The top 15 movies on Amazon Prime Video
- Little Women
- Knives Out
- The Farewell
- The Report
- Brittany Runs a Marathon
- Forrest Gump
- American Beauty
- Catch Me If You Can
- Mean Girls
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Amazon Prime has come to Canada, and the streaming service is a gold mine for some of the greatest movies ever made. Here are the best movies we’ve found so far.
Directed by Greta Gerwig, Little Women is an adaptation of the classic novel of the same name by Louisa May Alcott. The movie chronicles the lives of the March sisters — Jo, Meg, Amy and Beth — during the 19th century. While each sister has her own aspirations, their unbreakable bond is what really makes the story stand out.
Little Women has a terrific cast, gorgeous costumes and an unconventional structure that gives the adaptation a bit of an edge. As for the story itself, it’s timeless. You’ll be completely immersed in these girls’ lives 10 minutes in.
The plot of Knives Out is fairly straightforward – a detective investigates the death of the patriarch of an eccentric family. What’s interesting is that literally everyone in the wildly dysfunctional family is a suspect, and it’s up to the detective and the viewers to comb through the lies and red herrings in order to get to the truth. Add a stellar ensemble cast into the mix and you’ve got yourself a hit.
Intriguing and suspenseful, Knives Out manages to pay homage to classic locked-room murder mysteries while also breathing fresh life into the genre. You’ll have a whole lot of fun with this one.
Working as a stripper to make ends meet, Destiny’s life changes forever when she befriends Ramona, the club’s top earner. But when the 2008 recession hits, the gals look for alternative ways to make money and come up with a daring scheme to take advantage of their wealthy Wall Street clients.
Hustlers is a stylish and powerful film, with a tremendous performance from Jennifer Lopez – who dazzles from the first time she hits the screen. A mix of comedy, crime and social commentary, the movie is well worth your time.
The Farewell is a bittersweet tragicomedy about a family who returns to China under the guise of a fake wedding to stealthily say goodbye to their beloved matriarch. However, they decide to keep the matriarch in the dark, so she’s the only one who doesn’t know that she only has a few weeks left to live.
If you’re a fan of complicated family dynamics, The Farewell is an absolute delight. It will make you laugh and cry, managing to perfectly encapsulate both the wonder and ridiculousness of families.
One of the most hyped horror flicks to come out in 2019, Midsommar follows a couple who travels to Sweden to visit a rural hometown’s fabled mid-summer festival. However, the festivities quickly devolve into an increasingly violent and bizarre competition at the hands of a pagan cult.
Midsommar features incredible cinematography and a tremendous performance from Florence Pugh. More than that, it’s just the right kind of unsettling. Get ready to spend most of the movie’s runtime on the edge of your seat.
The Report chronicles the real investigation into the CIA’s use of torture on suspected terrorists in the aftermath of the 9/11 attack. The movie centres on Daniel J. Jones, who works under a senator and is tasked with running the investigation. He compiles a massive report about his findings but discovers that the CIA isn’t particularly keen on bringing his discoveries to the public’s attention.
Here’s the deal: The Report is mostly about people in suits staring at computers. Yet, the movie manages to be clever and tense, keeping viewers glued to the screen, eager to find out what happens next. Plus, the cast is A+, with Adam Driver in particular shining in the lead role.
Inspiring and often hilarious, Brittany Runs a Marathon follows a hard-partying woman who receives worrisome news during a doctor’s appointment. As a result, she gets motivated to lose weight and decides to compete in the New York City Marathon.
The premise of the movie can seem overdone – after all, it follows someone who is struggling to overcome the odds and achieve success. But Brittany Runs a Marathon is like a breath of fresh air, especially because Brittany isn’t always a likeable character. Yet, you won’t be able to help yourself and root for her anyway.
The portmanteau of Chicago and Iraq (pronounced “shy-rack”) is worryingly apt. That said, don’t go in expecting Spike Lee to deliver a docu-drama exposé of this Illinois gangland. Re-adjust your expectations to a modern hip-hop remix of Aristophanes’s Lysistrata, a bawdy Greek classic in which women from warring sides refuse their husbands bedroom action in pursuit of an armistice.
Via narration from a slick-suited Dolmedes (Samuel L. Jackson), the sorry state of affairs is laid out in iambic pentameter rhymes. On one side, we have the Spartans, headed by our hero Lysistrata’s boyfriend, and they’re beefing with their rivals, the Trojans, when an innocent citizen catches a stray bullet. From there, Chi-raq escalates into a musical that delivers an incendiary look at violence and guns, men and women, and sex and power.
Equal parts inspirational and hysterical, Forrest Gump is arguably one of the greatest movies of the mid-90s. Forrest, who is rather slow but has good intentions and a kind heart, re-tells the story of his life to various strangers who sit beside him on a park bench in Georgia. He documents everything from his childhood love, Jenny, to his time as a captain on a shrimp boat. Although his low IQ may be seen to some as a disadvantage, this inspiring tale demonstrates how Gump never let it hold him back. From college football star to soldier in the Vietnam War, it’s clear throughout the film that Forrest yearns for the love of his childhood sweetheart.
It’s not hard to sympathize with the main character and even relate to many of his well-described feelings and fears. Although a heartfelt movie, Forrest Gump is hilarious and memorable, with one of the greatest movie quotes of all time: “Life is like a box of chocolates. You never know what you’re gonna get.”
Oh, how many times I’ve sat in a cubicle and thought about emulating Lester Burnham – a disillusioned, 40+ worker drone who delivers the most incendiary job exit since the protagonist of Fight Club. This is a mid-life crisis for the ages, brought on by a sexually-disinterested wife who’s become career-obsessed, a borderline emo daughter and Lester’s sudden infatuation with a younger woman. The arrival of Ricky, a new neighbour who conveniently sells AAA-grade weed, sure does help this revolution along, too.
Unfortunately, what starts as a new awakening of the senses and a healthy recapturing of one’s youth triggers negative changes in Lester’s family. His tightly-wound better half becomes more manic and his daughter, Janie, hooks up with Ricky and expresses desires bordering on the homicidal. Incredibly well-cast and chock full of poignant observations and dark comedy, American Beauty is still very much the masterpiece.
Have you ever dreamed of becoming a jack-of-all-trades? How about filling up your resume with multiple impressive careers before the age of 18? That’s exactly what Frank Abagnale Jr., the lead character in Catch Me If You Can, does. At the young age of 17, Abagnale became the most successful bank robber in the United States, using cheque fraud as a way to con banks into giving him cash in hand.
Posing as a doctor, an airline pilot, a French teacher and even a lawyer, this movie is based on the completely true story of a con artist who was always one step ahead of the FBI. From beginning to end, the movie will captivate you with its adventurous and high-flying tales. Although Abagnale was a con man, this movie will have you rooting for him from start to finish.
If you’ve ever worn pink on Wednesdays, then you’ve probably seen this classic movie from the early 2000s. Starring Lindsay Lohan, the film follows a high school girl called Cady who has been homeschooled her whole life. Upon entering the schooling system in the United States, Cady faces what most teenagers do in high school: cliques, awkward moments and plenty of drama. She tries to befriend the popular girls known as “the plastics” in order to expose them but ends up showing some of her true colours along the way.
Mean Girls takes you on a hilarious and somewhat realistic journey of the high school world, relating it to the wild ways of the animal kingdom. With some iconic one-liners, you’ll find yourself watching this movie time and time again. The witty dialogue never really stops being funny.
Sometimes great horror is purely in the music and what you can’t see. It’s been nearly 40 years but the creeping dread of John Williams “duunn dunnnn” theme still sends chills up my spine. I’m confident that if you were to play that swelling double-note menace over the speakers of any indoor pool complex, people would cast reason aside and get out. The power of this music was a godsend for Steven Spielberg, a fledgling director who invested too much faith in his prop department’s ability to create lifelike sharks.
Turning what was a 25-foot polystyrene lemon into lemonade, Spielberg shifted course onto some of the most creative and (cost) effective jump scares in the history of film. The end result is a great monster flick that’s damn near perfect, thanks to the plight of a hapless Chief Brody and a strong set of supporting characters, all of whom you don’t want to be on the menu (but totally are).
If you’ve ever seen someone run down the street screaming “freedom!”, they’ve probably just been inspired by the 1995 film Braveheart. This movie follows the story of the Scottish icon William Wallace who led a revolt against the English in order to maintain Scotland’s freedom.
With excellent graphic scenes, this film has the right amount of blood, gore and inspiration. It takes place in the 13th century and truly embodies all of the stereotypes of both modern and historical Scotland. Although the movie takes a rather disheartening turn at the end, it’s well worth the watch and gives you a taste of history.
After being diagnosed with ALS (Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis), formerly known as Lou Gehrig’s disease, New Orleans Saints football player Steve Gleason decides to put up the best fight possible and record a series of video journals for his unborn son. When the battle starts to look insurmountable, the plan shifts to submitting this footage to charity to raise awareness about this disease as the film documents Gleason’s slow deterioration over the course of a five-year period.
Equal parts inspirational, heartbreaking and brutally candid, Gleason runs the full gamut of human emotions. This is a front-row seat to a man moving through the five stages of grief, plus the film juggles the themes of marital stress, religious conviction and even a bit of lighthearted toilet humour when the worst indignities of the disease kick in. This is a tough watch but an important one, too – an unflinching portrayal of a person fighting back against incredible adversity.
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