By Emma Dibdin published
Next time you realize you've spent a solid half hour scrolling glazed-eyed through Netflix while trying to figure out what the hell you want to watch, consider branching out. Netflix and Chill is not your only option—especially when it comes to movies—and there's a whole wealth of classics and recent award winners available on competing streaming sites. Here are 16 great movies available to stream right now on Amazon Prime Video.
This Marilyn Monroe classic, stars Tony Curtis and Jack Lemmon as two musicians who witness a crime and then dress in drag to avoid the mafia hitmen who are after them as a result.
Fargo is a perfect example of the quirky storytelling style that earned the Coen Brothers a cult following. Equal parts hilarious comedy and enthralling mystery, Fargo is a perfect movie to curl up with.
'It's a Wonderful Life'
You may think of It's a Wonderful Life as a Christmas movie, but it's actually a joy to watch year-round. Starring James Stuart as the harried Building & Loan proprietor George Bailey, It's a Wonderful Life is the kind of movie that will remind you to look for hope on your worst days—and you know you're laying in bed, streaming movies on your worst days.
A science fiction classic, 1984's The Terminator is a perfect pick when you're in the mood for action. Arnold Schwarzenegger stars at the titular terminating robot from the future (and, in this one, he's definitely not a good guy).
'Manchester by the Sea'
An emotionally raw character drama tinged with dry black humor, Kenneth Lonergan's double Oscar-winner will devastate you in the best way possible. Casey Affleck stars as a man paralyzed by an unspeakable trauma, who has to step up and take care of his teenage nephew after the sudden death of his brother.
A genuine modern classic, just hiding in plain sight on Prime Video. Based on writer-director Cameron Crowe's own experience of touring with rock bands in the 1970s, this coming-of-age dramedy follows a 15-year-old misfit (Patrick Fugit) who lands a dream assignment from Rolling Stone to cover a rock band on the road.
If you've somehow still yet to see this year's achingly beautiful Best Picture Oscar winner, amend that nonsense ASAP. Barry Jenkins' drama follows a shy young boy named Chiron—played by three actors across three generations—through his childhood, adolescence and young adulthood in a tough Miami neighborhood.
Jennifer Lawrence's first Oscar nomination came long before she was a household name, in this indie gem that became a Sundance breakout. Lawrence stars as a teenage girl eking out a hardscrabble existence in the Ozarks while searching for her missing deadbeat father.
This year's Best Foreign Film Oscar winner is a taut, gripping drama, following a married couple whose life takes a violent turn as they are starring in a production of Arthur Miller's Death of a Salesman. The fact that Iranian director Asghar Farhadi skipped the Oscars ceremony in protest of Donald Trump's travel ban is just one more reason to support this movie.
'Good Will Hunting' This content is imported from YouTube. You may be able to find the same content in another format, or you may be able to find more information, at their web site.
Matt Damon and Ben Affleck broke out with their Oscar-winning script for this beloved Boston-set drama, in which a troubled young genius (Damon) is gradually drawn out by his insightful, straight-talking therapist (Robin Williams). While Williams' untimely death in 2014 makes GWH a way, way more emotional viewing experience than it used to be, this is still some of the best comfort viewing out there.
'20th Century Women'
One of the most underrated and under-seen contenders from the 2016 awards season is Mike Mills' delightful semi-autobiographical story of a high school student and the three women who raise him: his single mother (Annette Bening), her tenant (Greta Gerwig), and his best friend (Elle Fanning).
Ava DuVernay became the first black female director to be nominated for a Best Picture Oscar in 2015, for her incisive and arresting chronicle of Martin Luther King's (David Oyelowo) campaign to secure equal voting rights for African Americans via protest marches in 1965 Alabama. Selma felt timely when it premiered in 2014 shortly after the Ferguson riots; in the America of 2017, it's disturbingly even more essential.
'Breakfast at Tiffany's'
This one needs no introduction. Audrey Hepburn's iconic performance as Holly Golightly, the role that launched a thousand college dorm room posters, is available to stream at your leisure. (Be warned: the movie super problematic, but that's all the more reason to revisit it and form your own opinion.)
'The Talented Mr. Ripley'
This Patricia Highsmith adaptation deserves to be talked about way more often as one of the most effective psychological thrillers ever made. Matt Damon is shockingly convincing as the sinister yet sympathetic Tom Ripley, a quiet young man whose fixation with a spoiled millionaire playboy (Jude Law) and his wife (Gwyneth Paltrow) takes a dark turn.
'Inside Llewyn Davis'
Before Oscar Isaac became the internet's boyfriend, he broke through with a soulful lead performance in the Coen Brothers' lovely, melancholic ode to 1970s folk music. Following a week in the life of a struggling musician in New York, this is a bittersweet blend of stirring songs (yes, Oscar Isaac can also sing) and dry, dark humor.
If you've been obsessed either with Charlize Theron's screen-commanding turn in Atomic Blonde, or Patty Jenkins' stellar work on Wonder Woman this summer, it's a pretty great time to revisit their collaboration on this searing adaptation of the life of serial killer Aileen Wuornos.
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Emma Dibdin is a freelance writer based in Los Angeles who writes about culture, mental health, and true crime. She loves owls, hates cilantro, and can find the queer subtext in literally anything.
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