Despite Netflix being the leader in original streaming films, Amazon Studios has had a significant impact on the world of cinema. Most of the studio’s releases have been arthouse films helmed by directors such as Todd Haynes and Richard Linklater. Others have been directed by the likes of Farhadi and Alejandro González Iñárritu. Below we have listed the best original movies on Prime Video.
While this strategy hasn’t always led to well-received films like “Borat Subsequent” or “Moulin Rouge!,” the studio has amassed an impressive collection of films that challenge the limits of cinematic storytelling. Below, we’ve compiled a list of the top eleven Amazon Studios releases. From worst to best, here’s a look at what makes Amazon Studios stand out from the rest of the streaming wars.
Spike Lee’s 2015 film “Chi-Raq” is a chaotic yet daring work that is filled with anger and frustration at how society continues to hurt America’s Black community. It’s a modern take on the classic Greek play “Lysistrata”, which tells the story of a gang of women who refuse to have sex with their husbands until the war is over although the movie was rated 5.9/10 on IMDb.
Lee tells the story entirely in rhyming verse, which is an audacious decision that speaks to the filmmaker’s enthusiasm for his material. Teyonah Parris stars as the titular character, bringing her own unique charm and conviction to the role. There are a few flaws to this film, including a weird supporting turn from Cusack. But in the end, it’s a bold, daring, and important film.
The story of gay man, Paul Bettany’s Uncle Frank, follows him on a cross-country road trip to South Carolina with his niece, Sophie Lillis, to attend her family’s funeral. On the way, he is joined by his partner, Peter MacDissi’s Wally, and as they travel, secrets are uncovered that force him to face his past and come out as gay. Set in 1970s New York City, Uncle Frank tells the story of a family that comes together to celebrate the love and acceptance of one another as they grow up.
One Child Nation
In the documentary, “One Child Nation,” co-director and author Nanfu Wang examines the history of China’s one-child policy. A mother herself, Wang returns to her homeland to interview those directly impacted by the policy, including those who lost their children, those forced to have an abortion or give up their babies, and those who worked as policy enforcers.
In the film, Wang shares her own story, recounting how she initially supported the one-child policy, only to come to understand the devastating human costs. She also examines how the one-child policy was justified by the government’s propaganda, and how that same propaganda continues to stifle discussion of the consequences of the policy today.
Mariama Diallo directs Master, which explores the systemic forces of hate within academic institutions. Gail Bishop is a professor at the prestigious Northeastern University. She begins to experience bizarre and disturbing occurrences, which she believes are related to a new student, Jasmine. The film is full of tension and ambiguity, leaving viewers to wonder what’s real and what isn’t, and what the fate of the characters will be. Master is an inquisitive and provocative film that examines the dark underside of academia.
Cold War is a Polish film that chronicles the events that occurred in Europe after the Second World War through the eyes of a single couple. The story follows the love affair between two artists, played by Tomasz Kot and Joanna Kulig. The film takes place over a period of 15 years and deals with themes such as love, loss, and the inability to escape.
Cold War is filmed in black-and-white and in an aspect ratio of 1:37:1, which creates an atmosphere of claustrophobia and intimacy. The cinematography is very beautiful and evokes feelings of longing and desperation. The score is composed by Joanna Kulig and the music amplifies the emotions of the characters.
The Big Sick
Kumail Nanjiani plays a Pakistani-American comedian who falls in love with Emily Gardner, a white American graduate student. Their relationship is complicated by the fact that they both live in different parts of the world.
When Emily goes into a coma, it forces Kumail to confront his own prejudice and learn how to live with her family. The Big Sick is a refreshing departure from the typical romantic comedy. It has a South Asian lead, explores the complexities of intercultural relationships, and is funny and heartwarming. The movie is also semi-autobiographic, which gives it an authentic feel.
Sound of Metal
Riz Ahmed has a long history of delivering memorable performances in films, but his performance in Sound of Metal earned him an Oscar nomination. The story is about a drummer who goes deaf, and Ahmed delivers an incredibly powerful performance. The sound work is also masterful, allowing you to empathize with the protagonist and the best original movies on Prime Video.
The movie takes some surprising turns, especially in exploring how Ahmed’s character’s addiction becomes an integral part of the new reality he finds himself in. Paul Raci delivers an excellent supporting turn, and his last scene is heartbreaking. Sound of Metal is a compelling story about dealing with life’s ups and downs. It’s a must-watch for anyone who loves Riz Ahmed or loves great acting in general.
Wrapping it up!
Amazon Studios has distinguished itself from its competitors in the streaming wars by focusing on original content rather than acquiring popular films and TV shows. This has led to an impressive library of original content that challenges viewers and apart from other major platforms after the best original movies on Prime Video. The first original film produced by Amazon Studios was Manchester by the Sea, a critically acclaimed drama about a man forced to care for his teenage nephew after the death of his brother. We recommend you have a look at the best thrillers movies on Amazon Prime.