9 new to Prime Video movies with 90% or higher on Rotten Tomatoes

Amazon Prime Video logo on a phone being held by someone
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I write about the new movies arriving on the best streaming services every single month, and I’ve rarely seen a slate as impressive as Prime Video in May 2024. 

It’s hard to know where to start when highlighting the best new Prime Video movies this month. There are so many must-watch flicks to talk about I could create multiple lists. Arguably the biggest new addition is “American Fiction”, a 2023 drama starring Jeffrey Wright that was a major player during awards season and took home an Oscar. 

“American Fiction” is just the tip of the iceberg. There are loads more options across practically every genre. Plus, all of the picks on this list scored 90% or higher on the review site Rotten Tomatoes, indicating that professional critics really liked these movies. 

So, let’s dive into the best new to Prime Video movies to watch this month...

'American Fiction' (2023) 

“American Fiction” is an awards-caliber satirical comedy that takes aim at the rampant exploitation of Black stories in our society. Based on the 2001 novel “Erasure” by American novelist Percival Everett, Jeffrey Wright plays Thelonious “Monk” Ellison, a writer living in L.A. who is deeply frustrated with the commercial success of so-called “Black” books that are filled with stereotypes. To assuage his irritation, he writes a novel mocking the literary tropes used in these novels, and much to his surprise — and annoyance — it becomes an instant bestseller. 

But Monk’s newfound success, and praise from his peers, don’t bring him happiness. Instead, he feels only more discontent. While grappling with the monster book he created, he’s also attempting to look after his mother who has Alzheimer’s disease, handle a family tragedy and steer his troubled brother, Cliff (Sterling K. Brown) onto the right path. “American Fiction” is a masterful blend of comedy and drama with some of the best performances of the whole year.

Rotten Tomatoes score: 93%
Stream it on Prime Video from May 14

'BlacKkKlansman' (2018)

“BlacKkKlansman” is such an outrageous movie that you might assume it’s a work of fiction, but this Spike Lee joint is actually based on a true story. It sees Ron Stallworth (John David Washington), the first Black officer in the Colorado Springs Police Department, undertake a dangerous undercover mission within the Ku Klux Klan. Aided by a co-worker, Flip Zimmerman (Adam Diver), to act as a surrogate when Stallworth is required to show his face, he eventually rises to the rank of branch leader within the infamous hate group. 

While the movie is set in the 1970s, “BlacKkKlansman” has plenty to say about modern-day America, and the haunting ending includes footage from the 2017 riots in Charlottesville, Virginia making Lee’s point extremely clear. Remarkably, despite its serious subject matter and vitally important themes, the movie remains very funny throughout. The performances from Washington and Driver are also stellar.

Rotten Tomatoes score: 96%
Stream it on Prime Video from May 14

'Call Me By Your Name' (2018) 

Luca Guadagnino’s “Challengers” has given “Dune Part Two” a run for its money as my favorite movie of 2024 so far, but the movie that put the Italian director on the map was 2018’s “Call Me by Your Name.” This tender romantic drama is set in picturesque Northern Italy and sees a 17-year-old named Elio (Timothée Chalamet) begin a passionate affair over a blissful summer with his father’s graduate student assistant, Oliver (Armie Hammer). 

The heat of their romance burns bright through the sticky summer season, but as the autumn beckons, their relationship may prove to be just a fleeting moment in time, one to savor but impossible to keep hold of forever. Nominated for a slew of Oscar awards including Best Picture and Best Actor for Chalamet, the film took hold Best Adapted Screenplay in the end. Labeled a “power portrait of first love” in Rotten Tomatoes’ critical census, “Call Me By Your Name” will have you shedding melancholy tears, and put you off eating peaches (don’t ask…)

Rotten Tomatoes score: 94%
Stream it on Prime Video now

'Creed' (2015)

A franchise rarely delivers its knockout punch seven moves in, but that’s exactly what happened in the case of "Creed." This is a new spin on the "Rocky" series but exists within the same canon and features Sylvester Stallone in his iconic role as the underdog champ. "Creed" is a riveting sports drama that quickens the pulse and is so absorbing that you’ll probably be leaping from your sofa seat in excitement during the movie’s well-crafted final bout. 

Michael B. Jordan plays Adonis "Donnie" Johnson, the illegitimate youngest son of former heavyweight champion Apollo Creed, and all he wants is his shot at proving that he’s worthy of the Creed name. In steps Rocky Balboa, also a previous world champion, to train Donnie, and the duo’s bond rapidly develops both inside and outside the ring. Rocky and this next generation of Creed learn to rely on each other as the latter prepares for his shot at glory.

Rotten Tomatoes score: 95%
Stream it on Prime Video from May 16

'Pearl' (2022)

The middle chapter of Ti West’s X trilogy that is set to conclude with “MaXXine” later this summer, “Pearl” is technically a prequel to 2022’s “X” but it can be enjoyed by newcomers as well (although, I strongly recommend you watch both movies, as they’re equally excellent). Mia Goth plays the eponymous Pearl, a young woman living on her parent’s Texas ranch in 1918. Her husband is serving in World War I, but Pearl isn’t dreaming of his return, instead, she’s obsessed with a fantasy of becoming a Hollywood movie star. 

When Pearl gets the chance to audition for a touring dance troupe, she believes it could be her shot at stardom, but her ultra-conservative ma and pa (Tandi Wright and Matthew Sunderland) aren’t so keen to support their daughter’s acting ambitions. Pearl decides that she’ll need to take matters into her own hands to achieve her dream. This unnerving psychological horror movie works in large part because of the remarkable leading performance from Mia Goth, with one scene, in particular, a real showcase of her undeniable skills.

Rotten Tomatoes score: 93%
Stream it on Prime Video from May 16

'Schindler's List' (1994)

Among Steven Spielberg’s most celebrated movies of all time — which is really saying something when we’re talking about a director with as many masterpieces as Spielberg — “Schindler’s List” is a harrowing and haunting historical epic that focuses on the heroic work of Oskar Schindler during World War II. The tycoon worked tirelessly to save more than a thousand innocent Jewish people from a terrible fate at the hands of the German forces, and to this day his efforts stand as a testament to the power for good in all of us. 

Liam Neeson plays the titular role and does an excellent job bringing both sides of Schindler to life. The businessman starts as a vain and greedy industrialist but as the horrors of the Holocaust come to light, he becomes an inspirational figure. Along with help from his wife, Emilie Schindler (Caroline Goodall), he was able to keep hundreds of refugees safe from the SS forces. Neeson isn’t the only actor who shines; Ralph Fiennes is fearsome as German officer Amon Göth, and Ben Kingsley is excellent as Schindler's accountant, Itzhak Stern.

Rotten Tomatoes score: 98%
Stream it on Prime Video now

'Whiplash' (2014)

Netflix’s loss is Prime Video’s gain as “Whiplash” left the big red streaming service last month and has now made its current home on Amazon’s platform. This electrifying movie turns 10 this year but remains as pulsating and memorizing as ever. This intense drama centers on Andrew Neiman (Miles Teller), an ambitious young jazz drummer at the prestigious Shaffer Conservatory. Drafted into the school’s top Studio Band, Andrew thinks he’s on the fast track to fulfilling his musical potential but soon finds himself locked into a battle with the band’s cruel instructor, Terence Fletcher (J.K. Simmons).

Fletcher is alarmingly determined to push his students to their limits and isn’t afraid to deploy psychological, and even physical, abuse to extract the best from his pupils. As Andrew becomes increasingly obsessed with earning Fletcher’s seemingly unobtainable approval, he crosses dangerous lines into obsessive territory. Directed by Damien Chazelle, “Whiplash” is more exhilarating than many action movies, and it’s all set within the surprisingly claustrophobic confines of a music academy. It’s a masterpiece of modern cinema.

Rotten Tomatoes score: 94%
Stream it on Prime Video now

'Airplane!' (1980)

Dr. Rumack (Leslie Nielsen) speaks to Ted Striker (Robert Hays) as he steers the plane next to an inflatable pilot in Airplane!

(Image credit: Allstar Picture Library | Alamy)

"Airplane!" is one of those classic comedies that aside from a few cringe-worthy moments (like the seriously questionable "jive" scenes) still holds up today. This disaster film parody draws inspiration from the "Airport" series and "Zero Hour!," a '50s box office dud that "Airplane!" lifts its story beats, central characters and even some bits of dialogue from wholesale. It also pokes fun at leading blockbusters at the time ("Airplane!" hit theaters in 1980) like "Jaws" and "Saturday Night Fever."

The film proved to be a turning point for Leslie Nielsen's career, catapulting him from a dramatic actor into a comedy icon overnight. His character of Dr. Rumack stole the show for his impeccable deadpan delivery and straight-man persona as the chaos onboard grows ever more absurd. He went on to star in "The Naked Gun" franchise as Lt. Frank Drebin, a no-nonsense cop forever getting caught up in ridiculous situations. Just whatever you do, don't call him Shirley. 

Rotten Tomatoes score: 97%
Stream it on Prime Video now

'12 Angry Men' (1957)

12 Angry Men

(Image credit: MGM/United Artists)

It's rare to see a film get a 100% "fresh" rating on Rotten Tomatoes — a unanimous first-ballot hall of famer in baseball may be the only feat rarer. But if any film was going to have universal acclaim, Sidney Lumet's "12 Angry Men" would be on the shortlist. 

Starring Henry Fonda, this film is often considered the best courtroom drama of all time. The movie centers around the jury deliberation for a case involving an 18-year-old boy accused of killing his abusive father. Many of the jury, in addition to Fonda stars Lee J. Cobb, Ed Begley, E. G. Marshall, and Jack Warden, wish to return a guilty verdict but cannot if there is a reasonable doubt. Don't miss this Best Picture nominee while it's available to watch for free.

Rotten Tomatoes score: 100% 
Stream it on Prime Video now

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Rory Mellon
Entertainment Editor (UK)

Rory is an Entertainment Editor at Tom’s Guide based in the UK. He covers a wide range of topics but with a particular focus on gaming and streaming. When he’s not reviewing the latest games, searching for hidden gems on Netflix, or writing hot takes on new gaming hardware, TV shows and movies, he can be found attending music festivals and getting far too emotionally invested in his favorite football team.