You’ve got that Amazon Prime subscription, but are you getting the most from its massive streaming platform? We’ve rounded up some of the best movies of every kind — from classic dramas to fizzy comedies, plus brand-new original movies and series — coming to Amazon this month. Don’t miss a thing with our go-to list.
Coming August 1
A.I. Artificial Intelligence (2001)
Steven Spielberg directed this sci-fi film, which Stanley Kubrick had tried to develop but ultimately turned over to him. It’s the haunting tale of a boy robot (The Sixth Sense’s Haley Joel Osment) in search of his lost human mama.
Baby Boom (1987)
Diane Keaton’s loopy charm carries this featherweight Nancy Meyers fantasy about a rich, driven Manhattan ad exec who suddenly must raise an infant and finds love with a kindly Vermont veterinarian (Sam Shepard).
The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel (2011)
Nobody thought a sweet comedy about a bunch of retirees (Judi Dench, Maggie Smith, Bill Nighy, Tom Wilkinson, Penelope Wilton) finding a new lease on life at a run-down hotel in India could be a hit. But grownups stampeded to see it.
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Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (1969)
The classic Western epic relaunched Paul Newman and made Robert Redford a bankable star, but the greatest actor in it is a grownup, Strother Martin, then 50, as the Bolivian miner who hires them, unaware that they’re famous bank robbers and considering them “morons on my team.”
The Devil Wears Prada (2006)
Meryl Streep rules as the formidable, Anna Wintour–like doyenne of Manhattan fashion, Miranda Priestly, and Anne Hathaway is adorable as the assistant she torments.
Downhill Racer (1969)
Robert Redford, ace skier, plays an arrogant member of the U.S. Olympic team, annoying coach Gene Hackman.
In one of his best movies, action auteur John Woo presents John Travolta as an FBI agent who surgically replaces his face with that of villain Nicolas Cage, to impersonate him and thwart a bomb plot. Cage’s baddie is in a coma — but he wakes up, replaces his face with Travolta’s, and starts impersonating him. Did either actor ever have as much fun?
A Fish Called Wanda (1988)
Could anything be funnier than Monty Python? Try John Cleese and Michael Palin (plus Jamie Lee Curtis and Kevin Kline) in a brilliant caper comedy about ineptly scheming jewel thieves and the collision of British and American folkways.
The creators of Dumb and Dumber, which critics dissed but audiences loved, perpetrated this gleefully tasteless comedy about a bowler (Woody Harrelson) whose bowling hand gets crippled by a vile rival (Bill Murray). He hits on a plan to get even with the help of a talented, unknown Amish bowler (Randy Quaid). Laughs and parodies of Harrison Ford’s Amish-country film Witness ensue.
Leaving Las Vegas (1995)
Nicolas Cage won an Oscar for playing a doomed alcoholic, and Elisabeth Shue earned an Oscar nomination for her turn as a soulful hooker he meets on his last visit to Sin City. Grueling yet dazzlingly dark (and unfortunately autobiographical — the author did not live to see the film of his book).
Neil Young: Heart of Gold (2006)
Jonathan Demme, who shot the immortal Talking Heads concert film Stop Making Sense, captures Neil Young singing tunes including “Prairie Wind,” “Heart of Gold” and “Harvest Moon.”
Once Upon a Time in the West (1968)
The Good, The Bad and the Ugly auteur Sergio Leone directs a Western in John Ford’s Monument Valley, where Henry Fonda tries to pin a murder on bandit Jason Robards, as gunslinger Charles Bronson and a stunning widow, Claudia Cardinale, ride into town.
River’s Edge (1986)
Alienated small-town California teens get mixed up with a murder in a brooding classic with astounding acting by Keanu Reeves, Crispin Glover, Ione Skye and Dennis Hopper.
Al Pacino plays a noble New York policeman who blows the whistle on bribe-taking cops, and in retaliation, they try to get him killed in action. Amazingly, based on a true story.
Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan (1982)
William Shatner’s Kirk and Leonard Nimoy’s Spock race to rescue their officers kidnapped by dastardly Khan (Ricardo Montalban). The movie that saved the franchise, after the deadly dull first Star Trek flick, is way better than Star Trek III, IV, V and VI, also new on Amazon Prime.
As a nimble jewel heist-meister who wants to quit and settle down with his sweetheart (genius Tuesday Weld), but is opposed by his malevolent mob boss (scary Robert Prosky), James Caan is just as good as he was in The Godfather.
Coming August 5
The Outlaws, Season 2 (2022)
In a smart Amazon Original series, Christopher Walken, Stephen Merchant and five others are criminals paying their debt to society by doing community service — but a ruthless London drug lord has other plans for them.
Licorice Pizza (2021)
In Paul Thomas Anderson’s dreamy love letter to the San Fernando Valley in the 1970s, a young couple (Philip Seymour Hoffman’s son, Cooper Hoffman, and singer Alana Haim) contend with coming of age and encounters with vivid eccentrics: Sean Penn as a motorcycling movie star and Bradley Cooper as hairdresser-turned-Hollywood-producer Jon Peters.
Thirteen Lives (2022)
In Ron Howard’s dramatization of the real-life rescue of a dozen Thai soccer players and their coach trapped in a flooded mountain cave, British cave divers (Colin Farrell and Viggo Mortensen) and Navy SEALS save the day, demonstrating the Right Stuff in scenes that are simultaneously spooky, poignant and thrilling.
Coming August 10
The Lost City (2022)
If you liked Michael Douglas and Kathleen Turner in Romancing the Stone, get ready for Sandra Bullock, 58, as a reclusive romance novelist who gets swept into a perilous jungle adventure with her hunky book-cover model (Channing Tatum) — and, just maybe, swept off her feet.
Coming August 12
A League of Their Own (2022)
Not simply a remake of the smash 1992 comedy about the real 1943–54 All-American Girls Professional Baseball League, this series stars D’Arcy Carden in a Madonna-ish role, Melanie Field reminding you of Rosie O’Donnell, and Nick Offerman as a coach quite unlike Tom Hanks in the original. But there’s still no crying in baseball.
Coming August 19
Coming August 26
Ever since the Samaritan (Sylvester Stallone, 76, in his first true superhero role) retired decades ago, the world has gone to hell. A young fan convinces him to get back in action.
Tim Appelo covers entertainment and is the film and TV critic for AARP. Previously, he was the entertainment editor at Amazon, video critic at Entertainment Weekly, and a critic and writer for The Hollywood Reporter, People, MTV, The Village Voice and LA Weekly.