Amazon offers a lot of benefits with its Prime membership programme, but Prime Video is one of its most popular perks. Featuring plenty of old favourites, as well as original content produced by Amazon itself, there’s always something to watch. Here is some of the best stuff you can find on the UK version of the service, as well as a couple of recommendations for content that’s just arrived, or on its way out.
The Lego Batman Movie (2017)
With the help of some colourful plastic bricks, the moody DC superhero becomes a lot more entertaining. Spun off from the main Lego Movie series, this film features all of Batman’s friends and enemies, plus a few guests from other Lego worlds. Of course, the Joker is behind it all, with a strange plan that commences when he surrenders to the Gotham City Police. Batman has to figure out what the Clown Prince of Crime has in mind, and deal with his inexperienced new ward, Dick Grayson. He must also figure out how to work with Barabara Gordon, who has taken over her father Jim's position as Police Commissioner, and is not keen on relying on Batman to protect the city.
During a road trip in the southwestern US, two geeky friends encounter an alien trying to find his way off the planet. Paul (as the alien calls himself) has been stuck on Earth for decades, with the government at least somewhat aware that he’s still at large. There are soon government agents on Paul’s tail, but with the help of his new friends and a few strangers they chance upon, he goes on the run once again.
Paddington 2 (2017)
The original Paddington was one of those rare children's movies that's good-natured without being too sappy. If anything, the sequel improved on the original, judging by the newer film's perfect score on Rotten Tomatoes. Paddington (Ben Whishaw), a Peruvian talking bear with somewhat antiquated British mannerisms, tries to buy a present for Aunt Lucy's 100th birthday. The shopping venture goes awry, though, when an unknown thief frames Paddington and gets the bear sent to prison. From great escapes to witty banter, Paddington 2 has a little something for everyone, particularly those who grew up on the picture books starring the charming bear.
Shaun of the Dead (2004)
Before the zombie apocalypse happened, Shaun was an average guy working in an electronics store, living with his slovenly best friend and struggling to keep his relationship with his girlfriend on track. Now that the majority of the nation wants only to eat the flesh of the unconverted, Shaun must take the initiative and save his extended family by any means.
What We Do In The Shadows (2014)
A trio of vampires, who live together in New Zealand, hunts by night. But by day, they remain stuck indoors, with only each other and their human familiar for company. The modern world is a strange place for the centuries-old vampires, but they invite in a documentary crew to record their activities, and open up their ranks to befriend other humans and supernatural creatures.
American Gods (2017 - Present)
It’s not that we don’t believe in gods these days, this show argues; it’s that we’re worshiping different ones without knowing it. The Norse, Greek, Egyptian and Hindu pantheons are still around, trying to get on with a fraction of their former powers. Instead, the powers of globalisation, the media and technology are ascendant. A conflict between the Old and New Gods is inevitable, but the tide will be turned by the actions of a few humans who find themselves lost in this hidden world.
Parks and Recreation (2009 - 2015)
The local Parks and Rec department of Pawnee, Indiana is led by the wonderfully droll Ron Swanson, who despises the idea of government. But his employee, Leslie Knope, is determined to make big things happen on her path from small town bureaucrat to the White House. With the rest of the department’s staff, and a few friends from the town, the department must tackle troubles like building new parks, government shutdowns and holding town festivals, plus friendly and romantic relationships within the small community.
The Office (US) (2005 - 2013)
Despite its origins as a remake, The Office (US) managed to grow into something greater than its source material. The UK (and original) version of The Office lasted for just 14 episodes, and has a far meaner tone than the American series, which ended after 201 episodes. The setup is similar: a documentary following the work of a paper supply company, a goofy boss, a lovesick salesman and the receptionist he pines for — plus a no-nonsense assistant (to the) regional manager, who is the object of many pranks. The show develops these archetypes into an enormous cast of lovable colleagues, all bringing their own quirky kinds of humour to the formula.
The representatives of Heaven and Hell on earth, the angel Aziraphale and the demon Crowley, enjoy their life amongst humankind, and decide to sabotage Armageddon by influencing the Antichrist to be more normal. Unfortunately, a mix-up means they only learn the true identity of the Antichrist once the end of days has begun, leading to a rapid effort and convergence of multiple mortals and immortals trying to figure out how to stop the world ending, or possibly make sure that it does.
The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel (2017-Present)
The life of 1950s New York housewife Midge Maisel is fairly ordinary until her husband leaves her for his secretary. In intoxicated frustration, she goes to the comedy club her ex-husband liked to frequent, and delivers a surprisingly good standup performance. As she tries to set her life upright after the separation, Midge decides to make a huge change by following her comedic talents, and make new friends to help her make it a proper career.
Leaving This Month
The Imitation Game
A dramatic retelling of the Bletchley Park codebreakers as they battle to crack the German Enigma code machine during the Second World War. Benedict Cumberbatch plays Alan Turing, a difficult but intelligent analyst working on the project, and Kiera Knightly as Joan Clarke, a new member of the team who replaces members that Turing fired. The film depicts the daily race to decipher the German messages before the code changes with great excitement, but is also happy to slow down to give us greater insight into the characters, particularly Turing. It’s a fine adaptation of a historical event, but is set apart by this humanisation of these celebrated figures
New This Month
Rat Race (2001)
A thoroughly silly comedy about a large group of characters trying to be the first to claim a $2 million prize. Sent on their way by an eccentric billionaire casino owner (played by John Cleese), six different people, plus any friends or family they happen to pick up on the way, rush from Las Vegas to Silver City to find the locker full of cash, encountering various strange things on their trip. It’s definitely not what you’d call highbrow humour, but who cares? It’s an easy watch, with plenty of comedic talent amongst the cast, and enough plot and heart to hold onto if some of the jokes don’t land for you.