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.

Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol


Watch Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol on Amazon Prime

The Mission: Impossible series has gone from strength to strength over the last few years. The most recent film - Fallout - is arguably the best yet, but up until then that honour had gone to Ghost Protocol. The brainchild of Incredibles director Brad Bird, the film saw star Tom Cruise climb the real Burj Khalifa for a vertigo-inducing stunt that hasn't been topped since.

What We Do in the Shadows


Watch What We Do in the Shadows on Amazon Prime

This incredible comedy from director Taika Waititi (who's since gone on to direct a little movie called Thor: Ragnarok) takes the mockumentary style of The Office or Spinal Tap and applies it to a small group of New Zealand housemates who just so happen to be vampires. Irreverent, off-kilter, and very, very clever, What We Do in the Shadows is occasionally uneven, but never dull.

John Wick 2


Watch John Wick 2 on Amazon Prime

Keanu Reeves is phenomenal in this sequel to the breakout hit John Wick. There's a new dog, new assassins, and even more ludicrous action in a film that opens up the John Wick universe, with even more characterful contract killers.

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.

Fantastic Mr. Fox


Watch Fantastic Mr. Fox on Amazon Prime

This stop-motion animation is Wes Anderson's take on a family film: anarchic, oddball, but consistently charming. George Clooney is the smooth-talking Mr. Fox, joined by a cast of Anderson regulars in a film that loosely adapts the classic Roald Dahl book. This is no Disney cartoon, but it's a beautiful film no matter your age.

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


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


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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


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.

Midnight in Paris


Watch Midnight in Paris on Amazon Prime

This magical realist Woody Allen movie follows Owen Wilson's aspiring writer as he visits Paris with his fiance and finds he is able to travel back in time to wander the streets of old Paris with his historical literary heroes. Like the best of Allen's films this is funny but thoughtful, tackling questions around wish fulfilment and satisfaction in subtle, mature ways.

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.

The Devil's Backbone


Watch The Devil's Backbone on Amazon Prime

This early film from acclaimed director Guillermo del Toro is a ghost story in the classic vein: psychological and tragic, more interested in the horrors of humanity than the deeds of the ghosts that stalk its plot. He'd explore similar material in Crimson Peak, but this Spanish-language cult classic is by far the better film.

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.

The Guest


Watch The Guest on Amazon Prime

This slick thriller starring Dan Stevens (now better known for his role in Downton) is tense and twisty, constantly playing with the audience's expectations and loyalties. Stevens is a young soldier who turns up at a family home claiming to be a squadmate of their late son, but not all is as it seems. The Guest is smart, has phenomenal action scenes, and one of the best synth-y soundtracks since Drive.

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.

Hell or High Water


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It's hard to believe that this none-more-American crime thriller actually comes from a Scottish director, but David Mackenzie nails the tone of the modern western in Hell or High Water. Chris Pine and Ben Foster are two brothers out to commit a string of bank robberies, with Jeff Bridges the unexpectedly capable sheriff on their tail - though there's a lot more under the surface here than a simple tale of cops and robbers.

Paddington 2


Watch Paddington 2 on Amazon Prime

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


Watch The Death of Stalin on Amazon Prime

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.

Before Sunset


Watch Before Sunset on Amazon Prime

The second film in Richard Linklater's unplanned Before trilogy, this is inarguably one of the most beautiful romantic films of all time. Following the two former lovers as they unexpectedly reunite in Paris, Before Sunset somehow manages to be just as beautiful as the first, but even more poignant.