October is set to mar the arrival of another new original film for Amazon Prime in the form of My Policeman, which will join the streaming service’s large library. With so many subscribers, it makes total sense that their movies are among the most popular with the users of Letterboxd.
It goes a little further than the films to simply be listed as Prime originals because Amazon Studios has also distributed some major movies over the past few years, including a handful that were nominated for Academy Awards. The most popular ones on Letterboxd are the streaming juggernaut’s most iconic releases.
10/10 Paterson (2016)
While most audiences saw him shine as Kylo Ren in the Star Wars sequel trilogy, Adam Driver was also carving out a niche as a talented performer in indie movies. Among his impressive appearances was his lead role as the titular character in Paterson.
Written and directed by the always strong Jim Jarmusch, Paterson focuses on one week in the life of a bus driver who also happens to be a poet. Though not a major release, this likely rose in popularity because of strong reviews and the fact that it won the Palm Dog Award at the 2016 Cannes Film Festival.
9/10 The Big Sick (2017)
Films that come from streaming services don’t often find themselves part of the Oscars conversation but that has changed in recent years. One of the first movies to make an impact there was The Big Sick, which scored a Best Original Screenplay nomination.
The movie was written by Kumail Nanjiani (who also stars) and Emily V. Gordon (his real life wife) and is based on their real experiences. They deal with cultural differences as she becomes ill soon after they meet. Along with the Oscar nod, The Big Sick won Best First Screenplay at the Independent Spirit Awards.
8/10 The Neon Demon (2016)
Though he started making films in the ’90s, it was around 2008 that Nicolas Winding Refn cemented himself as a top-notch director. Since then, he has helmed Bronson, Drive, and Only God Forgives, while The Neon Demon flew a bit under the radar.
Thankfully, Letterboxd users showed this movie the attention it deserves. The psychological horror features captivating visuals and a chilling tale about a model (Elle Fanning) whose beauty causes fascination and jealousy among everyone around her. The Neon Demon managed to compete for the coveted Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival.
7/10 You Were Never Really Here (2017)
Speaking of critically-acclaimed filmmakers, Lynne Ramsay should never be ignored. Her movies are filled with vivid imagery and low on dialogue, yet still tell gripping stories that work as character studies. Her most recent release is You Were Never Really Here from 2017.
This film follows a traumatized war veteran (Joaquin Phoenix) as he is hired to rescue a kidnapped girl before she is a victim of human trafficking. The movie was a critical darling and a hit at the 2017 Cannes Film Festival, where Ramsay won Best Screenplay and Phoenix won Best Actor.
6/10 Borat Subsequent Moviefilm (2020)
After sweeping the world with absurd and gross-out comedy in the mid-2000s, Borat was a cultural landmark. Still, it was hard to imagine a sequel coming, especially nearly 15 years later. Borat Subsequent Moviefilm not only happened but was considered on par with the original.
This is one of the few movies to center around the COVID-19 pandemic to actually work. The premise sees Borat (Sacha Baron Cohen) travel to the US to give his daughter Tutar (Maria Bakalova) to the Vice President as a gift. The outrageous film was up for a slew of awards, including Bakalova’s breakout performance earning her a Best Supporting Actress nomination.
5/10 Beautiful Boy (2018)
There’s no doubt that Timothée Chalamet is one of the most talented young actors in Hollywood today but some of his best work has still gone overlooked. The biggest standout in that case is his starring turn in the emotional drama Beautiful Boy.
Based on a memoir of the same name, this film tells the story of the relationship between a father (Steve Carell) and son (Chalamet) that becomes strained due to the latter’s drug habit. Although Chalamet’s nominations at the BAFTA, SAG, and Golden Globes are why Letterboxd users checked this out, more people still need to do so.
4/10 Suspiria (2016)
Back in 1977, the Italian film Suspiria stunned viewers with an unsettling story about a prestigious dance company run by a coven of witches. Decades later, Amazon Studios put out an American remake led by Dakota Johnson and Tilda Swinton.
Swinton actually plays three roles in this film, showcasing her incredible versatility. This take on the film features scenes that are difficult to watch but they all pay off at the end of this two-and-a-half-hour runtime. It has gone down as one of the best gothic horror movies.
3/10 Manchester By The Sea (2016)
Similar to The Big Sick, one of the first films from a streaming service to earn widespread acclaim come awards season was Manchester by the Sea. In fact, it was nominated for Best Picture, Best Director, and several other Oscars, with Casey Affleck winning both the Academy Award and Golden Globe for Best Actor.
The movie tells the tale of a man dealing with being the accidental cause of death of his kids, who is then placed in charge of his teenage nephew after his brother’s death. There are heavy emotional sequences that broke the hearts of audiences everywhere.
2/10 The Handmaiden (2016)
If you haven’t seen The Handmaiden yet, then it’s something to put on your watch list. The South Korean psychological thriller is inspired by the novel Fingersmith and competed for the Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival before going on to win Best Film Not in the English Language at the BAFTAs.
The Handmaiden initially tells the story of a woman hired to work for a Japanese heiress but is actually part of a plot to defraud her. However, the film is told in three parts and takes some shocking twists and turns that will leave a watcher speechless. On top of that, it has become known as an iconic piece of LGBTQ+ cinema.
The deaf community has been given more of a spotlight in recent years and it has led to massive success. CODA recently won Best Picture at the Oscars but a bit before that, Sound of Metal made waves as a major success for Amazon Prime.
The film focuses on a drummer (Riz Ahmed) who loses his hearing and must cope with the change in his life as well as the loss of his dream. At the Oscars, this was up for Best Picture, Best Actor, Best Supporting Actor (Paul Raci), and more, while also winning for Best Sound and Best Film Editing.
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