Indiana Jones, New Zealand vampires, Denzel, and Tom Hanks are all waiting for you to add them to your queue of movies to watch. Here are the best films to help you spend a lazy Sunday on Amazon Prime.
'Raiders of the Lost Ark' (1981)
Steven Spielberg really wanted to make a James Bond movie at one point. And when that didn't work, he and George Lucas cooked up Indiana Jones instead. We think the world is better for it "Raiders of the Lost Ark" has no trouble holding up to modern scrutiny, as long as you don't ask pesky questions like "How did Indy survive that submarine ride?".
This Oscar-nominated sci-fi drama is as head-trippy as it is tearjerk-y. One of Amy Addams' best performances.
"Moonlight" feels like a story that has never been told before. In three expertly constructed acts, we watch as a young black man deals with his sexuality, community, and family, in equal measure. (The three actors who play the character, ultimately portrayed by Trevante Rhodes, seamlessly share physical traits and vocal tics.)
'His Girl Friday' (1940)
This fast-paced newspaper comedy (clearly a model for all the clever quick talk on "Gilmore Girls") was previously filmed as "The Front Page" with two male leads. But this film is a lot more fun as a battle of the sexes as editor Cary Grant tries to woo back star reporter (and ex-wife) Rosalind Russell.
'It's a Wonderful Life' (1946)
If you haven't seen this classic, well, get on it. Just in time for the holidays.
'Raging Bull' (1980)
One of Scorsese and De Niro's finest collaborations.
'The Apartment' (1960)
This classic only gets better with age.
Worst. Prom. Ever. The first Stephen King novel to be filmed was also one of De Palma's first big hits. It made a star of Sissy Spacek (as the tiular telekinetic teen) and brought Piper Laurie out of retirement for what became her signature role as Carrie's terrifying mom. De Palma is often accused of slavishly imitating Hitchcock, but the techniques he developed here for scaring audiences out of their seats were all his own.
Jake Gyllenhaal was robbed of an Oscar nom for his scary-terrific portrayal of Lou Bloom, an unscrupulous videographer who makes his living off car accidents and crime scenes.
'Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade' (1989)
The third "Indiana Jones" movie returned to more familiar territory after the weird, heart-ripping detour that was "Temple of Doom." This beloved threequel gave us all the globetrotting adventure and Nazi-punching we could ask for, along with the terrific new addition of Sean Connery as the elder Dr. Jones. We only wish the series had been left to rest after this sequel...
'The King of Comedy' (1983)
It's hard to imagine a film directed by Martin Scorsese and starring Robert De Niro bombing at the box office, but that's exactly what happened with this oft-ignored 1983 gem. Picture "Raging Bull" if De Niro's character were an aspiring comedian instead and you get the idea. Given the celebrity worship angle, it's arguably more relevant now than it was at the time.
'The Untouchables' (1987)
Unlike some of the films on this list, "The Untouchables" flaunts the fact that it's based on a true story. It details the painstaking efforts by Eliot Ness (Kevin Costner) and his fellow Bureau of Prohibition agents to take down Al Capone (Robert De Niro), one of the most notorious gangsters of all time.
'Galaxy Quest' (1999)
We were this close to getting a sequel/TV show from Amazon, but, sadly, Alan Rickman passed away and plans were deservedly put on hold. What we wouldn't give to return to this world, which is a perfect send-up of "Star Trek." Hell, you can argue it's a better "Trek" movie than most of the official ones.
'Groundhog Day' (1993)
If you're going to live the same day over and over again, it's best to be as funny as Bill Murray. There's nothing repetitive about this 1993 Harold Ramis classic -- it gets better with every passing re-watch.
The mysterious Zodiac Killer is among the most famous and feared serial killers in American history, thanks both to the scope of his crimes and the fact that even now we know so little about his true identity. This 2007 thriller is the perhaps the most compelling movie yet to explore the killer's reign of terror. It's based on Robert Graysmith's 1986 book of the same name, and director David Fincher and writer James Vanderbilt even spearheaded their own investigation prior to filming the movie.
In this harrowing survival drama, four friends -- including Jon Voight and Burt Reynolds -- go rafting in Georgia and run afoul of some backwoods locals. It's the movie that rightly made banjo-playing hillbillies some of the most feared villains of all time.
"They're heeeere!" So TVs don't do that "snow pattern" anymore, but this movie still terrifies us. As do tree branches at night, clown dolls and cookie-cutter suburban developments. And you think Samara would have crawled out of a TV in "The Ring" if it weren't for this classic?
Director Jonathan Demme's canny casting made Tom Hanks the sympathetic AIDS patient, but the film wouldn't have worked without the equally smart casting of Washington as the everyman lawyer to Hanks' character. The Oscar-winner stands in for the general audience as he learns about the realities of living with AIDS.
'Being There' (1979)
This underrated drama features one of comedian Peter Sellers' most poignant performances.
'Bonnie and Clyde' (1967)
If only more movies were this good.
'The Florida Project' (2017)
With an effortless, "you're-right-in-it" approach to impoverish life at a rat trap hotel in Florida, director Sean Baker achieves near-documentarian levels of realism with this tale of a young, rebellious child, her responsibility-immune mother, and their earnest (but broken) landlord (Willem Dafoe). All of them try to make ends meet and find each other in the process.
'The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert' (1994)
This fantastic Aussie indie gave us a great trans heroine (Terence Stamp) decades before "OITNB" and "Transparent" AND the best Oscar-winning costumes. Hard to believe that's "Matrix" bad guy Hugo Weaving and Guy Pearce as two of the most fabulous drag queens of all time.
Most moviegoers took notice of the Wachowskis when they delivered the cyberpunk blockbuster "The Matrix" in 1999. But for some, the Wachowskis had already established their reputation in 1996's "Bound." This erotic crime thriller was truly groundbreaking for its time, and it still holds up as a great film over 20 years later.
'Boogie Nights' (1997)
This movie, about fictional porn star Dirk Diggler, was director P.T. Anderson's second feature film. This '90s classic and critical favorite proved that Mark Wahlberg could do more than just be "Marky Mark." It also earned Julianne Moore her first Oscar nomination.
'A Clockwork Orange' (1971)
For big-time Kubrick fans only.
'Winter's Bone' (2010)
The Oscar-nominated film that put Jennifer Lawrence on Hollywood's radar is based on a very gritty, underrated tale from Daniel Woodrell. The movie and its source material are neck-and-neck in terms of which one out-glooms the other. Director Debra Granik followed this up with the less downbeat “Leave No Trace.”
'What We Do in the Shadows' (2015)
A vampire clan who actually aren't all that great at being vampires skewer every cliché of the genre in this brilliant send-up. It's from "Flight of the Conchords" funny man Jermaine Clement.
'Jerry Maguire' (1996)
Amidst all the "Show me the money!" shouting and talk of how much human heads weigh, there's a surprisingly sweet old-fashioned romance summed up in one line: "You had me at 'hello.'"
'3:10 to Yuma' (2007)
Russell Crowe is a notorious outlaw and Christian Bale the rancher bringing him in in this solid remake of the '50s original. Also, shout out to scene-stealer Ben Foster as Crowe's unpredictable but loyal No. 2.
'Breakfast at Tiffany's' (1961)
They don't make movies like this classic anymore.
'Dead Again' (1991)
Kenneth Branagh (who also directs) and Emma Thompson headline this slow-burn thriller about reincarnation from writer Scott Frank. Robin Williams cameos.