New Movies on Amazon Prime

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New Movies on Amazon Prime

Amazon has begun to invest more in movies streaming exclusively at Amazon Prime Video, and it can be tough to keep up with the latest. As the rest of the catalog has shrunk, original content has grown, but even the giant retailer’s latest movies can be hard to find on the site. Below are seven of Amazon Prime’s biggest film releases over the last several months, covering everything from drama to horror to anime to action comedy. The quality varies as much as the genre.

Here are 10 of the newest movies on Amazon Prime:

1. Goodnight Mommy

goodnight-mommy.jpg Amazon Prime Release Date: September 16, 2022
Director: Matt Sobel
Starring: Naomi Watts, Cameron Crovetti, Nicholas Crovetti
Genre: Thriller, Horror
Rating: R

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Goodnight Mommy, a Naomi Watts-starring English language remake of the nightmare fuel-laden 2014 Austrian film by directors Veronika Franz and Severin Fiala, is the story of a fractured family unit, which sees twin brothers Elias and Lucas being dropped off at a remote farmstead to spend an extended visit with their estranged mother. Mom, a seemingly faded former actress of some renown—one wonders how Watts felt about the implications of the casting—has recently undergone extensive cosmetic surgery on her entire face, necessitating strange, over-the-head bandages as she recovers, almost ski-mask like in appearance. This discomfiting visual, coupled with Mom’s strange changes in behavior and cold, distant disposition eventually lead the brothers to consider a terrifying possibility: What if the woman under the bandages isn’t their mother after all, but an imposter? It’s a powerfully simple premise that pits the realities and inherent power imbalance of adulthood against the imagination and perceptiveness of children. Put simply, this version of Goodnight Mommy is badly lacking in verve and conviction, sanitizing the film it’s remaking as it attempts to shy away from confronting its more genuinely disturbing elements. It’s this smoothing and simplification that ultimately undoes Amazon’s Goodnight Mommy. New director Matt Sobel has preserved the broad beats and plot of the Austrian original, while abandoning any of the potentially unsavory elements that made the original film an anxiety-inducing watch. This story has been painstakingly and brutally shoved through the American cinematic food processor, mushed into pablum and carefully stripped of any texture that might offend the palate. It’s not attempting to thrill, or to frighten, unless those involved had a very low threshold of what the audience might find thrilling or frightening. —Jim Vorel


2. Samaritan

samaritan.jpg Amazon Prime Release Date: August 26, 2022
Director: Julius Avery
Starring: Javon Walton, Sylvester Stallone, Pilou Asbæk, Dascha Palanco, Moisés Arias, Martin Starr
Genre: Superhero
Rating: PG-13
Paste Review Score: 6.1

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Director Julius Avery’s Samaritan is a Sylvester Stallone vehicle that draws on his persona as society’s worn-out and discarded has-been, where a masked vigilante long thought dead turns out to be alive, living among normies, keeping a low profile out of weariness and survivor’s guilt. Samaritan, the hero of the title, fought with his brother, Nemesis, in a slobberknocker of the gods 13 years before the film’s events. A colossal explosion killed them both. But, in the present, young, impressionable Sam (Javon Walton), thinks that Samaritan made it out of the blast and now leads a humble existence as Joe (Stallone), a reticent garbage man holed up in the apartment across the way. Is Joe Samaritan? Is he just a regular guy doing what he can to get by? Why does he have a freezer full of ice cream? Are criminals really all that bad, and should Sam get in good with Cyrus (Pilou Asbæk), a Nemesis fanboy and gangster who fancies himself a modern-day Robin Hood? Are superheroes super after all? Samaritan tosses questions at the viewer like dice at a craps table and expects they’ll answer themselves. Mostly, Avery and screenwriter Bragi F. Schut are interested in Walton palling around with Stallone, who plays Joe as a tough guy caught in arrested development: Streetwise but childlike, strong but incongruously innocent. He’d rather avoid a fight than throw elbows, a preference he tries to impart on Sam. But Sam is an actual child. He has no familiarity with violence or its repercussions, or how people who embrace violence as a catalyst for change are willing to cross moral lines. Cyrus is, unsurprisingly, a brutal monster and a version of a Nazi paraphernalia collector: The guy busts into a police evidence depot to retrieve Nemesis’ two defining effects, his mask and hammer. By the end, all of the exciting narrative possibilities laid out in the first act boil down into a beat-‘em-up climax floating on disappointing black-and-white ethics. To the movie’s credit, the defining motifs—we are who we choose to be, everyone deserves a second chance—remain present, if too backgrounded, even after Avery stops striving for something greater than “generic” by folding recognizable elements of contemporary social unrest into his material: He comes frustratingly close to pulling off an ACAB superhero movie. The Boys, Samaritan is not. But even a failed attempt at making a superhero movie out of whole cloth rather than pre-existing IP is welcome, particularly one that challenges the genre’s mores. —Andy Crump


3. Thirteen Lives

13-lives.jpg Amazon Prime Release Date: August 5, 2022
Director: Tom Hanks
Stars: Viggo Mortensen, Colin Farrell, Joel Edgerton, Tom Bateman
Genre: Thriller
Rating: 16+

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Ron Howard is no stranger to turning sentimental real-life events into tear-jerking cinema, and the prolific director is back at it again in the first trailer for MGM’s Thirteen Lives. Acquired by Amazon in the $8.5 billion acquisition of MGM back in March, the film had previously had its release window pushed to November after receiving extremely strong audience test scores, but Amazon then moved it back to the summer. The film played in select theaters beginning July 29 before becoming available to stream on Amazon Prime Video on Aug. 5, though it presumably still has some awards aspirations. Thirteen Lives is a dramatized account of the Tham Luang (Thailand) underwater cave rescue that captivated the world in the summer of 2018. Directed by Howard, who is trying to rebound from the cold reception of Hillbilly Elegy, Thirteen Lives stars the strong central trio of Viggo Mortensen, Colin Farrell and Joel Edgerton as three of the men who formulated a complex, daring plan to rescue the trapped soccer team. Mortensen and Farrell play British cave/rescue divers Richard Stanton and John Volanthen respectively, while Edgerton is portraying Dr. Richard Harris, and anesthetist who ultimately accompanied the rescue to anesthetize each of the victims so they could be taken on a three-hour journey through the network of underground, flooded caves without panicking. Heads up: If you suffer from claustrophobia, this is not going to be the film for you. —Jim Vorel


4. Anything’s Possible

anythings-possible.jpg Amazon Prime Release Date: July 15, 2022
Director: Billy Porter
Starring: Eva Reign, Abubakr Ali, Courtnee Carter, Kelly Lamor Wilson, Grant Reynolds, Renee Elise Goldsberry
Genre: Romantic Comedy
Rating: PG-13
Paste Review Score: 8.9

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Often the best art entertains while encouraging (sometimes gently, sometimes forcefully) the viewer to expand their horizons and open their minds to new experiences. Often, art is ahead of society pulling us along into the present. And these are indeed strange times. Enter Anything’s Possible a story about a vivacious high school student named Kelsa (Eva Reign) who dreams of turning her love for animals into a career as a nature cinematographer. On the first day of senior year, she meets the quiet and shy Khal (Abubakr Ali) in art class. Their attraction is immediate. Khal can’t quite work up the nerve to ask Kelsa out and things get even more complicated when Kelsa realizes her friend Em (Courtnee Carter) also likes Khal. This kind of angsty teenage love story, where emotions run high and the adolescent melodrama is turned up to 10, is a tale as old as time. In the press notes, first-time director Billy Porter even namechecks John Hughes, director of so many classic teen movies. What makes Anything’s Possible unique compared to those classics is that Kelsa is trans. We meet Kelsa as she’s facing what so many high school seniors face: College applications and the stress of figuring out her future. While Kelsa’s dad is no longer in the picture (his loss), Kelsa’s mother Selene (the always fabulous Renee Elise Goldsberry) is loving, supportive and worried about her daughter going to college far away from home. This is a very 2022 story; Kelsa posts videos on YouTube discussing her feelings about her transition while Khal answers Reddit queries. When Kelsa and Khal go public with their relationships we see their peers’ reactions in the form of texts and tweets. Sometimes TV shows and movies that use current lingo and social media can feel like they are trying too hard to be of the moment. But it totally works here and immerses the viewer into Kelsa and Khal’s world. Anything’s Possible is indeed revolutionary. But the revolution is in how typical its story is. While never didactic or patronizing, the movie should expand the horizons of some viewers and be validating for others who may see themselves on screen. But to be successful, the movie also has to be entertaining. And Anything’s Possible is. —Amy Amatangelo


5. Don’t Make Me Go

dont-make-me-go.jpg Amazon Prime Release Date: July 15, 2022
Director: Hannah Marks
Starring: John Cho, Mia Isaac, Kaya Scodelario
Genre: Comedy
Rating: R
Paste Review Score: 5.0

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Actress-turned-filmmaker Hannah Marks has an eye for accessible, heartfelt, relationship-based movies—stories about young people that strive for a depth of feeling beyond the Instagram-filter chintziness (or subplot-swollen bloat) of a Netflix-dominated youth-movies market. Don’t Make Me Go, which Marks directed but didn’t write, has its heart in the right place, even as its head is located somewhere in a dusty screenwriting manual. Don’t Make Me Go focuses on how a cancer diagnosis can reorient a relationship, though in this case, the information is concealed from one party in an attempt to make the whole enterprise feel more like a movie. Max (John Cho) is a protective single father to his daughter Wally (Mia Isaac), so when he finds out about a tumor at the base of his skull that will be difficult to safely remove (his options are a year to live, or an extremely risky surgery), his thoughts immediately turn to Wally’s future care. Without telling Wally about his condition, he takes her on a road trip to his college reunion. His secret agenda: Track down Wally’s mother, who left the family when she was a baby, and establish a workable mother-daughter relationship. Marks goes through these motions earnestly, and there are moments on the margins, like Max’s booty-call relationship with Annie (Kaya Scodelario), that have some scrappy, unforced warmth. But most of the visual and verbal personality of Marks’ other work goes missing. By comparison, Don’t Make Me Go is a soppy ballad. —Jesse Hassenger


6. Emergency

emergency-210.jpg Amazon Prime Release Date: May 20, 2022
Director: Carey Williams
Stars: RJ Cyler, Donald Elise Watkins, Sebastian Chacon, Maddie Nichols, Madison Thompson, Sabrina Carpenter
Genre: Thriller
Rating: R
Paste Review Score: 7.0

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Nobody ever wants to find an unconscious white girl on their living room floor. But if you’re Black? If you’re Black and you have plans? That’s a surefire way to ruin a night. This is what happens to Princeton-bound stick-in-the-mud Kunle (Donald Elise Watkins) and party boy Sean (RJ Cyler), college best friends who just want to go on a massive, World’s End-level tour of frat parties. Now they’re stuck with a medical situation in a duct-tape dress that doubles as a laser sight for the targets already on their backs. Emergency’s night-out-gone-wrong caper sees director Carey Williams and writer K.D. Dávila reteam to expand upon their sweaty and sharp 2018 short of the same name. The feature version’s fantastic ensemble and tense premise provides plenty of squirmy laughter, but its prolonged evening suffers diminishing returns. At its core, Emergency is a comedy of self-preservation masquerading as a comedy of errors with plenty of laugh-out-loud gags along the way. But really, it’s the chemistry between Watkins and Cyler—playing complicated characters that counter and correct each other mid-sentence (about not saying “bitch” so much; about how Kunle dresses like a substitute teacher)—that stands out. There’s clear, complex affection between the two characters that plays out in punchlines and apologies, in invaded spaces and unself-conscious embraces. Their conversations are rapidfire, with Cyler giving the flashiest performance as the intoxicated and riffing realist, but the actors all deliver such honesty that we believe their characters would actually make whatever wrong-headed decisions actually push the plot further into danger. Chacon is a real talent too, getting some of the best jokes and delivering them with a reliably endearing dweebiness. It often doesn’t matter too much that these meandering talky scenes that aren’t naturally integrated into the movie feel like padding—the performers are so compelling that we’ll happily shut up and listen, even if it takes us out of the tension. Like any long night out, Emergency grows hazy and unfocused as it goes on; like a long night out with good friends, it’s still worth the headache. —Jacob Oller


7. All the Old Knives

old-knives.jpg Amazon Prime Release Date: April 8, 2022
Director: Janus Metz Pedersen
Stars: Chris Pine, Thandiwe Newton, Laurence Fishburne, Jonathan Pryce, David Dawson
Genre: Thriller
Rating: R
Runtime: 99 minutes

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A steamy spy thriller pairing Chris Pine and Thandiwe Newton should have made a bigger splash, but this adaptation of Olen Steinhauer’s novel of the same name got mixed reviews. The duo play CIA agents and former lovers who reconnect and wrestle with the failures—and betrayals—of the past.


8. Master

master-poster.jpg Amazon Prime Release Date: March 18, 2022
Director: Mariama Diallo
Stars: Regina Hall, Zoe Renee, Talia Ryder, Talia Balsam, Amber Gray
Genre: Horror
Rating: R
Runtime: 99 minutes
Paste Review Score: 7.1

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The legacy of racism forms the economic and ideological foundation of some of the nation’s oldest institutions of higher learning. The specter of slavery haunts the country, and Master isn’t here for an exorcism. Instead, coming out of HBO’s excellent Random Acts of Flyness, writer/director Mariama Diallo makes her debut with a scattershot yet damning nightmare. Her horror is one of symbols, situations and environments. The campus of Ancaster, a fancy-pants New England university, welcomes Black women with locked doors, blaring alarms and white whispers. It doesn’t matter if you’re Gail Bishop (Regina Hall, fantastic as always), a newly appointed Master AKA dean breaking that particular office’s color barrier, or Jasmine (Zoe Renee, who’s been excellent since Jinn), seemingly the only non-white student in the incoming freshman class. Wide-eyed type-A Jasmine and her heavy-browed indie roommate live in one of the haunted rooms making up seemingly every college campus; Gail’s new faculty digs are similarly pockmarked by the past. The problem is that these buildings have been around for a couple hundred years and the school mascot is a witch, so maybe everyone should be on the lookout for the supernatural. But it’s not ghosts that torment Jasmine and Gail. Diallo’s chapter-based descent into the Hell of American history, each circle moving past microaggressions and into more direct displays of hate, shows warring yet intrinsically linked experiences. Jasmine is cold-shouldered by Black cafeteria employees, surrounded by hard-R sing-along partygoers, and academically undermined by her Black literature professor (Amber Gray). Gail navigates tenure committees, portrait sittings and other arenas of prickly professionalism—all punctuated by signs of rot. In both stories, Diallo doesn’t skimp on the visual horror language, hitting the classics (“What’s under the bed?” “Why are there bugs?” “That painting’s weird.”) with straightforward framing and potent, simple camera moves that all but ask us to yell at the screen. One of the movie’s best moments comes when a piece of racist intimidation is cynically, hilariously undercut by a university diversity commercial. It’s in these moments that Diallo shows off her abilities with Flyness’ weaponized uncanniness. But as Master’s tone becomes more complex, so do its results. Diallo undoubtedly strikes at potent topics with skill and sets her collaborators up for success—Hall goes on a rampage, her administrative warmth exploding into an inferno—but its storylines and characters don’t convincingly coalesce. A third act tumbles to its bold conclusion, ending with a powerful ambiguity representative of the horror as a whole: Resonant, but so varied in its ambitions that it’s easy to get lost in its shadows. —Jacob Oller


9. Lucy and Desi

lucy-desi.jpg Amazon Prime Release Date: March 4, 2022
Director: Amy Poehler
Genre: Documentary
Rating: 13+
Runtime: 102 minutes
Paste Review Score: 4.5

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It is impossible to tell the story of Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz without also telling the story of the American Dream and its detriment to romantic relationships. But in Lucy and Desi, the business side of things is the only side of the story revealed to the audience. Theirs is a rags-to-riches love story, to be sure, but director Amy Poehler neglects the “love” aspect of the story in favor of the “rags to riches” part. Lucy and Desi doesn’t dig much deeper for information, personal or otherwise, outside of what I Love Lucy fans already know. Instead of unearthing new details on the lives of TV’s First Family, or putting her own fresh spin on the details that have already been widely available for decades, Poehler opts for a surface-level documentary with very little personality compared to its subject. Lucy and Desi have a love story straight out of a Hollywood fairy tale—love at first sight, and on the set of a film they were starring in together, no less. The rest is television history. Their widely beloved sitcom I Love Lucy went on to garner more views than the inauguration of the U.S. president and the coronation of the queen. The show also invented the method of filming in front of a live studio audience, as well as the rerun model still used today. They founded Desilu Productions together, the top television production company until it was sold in 1968. It’s an understatement to say that their chemistry on and off-screen was euphoric, and I Love Lucy wouldn’t land the same without it. I Love Lucy remains one of the funniest and most charming shows of all time due to Lucy and Desi’s clown/straight man dynamic. They really did build something beautiful together; it’s nothing short of a miracle that a protofeminist weekly story of a loudmouthed, goofy housewife and her classy Cuban man got made in the early 1950s, let alone that it was one of the most popular cultural products of the time. Sadly, as is the case with many Hollywood fairy tales, Lucy and Desi’s story turns sour after the fame and success wasn’t enough, but the film stops short of getting into the nitty-gritty of why their relationship fell apart. The film glosses over Desi’s frequent public infidelities, barely mentioning them at all. Just as the film doesn’t sink its teeth into Lucy and Desi’s personal lives, it also doesn’t ask any questions about the mainstream narrative of the second Red Scare wave, which swept Lucy into its tide in 1953. Poehler’s film hits the same notes that we’ve heard before without presenting new information, exploring new territory or asking any new questions. One would get a lot more out of rewatching I Love Lucy reruns and doing one’s own YouTube deep dive. —Katarina Docalovich


10. I Want You Back

i-want-you-back.jpg Amazon Prime Release Date: February 11, 2022
Director: Jason Orley
Stars: Jenny Slate, Charlie Day, Noah Eastwood, Gina Rodriguez, Clark Backo, Manny Jacinto, Luke David Blumm, Isabel May, Pete Davidson
Genre: Romantic Comedy
Rating: R
Runtime: 116 minutes
Paste Review Score: 7.0

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On paper, Charlie Day and Jenny Slate make a rom-com pair of two kinds at once: Unexpected and grating. But the movie making that pairing, Jason Orley’s I Want You Back, proves half of that presumption wrong. Unexpected? Sure. Day doesn’t exactly scream “romantic comedy leading man.” Mostly, he’s just known for screaming. But neither he nor Slate are grating in the least, whether separately or together. Indeed, the movie’s greatest surprise is how well Day and Slate cohere as a duo, which reveals a second surprise, like finding the prize in the cereal and finding another prize stowed away in the box. What happy fortune! Day plays Peter. Slate plays Emma. I Want You Back starts off by cross-cutting between them as they unknowingly compete for gold in synchronized heartbreak: Their significant others—respectively, Anne (Gina Rodriguez) and Noah (Scott Eastwood)—have grown weary of their relationships and decided to move on. Anne dumps Peter at her nephew’s birthday party. Noah dumps Emma over brunch. They don’t take the news well. But by chance, Peter and Emma find each other, bond in the manner of bros, and in a bit yanked out of Strangers on a Train (with 100% less murder), they cook up a harebrained scheme: Peter’s going to help Emma get Noah back, and Emma’s going to help Peter get Anne back. As a narrative, I Want You Back is nothing if not predictable. Screenwriters Isaac Aptaker and Elizabeth Berger carve their screenplay out of familiar and easygoing tropes, and do not for a moment appear to have considered taking the rom-com formula in remotely new directions: Lovesick characters devise a plan to cure their lovesickness, they carry the plan out, the plan backfires, everyone has a laugh and maybe sheds a tear, and the movie ends with everything as anticipated. So it goes. But there’s nothing wrong with formula, because formula works when outfitted with the right variables, in this case Day and Slate. They’re a hoot together. More studio comedies should take chances on their principal cast members the way I Want You Back does. Even if little else here worked, at least Day and Slate do. —Andy Crump