30 Best Movies to Rent on Amazon for $1.99 or less

30 Best Movies to Rent on Amazon for $1.99 or less

May 4, 2024

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Netflix and other streaming platforms are great, but their content is very limited. If you want to go beyond their limited catalog or if you don’t want to subscribe to them at all, you can always rent movies digitally.

Renting is not as expensive as you think, and actually depending on your use, streaming might be more expensive. Netflix’s plans range from $9 to $16 per month, and while that doesn’t seem like a lot think of it this way: that’s $108 to $192 a year that subscribers pay them. 

Therefore, renting only the movies that you want to watch, when you want to watch them, is not only practical, it might save you a lot of money. 

Below is a list of the best movies to rent on Amazon for less than two bucks. Please note that these prices are for SD rental, which sometimes you have to click “more purchase options to see”. Please also note that while we try to be as accurate about these prices as we can, Amazon might decide to charge a different price. These rental prices are for indicational purposes only. 

21. Sunshine Cleaning (2008)

best

8.0

Country

United States of America

Director

Christine Jeffs, Female director

Actors

Alan Arkin, Amber Midthunder, Amy Adams, Amy Redford

Moods

Dramatic, Easy, Emotional

Sunshine Cleaning is a great addition to that unidentified genre of grown-up comedies populated by other great entries like Your Sister’s Sister and Enough Said. It is however, less of a comedy than it is a heart-warming emotional tale. Powered by outstanding performances from Amy Adams and Emily Blunt, it ultimately evolves into a character study of failed potential and validation seeking. Sunshine Cleaning is enjoyable, satisfying to a fault, and provides an interesting peak into the lives of its characters.

22. American Animals (2018)

best

8.0

Country

India, UK, United Kingdom

Director

Bart Layton

Actors

Al Mitchell, Ann Dowd, Barry Keoghan, Ben McIntire

Moods

Gripping, Suspenseful, Thrilling

This crazy heist movie is told in a very original way. Because it’s based on a true story, the movie (with actors and a story) is sometimes interrupted by the people it’s about. The opening scene even reads: “this movie is not based on a true story, it is a true story”. Two friends decide to rob their local library from rare books worth millions. They’re driven by money but also by wanting something different than their monotonous everyday lives in Kentucky. The need for a change is a big theme in this movie, but the story and the way it’s told never cease to be breathtakingly thrilling. American Animals stars amazing actors like Barry Keoghan (Dunkirk), Evan Peters (Kick-Ass), and many more; but perhaps equally as notable is the director: Bart Layton, who is fresh from his amazing 2012 sleeper-hit The Imposter.

23. Borg vs. McEnroe (2017)

best

8.0

Country

Denmark, Finland, Sweden

Director

Janus Metz, Janus Metz Pedersen

Actors

Anders Berg, Ben Bradshaw, Bjorn Granath, Bob Boudreaux

Moods

Inspiring, True-story-based, Uplifting

Shia Laboeuf and Stellan Skarsgård star in this true story about one of the greatest tennis matches in history: the 1980 Wimbledon final. The movie dissects what drives both competitors (one played by Laboeuf and the other by Sverrir Gudnason). Their personalities, considered opposites, are studied through their paths and how they got into tennis. All this leads to that one match, in this beautiful story of dealing with competition and fear of failure. Don’t stop watching when the credits roll, read what they say!

24. Lean on Pete (2017)

7.9

Country

UK, United Kingdom, United States of America

Director

Andrew Haigh

Actors

Alison Elliott, Amy Seimetz, Ayanna Berkshire, Bob Olin

Moods

Character-driven, Slice-of-Life, Warm

A24 + Steve Buscemi = ?. 

In “Lean on Pete,” Buscemi plays a guy called Del Montgomery (of course), who is a racetrack horse owner in Portland, Oregon. He befriends a kid, Charley (Charlie Plummer in an amazing performance), who had been abandoned by his family and is new to Portland. 

Together they take care of Montgomery’s only horse, until the kid discovers that the horse is set to be slaughtered. He embarks on an impossible journey across the U.S. to try to save the horse while also looking for his family. 

This movie flew under most peoples’ radars. It is truly amazing. If you like “Lean on Pete” you should watch other A24 gems like “Lady Bird” or “The Florida Project.”

25. Locke (2013)

7.8

Country

UK, United Kingdom, United States of America

Director

Steven Knight

Actors

Alice Lowe, Andrew Scott, Ben Daniels, Bill Milner

Moods

A-list actors, Character-driven, Well-acted

Tom Hardy channels (and transcends) his inner Colin Farrell with this film which takes place inside of a BMW SUV in its entirety. A mature drama that pays homage to anyone battling internal demons, Locke is an 85 minute road trip in which the viewer acts as the passenger. Intricately constructed with a series of intense phone calls and conversations, the film will reward you with an immersive experience with palpable anxiety that has moments that at times feel all too real.

26. Monster (2003)

7.8

Country

Germany, United States of America

Director

Female director, Patty Jenkins

Actors

Al, Annie Corley, Brett Rice, Bruce Dern

Moods

Challenging, Character-driven, Dark

Monster is a biographical depiction of Aileen Wuornos (Charlize Theron), a prostitute and serial killer who murdered seven men in Florida between 1989 and 1990. The film follows the burgeoning relationship between Wuornos and young Selby Wall (Christina Ricci, in a role based on Wuornos’ real-life girlfriend Tyria Moore), as she grows increasingly desperate to provide for her young companion financially. Her desperation and her rage against men, brought on by years of both childhood and adult abuse, leads her down a dark path of murder and theft, even as she struggles to shield Selby from the horror of her crimes. The overwhelming highlight of the film is Theron’s mesmerizing performance as Wuornos—a role that won her a well-deserved Academy Award for Best Actress in 2004. She’s almost unrecognizable and altogether phenomenal as the volatile and increasingly unstable Wuornos, whose ferocity is interwoven with surprising affection for young Selby. This unexpected tenderness lends the film an air of tragic poignancy, and provides a bittersweet portrayal of a severely troubled woman. Very much intended for mature audiences only, Monster is a fascinating recreation of a disturbing yet compelling chapter in the annals of true crime in America.

27. Secondhand Lions (2003)

7.8

Country

United States of America

Director

Tim McCanlies

Actors

Adam Ozturk, Adrian Pasdar, Billy Joe Shaver, Brian Stanton

Moods

Easy, Lighthearted, No-brainer

This forgotten gem is the perfect family movie. It stars Michael Caine and Robert Duvall as the two eccentric uncles of Walter, a shy city kid (played by Haley Joel Osment). When Walter moves in with his uncles in rural Texas, he first has a hard time adjusting to his new surroundings. However his routine is changed after he starts hearing local gossip about his uncles, and reminiscence spurs in all three an incredible eagerness for adventure. Secondhand Lions has gathered impressive cult following in the past few years, and rightfully so. Its fast-paced, entertaining yet substantial storyline shines a light on the amazing performances by the cast, and offers a surprising mix of funny, heartwarming and sad. Look out for the flashback scenes.

28. Biutiful (2010)

7.7

Country

Mexico, Spain, United States of America

Director

Alejandro G. Iñárritu, Alejandro González Iñárritu

Actors

Adelfa Calvo, Alain Hernández, Ana Wagener, Annabel Totusaus

Moods

Character-driven, Dark, Depressing

Ever wondered how much your life will change when faced with the reality that death is about to come? That’s normal, and not nearly as life-altering as being told you only have a few more moments to live. Because of a terminal illness, Uxbal (Javier Bardem) is driven to this situation and tries to right his wrongs in the wake of modern Barcelona. This melodrama is supercharged by Bardem’s unearthly performance as the story’s only hero, demonstrating the selfless love of a destroyed and dying father to his children – paired with cinematography unlike any other, this film is exceptionally beautiful. Directed by González Iñárritu’ (Babel, Birdman, The Revenant).

29. Tomorrow (2015)

7.6

Country

France

Director

Cyril Dion, Female director

Actors

Angela Merkel, Anthony Barnosky, Barack Obama, Cyril Dion

Moods

Inspiring, Instructive

When filmmaker and actress Mélanie Laurent (Breathe, Inglorious Basterds) was pregnant with her son, she learned about a study that predicted that climate change would cause human civilization to crumble by 2050. Like many soon-to-be parents, she worried about what it means to bring a child to a world where that’s a scientific forecast.

Instead of despairing, she chose to make this movie about solutions. She traveled the world with an activist friend documenting how human ingenuity is getting in the way of the situation worsening. The documentary goes to 10 countries to investigate solutions on five levels: agriculture (food), energy, economy, education, and democracy.

30. Neds (2011)

7.4

Country

France, Italy, UK

Director

Peter Mullan

Actors

Conor McCarron, David McKay, Douglas Russell, Gary Hollywood

This coming-of-age drama is about John McGill, a brilliant student with a promising future who becomes a thug. More specifically, he becomes a Ned: a Non-Educated Delinquent, a derogatory term applied to small-time criminals in Scotland.

His story takes place in 1970s Glasgow. A lot pushes John to make this transition: bad parenting, bullying and an early brush with crime life through his older brother. Directed by and starring Peter Mullan (Trainspotting, Westworld).

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