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Best Amazon movies and TV shows for Prime subscribers (April 2020)

Best Amazon movies and TV shows: Tales From the Loop, The Lighthouse
(Image credit: Jan Thijs/Amazon Studios; A24)

All you need to watch the best Amazon movies and TV shows is a subscription to Amazon Prime. You get access to a huge library of streaming titles on Amazon Prime Video, as well as the ability to purchase à la carte content, too. A Prime subscription will net you unlimited access to both licensed and original TV and movies, just like you can get with Netflix or Hulu.

With almost 20,000 titles available through Amazon, though, just finding the right programming could take longer than actually watching it. After careful combing of the immense Amazon library, we're highlighting a handful of movies and TV shows, ranging from clever comedies to dark dramas to reality series.

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 this month on Amazon

Tales From the Loop (original series premiere)

Amazon already boasts some great sci-fi content — including The Expanse and The Man in the High Castle — and now it's adding more with this series based on the narrative art book with the same title by Swedish artist Simon Stålenhag. The story follows the mind-bending adventures of the townspeople living above The Loop, a machine built to unlock and explore the mysteries of the universe. The cast includes Rebecca Hall, Jonathan Pryce and Paul Schneider. Available April 3

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. Available April 16

Best Amazon movies

Best Amazon movies: The Farewell

(Image credit: A24)

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

Lady Bird (2018)

When pulled off correctly, the comedy-drama is a beautiful thing. Lady Bird, from director Greta Gerwig, strikes the right balance between playfulness and sincerity. In this coming-of-age film, Christine "Lady Bird" McPherson (Saoirse Ronan) is about to graduate high school, and has to square away her relationships with her parents, her friends and her religion before she starts college. That's really all there is to the story; there's no shocking twist or subversive premise. It's a story all about growing up, and how your friendships, family and interests can define you as a young adult. Ronan's spirited performance takes center stage, but Laurie Metcalf as Lady Bird's conflicted mother is also well-worth watching. Watch now

Suspiria (2018) 

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

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

Hereditary

Hereditary (Image credit: A24)

Hereditary (2018)

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

Best Amazon TV Shows

Best Amazon movies and TV shows: Marvelous Mrs Maisel

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

Luther (2010-Present)

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

Doctor Who (2005-Present)

The British time-travel phenomenon has gotten big in the United States, and Amazon lets you catch up with all of the recent seasons. (For "Classic Who," from before 2005's soft reboot, you'll have to buy individual episodes, stock up on DVDs or hunt down inventive bootlegs at your local sci-fi convention.) In case you've never seen the show, the Doctor (Christopher Eccleston, David Tennant, Matt Smith or Peter Capaldi, depending on the season) is a nearly immortal alien who explores the universe in a time-traveling blue British police box called the TARDIS. Along the way, he picks up a variety of modern human sidekicks, who help him foil villainous plots in the past, present and future. Watch now

The Sopranos (1999-2006)

Widely hailed as one of the best TV shows ever produced, The Sopranos is a gritty crime drama about the life and family of mob boss Tony Soprano (the late, great James Gandolfini). The show was one of the early entries in the current prestige TV boom, featuring heavy continuity between episodes and a willingness to shake up the status quo multiple times per season. Over the course of the series, Tony navigates various personal and professional difficulties, but the twist is that he discusses everything with his psychiatrist, Jennifer Melfi (Lorraine Bracco). The show is dark, but agreeably so, especially if you were reared on films like The Godfather. 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

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