Logging onto your favorite streaming service for an evening’s entertainment can often be a crapshoot. One never can tell if you’ll find that one film you meant to see but never got around to or if you’ll end up going through a pile of undesirable titles that you’re destined to scroll past until you simply turn to YouTube instead. Netflix, Amazon, and Hulu all offer their fair share of good and bad viewing options, and it’s rarely easy to sift through their respective libraries to isolate what is truly the right film for you to watch.
That’s where we come in. In order to save your evening and keep you and your significant other from arguing (again) about what to watch, we’ve devised this go-to list of some of the most notable options available to stream on Amazon Prime. Don’t worry: those of you without Prime accounts can still rent them anytime, and considering the class of films we’ve found, you would be wise to add these to your must-see list as soon as possible. Without further delay, let’s jump into our selections, which we’ll address in order of their theatrical release.
1. Roman Holiday (1953)
Whenever anyone thinks of Audrey Hepburn, the first film that pops into most people’s minds is probably Breakfast at Tiffany’s. Though that film is an undeniable classic, this is the movie that earned Hepburn her Oscar. Starring opposite Gregory Peck, this comedy was the film that made her a star in the first place, and it’s easy to see from Hepburn’s natural charm why it has remained an indelible addition to her filmography.
2. Caddyshack (1980)
Bill Murray’s epic film career really kicked into gear with this Harold Ramis-directed golf comedy. Co-starring other comedic heavyweights like Rodney Dangerfield and Chevy Chase, Caddyshack is the very definition of the magic that happens when sports and laughter cross paths. Often considered among the funniest films ever made, this is one laugh riot that must be seen to be believed.
3. Interview with the Vampire (1994)
Tom Cruise and Brad Pitt trade in their sex symbol membership cards for fangs to star as two vampires whose friendship falls apart in this popular adaptation of the Anne Rice novel. The Oscar-nominated period drama — framed by a modern-set story featuring a journalist played by Christian Slater — may not have the thrills of a more jump scare laden affair, but it makes up for it with style and panache.
4. Apollo 13 (1995)
Ron Howard and Tom Hanks usually create something special when they collaborate, and this biopic centering on the real-life team of astronauts who were stranded on a mission gone awry, doesn’t disappoint. Kevin Bacon, Bill Paxton, and Hanks’s Forrest Gump co-star Gary Sinise, play supporting roles in the film, and Ed Harris and Kathleen Quinlan earned Academy Award nominations for their performances. Harris for his role as the flight director at mission control and Quinlan for her role as the wife of Hanks’s Jim Lovell.
5. Good Will Hunting (1997)
Robin Williams won an Oscar for his role as a psychiatrist treating a troubled math prodigy (Matt Damon) in this acclaimed Gus Van Sant film. Not only did Williams receive the ultimate Hollywood honor after three previous nominations, but the film effectively introduced the world to up-and-coming stars Damon and Ben Affleck, who earned the Best Original Screenplay statuette for their work on the film.
6. Saved! (2004)
A religious satire centering on a teenage pregnancy, Saved! predictably caused a significant controversy for its sly handling of serious subject matter. However, the film has attained a cult following in the years since its release and features some of the best performances ever for young stars like Mandy Moore, Jena Malone, and Macaulay Culkin. Even if it’s not the kind of film one might see in theaters, it makes perfect viewing for a quiet night at home.
7. Man on Wire (2008)
Remember that Joseph Gordon-Levitt drama The Walk that was released last year? No? We understand if you don’t, considering that the 2015 Robert Zemeckis biopic was unfavorably compared to this critically praised 2008 documentary about high-wire artist Philippe Petit and his 1974 walk across the twin towers of the World Trade Center. Riveting on a visceral spectacle level and a personal story of determination, this film does a far better job of telling Petit’s story than any Hollywood attempt could ever do.
Follow Robert Yaniz Jr. on Twitter @CrookedTable
Check out Entertainment Cheat Sheet on Facebook!