Top 10 Original Movies on Amazon Prime Video for 2021
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Original movies on Amazon Prime Video range from big theatrical releases to streaming exclusives. Many are award-winning and festival favourites, while also attracting a huge Amazon following. Here are 10 of the best original movies on Amazon Prime Video.
Best Original Movies on Amazon Prime
the big sick
Comedian and actor Kumail Nanjiani and writer Emily V. Gordon draw inspiration from a real-life relationship for a romantic comedy-drama. The great sick Nanjiani plays a fictionalized version of himself, a struggling comedian who begins dating Emily (Zoe Kazan) just before she is stricken with a mysterious illness and slips into a coma. Kumail must deal with Emily’s concerned parents while also resolving his own feelings for Emily and dealing with the pressures of her traditional Pakistani family.
Polish filmmaker Pawel Pawlikowski created this lush black-and-white romantic drama, partially inspired by his own parents’ relationship. Cold War takes place over many years during the Cold War, as musicians Wiktor (Tomasz Kot) and Irena (Joanna Kulig) pursue a recurring romance across various cities and nations, through political turmoil and repression. Pawlikowski combines a fleeting romance with smart social commentary and beautiful imagery.
Korean author Park Chan-wook adapted a novel by Welsh author Sarah Waters into The Servant, changing the scene to colonial-era Korea. The elaborate plot involves multiple twists and turns, setbacks and betrayals, set against the backdrop of the Japanese occupation of Korea. An heiress and a thief fall in love participating in multiple overlapping and collaborative schemes. Park offers a sumptuous erotic thriller with a story of triumphant revenge for two women rejected and neglected by society.
Director Gillian Robespierre and star Jenny Slate followed up their groundbreaking film Obvious Child with Landline, a 1990s comedy about the romantic struggles of members of a New York Jewish family. It’s a softer take on a Woody Allen or Noah Baumbach movie, with a sweet, sisterly bond between the characters played by Slate and Abby Quinn. Edie Falco and John Turturro bring complexity to the roles of the parents for a fun and relatable multi-generational story.
Writer-director Whit Stillman turns a lesser-known Jane Austen debut novel into a delightfully wicked comedy filled with witty criticism. Love Friendship starring Kate Beckinsale in one of her best performances as Lady Susan Vernon, a widow who must rely on the generosity of her enemies and loved ones to make her way through the world. Lady Susan is complicit, condescending and fascinating to watch as she manipulates the rigid rules of Regency society for her benefit and pleasure.
Veteran independent filmmaker Jim Jarmusch pays loving homage to a sleepy New Jersey town in Paterson. Like the city, the main character (Adam Driver) is also named Paterson, and he is a city bus driver with the soul (and talent) of a poet. The film follows a week in Paterson’s life as he drives his passengers, composes poems and spends time with his wife (Golshifteh Farahani). It’s a low-key story about a low-key guy who is happy to appreciate the simple things in life.
Selah and the spades
The stylish teen drama Selah and the Spades marks an impressive debut for writer-director Tayarisha Poe and a standout performance from Lovie Simone as the title character. The film mixes gritty noir with typical teen movie elements for a unique mix of genres. Selah is the queen bee of a posh private school, which means she runs an underground mafia-like cartel, but the cartel’s main concern is throwing a big ball.
Joseph Gordon-Levitt almost plays a one-man show in a 7500 thriller as an airline pilot dealing with a hijacking on a Berlin-Paris flight. The vast majority of the film takes place in the plane’s cockpit, where First Officer Tobias Ellis (Gordon-Levitt) is trapped after a group of terrorists take control of the plane. Gordon-Levitt and writer-director Patrick Vollrath build suspense and excitement with a character in a small, confined space.
Italian director Luca Guadagnino (Call Me By Your Name) takes up the work of another Italian master with his remake of Dario Argento’s horror classic Suspiria. The original film is surreal and impressionistic, and Guadagnino takes this style even further. He turns Argento’s story of an American dancer (Dakota Johnson) who attends a sinister German dance academy into a meditation on identity and generational heritage. It is as beautiful as it is fascinating.
the immensity of the night
A great achievement on a shoestring budget, Andrew Patterson’s The Vast of Night features elaborate tracking shots and snappy dialogue for a film that almost reads like an illustrated radio play. The film is set in a small New Mexico town in the 1950s, a night where aliens may have arrived. Teenagers Fay (Sierra McCormick), a switchboard operator, and Everett (Jake Horowitz), a radio DJ, roam the city as they try to uncover the truth about strange local events.