The 16 Best Movies on Amazon Prime Right Now (October 2020)

What to watch on Amazon Prime

There are more than 18,000 movies available for viewing on Amazon Prime, and almost 2,000 television shows. That's a lot of content, so unless you have about 84,000 hours to spend watching videos, you're going to need some help. We've rounded up the best movies on Amazon Prime right now, in a variety of categories, to help you make the most of your TV-watching time. 

01
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Black Box (2020): Blumhouse's Latest Thriller

Phylicia Rashad and Mamoudou Athie in 'Black Box.'

Amazon Studios/Blumhouse Television

IMDb rating: n/a

Genre: Horror, Thriller

Starring: Mamoudou Athie, Phylicia Rashad, Amanda Christine 

Director: Emmanuel Osei-Kuffour

Motion Picture Rating: n/a

Running Time: n/a

Blumhouse is making a name for itself producing horror flicks like The Invisible Man, Fantasy Island, and the upcoming The Craft: Legacy. Now the company is releasing an anthology of creepy genre movies on Amazon Prime called "Welcome to Blumhouse" just in time for Halloween. The first film is Black Box. Starring Mamoudou Athie and Phylicia Rashad, it's about a man who loses his wife and his memory in a car accident, then undergoes agonizing experimental treatments that cause him to question his identity. Sounds intriguing!

02
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The Lie (2020): Another Blumhouse Offering

Peter Sarsgaard and Joey King in 'The Lie.'

Blumhouse Productions

 

IMDb rating: 6.1

Genre: Drama, Horror

Starring: Peter Sarsgaard, Joey King, Cas Anvar

Director: Veena Sud

Motion Picture Rating: R

Running Time: 1 hour, 37 minutes

Like Black Box, The Lie is also part of the "Welcome to Blumhouse" horror anthology coming to Amazon Prime in October. Peter Sarsgaard and Joey King star as a father and daughter on their way to a ballet retreat when they spot the girl's best friend on the side of the road. When they stop to offer her a ride, bad things happen. The family decides to close ranks and keep quiet about the incident. But secrets never stay that way for long.

03
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Spaceballs (1987): A Classic Send-Up of Star Wars

Mel Brooks in 'Spaceballs.'

MGM

IMDb rating: 7.1

Genre: Comedy

Starring: Mel Brooks, John Candy, Rick Moranis

Director: Mel Brooks

Motion Picture Rating: PG

Running Time: 1 hour, 36 minutes

While many don't consider it among Mel Brooks' best works, Spaceballs' humor manages to hold up even after all these years. A spoof of the Star Wars franchise, it chronicles the adventures of renegade space pilot Lone Starr (Bill Pullman) and his half-man, half-dog sidekick Barf (John Candy) as they try to rescue a princess (Daphne Zuniga) from the evil Dark Helmet (Rick Moranis). It's entirely silly, but it's the type of movie you wind up quoting with your friends for years afterward.

04
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The Departed (2006): An Engrossing Crime Drama

Jack Nicholson and Matt Damon in 'The Departed.'

Warner Bros. Entertainment

 

IMDb rating: 8.5

Genre: Crime, Drama

Starring: Leonardo DiCaprio, Matt Damon, Jack Nicholson 

Director: Martin Scorsese

Motion Picture Rating: R

Running Time: 2 hours, 31 minutes

Martin Scorsese's 2006 crime drama The Departed is a remake of the 2002 Hong Kong film Infernal Affairs. Now set in Boston, it follows undercover cop Billy Costigan (Leonardo DiCaprio) as he infiltrates the organization of infamous gangster Frank Costello (Jack Nicholson). While Billy seeks to gain Frank's trust, a mole in the police department (Matt Damon) spies for the crime boss. The film is bloody and tense, and Nicholson turns in a ferocious performance as Frank.

05
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Funny Girl (1968): Best Pick for Streisand Fans

Omar Shariff and Barbara Streisand in 'Funny Girl.'

 Columbia Pictures

IMDb rating: 7.4

Genre: Musical

Starring: Barbra Streisand, Omar Sharif, Kay Medford

Director: William Wyler

Motion Picture Rating: G

Running Time: 2 hours, 31 minutes

This classic musical propelled Barbara Streisand into superstardom and for good reason. It's impossible to imagine this movie without her and her performance as the famous 1900s comedienne and entertainer Fanny Brice. The film shows Brice's rise to fame as a Ziegfeld girl and her personal life, which included a tumultuous relationship with gambler Nick Arnstein (Omar Shariff).

06
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The Mask Of Zorro (1998): A Rollicking Swashbuckler

Antonio Banderas and Catherine Zeta-Jones in 'The Mask of Zorro.'

 Amblin/Columbia Tri-Star

IMDb rating: 6.7

Genre: Action-Adventure

Starring: Antonio Banderas, Anthony Hopkins, Catherine Zeta-Jones

Director: Martin Campbell

Motion Picture Rating: PG-13

Running Time: 2 hours, 16 minutes

If you're in the mood for some classic Hollywood swashbuckling, The Mask of Zorro comes to Amazon Prime in October. This version of the tale sees Don Diego de la Vega (Anthony Hopkins) imprisoned for 20 years. When his old enemy Don Rafael Montero (Stuart Wilson) returns, he decides to train an aimless drunk named Alejandro Murrieta (Antonio Banderas) to replace him as the hero Zorro. But there's a complication. Montero raised de la Vega's daughter Elena (Catherine Zeta-Jones) as his own for all these years. The entire cast is charming and the action sequences thrilling. It's the kind of movie that makes you say, "They don't make them like that anymore."

07
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Radioactive (2019): Best Scientific Biopic

Rosamund Pike in Radioactive

Amazon

 

IMDb rating: 6.2

Genre: Biography, Drama

Starring: Rosamund Pike, Yvette Feuer, Mirjam Novak 

Director: Marjane Satrapi

Motion Picture Rating: PG-13

Running Time: 1 hour, 49 minutes

Radioactive chronicles the life of pioneering scientist Marie Curie (Rosamund Pike), the first woman to win a Nobel Prize. During her lifetime, she refined a technique for isolating radioactive isotopes and discovered the elements polonium and radium. The film follows her life, her research, and the consequences that followed, before ending on her impact on the 21st century.

Pike is a very capable actress and Radioactive is worth watching for her alone. She portrays Curie as both sympathetic and tough, and her performance helps elevate what is otherwise a pretty standard biopic.

08
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Knives Out (2019): Best Use of a Cable-Knit Sweater

Chris Evans in 'Knives Out'

Lionsgate 

IMDb rating: 7.9

Genre: Mystery

Starring: Daniel Craig, Chris Evans, Ana de Armas

Director: Rian Johnson

Motion Picture Rating: PG-13

Running Time: 2 hours, 10 minutes

Fans of old-fashioned locked-room murder mysteries will find a lot to love about Knives Out, director Rian Johnson's subversive ode to the genre.

When renowned crime novelist Harlan Thrombey (Christopher Plummer) is found dead on his 85th birthday, a member of his family hires Detective Benoit Blanc (Daniel Craig, affecting the best worst Southern accent since Foghorn Leghorn) to investigate. The mystery is a ton of fun and manages to throw in a couple of surprises. The ensemble cast seems to enjoy themselves as well. Craig chews lots of scenery as Blanc, and Ana de Armas is fantastic as Thrombey's beleaguered nurse. Filled with black humor and political commentary, this film is an enjoyable update to a classic genre.

09
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Inception (2010): Best Mind-Bending Sci-Fi Flick

Dom Cobb (Leonardo DiCaprio) stares at a spinning top in the film Inception

Warner Bros.

IMDb rating: 8.8

Genre: Action, Sci-Fi

Starring:  Leonardo DiCaprio, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Ellen Page

Director: Christopher Nolan

Motion Picture Rating: PG-13

Running Time: 2 hours, 28 minutes

Christopher Nolan's 2010 sci-fi action film Inception stars Leonardo DiCaprio as Dominick "Dom" Cobb, a thief who steals information by invading people's dreams. He and his team are given an impossible mission: implant an idea into a person's subconscious instead of stealing one. In return, their employer will erase Cobb's criminal record so he can reunite with his kids.

Inception has a couple of things going for it. A strong ensemble cast that includes Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Ellen Page, Tom Hardy, Ken Watanabe, Marion Cotillard, and more. Incredible practical effects and thrilling action set pieces. And an ending that makes you think about it long after the credits roll. If you haven't seen this head-trip yet, you owe it to yourself to experience this trippy sci-fi heist film.

10
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The Big Sick (2017): Best Real-Life Romantic Comedy

Kumail Nanjiani and Zoe Kazan in a scene from The Big Sick

 Lionsgate

IMDb rating: 7.5

Genre: Romance

Starring: Kumail Nanjiani, Zoe Kazan, Holly Hunter

Director: Michael Showalter

Motion Picture Rating: R

Running Time: 120 minutes

Kumail Nanjiani (Kumail Nanjiani) meets and falls in love with Emily Gardner (Zoe Kazan), but his parents—who have set up an arranged marriage for him—throw a monkey wrench in the relationship and she breaks up with him. It sounds like the start of a generic clash-of-cultures romantic comedy, except this is all real. Kumail Nanjiani co-wrote the screenplay for The Big Sick with his real-life wife Emily Gordon based on the events of their highly unusual courtship.

The heart of the film is about what happens when Emily—no longer dating Kumail—falls deathly ill and her parents (and Kumail) rush to the hospital to manage the illness and care for her. Like any rom-com, lessons are learned, hearts are mended, and poignant moments are shared. But what makes this movie so much more meaningful—and more likely to stay with you long after it's over—is that it really happened.

11
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Dora and the Lost City of Gold (2019): Best for Fans of the Cartoon Series

Dora (Isabela Moner) checks her map in Dora and the Lost City of Gold

Photo by Vince Valitutti - © 2018 Paramount Players, a Division of Paramount Pictures

IMDb rating: 6.0

Genre: Adventure

Starring:  Isabela Moner, Benicio del Toro, Eva Longoria, Michael Peña

Director: James Bobin

Motion Picture Rating: PG

Running Time: 1 hour, 42 minutes

If you're looking for a cute family-friendly flick to watch this month, you could do a lot worse than Dora and the Lost City of Gold. Based on the hit cartoon series Dora the Explorer, it sees the eponymous explorer (Isabela Moner) and her friends journey to Peru in search of the fabled Lost City of Gold and Dora's missing parents (Eva Longoria, Michael Peña). A thieving fox named Swiper (Benicio del Toro) and a gaggle of mercenaries stands in their way.

Young fans of the Nickelodeon series will obviously be delighted to watch this live-action adaptation, but non-fans and parents can enjoy its charming lead and campy slapstick as well.

12
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The Lighthouse (2019): Best Psychological Horror

Willem Dafoe and Robert Pattinson in 'The Lighthouse'

A24

 

IMDb rating: 7.5

Genre: Horror

Starring: Robert Pattinson, Willem Dafoe

Director: Robert Eggers

Motion Picture Rating: R

Running Time: 1 hour, 49 minutes

Director Robert Eggers' The Lighthouse is a moody, black and white psychological horror film set in 19th century New England. Willem Dafoe and Robert Pattinson play lighthouse keepers who slowly lose their sanity when a storm strands them. Dafoe is always a fascinating actor and he gives a larger than life performance here as the salty veteran seadog, while Pattinson ably matches him. The movie was at least partially inspired by Edgar Allan Poe, so fans of the author's macabre work will find something to like here, as will fans of Egger's previous horror work, The Witch.

13
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Mission: Impossible - Fallout (2018): Best Cinematic Action Movie

Tom Cruise in Mission Impossible Fallout

 Paramount

IMDb rating: 7.7

Genre: Action/Adventure

Starring: Tom Cruise, Henry Cavill, Ving Rhames

Director: Christopher McQuarrie

Motion Picture Rating: PG-13

Running Time: 147 minutes

Who knew, in 1996, that the cinematic version of the campy old Mission: Impossible TV series would go on to spawn one of the most popular franchises in film history? And that, with a few exceptions, each M:I movie gets better than the one before?

In the latest chapter, Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise) and his team need to recover the plutonium cores to a trio of nuclear weapons. As in most M:I movies, though, the particular MacGuffin they're after is almost irrelevant. Fallout takes the crew to Paris, London, and India, includes an epic car chase, some skydiving, and an insane helicopter chase you have to see to believe—all the more amazing because that's Tom Cruise really flying.

14
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The Cabin in the Woods (2011): Best Deconstructed Comedy/Horror Flick

A scene from Cabin in the Woods

Lionsgate 

IMDb rating: 7.0

Genre: Horror

Starring: Kristen Connolly, Chris Hemsworth, Anna Hutchison 

Director: Drew Goddard

Motion Picture Rating: R

Running Time: 95 minutes

People seem to love it when chefs 'deconstruct' popular dishes, like when they give you a sliver of bread, puddle of sauce, and a slice of cheese and call it pizza. Joss Whedon has done something similar with The Cabin in the Woods, deconstructing the horror genre in an incredibly fun and exciting way.

A group of typical teens including Dana (Kristen Connolly), Curt (Chris Hemsworth), and Jules (Anna Hutchison) head off to a remote cabin for the weekend and end up unleashing an army of the undead. But the way they do it—and the unexpected twists and turns the plot takes along the way—is like taking a college course in horror film tropes. And the film's final act sets a new standard for upending your expectations. Moreover, this is an excellent movie not just for die-hard horror fans who want to see the genre turned inside-out; the comedy makes it thoroughly entertaining for horror newbies, too.

15
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Rocketman (2019): Best Musical Biopic

Taron Egerton as Elton John in Rocketman

 Paramount

IMDb rating: 7.3

Genre: Biography, Music, Drama

Starring: Taron Egerton, Jamie Bell, Richard Madden

Director: Dexter Fletcher

Motion Picture Rating: R

Running Time: 121 minutes

If you grew up singing along to Bennie and the Jets, Crocodile Rock, or, dare I say it, Rocketman, then you don't want to miss Taron Egerton slip seamlessly into the role of the world's best-known rock and roll piano player.

Yes, it's a bit of a paint-by-the-numbers biopic, but unlike Bohemian Rhapsody, Freddie Mercury's recent biography, this look at the life of Elton John has the advantage of being more or less accurate. Along the way, you get all the great music, the ups and downs of his life and musical career, and get to meet the most important people in his life, including manager John Reid (Richard Madden) and partner Bernie Taupin (Jamie Bell). And for fans, that's more than enough.

16
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All-In: The Fight for Democracy (2020): Best New Political Documentary

Stacey Abrams in the political documentary 'All In: The Fight for Democracy'

 Amazon

IMDb rating: n/a

Genre: Documentary

Starring: Stacey Abrams, Luci Baines Johnson, Andrew Young

Director: Lisa Cortes, Liz Garbus

Motion Picture Rating: PG-13

Running Time: 1 hour, 42 minutes

This Amazon Original documentary, which comes out on Sept. 18, takes a look at voting rights in America, making it a very timely watch. Much of it is centered on Stacey Abrams, who served as minority leader in the Georgie House of Representatives and ran for governor in 2016 in an election marred by voter suppression accusations. Since then, she's become a voting rights activist. The documentary focuses on the history of such activism, as well as the barriers to voting many people encounter in the U.S.