Amazon Prime Video may not be on the forefront of the streaming game, especially when compared with services like Netflix. However, it has a huge catalog of content to watch and enjoy. So, if you’ve exhausted all the best movies on Netflix and are looking for your next Sunday afternoon watch, here are the 30 best Amazon Prime Original movies you can watch.
List of The Best Amazon Prime Original Movies
Amazon has created movies in every genre, such as comedy, suspense, thriller, drama, and more. Some appealed to the audience, while others weren’t up to the expected standards. I have handpicked the best Amazon Prime original movies in various categories from every year since the company started its luck in the movie industry. Let’s dive into the world of entertainment the tech giant has created for us.
1. Hotel Transylvania: Transformania (2022)
Genre: Animation, Kids
Rotten Tomatoes: 52%
Cast: Andy Samberg, Selena Gomez, Kathryn Hahn
Directed by: Derek Drymon, Jennifer Kluska
Hotel Transylvania is an animated franchise created by comedy writer Todd Durham. There are four movies in the franchise that take a parodic approach towards the Universal Classic’s monsters like Dracula, Invisible Man, Frankenstein, The Mummy, and more. The fourth film in the installment titled Hotel Transylvania: Transformania creates humor by turning long known monsters into humans and vice-versa. The epic journey to find a crystal that can bring everything back to normal bonds the character together and shows positive growth. Overall, critics and audiences find Hotel Transylvania: Transformania slightly more entertaining than the other movies in the franchise. The animation quality could have been better. However, the animators did a fantastic job given a strict budget. It is the first film in the franchise to be created under Amazon Studios.
2. The Tomorrow War (2021)
Genre: Action, Science Fiction, Adventure
Rotten Tomatoes: 52%
Cast: Chris Pratt, Yvonne Strahovski, J.K. Simmons
Directed by: Chris McKay
As the name suggests, The Tomorrow War is a sci-fi movie that takes you to a battle in the future. The movie plot is unique, where soldiers from 2048 came back in time to 2021 to recruit everyone willing to go with them to save the future of humanity. Although it is an action movie, a secondary plot explores parents’ and children’s relationships while reminding us to respect the veterans. Chris Pratt comes back to play a confident young family man willing to make the jump for a cause. Such roles suit him better than any other actor, I can imagine. Overall, if you love sci-fi adventure movies, you will enjoy The Tomorrow War. Besides showing direct action, the film also explores the deep emotional connection with family, making it a great family movie.
3. Without Remorse (2021)
Genre: Action, Thriller, War
Rotten Tomatoes: 44%
Cast: Michael B. Jordan, Jamie Bell, Jodie Turner-Smith
Directed by: Stefano Sollima
Without Remorse (A.K.A Tom Clancy’s Without Remorse) is a 2021 American action thriller film based on Tom Clancy’s 1993 novel by the same name. The film was in development hell ( a relatively long period in development) for almost 20 years. Finally, director Stefano Sollima announced Michael B. Jordan as the lead role. The plot follows the life of John Kelly, a U.S. Navy SEAL who narrowly escapes a life-threatening attack that takes away his wife and unborn child from him. He voyages on a revenge mission to eliminate the Russian assassins behind the attack. The uneasiness between the U.S. and Russia can brew a new cold war. Overall, the movie shows a predictable plot that might upset some viewers. However, the action and Jordan’s acting is breathtaking. You can watch the film for Jordan’s outstanding performance and a patriotic feel.
4. Radioactive (2020)
Genre: Drama, Romance, History
Rotten Tomatoes: 63%
Cast: Rosamund Pike, Sam Riley, Aneurin Barnard, Anya Taylor-Joy
Directed by: Marjane Satrapi
A homage to the great scientist of our generation, Radioactive shows us the life of Marie Curie. The movie cannot determine how much of the story is fictional and which events are entirely accurate. However, it highlights the struggling life of a scientist because of her gender and how she changed the world to an unimaginable extent. Rosamund Pike, in the lead role, has done a fabulous job. However, the writing could have been more interesting. Still, this Amazon original will spark some curiosity about the prominent scientist, Marie Curie, in your mind. Overall, the movie touches on how Marie’s life went and how her discoveries were both boon and bane for humanity.
5. Black Box (2020)
Genre: Horror, Science Fiction, Thriller
Rotten Tomatoes: 70%
Cast: Mamoudou Athie, Phylicia Rashād, Amanda Christine
Directed by: Emmanuel Osei-Kuffour Jr.
Black Box is a sci-fi thriller with a futuristic concept of tapping into human consciousness. The story revolves around Nolan Wright, a single father with amnesia. Nolan loses his wife and memories in a car accident, making it difficult for him to carry out daily tasks. He decides to take an experimental treatment that can bring his memories back. However, the process is a cover for something else. The movie suspensefully builds up the plot but still lacks surprising elements. Overall, it’s a great watch with fabulous acting and complex characters.
6. The Boy from Medellín (2020)
Genre: Documentary, Music
Rotten Tomatoes: 75%
Cast: J Balvin
Directed by: Matthew Heineman
Director Matthew Heineman took it to the next step while directing this masterpiece making it one of the best Amazon original documentary. Instead of showing a typical journey from rags to riches, he showed the political turmoil and mental friction in popstar J Balvin’s life before he was set to play in a concert in Colombia. Balvin was under pressure to speak something that could tone down the student’s protest. However, he was unsure what to say. Balvin also describes the negative side of having fame and how it can be challenging to make everyone happy or stay true to others’ expectations. Overall, The Boy from Medellín is an emotional documentary about a boy who made it big with reggaeton music.
7. Pink: All I Know So Far (2021)
Rotten Tomatoes: 67%
Cast: Pink, Remi Bakkar, Khasan Brailsford
Directed by: Michael Gracey
Another music documentary on the list, Pink: All I Know So Far, shows the journey of American singer-songwriter Pink in her tour of 18 countries. She performed 156 shows throughout her tour, and the documentary creatively shows her role as a singer, mother, wife, and boss. The documentary shows footage from her performances, travel, off-camera interviews, and personal materials, weaving it to make a love letter for fans. If you find Pink’s songs appealing, this movie will take you inside her life and how she manages everything flawlessly.
8. The Electrical Life of Louis Wain (2021)
Genre: Drama, History
Rotten Tomatoes: 71%
Cast: Benedict Cumberbatch, Claire Foy, Richard Ayoade
Directed by: Will Sharpe
The Electrical Life of Louis Wain stars Benedict Cumberbatch in the lead role of eccentric artist Louis Wain. The movie deeps into his life and how he rose to fame in the late 19th century. His surreal, playful, and psychedelic cat paintings with big eyes reflected his declining mental state, which helped him stand out from the crowd of regular painters. It also shows Louis’s love for his wife and how she made his world bright, warm and electrical. Overall, the movie is artistic with beautiful visuals, heartbreaking quotes, and harsh reality combined to make a special and unique story.
9. Coming 2 America (2021)
Rotten Tomatoes: 49%
Cast: Eddie Murphy, Arsenio Hall, Morgan Freeman
Directed by: Craig Brewer
Coming 2 America is a sequel to 1988’s Coming to America, a silly comedy film with funny characters. Eddie Murphy reprised his role as Prince Akeem, now king Akeem with his hilarious performance to create an epic comedy to rule our hearts. The sequel doesn’t stand out much, but since it continues a 30-year-old story, the movie becomes unique in itself. The movie has repeatedly used quotes from the original film in various contexts making the humour nostalgic. So, if you have seen Coming to America, you can relate to this one. Otherwise, you might find the movie slightly dull and short on writing.
10. The Map of Tiny Perfect Things (2021)
Genre: Drama, Romance
Rotten Tomatoes: 76%
Cast: Kathryn Newton, Kyle Allen, Jermaine Harris
Directed by: Ian Samuels
The film follows a story of a quick-witted teen Mark, who is stuck in a time loop to live the same day repeatedly. He discovers another mysterious girl, Margaret, who is stuck in the same loop with him. The story follows as the duo falls in love trying to find happiness in the little things to make their day perfect. Later, we see a fantastic twist that leads the characters to decide how to or whether to get out of the loop or not. Both the characters are likable, and the film follows the tried and tested love story formula. Overall, it’s a warm and lovely movie you can enjoy in the coziness of your blanket.
11. One Night in Miami… (2020)
Rotten Tomatoes: 98%
Cast: Kingsley Ben-Adir, Eli Goree, Aldis Hodge
Directed by: Regina King
One Night in Miami… is a story of a young, brash Cassius Clay who emerges victorious as a Heavyweight Boxing Champion of the World from the Miami Beach Convention Center. However, due to strict laws and Cassius being a black person, he can’t celebrate his victory on his terms. He ends up spending time with three of his closest friends. The four represented the Pre-Black Power Movement who discuss their opinion about their responsibility as influencers about the current situation and wake up determined to bring change in the society and their people. All the movie’s plot is set up in a single night, which creates a strong story for the film. Overall, it is an inspirational story about how things changed for people of color after a few brave hearts made it their responsibility.
12. Sylvie’s Love (2020)
Genre: Drama, Romance
Rotten Tomatoes: 93%
Cast: Tessa Thompson, Nnamdi Asomugha, Aja Naomi King
Directed by: Eugene Ashe
Set in 1957, Sylvie’s Love shows how deep emotional connections can last the test of time and distance. Sylvie is trying her luck in the television industry, helping her father in his record store while waiting for her fiance. She meets Robert, a saxophonist, who plays behind a well-known but less-talented bandleader as a member of a jazz quartet. He, too, starts a part-time job in the same record store, and soon they spark up a close bond. As the summer ends, both of them go their different ways and meet years later only to find their feelings haven’t changed for each other. Overall, the movie is a mix of romance and music, creating a sweeping story. Tessa Thompson has played the lead role fabulously, raising her acting standards to another level.
13. Sound of Metal (2019)
Genre: Drama, Music
Rotten Tomatoes: 97%
Cast: Riz Ahmed, Olivia Cooke, Paul Raci
Directed by: Darius Marder
After reading the title, you might think of Real Steel. However, the emotional movie about music is more about identifying oneself. It follows the story of a punk-metal drummer Ruben, who begins to experience sudden and surprising hearing loss. His doctor tells him his condition will worsen rapidly, and he will soon suffer a complete hearing loss. It shakes the ground beneath Ruben’s feet as he can see his music career going out of his hand. His girlfriend checks him in a deaf house to save him from drug addiction, giving him a new life. He introspects his life as the people accept him as he is, and he soon rediscovers himself. The movie is a glimpse into the life of a struggling musician and how a person can still be happy even if everything he identifies with changes instantly.
14. Selah and the Spades (2019)
Rotten Tomatoes: 86%
Cast: Lovie Simone, Celeste O’Connor, Jharrel Jerome
Directed by: Tayarisha Poe
Five small groups run the underground world in the prestigious East Coast boarding school named Haldwell. Selah Summers is at the center of the most potent group called The Spades. Selah is an intelligent leader who works on a fine line between being feared and loved who occasionally lets go of those who seem like a threat to her rule. When her closest associate and best friend, Maxxie, is distracted by a new love, Selah hires a new protégé, Paloma. However, Paloma rose quickly to power among the factions threatening Selah’s ability and hold. Selah soon loses control of her emotions, becomes sinister, and goes beyond control. Overall, it’s a great movie with a solid plot and character development.
15. Blow the Man Down (2019)
Genre: Drama, Mystery, Comedy
Rotten Tomatoes: 98%
Cast: Morgan Saylor, Sophie Lowe, Margo Martindale
Directed by: Danielle Krudy, Bridget Savage Cole
This movie takes place in the fishy village of Easter Cove. The story follows Mary Beth & Priscilla Connolly, who have recently lost their mother. They now have to take care of the unpaid loans in the harsh life of their tiny village. Soon, they run into a dangerous man and end up being violent. To cover up what they did, they now have to go deeper into the workings of their village and unravel some groundbreaking truths about the place. The movie builds up a suspenseful plot and won’t let you leave your seat until the end.
16. Troop Zero (2019)
Genre: Comedy, Drama, Family
Rotten Tomatoes: 68%
Cast: McKenna Grace, Viola Davis, Jim Gaffigan
Directed by: Bert, Bertie
Troop Zero is an inspiring journey of misfits who band together and form a Birdie Scouts troop. The leader wants to win a talent show which will earn the group to record their voice for NASA’s Voyager Golden Record. NASA will send the sound in space which the leader believes will be heard by outer space life. They go through a great adventure to win their badges and enter the competition. The climax isn’t what we would expect but still delivers the best at the end. The movie is about the innocence of a child’s dream and her zeal and enthusiasm towards it.
17. The Vast of Night (2019)
Genre: Mystery, Science Fiction, Thriller
Rotten Tomatoes: 92%
Cast: Sierra McCormick, Jake Horowitz, Bruce Davis
Directed by: Andrew Patterson
The Vast of Night is a lo-fi science fiction movie set in 1950’s New Mexico. A young Radio Station DJ, Everett, and a Telephone Operator, Fay, meet up at the start of a high school basketball game and go on to their job. They discover a strange frequency interrupting the broadcast and try to get into its detail by asking the audience about it. They soon go around the town to dig deeper into the story, where they come to know about various such incidents with fine details. It is a dialogue-based film that heavily depends on the acting cast. The detailed dialogues and well-written script compensate for vomiting special effects to show mystery—a one-of-a-kind sci-fi that will remind you of your teenage chronicles.
18. The Big Sick (2017)
Genre: Comedy, Drama, Romance
Rotten Tomatoes: 98%
Cast: Kumail Nanjiani, Zoe Kazan, Holly Hunter
Directed by: Michael Showalter
Loosely based on his own story, Kumail Nanjiani co-wrote this romantic drama with his wife, Emily V. Gordon. Kumail is a Pakistani stand-up who meets Emily in one of his stand-up sessions. They soon develop a bond and decide to get together. However, Kumail is uncertain about how his typical Muslim family will take the news. All the worry goes off the scene when Emily falls critically ill, and he relates to her parents, and their bond grows stronger. It is one of the most relatable films since it heavily depends on real-life incidents. Some fictional writing creates humor, which makes the movie even better. Nominated for an Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay, The Big Sick is a rom-com movie you should not miss. It is undoubtedly one of the best Amazon original comedy movie.
19. Manchester by the Sea (2016)
Rotten Tomatoes: 96%
Cast: Casey Affleck, Michelle Williams, Kyle Chandler
Directed by: Kenneth Lonergan
Manchester by the Sea is an emotional drama about a janitor taking care of four buildings in Quincy, Massachusetts. He is an angry, mean, and sullen human who does not like socializing a lot. After breaking up with his ex-wife, he left his hometown and never to go back again. However, one winter evening, his fisherman brother calls him and tells him he is dying. He went back to his hometown, Manchester-by-the-Sea upstate, for further inquiry. To his surprise, his brother dies before meeting him in the hospital. He soon discovers that his brother has left his guardian to his 16-year-old son and left the property under his care until the kid comes of age. He makes the call and decides to stay in his hometown to care for his nephew. This movie is an emotional tearjerker exploring topics like past traumas and making the right decisions.
20. I Am Not Your Negro (2017)
Rotten Tomatoes: 99%
Cast: Samuel L. Jackson, James Baldwin, Martin Luther King
Directed by: Raoul Peck
James Baldwin wrote a letter to his literary agent in 1979, describing his next project, “Remember This House.” He had dedicated this book to three of his close friends, Medgar Evers, Malcolm X, and Martin Luther King, Jr. who were all assassinated inhumanly. The book was meant to be a revolutionary, personal account of their lives. Baldwin left the manuscript incomplete due to his sudden death in 1987. It has only 30 pages which director Raoul Peck envisioned in his own perspective. Samuel L. Jackson voices the documentary in a heart-touching tone which reminds us of the hopelessness people of color have in the U.S.
21. Beautiful Boy (2018)
Genre: Biography, Drama
Rotten Tomatoes: 67%
Cast: Steve Carell, Timothee Chalamet, Maura Tierney, Amy Ryan
Directed by: Felix van Groeningen
Beautiful Boy is an epic story about a father-son relationship. Nicolas, a teenager, seems to be performing well in every arena in his life, apart from being a meth addict. As the family knows about this, they show every emotion you can expect from any concerned parent. Steve Carell did a fabulous job portraying a supporting father and showing how much parents do for their children. The movie highlights how drug addiction can impact a whole family and not only the addict. I recommend this film for Steve’s acting as well. He is getting better in every movie he has played. From the skinny guy in The Office and the geek in 40-Year Old Virgin to bagging praise for an understanding father, Steve’s career is undoubtedly going off the roof.
22. The Report (2019)
Genre: Thriller, Drama
Rotten Tomatoes: 82%
Cast: Adam Driver, Annette Bening, Jon Hamm
Directed by: Scott Z. Burns
The Report is a thriller-drama film following FBI agent Daniel Jones and the Senate Intelligence Committee based on a true story. They investigate the CIA’s use of torture following the 9/11 attacks. It covers more than ten years’ worth of real-life political intrigue, taken directly from Jones’ 6700-page report. Adam Driver has done a fantastic job and again shows why he is one of the most talented young actors of our generation. The storytelling is brilliant, eye-opening, and enough to keep you engaged throughout the film. It is very relevant to modern times and exposes the U.S.’s tactics for intelligence. It is a definite must-watch for anyone who feels the government might be misusing its power.
23. You Were Never Really Here (2017)
Genre: Thriller, Drama
Rotten Tomatoes: 89%
Cast: Joaquin Phoenix, Judith Roberts, Ekaterina Samsonov
Directed by: Lynne Ramsay
The movie follows the story of Joe, an enforcer who cares for his mother and kills those who abuse the innocent. When he takes the case of retrieving the senator’s daughter from kidnappers, he finds himself hunted down. Now, he must do some hunting of his own and try to move past the demons that have been plaguing him for most of his life. Joaquim Phoenix portrays the role of Joe effortlessly showing so many emotions with minimal facial expressions. Guilt, depression, and a slight sense of hope can be seen in his eyes. With gritty realism and twisted moments, this film is an excellent thriller following the story of an ethical psychological killer. It is one of the darkest Amazon original movie hosted on the platform.
24. Paterson (2016)
Genre: Comedy, Drama, Romance
Rotten Tomatoes: 96%
Cast: Adam Driver, Golshifteh Farahani, Barry Shabaka Henley
Directed by: Jim Jarmusch
Paterson is a bus driver who loves to write poems, and the whole movie takes us through his daily routine of mundane tasks. He cherishes his wife Laura, who has an ever-changing ambition, by dedicating a love poem. He also notices the little things around him and loves to write about the simple things we usually ignore. This movie does not have an exciting plot and focuses on the life of an ordinary man, which makes it beautiful. It soothes the viewers and puts them in a meditative state. I love Adam Driver and his performances; Paterson is no different. The movie is one of the early Amazon originals that raised the standards for the platform.
25. Photograph (2019)
Genre: Drama, Romance
Rotten Tomatoes: 79%
Cast: Nawazuddin Siddiqui, Sanya Malhotra, Farrukh Jaffar
Directed by: Ritesh Batra
Photograph follows the life of a photographer in Mumbai. He takes pictures of tourists and ordinary people to make a living. His mother keeps asking him about marrying someone soon. Frustrated, he shows her an image of a simple and brilliant girl’s photo he took recently. His mother shows interest in meeting her, which leads him to track the girl down and convince her to portray him as his fiancé to shrug off his mother. The girl agrees to a temporary arrangement, but their relationship grows strong in a few meetings. The movie ends with an open ending for the audience to conclude. An epic film with a simple plot and breathtaking acting, the Photograph is a story of an ordinary man in a big city.
26. The Lost City of Z (2017)
Genre: Adventure, Drama, History
Rotten Tomatoes: 86%
Cast: Charlie Hunnam, Robert Pattinson, Tom Holland, Sienna Miller
Directed by: James Gray
The Lost City of Z tells an incredible story of British explorer Percy Fawcett based on actual events. At the beginning of the 20th century, he travels into the Amazon and discovers evidence of a previously unknown and advanced civilization that may have once resided in the region. Despite being ridiculed by the scientific establishment who consider indigenous populations as savages, Fawcett – supported by his wife, son, and aide de camp returns to his beloved jungle to prove his case. The story also sheds light on his mysterious disappearance in 1925. Overall, the movie is a fair watch with a simple adventure plot.
27. Suspiria (2018)
Genre: Horror, Thriller
Rotten Tomatoes: 65%
Cast: Dakota Johnson, Tilda Swinton, Mia Goth
Directed by: Luca Guadagnino
Suspiria is a remake of the 1977 film with the same name. It follows the journey of Susie Bannion, a young American ballerina who travels to Berlin to learn dancing at the world’s most renowned school, Madame Blanc’s Markos Tanz Company. She comes to know that one of the ex-student has been murdered on her very first day at the school. She quickly joins the dots and suspects that the school is involved in homicides. Her intuitions are solidified when Sarah, one of the girls at the school, tells her that the victim, Pat, has confided to her about a terrifying secret before her death. This Amazon original movie is terrifying with an uneasy plot. It might not stand in line with the original film. Still, it can send chills through your bones.
28. 7500 (2020)
Genre: Suspense, Action
Rotten Tomatoes: 71%
Cast: Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Omid Memar, Aylin Tezel
Directed by: Patrick Vollrath
Starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt, 7500 is a tearjerker that follows an intense plot in an airplane. The movie starts with co-pilot Tobias Ellis doing his routine to take off the flight flawlessly. However, soon the cabin crew hears passengers screaming, and a group of terrorist storms the cockpit. The plot grows intense when Tobias tries to solve the situation politely, trying to save the passengers while avoiding any more enormous catastrophe. The movie consists of a strong, suspenseful plot and deep characters, making it a great thriller.
29. Love & Friendship (2016)
Genre: Comedy, Drama
Rotten Tomatoes: 96%
Cast: Kate Beckinsale, Chloë Sevigny, Xavier Samuel
Directed by: Whit Stillman
Love and friendship follow Lady Susan Vernon, a widowed but young and seductive woman. She is trying to find a suitable partner for her daughter and herself. The polite society gossips about her dalliances, so she decides to move to her in-laws to move forward with her search. She successfully entices Reginald DeCourcy in her attempts. However, complexity in the story grows as the love affair doesn’t go as planned. Overall, the movie is a glimpse of the 1790s life of a cunning woman. It is a sensual drama with a humorous plot and appealing acting.
30. The Handmaiden (2016)
Genre: Thriller, Drama, Romance
Rotten Tomatoes: 95%
Cast: Kim Min-hee, Kim Tae-ri, Ha Jung-woo
Directed by: Park Chan-wook
The movie takes place in the 1930s in a Korean province under Japanese rule. Hideko is an heiress to a fortune who will soon marry her Uncle Kouzuki. A girl named Sookee comes as a handmaiden for Hideko. However, she is a pickpocket sent to the palace by a con man whose plan is to seduce and marry Hideko. He is willing to send her to an asylum and take away all the fortune for himself. The plan begins to fail as Sookee develops strong emotions for Hideko and decides to listen to her heart. Overall, the movie is a glimpse of how emotions can take over our minds defying the boundaries of love.
Watch These Amazon Prime Video Movies
Amazon Studios is relatively new in the movie production game. That said, streaming movies and creating them is a whole different game. Amazon has given us some great original content throughout the years. It might not compete directly with Hollywood movies. Still, it has paved the path for streaming services to try their luck in creating quality movies for their audience. We discussed some of the prominent film under Amazon’s banner. I hope you found some great films in your favorite genre in this list.