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    73 Of The Best Movies To Stream On Amazon Prime Video In September

    Apollo 13, Do the Right Thing, Everybody's Talking About Jamie, and more great titles you'll want to stream this month.

    We hope you love the shows and movies we recommend! Just so you know, BuzzFeed may collect a share of revenue or other compensation from the links on this page. Oh, and FYI: Platform, prices, and other availability details are accurate as of time of posting.

    1. *(500) Days of Summer (2009)

    Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Zooey Deschanel stare at each other at dinner
    Fox Searchlight/Courtesy Everett Collection

    Perhaps the most outstanding thing about (500) Days of Summer  — more so than the incredible indie soundtrack, Zooey Deschanel's manic pixie dreamgirl rise to fame, and that it makes every person walking through Ikea pretend that it is their dream house —  is that every time you watch it a different member of the romantic couple is the villain. Is Joseph Gordon-Levitt's Tom too idealistic, clingy, controlling, and unrealistic? Is Deschanel's Summer leading him on, afraid of commitment, and toying with his feelings? Everyone you ask has a different (VERY STRONG) opinion. The beauty of the script and performances, however, is that it accurately portrays an ill-fated relationship where neither party is the hero or the villain. They're just both people who at that time are not compatible for whatever reason. You've just never seen it on film before. 

    Watch it now on Amazon Prime

    2. Adaptation (2002)

    Two Nicolas Cage's riding in a car
    Columbia Pictures/Courtesy Everett Collection

    What’s better than one Nic Cage in a movie? How about two? The National Treasure actor (and just national treasure) pulls double duty playing twins in this EXTREMELY meta film written by Charlie Kaufman (the mind behind Being John Malkovich and last year’s I’m Thinking of Ending Things.) Cage plays a fictionalized version of Kaufman who has been tasked with adapting Susan Orlean’s book The Orchid Thief for the big screen, while also playing a completely made up twin brother. Meryl Streep plays the fictionalized Orlean, a journalist investigating a ring of orchid poachers led by Chris Cooper’s John Laroche. The film is unlike anything I’ve ever seen and secured Oscar noms for Cage, Cooper, and Streep (with Cooper taking home the statue.) Do you think I can win a Pulitzer by penning a novel about me writing this BuzzFeed list? 

    Watch it on Amazon Prime

    3. Alien (1979)

    Yaphet Kotto, Sigourney Weaver, and Ian Holm stand in the control room of a space ship
    20th Century Fox/Courtesy Everett Collection

    Alien is equal parts analog sci-fi adventure and horror film of the slasher variety (only instead of Michael Myers it’s the titular alien doing the killing.) When the spaceship Nostromo and its seven-man crew touches down to an abandoned spaceship because of a distress call, they end up leaving with a stowaway. The alien then proceeds to slowly kill the crew one-by-one à la Jason Voorhees with a much longer head. The film skyrocketed Sigourney Weaver (playing the iconic Ripley) to stardom and would spawn several sequels/prequels/spinoffs including Aliens, the rare example of a second movie being just as good as the first. This is also a classic cat movie if you’re into that. 

    Watch it on Amazon Prime.   

    4. Anaconda (1997)

    Jennifer Lopez bathes in a river
    Columbia Pictures/Courtesy Everett Collection

    Jennifer Lopez is having a moment. She’s back with Ben Affleck. She’s looking younger than ever. And we can’t forget the Super Bowl Halftime Show and award-winning performance in Hustlers from the pre-pandemic days. I’d therefore like to take this opportunity to highlight a cult classic B-movie gem starring Ms. Lopez. In Anaconda, J.Lo stars as a documentary filmmaker searching for an indigenous tribe in the Amazon only to stumble upon a massive killer anaconda. The horror film is a schlocky romp with Ice Cube, Owen Wilson, and Danny Trejo all making appearances as well. I’d highly recommend watching this in a group setting because screaming/laughing/watching an anaconda digest a human is always more fun with others. 

    Watch it on Amazon Prime

    5. Annette (2021)

    Adam Driver wears sunglasses in the back of a van
    Amazon Studios/Courtesy Everett Collection

    Let me say right off the bat that this is NOT a film for everyone. The rock opera musical from French auteur Leos Carax (Holy Motorsperformed well amongst the elite cinephiles present at its Cannes Film Festival premiere, but its polarizing, slightly obtuse nature will make it a difficult sit for many. Adam Driver plays an edgy stand-up comedian who falls in love with Marion Cotillard’s opera singer. While Driver and Cotillard throw the full force of their acting power into the roles to mesmerizing effect, the structure of the movie, mimicking that of an opera, is much slower than a traditional movie musical. For those in love with French cinema and looking for a challenge, however, this could be a rewarding way to spend an evening. 

    Watch it on Amazon Prime

    6. Annie (1982)

    Bernadette Peters, Carol Burnett, and Tim Curry look for a locket
    Columbia Pictures/Courtesy Everett Collection

    This is far and away one of the greatest movie musicals of the last 50 years, and while two more film adaptations have hit screens since, the original Annie is still the best. To start we have a no-skips, only hits lineup of songs: “Tomorrow,” “It’s the Hard Knock Life,” “We Got Annie,” “You’re Never Fully Dressed Without a Smile,” and “Easy Street.” And not only are they each catchy little brain worms, but the choreography accompanying them is exquisite. Grace dancing through Daddy Warbucks’ mansion? ICONIC. And then of course we have the performances from the late Albert Finney as Warbucks; from Carol Burnett in her bathtub of gin as Miss Hannigan; and from Tim Curry and Bernadette Peters as a pair of con artists. BRB, I’m gonna go watch Miss Hannigan get her foot stuck in a banister right now.

    Watch it on Amazon Prime.   

    7. *Apollo 13 (1995)

    Bill Paxton, Kevin Bacon, and Tom Hanks in a space ship
    Universal/Courtesy Everett Collection

    Houston, we have a problem. Or as this Ron Howard-directed film shows, actually a number of problems in swift succession. The nine-time Oscar nominated Best Picture contender tells the true story of the ill-fated NASA mission attempting to be the third ship to touch down on the moon. When a liquid oxygen tank stirring fan causes one tank to explode (don't you hate it when that happens?) the three astronauts abort any attempt to land on the moon and instead just fight to stay alive. Titanic researcher Bill Paxton, America's dad Tom Hanks, and Kevin Bacon (who you are connected with in less than six people) are an energetic and charismatic trio to watch and that score will keep you on the edge of your seat. Also I think about this sadistic game show square peg/round hole moment all the time. It's basically Chopped but in outer space. 

    Watch it now on Amazon Prime

    8. Arrival (2016)

    Amy Adams putting on an orange hazmat suit
    Jan Thijs/Paramount Pictures/Courtesy Everett Collection

    It is still difficult for me to think of Arrival without thinking of Amy Adams’ egregious Oscar snub for the role. Should have won the category, but wasn’t even nominated. But I’m getting sidetracked. This Best Picture nominee directed by Denis Villeneuve (whose Dune comes out this fall) focuses on a linguist (Adams) who is asked to help communicate with aliens, using their inkblot language, when giant spaceships touch down on earth. The grounded sci-fi film is exquisitely shot and features an entrancing score. This is also the film that gave us the classic Amy-Adams-with-a-white-board meme

    Watch it on Amazon Prime.  

    9. *As Good As It Gets (1997)

    Jack Nicholson and Helen Hunt at a dinner table together
    Sony Pictures/Courtesy Everett Collection

    A rom-com in the Oscar race? Now there's something you don't see every day. And yet this romantic comedy about a writer with OCD falling in love with his favorite waitress nabbed seven Academy Award nominations, earned both Helen Hunt and Jack Nicholson trophies, and could have swiped the top prize had it not the misfortune for coming out the same year as the juggernaut Titanic. Perhaps for 2021, the film tackles one too many hot-button issues with not quite enough finesse (the way we think about mental illness certainly has evolved) but the sequence of Hunt, Nicholson, and Greg Kinnear's gay artist roadtripping as a chaotic trio to ask money from Kinnear's estranged parents is just the right amount of zany and heartbreaking. It also should be noted that the masterful Maya Rudolph has her first ever speaking role here as "Policewoman." ICONIC. 

    Watch it now on Amazon Prime

    10. *The Best Man (1999)

    Taye Diggs and Terrence Howard stare at each other
    Universal/Courtesy Everett Collection

    It's a romance. It's a drama. It's a comedy. It's a big beautiful mess of high-caliber Black actors giving performances that transcend genre. At the heart of the story is Taye Diggs's Harper, who is reconnecting with his college friends over the weekend of his best friend's wedding in which he is (you guessed it) the best man. But of course to add a bit of drama, he previously had a one night stand with the soon-to-be bride...and wrote about it in a book...that the friend group is in the process of reading. You gotta love a friend group with HISTORY. And then we got the no-weak-links cast including Lost's Harold Perrineau, Empire's Terrence Howard, Rosewood's Morris Chestnut and of course Nia Long, who I know from Big Momma's House. And to remind you all that Regina Hall has been doing great work for literal decades, she pops up here as Candy the stripper. If there is one working actor who does not have an Oscar nomination and should it is Regina Hall. 

    Watch it now on Amazon Prime

    11. Big Fish (2003)

    Ewan McGregor walking in the woods with a key around his neck
    Columbia Pictures/Courtesy Everett Collection

    There are very few American directors with a style as instantly recognizable as Tim Burton, whose zany gothic fantasies include Beetlejuice, Edward Scissorhands, and Alice in Wonderland. At home within this lineup is the fantastical Big Fish, which follows Will Bloom (Billy Crudup) and his dying father (played by Albert Finney and Ewan McGregor depending on the time) as the former tries to untangle fact from fiction in the latter’s life story. The past is created through a series of colorful vignettes as witches, giants, and werewolves wander through the old man’s tales. A raucous cast including Helena Bonham Carter, Danny DeVito and Steve Buscemi bring the story to life, and the ending is magical. 

    Watch it on Amazon Prime.

    12. The Big Sick (2017)

    Kumail Nanjiana and Zoe Kazan talk
    Lionsgate/Courtesy Everett Collection

    So let’s say you dated a girl for five months and then she broke up with you. And then she went to the hospital and was put into a coma. And then her parents came and they knew you broke up. And then you just had to sit with them awkwardly in the waiting room because you did still care about the girl. Thus is the premise of The Big Sick and also the real-life events surrounding the romance of the films writers Emily V. Gordon and Kumail Nanjiani (who is also the star). One of the best romantic comedies of the past decade, this film also examines interracial dating in a smart nuanced way and is stacked with your comedy faves including Holly Hunter, Ray Romano, and Bo Burnham (whose recent comedy special Inside is a masterpiece.) Now is also a great time to watch The Big Sick as ripped Kumail will be in Marvel’s Eternals this fall. 

    Watch it on Amazon Prime.  

    13. Bottle Shock (2008)

    Alan Rickman looks at a mason jar full of wine while Chris Pine looks on
    Freestyle Releasing/Courtesy Everett Collection

    Once upon a time, I was home for the summer from college and rented this film from the library because I love Alan Rickman (Harry Potter, Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves, Sense and Sensibility, I could go on.) I found the movie captivating and demanded the DVD for Christmas. Rickman stars as a snobbish connoisseur of French wine who decides to throw a competition between the lauded French wineries and the looked-down-upon Californian upstarts (the leads of which are Bill Pullman and Chris Pine). Rickman is an absolute delight, and I (someone who buys $4 watermelon rose from Trader Joes) was mesmerized by the true story that put Napa Valley on the map in the ‘70s. Perhaps uncork a bottle of wine and settle in for the evening?   

    Watch it on Amazon Prime.  

    14. Brittany Runs a Marathon (2019)

    Jillian Bell runs down the street
    Amazon Studios/Courtesy Everett Collection

    As something of a marathon expert (I’ve written a whole book about the sport), I can personally attest to the tremendous amount of work that goes into running 26.2 miles as well as euphoric emotional payoff of finishing. This Jillian Bell film (based on a true story) follows Brittany as she signs up for the New York City Marathon in an attempt to get her life back on track. The heartwarming comedy also stars Michaela Watkins (Search Party) and Utkarsh Ambudkar (Pitch Perfect) and is the first feature film to actually shoot on location during the marathon. Watching Brittany finish her race is incredibly inspiring, and will make you want to sign up for a marathon as well. 

    Watch it on Amazon Prime.  

    15. Burlesque (2010)

    Cher performs on a burlesque stage
    Screen Gems/Courtesy Everett Collection

    Okay so this film has a 36% on Rotten Tomatoes and is generally considered to be a bad movie BUT perhaps so bad it’s good? If you are a fan of the movie musical, and if you are a fan of high camp, and if you are a fan of the female pop star then this might be right up your alley. Christina Aguilera (great singer, okay actor) is playing a down-on-her-luck woman in LA who stumbles upon a burlesque club owned by Cher and begins her rise to fame. The cast is full of so-so actors from the aughts (Cam Gigandet, Julianne Hough, Diana Agron) all of whom are giving what would I say are at the very least entertaining performances. Is it Citizen Kane? No. Is it a whole lot of fun? Absolutely. Oh, and Stanley Tucci is in it, so that’s another reason to tune in. 

    Watch it on Amazon Prime.  

    16. Burn After Reading (2008)

    Brad Pitt (with a nose bleed) and Frances McDormand sit in leather chairs
    Focus Features/Courtesy Everett Collection

    The Coen brothers know how to perfectly entangle in-over-their-heads yokels into a high-stakes crime plot. And reminiscent of Fargo or No Country for Old Men (although much less serious than the latter), they here focus on a pair of dunderheaded gym employees, the gun-chomping Chad Feldheimer (Brad Pitt) and the plastic surgery–obsessed Linda Litzke (three-time Oscar winner Frances McDormand), into a CIA conspiracy. George Clooney, John Malkovich, and Tilda Swinton are also quickly caught up in the drama, and before you know it, there’s a dead body in the closet and a government cover-up. I’m still slightly infuriated that this film didn’t get more awards season love. Brad Pitt should have landed at least a nom for this GIF alone. 

    Watch it on Amazon Prime.   

    17. Burning (2018)

    Yoo Ah-In, Jeon Jong-seo, and Steven Yeun watch a sunset from a back porch
    Well Go USA/Courtesy Everett Collection

    Yes this is a 2.5 hour long Korean film with subtitles but BOY OH BOY is it worth it. Watching Burning, which is based on the short story “Barn Burning” by Haruki Murakami, was one of the most enjoyable viewing experiences I’ve had in recent memory. The film (which the Oscars snubbed) begins as a lyrical love story between Jong-Su (Yoo Ah-in) and Hae-mi (Jeon Jong-seo), but just as the two seem to have found a rhythm, they are interrupted by the suave, charismatic Ben (Minari’s Oscar-nominated Steven Yeun). Not knowing what will happen is the beauty of this film, so I won’t say more, but like Parasite  it pivots into something more mysterious, subverting expectations repeatedly along the way. Please do yourself a favor and go stream it.    

    Watch it on Amazon Prime.  

    18. Catch Me If You Can (2002)

    Leonardo Di Caprio walks through an airport with a whole group of flight attendants on his arm
    Dreamworks/Courtesy Everett Collection

    Watching this Steven Spielberg film about ‘60s con man Frank Abagnale will either make you really thankful we now have technology or really annoyed they’re stopping you from pulling off jobs. Leonardo DiCaprio stars as Abagnale, a street-smart teenager who manages to pull off a string of scams including impersonating a pilot, a doctor, and a lawyer. He is tirelessly hunted down by Tom Hanks’s FBI agent Carl Hanratty in a cat-and-mouse game both popcorn-munchingly entertaining and incredibly satisfying. All my Amy Adams stans will also enjoy watching her play a young hospital nurse with braces who DiCaprio seduces in one of her earlier film roles.     

    Watch it on Amazon Prime

    19. Climax (2018)

    Romain Guillermic, Sharleen Temple, Gizelle Palmer, Sarah Bella, Lea Vlamos, and Sofia Boutella all dance in a circle
    A24/Courtesy Everett Collection

    Let’s just say this. If you’re having a rave in a secluded old schoolhouse in the middle of winter, PRAY that the punch is not spiked with LSD. This psychological horror film, starring Miss Blades-for-Legs from Kingsman herself Sofia Boutella, begins innocent enough when a French dance troupe gathers for a party post-rehearsal. As the effects of the drugs take hold, however, the night speeds into a dark and bloody haze set to the pulsing beats of house music. The opening dance sequence is something to behold whether or not you have the stomach for where the film ventures later. The cast are all trained dancers rather than actors, and the long takes allow them to fully showcase their moves….before they die.     

    Watch it on Amazon Prime.  

    20. Clockwatchers (1998)

    Jamie Kennedy, Parker Posey, Toni Collettte, Lisa Kudrow, Alanna Ubach, and Debra Jo Rupp all stare at something off camera
    Artistic License/Courtesy Everett Collection

    Not to be confused with Clockstoppers, the 2002 film about teens with magic watches, Clockwatchers is a ‘90s comedy about four women who become friends working as temps together at an office. Parker Posey is the feisty ringleader of the group, which also includes Phoebe Buffay herself, Lisa Kudrow, Euphoria’s Alanna Ubach, and the world’s greatest living actor, Toni Collette. When a string of office thefts throw suspicion onto the women, they must band together, forming new bonds, overcoming obstacles, and solving the workplace mystery in the process. This list is basically just your syllabus for watching Toni Collette films, and this is a great place to start. 

    Watch it on Amazon Prime

    21. *Closer (2004)

    Julia Roberts and Jude Law look at a piece of art work
    Columbia Pictures/Courtesy Everett Collection

    Oh what a tangled web this movie is. Jude Law falls in love with Natalie Portman. But then also Julia Roberts. But then Julia Roberts is with Clive Owen. Until she leaves him for Jude Law. Who leaves Natalie Portman. Who then sleeps with Clive Owen. Who wants to get back with Julia Roberts. Basically this foursome is a HORNY MESS of beautiful people trying to figure out their lives and relationships and we're just along for the ride. All four of these Oscar-nominated actors are at the peak of their game with Natalie Portman shining especially bright. A fascinating character study with juicy dialogue and exquisite early aughts fashion, this is a film not nearly enough people are talking about. 

    Watch it now on Amazon Prime

    22. Cold War (2018)

    Tomasz Kot and Joanna Kulig lean against each other on the floor of a bathroom
    Amazon Studios/Courtesy Everett Collection

    The first time I tried to see Cold War in theaters, I had to leave 10 minutes in because the man sitting behind me said he’d found bedbugs in his chair. Nevertheless! I had such high hopes for the movie that I booked a ticket at a different theater the next day (post nuking my clothes in the dryer and scrubbing down in the shower), and I was not disappointed. This Oscar-nominated Polish film from Pawel Pawlikowski follows the star-crossed 20-year-long romantic saga of Zula and Wiktor during the Cold War. Shot in stark black and white, the story is as beautiful as it is heartbreaking. A romance for the ages.  

    Watch it on Amazon Prime

    23. *Daddy Day Care (2003)

    Steve Zahn, Jeff Garlin, and Eddie Murphy stand in front of a couch full of kids
    Columbia/Courtesy Everett Collection

    So if you wander on over to Rotten Tomatoes, you will find that the critics really ripped this family comedy apart, BUT I would like to make the case here that these snobbish critics are incapable of identifying a fun family comedy if it threw a dirty diaper in their face. The Princess Diaries is rotten according to the critics. As is The Lizzie McGuire Movie. So is Big Fat Liar, and RV, and Agent Cody Banks, and Cheaper By the Dozen, and Hocus Pocus. Hell, Rotten Tomatoes gave a 34% to Home Alone 2 one of the most beloved Christmas classics of our generation. All of this is to say, that Daddy Day Care is a quirky little delight about Eddy Murphy going toe-to-toe with Anjelica Huston as rival day care operators. Oscar winner Regina King is a pleasure as Eddy Murphy's wife and everyone's favorite anxious dad from The White Lotus, Steve Zahn, is hilarious as a dorky childcare worker. So give it a watch, Rotten Tomatoes be damned!

    Watch it now on Amazon Prime

    24. *Do the Right Thing (1989)

    Spike Lee stands with a a pizza box talking to Danny Aiello
    Universal/Courtesy Everett Collection

    Many films begin to lose cultural relevance the moment they leave the theater (if they even ever had any to begin with) but Spike Lee's early masterpiece seems to only gain relevance with each passing day. The film, which Lee wrote, directed, and produced, he also stars in as Mookie, who wanders around Bed-Stuy on a blistering hot summer day. He shows us the neighborhood and its many eclectic inhabitants as the heat and tension between the Black and Italian community members rise. The way the film stares racial violence square in the face made many people uncomfortable when it was released leading to it largely being snubbed from awards. The film has only grown in stature over the years, however, as the problems addressed in 1989 continue to plague the nation. Do the Right Thing is more than just a great film, it is a necessary indictment of the world we live in. 

    Watch it now on Amazon Prime

    25. An Education (2009)

    Carey Mulligan hangs onto Peter Sarsgaard's arm
    Kerry Brown/Sony Pictures Classics/Courtesy Everett Collection

    There are movies that can catapult an actor to stardom, and An Education was that film for Carey Mulligan. Before her turns in The Great Gatsby and Promising Young Woman, she played the 16-year-old lead in this British coming-of-age drama. Bright, young, and naïve, she is easy prey for Peter Sarsgaard’s older con man as he seduces and grooms her. With beautiful ‘60s sets and costumes, the film is lush and scored a Best Picture nomination along with one for Mulligan’s breakthrough performance. Here’s hoping that before too long, we can say "Oscar-winner Carey Mulligan" because she certainly deserves it. This film was also the coming out party for Rosamund Pike, another actress who deserves a little gold statue. 

    Watch it on Amazon Prime.  

    26. *Everybody's Talking About Jamie (2021)

    Max Harwood stands with a garment bag over his arm
    Deam Rogers/20th Century Studios/Courtesy Everett Collection

    If you're a musical and you can get me listening to your song on repeat for a week, then you've got my support. And my Spotify certainly knows I've been jamming to "And You Don't Even Know It" nonstop. The film, based on the smash hit, Olivier Award-nominated West End musical, follows a teenage boy named Jamie (newcomer Max Harwood) who dreams of becoming a drag queen. The songs are certified bops and the glitzy choreography is a joy to watch. The supporting cast including the never-bad Richard E. Grant as his drag mentor, Sarah Lancashire as the supportive mother every queer kid wishes they had, and Lauren Patel as Jamie's peppy best friend also bolster the film. Inject this kind of pure, wholesome, LGBTQ+ fun straight into my arm please. 

    Watch it on September 17 on Amazon Prime

    27. The Farewell (2019)

    Awkwafina leens on Zhao Shuzhen's shoulder at the dinner table
    A24/Courtesy Everett Collection

    Apparently in China, it is not an uncommon practice to hide death prognoses from patients in hopes that they will have a higher quality of life as they near life’s end. In this film, directed by Lulu Wang and based on her life, the Wang family receive news that the matriarch, Nai Nai, has terminal lung cancer. Instead of sharing that news, they decide to stage a wedding as an excuse to bring the whole family to China to see their grandmother one final time. Billi (Awkwafina) tags along but is extremely uneasy about lying to her grandmother so excessively. What transpires will not only make you laugh, but also cry, sigh, smile, and feel a gamut of other emotions as the film looks at the importance of family and what ends we’ll go to, to protect the ones we love.    

    Watch it on Amazon Prime.  

    28. Fast Times at Ridgemont High (1982)

    Robert Romanus and Sean Penn check out at a record store
    Universal/Courtesy Everett Collection

    You can never have enough ‘80s high school comedies, and Fast Times at Ridgemont High fits in perfectly with the Ferris Bueller and Bill & Teds of the world. The coming-of-age comedy was written by Cameron Crowe (who would go on to write/direct a string of successes like Jerry Maguire and Say Anything) and directed by Amy Heckerling (Clueless), so you’re in good hands. While Sean Penn’s stoner character at war with his history teacher is perhaps the most memorable p(l)ot of the movie, the main focus is on Stacy and Mark (Jennifer Jason Leigh and Brian Backer) who are trying to find their way romantically with the help of some older students. One of those meandering films that seemingly goes everywhere and nowhere at the same time, this 90-minute film is a quick treat. It’s also Nicolas Cage’s film debut! 

    Watch it on Amazon Prime.   

    29. Forgetting Sarah Marshall (2008)

    Mila Kunis and Jason Segel wearing tropical clothes
    Universal/Courtesy Everett Collection

    Yeah yeah yeah. Jason Segal, Mila Kunis, and Kristen Bell are great in this comedy about a man who goes on vacation to forget his ex-girlfriend only to find her at the same Hawaiian resort with her new boyfriend. The thing that kicks this gut buster into overdrive however are the scene-stealing turns from the support cast. This is, of course, the movie that launched Russell Brand (albeit with a rapid meteoric rise and fall) to American stardom as Bell's new rockstar boyfriend. But we've also got Paul Rudd's dumb surf instructor, Jonah Hill's pothead waiter, and Bill Hader as the advice-hocking brother. My favorite addition to the vacation however are Jack McBrayer and Maria Thayer as the virgin newlyweds experiencing sex for the first time. "If God was a city planner, he would not put a playground next to a sewage system." A classic line

    Watch it now on Amazon Prime

    30. Frozen River (2008)

    Melissa Leo stands behind a cash register
    Sony Pictures Classics/Courtesy Everett Collection

    We’ve got another crime drama set in the snow, only this time it's Melissa Leo at the center of the action (a rarity as the actor is too often kept from playing leads.) Leo, who was nominated for an Oscar for the role, plays a beleaguered discount store employee living in back country of upstate New York. Hard up for money, she begins working with a Mohawk bingo-parlor employee (Misty Upham) to traffic illegal immigrants across the Canadian border. The setting and subject matter are bleak, but the film (written and directed by Courtney Hunt) delves into the issues of race, class, and the treatment of Native Americans as it travels back and forth across the St. Lawrence River. 

    Watch it on Amazon Prime.  

    31. The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo (2011)

    Rooney Mara reads a newspaper
    Anders Linden/Columbia Pictures/Courtesy Everett Collection

    I swear there will be things on this list aside from snowy thrillers, but here’s another one just in case. Back in the ‘00s, Stieg Larsson’s trilogy of Swedish psychological crime thrillers sold like gangbusters, and were then adapted into a trio of Swedish-language films starring Noomi Rapace. Fresh off their success David Fincher (Mank) decided to adapt the books for an American film starring Rooney Mara as the punk cyberhacker Lisbeth Salander and Daniel Craig as journalist Mikael Blomkvist, The unlikely pair team up investigate the missing persons case of a girl who disappeard 40 years earlier. While this part one of the trilogy never received its sequels, it is a harrowing and captivating mystery, and Mara’s Best Actress-nominated performance is worth it in and of itself.   

    Watch it on Amazon Prime.  

    32. Guess Who's Coming to Dinner? (1967)

    Katharine Hepburn sits on a chair talking to Katharine Houghton and Sidney Poitier on a couch
    Columbia Pictures/Courtesy Everett Collection

    One of Prime’s older offerings, this classic drama from the '60s was one of the first films to depict interracial marriage positively (especially bold given that interracial marriage was illegal in many states just months before the film’s release. Watch Loving for more information on that). Sidney Poitier and Katharine Houghton play a recently engaged couple meeting each other’s families for the first time in what is an often tense, sometimes funny, and ultimately hopeful film. Katharine Hepburn, who plays the mother, snagged a Best Actress Oscar, and the film was nominated for 10 Oscars overall. Watching it serves as both a celebration of how far we’ve come as a society, but also as a reminder of how difficult things were and still are for many couples from diverse backgrounds. 

    Watch it on Amazon Prime.  

    33. Hook (1991)

    Dustin Hoffman threatens Robin Williams with his hook hand.
    Tristar Pictures/Courtesy Everett Collection

    Far be it from me to exclude a film starring the late, great Robin Williams from this list. The comedy legend took the role of Peter Pan in Steven Spielberg’s reimagining of the classic tale. Now all grown up and having completely forgotten Neverland, Peter is dragged back into that world when Captain Hook (Dustin Hoffman) kidnaps his children. Julia Roberts appears as Tinker Bell and Maggie Smith plays Wendy in a fun cast, and the movie was nominated for five Academy Awards. Just know that whenever you watch, you are contractually obligated to chant “RUFIO” at the television screen at the appropriate moment. 

    Watch it on Amazon Prime

    34. The House Bunny (2008)

    Tyson Ritter talks to Emma Stone and Anna Faris at a party
    Columbia Pictures/Courtesy Everett Collection

    What a delightfully bonkers premise for a movie. A Playboy bunny gets kicked out of the Playboy mansion, but doesn’t know what to do with herself while living alone and so decides to be the house mother to a dorky sorority of misfits. Anna Faris is giving a career-best performance as the ditzy and earnestly lovable Shelley Darlingson, and you can’t help but root for her, her romance with the nerdy Colin Hanks, and her empowering the Zetas to get out of their shells. The sorority girls are expertly cast — from Emma Stone, in one of her earlier film performances, and WandaVision’s Kat Dennings, to American Idol runner-up Katharine McPhee and Cheetah Girl, Cheetah Sister Kiely Williams. It may have a 43% on Rotten Tomatoes, but clearly film critics in 2008 were just not up to the task of recognizing art. 

    Watch it on Amazon Prime

    35. In Bruges (2008)

    Brendan Gleeson points a gun at Colin Farrell who points a gun at his own head
    Focus Features/Courtesy Everett Collection

    Colin Farrell’s character Ray may want nothing to do with Bruges, Belgium, but this film had the opposite effect on me. I have a very intense desire to visit the little town full of cafés and canals, so if you want to be my travel buddy, let me know. Martin McDonagh’s crime comedy follows Ray and Brendan Gleeson’s Ken, both hitmen, as they hide out in Bruges until their recent kills blow over. The sleepy exile turns chaotic, however, when Ken is instructed to murder Ray. Ralph Fiennes plays their profanity-prone boss, and the Academy must have liked the curse words because the screenplay was nominated for an Oscar. I will say that this film has left me terrified of bell towers though, so that’s a potentially negative side effect. 

    Watch it on Amazon Prime.   

    36. In Her Shoes (2005)

    Cameron Diaz and Toni Collette hold drinks at a party
    20th Century Fox/Courtesy Everett Collection

    It’s impossible to have too much Toni Collette, so here’s another great TC choice for you adapted from Jennifer Weiner’s book. In Her Shoes follows a pair of sisters, Rose (Collette) and Maggie (Cameron Diaz), who are polar opposites. Obviously, Rose is the uptight serious one, and Maggie is the alcoholic free spirit. After the two have a falling out because Maggie slept with Rose’s boyfriend, Maggie flees to Florida to connect with her estranged grandmother (Oscar winner Shirley MacLaine). A dramedy about sisterhood, motherhood, and understanding those who are different from yourself, it’s the perfect ratio of laugh-out-loud to tearfully-call-your-sister-and-tell-her-how-much-you-love-her. 

    Watch it on Amazon Prime

    37. Inside Llewyn Davis (2013)

    Oscar Isaac stands up against a car that Garrett Hedlund is in
    CBS Films/Courtesy Everett Collection

    I would like to begin this section with a direct appeal to Spotify: Dear Spotify Executives, please put the entire Inside Llewyn Davis soundtrack on your site. Why do we only get 3 songs? I know it’s probably got something to do with legal things, but it’s rude nonetheless. Thank you. If, however, you would like to hear the entire soundtrack from this Coen Brothers folk musical, you can watch it on Amazon Prime. Oscar Isaac plays the titular struggling folk singer as he tries to make sense of his life, and sings haunting melodies in the process. My beloved Carey Mulligan and the scandal-shrouded Justin Timberlake also make appearances (although their song isn’t on Spotify.) This underappreciated, lyrical film should have been showered with more awards and praise than it was. Sometimes the people just get it wrong. 

    Watch it on Amazon Prime.  

    38. The Insider (1999)

    Al Pacino talks to Russell Crowe in a car
    Buena Vista Pictures/Courtesy Everett Collection

    If you love a journalist movie, clap once! If you hate the tobacco industry, clap twice! If you miss Christopher Plummer, clap three times! If you’re sitting there at your desk clapping, then might I suggest 1999 Best Picture nominee The Insider about the whistleblower and journalists behind the 60 Minutes segment that blew the lid off the tobacco industry. Russell Crowe (in a pre-Gladiator Oscar-nominated performance) plays Dr. Jeffrey Wigand, the informant working with a 60 Minutes producer (Al Pacino), and famed host Mike Wallace (Christopher Plummer) to get the story on the air. In the vein of Spotlight or The Post, the film makes journalism sexy and thrilling as a bunch of scrappy nerds take down evil corporate overlords. 

    Watch it on Amazon Prime

    39. Jack and Jill (2011)

    Adam Sandler dressed as a woman rides in a car with Adam Sandler dressed as a man
    Columbia Pictures/Courtesy Everett Collection

    I will not be reading the comments for this article, because I KNOW you all are going to rake me over the coals for this one, but this is actually an incredible film. Does it have a 3% on Rotten Tomatoes? Yes. Did it win every single Razzie the year it came out? Yes. But they are not watching this through the lens of it being a masterpiece of camp. Send this film to the 2019 Met Gala! Adam Sandler (whose recent Hubie Halloween is also a winner) plays both Jack and Jill, fraternal twins, in this truly bonkers affair. It’s stuffed-to-bursting with product placement (Dunkin Donuts anyone?), Sandler is bouncing off the walls as Jill, and the writing is bordering on nonsensical often. And yet SOMEHOW Adam Sandler convinced Al Pacino to play himself in this film as the third billed actor, AND convinced him to fall in love with Jill! Insane. Honestly I have no idea how this fever dream of a film got made, but I’ve watched it several times, and I will watch it again. (Oh and the Survivors loved it.)     

    Watch it on Amazon Prime.  

    40. Jaws (1975)

    Universal Pictures/Courtesy Everett Collection

    We’re gonna need a bigger boat. Jaws is such an iconic film that it’s really hard to find something new to say about it. It’s about a giant shark that starts eating people at the beach. Then the locals band together to try and kill the shark. It’s terrifying, and I wouldn’t recommend you watching if you have any sort of beach/lake/river rafting trip coming up in the next six months. Jaws is the film that put Steven Spielberg on the map. Its movie poster is legendary. I don’t know if we can attribute Shark Week to its success, but there’s an argument there. Really, it’s just one of those 25 movies that everyone should watch, and now it’s available on Amazon Prime, so get to it. 

    Watch it on Amazon Prime.   

    41. *Jennifer's Body (2009)

    Megan Fox stands in front of a burning building
    Doane Gregory/Fox Atomic/Courtesy Everett Collection

    When Jennifer's Body came out over a decade ago is was panned by (mostly male) critics and marketed largely as the latest film in which to ogle Megan Fox straight off her stint in the Transformers franchise. However, in a post #MeToo movement world, and especially this summer as society is relitigating the way Fox was treated during her rise, this horror comedy has become a feminist cult classic. The film was written by female screenwriter and Oscar winner Diablo Cody, directed by female director Karyn Kusama, stars females, and yet is miraculously not either a romance or about motherhood (try finding films from before 2018 that fit those qualifications). It's also about a female succubus who can only survive by killing and eating men (an urge that seems oddly relatable sometimes.) Let's get the team on the phone because this is set up nicely for a sequel, and we'd like to see it. 

    Watch it now on Amazon Prime

    42. *The Kids Are All Right (2010)

    Josh Hutcherson, Julianne Moore, Annette Bening, and Mia Wasikowska sit around the dinner table
    Suzanne Tenner/Focus Features/Courtesy Everett Collection

    I'd like to start the coverage of this film by saying that Josh Hutcherson's character is named "Laser" which is the kind of chaotic naming of fictional characters you've got to get behind. But that is neither here nor there. This Best Picture-nominated family drama about a pair of lesbians raising two teenagers is exquisite and a massive push for representation as same-sex couples with kids are still rarely seen in the media. The film focuses on the family once Laser brings his sperm donor (played by Mark Ruffalo) into the lives of his mothers (played by Annette Bening and Julianne Moore in award-winning turns). Small and intimate in some ways and yet bombastic in the stories it is trying to tell and the force of the performances, The Kids Are All Right is a necessary watch. 

    Watch it now on Amazon Prime

    43. Knives Out (2019)

    Daniel Craig speaks while Ana de Armas sits on a knife chair behind him
    Claire Folger/Lionsgate/Courtesy Everett Collection

    You’ve got to love a classic whodunit, especially with an ensemble cast at the caliber of this one. Rian Johnson’s mystery (so well written its screenplay landed an Oscar nom) focuses on the death of Harlan Thrombey, a famous novelist, and the family desperate to scoop up his inheritance. I know that listing off actors is boring, but just go with me here. We’ve got James Bond himself Daniel Craig, and his future Bond girl/Ben Affleck’s former coffee walks partner Ana de Armas. America’s Ass Chris Evans is there in a beautiful cable-knit sweater. Halloween badass/yogurt guru Jamie Lee Curtis is a suspect, as is two-time Oscar nominee Michael Shannon. Lime enthusiast Dakota Johnson’s dad Don is here, and so is perhaps the greatest living actor Toni Collette. Lakeith Stanfield is here without his straw hat from Get Out and so is 13 Reasons Why’s ghostly Katherine Langford. And just as a final flex the casting director secured Pennywise’s favorite victim Jaeden Martell and the legendary Christopher Plummer, may he rest in peace. Like really. It’s an all-star lineup and they’ve got something similar planned for the sequel.     

    Watch it on Amazon Prime.  

    44. The Last Black Man in San Francisco (2019)

    Jonathan Majors and Jimmie Fails stand on the roof of a house
    A24/Courtesy Everett Collection

    In case you haven’t checked the news in the last decade, San Francisco is in the midst of (or perhaps ending) a MASSIVE wave of gentrification thanks to the explosion of Silicon Valley, and the area’s being flooded by affluent white tech moguls. As a result, streets previously occupied by black families are almost entirely white. Thus is the story of Jimmie Fails, who wrote this film based partially on his life. Here he plays a man set on reclaiming his childhood Victorian home from a gentrified neighborhood, lovingly taking care of the beautiful house behind its owners’ backs. Hauntingly poignant and tragically melancholy, the film, an indictment on gentrification, also engages with the pains of growing up, of change, and of having to say good bye.     

    Watch it on Amazon Prime.  

    45. The Last King of Scotland (2006)

    Forest Whitaker stands dressed as Idi Amin
    Fox Searchlight/Courtesy Everett Collection

    There are movies that are narratives, and then there are movies that are performances. While the plot of this historical drama is certainly tragic and fascinating, it is swallowed whole by Forest Whitaker’s undeniable Oscar-winning performance as the dictator of Uganda Idi Amin. As told through the eyes of a doctor played by James McAvoy, the film details Amin’s coup on the Ugandan government in the '70s and his subsequent reign of terror leading to events surrounding the hijacked aircraft in Entebbe. Whitaker is delivering a career-high performance, chewing up and spitting out the dialogue in a ferocious tare that demands to be watched.   

    Watch it on Amazon Prime.  

    46. The Lighthouse (2019)

    Willem Dafoe and Robert Pattison stand outside a lighthouse
    Eric Chakeen/A24/Courtesy Everett Collection

    Robert Eggers’s follow-up to The Witch (where we all learned to live deliciously) is a claustrophobic psychological nightmare and anything but delicious (unless dead seagulls and farting whet your appetite). Shot in black and white with a nearly square aspect ratio, the film resembles an 1800s home video as it tracks Willem Dafoe and Robert Pattinson’s characters to a rocky island lighthouse. Fueled by alcohol and cut off from society, the pair descend into a salty, windswept madness. This is certainly not for everyone, but those of you with a strong constitution and love of psychological horror will find this a riveting exploration of the untethered mind. Watch it while we anxiously await The Northman, Eggers’s next film. 

    Watch it on Amazon Prime.   

    47. Manchester by the Sea (2016)

    Case Affleck and Lucas Hedges walk down a road
    Claire Folger/Roadside Attractions/Courtesy Everett Collection

    Manchester by the Sea is a beautiful, if disastrously depressing film written and directed by Kenneth Lonergan. Michelle Williams and Casey Affleck are both giving incredible performances (even if Casey’s more recent controversies have detracted from his starpower). But what I’d like to discuss is the birth of Lucas Hedges into the American consciousness. Hedges plays Patrick, a 16-year-old with a THICK Boston accent, who goes to live with his depressed uncle (Affleck) after the death of his father. His performance is so strong that it nabbed him a rare young male Oscar nomination, and launched him into lead roles in subsequent films like Ben is Back and Boy Erased. He would also go on to become an A24 darling in films like Lady Bird and Waves.  Just as I couldn’t stop looking at this recent photo of him, I was transfixed by his presence here, and have loved watching his journey to stardom.     

    Watch it on Amazon Prime.  

    48. Marie Antoinette (2006)

    Kirsten Dunst and Danny Huston sit at tea wearing pre-revolution French finery
    Sony Pictures/Courtesy Everett Collection

    Let them eat cake, but if they don’t have cake, they can at least feast their eyes on this lush historical drama from the mind of Sofia Coppola (Lost in Translation, The Bling Ring, On the Rocks). The film, which won the Oscar for costume design, follows the Queen of France, Marie Antoinette in the years before she famously lost her head to the guillotine. American treasure and frequent Coppola collaborator Kirsten Dunst plays the queen (head still intact) in her life of extravagance. Comedians Steve Coogan, Rose Byrne, and Molly Shannon all make appearances as we watch this group of aristocratic elite, out of touch with society, on their slow march to eventual doom.       

    Watch it on Amazon Prime.  

    49. Midsommar (2019)

    Florence Pugh crying with a bunch of women surrounding her
    A24/Courtesy Everett Collection

    Where do I even begin to describe my love of this horror film? Directed by Ari Aster (whose Hereditary is somehow even better), Midsommar follows a group of friends who travel to Sweden for a folk festival. Only instead of a normal village, there's something menacing and mysterious at play. Aster does the seemingly impossible job of making a field in broad daylight scarier than the dark, and the dread he creates in these scenes is palpable. At the center of this detailed masterpiece is Florence Pugh’s breakout performance as a grieving woman, whose family just died, on vacation with a boyfriend. It’s terrifying. It’s beautiful. It’s oddly cathartic. Although I will never forgive it for teaching me what a blood eagle is.     

    Watch it on Amazon Prime.  

    50. Moneyball (2011)

    Brad Pitt watches baseball
    Columbia Pictures/Courtesy Everett Collection

    Here’s the thing about Moneyball. I went to see it in college with a straight boy I had a crush on fully expecting to hate it because it’s a sports movie about baseball (which I truly know nothing about). When I tell you I was ENGROSSED in this story about hacking the MLB’s scouting system in order to create a great team on a tiny budget. I was so fascinated by the whole process, I forgot I who I was sitting next to. Brad Pitt is bringing all his charisma to this Michael Lewis adaptation, and Jonah Hill, Robin Wright, and the late great Philip Seymour Hoffman round out the cast nicely. If you’re a sports fan, give it a watch. And if you’re not a sports fan, give it a watch. 

    Watch it on Amazon Prime

    51. My Beautiful Laundrette (1985)

    Gordon Warnecke and Daniel Day-Lewis embrace partially undressed
    Orion Pictures/Courtesy Everett Collection

    To say My Beautiful Laundrette was ahead of its time is an incredible understatement. The film, written by the British Pakistani playwright Hanif Kureishi and directed by Oscar nominee Stephen Frears, dared to tell not only a gay story, but also an immigration story and an interracial love story in 1985. Set in London, the film follows Omar (Gordon Warnecke), a Pakistani man who is reunited with his old friend Johnny (played by a very young Daniel Day-Lewis on his rise to fame and three Oscars). The two fall in love as they are tasked with running a laundromat (or laundrette apparently, if you’re British). The movie was made with practically no money and has cemented its status as a cult classic and keystone in the queer canon. 

    Watch it on Amazon Prime

    52. My Best Friend's Wedding (1997)

    Rupert Everett and Julia Roberts embrace in an airport
    TriStar Pictures/Courtesy Everett Collection

    Who among us hasn’t fantasized about breaking up a couple on their wedding day? Especially as you watch your secret crushes from high school and college go on to betroth themselves to seemingly wonderful human beings who aren’t you. Thus is the premise to this rom-com, in which Julia Roberts realizes on the eve of her best friend’s wedding that she is in fact in love with him and must find a way to stop the nuptials. In the most ‘90s casting choices ever, Dermot Mulroney and Cameron Diaz play the soon-to-be happy couple, while Rupert Everett tags along as Julia’s GBF there to help with her marriage-stopping antics. Julia Roberts dazzles as always, and the ending is incredibly satisfying. Go buy a bottle of wine, and settle in for a fun night. 

    Watch it on Amazon Prime

    53. On the Waterfront (1954)

    Eva Marie Saint talking with Marlon Brando
    Columbia Pictures/Courtesy Everett Collection

    It’s hard to find something that qualifies as a “classic film” more soundly than this '50s gangster drama. Starring Marlon Brando, who you probably know from The Godfather, although he’s much younger and less mealy mouthed here, the film focuses on the corruption taking place at the hands of the mob on the docks (hence the “waterfront”). The film was nominated for 12 Oscars, winning 8 of them including Best Picture, Director, Actor (Brando), Screenplay, and Cinematography. It also won Eva Marie Saint a Best Supporting Actress Oscar, even though it was her debut film performance. Saint is now 97, and the young folks may remember her as the little old lady in Because of Winn-Dixie (but that might just be a me thing). 

    Watch it on Amazon Prime.  

    54. One Night in Miami (2020)

    Leslie Odom Jr. performs as Sam Cooke
    Amazon Studios/Courtesy Everett Collection

    In 1964, famed African-American civil rights activist Malcolm X, boxer Muhammad Ali, football star Jim Brown, and singer Sam Cooke all spent an evening together in a hotel room in Miami, FL. This historic meeting serves as the basis for this film, directed by Regina King (previously Oscar-winning actor) and adapted by Kemp Powers, who also wrote the play and Pixar's Soul (big year for him!)  Focused on the relationships between these four great men, the film creates fictional dialogue that aims to unpack race, privilege, and the responsibility that comes from fame. Hamilton’s Leslie Odom Jr. plays Sam Cooke (a performance for which he was Oscar-nominated), but its Kingsley Ben-Adir’s take on Malcolm X that is most captivating. Never has such a long stay in a hotel room been so interesting.     

    Watch it on Amazon Prime.  

    55. Pride (2014)

    Imelda Staunton and Andrew Scott talk in a doorway
    20th Century Fox

    I LOVE to promote a good LGBTQ+ film, and this funny little historical British dramedy is a fantastic one. Back in 1984, during a British miners’ strike, gay activist Mark Ashton (Ben Schnetzer) realized that the police were too busy focused on the miners to focus on their usual harassment of the gay community and so he started "Lesbians and Gays Support the Miners" to help a fellow group of oppressed folks. It’s this fight by the LGBTQ+ community on behalf of the labor class that serves as the plot here. Hot Priest Andrew Scott is here along with 1917’s George MacKay and Professor Umbridge aka Imelda Staunton. The film is charming, uplifting, and shows you how underdogs helping underdogs can do a lot of good for everyone. 

    Watch it on Amazon Prime.  

    56. Rear Window (1954)

    Grace Kelly and James Stewart look out a window with a pair of binoculars
    Paramount Pictures/Courtesy Everett Collection

    We’ve had a lot of “I saw a murder out my window” movies recently with The Woman in the Window to The Girl on the Train, but this Alfred Hitchcock classic is the original. Jimmy Stewart’s Jeff is laid up in the Greenwich Village with a broken leg and has nothing to do to amuse himself but look out his window. When he believes he’s seen one of his neighbors murder his wife, however, Jeff and his girlfriend, played by Grace Kelly, set out to investigate. What starts as curiosity, quickly leads them over their head. The film is a staple in the American canon and is CONSTANLY referred to or riffed on, so really you owe it to yourself to see the original.     

    Watch it on Amazon Prime.  

    57. Revolutionary Road (2008)

    Kate Winslet and Leonardo DiCaprio get cozy and laugh on a couch
    DreamWorks/Courtesy Everett Collection

    Titanic stars Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet, forever forged together through the press surrounding that mega blockbuster, have famously remained friends. So, it was not particularly surprising, then, when the two reunited to costar in this romantic drama from Sam Mendes (1917). The pair play the Wheelers, a '50s couple living what is seemingly the perfect suburban Connecticut life, only to be suffocated under malaise, boredom, and the breakdown of their marriage. As with Titanic, this is a romantic tragedy, and also as with Titanic, Kathy Bates is there. It’s not a happy movie, but it’s fascinating to watch these two great actors do their thing. If only there was a Celine Dion song thrown in.     

    Watch it on Amazon Prime.  

    58. *Romeo + Juliet (1996)

    Leonardo Di Caprio dressed as a knight kisses Claire Danes dressed like an angel
    20th Century Fox/All Rights Reserved

    Thank god for Baz Luhrmann, because without this version of Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet, high school English classes everywhere would be forced to watch much stuffier renditions of the famed romantic tragedy. Luhrmann took the play, reset it in a glitzy fictionalized Miami, cast teenage heartthrobs Leonardo DiCaprio and Claire Danes as the leads, and injected the whole thing with a level of eye-popping fun that Marlon Brando and Kenneth Brannagh could never. The scene where Rom and Julie lock eyes through a fish tank? Genius. The whole pool encounter? Swoonworthy. And the SOUNDTRACK. DO NOT EVEN GET ME STARTED ON THAT SOUNDTRACK BABY. Obviously one of the best in film history. "Young Hearts Run Free" by Kym Mazelle is the boppiest of bops. Makes me want to put on drag and dance down a staircase

    Watch it now on Amazon Prime

    59. Sense and Sensibility (1995)

    Emma Thompson, Kate Winslet, and Gemma Jones stand outside a house in regency clothes
    Columbia Pictures/Courtesy Everett Collection

    Seated nicely in the public domain, the works of Jane Austen have been adapted into what seems like 500 films, television shows, plays, and novels. Of them all, the 1995 Ang Lee adaption of Sense and Sensibility is a standout. Following recently destitute but still extremely eligible Dashwood sisters as they hunt for husbands on the English countryside, the film is a pastoral delight. Emma Thompson and a very young, pre-nearly freezing to death on a floating door Kate Winslet take the lead roles with British acting legends like Alan Rickman, Hugh Grant, Harriet Walter, and (soon to be Queen) Imelda Staunton filling up the cast list. Anyone who swooned over Kiera Knightley in Pride and Prejudice or Gwyneth Paltrow in Emma needs to add this to their queue. 

    Watch it on Amazon Prime

    60. Shooter (2007)

    Mark Wahlberg aims a gun
    Paramount/Courtesy Everett Collection

    Apparently it is possible to shoot a gun and hit a target from a mile away. A MILE! And Mark Wahlberg’s character in Shooter has that ability. He’s that good. And because of this fact, the bad guys are both very smart and very dumb. Smart because he’s an easy scapegoat for a presidential assassination attempt. But when he escapes arrest and starts searching for revenge, he is an enemy you REALLY don’t want to have. Shooter is certainly not an Oscar nominee, but it is a fun action movie to munch on popcorn while watching. Who doesn’t love a good revenge plotline? And if you sprinkle in a little government conspiracy and a few great action sequences, I’m fully there. It’s also a good reminder to keep your curtains closed. 

    Watch it on Amazon Prime

    61. Short Term 12 (2013)

    Brie Larson sits beside LaKeith Stanfield
    Cinedigm/Courtesy Everett Collection

    I don’t know what was happening on the set of Short Term 12, but someone had a rabbit's foot or made a deal with the Illuminati, because truly everyone in this tiny indie drama has gone on to have their careers BLOW UP! There’s Captain Marvel herself, Brie Larson. There’s Booksmart’s scene-stealer Kaitlyn Dever. There’s Best Actor/Freddie Mercury impersonator Rami Malek. There’s Brooklyn Nine-Nine star Stephanie Beatriz. And of course, there is very recent Oscar nominee for Judas and the Black Messiah, LaKeith Stanfield. This film, which focuses on a group home for troubled teenagers, is funny, sad, and heartwarming in its own right, but watching all your current faves’ younger selves is a trip.   

    Watch it on Amazon Prime.  

    62. Sideways (2004)

    Paul Giamatti and Thomas Haden Church drink wine
    Fox Searchlight/Courtesy Everett Collection

    Some would say (and by “some” I mean “me”) that Paul Giamatti’s best work is in Big Fat Liar. Far more would say he shines in this Best Picture nominee. The dramedy follows Giamatti’s depressed, unsuccessful writer Miles and his has-been soap opera star Jack (Thomas Haden Church in an Oscar-nominated role) as the pair take a trip to wine country before Jack’s wedding. What follows is a chaotic, rambling film that is somehow cheerful, depressing, inspiring, and hilarious all in one swoop. It’s a rumination on aging and friendship that snatched five Oscar nominations and took home the trophy for the screenplay. And since Big Fat Liar is not streaming on Amazon, this is your next best bet. 

    Watch it on Amazon Prime

    63. *Sleepless in Seattle (1993)

    Meg Ryan stands with Ross Malinger and Tom Hanks at the top of the Empire State Building
    Tristar Pictures/Courtesy Everett Collection

    I have been to the top of the Empire State Building several times, and I always loiter around up there for FAR to long hoping that I will meet the love of my life. Is this just me? Was I the only one infected by this Tom Hanks/Meg Ryan romantic comedy about people from different parts of the country orbiting each other precariously until they meet late at night on the top of the iconic New York skyscraper? This film can also be included in the "adult movie with a cute kid" folder as Tom Hank's son played by Ross Malinger is ADORABLE. I wonder if he can also spell "F-O-X fox."

    Watch it now on Amazon Prime

    64. *The Social Network (2010)

    Justin Timberlake and Jesse Eisenberg sit on a couch
    Merrick Morton/Columbia Pictures/Courtesy Everett Collection

    Where does one even begin when trying to nail down the greatness of the film? Perhaps it's in the Aaron Sorkin script that so aptly gives life to the chaos of Facebook's creation. Perhaps it's in Jesse Eisenberg's star making turn as founder Mark Zuckerberg in which he chews up and spits out Sorkin's dialogue as few others have been able to. Perhaps it's in the pitch perfect casting of Andrew Garfield as the sympathetic elitist Eduardo Saverin or Justin Timberlake as the slimy Sean Parker. Perhaps its in David Fincher's masterful directing or in the haunting, soft Oscar-winning score. While each one of these aspects are masterful, however, I'm going to give the edge to Rooney Mara's brief performance in the film's opening scene where she dumps Eisenberg. It launches the film to a high-octane propulsion that it will maintain until the credits, and perfectly frames how even something as massive as Facebook can really just be compensating for a bruised ego. 

    Watch it now on Amazon Prime

    65. Sound of Metal (2019)

    Riz Ahmed plays the drums shirtless
    Amazon/Courtesy Everett Collection

    One of this year’s freshly minted Best Picture nominees, Sound of Metal follows Ruben, a heavy metal drummer who comes to the (at first) horrifying realization that he is losing his hearing. The indie drama, which continued to pick up more steam and accolades through the awards season, stars Riz Ahmed in the lead as he mourns his hearing and struggles to find ways to cope. Both he and Paul Raci, who plays the Deaf leader of a shelter for recovering addicts, landed Oscar noms for their performances, and Olivia Cooke, who plays Ruben’s girlfriend, rightfully should have received one as well. This fascinating film also substantiates my mom’s claim that "you are going to lose your hearing from turning the radio up too loud."

    Watch it on Amazon Prime.  

    66. The Souvenir (2019)

    Honor Swinton Byrne laughs with a birthday cake in front of her
    A24/Courtesy Everett Collection

    With The Souvenir Part II fresh off its well-received premiere at the Cannes Film Festival and headed to theaters in the fall, there is no time like the present to catch up on the first installment of Joanna Hogg’s autobiographical film duology. The Souvenir Part I stars Honor Swinton Byrne (the daughter of Tilda Swinton who also appears in the film) playing a version of Hogg through her encounters at film school. Byrne’s Julie meets Anthony (Tom Burke) and the two have a whirlwind romance that is cut short when some details of Anthony’s unsavory past float to the surface. The quiet, lyrical film is a sad, little treat (like so many A24 titles) and the performances shine. I can’t wait to see round 2. 

    Watch it on Amazon Prime

    67. Stop Making Sense (1984)

    Tina Weymouth and David Byrne perform on stace
    Island Alive Pictures/Courtesy Everett Collection

    As someone with particularly bad music taste, I will take this moment to admit that I had no idea who the Talking Heads were until this summer when I watched David Byrne’s American Utopia, a filmed version of the Broadway performance. David Byrne, for the uninformed, was the lead singer of a new wave band called the Talking Heads (whose only song I knew because it was used in the trailer for the horrid Matt Damon film Downsizing (I know this is a cursed sentence.)) American Utopia, however, gave me an appreciation for the Talking Heads and so I naturally stumbled upon Stop Making Sense, which is a filmed version of their live performances at the Pantages Theater in 1983. It is an exquisite concert film. The music is wonderful. The concert is theatrical. And the whole thing jumps off the screen in a way that concert videos don’t often manage to do. So everyone follow my lead and become a Talking Heads fan. Better three decades late than never. 

    Watch it on Amazon Prime.   

    68. Sunset Boulevard (1950)

    Gloria Swanson descends a staircase full of people
    Paramount Pictures/Courtesy Everett Collection

    We start with a mansion on Sunset Boulevard. And oh look, there is a body floating face down in the swimming pool. Whose body is it? How did it get there? You’ll have to watch to find out. The black-and-white Hollywood classic tracks the events leading up to the mysterious death, as William Holden plays a young screenwriter who is slowly sucked into the web of the reclusive former silent-film star Norma Desmond (Gloria Swanson). The iconic film, which gave us lines like “Mr. DeMille, I’m ready for my close-up,” was nominated for 11 Oscars and holds an ironclad spot in the film canon. A perfect film, it feels startlingly modern even as it’s a ‘50s noir, and it packs just as much punch today as it did at its release. 

    Watch it on Amazon Prime

    69. Time (2020)

    Fox Rich sits at her desk
    Amazon Studios/Courtesy Everett Collection

    Rarely do we get a documentary as raw and moving as Time. The film follows Fox Rich, using over 25 years’ worth of home videos, as she fights tirelessly for her husband Rob, serving time in prison for his participation in an armed bank robbery, to be granted clemency. What filmmaker Garrett Bradley thought would be a short film turned into a feature when Fox handed her over 100 hours worth of home video footage taken while her husband was in prison. Bradley then took the home videos and her own footage, converted it all to stunning black-and-white, and built the moving 81-minute-long final product. The documentary, which was nominated for an Oscar, vividly shows the flaws of the criminal justice system and how that can deeply affect the families of those struggling through it. It’s a beautiful statement as to what can be accomplished if you try hard enough and how important it is to have someone tirelessly in your corner. 

    Watch it on Amazon Prime.  

    70. The Tomorrow War (2021)

    Chris Pratt, Edwin Hodge, and Sam Richardson aim guns
    Frank Masi/Amazon Studios/Courtesy Everett Collection

    A recent 2021 release, this Chris Pratt sci-fi film is set in a world in which aliens overrun the planet in 30 years. The future, therefore, is drafting humans from the present to time travel to the future to fight off the aliens in order to save humanity. Chris Pratt, playing a former Green Beret, is drafted alongside a rag tag crew including Sam Richardson (VEEP) and Mary Lynn Rajskub (aka Gail the Snail from It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia). While the time travel logistics are a bit murky, the action sequences (especially one on a giant oil-rig-styled military bases) are incredible and the monsters will give you nightmares.     

    Watch it on Amazon Prime.  

    71. *Traffic (2000)

    Topher Grae sits with a drink on a leather sofa
    Bob Marshak/USA Films/Courtesy Everett Collection

    First, I'd like to say that this movie is not Crash, a distinction that took me many years to realize as they are both one-word, car-related titles with ensemble casts from the early aughts that did well at the Oscars. But while Crash is a very problematic film about racism, a car crash, and Sandra Bullock just being angry and not knowing why, Traffic is a Steven Soderbergh film about the illegal drug trade. The ensemble cast features Don Cheadle (who is trying to forget he was in Space Jam 2), Benicio Del Toro (who won an Oscar for the role), Michael Douglas and Catherine Zeta-Jones (who were dating at the time and are still together), and not-Tad Hamilton Topher Grace. The way the storylines tie together perfectly is a testament to the Oscar-winning screenplay, and the film is as suspenseful and riveting as it is well done. Should it have beat Gladiator for the Oscar? Probably. 

    Watch it now on Amazon Prime

    72. The Truman Show (1998)

    Jim Carrey holds a broken stage light
    Paramount Pictures/Courtesy Everett Collection

    Is it a comedy or is it a horror film? Who’s to say, but I know that I for one will occasionally make an erratic trip into a bizarre office building or ask my friends strange questions just to verify that I am not living in a large scale reality TV show and am in fact a real human living a real life. The Truman Show is of course about Truman Burbank, a man played by Jim Carrey who thinks that he is living an ordinary life, but is actually living on a large set full of props and actors that is being broadcast worldwide. The film, which can lead your mind down all kinds of strange rabbit holes is just as fun to watch as it is to ponder over after the fact. It was nominated for three Oscars and is a constant cultural touchstone for presenting the life-as-reality-TV idea so brilliantly. Okay BRB, I have to go check the sky for lighting equipment. 

    Watch it on Amazon Prime.   

    73. Vertigo (1958)

    James Stewart hands Kim Novak a teacup
    Paramount Pictures/Courtesy Everett Collection

    Alfred Hitchcock is a master of the psychological thriller, and nowhere is that made more apparent than in Vertigo. Starring Jimmy Stewart, the film focuses on a former policeman who was pulled from the line of duty after a rooftop chase leads to his developing a fear of heights as well as vertigo. In retirement, however, he is called upon by a friend from college to investigate his wife, who is behaving oddly (played by Kim Novak). What follows is a twisty cat-and-mouse game of identity and fear, culminating in a bell tower scene that is one for the ages. And don’t let its age fool you — this movie is just as suspenseful as anything being made today. Don’t trust me? Give it a try. 

    Watch it on Amazon Prime.

    * Denotes title that has been newly added to Amazon Prime for September.

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