Action blockbusters, comedies, musicals, and more – streaming platforms show movies in every category. And it’s not just a matter of acquiring other studio productions. Like other platforms, Amazon makes its own films, too. The company has invested heavily in original movies, sometimes released exclusively on Prime Video but sometimes also, more recently, in movie theaters as well.
First launched in 2016 as Amazon Unbox, the platform’s catalog of original films has greatly expanded and is now even comparable to some production studio competitors. The list of critically acclaimed Amazon Studios original movies keeps growing. In 2022, the company even landed four Oscar nominations, led by three acting accolades for “Being the Ricardos,” a film about “I Love Lucy” stars Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz. (These are the most nominated actors who still don’t have an Oscar.)
To determine the best Amazon Prime original movies, 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 August 2022, weighting all ratings equally. Only movies originally produced or distributed by Amazon Studios were considered. Documentaries were not included.
There are Oscar-winning and nominated movies and actors featured on the list, and a lineup of directors – including Regina King, Gus Van Sant, and Woody Allen – representing different generations of Hollywood movie makers. (Amazon also produces original series. These are the best Amazon Prime original series of all time.)
Of the 25 films on our list, 11 have a critics’ Tomatometer score from critics of 90% or higher, and every one of them is worth staying indoors for.
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