The Greatest Films to Watch on Amazon Prime Proper Now (November 2020)

How many hours have we all lost the endless streaming scroll? Aiming for a little kickback, you end up perusing title after title, intent on finding just the right movie, ultimately unsure what to choose in the face of overwhelming options. Fret not, the Collider staff did all that scrolling for you, scanning through the catalogue in search of the best picks for an entertaining night in. Now, we’ve put together a wide-ranging list of the best movies streaming on Amazon Prime right now. What’s more, we’ll be updating the list regularly with additional picks, so you won’t run out of viewing material any time soon. The list spans genres, decades, and ratings, so there should be a little something for everyone, but if you can’t find what you’re looking for below (and you’re a multi-platform streamer), be sure to check out our picks for the best tv shows and best movies on Netflix.

RELATED: The Best Movies on Netflix Right Now

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Knives Out

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Image via Lionsgate

Writer/Director: Rian Johnson

Cast: Ana de Armas, Daniel Craig, Chris Evans, Jamie Lee Curtis, Michael Shannon, LaKeith Stanfield, Toni Collette, Christopher Plummer, Jaeden Martell, Don Johnson, Katherine Langford, Noah Segan

From Brick to Looper to The Last Jedi, Rian Johnson has made a career as a filmmaker who brings his singular touch to familiar genres, reenvisioning them with panache while honoring the hallmarks of their respective cinematic staples. With his Oscar-nominated ensemble powerhouse Knives Out, Johnson brings that touch to the old-fashioned murder mystery, staging a twisy tale of death and inheritance through the lens of one fractured, fabulously over-the-top family. Knives Out is funny and breezy, but it’s also gorgeously composed, with some supremely sly performances from its killer cast. It’s honestly worth your time just to watch Michael Shannon scream about cookies, but fortunately, that’s just one of many, many moments that make Knives Out such a delightful and unusual film. –Haleigh Foutch

Instant Family

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Image via Paramount Pictures

Director: Sean Anders

Writers: Sean Anders, John Morris

Cast: Rose Byrne, Mark Wahlberg, Isabela Mercer, Gustavo Escobar, Octavia Spencer, Julianna Gamiz, Tig Notaro, Tom Segura

Without question, Rose Byrne is the unsung MVP of the last ten years in comedy movies. The actress’ early career cemented her image as a dramatic performer (and she still excels in those roles,) but ever since she stole the show in 2010’s Get Him to the Greek, she’s been absolutely crushing it in a string of comedies from Bridesmaids to Spy to the Neighbors films, constantly one-upping her better-known comedic counterparts along the way. With the surprisingly heartfelt comedy Instant Family Byrne got to combo the best of her comedic and dramatic skills alongside Mark Wahlberg in the story of a married couple who decide to foster, not one, but three children, including a no-bullshit teenager, played by Isabela Merced. Instant Family is refreshingly earnest and emotionally honest about the struggles and joys of foster parenting, delivering a moving emotional story without losing sight of the laughs. — Haleigh Foutch

Crawl

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Image via Paramount Pictures

Director: Alexandre Aja

Writers: Michael Rassmussen and Shawn Rassmussen

Cast: Kaya Scoldelario, Barry Pepper

If you are looking for a creature feature that 1) grabs you by the throat and never lets go, 2) lowkey features some of the best horror performances in recent memory, 3) whips ass, you’re gonna want to check out Crawl. Directed by High Tension and The Hills Have Eyes filmmaker Alexandre Aja, Crawl is a no-nonsense monster movie that traps a woman (Kaya Scodelario) and her estranged father (Barry Pepper) in the crawlspace of their Florida home with a bunch of mean-ass, man-eating alligators and wastes no time stagging one nail-biting sequence after the next. Running a lean 87 minutes, Crawl is refreshingly straightforward, fun as hell, and features some of the best-composed monster movie action in years. — Haleigh Foutch

Vivarium

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Image via Saban Films

Director: Lorcan Finegan

Writer: Garret Shanley

Cast: Imogen Poots, Jesse Eisenberg, Jonathan Aris

If you like Twilight Zone inspired contained tales of horror and existential dread, boy does Amazon have the right horror movie streaming for you this month. Lorcan Finegan‘s Vivarium is dark as hell and a walloping bummer, but it’s a very good bad time. Imogen Poots and Jesse Eisenberg star as a couple on the hunt for their first home and wind up trapped in a surreal suburban neighborhood from which there’s no escaping. No matter how many streets they drive through, how many fences they hop, they just can’t get out. Then the nightmare baby shows up. On the surface, Vivarium is an effective portrait of the horrors of getting trapped in a white-picket-fence life you never wanted, but the scarier, much more effective undercurrent comes from the way the film embraces the cruel indifference of nature’s life cycles and the helplessness of being stuck in them. — Haleigh Foutch

How to Train Your Dragon

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Image via DreamWorks Animation

Directors: Chris Sanders and Dean DeBlois

Writers: Will Davies, Dean DeBlois, and Chris Sanders

Cast: Jay Baruchel, America Ferrera, Gerard Butler, Craig Ferguson, Jonah Hill, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, Kristin Wiig

Easily one of the best new kids and family franchises of the 21st Century, the How to Train Your Dragon films are solid all the way through (and the inferior but still charming collection of Netflix original series inspired by the film franchise are there to help you if your kids get a little too hooked on the adventures of Berk.) But for all the technological advancements in animation and the subsequent dazzling visuals of the sequels, there’s still raw magic in Chris Sanders and Dean DeBlois’ original film, which transported audiences to the Viking island of Berk where Hiccup (Jay Baruchel) and his outrageously adorable dragon Toothless begin their epic adventures. — Haleigh Foutch

The Vast of Night

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Image via Amazon

Director: Andrew Patterson

Writers: James Montague and Craig W. Sanger

Cast: Sierra McCormick and Jake Horowitz

The indie sci-fi film The Vast of Night is hands down one of the best films of 2020, and a wonderful surprise. Set in 1950s New Mexico, the story basically follows a switchboard operator (Sierra McCormick) and a radio DJ (Jake Horowitz) investigating a strange sound coming through the radio during a big high school basketball game. That premise could go wrong any number of ways, but at every turn Vast of Night pleasantly surprises. It’s Spielbergian in that it clearly draws influence from films like E.T. and Close Encounters of the Third Kind, but also has a voice and style all its own. The wildly compelling screenplay is full of delightfully crackerjack dialogue that evokes screwball comedies of the 40s and 50s, while Andrew Patterson’s direction favors long takes and unique shots that lay the intrigue on thick as the story plays out entirely in real-time. Add in a layer of Twilight Zone-esque terror, and The Vast of Night is a film you won’t soon forget, announcing its writers, director, and cast as new talents to watch. – Adam Chitwood

Rocketman

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Image via Paramount Pictures

Director: Dexter Fletcher

Writer: Lee Hall

Cast: Taron Egerton, Jamie Bell, Richard Madden, Bryce Dallas Howard

Watch Taron Egerton give the exuberant performance of his career to date in Rocketman, the delightful music biopic that would have received the same awards treatment as Bohemian Rhapsody if we lived in a just world. Inspired by the real-life story of Elton John‘s early career, Rocketman stages a fantasy musical that incorporates the iconic British rock star’s greatest hits while chronicling the highs and lows of his journey from a dull life in the suburbs to becoming a legend of glamourous stardom. It’s cheesy in the best way, with endless charisma, no small thanks to Egerton’s knockout performance of a mercurial and intoxicating character like Elton John, but also thanks to Fletcher’s playful, emotionally-attuned directing. It’s easy to see why Fox called him in to clean up the Bohemian Rhapsody mess and if the Queen biopic left you hungry for something with a little more heart (and teeth), Rocketman is just the ticket. — Haleigh Foutch

The Lighthouse

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Image via A24

Writer/Director: Robert Eggers

Cast: Robert Pattinson, Willem Dafoe

The Witch filmmaker Robert Eggers earned a whole heap of critical acclaim, instantly held the attention of cinephiles, and helped cement the A24 horror brand with his debut movie. So how could he top it with his second? With an absolutely bonkers, brutal and bizarrely hilarious mythological tale of two men driven to madness on a tiny little island with only each other and their farts to keep them company. A two-hander with sublime performances from Robert Pattinson and Willem Dafoe as its engine, The Lighthouse affirms Eggers as a singular voice and force of innovative formalist filmmaking that builds new nightmares from the technical tools of classical cinema. What a treat. Genuinely unique, surreal, and ballsy as hell from all involved, The Lighthouse is the pirate-talking, bean-snacking, gods and monsters isolationist nightmare of a movie nerd’s dreams. And once you’ve been thoroughly confounded, be sure to read Vinnie Mancuso’s excellent analysis of the wild ending. — Haleigh Foutch

Gods and Monsters

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Image via Lions Gate FIlms

Writer/Director: Bill Condon

Cast: Ian McKellen, Brendan Fraser, Lynn Redgrave, Lolita Davidovich

Few filmmakers leave behind a legacy half as majestic as James Whale, the brilliant filmmaker who helped write the language of horror cinema with classics like Frankenstein and Bride of FrankensteinThe Old Dark House, and The Invisible Man. But Bill Condon‘s semi-fictionalized 1998 drama Gods and Monsters isn’t about the majesty or the great works, it’s about the lonely human behind the legend and his heartbreaking final days long after the Hollywood glamour wore off. The great Ian McKellen gives one of his best performances in the role of the iconic filmmaker, who we find tormented by traumatic memories, mostly living alone and falling to ill health when he strikes up a friendship with his gardener (Brendan Fraser), who agrees to let Whale sketch him. Tensions grow, things get very homoerotic (in just about the saddest way possible), Whale continues to decline in health and happiness, and ultimately, Condon delivers the film of his career. Beautiful and devastating, Gods and Monsters respects the courage behind Whale’s choice to be an out homosexual in the 1930s while acknowledging what it cost him, just like it honors the legendary artist who helped create cinema’s great monsters while acknowledging the tragedy of his life. — Haleigh Foutch

The Avengers

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Image via Marvel Studios

Director: Joss Whedon

Writers: Joss Whedon and Zak Penn

Cast: Chris Evans, Robert Downey Jr., Scarlett Johansson, Mark Ruffalo, Chris Hemsworth, Jeremy Renner, Tom Hiddleston, Stellan Skarsgard, Clarke Gregg, Cobie Smulders, Samuel L. Jackson, Paul Bettany

It seems positively quaint when compared with the enormity of Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame, but The Avengers was an absolutely game-changing piece of filmmaking that proved Marvel Studios’ big shared-universe of superheroes could really work — and what’s more, that it could work the best when paying off long plot-arcs in epic team-up films. And thanks to writer/director Joss Whedon‘s knack for ensemble storytelling (proved in his outstanding series Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Firefly), the film set the stage for the MCU’s even grander ambitions to come.

It holds up. Avengers is such a tightly made film, with the exception of the underwhelming opening scene, each set-piece still whips, from the first showdown between Cap, Thor and Iron Man, to the iconic moment the Avengers assemble in the rubble of New York City. It a historic film, it changed the future of the film industry and sparked a series of imitators, but best of all, it’s still a pleasure to watch. And I imagine you won’t be able to stream it much longer without a Disney+ subscription, so get on that while you can! — Haleigh Foutch

Bumblebee

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Image via Paramount Pictures

Director: Travis Knight

Writer: Christina Hodson

Cast: Hailee Steinfeld, John Cena, Jorge Lendenborg Jr., Pamela Adlon, Jason Drucker, Angela Bassett, Justin Theroux

After six installments of all-out Bayhem, the Transformers franchise got a revamped spinoff from LAIKA boss Travis Knight with Bumblebee and it’s charming as all get-out, giving everyone’s favorite sweetheart Autobot his own solo adventure with a retro flourish. Hailee Steinfeld stars a teenage grease monkey in the 80s, who’s desperate for her own car and happens to wind up in the possession of one decommissioned Bumblebee. Naturally, the pair set out on a mission to save the world when some pesky Decepticons come into play, along with a hyperpatriotic agent (the always welcome John Cena) who wants the otherwordly menace gone. Heavily riffing on the Amblin films of the era its set in, Bumblebee is sweet as could be, with a healthy balance of well-constructed action scenes to keep the Transformers spirit alive. — Haleigh Foutch

Fighting with My Family

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Image via MGM

Writer/Director: Stephen Merchant

Cast: Florence Pugh, Nick Frost, Lena Heady, Dwayne Johnson, Vince Vaughn, Jack Lowden, Olivia Bernstone

Florence Pugh had a hell of a year in 2019, culminating in an Oscar nomination for her scene-stealing work in Little Women. But before the awards tour, and before the horrors of Midsommar, Pugh kicked the year off strong with the absolutely delightful wrestling comedy Fighting with My Family. Written and directed by Extras and Life’s Too Short co-creator Stephen Merchant, the film is inspired by the life of real-world wrestling star Paige and chronicles how she was raised in a family of wrestling fanatics and went from smalltown gigs with the fam to dominating the ring on an international stage.

You don’t have to be into wrestling to dig the heck out of this movie (I’ve never seen a full match and I loved it — so did my mom and pretty much everyone else I’ve talked to for that matter), though you might find yourself inclined to watch some once its over, but Fighting with My Family is just a classic feel-good sports movie with a heck of a lot of charm and a knockout ensemble cast that includes Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson himself and Vince Vaughn giving his most charismatic performance in ages. — Haleigh Foutch

Midsommar

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Image via A24

Writer/Director: Ari Aster

Cast: Florence Pugh, Jack Reynor, William Jackson Harper, Vilhelm Blomgren, Will Poulter

There are few up-and-coming filmmakers out there who have delivered the technical mastery and emotional savagery that Ari Aster one-two punched with his first two films. First with Hereditary (see below) and now with Midsommar, his sun-drenched folk horror ode to classics like The Wickerman that sends the audience to gorgeous a summer solstice hellscape of grief, anxiety and codependence. Florence Pugh gives a knockout performance as a young woman dealing with an insurmountable tragedy when she journeys abroad with her checked-out boyfriend (Jack Reynor) and his friends, and winds up smack in the middle of a terrifying pagan ritual. Gorgeously shot, scored, staged, etc., etc., Midsommar isn’t just a deviously elegant spin on a classic horror subgenre, it also packs a wicked sense of humor and pitch-black comedy. — Haleigh Foutch

The Farewell

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Image via A24

Writer/Director: Lulu Wang

Cast: Awkwafina, Shuzhen Zhao, Diana Lin, X Mayo, Tzi Ma, Becca Khalil

Lulu Wang‘s Golden Globe and Spirit award-winning gem The Farewell may not have received the Academy attention it so deserved, but that doesn’t make it any less an essential, cathartic watch. Based on her real-life experiences, Wang crafts a nuanced and deeply emotional journey through the highs and lows of loving someone with your whole heart. And the seemingly impossible task of saying goodbye with grace when the time comes.

Awkwafina stars in her best performance to date as Billi, a young Chinese-American woman who returns to China when she learns her grandmother (a truly extraordinary Shuzhen Zhao) is diagnosed with terminal cancer. And her struggles only intensify when she realizes her family intends to keep the diagnosis a secret from her grandma so that she can live the rest of her life in peace. The result is some of the best happy-sad filmmaking this side of Taika Waititi with wonderful moments of wit layered into the rich emotional story and a thoughtful examination of what happens when cultural values clash in a moment of crisis. And if you’ve ever had to say goodbye to someone you love, you won’t find a lovelier or more honest depiction of the crushing weight of mortality when that person is still right in front of you but you know it might be the last time. — Haleigh Foutch

A Simple Favor

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Image via Lionsgate

Writer: Jessica Sharzer

Director: Paul Feig

Cast: Anna Kendrick, Blake Lively, Henry Golding, Andrew Rannells

Twisted thrillers don’t get more deliciously absurd and provocative than A Simple Favor, Paul Feig‘s stylish mystery about a lonely single mother (Anna Kendrick) who gets caught up in an increasingly wild predicament when she agrees to look after her friend’s son. Turns out the friend in question is a real wild card (Blake Lively in a redefining role) and when she goes missing, everything gets all kinds of fucked-up. Easily one of the most slept on films of 2018, A Simple Favor is a bonafide gripping thriller with some next-level insane reveals and fashion porn that would make Ocean’s 8 tremble. Batshit insane with a trio of killer lead performances, A Simple Favor will keep you guessing, but even better, it will keep you grinning from start to finish. — Haleigh Foutch

The Last Black Man in San Francisco

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Image via A24

Director: Joe Talbot

Writers: Jimmie Fails, Robert Richart

Cast: Jimmie Fails, Jonathan Majors, Danny Glover, Tichina Arnold, Rob Morgan, Mike Epps, Finn Wittrock

Quietly gorgeous, with a palette of rich, sumptuous colors and arguably even more beautiful character work, The Last Black Man in San Francisco is a knockout. Jimmie Fails stars in a story partially based on his own life, as a young man determined to reclaim his childhood home in a gentrified San Francisco neighborhood where it now goes for about $4 million on the market. Fails has described the film as a love story between him and the house, and in many ways, it is that, a rapturous descent into the obsessions of love and the increasingly desperate and determined steps a man will take to win back the object of his affection.

But it’s also a moving story of friendship (including a singular and staggering performance from Jonathan Majors as Jimmie’s longtime best friend) and a poetic, heartfelt meditation on the emotional and historical power of the past even as it’s being purged for profit, the search for legacy in a culture that’s left you behind, and the breaking point when looking towards the past poisons your present. The Last Black Man in San Francisco is a lovely film with a haunted heart, and marks a stunning debut for director Joe Talbot. — Haleigh Foutch

Overlord

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Image via Paramount

Director: Julius Avery

Writers: Billy Ray and Mark L. Smith

Cast: Jovan Adepo, Wyatt Russell, Mathilde Ollivier, Pilou Asbæk, John Magaro, Ian De Caestecker, Jacob Anderson

If you dug the high-intensity immersive war drama of 1917, you’re gonna want to check out Overlord if for no other reason than the tremendous aerial opening sequence, which is an absolutely breathtaking, pulse-pounding intro. But you should definitely stick around after that too, because Julius Avery‘s Bad Robot sci-fi thriller drops US soldiers in a Nazi-occupied French village and goes full Twilight Zone when they discover the undead handiwork of one the SS’s mad scientists. It’s an exceptionally blended genre cocktail, delivering legit war drama thrills amidst a B-movie background of monsters, mayhem, and sci-fi insanity. In a more just world, we’d be eagerly awaiting the sequel to this underseen gem. — Haleigh Foutch

The Report

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Image via Amazon Studios

Director/Writer: Scott Z. Burns

Cast: Adam Driver, Annette Bening, Jon Hamm, Michael C. Hall, Ted Levine, Corey Stoll, Maura Tierney, and Sarah Goldberg

The Report is an excellent procedural thriller in the vein of All the President’s Men. It marks the directorial debut of Contagion and Side Effects writer Scott Z. Burns and chronicles the Senate’s investigation into the CIA’s use of torture following the 9/11 attacks, with Adam Driver playing the staffer assigned to head up the investigation at the behest of Dianne Feinstein (Annette Bening). This is a contained, sharp, and incisive thriller that doesn’t take detours to dig into the character’s personal life or a love story—it’s extremely matter-of-fact in simply following the path that led to the creation of the titular report, and it’s as engrossing as it is infuriating. Driver is spectacular. – Adam Chitwood

Fast Color

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Image via Lionsgate

If you like your superpowered stories on the serious side, you should definitely give Fast Color a shot. Julia Hart’s movie takes place in a near-future dystopia where water is scarce and it hasn’t rained in eight years. Into this picture, we see three generations of women who have the power to deconstruct and reconstruct matter, which becomes a potent symbol for trying to repair the broken bonds between them.

While serious superhero movies like Logan and The Dark Knight earn acclaim, Fast Color is equally worthy of recognition as it uses the mold of an indie family drama to explore initiate bonds that we feel may be broken beyond repair but just need work to heal. Anchored by three excellent performances from Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Lorraine Toussaint, and Saniyya Sidney, Fast Color is a movie that you shouldn’t let fly under your radar. – Matt Goldberg

Late Night

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Image via Amazon Studios

Director: Nisha Ganatra

Writer: Mindy Kaling

Cast: Mindy Kaling, Emma Thompson, Hugh Dancy, John Lithgow, Denis O’Hare, Reid Scott, and Amy Ryan

If you’re a fan of behind-the-scenes Hollywood stories and romcoms, you’ll probably like Late Night. The film follows a young woman (Mindy Kaling) who joins the all-male writing staff of a formerly famous but now in decline late night host, played by Emma Thompson. The idealistic young writer meets the cynicism of the host and her staff head-on, as they try to turn the show around while other obstacles arise. It’s sweet and fun and funny, but also surprisingly emotional as it reaches the end. Thompson delivers a terrific performance as a complex and powerful woman, and Kaling is charming as the naïve comedy newbie who idolizes her boss. – Adam Chitwood

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