The 17 best movies on Amazon Prime you've probably never heard of

Netflix isn’t the only one in the streaming business.

With Amazon Prime, you can buy a discounted pair of sneakers and stream some great movies as well.

Amazon Prime contains a wide selection of new and old movies. If you have a subscription, it’s a great opportunity to explore some flicks you might have missed.

Here are the 17 movies best movies on the streaming service you may have missed.

Disclosure: Jeff Bezos is an investor in Business Insider through hispersonal investment company Bezos Expeditions.

'Amelie' (2001)

UGC-Fox Distribution via Amazon Prime

What it's about:The titular Amelie tries to help others and searches for love in a fairytale like version of Paris.

Why you should see it: Watching 'Amelie' is sort of like looking at a beautiful, moving painting. This is a must watch for anybody who is familiar with the term mise-en-scène, which refers to the arrangement scenery in a frame.

'A Most Violent Year' (2014)


What it's about:In 1985, the most violent year in New York's history, an honest businessman (Oscar Isaac) does all he can to turn away from a life of crime.

Why you should see it:'A Most Violent Year' is a slow burner but when it is at its most thrilling, it does not disappoint. Plus, it has actors Oscar Isaac and Jessica Chastain at the top of their game. Come for the quality acting, stay for the elevated train chases.

'Bronson' (2008)

Magnolia Pictures via YouTube

What it's about:Based on the true story of Charles Bronson (Tom Hardy), an English prisoner who wants nothing more than to be famous and cause chaos.

Why you should see it: This is basically a one man show, with Tom Hardy giving a performance equal parts raw, terrifying, and hilarious. Under the direction of Nicholas Winding Refn ('Drive'), Bronson is less a film about a prisoner and more a bizarre yet mesmerising work of art.

'City of God' (2002)

Mirimax Films via Amazon Prime

What it's about:In the brutal slums of Rio de Janeiro, Rocket (Alexandre Rodrigues) uses his gift of photography to escape the brutal cycle of violence that surrounds him.

Why you should see it:This is an incredible film that has stuck with me since seeing it for the first time years ago. From director Fernando Meirelles, this is also one of the best feature directorial reviews of all time by a wide margin.

'Exit Through the Gift Shop' (2010)

Revolver Entertainment via Netflix

What it's about:In this documentary, an eccentric amateur filmmaker named Mr. Brainwash attempts to befriend world famous street artist Banksy.

Why you should see it:It is hard to tell what is true and what is false in this fascinating documentary, which uses Mr. Brainwash to transcend its subject matter. Sometimes, this feels less like a documentary and more like an act of oddball performance art.

'In a World...' (2013)

Roadside Attractions via Netflix

What it's about: A voice coach (Lake Bell) tries to make it in the cutthroat voiceover industry. Her competition includes her own father (Fred Melamed).

Why you should see it:Lake Bell wrote, directed, and starred in this fine little comedy with a great ensemble. One of the great things about movies is that they allow new perceptions of worlds we normally wouldn't even think about. 'In a World...' shows that being a voiceover artist is much more than just talking into a microphone while wearing your pajamas.

'Jiro Dreams of Sushi' (2011)

Magnolia Pictures via YouTube

What it's about:Jiro Ono is a chef who runs Sukiyabashi Jiro, a sushi restaurant located in a Tokyo subway station that happens to have three Michelin stars.

Why you should see it:Those who don't like raw fish might be turned off by this documentary, which is a shame. Yes, 'Jiro Dreams of Sushi' contains some mesmerising shots of sushi being prepared. But it is really a film about finding something you love and being the best at it, whether that is being a chef, or recommending movies for people to watch.

'Léon: The Professional' (1994)

Gaumont Buena Vista International via YouTube

What it's about:A lonely hitman (Jean Reno) takes a young girl (Natalie Portman) under his wing after her whole family is murdered.

Why you should see it:'The Professional' is nothing short of a modern classic. It is filled with instantly quotable lines ('Everyone!'), great action, and great performances including a subdued Reno, a young, yet mature, Natalie Portman, and an absolutely insane Gary Oldman.

'Life Itself' (2014)

Magnolia Pictures

What it's about:A documentary about Roger Ebert which chronicles everything from his early days as a film critic for the Chicago Sun-Times, to his complete re-invention after losing his ability to speak.

Why you should see it:Roger Ebert lived in an extraordinary life. This documentary shows that his greatest gift to the world was his love of film, but that he also gave so much more. 'Life Itself' will make you want to embrace the beauty of life, death, and movies.

'Nebraska' (2013)

Paramount Vantage via YouTube

What it's about:The ageing Woody (Bruce Dern) thinks he has won a million dollars. Hoping to give his father one last good time, Woody's son (Will Forte) goes on a road trip to help his dad claim his supposed big prize.

Why you should see it: With the exception of 'Sideways' and 'The Descendants,' director Alexander Payne ('Election,' 'About Schmidt') has made Nebraska his cinematic home. So it was inevitable that he would eventually make a film called 'Nebraska.'

'Nebraska' moves slowly at first but about midway through, it picks up in a huge way. There is a lot of dry comedy to be found here in each characters' eccentricities. It also helps when you have Bruce Dern at the helm, who finds ways to be like everybody's dad. Meanwhile, Forte scores in his first big dramatic role and June Squibb proves that it is never too late for a breakout performance. The rest of the cast is rounded out by people who look like they they were plucked out of obscurity from the Midwest. 'Nebraska' oozes with authenticity.

'Obvious Child' (2014)

A24 via YouTube

What it's about:Struggling comedian Donna Stern (Jenny Slate) unexpectedly gets pregnant and contemplates getting an abortion.

Why you should see it:Despite the synopsis, 'Obvious Child' is much more than just an abortion comedy. It is a quiet, kind, and personal film about adulthood. It has a star-making performance from comedian Jenny Slate. If you didn't know her before, it's time to check out some of her other amazing comedy work.

'Seven Psychopaths' (2012)

CBS Films via Amazon Prime

What it's about:While trying to write a script about psychopaths, Marty (Colin Farrell), a screenwriter with writer's block finds some real psychos to hang out with. He then ends up in an elaborate dognapping scheme.

Why you should see it: Martin McDonagh's follow up to his amazing 'In Bruges' does not disappoint. Many people might have been turned off by the film's brash and funny approach to violence, but it really does have a lot to say about modern action movies.

At one point, Billy (the brilliant Sam Rockwell) tells Marty his script shouldn't end with a traditional shootout. Instead, it should end with everybody going out into the desert and just hanging out. Then, 'Seven Psychopaths' proves that no movie can end that way. From its very first scene, 'Seven Psychopaths' always finds fun ways to pull the rug out from under its viewers.

'Slow West' (2015)


What it's about:A young Scottish man (Kodi Smit-McPhee) travels to America to reconnect with the girl he loves. An outlaw (Michael Fassbender) serves as his guide.

Why you should see it:Westerns aren't dead yet. Like 'High Noon,' this gorgeous addition to the genre builds up to one big shootout that happens to include the most surprisingly funny image of the year.

'Spring' (2015)

Drafthouse Films via Amazon Prime

What it's about:An American (Lou Taylor Pucci) looking to get his life back on track flies to Italy and falls in love with a woman (Nadia Hilker) hiding a dark secret.

Why you should see it:Maybe the easiest way to sum up 'Spring' is by comparing it to 'Before Sunrise,' but with more vampires. 'Spring' is a hard film to put into words, which is the best possible compliment for it. It is an unpredictable genre mashup, combining romance with horror. 'Spring' briefly made some headlines earlier this year, when it was released legally online by BitTorrent. It deserves to be revisited.

'Submarine' (2010)

The Weinstein Company via Amazon Prime

What it's about:In this coming-of-age story, Oliver Tate (Craig Roberts) tries to find true teenage love. His only problem is that he can't really distinguish real life from movies.

Why you should see it:'Submarine' distinguishes itself from other coming-of-age stories through sheer self-awareness. In his directorial debut, actor Richard Ayoade ('The IT Crowd') already shows an incredibly clear cinematic voice. During the film's best part, Oliver imagines his own death. It is not that he is afraid of death; he just wants to know how everybody will react after he dies, and he relishes in the sadness that everybody feels. 'Submarine' lets its own wild imagination takeover, with great results.

'Tucker & Dale vs. Evil' (2011)

Magnet Releasing via Netflix

What it's about:A group of college kids on a vacation in the woods go head-to-head with the locals.

Why you should see it:This parody of films hilariously flips any genre convention you can think of on its head. This time around, the supposed heroes are too stupid to realise that the locals don't actually want to kill them. This is the kind of movie made for people who watch too many movies and are sick of the same old clichés.

'What We Do in the Shadows' (2015)

'Flight of the Conchords' star Jemaine Clement.

What it's about:A group of vampire roommates balance sucking blood with doing chores and paying rent.

Why you should see it:Even after it seemed like mockumentaries were run to the ground, 'What We Do in the Shadows' proves that you can still make a good one. The essential premise is that this is basically 'The Real World' with vampires. This film delivers on that premise and then takes it to another level. 'What We do in the Shadows' proves that you can do some impressive things with a very small budget. No strings can be scene as the vampires fly through the air.

This charming and loveable comedy will absolutely grow on you. And luckily, a sequel might be on the way.

Business Insider Emails & Alerts

Site highlights each day to your inbox.

Follow Business Insider Australia on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram.