40 Unique Amazon Prime Movies to Watch Now

40 Unique Amazon Prime Movies to Watch Now

Share:

twitter
facebook
reddit
pinterest
link

Nothing is ever truly original anymore, least of all in cinema—where filmmakers are constantly inspired by each other and proudly pay homage to earlier works. But there can be a point when movies begin to feel safe and same-y, especially if you’re streaming, buying, and renting from a service with as wide a library as Amazon Prime. So we at agoodmovietowatch have put together a list of films that aren’t only underseen by general audiences but can actually serve as a reminder of what movies can accomplish if filmmakers really think outside the box, while still honoring the greats before them.

40. Thirty-Two Short films About Glenn Gould

7.2

Moods

Original, Smart

It’s virtually impossible to capture the complexity of a person’s life in just a few short hours, which is why many biopics are so unsatisfying. François Girard avoids this problem by ditching the usual format altogether, creating a rich tapestry of evocative vignettes that gives us a real sense of who the famous concert pianist actually was. 

The short films never show Gould playing the piano, although we do have one short sequence filmed inside the instrument during a concert, and another eccentric moment of him shot in X-ray while in full flow. These internal moments give us the sense that music was part of his very being. 

Colm Feore delivers a generous performance, playing Gould as a verbose eccentric who is constantly amused by the normal rhythms of human life while being forever detached from it by his genius.

39. The Science of Sleep (2006)

7.2

Country

France, Italy

Director

Michel Gondry

Actors

Alain Chabat, Aurelia Petit, Charlotte Gainsbourg, Emma de Caunes

Moods

Lovely, Original, Quirky

How does a standout director follow up to a film like Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind? With a more profound exploration of style, a further exploration of his originality. Gael Garcia Bernal (who you might know from Y Tu Mama Tambien) plays an imaginative but awkward kind of guy who falls for his cute neighbor, played Charlotte Gainsbourg. Bizarre and whimsical dream sequences follow and a sweet, if hesitant, love story unfolds. An eccentric, funny and very French movie (with most scenes in English).  

38. Ghost World (2001)

7.2

Country

Germany, UK, United Kingdom

Director

Terry Zwigoff

Actors

Alex Solowitz, Anna Berger, Ashley Peldon, Bob Balaban

Moods

Original, Sunday

Based on the comic book by Daniel Clowes, Ghost World is a dark comedy that follows the exploits of teenage outcasts Enid and Rebecca (Thora Birch and Scarlett Johansson) as they navigate the many complexities of burgeoning adulthood. Central to the story is the unlikely friendship that Enid strikes up with a lonesome older man (played by Steve Buscemi), a curious relationship that drifts through various humorous and melancholy situations. It’s an original and often poignant look at alienation and identity, with Birch delivering a wonderfully deadpan and often hilarious performance, despite her entirely pessimistic attitude. It’s the type of film that’s just right when you’re in the mood for something just a little bit different.

37. Ash Is Purest White (2019)

7.3

Country

China, China France Japan, France

Director

Jia Zhangke, Zhangke Jia

Actors

Casper Liang, Diao Yi'nan, Ding Jiali, Dong Zijian

Moods

Original, Smart

Jia Zhangke (who NPR critic John Powers once called “perhaps the most important filmmaker working in the world today”), directed this movie based on the story of a gangster he knew while growing up.

And he is far from being the only noticeable talent here. Actress Tao Zhao shines as a character called Qiao, a dancer who infiltrates the crime scene in Northern China by way of her boyfriend (the gangster). When a boss leader is assassinated, Qiao finds herself in jail after she refuses to incriminate her boyfriend. 

This is a gangster movie but it’s also about how Qiao processes her time in jail and what she does once she gets out. It serves more as a character study and a picture of modern-day China.

36. Volver (2006)

7.3

Country

Spain

Director

Pedro Almodoóvar, Pedro Almodóvar

Actors

Agustín Almodóvar, Antonio de la Torre, Blanca Portillo, Carlos Blanco

Moods

Dark, Original

Pedro Almodovar’s films tend to swing wildly between comedy/farce and melodrama/tragedy. Volver somehow hits the sweet spot right in the middle of all four genres, with an added dose of magical realism. It’s a total joy to watch, which is really saying something since the story touches on murder, adultery, incest, malignant tumors, ghosts, and Penelope Cruz’s derriere. But maybe that’s the magic of Almodovar’s films? He’s able to take dark themes and surround them with bright colors, warm characters, and screwball humor—and really, is there anything better than that?

35. C.R.A.Z.Y. (2005)

7.4

Country

Canada, France, Morocco

Director

Jean-Marc Vallée

Actors

Alex Gravel, Danielle Proulx, Denis Trudel, Élizabeth Adam

Moods

Original

C.R.A.Z.Y. is crazy good, so to speak. A portrait of a French-Canadian family in 70’s Quebec that will knock your socks right off, it’s the story of a boy struggling with his identity and his relationship with his father. Featuring a killer soundtrack (including but not limited to Bowie, Pink Floyd, Rolling Stones), it received Best Canadian Film in 2005 at Toronto International Film Festival. There are many things I would like to say about C.R.A.Z.Y. but I fear it’s one of those films you enjoy best when you go into them not knowing much.

34. Riders of Justice (2021)

7.5

Country

Denmark, Sweden

Director

Anders Thomas Jensen

Actors

Albert Rudbeck Lindhardt, Anders Nyborg, Andrea Heick Gadeberg, Anne Birgitte Lind

Moods

Character-driven, Funny, Gripping

Don’t let the title and poster fool you—Riders of Justice isn’t the testosterone-filled action flick you’d expect going in (though it does get ridiculous at some points). It centers on deployed military man Markus, played by the appropriately masculine Mads Mikkelsen, who has to return home to his teenage daughter Mathilde after his wife dies in an accident. Instead of coping normally and sticking with his daughter to get through the tragedy, he goes down a rabbit hole discovering how the accident that killed his wife is more than just bad luck and may have been collateral damage from a gang orchestrating an assassination.

Surprisingly, director Anders Thomas Jensen injects this violent film with a lot of gentle moments about trauma and togetherness. Mikkelsen and the rest of the cast play off of each other very well, using dark humor to bring together a bunch of characters who are, in oversimplified terms, “fucked up but trying their best.”

It may seem like the guns, blood, and badass moments are a front for this film that, at its core, shows men who badly need therapy banding together to cope with the harshness of life. Extremely funny and deeply moving, it qualifies as a heartwarming Christmas movie, believe it or not.

33. Maria Full of Grace (2004)

7.6

Country

Colombia, Ecuador, United States of America

Director

Joshua Marston

Actors

Catalina Sandino Moreno, Charles Albert Patiño, Guilied Lopez, Jhon Álex Toro

Moods

Dramatic, Original

Is courage still courage when you have no choices left? What do you do when you’re pressed to the wall and have no way to go? Maria, a pretty, modest and hardworking girl living in a small Colombian town, where the only career choice (thus not being a choice, really) is working in a floral plant, packing and distributing flowers – a dead-end job with killer hours and zero-tolerance boss. Yet, it’s money. Until the day Maria gets pregnant and her choices become even more limited. By accident, she makes acquaintance with a guy who turns out to be her way out – and the way is out to become a drug mule, transporting drugs in your stomach across the border to the American soil. A job dangerous in many aspects, illegal and potentially deadly, but also paid well. Maria decides to take the only way out, a way that may be a one-way street. Maria Full of Grace is a gut-wrenching story about survival in a seemingly hopeless situation. It’s about taking that one chance that has all the potential to go south, and investing in it all the hope you have left, and all the survival instinct you have in your heart and soul. And when everything that could go bad does, and everything turns from bad to worse beyond imagination, it’s about standing strong and not giving up, no matter what. Though technically not a documentary, it’s real beyond belief, and you can be sure Colombia is full of Marias – just hoping for a decent life, ready to sacrifice the very life itself to obtain it. It’s a masterpiece of its genre and it also boasts one of the best posters in the history of the cinema. Highly recommended.

32. Inside Llewyn Davis (2013)

7.6

Country

France, UK, United Kingdom

Director

Ethan Coen, Joel Coen

Actors

Adam Driver, Alex Karpovsky, Bonnie Rose, Carey Mulligan

Moods

Dramatic, Original, Smart

Inside Llewyn Davis tells the interesting and captivating story of a young, struggling singer navigating through the Greenwich Village folk scene in 1961. The movie conveys all sorts of emotions, thanks to Coen brothers’ stroke of genius: it is strange, funny, dramatic and satisfying at the same time. Not to mention, the ensemble cast is superb, and the music is absolutely great. It is the kind of movie that will put an unfamiliar yet wondrous feeling into you as you live through Llewyn Davis’ eyes and feel his pain.

31. Barbarian (2022)

7.7

Country

United States of America

Director

Zach Cregger

Actors

Bill Skarsgård, Brooke Dillman, Derek Morse, Georgina Campbell

Moods

Dark, Grown-up Comedy, Intense

Rarely do we get horror movies that are as dedicated to toying with audience expectations as Barbarian. Even rarer is a horror movie that pays so much attention to setting, and how men and women approach and interact with physical spaces in different ways. It’s a film that’s ultimately about entitlement—except it’s delivered to us with jet-black humor and manic energy, shifting from romantic to ridiculous to raving mad. But with instantly charming performances from Georgina Campbell and Bill Skarsgård—and Justin Long doing a brilliant job playing an absolute jerk—Barbarian never leaves you grasping in the dark, even if it leads you deeper into hell.

agmtw
eu

© 2023 agoodmovietowatch, all rights reserved.

We are home to the best film and TV on popular streaming services. Supported only by readers like you and by public grants.