Amazon Prime Video is the retail giant's rival to Netflix, a streaming service that gives you immediate access to an array of films and TV shows to stream or download and watch offline, including some original content that you can't watch anywhere else. There are thousands of things to watch, which is brilliant right up until the moment you sit down and actually have to try and pick something. 

So, to save you from indecision, we've rounded up 20 of the best films Amazon has to offer. Every single one of these is currently included for free as part of the Prime subscription service, but if you're not a subscriber then you can always rent or buy a digital copy directly from Amazon too.

If you're looking for more inspiration you might also want to consider subscribing to one of the Amazon Prime Channels: these are add-on subscriptions for your Prime account that give you access to films from rival apps like Mubi or BFI Player, along with other films selected from distributors like Arrow Entertainment or MGM, which you can then watch from within the Amazon Prime interface and apps.

Got a favourite we didn't include? Let us know in the comments, and we'll be updating this piece regularly as the Amazon Prime film library changes.

Don't have Prime? Take a look at our complete guide to Amazon Prime to find out more about the service and how to sign up.

Godzilla

Watch Godzilla on Amazon Prime

Monsters have never been moodier than in Gareth Edwards’ 2014 Godzilla reboot. The giant lizard is scaled up to skyscraper size to fight off other monsters (and a few pesky humans), though the emphasis here is mostly on the people caught in his path. It’s a bit more serious than you might expect a movie about rampaging monsters to be, but it boasts some pretty unforgettable visuals.

Amy

Watch Amy on Amazon Prime

Amy Winehouse’s tragically brief life and career are chronicled in this moving documentary. Director Asif Kapadia avoids the usual talking heads format, instead relying entirely on family videos and TV footage of Winehouse, along with audio-only interviews with friends and family. It’s powerful stuff, and backed up by a selection of never-before-heard songs and live recordings.

A Bigger Splash

Watch A Bigger Splash on Amazon Prime

Tilda Swinton is the androgynous, Bowie-esque rockstar she was born to be in A Bigger Splash, and yet somehow she’s not the best part of the film. That honour lies with Ralph Fiennes, who steals the show with an extended dance routine set to the Rolling Stones - it’s probably the best five minutes of any film in 2016.

In the Loop

Watch In the Loop on Amazon Prime

This cinematic spin-off of The Thick of It bridged the gap between that show and creator Armando Iannucci’s American follow-up Veep, spotlighting the many and varied things that go wrong when UK and US politics intersect. Best of all, Peter Capaldi’s foul-mouthed spin doctor Malcolm Tucker is back in the lead, finding whole new ways to swear about international relations.

Lost in Translation

Watch Lost in Translation on Amazon Prime

Bill Murray and Scarlett Johansson get depressed (but, you know, in a funny way) in Japan in this 2003 classic by Sofia Coppola (daughter of Francis Ford Coppola). It’s the film that proved Murray was more than just a funny face, picking up his first Oscar nomination and winning a BAFTA and Golden Globe, while giving us an unforgettable introduction to Suntory whisky.

Apocalypse Now

Watch Apocalypse Now on Amazon Prime

This undisputed classic survived a famously disastrous shoot to become one of the all-time best war movies. Marlon Brando is hypnotic as the lunatic Colonel Kurtz, the cinematography is stunning throughout, and none of us will ever be able to hear ‘Ride of the Valkyries’ the same way again.

Macbeth

Watch Macbeth on Amazon Prime

Macbeth isn’t exactly new to cinema, and it takes guts to tackle a play that’s already been filmed by the likes of Oscar Welles and Roman Polanski. Still, that didn’t stop Justin Kurzel, who recruited Michael Fassbender and Marion Cotillard for the purpose. It’s a vicious, violent Macbeth, with stunning performances, atmospheric visuals, and feels like a genuinely new take on the play.

Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy

Watch Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy on Amazon Prime

John le Carré's most famous spy novel is brought to the big screen in impeccable form in this adaptation, which condenses the labyrinthine plot without losing any of its vital intricacy. It helps that the cast is phenomenal, from Gary Oldman as the central spook George Smiley through to the likes of John Hurt, Mark Strong, Toby Jones, Colin Firth, and more.

Carol

Watch Carol on Amazon Prime

It's rare for a film to come along with a pair of career-defining lead performances from women, but then Carol is a pretty rare film. Cate Blanchett and Rooney Mara two women who fall for each other in '50s New York, and each gives a stellar performance. Director Todd Haynes shoots the period setting beautifully, and captures all the intensity of their romance without ever straying into melodrama.

Room

Watch Room on Amazon Prime

A film about a abducted teenage girl living her life out in a garden shed was never likely to be a cheery affair, so the fact that Room is ultimately uplifting is a testament to the film. Brie Larson is the girl who's lived the last few years in captivity, raising her son to believe that 'Room' is the entire world. Larson's great, Jacob Tremblay is phenomenal as the kid, and the result is one of the most powerful films in years.

Attack the Block

Watch Attack the Block on Amazon Prime

Who do you want watching your back in an alien invasion? The police? The military? How about the resident teenagers of a London housing estate? Joe Cornish's brilliant sci-fi/horror/comedy thing pits south London's finest up against glow-in-the-dark alien nasties in a battle for the block. There's a great sense of humour - though it never looks down on the locals - and some of the coolest looking extraterrestrials in years.

Moonlight

Watch Moonlight on Amazon Prime

2017's Best Picture winner (after just a little confusion) is a moving portrait of what it's like to grow up gay as a black man in America. It tackles homophobia, drug abuse, and violence, but always tastefully, with never a hint of sensationalism under Barry Jenkins' light directorial hand. Rightfully claimed, this is a film that's as powerful as it is important.

The Lost City of Z

Watch The Lost City of Z on Amazon Prime

Based on the true story of British explorer Percy Fawcett, this is no ordinary biopic. Chronicling his obsessive, decades-long search for a mythical Aztec city, this is both an homage to adventure movies of old and a portrait of a singularly driven man. Charlie Hunnam is brilliant as the lead, but the real star is an almost unrecognisable Robert Pattinson as his drunken comrade.

Mindhorn

Watch Mindhorn on Amazon Prime

This surreal British comedy stars Julian Barratt as Richard Thorncroft, a washed up actor best known for his role as an '80s TV detective. He gets the chance to revive his career by revisiting his most famous role when a real killer strikes. Worth watching a lot of reasons, but most of all Barratt, who perfectly captures the vain, buffoonish star at his worst.

Free Fire

Watch Free Fire on Amazon Prime

Director Ben Wheatley is best known for dark, twisted thrillers, but here turns his hand to another genre entirely: the '70s action blowout. A gun deal gone wrong leaves two groups of crooks trapped in a warehouse together with bullets flying every which way. Funny, anarchic, and constantly creative, this is probably the director's best film yet.

Where the Wild Things Are

Watch Where the Wild Things Are on Amazon Prime

Spike Jonze delivers a beautiful, wisftul family film based on the iconic children's book. The film's wild things are astonishingly expressive despite their lumbering build, and the film is wistful, beautiful, and bittersweet - as powerful for adults as it will be enthralling for kids.

Arrival

Watch Arrival on Amazon Prime

This slick sci-fi from director Dennis Villeneuve (who went on to direct Blade Runner 2049) marries big screen spectacle with some surprisingly smart ideas. When alien spacecraft suddenly appear all around the Earth, Amy Adams is recruited to help find a shared language and communicate with the new arrivals - before they trigger global war.

The Big Sick

Watch The Big Sick on Amazon Prime

Kumail Nanjiani stars in this rom-com adapted from his own life, which sees a relationship in its early stages shaken by serious illness. You just have to look at Nanjiani's real-life marriage to know the film has a happy ending, but along the way it's a smart comedy that's refreshingly honest and free from the standard Hollywood cliches.

Gone Girl

Watch Gone Girl on Amazon Prime

David Fincher directs this typically smart thriller, starring Ben Affleck and Rosamund Pike. Flicking between flashback and the present, it explores the media circus that appears when Pike's character goes missing - leaving her husband (Affleck) the prime suspect. There's a lot more to it than that, and as the plot swings around so will your loyalties.

Pacific Rim

Watch Pacific Rim on Amazon Prime

This is big, dumb, monster-filled fun with a difference: coming from acclaimed (and now Oscar-winning) director Guillermo Del Toro, it also has real heart to it. After giant monsters begin emerging from the Pacific Ocean, humanity responds with its own giant robots, each controlled by a pair of pilots, and what ensues is an epic-scale punch-up all in the name of cancelling the apocalypse.