UPDATE: The uplifting 1980s classic The Karate Kid has been added to our list of the best movies on Amazon Prime Video in Australia – find out why you should watch it on on Page 2!
When it comes to streaming media, Australians now have access to an incredible wealth of video content that can be instantly viewed with only a few screen taps or button presses.
Much like Netflix, Stan and Foxtel Now, Amazon Prime Video has a huge selection of movies on offer, with something for absolutely everybody. The problem is, the sheer amount of titles in the service’s content library can be a little overwhelming for those who want to jump in and start watching immediately.
If you’re sick of browsing endlessly, you’ve come to the right place – we’ve done the job for you, selecting a number of fantastic films (as well as some delightfully trashy ones) for every occasion, so all you have to do is sit back and start your viewing odyssey.
Most of the films on this list, which has been curated by TechRadar editors, are backed up with ratings from IMDB and Rotten Tomatoes – so that you don’t have to sift through the muck. That said, if you want to switch your brain off and get stuck into some cheesy, low-brow entertainment, we’ve got that stuff, too.
We’ll keep this best-of list up to date with the latest movies that are must-watch, so make sure you keep checking back to see all the great stuff that’s been added.
We’re obsessed with science fiction and high tech futuristic worlds here at TechRadar. Here are our picks for the best science fiction movies currently streaming on Amazon Prime Video.
One of director Steven Spielberg’s finest crowdpleasers, Jurassic Park is an undisputed classic. Based on Michael Crichton’s novel of the same name, Jurassic Park imagines a world in which dinosaurs have been brought back to life through the magic of cloning from prehistoric DNA. Dr. Hammond (Richard Attenborough) invites his grandchildren, his lawyer, two dinosaur experts (Sam Neill and Laura Dern) and a mathematician (Jeff Goldblum) to experience his extraordinary theme park before it opens to the general public. Of course, things don’t go smoothly, and before long several aggressive dinos are on the loose and on the hunt. Featuring revolutionary visual effects that still hold up after 25 years, Jurassic Park is a heart-pounding cinematic triumph.
This big-budget Russian space movie tells the true story of a properly dramatic mission to rescue a damaged space station, lest it fall to Earth upon the heads of the innocent, or, worse, be captured by the Americans and returned to Earth to study advanced Russian space technology.
A grizzled veteran cosmonaut is paired with a younger engineering genius and sent to the unoccupied station, which includes an exciting Interstellar-style ‘match rotation with the out of control station and dock with it’ sequence. From there, it’s a claustrophobic race against time and uncooperative machinery as they try to bring the station back to life. Everything goes wrong, badly, and the ride is part gripping action and part engineering ingenuity.
Most of the drama is set inside the cramped station, offset by the obligatory cuts to ground control where the supportive Cosmonaut chief battles the government man who thinks the whole mission is folly.
It’s truly the Russian Apollo 13, with all the tension of catastrophic equipment failures in confined spaces set against technically incredible sets and effects. It’s truly beautiful to watch — all the space sequences are state of the art — and aside from some minor red flag waving, is played with a very straight technical arrow.
The theatrical conclusion to the beloved (yet short-lived) television series Firefly, Serenity tied off the various loose ends left behind after Joss Whedon’s space cowboy show was axed. Led by Captain Malcolm Reynolds (Nathan Fillion), the crew of the Serenity cargo ship are known for engaging various smuggling adventures and shady dealings across the galaxy.
However, trouble comes looking for them in the form of an assassin (Chiwetel Ejiofor) who’s after River (Summer Glau), a gifted telepath and one of the crew’s members. Like a cross between Star Wars (particularly the Han Solo parts) and Cowboy Bebop, Serenity is a crowd-pleasing sci-fi actioner with plenty of heart.
War of the Worlds
Tom Cruise will do anything to protect his family from a full-scale alien invasion in War of the Worlds, director Steven Spielberg’s adaptation of H.G. Wells’ classic science fiction novel. Spielberg, known to be a master of suspense, ratchets up the tension to near unbearable levels in the film, with numerous dread-filled set pieces on offer that rival anything from his illustrious filmography (that includes Jaws, Jurassic Park and Saving Private Ryan).
Using imagery inspired by the 9/11 attacks (the invading Tripods blast humans into white ashes) and Hurricane Katrina (desperate people turn violent against each other in an attempt to survive their horrific circumstances), War of the Worlds is a far cry from E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial and Close Encounters of the Third Kind.
Men in Black
Fresh off the success of the global phenomenon Independence Day, Will Smith went straight back to work on another sci-fi film about aliens, albeit one with a much lighter tone and an emphasis on comedy.
Starring alongside Tommy Lee Jones, Smith led Men in Black to huge dollars at the box office, leading to two more films and an upcoming reboot starring Chris Hemsworth and Tessa Thompson.
The original film, however, is still the best, offering great mix of comedy and genre-based hijinx, similar to the likes of Ghostbusters. Now go and watch it, lest Big Willy let his noisy cricket get wicked on ya.