Best 2023 Movies to Watch on Amazon Prime Video

Shikhar Jauhari

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Best 2023 Movies to Watch on Prime Video

Amazon Prime Video offers a treasure trove of indie films from the last eight decades that may otherwise go unseen, yet finding good content may sometimes seem like panning for gold in a sea of silt. Now, Amazon has an agreement with competing studios like Paramount and Universal to stream some of their recent hits to the platform, making Prime Video the underdog of streaming services in 2023.

Here are the 10 best movies to watch on Prime Video.

Sitting in Bars with Cake

Sitting in Bars with Cake

Genre: Comedy, Drama, Romance

Run Time: 2h

Sitting in Bars with Cake is a heartwarming and honest depiction of two women’s friendship. The movie is based on a true story and stars Yara Shahidi as Jane and Odessa A’zion as Corinne. The two women decide to spend a year “cakebarring,” or bringing cakes into bars in Los Angeles to meet men.

By focusing on the genuine friendship between Shahidi and A’zion—two friends who have a natural chemistry that makes their humorous exchanges effortless even during more emotional scenes—the film successfully manages to create a balance between comedy and serious subjects like cancer. Their chemistry adds realism to the movie without making the romance seem unbelievable, and the tension between them keeps the audience engaged.

Totally Killer

Totally Killer

Genre: Comedy, Horror

Run Time: 1h 46m

Jamie, a modern-day high school student, finds herself transported back in time to 1987 when a serial killer known as the Sweet Sixteen Killer killed three teenage girls in his killing spree. When this killer reappears and threatens future victims again, Jamie must work together with her younger self to stop it and save both generations of teenagers from her fateful destiny.

Even if Totally Killer has its share of cheesiness, it’s still a blast. Also, for a picture about teen hookups and bloodletting, it manages to feel more meaningful because of its strong social conscience. You can’t help but adore Totally Killer, featuring Julie Bowen as the titular character and Olivia Holt as her teenage self.

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Cassandro

Cassandro

Genre: Biography, Drama, Sport

Run Time: 1h 47m

With Cassandro, writer-director Roger Ross Williams and screenwriter David Teague have created a more subtle narrative about Saul Armendariz – known to luchadores as Cassandro – than ever before. This film pays a poignant tribute to a legend while delving into his inner turmoil and the wounds that are concealed beneath his dazzling lurex leotards and fake eyelashes. Gael Garcia Bernal is captivating as the legendary warrior, adding depth and honesty to an upbeat sports drama.

For those unfamiliar with lucha libre (the Spanish phrase for “free wrestling”), this movie provides a vivid introduction. Hulking wrestlers wear masks and skin-tight outfits as they clash to the cheers and jeers of onlookers; when an inexperienced newcomer like Saul from an unpopular telenovela changes the crowd’s jeers into cheers, there can be real drama here!

Bye Bye Barry

Bye Bye Barry

Genre: Documentary, Sport

Run Time: 1h 32m

Sports fans were taken aback when legendary Detroit Lions running back Barry Sanders unexpectedly retired during his prime in the late ’90s, never to set foot back onto an NFL field again. Bye Bye Barry may not provide answers as to why Sanders retired. Still, it does paint an accurate portrait of what makes this legendary athlete special.

The movie isn’t your standard football documentary; rather, it provides a compelling character study of Barry Sanders. While many notable football players tend toward arrogance and bravado in their playing style, Sanders was quite the opposite both on and off the field: soft-spoken, camera-shy, and utterly disinterested in the fame that came along with it all.

Creed 3

Creed 3

Genre: Drama, Sport

Run Time: 1h 56m

As a gym owner and promoter, Adonis has finally found his footing in Creed 3, and he’s doing his best to carry on his father’s tradition while still forging his own path. But his old friend Damian Anderson (Jonathan Majors), who was his prison room buddy as a kid and who aspires to have a life like Adonis’, reappears from prison with intentions to bring Adonis into the ring as retribution for Adonis’s empowering influence.

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Although it follows many of the same formulas as other Rocky films, this one makes an effort to steer clear of genre clichés. The training montages and ring showdowns are still there, but the ending is different and more surprising.

Red, White & Royal Blue

Red, White & Royal Blue

Genre: Comedy, Romance

Run Time: 1h 58m

Red, White & Royal Blue marks Matthew Lopez’s directorial debut. Based on Casey McQuiston’s 2019 novel of the same name, it follows Alex Claremont-Diaz of the United States and Britain’s Prince Henry Fox-Mountchristen-Windsor as they must make amends following an incident at a royal wedding that was picked up by tabloid media coverage; yet as they embark on an initiative designed to improve relations between their countries, unexpected sparks begin flying, and romance blossoms.

What sets this film apart from most rom-coms is that it features an LGBTQ romance yet has a PG-13 rating despite featuring plenty of steamy, passionate scenes that are sexually charged and provocative in nature. Furthermore, by defying convention, this film risks expanding the boundaries of conventional romantic comedies.

A Million Miles Away

A Million Miles Away

Genre: Biography, Drama

Run Time: 2h 1m

The incredible journey of Jose Hernandez, portrayed in the film A Million Miles Away, begins with him and his family picking maize as migrant farmworkers and ends with him becoming a NASA astronaut, starring Michael Pena as Hernandez and Rosa Salazar, Bobby Soto, Sarayu Blue, Veronica Falcon, Julio Cesar Cedillo, Garret Dillahun. This inspiring and tenacious tale demonstrates our limitless potential when given the opportunity.

With the help of Alejandra Marquez Abella’s astute directing and the actors’ sincere performances, the film brings to life an exciting story of overcoming obstacles to reach one’s dreams. Anyone who has ever been told they don’t have what it takes to succeed will definitely relate to the message it conveys, which includes some shocking depictions of assimilation, familial guilt, deferred dreams, and more.

Air

Air

Genre: Drama, Sport

Run Time: 1h 51m

In Air, a sports drama revolving around the tumultuous relationship between Nike and Michael Jordan, Ben Affleck directs once again. Instead of treating their relationship as a biopic, the film delves into how their collaboration resurrected their basketball division and gave birth to a beloved shoe line that became a global phenomenon. Sonny Vaccaro, played by Matt Damon, was the Nike executive who signed Jordan and made a fortune from their arrangement. Viola Davis plays Jordan’s mother, who is both protective and terrified of her son’s sudden popularity, while Ben Affleck plays co-founder Phil Knight.

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Thanks to its impressive ensemble cast and Affleck’s assured directing, Air is a fun sports drama that fits perfectly with the current trend of films that explore the lives of powerful people in Hollywood beyond just the on-field action.

The Burial

The Burial

Genre: Drama

Run Time: 2h 6m

Great acting, touching personal moments, and a legal underdog storyline make The Burial Movie an old-school crowd-pleaser. Adapted from an article by Jonathan Harr that appeared in the New Yorker in 1999, The Burial looks like it will be an interesting story full of moral outrage, family strife, and southern pride.

O’Keefe, head of a prestigious family firm that is having money problems. To preserve it for his grandchildren’s sake, O’Keefe agrees to sell three funeral homes and associated burial insurance operations to an unscrupulous conglomerate led by Ray Loewen. However, shortly thereafter, funeral home company Darimont dragged its heels in fulfilling the handshake contract, forcing O’Keefe to hire litigation specialist Willie E Gary.

The Covenant

The Covenant

Genre: Action, Drama, Thriller, War

Run Time: 2h 3m

Guy Ritchie’s 21st-century desert-based wartime action-drama outdoes Peter Berg in terms of quality cinematic storytelling. There are plenty of gripping battle sequences that work incredibly well on a big screen, as well as touching scenes between Ahmed and Kinley that offer real depth to this captivating narrative.

As soldiers are killed off by enemy fire, genuine emotion comes pouring out. What makes The Covenant even more compelling is how its basic action film plot transforms into an intriguing drama about honoring bonds that men form under hostile environments – thanks to an emotive script, incredible direction by Guy Ritchie, and superb performances from Dar Salim and Jake Gyllenhaal – making The Covenant such an enjoyable viewing experience.

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