What's New on Amazon Prime Video (July 2020)

The best of what's new on Prime Video

With new Amazon Prime shows and movies coming out every month, it can be a challenge to keep up with what's new on Prime Video. Amazon's streaming service includes a mix of classic movies and TV shows as well as original Amazon films and series. We've rounded up the best things to watch on Prime Video in a variety of categories to help you put together your watch list.

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7500 (2019): Best Amazon Original Action Movie in a Plane

Joseph Gordon Levitt in 7500

Amazon Studios

IMDb rating: 5.9

Genre: Drama, Thriller

Starring: Passar Hariky, Omid Memar, Hicham Sebiai

Director: Patrick Vollrath

Motion Picture Rating: R

Running Time: 92 minutes

7500 is an action movie that takes place primarily in the cockpit of a plane. An international collaboration between Austria, Germany, and the U.S., 7500 premiered at the Locarno Film Festival in 2019 before landing on Prime Video in 2020.

This movie about a terrorist hijacking is more of a psychological thriller than a standard action flick. Patrick Vollrath's directorial debut isn't a masterpiece, but Joseph Gordon-Levitt's intense performance will definitely keep your attention for an hour and a half.

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Pete the Cat (2017): Best New Amazon Animated Series for Kids

Pete the Cat promotional image


IMDb rating: 7.6

Genre: Animation, Comedy, Family

Starring: Jacob Tremblay, Elvis Costello, Diana Krall

TV Rating: Y

Running Time: 22 minutes

Based on a series of illustrated books about a cool-tempered feline, Pete the Cat features the voice talents of notable celebrities including Jacob Tremblay and Elvis Costello. This adaptation also includes original music by various artists such as Costello and Diana Krall.

If you like the show, there are children's books that tie-in with the series. There's also a holiday special called Pete the Cat: A Groovy New Year as well as a Valentine's Day special titled Pete the Cat: A Very Groovy Valentine's Day.

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Gina Brillon: The Floor is Lava (2020): Best Inspirational Stand Up Comedy Special

Gina Brillon: The Floor is Lava promotional image


IMDb rating: 5.4

Genre: Comedy

Starring: Gina Brillion

TV Rating: TV-MA

Running Time: 60 minutes

The Floor is Lava is Gina Brillon's first standup comedy special exclusively for Amazon Prime Video. The 2012 winner of NBC's Standup For Diversity competition in 2012, you may recognize Brillon from her recurring roles in The Conners and Kevin Can Wait.

In her special, Brillon reflects on growing up poor in the Bronx and her subsequent move to the midwest. The jokes are funny, but the comic's story is also inspirational. The set concludes with a powerful appeal to human kindness and a call for greater equality for all.

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Dirty Dancing (1987): Best 80s Movie That Everyone Loves

Jennifer Grey and Johnny Castle in Dirty Dancing

IMDb rating: 5.4

Genre: Drama, Romance

Director: Emile Ardolino

Starring: Patrick Swayze, Jennifer Grey, Jerry Orbach

Motion Picture Rating: PG-13

Running Time: 100 minutes

Dirty Dancing holds the distinction of being the first movie to sell over one million copies on VHS. This romantic story of Frances "Baby" Houseman (Jennifer Grey) and Johnny Castle (Patrick Swayze) made more than $214 million during its theatrical run, and the movie's soundtrack received accolades at the Golden Globes, Grammys, and Academy Awards. If you can't get enough of Dirty Dancing, be sure to check out the 2004 prequel Havana Nights as well. The film even inspired a stage adaptation and a 2017 series.

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How To Train Your Dragon (2010): Best Fantasy Kids Movie (With Dragons!)

Hiccup and Astrid in How To Train Your Dragon

 Paramount Pictures

IMDb rating: 8.1

Genre: Animation, Action, Adventure

Director: Dean DeBlois, Chris Sanders

Starring: Jay Baruchel, Gerard Butler, Christopher Mintz-Plasse

Motion Picture Rating: PG

Running Time: 93 minutes

In How To Train Your Dragon, a teenage Viking (Jay Baruchel) who aspires to be a dragon hunter strikes up an unlikely friendship. This thought-provoking family movie explores themes of empathy without being preachy. Thanks to the film's impressive 3D animation, emotional story, and whimsical musical score, How To Train Your Dragon received two Academy Award nominations for Best Animated Feature and Best Original Score.

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The U.S. vs. John Lennon (2006): Best Biographical Documentary About an Icon

John Lennon and Yoko One in The U.S. vs. John Lennon


IMDb rating: 7.3

Genre: Documentary, Biography, Music

Director: David Leaf, John Scheinfeld

Starring: John Lennon, Yoko Ono, Stew Albert

Motion Picture Rating: PG-13

Running Time: 99 minutes

This documentary about John Lennon focuses on the legendary artists' antiwar activism. As the title suggests, the movie centers around the Nixon administration's attempts to ban Lennon. Viewers are treated to extensive archival footage of Lennon and his wife, Yoko Ono. Released exactly 26 years after Lennon's assassination, The U.S. vs. John Lennon is worth a watch even if you're not a huge fan of his music.

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Child’s Play (2019): Best New Horror Movie That Will Keep You Awake at Night

Chucky in Child’s Play 2019

Orion Pictures 

IMDb rating: 5.8

Genre: Horror, Sci-Fi

Director: Lars Klevberg

Starring: Mark Hamill, Aubrey Plaza, Gabriel Bateman

Motion Picture Rating: R

Running Time: 90 minutes

Child's Play is everything a remake should be. It puts a fresh spin on a familiar story, remaining loyal to the source material without ripping it off. Whether or not the remake is better than original is hard to say because they are very different films. Nonetheless, the new Child's Play has enough gore to please horror fans and offers an interesting perspective on the future of artificial intelligence.

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Nerve (2016): Best Thriller Based on a Creepily Realistic Premise

Emma Roberts and Dave Franco in Nerve


IMDb rating: 6.5

Genre: Adventure, Crime, Drama

Starring: Emma Roberts, Dave Franco, Emily Meade

Director: Henry Joost, Ariel Schulman

Motion Picture Rating: PG-13

Running Time: 96 minutes

This heart-racing thriller is about an online game that encourages teens to perform increasingly risky acts in public. What starts as adolescent fun soon turns dark and twisted. Nerve is a movie about teenagers for teenagers, but it's smart enough to keep adults engaged. It received a positive reception for its creepily realistic premise.

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Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan (1982): Best Campy, but Groundbreaking Star Trek Movie

Ricardo Montalbán in Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan

 Paramount Pictures

IMDb rating: 7.7

Genre: Adventure, Action, Sci-Fi

Starring: William Shatner, Leonard Nimoy, DeForest Kelley

Director: Nicholas Meyer

Motion Picture Rating: PG

Running Time: 113 minutes

Most of the original Star Trek movies are now on Amazon Prime. If you only watch one of them, it should be Wrath of Khan. Even if you've never seen the movie, you've likely seen the famous clip of William Shatner yelling "Kahn!" into the camera. Although it looks campy by today's standards, the movie featured groundbreaking computer animation for its time.

The first Star Trek film received a mixed reception upon its release, which is why Wrath of Khan is credited for saving a franchise that has continued in different incarnations for decades. This is essential watching for fans of the original series.

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The Salesman (2017): Best Emotionally-Charged, Foreign Language Thriller

The Salesman promotional image


IMDb rating: 7.8

Genre: Drama, Thiller

Starring: Shahab Hosseini, Taraneh Alidoosti, Mina Sadati

Director: Asghar Farhadi

Motion Picture Rating: PG-13

Running Time: 124 minutes

This Persian-language movie starts out as a story about a married couple (Shahab Hosseini and Taraneh Alidoosti) co-starring in a stage production of Authur Miller's Death of a Salesman. When the wife is assaulted, their relationship is upended. The Salesman received international praise, winning an Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film and two Cannes Film Festival awards for Best Screenplay and Best Actor. The Salesman is a must-watch for fans of emotionally charged thrillers, so long as you don't mind reading subtitles.

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Pootie Tang (2001): Best Absurdist Cult Comedy for Adults

Lance Crouther in Pootie Tang

Paramount Pictures


IMDb rating: 5.3

Genre: Comedy, Adventure, Action

Starring: Chris Rock, Lance Crouther, Wanda Sykes

Director: Louis C.K.

Motion Picture Rating: PG-13

Running Time: 81 minutes

Pootie Tang is an absurdist comedy about an urban superhero with an unparalleled sense of style. After his father (Chris Rock) is mauled by a gorilla while working at a steel mill, young Pootie (Lance Crouther) inherits a magic belt that helps him fight greedy corporations who wish to corrupt inner-city youth.

Best described as "campy," the humor is light-hearted yet definitely not for kids. Pootie Tang speaks in highly quotable gibberish, and the supporting characters are just as memorable. The all-star cast includes Usher, Wanda Sykes, and Missy Elliot.

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The First Wives Club (1996): Best Feel-Good, Ladies Night Movie

Sarah Jessica Parker and Bette Midler in The First Wives Club

 Paramount Pictures

IMDb rating: 6.4

Genre: Comedy

Starring: Goldie Hawn, Bette Midler, Diane Keaton

Director: Hugh Wilson

Motion Picture Rating: PG

Running Time: 103 minutes

Going through a breakup? The First Wives Club might make you feel a little better. Inspired by Olivia Goldsmith's best-selling book, the film is about three divorced women (Diane Keaton, Goldie Hawn, and Bette Midler) who conspire to plot revenge against their cheating ex-husbands. 

Despite marketing itself as a feel-good comedy, the film starts out heavy as the lead characters learn about the death of a mutual friend. Grief and loss bring the estranged woman back together to rebuild themselves and their relationships with one another.

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Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (2005): Best Classic Remake With a Wacky Twist

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory promotional image

Warner Bros. Pictures

IMDb rating: 6.6

Genre: Adventure, Comedy, Fantasy

Starring: Johnny Depp, Freddie Highmore, David Kelly

Director: Tim Burton

Motion Picture Rating: PG

Running Time: 115 minutes

What happens when you combine Tim Burton and Roald Dahl? You get a weird adaptation of a weird kids story. This movie stays closer to the book than the 1971 classic Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory, although the remake still introduces some new ideas.

For better or for worse, Johnny Depp's Willy Wonka is very different from Gene Wilder's. Nonetheless, fans of the novel and the original movie should give Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory a chance, if only to see what the wacky factory looks like with modern special effects.

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The Living and the Dead (2016): Best Bingeworthy, Low-Key Creepy Series

The Living and the Dead promotional image

BBC America 

IMDb rating: 7.5

Genre: Drama, Horror, Thiller

Starring: Colin Morgan, Charlotte Spencer, Malcolm Storry

TV Rating: TV-14

Running Time: 60 minutes

If you're into British dramas and supernatural stories, put The Living and the Dead on your watch list right now. This stylish fantasy set in 1894 follows a couple who inherit a farm, only to learn that the land is the nexus between the land of the living and the world of the dead.

The Living and the Dead manages to be spooky without relying on jump scares or shocking scenes of gore. Many episodes stand on their own, but the show is best watched in order.

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Homecoming (2018): Best New Conspiracy Theory Drama Series

Julia Roberts in Home Coming


IMDb rating: 7.5

Genre: Drama, Sci-Fi, Thiller

Starring: Julia Roberts, Stephan James, Bobby Cannavale

TV Rating: TV-MA

Running Time: 30 minutes

Homecoming has received three Golden Globe nominations for good reasons. It stars Julia Roberts as Heidi Bergman, a former government employee at a live-in facility that helps soldiers transition back to civilian life. When someone from the U.S. Department of Defense contacts her about why she left the job years later, Bergman finds that she can't recall anything about her past employer. Fans of sci-fi and government conspiracy theories won't be able to turn way.