When Amazon closed its acquisition of MGM in March of 2022, it gained access to one of the most substantial movie libraries in film history. Besides tieing Amazon to one of the most revered names in Hollywood, it also gave the Prime Video streaming service access to classics like the entire James Bond catalog, up to and including the latest release, No Time to Die. It’s certainly an exciting time to be a subscriber.
The best movies on Amazon Prime Video change depending on what the streaming service has available at that given moment (not all of the James Bond movies will necessarily be available all of the time) so it’s important to know what’s coming in each month. The best movies on Prime Video in July 2022 show off just how varied the service’s selection is though.
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One of the most nostalgia-inducing movies of the 1990s, Speed is an action-thriller that may seem like it’s all about its concept (a Los Angeles commuter bus is rigged to explode if it goes slower than 50 mph) but it was the chemistry between leads Keanu Reeves and Sandra Bullock that made it such a hit.
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Dennis Hopper is also an action movie hall-of-fame villain as the maniacal bomber. While he may not rival the likes of, say, Alan Rickman as Hans Gruber, and director Jan de Bont may not outshine his work as cinematographer on Die Hard, this is an evergreen blockbuster experience.
Russell Crowe gave an Oscar-winning and career-defining performance as a vengeful former general rising through the ranks of ancient Rome’s gladiatorial battles in this stirring epic from director Ridley Scott.
From Hans Zimmer’s rousing score to its crowd-pleasing battle sequences, Gladiator is the definition of a modern classic and a cultural landmark from the turn of the new millennium thanks to its excess of quotable lines.
House of Gucci (2021)
Over 20 years after the success of Gladiator, Ridley Scott gave audiences a very different snapshot of Italian history with this biographical crime drama about a sensational chapter in the history of the iconic fashion brand.
With standout performances from Lady Gaga and Jared Leto, House of Gucci is on a very different side of Scott’s diverse filmography than Gladiator but no less entertaining.
Jiro Dreams of Sushi (2011)
The best documentaries are the ones that take the audience inside a subject that few people know little to anything about and this enveloping doc about a master sushi chef makes its mouthwatering subject matter a feast for the eyes.
Besides its titular main character, Jiro Dreams of Sushi explores the idea of food as art, diving into the ins and outs of the world-famous dish’s traditionally meticulous preparation and its cultural significance.
The Wolf of Wall Street (2013)
In the pacy style of Goodfellas and Casino, director Martin Scorsese and his longtime editor Thelma Schoonmaker delivered a dizzying three-hour epic of debauchery and excess with The Wolf of Wall Steet.
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Leonardo DiCaprio and Margot Robbie are outstanding in the leading roles as the unscrupulous stockbroker Jordan Belfort and his second wife/accomplice in crime, Naomi Lapaglia. The film is a raucous comedy that zips by almost breezily but not without leaving a lasting impression through its depiction of a self-destructive culture of greed.
Raging Bull (1980)
At the opposite end of Scorsese’s career, showcasing the Oscar-winning work of editor Thelma Schoonmaker as it first began to create the style that the pair would become so well-known for, Raging Bull is another side to Scorsese’s character studies. Instead of a conniving narrator like Jordan Belfort or Henry Hill from Goodfellas, Raging Bull’s subject, boxer Jake LaMotta, is a simple man prone to expressing himself mostly through violent outbursts.
Robert De Niro won Best Actor at the 53rd Academy Awards for his unflinching performance as LaMotta, with Joe Pesci and Cathy Moriarty nominated alongside him for their supporting performances as LaMotta’s brother and wife, respectively. In terms of visual ingenuity and dramatic intensity, Raging Bull is still in a class of its own.
No Time to Die (2021)
Daniel Craig secured his legacy as a unique James Bond by making sure that the final movie starring his iteration of the character gave him a full and fitting send-off. Whereas all the tenures of the previous 007 actors had appeared to either end somewhat abruptly or fizzle out, Craig made sure to go out with an emphatic bang.
No Time to Die sees Bond going through one of his more unusually emotional journeys, facing a villain from his own past as well as one from the past of his new love, Madeleine Swann. However, the story is still packed with all of the quintessential James Bond shootouts, chases, and doomsday plots that fans of the series know and love.
Top Gun (1986)
If the recent box office success of Top Gun: Maverick has shown anything it’s that audiences still very much feel the need for speed and the original fighter pilot action drama hit that started it all still shines today.
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From the soundtrack to the aerial footage, Top Gun was an iconic movie experience that’s retained so much of its energy over the decades and is filled with some of the most memorable quotes of any 80s movie.
Black Swan (2010)
Natalie Portman won an Oscar for her performance as a troubled ballet dancer losing her grip on reality in this mesmerizing psychological thriller from director Darren Aronofsky.
Not just notable for its excellent performances, Black Swan is a satisfying experience for fans of both dance and horror as Portman’s character slips further and further into her dual roles as the innocent White Swan and the devilish Black Swan in a prestigious production of Swan Lake.
August Wilson adapted his play of the same name for the big screen with Denzel Washington in charge both in front of and behind the camera, generating predictably powerful results.
Though Washington is a force of nature in the lead role as a charismatic-but-distant husband and father, he allows supporting players like Viola Davis and Jovan Adepo, starring as his character’s wife and son, to make this heavy family drama truly soar.
NEXT: 10 Best Shows On Amazon Prime Video This Month (Updated July 2022)
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Mark has been a writer and editor for ScreenRant’s lists section since 2019 and leads the Update Team, keeping content fresh and relevant.
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