The best Amazon movies and TV shows make summer streaming a cinch while we're all still social distancing. All you need is a subscription to Amazon Prime and you get access to an enormous library of streaming titles on Amazon Prime Video, one of the best streaming services.
So, not only does an annual Prime subscription give you free two-day shipping, but you also get unlimited access to both licensed and original TV shows and movies. Amazon originals include the award-winning comedy Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, as well as acclaimed dramas like The Expanse, Jack Ryan, Man in the High Castle, The Boys and more.
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With thousands of titles at your fingertips, though, finding the best Amazon movies and shows can be a daunting task. So, we're here to help by highlighting a handful of recommendations ranging from dark dramas to clever comedies to fascinating reality series. Plus, we've got a guide to what's new on Amazon this month.
We've also got tips for mastering Amazon's most popular streaming device, so check out our guide for how to use the Fire Stick.
New on Amazon in July 2020
Hanna season 2 (TV show)
The thriller about a young woman with special skills is back, with Hanna (Esmé Creed-Miles) now knowing she isn't the only one who received elite training. The Utrax program has produced a whole contingent of highly skilled trainees, whose development is about to reach the lethal “second phase.” They are relocated to The Meadows, where they glimpse the possibility of a new identity in the outside world. But this freedom will come at a very heavy price.
Starts streaming July 24
The biopic about Marie Curie stars Rosamund Pike as the brilliant scientist. In 1893 Paris, Marie meets and marries fellow scientist Pierre Curie (Sam Riley). The pair go on to change the face of science forever by jointly winning the Nobel Prize for the discovery of radium in 1903. Marie Curie was the first female scientist to receive the honor.
Here are more highlights of what's new on Amazon this month:
- Ali (July 1)
- Panic Room (July 1)
- Pineapple Express (July 1)
- Suits season 9 (July 1)
- Jim Gaffigan: Pale Tourist (July 24)
Best Amazon movies
Knives Out (2019)
The 2019 whodunnit mystery from writer-director Rian Johnson is both old school and modern, with an A-list cast that all look like they're having a tremendously good time. The story starts with the death of wealthy crime novelist Harlan Thrombey (Christopher Plummer) on the night of his 85th birthday. Famous detective Benoit Blanc (Daniel Craig) is called in to investigate it as a murder, with his family members as the prime suspects. Caught up in the action is Harlan's nurse Marta (Ana de Armas). The case is full of twists, turns and red herrings. But as well plotted as the movie is, it's really the distinctive characters that make it such a delightful experience. Watch now
The Farewell (2019)
One of the best movies of the year, this warm and touching family dramedy stars Awkwafina as Billi, a young New Yorker who is devastated by the news that her beloved grandmother is dying. The entire family decides to hide the truth from Grandmother herself, but plan an impromptu wedding for Billi's cousin so that they can gather together without her realizing it may be for the last time. The exceptional performances, particularly from Awkwafina and Zhao Shuzhen as grandma Nai Nai, make this family portrait rich and nuanced. It's a gorgeous meditation on the weird and wonderful bonds of blood. Watch now
Hereditary is one of the weirdest horror movies of the last decade, and also one of the most entertaining. Toni Collette plays Annie Graham: a suburban artist whose mother has just died. Graham's relationship with her mother was never good, and the old woman's death comes almost as a relief. But odd things start happening to Graham and her family — particularly her teenage son and preteen daughter. When another tragedy strikes, Graham seeks solace in the supernatural, but her discovery serves only to unnerve her distraught family even further. As Graham's life continues to unravel, the supernatural influence grows, and becomes even stranger. Watch now
The Handmaiden (2016)
One of 2016's darkest, sexiest, most intense films, The Handmaiden tells the story of the devious Sook-hee (Kim Tae-ri) and the enterprising Count Fujiwara (Ha Jung-woo) during the Japanese occupation of Korea. Fujiwara is a con artist who plans to milk a wealthy Japanese heiress for all that she's worth, while Sook-hee is a pickpocket whom he contracts to pose as, you guessed it, the heiress's handmaiden. But as Sook-hee grows closer and closer to the heiress, alliances shift and double-crosses become inevitable. The film doesn't pull any punches on violence or eroticism, but it doesn't shy away from a gripping story or complex characters, either. Watch now
The Lighthouse (2019 movie)
One of the more deeply weird, highly unsettling films in recent memory, this psychological horror thriller comes from director/co-writer Robert Eggers, the mind behind The Witch. Willem Dafoe and Robert Pattinson star as two lighthouse keepers who start to lose their sanity when a storm strands them on the remote island where they are stationed. Shot in black and white, The Lighthouse is gorgeously made, wonderfully acted ... and it will totally f--- with your head. Watch now
A highly anticipated remake of a classic 1977 Italian horror film, Suspiria stars Dakota Johnson as a young woman who joins a German dance company, only to find out that the whole operation is run by witches. (Don't you just hate it when that happens?) Seeing the supernatural drama unfold is one reason to watch this film; Tilda Swinton represents three others. In Suspiria, you get a triple-dose of Swinton: as a choreographer, a (male) therapist and one more role that might be a bit of a spoiler — but it's worth the buildup. Suspiria is one of those films that people tend to either love or hate, depending on their tolerance for weird gore and an outlandish tone. But it's better to get something unique than something that plays it safe. Watch now
Best Amazon TV Shows
Greg Daniels, the producer behind The Office and Parks and Recreation, brings a new dramedy to Amazon. The show, based on an idea Daniels had in the late 1980s as a writer for Saturday Night Live, is set in a future where "humans are able to 'upload' themselves into their preferred choice of afterlife. Robbie Amell stars as Nathan, who dies and is greeted by Nora (Andy Allo). She's a customer rep at Horizen, the company that manages the virtual heaven. Horizen offers different data plans, so the afterlife experience depends on how much you spend. Can you hear the satire now? Watch now
The first season of the sci-fi thriller, based on the hit podcast, was one of the best Amazon shows ever. It starred Julia Roberts as a therapist who uncovers a conspiracy involving a secret government compound that tested experimental PTSD treatments on American soldiers, including one played by Stephan James. Season 2 moves in a new direction, though the mystery is still tied to shadowy organization The Geist Group. Roberts is gone, replaced by new lead Janelle Monáe. She plays a woman who wakes up in a rowboat, with no memory of her identity or how she got there. Watch now
The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel (2017-Present)
The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel is kind of a comedy, kind of a drama, kind of a period piece and kind of delightful — which makes sense, as it's from Gilmore Girls creator Amy Sherman-Palladino. In it, Midge Maisel (Rachel Brosnahan) tries her hand at stand-up comedy. That's all well and good, except that she's a young Jewish housewife in 1958 New York City, making her presence in the club scene relatively unprecedented. With a little help from her loving family, her stoic manager and the great Lenny Bruce (Luke Kirby), Mrs. Maisel carves out her own niche, all while dealing with her own domestic dramas. Watch now
Idris Elba returns to smolder and smirk and sleuth in the fifth and perhaps final season of the British detective drama. This time, Luther investigates a series of gory murders with the help of new recruit DS Catherine Halliday. But life gets complicated (and dangerous!) when Alice returns, seeking vengeance on Luther's old adversary George Cornelius. Luther has to figure out what to do with Alice, all while the serial killer builds to his murder masterpiece. Watch now
The Expanse (2015-Present)
Fans of space-travel sci-fi were devastated when the Syfy channel canceled the show after three groundbreaking seasons. But Amazon swooped in to save the day and is currently working on a fourth season of the show. Based on a series of novels by Daniel Abraham and Ty Franck, The Expanse tells the story of an intergalactic conspiracy and a futuristic lawman who just might be able to piece the whole thing together. Thomas Jane stars as Detective Josephus Miller, who finds himself stuck between powerful forces on Earth, Mars and settlements in the solar system's asteroid belt. Fans of Star Trek-style ensemble casts will find a lot to like here. Watch now
Downton Abbey (2010-2015)
Part period piece, part melodrama, Downton Abbey is a sort of "greatest hits" compilation of early 20th-century history, as seen through the eyes of an upper-class British family and its staff of domestic servants. The titular Downton Abbey is a British manor where the aristocratic Crawley family lives, led by Earl Robert Crawley (Hugh Bonneville) and Countess Cora Crawley (Elizabeth McGovern). As the cultural, social and economic landscape of Great Britain changes drastically, the family experiences (second-hand) everything from the sinking of the Titanic to the Irish War of Independence and the Beer Hall Putsch. If you like costume dramas, this one is an easy sell, but it moves at a brisk enough clip to entertain just about anyone. Watch now