Skip to main content

The 23 best movies on Amazon Prime to watch right now (September 2021)

One Night in Miami
(Image credit: Amazon Prime)

Our best movies on Amazon Prime Video list is about t get a bit bigger. Cinderella, Everybody's Talking About Jamie, and The Voyeurs are all coming this September, and all three have a good chance of reaching this list. However, we need some time to let those films settle with us before we can add them below. Until then, we have our huge list of the best films available on Amazon right now.

Below, you will find Oscar nominees in the shame of Sound of Metal and One Night in Miami. There are actioners, such as the Michael B. Jordan-starring Without Remorse and the Chadwick Boseman-fronted 21 Bridges. You'll even find horror in the shape of Luca Guadagnino's remake of Suspiria. Fancy a laugh? Then there are two comedy sequels: Borat Subsequent Moviefilm and Coming 2 America. That's just the start of it. Read on for the very best movies on Amazon Prime video that you can watch right now.

Sound of Metal

Riz Ahmed in Sound of Metal

(Image credit: IMDb)

The feature directorial debut from Darius Marder (an established doc-maker), Sound of Metal is about a drummer, Ruben Stone (Riz Ahmed), whose life is upended when he suddenly develops drastic hearing loss. Ruben’s on the road with bandmate and partner Lou (Ready Player One’s Olivia Cooke) when the condition takes such a severe turn that he has no choice but to seek medical help. He winds up checking in to a home for deaf addicts that’s run by Joe (Paul Raci), a former veteran who helps his charges get to grips with their new way of living.

Infusing a vérité tone with poetry, Marder is a talent to watch. As Sound Of Metal builds to its somewhat surprising third act, the cumulative effect is powerful and profound. And despite its tight focus and subtle character work, it absolutely rewards being seen on the biggest screen possible and with the best sound-system, where its experiential sound design can deliver its fullest effect. A small film that hits big, Sound of Metal is a gem you’ll want to bang the drum for.

Coming to America

Coming to America

(Image credit: Paramount)

Eddie Murphy's iconic comedy sees the actor play Akeem Joffer, the crown prince of the (fictional) African nation of Zamunda. Not wanting to marry the woman his parents have arranged, Akeem – along with best friend Semmi (Arsenio Hall) – flee to America to find a woman who will love Akeem's personality, not wealth. Murphy's excellent in this hilarious riches to rags story – and it's well worth watching before the sequel, Coming 2 America, reaches Amazon in March.

One Night in Miami

One Night in Miami

(Image credit: Amazon)

Taking its lead from the Peter Morgan school of speculative bio-fiction, Kemp Powers’ play-turned-film imagines what was said on the night activist Malcolm X (played by Kingsley Ben-Adir), singer Sam Cooke (Leslie Odom Jr.) and NFL star Jim Brown (Aldis Hodge) met in a hotel room with Cassius Clay (Eli Goree) to celebrate the latter becoming heavyweight boxing champion of the world.

It’s a dazzling, once-in-a-lifetime gathering of Black icons – though neither Powers nor director Regina King are content just to bask in their reflected glory. Instead, they set them in thrilling opposition, with Malcolm’s insistence they use their celebrity for the greater good of their race acting as the touch-paper for passionate, provocative and sometimes incendiary debate. The shifting power dynamics that ensue require our full attention, as well as an acceptance the action will rarely venture outside Malcolm’s claustrophobic motel suite.

Sylvie's Love

Sylvie's Love

(Image credit: Amazon Prime)

"Life’s too short to waste time on things you don’t absolutely love,” says Nnamdi Asomugha’s saxophonist to Tessa Thompson’s wannabe TV producer in Eugene Ashe’s second feature, itself a love-letter to classic Hollywood romances. 

Despite the unpromising title, this is certainly no time-waster – the two leads share a magnetic chemistry that overcomes the sometimes schematic plotting, with Declan Quinn’s handsome cinematography and a pitch-perfect soundtrack casting an irresistible spell. Submit to its soft-centred charms and it might just sweep you off
your feet.

Uncle Frank

Paul Bettany and Sophia Lillis in Uncle Frank

(Image credit: IMDb)

Starring WandaVision’s Paul Bettany and It’s Sophia Lillis, Uncle Frank is a road movie about a man confronting his past. Set in 1973, Frank (Bettany) and his niece Beth (Lillis) are set to take a road trip from New York City to South Carolina for a family funeral when they’re unexpectedly joined by Frank’s lover Wally (Peter Macdissi). It’s directed by Alan Ball, who wrote the Oscar-winning screenplay for American Beauty and created the TV shows Six Feet Under and True Blood.

You Were Never Really Here

You Were Never Really Here

(Image credit: BFI/Film4)

Lynne Ramsey has only directed a handful of movies, yet she has established herself as one of the UK's premiere filmmakers. You Were Never Really Here, Ramsey's follow up to We Need To Talk About Kevin, is a visceral revenge flick that centres on Joaquin Phoenix's former American military man who's afflicted with PTSD.

The action is brutal, the editing is unlike anything else, and Phoenix's performance is awards worthy – arguably even stronger than his portrayal of the Joker in that controversial supervillain blockbuster. Come for the Oscar-winning actor, stay for the thrilling direction.

Borat Subsequent Moviefilm

Borat 2

(Image credit: Amazon)

"Very niiiiiice!" If you didn't say that in the voice of Khazakstan's most famous news reporter Borat, then this one may not be for you. Sacha Baron Coan returns as the eponymous Borat to cause more mischieve in America. This time, he's joined by his daughter, played by Maria Bakalova, who frankly steals the show. The cojones on these two performers to do some of the stuff they do...

The movie starts with Borat attempting to make peace with America by offering Kazakstan's head of culture, a monkey named Jimmy, as a gift to Vice President Mike Pense. The monkey gets eaten en-route, and Borat improvises by offering his daughter to Pense. Yes, it gets worse – so much worse – from there. 

Suspiria

Suspiria

(Image credit: Amazon)

Suspiria doesn't so much nail the Bechdel test as set fire to it and then do a naked victory dance around the flames. This is a film entirely about women and their bodies and their relationships – but that's not why you should get streaming this immediately.

You should see Suspiria because it's one of the most shocking horror movies in recent memory. Every second is calibrated to keep you rigid with suspense, tugging you further and further into its world of dance and the occult so skillfully that you reach the spectacular climax in what feels like mere minutes, despite the two hours and 30 minutes running time. Dakota Johnson and Tilda Swinton are excellent in this timely remake.

Without Remorse

Michael B. Jordan in Tom Clancy's Without Remorse

(Image credit: Amazon/Paramount)

Michael B. Jordan is in full action hero mode in Without Remorse, a new spin-off of the Jack Ryan movie series. He plays John Kelly, a Navy SEAL who goes on a path to avenge his pregnant wife's murder only to find himself uncovering an international conspiracy and torn between personal honor and loyalty to his country. The movie's stellar supporting cast includes Jodie Turner-Smith, Jamie Bell, and Guy Pearce and it's been released exclusively on Amazon Prime.

The Big Sick

The Big Sick is one of the best movies on Amazon Prime

Silicon Valley’s Kumail Nanjiani writes and stars in this comedy based on his own marriage. The trials of cross-cultural romance come under scrutiny as stand-up comic Kumail falls for an American student at one of his shows. Not exactly the life his Muslim parents had in mind for him, but that’s the least of his concerns; shortly after they start dating, Emily falls into a coma, leaving Kumail to have to deal with her parents.

Billed as a traditional romantic comedy, The Big Sick has a lot more heart and edge than the posters and trailers would have you believe. The chemistry between Nanjiani and Holly Hunter and Ray Romano - as Emily’s parents - provides most of the real grit. Realistic, and proof that there is still a lot of originality left in the genre, The Big Sick is one of the best movies on Amazon Prime Video.

Honey Boy

Honey Boy

(Image credit: Amazon)

Written by Shia LaBeouf himself, Honey Boy tackles the actors own relationship with his father and growing up in the spotlight. Directed by Alma Har’el in her narrative feature debut, the movie stars LaBeouf as his own father, Lucas Hedges, Noah Jupe, and FKA Twigs. It’s a heart-wrenching exploration of forgiveness, as LaBeouf wrote the script as a form of therapy whilst in rehab. At a tight 90 minutes, it’s well worth your time this weekend to watch this moving portrayal of adolescence and a career-making performance from, well, everyone.

Late Night

Late Night

(Image credit: Amazon Prime)

Based on Mindy Kaling's own experiences in the industry, Late Night focuses on a struggling late-night show that's experiencing a lag in the ratings. Emma Thompson plays the host of the show and, desperate to change things up, spotlights a new assistant – played by Kaling – and recruits her to become the driving force behind changing her image. With two great leading performances, Late Night is an easy-going comedy that's earnest, funny, and not afraid to occasionally show its teeth.

Brittany Runs a Marathon

Brittany Runs a Marathon

(Image credit: Amazon)

Showcasing a breakout turn from Jillian Bell (Eastbound & Down, 22 Jump Street), this Sundance award-winner from playwright-turned-director Paul Downs Colaizzo ploughs a familiar furrow with honesty, hilarity, and heart. Inspired by a friend who made her own journey from couch potato to long-distance runner, Colaizzo’s film surrounds its hero, played by Bell, with an amusing selection of characters that range from a vacuous Instagram wannabe (Alice Lee) to new bestie Seth (Micah Stock). In the end, it’s Bell who makes Brittany a ringing success. 

The Report

The Report

(Image credit: Amazon)

Tasked by Senator Dianne Feinstein (a coolly commanding Annette Bening) with leaving no stone unturned, Senate staffer Daniel Jones – infused here with simmering indignation by a driven Adam Driver – systematically details the brutalities inflicted on all of the Agency’s 119 detainees. Having assembled his torture dossier, though, Jones faces another uphill struggle to get it published. As Matthew Rhys’ reporter ruefully observes, “they sent you off to build a boat they had no intention of sailing.” 

As vessels go, The Report is one so overloaded with names, dates, flashbacks, and acronyms it’s a wonder it stays afloat. That it does should be attributed not just to the dogged conviction Driver exudes as its righteous hero but also to the film’s unshakeable belief that the ugly truth will ultimately out. Burns’ film is not an easy watch, not least when it depicts what took place in Langley’s infamous “black sites”. Like the harrowing data that inspired it, though, it defies redaction. 

Beautiful Boy

Beautiful Boy

(Image credit: Amazon)

Steve Carell plays David Sheff, a newspaper writer whose son, portrayed by Timothée Chalamet, disappears for two days. Upon his return, there are obvious signs of drug use, and Chalamet's Nic is taken to rehab. What follows is a heartbreaking story of a father-son bond that struggles as Nic relapses and goes in and out of medical facilities. With two powerhouse performances at its centre, Beautiful Boy showcases what these actors are capable of.

Manchester by the Sea

Manchester by the Sea

(Image credit: Amazon)

Boston janitor Lee (Casey Affleck) returns to the titular town in Massachusetts when his older brother Joe (Kyle Chandler) dies of a heart attack. A morose, taciturn loner given to communicating with his fists after too many beers, Lee is horrified to find that he has been named legal guardian of his teenage nephew Patrick (Lucas Hedges), whose ties to Manchester-by-the-Sea – hockey team, rock band, two girlfriends – mean Lee will need to stick around his hometown for a good while to come.

Under grey skies clogged with pellets of snow, the drama inches along, with flashbacks revealing that Lee was once married to Randi (Michelle Williams), who still lives in the area. True, withholding the source of Lee’s emotional shutdown for a late reveal is something you expect from a thriller rather than a sombre character study. But such is the authenticity on display elsewhere, it doesn’t feel schematic. If it’s thrills or cheer you’re after, you’re in the wrong place. Yet Manchester by the Sea offers its own particular joys, going places that few movies dare to consider these days.

Guava Island

Guava Island

(Image credit: Amazon)

Hiro Murai (Atlanta) makes his directorial debut with this beautiful, musical tale from Donald Glover. The Lando Calrissian actor portrays Demi, a man who wants to hold a great musical festival but is mugged in the run-up to the event. Glover's joined by Rihanna, who plays his musical inspiration and partner, and Letitia Wright. At just 56 minutes, Guava Island is a brisk sun-kissed slice of escapism.

Peterloo

Peterloo

(Image credit: Amazon)

Mike Leigh's grandest movie to date, Peterloo tells of the build-up to the horrendous Peterloo massacre in Manchester, UK. As with many of the director's films, this one's filled with righteous fury – anger that echoes today as much as it did in the early 1800s. It's an energising, difficult watch that occasionally leans too hard into the message. However, make your way through the 154-minute runtime, and you'll feel greatly rewarded.

The Vast of Night

The Vast of Night

(Image credit: Amazon)

Now for something a little different. The Vast of Night is an obscure '50s set science-fiction flick that centres on a DJ and switchboard operator who discover a strange radio frequency – one caused by extraterrestrial beings. We won't say anything more, for the mystery is half the fun. The other half is the eery atmosphere and brilliant central performances from Sierra McCormick and Jake Horowitz. There's also a fantastic tracking shot that has put director Andrew Patterson on the map.

21 Bridges

21 Bridges review

(Image credit: STXFilms)

Chadwick Boseman stars as Andre Davis, an NYPD detective known for hunting down cop killers. His speciality proves unfortunately handy when two robbers (Stephan James, Taylor Kitsch) raid a high-end wine store that’s actually a front for a massive drug-dealing operation. In the back room is 300 kilos of cocaine – far more than these two chancers were expecting. Before they know it, cops are everywhere, but Kitsch’s expert gunman shoots his way out, slaughtering eight boys in blue. 

The narrative gusto of the cops tightening a cordon around their suspects provides excitement and there’s some zingy, slang-heavy dialogue from Adam Mervis and Matthew Michael Carnahan (brother to director Joe). The corruption-filled final act helps elevate the film from being just another American cop movie.

Radioactive

Radioactive

(Image credit: Amazon)

Marie Curie is a name known by many. Yet, her story is still relatively unexplored on screen. Rosamund Pike brings the famous radiologist to life in Radioactive, a movie that rests entirely upon the actor's shoulders. Told through flashback, Radioactive starts after Curie has an accident and as she reflects on her life – and what a life it is, filled with drama by personal and work-related. Pike is phenomenal.

Chi-Raq

Chi-Raq

(Image credit: Amazon)

Spike Lee doesn’t do subtle, but then he’s hardly cracking nuts. Chi-Raq, set in Englewood, Chicago, is a state-of-the-union address on America’s hot issues of gangs and guns. Full of righteous anger packaged in signature swagger, it’s as purposeful and provocative as any Spike Lee joint.

Updating Greek play Lysistrata to the windy city (where more Americans have been killed in the last 15 years than in the Iraq and Afghanistan conflicts combined), Chi-Raq sees rival gangs the Spartans and Trojans trading bullets. With no end in sight, Lysistrata (a terrific Teyonah Parris), the girlfriend of the Spartans’ leader, persuades womenfolk on both sides of the divide to take control of the situation. “No peace, no pussy,” goes their slogan, with the ladies modelling bling-tastic chastity belts until all weapons are discarded.

With its rhyming couplets, bursts of rap, swathes of broad humour, rampant machismo and a garishly suited Samuel L. Jackson serving as a one-man Greek chorus, this throbs with the kind of passion and (people) politics that so energised Do the Right Thing.

The Aeronauts

The Aeronauts

(Image credit: Amazon)

Felicity Jones plays the fictional balloonist Amelia Wren in The Aeronauts, co-starring Eddie Redmayne, who appears as scientist James Glaisher. Interestingly, the character of Amelia is a fictional character based loosely on elements of Amelia Earhart's life, whereas Glaisher was indeed a real man. While this movie Tom Harper may play loosely with history, it's a high-thrills adventure up into the skies that's captivating and heart-pounding.