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Movies to Watch on Amazon While Waiting at Home

Photo: Amazon Studios
Movies to Watch on Amazon While Waiting at Home
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About the Author

Tyler Collins

Tyler Collins

Tyler Collins has been a reporter with Oakville News since 2016. Covering local news and live events, he specializes in film, theatre, and entertainment. He comes from Campbellton, NB, and has lived in North Oakville over 20 years. Tyler is a proud graduate of Journalism and Performing Arts from Sheridan College. Twitter: @MrTyCollins

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Amazon movies are often an overlooked benefit with Prime subscriptions. Amazon Studios produces high-profile television series, but they also produce several high-profile films each year. So which ones are the best?

What makes Amazon movies different is that Amazon studios often distributes them as wide releases in cinemas before arriving online. Only after a general release and standard three month distribution window can you see them exclusively on Amazon Prime Video.

You may not even recognize some titles as Amazon exclusives – their films regularly achieve mainstream success in the theatres. The best of them have even been nominated for Oscars, and some (like 2016’s Manchester by the Sea) have even won.

Which Amazon movies should you start with? I’ve watched almost all of their original films since launching their platform and chosen my four favourites. These are the best Amazon Studios films to watch while social distancing.

The Big Sick (2017)

Amazon Movies

The Big Sick starring Kumail Najiani; Photo Credit: Amazon Studios

Based on the true-life love story of the film’s screenwriters, The Big Sick is about a Chicago comedian who’s girlfriend falls serious ill with an unknown condition. Heartfelt, witty, and bluntly uplifting, this is the single best comedy Amazon has ever produced.

The principal cast of Zoe Kazan, Holly Hunter, Ray Romano and Anupam Kher are all terrific. The star truly is Kumail Nanjiani playing himself in his own story as the main character. Having Kumail tell his and Emily’s story in this way brings an authenticity only they could create.

It’s hilariously funny with actors using their comedic talents not to tell jokes but to find the humour in reality. This often-overlooked treat could be the single best Amazon movie of them all.

Brittany Runs a Marathon (2019)

Amazon Movie: Brittany Runs a Marathon

Brittany Runs a Marathon starting Jillian Bell; Photo Credit: Amazon Studios

Last summer saw a sports comedy about New Yorker Brittany (Jillian Bell) turning her life around by running a marathon. It’s a well produced film that teaches us change isn’t glamorous. Even through the ugliness of Brittany’s circumstances, it’s uniquely optimistic, and her obstacles are a mix of typical and unexpected.

Bell is usually a forgettable presence on screen, but this is unquestionably the best of her career. What makes the film universally likeable is the local New York talent in the other parts. Micah Stock, Utkarsh Ambudkar and Michaela Watkins are the players in a winning quartet.

The Report (2019)

Amazon Movie: The Report, Adam Driver

The Report starring Adam Driver; Photo Credit: Amazon Studios

This hit thriller from TIFF last fall got minimal advertising, but it’s among the best written political dramas of the last several years. Writer Scott Z. Burns made his directorial debut in this true-life thriller about investigating the CIA after 9/11.

Daniel Jones (Adam Driver) is tasked to work with the Senate Intelligence Committee, looking into the CIA’s use of torture. After more than a decade, Jones finishes a 6,700 page report about his shocking findings. But if writing it was the easy part, getting it seen is a whole other challenge.

The story is hugely interesting and it’s executed to be equally entertaining and grounded. While it’s sometimes difficult to watch, Driver is a powerhouse and The Report is Amazon movies’ best release last year.

Troop Zero (2020)

Amazon Movies: Troop Zero, Mckenna Grace, Viola Davis

Troop Zero starting Mckenna Grace and Viola Davis; Photo Credit: Amazon Studios

Finally, families can enjoy an early release from this year about a new group in 1977 Georgia joining the Birdie Scouts. It’s bright and whimsical without being cheesy or pandering to kids. It’s a movie about kids made by adults for everyone.

Mckenna Grace (Gifted and Designated Survivor) teams up with Viola Davis as the leaders of the new troop #0 to win a talent show. There’s a lot more dramatic heft going on than meets the eye. And it’s a sweet, sharp film that’ll bring the summer into your home.

Some other good choices include Manchester by the Sea (2016) and One Child Nation (2019). And of course, others are to be avoided at all costs. The worst include The Lost City of Z (2017), Gringo (2018) and Diet Fiction (2020).

These movies are the best offerings on Amazon for you to watch while at home. We’ll have more next week on great things to see across different platforms.

What to Watch on Netflix while waiting at Home – March 17, 2020

 

If you’d like to read about a wider range of movies to watch in a variety of places, Tyler is watching 365 movies this year. You can read about his project at www.2020inCinema.com

You can read movie and theatre reviews by Tyler Collins on OakvilleNews.Org, and follow him on Twitter @MrTyCollins 

 

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