Best movies on Amazon Prime Video: top films to watch in Australia right now

When it comes to streaming media, Australians now have access to an incredible wealth of video content that can be instantly viewed with only a few screen taps or button presses. 

Much like Netflix, Stan and Foxtel Now, Amazon Prime Video has a huge selection of movies on offer, with something for absolutely everybody. The problem is, the sheer amount of titles in the service's content library can be a little overwhelming for those who want to jump in and start watching immediately. 

If you're sick of browsing endlessly, you've come to the right place – we've done the job for you, selecting a number of fantastic films (as well as some delightfully trashy ones) for every occasion, so all you have to do is sit back and start your viewing odyssey.

Most of the films on this list, which has been curated by TechRadar editors, are backed up with ratings from IMDB and Rotten Tomatoes – so that you don't have to sift through the muck. That said, if you want to switch your brain off and get stuck into some cheesy, low-brow entertainment, we've got that stuff, too. 

We'll keep this best-of list up to date with the latest movies that are must-watch, so make sure you keep checking back to see all the great stuff that's been added. 

We're obsessed with science fiction and high tech futuristic worlds here at TechRadar. Here are our picks for the best science fiction movies currently streaming on Amazon Prime Video. 

Serenity

Credit: Universal

The theatrical conclusion to the beloved (yet short-lived) television series Firefly, Serenity tied off the various loose ends left behind after Joss Whedon's space cowboy show was axed. Led by Captain Malcolm Reynolds (Nathan Fillion), the crew of the Serenity cargo ship are known for engaging various smuggling adventures and shady dealings across the galaxy. However, trouble comes looking for them in the form of an assassin (Chiwetel Ejiofor) who's after River (Summer Glau), a gifted telepath and one of the crew's members. Like a cross between Star Wars (particularly the Han Solo parts) and Cowboy Bebop, Serenity is a crowd-pleasing sci-fi actioner with plenty of heart. 

IMDB Rating: 7.9, Rotten Tomatoes: 83%

War of the Worlds

Credit: Paramount Pictures 

Tom Cruise will do anything to protect his family from a full-scale alien invasion in War of the Worlds, director Steven Spielberg's adaptation of H.G. Wells' classic science fiction novel. Spielberg, known to be a master of suspense, ratchets up the tension to near unbearable levels in the film, with numerous dread-filled set pieces on offer that rival anything from his illustrious filmography (that includes Jaws, Jurassic Park and Saving Private Ryan). Using imagery inspired by the 9/11 attacks (the invading Tripods blast humans into white ashes) and Hurricane Katrina (desperate people turn violent against each other in an attempt to survive their horrific circumstances), War of the Worlds is a far cry from E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial and Close Encounters of the Third Kind.

IMDB Rating: 6.5, Rotten Tomatoes: 75%

Men in Black

Credit: Sony Pictures

Fresh off the success of the global phenomenon Independence Day, Will Smith went straight back to work on another sci-fi film about aliens, albeit one with a much lighter tone and an emphasis on comedy. Starring alongside Tommy Lee Jones, Smith led Men in Black to huge dollars at the box office, leading to two more films and an upcoming reboot starring Chris Hemsworth and Tessa Thompson. The original film, however, is still the best, offering great mix of comedy and genre-based hijinx, similar to the likes of Ghostbusters. Now go and watch it, lest Big Willy let his noisy cricket get wicked on ya.

IMDB Rating: 7.3, Rotten Tomatoes: 92%

Need some kid-friendly entertainment that will keep the young ones entertained? Here are some of the best family movies that Amazon Prime Video is currently streaming. Don't worry – all of these picks are child friendly. 

Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs

Credit: Sony Pictures

Before Phil Lord and Chris Miller hit it big directing The LEGO Movie, the duo released Cloudy wth a Chance of Meatballs, a surprisingly hilarious, clever and visually inventive animated kids film that even grown-ups can enjoy. In an effort to save his struggling community, wacky scientist Flint (Bill Hader) invents a machine that can turn water into food. While the machine is initially a success, it somehow ends up in the atmosphere, causing endless amounts of food to rain down on the city, causing all sorts of chaos in the process. 

IMDB Rating: 7.0, Rotten Tomatoes: 86%

Despicable Me

Credit: Universal

Love them or hate them, kids (and possibly your mum) can't get enough of these crazy Minions, so why get the family together to watch the first movie in the enormously successful Despicable Me franchise? This animated film stars Steve Carrell as the voice of Gru, a criminal mastermind with an army of Minions to do his bidding for him (if only he could get them to pay attention). Things change, however, when Gru meets three orphaned girls who see him as a father figure. Will the girls (and the Minions) be able to melt this grump's miserable heart?

IMDB Rating: 7.7, Rotten Tomatoes: 81%

How to Train Your Dragon

Credit: Dreamworks Animation

One of the best animated films of the last decade, How to Train Your Dragon surprised everyone with its tale of a young Viking boy who defies his village's dragon hunting ways to become the very first dragon rider. When Hiccup (Jay Baruchel) stumbles upon an injured Night Fury, the rarest and most-feared dragon in existence, he manages to befriend the creature (which he adorably names 'Toothless'), eventually teaching his family a valuable lesson in the process. Packed with incredible action and adventure, How to Train Your Dragon is a classic that can be enjoyed by both young and old. 

IMDB Rating: 81%, Rotten Tomatoes: 98%

From suspenseful scares to gruesome gore flicks, Amazon Prime Video has an excellent selection of horror films. Easily eclipsing its streaming competition when it comes to classic fright flicks, browsing Prime's selection is like stepping back in time and into the horror section of your local video store. On top of this, you also have access to some great recent scary movies. Here are some of the best horror movies on Amazon Prime Video. 

A Quiet Place

Credit: Paramount Pictures

One of the best scary movies of the last few years, A Quiet Place sees its characters pursued by blind creatures that hunt solely by sound. The only way this young family, led by John Krasinski (Jack Ryan) and Emily Blunt (Sicario), will have any hope for survival is to remain completely silent at all times. Krasinski, who also writes and directs the film, builds tension with a masterful sense of suspense – every tiny creak or noise could lead to the characters' deaths, forcing the audience to also sit in silence and play close attention. A Quiet Place is the kind of horror film that will have you on the edge of your seat for its entire running time.

IMDB Rating: 7.6, Rotten Tomatoes: 95%

The House on Sorority Row

Credit: Shock

One of the more highly-regarded slasher movies from the sub-genre's golden era (1978-1984), The House on Sorority Row sees a group of sorority sisters stalked by a murderous maniac in a court jester's outfit after one of their pranks goes horribly wrong. Delivering everything you'd expect from a good slasher, including a high body count, shocking kills and a sexed-up young cast, The House on Sorority Row still manages to keep you guessing about the killer's identity until the very end. Just make sure you steer clear of the mediocre 2009 remake. 

IMDB Rating: 6.1, Rotten Tomatoes: 56%

Society

Credit: Umbrella Entertainment

Likely to be the most bizarre horror movie to grace this list, Society is a body-horror / melt film unlike any other. California teenager Bill (Billy Warlock) senses that something is not quite right with his wealthy family, and he's right: it turns out they're actually part of an orgy cult for the rich elite in Beverly Hills, and we wish that were the most shocking discovery made by Bill throughout Society's running time! With some truly disgusting (and mind-blowing) practical gore effects from the great Screaming Mad George (Re-Animator 2, Predator), Society is the kind of horror film that has to be seen to be believed. Not for the squeamish!

IMDB Rating: 6.5, Rotten Tomatoes: 55%

I Know What You Did Last Summer

Credit: Sony Pictures

While celebrating their high school graduation, a group of teenagers (including Jennifer Love Hewitt, Freddie Prinze Jr., Sarah Michelle Gellar and Ryan Phillippe) accidentally run over a man in the middle of the night. Convinced their lives will be over if anyone finds out about this incident, most of the group makes a pact to dump the body and pretend it never happened. Of course, this is a slasher movie, so that's easier said than done! Exactly one year after that fateful night, a hook-wielding killer shows up and begins to terrorise each member of the group, and now it's up to Julie (Love Hewitt) to uncover the killer's identity before it's too late. Like most teen horror movies, critics weren't so kind to I Know What You Did Last Summer upon initial release (it was unfavourably compared to Scream, which shared the same screenwriter), but it remains a favourite for '90s kids to this day thanks to its potent scares and intriguing mystery. 

IMDB Rating: 5.7, Rotten Tomatoes: 36%

We love a good thriller, which is why we've narrowed down some of the best ones that are now available to watch on Amazon Prime Video. These films will have you on the edge of your seat in suspense, so sit back, try to relax, and enjoy.

No Country For Old Men

Credit: Paramount Pictures

Javier Bardem won an Oscar for essentially playing the human personification of death in No Country For Old Men, a taut thriller from the Coen brothers (The Big Lebowski, Fargo). Every single moment that Bardem is on-screen is filled with dread, as he leaves a trail of bodies across Texas in search of a missing bag of cartel money, which is in the possession of Llewelyn Moss (Josh Brolin). Can the local sheriff (Tommy Lee Jones) catch up to Llewelyn before his pursuer reaches him? A film that's as bleak and unsettling as the Cormac McCarthy novel that it's based on, No Country For Old Men will surely haunt you for years to come. 

IMDB Rating: 8.1, Rotten Tomatoes: 93%

Switchback

Credit: Paramount Pictures

Without question, the '90s was a true golden era for serial killer thrillers, with films like The Silence of the Lambs, Se7en and Copycat being particularly memorable. However, there were a number of worthwhile gems released during this time that managed to slip through the cracks, with Switchback being one film that's particularly underrated (especially by critics). Frank LaCrosse (Dennis Quaid) is an FBI agent on the trail of a vicious serial killer. Things become personal for LaCrosse when the killer kidnaps his son. Meanwhile, a young medical school dropout (Jared Leto) hitches a ride with a local drifter (Danny Glover) across the American Southwest. As they travel across snowy Colorado, more dead bodies seem to pile up in their wake. How long before they pair crosses paths with LaCrosse? And will he find his boy before it's too late? Also stars R. Lee Ermey (Full Metal Jacket), Ted Levine (The Silence of the Lambs) and William Fichtner (The Dark Knight). 

IMDB Rating: 6.4, Rotten Tomatoes: 32%

Munich

Credit: Universal

Though he's established a rabid fan base due to the success of blockbuster films like Jurassic Park, Jaws and Raiders of the Lost Ark, director Steven Spielberg is arguably at his best when tackling more grown up fare – films like Schindler's List and Saving Private Ryan can attest to that. However, there is one film in particular that is arguably the most complex and adult of his entire career, and that film is Munich. Based on the real-life tragedy that occurred during the 1972 Munich Summer Olympics, in which the entire Israeli team was taken hostage and then massacred by the Palestinian terrorist group Black September, the film sheds light on Israel's secret retaliation missions. Allegedly, these black ops saw undercover Mossad agents (played here by the likes of Eric Bana, Daniel Craig and Ciarán Hinds) track down and assassinate the men believed responsible in a rather public manner. Rather than take sides in the still ongoing conflict between Israel and Palestine, Spielberg questions the cost of vengeance on the conscience and soul of an entire country, asking whether it ultimately achieves anything other than more bloodshed. A riveting film that does not shy away from the story's more harrowing aspects. 

IMDB Rating: 7.6, Rotten Tomatoes: 77%

Collateral

Credit: Paramount Pictures

Tom Cruise plays totally against type in Collateral, a fantastic thriller from visionary director Michael Mann (Heat, Miami Vice). Cruise plays Vincent, a ruthless hitman with silver hair who forces cabbie Max (Jamie Foxx) to be his personal chauffeur for the night as he travels around Los Angeles taking out targets. Can Max make it out of this situation alive? Or will he end up as Vincent's final victim? Using special digital cameras to capture LA at night in all its gritty glory, Mann achieves a sense of realism that makes you feel like you're right there with the characters. Packed with action and suspense, Collateral is an immaculately crafted thriller which shows a much scarier side of Cruise than we're used to seeing. 

IMDB Rating: 7.5, Rotten Tomatoes: 86%

We're serious cinephiles here at at TechRadar. It's not all about Marvel around here – we enjoy a good tear-jerker, too. There are many serious drama films streaming on Amazon Prime Video right now – here are some of the best ones. 

The Godfather & The Godfather Part II

Credit: Paramount Pictures

Two of the greatest films of all time, Francis Ford Coppola's The Godfather and The Godfather Part II are now available to stream on Amazon Prime Video. The first film charts the rise of Micheal Corleone (Al Pacino), a war hero who takes control of his family's crime dynasty following an attempt on the life of his father, Don Vito Corleone (Marlon Brando). Its follow-up, The Godfather Part II, simultaneously acts as a prequel and sequel, showing us how a young Vito (Robert De Niro) came into power, while also continuing Michael's story from the first film. Both films swept the Oscars in their respective years, and it's not hard to see why – The Godfather and The Godfather Part II are undisputed masterpieces, each telling grand, ambitious stories that deal with big themes on an epic canvas. You'd be hard-pressed to find two finer examples of the power of cinema. 

The Godfather: IMDB Rating: 9.2, Rotten Tomatoes: 98%
The Godfather Part II: IMDB Rating: 9.0, Rotten Tomatoes: 97%

The Social Network

Credit: Sony Pictures

Perhaps the best film ever made about the tech industry, The Social Network tells the story of the early days of Facebook, with a mesmerising Jesse Eisenberg playing the company's CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, and Andrew Garfield starring as its co-founder, Eduardo Saverin. Screenwriter Aaron Sorkin (The West Wing) is known for his fast-talking, witty characters, and he truly outdoes himself here, providing Eisenberg with more snappy verbal barbs than the real Zuckerberg is likely capable of (no Sweet Baby Ray's or smoked brisket discussions to be found here). That said, it all adds up to an immensely gripping film directed with clockwork-like precision by visionary auteur, David Fincher (Zodiac, Fight Club). Throw in some impressive supporting turns from Justin Timberlake (as Napster founder Sean Parker) and Armie Hammer (playing both of the Winklevoss twins), and you have an honest-to-goodness classic. 

IMDB Rating: 7.7, Rotten Tomatoes: 95%

Taxi Driver

Credit: Sony Pictures

Few films in the history of cinema are as powerful as Martin Scorsese's masterpiece, Taxi Driver. Made in the mid '70s, back when New York was a rougher, dirtier place, the film practically oozes a scuzzy, neon-bathed atmosphere all of its own. Robert De Niro plays Travis Bickle, a troubled, lonely Vietnam vet who takes a gig driving a cab because he just can't sleep at night. Though he's disgusted with the Big Apple's sleazy, vice-filled ways, Travis can't seem to stay away from its seedier areas, picking up questionable fares in bad neighbourhoods and frequenting scummy porno theatres in an effort to cure his insomnia. After a failed attempt to start a normal relationship with political campaign worker Betsy (Cybill Shepherd), Travis meets a 12-year-old prostitute named Iris (Jodie Foster) as she attempts to run away from her despicable pimp, Sport (Harvey Keitel). With his revulsion pushed over the edge, Travis stocks up on firearms and channels his immense anger and hatred into a mission to save Iris from her tragic circumstances. Fantastically directed and acted, and featuring the late, great Bernard Hermann's haunting final score, Taxi Driver is a film that every lover of cinema needs to see. 

IMDB Rating: 8.3, Rotten Tomatoes: 99%

Need a good laugh? Amazon Prime Video has some wonderful comedies on offer, with a bit of something for everyone. From the light-hearted, to the pitch black, you're guaranteed to find some laughs below.

Hot Rod

Credit: Paramount Pictures

Before they exploded onto the scene with their comedic hip-hop group The Lonely Island, Andy Samberg, Jorma Taccone and Akiva Schaffer released Hot Rod, a hilarious comedy starring Samberg as a talentless stuntman named Rod who believes his birth father was Evel Knievel's back-up. In order to raise money for his stepfather's operation, Rod teams up with his stepbrother (Taccone) and friends (Bill Hader, Danny McBride and Isla Fisher) to host a huge stunt that would see him attempt to jump over 12 buses on a moped. Quirky, quotable and filled with off-the-wall moments (including an incredible montage set to John Farnham's 'You're the Voice'), Hot Rod is a comedy cult classic that was completely misunderstood by critics at the time of its release, but will only grow in popularity as the years tick over. Cool beans? Cool beans.

IMDB Rating: 6.7, Rotten Tomatoes: 40%

The Big Lebowski

Credit: Universal 

One of the Coen Brothers' finest (and funniest) films, The Big Lebowski has continued to grow in popularity since its 1998 release. Jeff Bridges stars as 'The Dude', a laid-back hippie who lives his life without a care in the world – that is, until a case of mistaken identity finds him embroiled noirish mystery involving a rich guy's missing trophy wife, misplaced money, shady pornographers, scissor-happy nihilists and a stolen rug (it really tied the room together). On top of this, The Dude's crazy bowling partner Walter (John Goodman) forces himself into the situation, making everything worse as a result. Surprising and endlessly quotable, The Big Lebowski is a bonafide classic – but that's just, like, our opinion, man. 

IMDB Rating: 8.1, Rotten Tomatoes: 82%

Hot Fuzz

Hot Fuzz

Credit: Universal

Following the success of their classic rom-zom-com, Shaun of the Dead, director Edgar Wright, star and writer Simon Pegg and co-star Nick Frost teamed up once again to bring their hilarious sensibilities to the buddy-cop movie genre with Hot Fuzz. London super-cop Nicholas Angel (Pegg) is involuntarily transferred to a village in the English countryside for making his superiors look bad by comparison. There, he teams up with dim-witted (but well-meaning) cop Danny Butterman (Nick Frost) and together, the pair uncover a murder conspiracy. If films like Point Break and Bad Boys II are in constant rotation at your place, you absolutely owe it to yourself to grab a Cornetto and watch Hot Fuzz.

IMDB Rating: 7.9, Rotten Tomatoes: 91%

Airplane!

Credit: Paramount Pictures

The spoof comedy that started it all, Airplane! is the kind of film that throws out so many gags per minute, that you won't even notice when one falls flat. A pitch-perfect send-up of the Airport disaster movies of the 1970s, Airplane! works because its performers play their roles completely seriously, as if they're oblivious to the immense silliness all around them. If you love deadpan comedy of The Naked Gun and Top Secret!, which were both made by the same people, you'll love Airplane!

IMDB Rating: 7.8, Rotten Tomatoes: 97%

In the mood for some high-octane entertainment? These are some of the most action-packed movies now streaming on Amazon Prime Video in Australia. Adrenaline junkies will get a kick out of every one of the brawny movies listed below. 

Mission: Impossible (1-4)

Credit: Paramount Pictures

Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to binge watch the first four Mission: Impossible movies in an effort to witness the escalating lunacy of Tom Cruise as he undertakes death-defying stunts for our amusement! This spy series has gone from strength to strength over the years (well, so long as you don't include M:I-2), with the series' fourth entry, Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol (pictured) being a particular highlight. We recommend starting with the fantastic first entry, which shows just how much the franchise has changed over the last 20 years.

Watch Mission: Impossible 1-4 now on Amazon Prime Video

The Bourne Saga (1-4)

Credit: Universal

Proving there's no shortage of intense spy action on Amazon Prime Video, the first four Bourne films are now available to stream. Starting with The Bourne Identity, the film tells the story of an amnesiac named Jason Bourne (Matt Damon) who quickly discovers that he's a lethal government assassin before setting off on a quest to discover his true identity. Over the next two instalments, Bourne will take the fight to this creators even further, in an effort to holds those responsible accountable for all the deaths they've caused. In the series fourth entry, The Bourne Legacy, we meet a new superspy named Aaron Cross (Jeremy Renner) and learn more about the Black Ops program that creates machine-like killers for the government. 

Watch The Bourne Saga (1-4) now on Amazon Prime Video

Bay Boys I & II

Credit: Sony Pictures

Bad Boys, notable for kicking off the cinematic careers of both Michael Bay and Will Smith, is a stylish, action-packed buddy cop movie in which a pair of detectives (Smith and co-star Martin Lawrence) must take down a murderous drug kingpin. Bad Boys II is like the first film times ten, with Bay dialling up the action scenes, style and running time to ludicrous new heights. Violent, profane and legitimately funny, Bad Boys I & II are must-see films for action fans, even if they were absolutely hated by critics.

Bad Boys: IMDB Rating: 6.9, Rotten Tomatoes: 42%
Bad Boys II: IMDB Rating: 6.6, Rotten Tomatoes: 22%

Top Gun

Credit: Paramount Pictures

If you feel the need, the need for speed, then look no further than Top Gun, the classic fighter pilot action film that made Tom Cruise a megastar. Cruise plays the hotshot pilot Maverick, who must remove the chip from his shoulder that's holding him back from being the ace pilot he's destined to be. Featuring an amazing '80s soundtrack and incredible jet fighter scenes, Top Gun is adrenaline-junkie's dream. Watch it before the upcoming sequel, which is in production right now!

IMDB Rating: 6.9, Rotten Tomatoes: 54%