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.

A Bigger Splash

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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, by director Luca Guadagnino, who went on to make Call Me By Your Name. 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.

Jaws

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The epitome of the shark movie, Spielberg's classic understands that the less we see of the creature the scarier it is - even if that was mostly motivated on set by a rubbish rubber shark. There's endless debate about whether this is really about the shark or not, but either way it's a film that's as smart and thoughtful as it is spine-tinglingly scary every time it takes to the water.

Tickled

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Bear with us here - this is a documentary about competitive tickling. But it's also really, really good. Reporter David Farrier (think New Zealand's take on Louis Theroux) undercovers the strange and seedy world of 'competitive endurance tickling', discovering a web of abuse and blackmail as he goes.

Lost in Translation

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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.

Arrival

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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

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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.

Demolition Man

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Arguably 'so bad it's good' rather than just plain good, Demolition Man is still well worth a watch. Sylvester Stallone stars as a cop who's cryogenically frozen, and woken in the future world of 2032 in order to hunt down his old nemesis, played by Wesley Snipes. It's deeply weird, loosely satirical, and features cinema's finest running joke about Taco Bell.

Paddington 2

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The first Paddington movie was a loving, lovely tribute to the little bear from deepest, darkest Peru, pairing startlingly lifelike animation with a surprising amount of heart. The sequel is all that and more, this time sending Paddington to cinema's loveliest prison and pitting him against Hugh Grant's devilishly charming baddie.

The Death of Stalin

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This audacious comedy from In the Thick of It creator Armando Iannucci reimagines the political squabbling in the wake of Josef Stalin's death courtesy of a cast of British and American actors - using British and American accents to brilliant comic effect. This is as black a comedy as it is silly, and it's whip-smart throughout.

A Monster Calls

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An adaptation of a YA novel by acclaimed author Patrick Ness, A Monster Calls is visually stunning and moving to boot. Liam Neeson voices the titular monster, which appears to help the young Conor as he comes to grips with the impending death of his mother (Felicity Jones). The emotional and the psychological are weaved together impeccably from beginning to end - be ready to weep.