Paramount Pictures/Courtesy Everett Collection; Matt Kennedy/Lionsgate
En español | This month’s tsunami of movies and shows coming to Amazon Prime’s streaming platform keeps the summer vibes rolling: Don’t miss Daniel Craig’s auspicious debut as James Bond, Will Smith’s duel with his younger replica, two ’70s classics and John Cusack’s first TV thriller, Utopia. Use our critics’ cream of the crop picks to help you plan your movie nights (and binges!) without any stress. Happy watching!
ARRIVING SEPT. 1
The Bank Job (2008)
Loosely inspired by a real 1971 London bank heist, this sprightly thriller nicely casts Fast & Furious star Jason Statham as a gravel-voiced hood unaware that his robbery is actually being orchestrated by agents out to retrieve naughty photos of the Royals.
Watch it here: The Bank Job
The Birdcage (1996)
Nathan Lane is hilarious and touching in the massive hit remake of the French comedy La Cage aux Folles, about a drag queen and his less flamboyant partner (Robin Williams) who make quite an impression on a conservative U.S. Senator whose daughter is marrying their son. Smash hit by director Mike Nichols and his old writing partner, Elaine May.
Watch it here: The Birdcage
Casino Royale (2006)
Daniel Craig’s first James Bond film, this is a classic-style, high-stakes caper at a spectacular Monte Carlo casino. Not only does Craig live up to the best of previous Bonds, he’s the first Bond with a heart that can break, and he does athletic stunts that look real.
Watch it here: Casino Royale
Close Encounters of the Third Kind (1977)
Richard Dreyfuss becomes a UFO true believer, to the consternation of his wife (Teri Garr) and the delight of all. Director Steven Spielberg’s uplifting fable of kindly spacemen is a gleaming miracle of cinematography.
Watch it here: Close Encounters of the Third Kind
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The Graduate (1967)
A still bigger Mike Nichols hit about an aimless grad (Dustin Hoffman) seduced by his girlfriend’s haughty mom, Mrs. Robinson (Anne Bancroft). Simon and Garfunkel never sounded groovier than on this soundtrack.
Watch it here: The Graduate
RELATED: The Graduate made AARP’s list of the Best Movies of the 1960s. Can you name what else emerged as the best of the decade? Check them all out (and watch a few!) right here: Stream the Best Movies From the 1960s
Kramer vs. Kramer (1979)
The most even-handed movie about divorce this side of Marriage Story, it nonetheless makes you side with Dustin Hoffman when Meryl Streep leaves him for being a self-absorbed ad man, because you get so into his transformation into a great dad. Emotionally intelligent story by Bonnie and Clyde writer (and Kramer vs. Kramer writer/director) Robert Benton.
Watch it here: Kramer vs. Kramer
Sex and the City: The Movie (2008)
Not the kind of movie that deserves Oscars — OK, not really a good movie at all — but audiences swooned while critics snubbed the fun-filled cinematic reunion of Carrie, Samantha, Miranda and Charlotte from the TV show about shopping, lust and friendship. But the inferior Sex and the City 2, also new on Amazon, is for fanatical fans only.
Watch it here: Sex and The City: The Movie
ARRIVING SEPT. 18
Gemini Man (2019)
Three-fourths of critics hated the intensely dumb dialogue in this flick about assassin Will Smith, entering his AARP years, battling a replica of himself decades younger. But more than 80 percent of viewers loved it. Watch it and let us know what you thought! (Pretty good CGI on young Will, though old Will is aging rather slowly.)
Watch it here: Gemini Man
RELATED: Want a little more Will Smith in your life? Our critics have not only pulled together the megastar’s best films — they’ve ranked them! Watch them in order, or pick your faves and stream them first. Here’s the list: The Best Will Smith Movies (So Far), Ranked
NEW: Antebellum (2020)
In a twisty sci-fi horror movie that sounds like M. Night Shyamalan wrote it (but he didn’t), Janelle Monáe plays two roles: an enslaved Louisiana woman on a violently horrific Civil War plantation and a modern Black women’s rights leader with a hit book, Shedding the Coping Persona.
Watch it here: Antebellum
ARRIVING SEPT. 25
NEW: Utopia (2020)
Gone Girl’s Gillian Flynn produced this series about graphic-novel nerds who discover their favorite comic reveals an actual conspiracy that could destroy the world. Inspired by paranoid 1970s thrillers like The Parallax View, it costars Rainn Wilson and John Cusack, 54, in his first major TV role.
Watch it here: Utopia
Renée Zellweger’s wrenching, riveting, utterly inspired performance as Judy Garland attempting a comeback (shortly before her death at 47 in 1969) isn’t exactly a parallel tale, because Zellweger’s career has never faded like the tormented torch singer’s. But Zellweger did take about half a decade off after a string of Oscar-honored hits; now, at 51, she has never been a hotter talent.
Watch it here: Judy