Best Movies on Amazon Prime in September 2020
Amazon Prime is easily Netflix’s best-known streaming rival in the UK, but many people don’t realise that when it comes to movies, Amazon has the big N beat hands-down.
Amazon’s library is bigger but also better, with a wide array of blockbusters bolstered by Oscar favourites and a genuinely fantastic lineup of indie and arthouse fare too – some of the best films of the last few years have boasted an Amazon Original logo.
Every single one of the films we’ve picked out here is currently included for free as part of the Prime subscription service, but if you’re not a subscriber then you can always rent or buy a digital copy directly from Amazon too.
If you’re looking for more inspiration you might also want to consider subscribing to one of the Amazon Prime Channels: these are add-on subscriptions for your Prime account that give you access to films from rival apps like Mubi or BFI Player, along with other films selected from distributors like Arrow Entertainment or MGM, which you can then watch from within the Amazon Prime interface and apps.
Got a favourite we didn’t include? Let us know in the comments, and we’ll be updating this piece regularly as the Amazon Prime film library changes.
Don’t have Prime? Take a look at our complete guide to Amazon Prime to find out more about the service and how to sign up.
The Children Act
Starring Emma Thompson as the high court judge Fiona Maye, The Children Act follows a court case in which Maye has to make a decision on whether or not to give a life-saving blood transfusion to a minor against his parents wishes due to their religion. This film is an intense watch, showing how the stress of a job results in a huge strain on personal life.
Fantastic Mr. Fox
This stop-motion animation is Wes Anderson’s take on a family film: anarchic, oddball, but consistently charming. George Clooney is the smooth-talking Mr. Fox, joined by a cast of Anderson regulars in a film that loosely adapts the classic Roald Dahl book. This is no Disney cartoon, but it’s a beautiful film no matter your age.
If Beale Street Could Talk
Director Barry Jenkins followed up Moonlight with If Beale Street Could Talk: a quieter, more subdued film exploring racial prejudice through the lines of an expecting young couple. It shouldn’t come as surprise that part of the film are tough going, but the central relationship is sweet and gentle, and there’s an unassuming optimism that carries both them – and the viewer – through to the end credits.
After the runaway success of Call Me By Your Name, Luca Guadagnino could have made almost any film he wanted – so he did an about turn from that sweet, hesitant romance and straight into abject horror. His remake of ’70s giallo classic Suspiria is nothing like the original – so adjust your expectations – but is a moody, meditative horror that uses a hypnotic Thom Yorke soundtrack to lull you into an almost trance-like state – before jolting you out with some striking moments of violence.
Marley & Me
Whilst the description of this film would have you believe that its just a light-hearted family comedy, Marley & Me deals with some extremely emotional subjects, and it’ll make you cry just as much as you laugh. Plus of course, you get lots and lots of adorable doggo moments – which is always a massive plus.
Martin Scorsese’s remake of a 1962 thriller has become more famous than the original – not least because it was flawlessly spoofed by The Simpsons. Robert De Niro is the terrifying rapist who seeks revenge on the lawyer he blames for putting him in prison, culminating in a thrilling boat-set final encounter.
Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy
John le Carré’s most famous spy novel is brought to the big screen in impeccable form in this adaptation, which condenses the labyrinthine plot without losing any of its vital intricacy. It helps that the cast is phenomenal, from Gary Oldman as the central spook George Smiley through to the likes of John Hurt, Mark Strong, Toby Jones, Colin Firth, and more.
One of the breakout films of 2019, Booksmart is a coming-of-age film following two over-achieving girls who realise on the last day of high school that they may have missed out on some fundamental teenaged experiences. Booksmart turns the American student stereotypes on their heads, and it’s pretty funny to boot.
A film about a abducted teenage girl living her life out in a garden shed was never likely to be a cheery affair, so the fact that Room is ultimately uplifting is a testament to the film. Brie Larson is the girl who’s lived the last few years in captivity, raising her son to believe that ‘Room’ is the entire world. Larson’s great, Jacob Tremblay is phenomenal as the kid, and the result is one of the most powerful films in years.
Attack the Block
Who do you want watching your back in an alien invasion? The police? The military? How about the resident teenagers of a London housing estate? Joe Cornish’s brilliant sci-fi/horror/comedy thing pits south London’s finest up against glow-in-the-dark alien nasties in a battle for the block. There’s a great sense of humour – though it never looks down on the locals – and some of the coolest looking extraterrestrials in years.
Mad Max: Fury Road
Mad Max probably should have never been brought back to our screens, and it certainly had no right to turn out so damn good. Original director George Miller revisited his most famous creation with Tom Hardy as Max and Charlize Theron as his co-lead Imperator Furiosa. Simply the best action movie in decades.
Terry Gilliam’s dystopian sci-fi classic is difficult viewing, but well worth it. A sort of lurid, fantastical take on 1984, Brazil merges hallucinatory visuals and a very ’80s aesthetic with a story that’s as dark as they get, and a cast that can pull off even its least expected moments, including Michael Palin, Robert DeNiro, and Jonathan Pryce.
Director Ben Wheatley is best known for dark, twisted thrillers, but here turns his hand to another genre entirely: the ’70s action blowout. A gun deal gone wrong leaves two groups of crooks trapped in a warehouse together with bullets flying every which way. Funny, anarchic, and constantly creative, this is probably the director’s best film yet.
Christian Bale transforms once again – and this time he’s practically unrecognisable as former Vice-President to George W. Bush, Dick Cheney. This surreal and unflinchingly honest biopic shows how the man rose to power through The White House, and ultimately played a huge part in some of the biggest political scandals of the noughties.
The Big Sick
Kumail Nanjiani stars in this rom-com adapted from his own life, which sees a relationship in its early stages shaken by serious illness. You just have to look at Nanjiani’s real-life marriage to know the film has a happy ending, but along the way it’s a smart comedy that’s refreshingly honest and free from the standard Hollywood cliches.
Hustlers came out of nowhere to become a massive hit. Based on a true story, Jennifer Lopez and Constance Wu are two New York strippers who find their income plummeting in the wake of the 2008 crash, and decide to make up for it by swindling the bankers that came out of the financial crisis unscathed.
Fresh off the controversial Star Wars: The Last Jedi, director Rian Johnson went on to make a film that no-one could hate. Knives Out is a riotous who-dunnit that skewers the genre, upends expectations, and features Daniel Craig delivering the best/worst southern accent you have ever heard.
Awkwafina may be best known in Hollywood for her comedic turns in Crazy Rich Asians and Ocean’s Eight, but it’s this dramatic lead turn that should make her a star. The true story of a Chinese family’s attempt to celebrate a grandmother’s life – without letting her know that she’s dying – is tragic, comic, and utterly beautiful.
The Imitation Game
The Imitation Game is a dramatic retelling of Alan Turing and the Enigma Machine, but there are multiple layers to it. On the one hand, you get to see the tense race at Bletchley Park as the team attempt to crack the code to gain the upper hand against the Germans in WW2. On the other hand, we see Turing’s personal struggle with his identity as a gay man in a time of intolerance. It’s a brilliant and nuanced historical watch.
Don’t be fooled by the bright summer colours and abundance of flowers – Midsommar is a horror film through and through, and certainly not for the squeamish. Starring Florence Pugh, this film follows a group who travel to a remote Swedish village where they get caught up in some twisted and disturbing rituals and festivities.
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