Amazon Prime Streaming Guide: Best Movies and TV Shows

A dark streak runs through our picks from Amazon's spring lineup. It starts with murder mysteries: Bosch and Fortitude, both TV shows. Even the 2016 comedy Barbershop: The Next Cut takes on the issue of urban crime. Then, there are dark places of the soul, from the struggles of a childhood genius in Searching for Bobby Fischer, to the robber-baron protagonist of There Will Be Blood. There's even the campy darkness of the Technicolor horror flick The Love Witch, and the dark humor of the family comedy Catastrophe. Amazon won't leave you completely in the dark, though. It also offers light fun, like the kid-oriented Tumble Leaf, and the Hollywood spoof comedy In A World.

TV Shows

American Playboy (April 7)

Credit: Amazon StudiosCredit: Amazon StudiosLove or hate him, Playboy publisher Hugh Hefner started a battle between sexual revolutionaries and religious conservatives, which still rages today. Amazon's hybrid docuseries combines archival footage with re-enactments telling Hefner's story — at least one perspective on it.

Animal Kingdom, Season 1 (April 30)

Credit: Eddy Chen/TNTCredit: Eddy Chen/TNTBased on the darkly brilliant 2010 Australian film of the same name, this show relocates the action from Melbourne to San Diego. After 17-year-old Joshua's mother dies of a heroin overdose, he moves in with his grandmother and uncles, who run a brutal criminal syndicate.

Bosch, Season 3 (April 21)

Credit: Jennifer Clasen/Amazon StudiosCredit: Jennifer Clasen/Amazon StudiosThe brash, rule-breaking Los Angeles detective from Michael Connelly's novels returns for more trouble. A suspected serial killer has been murdered, and a cop has been implicated: detective Harry Bosch. Season 3 is based on Connelly's first book, The Black Echo.

Also streaming: Hulu | Netflix | Online Originals

Catastrophe, Season 3 (April 28)

Credit: Ed Miller/Amazon Studios  Credit: Ed Miller/Amazon Studios Amazon's potty-mouthed international love story breaks the rule that comic characters have to be oblivious to their situations. Instead, the Irish-American Sharon and Rob often crack up at the absurdities of their quest to be a normal family in London. Bittersweet bonus: Season 3 features the last performance from  Carrie Fisher. The actress played Rob's irascible mother, and died just after filming wrapped up.

Fortitude, Season 2 (April 14)

Credit: Steffan Hill/Amazon StudiosCredit: Steffan Hill/Amazon StudiosA brutal murder comes to the safest place on Earth: the fictional town of Fortitude in the majestic far north of Norway. Suddenly, people realize  their community is not the peaceful destination they thought it was. This British series is shot all in English; no subtitle-reading necessary.

Thirteen, Season 1 (April 21)

Credit: BBC 2016Credit: BBC 2016This British suspense/drama series begins when 26-year-old Ivy escapes from a cellar, where she's been imprisoned for half  her life. Struggling to suddenly become an adult, Ivy is drawn into danger again and again.

Thunderbirds Are Go!, Season 3 (April 21)

Credit:  ITV  Credit: ITV In the year 2060, five sons of a famous astronaut form the secret group International Rescue. Each one pilots an amazing craft, such as a rocket plane or a submarine, to save people, wherever they may be. This kids' show is shot with a combination of puppets, models and CGI.

Movies and Specials

Tumble Leaf: Spring-a-ling Surprise Special (April 4)

Credit: Amazon Studios  Credit: Amazon Studios Amazon's gorgeous animated series features a cast of animals who teach important lessons to preschoolers. The gang gets together in a spring special to help Bloom the Bunny find his lost eggs.

Barbershop: The Next Cut (April 8)

Credit: Chuck ZlotnickCredit: Chuck ZlotnickIt's very rare that a sequel, let alone a sequel to a sequel, captures the quality of the original, but Barbershop: The Next Cut does. The barbershop is now coed, adding a new dimension to its hilarious exchanges. At the same time, Chicago has gotten rougher. The neighborhood has to come together to find a solution.

The Handmaiden (April 13)

Credit: CJ FilmsCredit: CJ FilmsSet in the 1930s, this Korean crime-drama is the story of a wealthy Japanese woman, seduced by her Korean handmaiden. But it's for money, not love, as the handmaiden is working with a con man to defraud her lady of her fortune.

Hello, My Name Is Doris (April 2)

Credit: Roadside AttractionsCredit: Roadside AttractionsSally Field offers an alternate view of aging as the titular character in this unabashed feel-good movie. Field plays a septuagenarian who finds a new life among the hipsters of Brooklyn.

In a World (April 9)

Credit: Roadside AttractionsCredit: Roadside AttractionsWriter-director Lake Bell's first feature film spoofs Hollywood's penchant for melodramatic voiceovers that accompany movie trailers. Bell stars as an aspiring voiceover actor battling an industry dominated by men — chief among them, her voice-of-God father.

The Love Witch (Apr. 14)

Credit: OscilloscopeCredit: OscilloscopeShot in the gorgeous, color-saturated style of 1960s horror flicks, this 2016 film succeeds by being straight-faced about its exploitative cheesiness. Elaine is a beautiful-but-lonely witch. The potions that make men fall for her ultimately wind up killing them, driving her further to desperation.

Searching for Bobby Fischer (April 1)

Credit: ParamountCredit: ParamountMax Pomeranc plays Josh, a child prodigy in the chess world. What begins as a fun game becomes a vicious contest when his father hires a hard-nosed teacher, Bruce (Ben Kingsley), to make him a star. Bruce tries to mold Josh in the style of Bobby Fischer, the brilliant-but-ruthless young champion.

There Will Be Blood (April 1)

Credit: Francois DuhamelCredit: Francois DuhamelIt's the battle of the Dans in this loose adaptation of Upton Sinclair's muckraking novel, Oil.  Daniel Day-Lewis plays a vicious robber-baron intent on extracting black gold below a turn-of-the-century California town. Paul Dano plays a teenage preacher who fights for the town — perhaps.

What Else to Stream

Keep making the most of your Amazon Prime membership by using it to the fullest. When you're done with all these shows, check out our list of the best shows to binge watch.

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