By Marcus Jones
June 30, 2020 at 05:57 PM EDT
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Everett Collection

As we have collectively stayed indoors for months, many have begun to complain of how they have ran out of movies to watch.

Fear not though, for we have now crafted a list of 20 films to give a try if you find yourself exploring the offerings on Amazon Prime. The choices range from riotously funny, to borderline incomprehensible (in a good way), all the way towards the more deeply disturbing, if that's what you're into.

Given how the platform does regular monthly updates, our list may be forced to swap films in and out, so bookmark this to future reference, we're keen on providing new recommendations each month.

Moonstruck (1987)

Courtesy Everett Collection

One of the rare romantic comedies to have won multiple Oscars, this film about a widow who falls in love with her fiancé's younger brother was written by Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright John Patrick Shanley and directed by seven-time Oscar nominee Norman Jewison. Not only did it allow for Cher to reinvent herself as a serious actress, it allowed Nicolas Cage to take his first steps into a consistent career playing hot-headed oddballs. 

EW grade: A (read the review)

Soapdish (1991)

Paramount Pictures; Courtesy Everett Collection

This workplace comedy set in the world of TV soap operas boasts a set of alums that is just about as impressive as the decades-old shows it’s parodying. It helps that it had Aaron Spelling as a producer on it, one of the godfathers of the genre. While one specific plot point has aged poorly, it is still an overall treat to see the lengths they go to heighten a genre that is already known for being over the top.

EW grade: C- (read the review)

Related reading: On the set of Soapdish

Warrior (2011)

Chuck Zlotnick/©Lionsgate/Courtesy Everett Collection

The best of a burgeoning genre of mixed-martial arts films, this two-hander stars Joel Edgerton and Tom Hardy as estranged brothers who are set to reunite by fighting in the octagon. Directed by Gavin O’Connor, the testosterone-heavy movie gives a surprising tug at the heartstrings, leaving audiences (especially men) in tears by the end.

EW grade: B (read the review)

Bumblebee (2018)

Paramount Pictures

After some sequels that were a bit difficult to sit through, a strong case had to be made for the existence of another Transformers movie. Thankfully, this reboot delivers with much help from a winning performance by Hailee Steinfeld. Rather than go full maximal space opera like his predecessor Michael Bay, director Travis Knight opts for a movie rooted in humor and 80s nostalgia.

EW grade: B+ (read the review)

Short Term 12 (2013)

Brett Pawlak

Is this indie following a young residential treatment facility employee an easy watch? Not at all. But the tearjerker has become part of the origin story for some of Hollywood’s most exciting new entertainers, including its writer/director Destin Daniel Cretton, who’s currently working on Shang Chi for Marvel Studios.

EW grade: A (read the review)

It’s a Wonderful Life (1946)

Everett Collection

Why wait for the holidays to watch a movie this iconic? The Frank Capra-directed film is another one that brings on the waterworks with it’s tale of a suicidal man who’s shown the positive impact he has left on the world. It also has an ending that is the best PR that bells have ever received.

EW grade: A+ (read the review)

Fast Color (2018)

Jacob Yakob/Codeblack Films

Words like “poetic” don’t often get paired with superhero movies, but this film imaginatively weaves superpowers into what is at its core a compelling family drama about three generations of black women out west. Watch it on Amazon Prime in anticipation for the TV series adaptation the streaming platform has planned for it.

EW grade: B (read the review)

I Am Not Your Negro (2016)

Magnolia Pictures

Filmmaker Raoul Peck is such a huge fan and scholar of the work of James Baldwin that he became the person the writer’s estate allowed to finish his novel Remember This House via this documentary. In any other year it would probably win, but this innovative Oscar nominee was up against thematically similar, but wider seen films 13th and O.J.: Made in America.

EW grade: A- (read the review)

Related reading: Best movies of 2017 so far

His Girl Friday (1940)

Everett Collection

Adapted from the play The Front Page, which has had multiple Broadway revivals, this Howard Hawks-directed film is one of the foundational examples of screwball comedy. As a newspaper editor trying to prevent his star reporter ex-wife from remarrying, Cary Grant provides back and forth with Rosalind Russell that has helped shape the dynamics of many a romantic comedy.

EW grade: B- (read the review)

How to Train Your Dragon (2010)

DreamWorks SKG/Courtesy Everett Collection

Even though two sequels and a TV series have come from the How to Train Your Dragon universe, it still feels like this DreamWorks Animation project has been slept on. It not only paints a beautiful picture of unity between man and (fictional) animal, it’s a killer father-son story as well.

EW grade: A- (read the review)

Rocketman (2019)

Gavin Bond/Paramount

More jukebox musical than music biopic, this story of Elton John serves as a corrective to some of the less stately recent rockstar stories. Taron Egerton earned a hard-fought-for Golden Globe by not only embodying the multi-talented, troubled music icon, but by singing all the songs as well.

EW grade: B+ (read the review)

Hereditary (2017)

A24

Toni Collette may have been snubbed at the Oscars, but she won the hearts of horror fans everywhere with her tour de force performance in this film that many claim is the scariest movie of the century so far. Helmed by writer-director Ari Aster, this unpredictable piece of cinema’s wicked rumination on grief is truly just the tip of the iceberg.

EW grade: A- (read the review)

Reds (1981)

Paramount Pictures/ Courtesy Everett Collection

Widely considered Warren Beatty’s masterpiece, this historical drama he co-wrote, directed, and starred in netted him an Oscar for Best Director. In what still feels like a timely story, the movie shows what happens when a radical American journalist becomes entangled in the Communist revolution in Russia.

EW grade: N/A (read the review)

The Silence of the Lambs (1991)

Orion/Courtesy Everett Collection

A Best Picture winner that is best served with a side of fava beans and a nice chianti, director Jonathan Demme’s modern classic reintroduced filmgoers to the villainous Hannibal Lecter from Thomas Harris’s novels. While Sir Anthony Hopkins crafts an iconic movie villain, Jodie Foster successfully portrays young FBI agent Clarice Starling coming into her own as a feminist hero.

EW grade: N/A (read the review)

The Big Sick (2017)

Sarah Shatz/Lionsgate

Having producer Judd Apatow and director Michael Showalter in your corner are both great, but the deeply personal script stars Kumail Nanjiani and Emily V. Gordon wrote (that got them an Oscar nomination) is what makes the movie. The film finds a way to cover arranged marriages, mysterious illness, comedian growing pains, and more all while providing laugh after laugh.

EW grade: N/A

Knives Out (2019)

Claire Folger/Lionsgate

Much love to writer-director Rian Johnson for giving whodunnits a much needed update with Knives Out. The film’s modern themes surrounding immigration and American greed all serve the mystery at hand. A perfect film to unwind to in your house, with your rules, and your coffee.

EW grade: B+ (read the review)

The Conversation (1974)

Mary Evans/Ronald Grant/Everett Collection

Pardon the pun, but in talks of Francis Ford Coppola’s greatest films, this one too often gets left out of the conversation. The voyeuristic thriller features a paranoid surveillance expert who starts to worry that the couple he is spying on is at the risk of being murdered.

EW grade: A (read the review)

The Farewell (2019)

A24

A rare box office hit coming from Sundance, filmmaker Lulu Wang’s semi-autobiographical story of her trip abroad to say goodbye to her sick grandmother finds both humor and tragedy in not being able to let a loved one know they are dying. While the film didn’t get any Academy love, it helped redefine what an American story is, providing a look at China through the eyes of a first generation Chinese American.

EW grade: B+ (read the review)

Talent: Awkwafina, Tzi Ma, Shuzhen Zhao

Blue Velvet (1986)

Laurentis Group/ Courtesy Everett Collection

To fully understand the work of auteur David Lynch is probably impossible, but watching this thriller of his is about as best an entry point as you can get into what he’s about. With both Kyle MacLachlan and Laura Dern starring in the film, it’s an especially good appetizer for a Twin Peaks binge.

EW grade: A (read the review)

The Bodyguard (1992)

Ben Glass/Warner Bros.

For however cheesy the Lawrence Kasdan-penned love story is between Kevin Costner’s secret service-agent-turned-bodyguard and Whitney Houston’s pop diva, the film makes up for it with the most successful soundtrack of all time. We will always love a chance to see Houston play Queen of the Night one more time, her first acting role among a brief but memorable career on the silver screen.

EW grade: D (Read the review)

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