Spring is here; the weather is getting better and better and the nights are getting longer. Despite the urge to get out in the fresh air, there are still reasons to stay in and fire up the streaming box. In this new, regular, monthly feature, we’ll look at the best films now playing on both Netflix and Amazon Prime Video. Here are five of the best currently playing on Amazon, some old, some brand new.
This film only arrived on Amazon this past weekend, its content an absolute mystery. Before it landed at just after 8am on Saturday morning, all we knew of Guava Island was that it starred Donald Glover (Solo: A Star Wars Story) and pop icon Rihanna. Set in Cuba, the film is a described as a tropical thriller, and is directed by Hiro Murai. The film initially debuted at the Coachella festival in Palm Springs, California, before making its way onto the streamer following Glover’s Childish Gambino set late on Friday night. The 55-minute feature is definitely one to check out.
Here’s an excellent movie to fire up on Amazon while the kids are off over Easter – Paul King’s superb sequel Paddington 2, possibly one of the best family films to be released in the last decade. The film is based on the series of books by Michael Bond and follows the continuing adventures of Paddington Bear as he settles amongst a new community and the Brown family in London, England. Also starring Hugh Grant in a scene-stealing role as the villainous Phoenix Buchanan, as well as the returning Hugh Bonneville, Sally Hawkins and Ben Whishaw as the voice of the title character, Paddington 2 is an absolute joy from start to finish.
After debuting at the 2017 Toronto International Film Festival, the directorial debut of The West Wing and The Social Network scribe Aaron Sorkin is an excellent piece of work. Starring Jessica Chastain and Idris Elba, the film is based on a true story based around an exclusive high stakes poker game in Hollywood. The story isn’t about a syndicate casino and doesn’t revolve around online gambling sites, but takes place in the real world, the invite-only poker game attracting high profile Hollywood movie stars, sports figures and businessmen. The film is excellent because of Sorkin’s rapid-fire, quick-moving script, his excellent direction and the two amazing performances by Chastain and Elba.
Currently wowing audiences in Captain Marvel at cinemas, and in the much lower budget Unicorn Store over on Netflix is the award-winning Brie Larson, but it is the film Room that alerted audiences to her talents. Released in 2015, Room is directed by Irish filmmaker Lenny Abrahamson and based on the novel of the same name by Emma Donohue. The feature tells the story of a woman (Larson) wjo has been held captive inside a room for seven years, along with her five-year-old son (a break-out Jacob Tremblay). Joan Allen, Sean Bridgers, and William H. Macy are also amongst the cast of this remarkable film which is an absolute must-see.
Here’s a little-known British movie from a couple of years back, one written and directed by the very talented Michael Pearce. Beast is set against the backdrop of a series of murders and a man, Pascal Renouf (Johnny Flynn), who is suspected of them. Jessie Buckley (who is currently wowing audiences in the brilliant Wild Rose) is Moll, a woman who is being pulled between her oppressive family and the allure of Renouf. The film premiere at the 2017 fall films festival and went on to win Outstanding Debut by a British Writer, Director, or Producer for Michael Pearce at the BAFTA film awards the following year.