If you look at the movie offerings of Amazon Prime for December, you might think the streaming service is taking a few pages out of the Turner Classic Movies channel’s playbook. Among Amazon Prime’s best movies to stream in December are 19 films that were released before 1970, including two from the 1920s. (Here are the 25 best movies you’ve probably never seen.)
To determine the best movies to stream on Amazon Prime this December, 24/7 Tempo developed an index using average ratings on IMDb, an online movie database owned by Amazon, and a combination of audience scores and Tomatometer scores on Rotten Tomatoes, an online movie and TV review aggregator, as of December 2022, weighting all ratings equally. We considered only movies with at least 5,000 audience votes on either IMDb or Rotten Tomatoes. Documentaries were not considered. Data on streaming availability, current as of this month, comes from the streaming guide Reelgood. Directorial credits are from IMDb.
The scope of films on Amazon Prime teems with star power – from Barbara Stanwyck, Cary Grant, Gary Cooper, and Paul Newman to Michael B. Jordan, Emma Watson, Jennifer Lawrence, and Daniel Craig, and a galaxy of screen luminaries in between.
Among Amazon’s vintage movie offerings in December are “The Thief of Bagdad (1924),” “Stella Dallas (1937),” “Wuthering Heights (1939),” and “Breakfast at Tiffany’s (1961).”
Some of Hollywood’s greatest directors take a bow, with films from Alfred Hitchcock (“To Catch a Thief”), William Wyler (“Dodsworth”), Frank Capra (“Meet John Doe”), Lewis Milestone (“The Strange Love of Martha Ivers”), and Howard Hawks (“His Girl Friday”).
Some of the more recent releases address themes of race (“Fruitvale Station”), the collision of cultures (“The Big Sick”), and the post-monster apocalypse (“Love and Monsters”).
The latter-day pantheon of directors with films on Amazon Prime includes Jackson, Sam Mendes, Ridley Scott, and John Woo. And all three Lord of the Rings motion pictures, directed by Peter Jackson, are on the Amazon Prime schedule. One installment of the trilogy is among the movies that have won the most Oscars.
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