iron men (called Jaegers) fighting a race of HUGE monsters (called kaiju) who are quite keen on wrecking the planet. Big, brash, blockbuster entertainment with a solid line-up of acting talent.  

Why it's worth watching: Giant monsters emerging from glittery gulches in the ocean floor? No? Alright then, Idris Elba's superb one-line deliveries? 

Watch Pacific Rim now on Amazon Prime Video 

20. The Hateful Eight (2015) 

Region: UK 

The film: If you've ever wondered what it'd be like to see a Tarantino play, now's your chance - all from the comfort of your couch! The Hateful Eight burns long (it's three hours) and this tale of a bunch of strangers in a snowy shack burns slow. It also skates over the gimmicky elements of Tarantino's earlier works, choosing to settle on character and story instead of fancy narrative jumparounds. 

Why it's worth watching: Oh, the cast, undoubtedly. Kurt Russell and Jennifer Jason Leigh make for a strangely compelling pair, and you'll be amazed at how many tricks Tarantino has up his sleeve.  

Watch The Hateful Eight now on Amazon Prime Video 

19. Captain Fantastic (2016)  

Region: US 

The film: After shunning the evils of modern living, Viggo Mortensen, his wife and their brood of six children turn to a life in nature. Yep, they can all whittle wood and recite Shakespeare. Unfortunately, not everyone sees it as a blessing. Particularly, Mortensen's father-in-law, who makes life difficult when the family have to return to civilisation.  

Why it's worth watching: It's a blast to watch the children react and respond to contemporary culture - and that includes first kisses. Aw!  

Watch Captain Fantastic now on Amazon Prime Video 

18. Gravity (2013)

Region: UK

The film: Set in the eerie silence of space, Alfonso Cuaron's ambitious sci-fi drama is a visual delight. It incorporates 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.

Watch Gravity now on Amazon Prime Video 

17. Mr Holmes (2015)

Region: UK, US 

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.  

Watch Mr Holmes now on Amazon Prime Video 

16. What We Do In The Shadows (2014) 

Region: US 

The film: Ever wondered what it might really be like as a vampire? Taiki Waititi and Jermaine Clement's mockumentary has you covered. Forget your moping twinkly-skinned bloodsuckers. This bunch are as normal as they come. Well sort of. While paying rent is one of their biggest dilemmas, steering clear of sunlight is their chief concern which makes adapting to modern life a tad tricky. 

Why it's worth watching: There's no other film about vamps that takes this much joy in riffing on the mythology; the cast is just dynamite. 

Watch What We Do In The Shadows now on Amazon Prime Video