Here are the best movies on Amazon Prime right now (May 2018) - WBRC FOX6 News - Birmingham, AL

Here are the best movies on Amazon Prime right now (May 2018)

By Parker Hall


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The Killing of a Sacred Deer

When Amazon debuted its Amazon Primeservice more than a decade ago, CEO Jeff Bezos and company simply wanted to give their loyal band of customers a chance to save some scratch on shipping costs. As the service gained a massive subscription base, the company continued adding a slew of incredible perks, such as access to Prime Pantry, same-day delivery, and Amazon Prime Instant Video. Now, anyonewith an Amazon Prime subscription has easyaccess to thousands of hit moviesand TV shows,all with the simple click of a mouse.To help all you subscribers siftthrough Amazon’s sizable library, we’vetaken up the task of finding the best moviescurrently available on the service. So pop some popcorn, find your favorite spot on the couch, and throw on an excellent film, courtesy of our exhaustive list.

If you’re looking to use another streaming service (or if you’ve run through all the good stuff on Amazon), we’ve got you covered with our picks for the best movies on Netflix, best movies on HBO, and best movies on Hulu.

Note: Some of these films will be added over the course of the month. Check here for exact date listings.

Drama & Romance

‘A Ghost Story’

David Lowery’s A Ghost Story takes a simple — some might even say silly —premise as its foundation, and builds atop it a beautiful, mournful film about death and the passage of time. The film begins with a man, C (Casey Affleck), and a woman, M (Rooney Mara). C dies in a car crash early on, but his soul continues to wander, draped in a hospital sheet under which he spends the rest of the film. C returns to the house he shared with M, watching as she grieves and eventually moves on. He remains, watching as the house changes hands, and the world changes entirely. A Ghost Story is light on plot and even dialogue, with Lowery using thoughtful shots and beautiful scene compositions to convey emotion.

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Amazon

‘Fences’

An adaptation of August Wilson’s Pulitzer Prize-winning play, Fences is a fascinating study of a man in slow collapse. Troy Maxson (Denzel Washington) was an accomplished baseball player in the Negro Leagues, whose career ended before Major League Baseball integrated. By the time the film begins in the 1950s, he works as a garbageman in Pittsburgh, living with his wife, Rose (Viola Davis); and son, Cory (Jovan Adepo). Troy seethes at the world, and the story is focused on the ways in which he chips away at his relationships with everyone in his life, cheating on his wife and grinding down his son’s ambitions. It’s a powerful story, and Washington (who also directed) gives it a skillful treatment.

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Amazon

‘Paterson’

Set over the course of a week in the life of a bus driver named Paterson (Adam Driver), this drama from eclectic director Jim Jarmusch meditates on the beauty and meaning in mundane events. Paterson lives in Paterson, New Jersey, with his eccentric wife, Laura (Golshifteh Farahani), and her dog, named Marvin. His daily routine is simple: He goes to work, driving his route and listening to the conversations of the passengers. In his free moments, he writes poetry that he never shares with the world. There’s not much more to the plot than that; like a poem, Paterson revels in imagery and rhythm. It’s a quiet film, but it feels like thunder.

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Amazon

‘Silence’

Set in 17th-century Japan, Martin Scorsese’s Silence (an adaptation of Shsaku End’s novel of the same name) follows a pair of Jesuit priests on a mission to find their missing mentor, Cristvo Ferreira (Liam Neeson), who renounced his faith following torture at the hands of the shogunate, which has outlawed Christianity. The priests, Sebastio Rodrigues (Andrew Garfield) and Francisco Garupe (Adam Driver), sneak into Japan, taking refuge among the remaining Japanese Christians. During their search for Ferreira, Rodrigues and Garupe witness terrible atrocities, and find themselves in a moral quandary that drives them to the brink. At times beautiful, at others horrifying, Silence is a deeply spiritual film, reflecting on the nature of faith, and whether God cares about the suffering of his servants.

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Amazon

‘Manchester by the Sea’

This bleak drama, directed by playwright Kenneth Lonergan, is set in the titular town of Manchester, a town Lee Chandler (Casey Affleck) would prefer never to return to. Chandler lives out his days working as a janitor in Quincy, away from any connections to his past. Tragedy brings him home; his brother Joe (Kyle Chandler) dies, leaving behind a teenage son, Patrick (Lucas Hedges), and a will asking Lee to take care of him. Manchester by the Sea is a deeply personal drama, examining the ways disaster can wear away at a person’s soul, and whether it is possible to come back from the brink. Despite the premise, the movie is not gloomy from start to end; the script allows for plenty of humor and warmth throughout, making for a film that captures the complexity of life.

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Amazon

‘Moonlight’

Some of Moonlight’s most important scenes take place near water; always shifting, water proves to be a potent symbol for protagonist Chiron’s journey through the film. The film follows Chiron from his time as a young man growing up, impoverished, in Miami, to his tragic, conflicted adulthood. The film’s three acts, set during different stages of his life, show him struggling with his identity and sexuality, as he develops an attraction to his best friend and faces pressure and bullying from other boys his age. Buoyed by excellent performances — particularly Mahershala Ali‘s, which won him an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor —Moonlight is a powerful character study, one rife with mesmerizing imagery.

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Amazon

‘Arrival’

Denis Villeneuve’s Arrival tackles a classic sci-fi premise — humanity’s first contact with an alien species — which it treats with appropriate gravity, but the story gets a lift from the protagonist’s personal struggles, which provide a relatable emotional undercurrent. After a brief prologue, the story begins when alien spaceship appear at 12 locations around the world. Unsure whether the aliens have come in peace, the U.S. Army enlists linguist Louise Banks (Amy Adams) and physicist Ian Donnelly (Jeremy Renner) to approach the extraterrestrials. As the nations of the world grow restless, Banks studies the alien’s language, hoping to understand them. Based on an acclaimed short story, Arrival is a thoughtful film, a sci-fi tale that withholds easy answers.

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Amazon

‘Inside Llewyn Davis’

In the soft shadows of The Gaslight Cafe, folk singer Llewyn Davis (Oscar Isaac) croons that he “wouldn’t mind the hanging.” Leave it to the Coen Brothers to oblige him. Two of America’s most mercurial filmmakers, the Coens have approached both grim tragedy and madcap comedy in their films, sometimes at the same time. Inside Llewyn Davis falls on the bleaker end of the spectrum, following Davis as he attempts to get his music career on track in the wake of his musical partner’s suicide. His finances are not the only part of his life falling apart; his former lover Jean (Carey Mulligan), pregnant with a child that is likely his, wants nothing to do with him. Davis’ struggle, set against the frost-glazed backdrop of New York, is a tragic one, but the film is not without humor, black though it may be. The characters surrounding Llewyn are as vibrant as he is cold… particularly Justin Timberlake as Jane’s new boyfriend.

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Amazon

‘Mystic River’

Mystic River is proof that Clint Eastwood is as talented a director and composer as he is an actor. It’s a haunting and beautiful story, centered on three childhood friends who reunite later in life as the result of a murder investigation involving one of their teenage daughters. It’s based on Dennis Lehane’s novel of the same name, and though the profanity is rampant and the tone is dark, the Oscar-winning performances by Sean Penn and Tim Robbins will leave you floored when the last scenes of Boston fade out.

Watch April 1 on:

Amazon

‘The Florida Project’

This drama from Tangerine director Sean Baker took the film community by storm in 2017, coming out of (seemingly) nowhere to earn top-10 recognition from both the National Board of Review and the American Film Institute. The movie revolves around a young girl, Moonee, and her single mother, who live together in a Florida motel managed by Willem Dafoe’s character. The mother struggles to make ends meet, resorting to theft and even prostitution, while Moonee makes friends with other young children in the area. Apart from Dafoe, all the film’s major characters are played by first-time actors, giving the film an incredible sense of authenticity.

Watch April 6 on:

Amazon

Documentary

‘I Am Not Your Negro’

James Baldwin was one of the most influential writers of the late 20th century, penning numerous essays and acclaimed novels addressing issues of race at a time when racial friction seemed to be boiling over in America. Working from an unfinished Baldwin manuscript, director Raoul Peck has created I Am Not Your Negro, a documentary examining Baldwin’s views and how they apply not only to the tumults of the ‘60s, but to modern America as well. Samuel L. Jackson narrates, infusing the material with a husky weariness. I Am Not Your Negro leaves one with the impression that Baldwin’s work has never been finished, and never been more important.

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Amazon

‘Gimme Danger’

Although not as famous as many acts of the ‘60s, the Stooges proved to be a hugely influential rock band, with raw sound and avant-garde songwriting that laid the foundation for early punk and metal bands. It’s only fitting that no less a cinematic renegade than Jim Jarmusch would be the one to direct Gimme Danger, a documentary which tells the story of the Stooges through the words of its members, including Jim Osterberg (aka Iggy Pop). Fans of the band will appreciate the many anecdotes and insights into the philosophy of the band, while newcomers may quickly develop a taste for the music, which sounds as lively as anything released today.

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Amazon

‘Nuts!’

This documentary from director Penny Lane examines the fascinating and terrifyingly prescient story of John R. Brinkley, an unlicensed doctor who, in the 1920s, became one of the most successful doctors in America, thanks to a truly bizarre operation he invented. At the behest of a man suffering from impotence, Brinkley implanted a pair of testicular glands from a goat into the patient’s scrotum. Although the procedure had no actual medical benefits (indeed, many subsequent patients would die from the operation), his patient was convinced it worked, and Brinkley soon had men and women coming to him in droves for miracle cures. Brinkley amassed a fortune, and he soon sought more power, establishing a successful radio station to broadcast his medical “wisdom,” and even running for governor of Kansas. Nuts! tells the story through interviews with historians, as well as charming animated reenactments.

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Amazon

‘Sriracha’

A condiment perhaps more widely used than ketchup or mustard, the spicy Sriracha“rooster sauce” takes center stage in this award-winning, short documentary.To help get the flick off the ground, director Griffin Hammond took to the popular crowdfunding website Kickstarter in 2013, successfully raising over $20k in pledges to just a $5k goal. Hammond’s knack for interesting storytelling allowthis 30-minute documentary toproperly celebrate one offood’s most beloved and popular sidekicks.

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Amazon

Action/Adventure

‘Brawl in Cell Block 99’

Although it sounds like a pulpy action movie, Brawl in Cell Block 99 takes a while to build up to its titular melee, unwinding slowly as its lead character gets deeper into trouble. The film follows Bradley Thomas (Vince Vaughn), who loses his job only to come home and discover that his wife, Lauren (Jennifer Carpenter), is cheating on him. After smashing her car with his bare hands, Bradley decides to work on their marriage, the first sign that this is a film that doesn’t fit into easy categorization. Bradley also turns to crime in order to pay the bills, and that decision leads him down a dark and violent path. Brawl in Cell Block 99 treads a narrow line between highbrow and low; Bradley is a fascinating character, and the movie explores his complicated mindset, but there is also violence aplenty for those who want to see some action.

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Amazon

‘Creed’

Thirty years after Apollo Creed’s fatal defeat at the hands of Ivan Drago inRocky IV, director Ryan Coogler revives the flashy boxer’s legacy in style. Michael B. Jordan plays Adonis Johnson, Creed’s illegitimate child, who decides to pursue a career in boxing. After being denied a slot at Delphi Boxing Academy — a school run by his half brother — Johnson seeks out the legendary Rocky Balboa (Sylvester Stallone) to train him. When Rocky is diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, he must battle his disease and demons to help Donnie prepare for a fight against British champion Ricky Conlan. Stallone’s performance earned him an Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actor, and critics and fans alike agreed that Creed is a fitting, inspiring addition to the Rocky saga.

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Amazon

‘Star Trek’

Franchise reboots are always daring endeavors, especially when the original series is as beloved as Star Trek. With this 2009 feature-length film — the first without a subtitle since 1979 — director J.J. Abrams (Star Wars: Episode VII — The Force Awakens) effectively revived Trek for both longtime fans and new, younger audiences. Here, the sci-fi veteran enlisted Chris Pine (Wonder Woman) as Captain Kirk, who reluctantly enlists in Starfleet and winds up on the Enterprise, which predictably encounters some unexpected, villainous vessels in the far reaches of space. Kirk, Spock (Zachary Quinto), and the rest of the crew are forced to take the helm after the acting commander (Bruce Greenwood) is incapacitated. This version of Trek is flashier, more stylish, and more exciting than ever before.

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Amazon

‘Raiders of the Lost Ark’

This legendarySteven Spielberg film introduced the world to Indiana Jones (Harrison Ford), an intrepid super-archaeologist with a flair for the dramatic and a fear of snakes. The film sees Jones tasked with finding the mysterious Ark of the Covenant before the Nazis, who believe the holy relic will grant their military forces invincibility and fast-track their plans for establishing a global empire. The film garnered heaps of critical praise when it first debuted. From the iconic score to the groundbreaking special effects, art design, and cinematography, Raiders was a watershed adventure film that would set the Hollywood standard for years to come. It’s lofty legacy has endured some 36 years later, too, and it sits at the No.2 spot on Empire’s list of the best movies of all time.

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Amazon

Comedy

‘The Big Sick’

Comedian Kumail Nanjiani and comedy writer Emily V. Gordon adapted their real-life love story for film in The Big Sick, a charming romantic comedy with a realistic tone. The movie begins with Kumail (playing himself) struggling to build a stand-up career, mining his Pakistani background for material. After a run-in with a heckler named Emily (Zoe Kazan) turns into a one night-stand and eventually a relationship, the two start to run into troubles. For starters, Kumail’s parents want him to settle down with a Pakistani woman, leading them to break up. Making things even more complicated, an infection leaves Emily in a coma. While visiting Emily in the hospital, Kumail meets her parents, Terry (Ray Romano) and Beth (Holly Hunter), learning more about them and Emily as he processes his own feelings.

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Amazon

’20th Century Women’

It’s 1979, the final chapter in a turbulent decade, and the attitude in America is so distraught that even the president felt the need to address the malaise, the lack of spiritual fulfillment in the country. It’s in this year, this context that Mike Mills sets 20th Century Women, which focuses on a mother, her son, and the people she wants to help him transition to adulthood. It’s largely a coming-of-age story for Jamie (Lucas Jade Zumann), who lives with his mother, Dorothea (Annette Bening), in the boarding house she runs. Not sure how to raise her son in an era of dwindling values, she turns to Abbie (Greta Gerwig), a tenant and artist, and Julie (Elle Fanning), Jamie’s very platonic best friend, for help. The three women — with a little help from William (Billy Crudup), a mechanic who also lives in the boarding house — share their experiences with Jamie. 20th Century Women is a warm, inviting film, built around an incredible performance from Bening.

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Amazon

‘What We Do in the Shadows’

How do you keep up appearances when you can’t actually see yourself in the mirror? It’s a problem hilariously examined in What We Do in the Shadows, a horror-mockumentary that follows the lives of four vampires living in modern-day Wellington, New Zealand. The film is the byproduct of Taika Waititi and Flight of the Conchords‘ JemaineClement, and as such, is baked with impeccable comedic timing and gags that become more borderline outlandish as the film goes on. It’s the chemistry between cast members that really belies the jokes, however, many of which rely on age-old vampire clichs, including an ongoing feud with Rhys Darby’s werewolf pack. Think The Real World, but with more blood, sweat, and tears (emphasis on the blood).

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Amazon

‘Love & Friendship’

An adaptation of a lesser-known Jane Austen novel, Love & Friendship follows the schemes of Lady Susan Vernon (Kate Beckinsale), a widow and notorious flirt who is trying to find a suitable husband for her daughter (and one for herself, of course). Staying for a time at her brother-in-law’s estate, she finds the perfect targets: Sir Reginald DeCourcy (Xavier Samuel), and the wonderfully dumb Sir James Martin (Tom Bennett). Love & Friendship is a smartly executed comedy of manners. Director Whit Stillman manages to honor Austen’s sensibilities and the rhythms of her dialogue while giving the film enough verve to keep modern audiences entranced.

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Amazon

‘The Lobster’

Colin Farrell stars in this strange comedic tale about a society known as “The City,” a dystopian near-future where humans are beholden to supernaturalrules. In this world, humans must remain in a committed relationship, otherwise they will transform into animals. David (Farrell) is left by his wife, and promptly taken to The Hotel. There, single people must find a romantic partner within 45 days, or they will be turned into feral creatures and exiled from the city. However, residents of the Hotel must conform to strict, absurd rules; are inundated with constant propaganda about love and relationships; and are able to hunt and tranquilize single people who have fled from the city and into the forest to extend their deadlines. David befriends two fellow residents, Robert (John C. Reilly) and John (Ben Whishaw), who are also searching for partners they have something in common with before their time runs out.

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Amazon

‘Take Me Home’

Writer/director Sam Jaeger stars alongside his real-world wife, Amber Jaeger, in this romantic comedy. Thom makes his meager living driving an illegal taxi in New York, while Claire is a businesswoman dealing with turbulence in her marriage. Winding up in Thom’s cab, she instructs him to “just drive.” On a whim, the two decide to take a chance and embark on a spontaneous cross-country trip together. Along the way, the must overcome detours, both real and emotional, and face hard truths about their lives, their families, and their pasts.

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Amazon

Horror & Thrillers

‘Green Room’

Veteran horror director Jeremy Saulnier (Blue Ruin, Murder Party) lends his slick technical chops and subversive comedy to Green Room, which follows a punk band as they attempt to escape from a group of murderous neo-Nazis after a show. The film’s frenetic pace and brutal violence are a sight to behold, and an unexpected appearance by Patrick Stewart (Star Trek: The Next Generation) only adds to the fun.

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Amazon

‘It Comes at Night’

It Comes at Night begins with a familiar horror premise: An outbreak has ravaged humanity, and the survivors must scavenge for supplies among the ruins of society. Paul (Joel Edgerton), Sarah (Carmen Ejogo), and their son, Travis (Kelvin Harrison Jr.), live in a house in the woods, cut off from the world at large. The world intrudes on their lives in the form of Will (Christopher Abbott), who stumbles on their house and offers food in exchange for shelter for himself and his family. Will, his wife, Kim (Riley Keough), and their youngson, Andrew (Griffin Robert Faulkner), move in, and the two families maintain a cautious peace. As the nights pass, and strange occurrences plague the house, problems arise. It Comes at Night is a tense film in which the ordinary humans are as scary as whatever lurks outside their door.

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Amazon

‘The Blackcoat’s Daughter’

Oz Perkins’ take on demonic possession films is a lot mellower than most entries in the genre. Gone are the jump scares and jets of vomit; Perkins prefers long, slow shots that suggest that behind every corner or door, something lurks. Set at a Catholic school in upstate New York, the film centers on two students, Kat (Kiernan Shipka) and Rose (Lucy Boynton). Neither girl’s parents arrived on time to pick them up for winter break, and so they will have to stay at the school, with only a pair of nuns for company, until their parents arrive. Rose has no desire to babysit the younger Kat, who wanders the empty halls, seeking some unseen presence. Thrill seekers may not find The Blackcoat’s Daughter exciting, but those who prefer horror that creeps up and places a hand gently on their shoulder should love it.

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Amazon

‘The Killing of a Sacred Deer’

In this inventive thriller, Barry Keoghan (Dunkirk) portrays an unusual young man named Martin who shares a mysterious relationship with a heart surgeon, Steven (Colin Farrell). When strange occurrences begin to befall Steven’s family, his connection to Martin proves extremely important, and worrying. WhileThe Killing of a Sacred Deer doesn’t offer much in the way of gore or traditional jump scares, it’s an intensely psychological film with some truly disturbing scenes that’ll shake even the most tenured horror fans. Keoghan and Farrell are both superb, as is Nicole Kidman as Steven’s wife.

Watch April 5 on:

Amazon

‘The Woman In Black’

In James Watkins’ Victorian horror film, Daniel Radcliffe stars as Arthur Kipps, a young lawyer who’s spent the past four years grieving over the loss of hiswife Stella (Sophie Stuckey). His depression has been affecting his work, but his employer offers him one last chance to keep his job, assigning Arthur to aid in selling a large mansion in the remote village of Cryphin Gifford. The previous owner of the property has passed away, and when Arthur arrives at the village, he learns that the townsfolk believe the property to be haunted. As time goes by, Arthur begins to experience strange and disturbing events, seemingly due to the haunted mansion.

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Amazon


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