October is here and our sofas are once again the prime spots in the house – ensuring there’s no better time than to catch up on the new and greatest films on Amazon Prime Video.
Amazon Prime Video provides a variety of new movie hits, older classics, and secret treasures that are continually being introduced to the site through an ever-expanding collection of films.
Okay, so maybe this isn’t the funniest comedy in the ha-ha on the Amazon, it leaves you in stitches, but it’s one of the best and most soulful comedies you can find right now, without a doubt. As long as you don’t mind the teary-eyed feelings of your laughter combined with death. As Billi, a young Chinese-American woman who returns to China after she discovers that her grandma (a truly outstanding Shuzhen Zhao) is diagnosed with terminal cancer, Awkwafina shines with her best performance. And then she discovers that her family wishes to keep her grandma’s disease a secret so that she can live the remainder of her life in comfort, her struggles escalate even more.
2. One Child Nation
One Child Nation, the 2019 Sundance U.S. Grand Jury Prize-winning documentary, explores a policy that many have heard of, but few have ever truly understood outside China. Nanfu Wang and Jialing Zhang, Chinese-born filmmakers, go deeply into the 1980 policy that barred families from having more than one child and fined them if they did, and the devastating effects it had on both families and the nation as a whole. The documentary shines a light on the terrifying government policy of gut-wrenching personal testimonies and accounts from people who suffered through it, one generally considered to be one of the worst abuses of human rights in world history.
This awards candidate from last year unravels the shocking scandal that saw several women come forward with allegations of sexual harassment against then-Fox News CEO Roger Ailes. Real-life Fox anchors Megyn Kelly and Gretchen Carlson are played by Charlize Theron and Nicole Kidman, while Margot Robbie plays the fictitious Kayla Pospisil, an aspiring young producer who joins the television company. While there were some complaints about the screenplay, with Theron and Robbie bagging Oscar nominations, the lead performances were praised as some of the best of the entire year.
Watch Taron Egerton deliver the exuberant show of his career to date in Rocketman, the delightful biopic of music that if we existed in a fair universe would have got the same awards treatment as Bohemian Rhapsody. Inspired by Elton John’s early career’s real-life narrative, Rocketman stages a fantasy musical that blends the greatest hits of the legendary British rock star while chronicling the highs and lows of his journey from a boring life in the suburbs to become a glamorous stardom legend. Thanks to Egerton’s knockout portrayal of a mercurial yet intoxicating character like Elton John, but also thanks to Fletcher’s playful, emotionally-tuned direction, it is cheesy in the best way, with infinite charm. It’s easy to see why Fox called him to clear up the Bohemian Rhapsody mess, and if you were hungry for something with a little more heart (and teeth) from the Queen biopic, Rocketman is just the ticket.
5. The Cabin in the Woods
When a young group of college students goes out to a remote lodge picnic, they end up with more than they did. Pivoting back into the horror genre, this film has young people being unknowingly drugged and used as lab rats by workers in an abandoned lab who claim to be aliens and zombies attacking them one by one. Co-written by Joss Whedon (Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.), the film was hailed for making it amusing, odd, and terrifying, all at the same time. If you haven’t seen The Cabin in the Woods yet, it’s best you know how little you can get into this movie — but if you’ve seen it, there’s a fair chance you’ll end up seeing it a tonne more times.
6. Mission: Impossible – Fallout
The sixth installment of the long-running Mission: Impossible franchise, Fallout reveals that the old series will still outpace newer ones when it comes to frantic action and jaw-dropping spectacle. The film opens with secret agent Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise), a member of the Impossible Task Team, seeking to secure some lost plutonium cores. If the plan goes sideways, the cores slip into the hands of the militant organization, prompting the IMF to track down its founders. Their loss is due to the ire of CIA Director Erica Sloane (Angela Bassett), who is deploying the assassin August Walker (Henry Cavill) to follow in Hunt’s footsteps. With a thrilling storyline and some awe-inspiring stunts, Fallout is a top-notch spy action.
7. Logan Lucky
Steven Soderbergh has one of the most interesting senses of humor of all the great Hollywood directors. He tends to believe that heists are among the funniest things human beings can take part in. It’s hard to justify that he’s wrong. Logan Lucky is a fun, entertaining heist movie. Channing Tatum and Adam Driver stars Jimmy and Clyde Logan, Carolina’s blue-collar brothers. After Jimmy quit his job at the Charlotte Motor Speedway, he and Clyde decided to snatch it. The next one is locusts, Molotov cocktails, and Daniel Craig as a talented cracker.
There are only a few up-and-coming filmmakers out there who have introduced the technical mastery and emotional savagery that Ari Aster had one-two success in his first two films. First with Inherited (see below) and now with Midsommar, his sun-drenched folk horror ode to classics like The Wickerman who takes the crowd to the glorious summer solstice of hellscape of sorrow, fear, and codependence. Florence Pugh acts like a young woman grappling with an insurmountable disaster when she moves overseas with her check-out boyfriend (Jack Reynor) and her parents and wakes up in the midst of a frightening pagan ceremony. Gorgeously filmed, scored, staged, etc., etc., Midsommar is not only a deviously sophisticated take on the classic horror subgenre but also a wicked sense of humor and pitch-black satire.
9. Knives Out
From Brick to Looper to The Last Jedi, Rian Johnson has made a career as a director who adds his unique touch to common genres, rethinking them with panache while retaining the hallmarks of their respective film staples. With his Oscar-nominated Knives Out superpower, Johnson brings touch to the old-fashioned murder mystery, staging a surreal tale of death and inheritance through the lens of a fractured, fabulously over-the-top family. Knives Out are funny and breezy, but they’re still beautifully composed, with some supremely stupid performances from their killer cast. Frankly, it’s worth your time to watch Michael Shannon scream about candy, but luckily, that’s only one of the many, many moments that make Knives Out such an enjoyable and special story.
Bumblebee is the Big Nice Yellow Autobot we remember from the franchise of Transformers and he got his own film Starring Dylan O’Brien (as the titular character), Hailee Steinfeld, John Cena, Angela Bassett, and Justin Theroux in 2018. The film was originally slated as a spin-off and a prequel but later confirms that the entire Transformers series is a gentle remake. The film is directed by Travis Knight, who previously directed and animated films at Laika Studios, marking his live-action film directorial debut. Hailee Steinfeld stars as Charlie, a young woman who is still struggling with her father’s death, and Bumblebee comes to life to help her move forward. For a Transformers movie, this may sound a little subdued but be assured that the cinema is surprisingly genuine, like colorful battle scenes and fun cars.
11. The Spy Who Dumped Me
A genuinely amazing globe-trotting comedy, The Spy Who Dumped Me was way too understated when it hit theatres in 2018. When Audrey discovers that her new ex-boyfriend (Justin Theroux) is a hacker who has concealed some highly valuable information in their apartment, Cashier Audrey Stockman (Mila Kunis) and her roommate Morgan (Kate McKinnon) are drawn into a foreign espionage game. Kate McKinnon can read some of the Home Depot paint swatches because it’d probably be at least a little amusing, but the action set pieces are literally on par with the fastest and most violent movies out there. It’s no joke that the movie is amusing. A police chase, dude. The complex scenes of war. A man is drowned in a cheese fondue that I really should have brought with him, but I’m not sure what’s going to happen if that doesn’t get you on board.
12. The Report
In the vein of All the President’s Men, the Study is an outstanding procedural thriller. It marks the directorial debut of Scott Z, writer of Contagion and Side Effects. Burns and chronicles the inquiry by the Senate into the use of torture by the CIA during the 9/11 attacks, with Adam Driver playing the personnel assigned to lead the investigation at the behest of Dianne Feinstein (Annette Bening). This is suspense contained, sharp, and incisive that does not take detours to dive into the personal life or a love tale of the character, it is incredibly matter-of-fact in clearly following the direction that led to the title report being made, and it is as engrossing as it is infuriating. Adam Driver is amazing.
13. The Disaster Artist
What happens when you take the worst film of all time and then have Seth Rogen and James Franco write about it and provide some of the scenes of A-list Hollywood stars and almost made remakes? You’re going to get a good contest, it turns out. Based on a book of the same name, The Disaster Artist tells the story of The Space, the worst movie. Franco stars as Tommy Wiseau, the vaguely Eastern European cinematic outsider, and Dave, Franco’s younger brother, stars as Greg Sestero, Wiseau’s friend, as they embark on a quest to create one of the most beguiling features of cinema ever.
Gaspar Noé ‘s Climax is the most crowd-pleasing and open film by the artist, a buckshot burst of paranoid, unhinged kinetic chaos, but this is the director of Irreversible and Enter the Vacuum, so take it for what you may. In a foreign dance troupe, Sofia Boutella stars as the lead dancer, who Jetes, fan kicks, and bends down a nightmarish rabbit hole to hell when the punch bowl winds up spiked with chemicals. The first act of the film is a euphoric showcase of athleticism and creativity, including one dance sequence after the other, but they cascade into a gritty, gritty clusterf**k in a rush until things get dark. This is some bold filmmaking, backed by performers who put it on the line for this brutal, hallucinogenic talent show, most of them amateur actors.
15. Instant Family
It is a life-long journey to create a family, with years spent establishing relationships, loyalty, and habits. Instant Family tells a touching (and sometimes funny) real-life tale in which it is important to complicate the process of creating a family a bit. Pete and Ellie Wagner are Mark Wahlberg and Rose Byrne, who are hoping to look at the adoption of a child … a child. Just one of them. It’s safe. Fortunately for them, they visit to pick up Lizzy’s foster brother, who has two smaller children, too. The Wagner family went from two to five within a few minutes, and the film followed their first efforts at parenting.
16. You Were Never Really Here
Lynne Ramsay always makes us wait, but my Goodness, she always makes it worth our time. Ramsay teamed up with Amazon for You Never Was Ever Here, seven years after her crushing Tilda Swinton vehicle We Need to Talk About Kevin, giving Joaquin Phoenix a forum for one of his career’s most impressive appearances. Phoenix stars include Joe, a veteran with a dreadful past, who spends his nights chasing girls who are trafficked and punishing those who have harmed them. But Joe gets caught up in a scheme that leaves his life in ruins while there’s a job going on, despite finally allowing himself something to fight for. It’s romantic and tender, but it’s also crippling and wrenching, giving an image of a man marked by cruelty, but still warmed and compromised by it. And right now, no one with a better eye than Ramsay is in the league.