July is a serious month on Amazon, from TV dramas like The Americans and Damages, to a found-footage documentary about the Nixon presidency. We had to dig back to the '80s to find light cinema fare for you: the Bill Murray comedy Stripes.
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On the TV side, Amazon's new competition show, Comicstaan, embraces levity in a search for India's funniest comedian. But if you want to go all dark and emo, we'd recommend binge-watching all five movies in the Twilight Saga. Here's a preview of what's coming next month on Amazon Prime.
Burn Notice, Seasons 1-7 (July 1)
Credit: Glenn Watson/USA NetworkCIA operative Michael Westen is dumped in his hometown of Miami with no money, legal identity or explanation. To survive, and investigate what happened, Westen becomes a spy for hire, helping downtrodden locals and getting help from his dysfunctional friends and family.
Damages, Seasons 1-5 (July 1)
In this thriller about high-stakes corporate litigation, Glenn Close masterfully plays an evil-genius Manhattan attorney with a complete lack of morals and empathy.
NYPD Blue, Seasons 1-12 (July 1)
Over its dozen seasons, this ABC police procedural wove a tangled net of affairs, betrayals and murders. But the show is more than melodrama, having won acclaim from both critics and cops for its compelling characters and realistic portrayal of the police world.
Comicstaan, Season 1 (July 13)
As Prime Video grows into an international media company, it brings some programming from the rest of the world back home. This competition to find India's funniest new comic is in English, but many jokes won't land without an appreciation of South Asian culture.
The Americans, Seasons 6 (July 29)
Few shows have inspired such fan devotion as The Americans. This drama follows deep-cover Soviet agents living as regular American parents in the D.C. suburbs during the early Reagan years. The sixth and final season came to a close in May on FX and will now stream on Prime.
20,000 Days on Earth, 2014 (July 1)
Now in his mid-50s, brooding musician and author Nick Cave recently lived his 20,000th day of life. This documentary follows him through that day, using interviews and dialogues with other artists to probe Cave's history, inspiration, fears and ambitions.
The Act of Killing, 2012 (July 1)
Credit: Drafthouse FilmsNo other film has found a coherent way to mix whimsy and horror like this documentary about the Indonesian genocide of 1965-66, which killed roughly 1 million people. In place of talking heads and archival footage, director Joshua Oppenheimer and anonymous collaborators re-created the brutal scenes of the event, under guidance from the former death-squad leaders who had to face their actions anew.
Dead Man Walking, 1995 (July 1)
In this dramatized version of a true story, Susan Sarandon plays Helen Prejean, a Catholic nun called on to be the spiritual advisor to rapist, killer and death row inmate Matthew Poncelet (Sean Penn). Sarandon earned an Oscar for her portrayal, which balanced revulsion at Poncelet's evil with a sense of responsibility for leading him to redemption.
Mulholland Drive, 2001 (July 1)
David Lynch's noirish L.A. masterwork uses alternate realities to explore themes of fierce ambition, bitter disappointment and agonizing loneliness. Unlimited streaming comes in handy as you try to figure out what the hell is going on.
Our Nixon, 2013 (July 1)
Long before YouTube and Facebook Live, three young men wielding Super 8 cameras tried to capture every aspect of their lives and work. However, they worked as top aides to President Richard Nixon, and they all wound up in prison. This documentary combines their films with other footage to give an intimate, nuanced view of the fallen presidency.
Rabbit Hole, 2011 (July 1)
Nicole Kidman and Aaron Eckhart play a married couple struggling to endure the worst pain parents can imagine in this film adaptation of the 2006 Pulitzer Prize-winning play. Much more than grief porn, Rabbit Hole is a story of how people find their own ways — wise and foolish — to survive life-shattering challenges.
Stripes, 1981 (July 1)
The absurd terror of the Cold War bred rich veins of irreverent satire like this military misadventure. Comedic legends Bill Murray and Harold Ramis lead a teams of misfits, played by stars and stars-to-be, including John Candy, John Larroquette, Judge Reinhold and Bill Paxton.
The Twilight Saga, 2008-2012 (July 1)
Credit: Kimberley French Dating back to Bram Stoker, the dark romance between humans and vampires got a millennial makeover in Stephenie Meyer's wildly popular Twilight books — and the insanely profitable movies that followed. Amazon now streams all five films: Twilight, New Moon, Eclipse, and Breaking Dawn Parts 1 and 2.
Woody Allen: A Documentary, 2011 (July 1)
"The day that [Woody Allen] finishes editing a film is the day that he starts typing the script of the next," says Mira Sorvino. She's one of dozens of actors, directors and other artists who narrate this tribute to the insanely productive filmmaker.
Zoe, 2018 (July 20)
Fans of Westworld, Humans, Blade Runner and so many other sci-fi properties know the drill. In the future, robots become so lifelike that the line between natural and synthetic blurs, and romance ensues. Ewan McGregor and Léa Seydoux (Spectre) star in this most dreamy, emo take on the trope — one with a big surprise in wait.