The 7 Finest New Motion pictures to Watch on Amazon Prime in November 2020
Need something new to watch this month? After all, the holiday season is about to kick off in earnest, and for a lot of folks that means extra days off, while the colder weather means more time in — and with the pandemic spiking around the world, it’s never been a better time to get cozy and stay safe with a movie. While Amazon Prime Video may not be churning out the originals like the folks at Netflix and HBO Max, they’ve always got a solid assortment of old favorites and new releases arriving on the streaming service each month. And November is no different!
If you want to see all the new movies and shows on Amazon Prime this month, check out the full list here. But to help you cull through the highlights, we’ve put together our picks for the best new movies to watch on Amazon in November below.
28 Days Later
Image via Fox Searchlight Features
Director: Danny Boyle
Writer: Alex Garland
Cast: Cillian Murphy, Naomi Harris, Brendan Gleeson, Christopher Eccleston,
Zombies have been a favorite of fear-seeking filmgoers ever since George Romero changed the game with his 1968 classic Night of the Living Dead. But for the most part, the undead, the walking dead, the living dead, or whatever you preferred to call the cannibalistic creatures, they more or less played by the same rules. Enter Danny Boyle’s 28 Days Later, the early 2000s apocalypse horror that played a massive role in reviving the zombie genre for a new generation of audiences long before The Walking Dead took over TV. 28 Days Later wasn’t the first movie to do fast zombies, but it was definitely the movie that popularized it, and in the context of Boyle’s nightmare plague, it totally worked. With a script by Ex Machina and Annihilation filmmaker Alex Garland, 28 Days Later reimagined the zombie apocalypse, not as the undead, but contorting, flesh-craving human beings infected by pure rage.
Boyle’s frantic camerawork, Garland’s nihilistic world-building, and an exceptional ensemble led by Cillian Murphy, Naomi Harris, and Brendan Gleeson created a terrifying update on the apocalyptic world where everything can change, violently, in an instant – whether it’s the heads of the infected snapping up when they spot their next prey or the sudden transformation of a loved one who just happened to look up at the exact wrong time. (No, I’m still not over it and I’ll never be over it.) 28 Days Later rules, holds up crazy well, and it’s easy to see why Boyle’s genre-bending film helped re-light the spark beneath the zombie craze that’s still going strong nearly 20 years later.
Image via MGM/UA
Director: John Frankenheimer
Writers: J.D. Zeik and David Mamet (as Richard Weisz)
Cast: Robert De Niro, Jean Rolin, Natascha McElchone, Sean Bean, Stellan Skarsgård, Jonathan Pryce
For my money, Ronin is one of the most underrated action movies of the last 25 years. Directed by thriller veteran John Frankenheimer (The Manchurian Candidate), the 1998 film takes a familiar set-up – a mismatched team of opperatives is tasked with retrieving a high-value briefcase before it can change hands – and classes it up with a moody, atmospheric, slow-burn thriller built around an ace ensemble cast. And then, every once in a while, Ronin catapults to a whole other level with its stunning car chase sequences, which remain some of cinema’s best vehicular action to this day.
Image via Screen Gems
Director: Len Wiseman
Writer: Danny McBride
Cast: Kate Beckinsale, Michael Sheen, Scott Speedman, Shane Brolly, Bill Nighy, Sophia Myles
Vampire vs. Werewolves, tale as old as time. But the classic beasties got a sexy peak-2000s makeover in Underworld. Set in contemporary times, the extremely post-Resident Evil action-thriller stars Kate Beckinsale as Selene, a vampire warrior known as a Death Dealer, who falls for a human (Scott Speedman) who’s being hunted by Lycans. Stylistically, Underworld is so beholden to the trends of its time that it looks pretty dated now, but the film’s strength is in its performances – it’s still easy to see why this one made Beckinsale a household name – and its world-building. It’s not often you get an original concept blockbuster that builds out as much backstory and intricate mythology as Underworld, which is probably why the prequel Rise of the Lycans is the best follow-up in the franchise. If you want to get caught up, the first three films in the franchise are available to stream on Amazon Prime this month (and Awakening if you have a Starz add-on subscription).
Image via Lionsgate
Director: Sylvester Stallone
Writers: David Callaham and Sylvester Stallone
Cast: Sylvester Stallone, Jason Statham, Jet Li, Dolph Lundgren, Bruce Willis, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Eric Roberts, Charisma Carpenter, Randy Couture, Terry Crews, Steve Austin, Mickey Rourke
All due respect to my beloved Fast & Furious films, but when it comes to being the beefiest, brawniest action franchise in Hollywood, The Expendables edges la familia by sheer numbers alone. Directed, co-written by, and starring action legend Sylvester Stallone, The Expendables surrounds him with big beefy bois, who are always just sweating bullets and pumping lead into enemies as a legendary team of renegade mercenaries. In a lot of ways, The Expendables is exactly the return to machismo action nostalgia promised in the trailers, and while the imitation is never quite as good as the real thing, there’s still plenty of fun to be had with Stallone and the swole gang once the movie gets chugging along. And if, somehow, you get through The Expendables and find yourself wanting more muscles and machine guns, The Expendables 2 and The Expendables 3 are also streaming on Amazon in November, and each subsequent film brings in more familiar flashback faces, from Jean-Claude Van Damme to Harrison Ford to Wesley Snipes to… well, you get the picture.
Image via Paramount
Director: Larry Charles
Writers: Sacha Baron Cohen, Alec Berg, David Mandel, Jeff Schaffer
Cast: Sacha Baron Cohen, Anna Faris, John C. Reilly, Sayed Badreya, Ben Kingsley
If Borat Subsequent Moviefilm has you in the mood to revisit some of Sacha Baron Cohen’s earlier works, The Dictator arrives on Amazon Prime Video this month just in time to satisfy that desire. Your mileage may vary on how actually satisfying that is, because The Dictator is a messy, rude, mostly not very good movie… that also features some of the most incisive work of Cohen’s career. Sticking to more of a scripted format, this one doesn’t feature the pranks and on-the-streets antics of Cohen’s previous work, but it doesn’t hold back on taking America to task, culminating in a satirical speech that lands even harder in 2020. The Dictator isn’t Cohen’s best movie, some think it’s his worst, but it’s a fascinating look back on the evolution of his schtick and the themes of his filmmaking that also gave me more laughs than expected on a revisit.
Image via Amazon Prime Video
Director/Writer: Alan Ball
Cast: Sophia Lillis, Paul Bettany, Peter Macdissi, Stephen Root, Margot Martindale, Judy Greer, Steve Zahn, Lois Smith
Six Feet Under creator and American Beauty screenwriter directs his first movie since 2007’s Towelhead with one of his most personal projects yet, the coming-of-age drama Uncle Frank. Set in 1973 and narrated by Sophia Lillis as Beth, an 18-year-old adjusting to adult life in the big city when she takes a road trip with her uncle Frank (Paul Bettany) back to their conservative hometown after a death in the family. Thing is, Frank’s gay, a life he lives openly in the city but has to keep quiet with his family, something ever more challenging with emotions running high.
Uncle Frank debuted at Sundance a the start of the year, and it’s a Sundance coming-of-age drama to a tee, with all the highs and lows that come with that label. The performances, especially Bettany and Peter Macdissi as Frank’s partner, are crackling and magnetic, the drama is heart-wrenching, the sweet can be quite saccharine – you know, the Sundance classics. But overall, Uncle Frank is a charming film about family and acceptance that’s full of heart and features what might be the best performance of Bettany’s career.
Image via Lionsgate
Director: Jay Roach
Writer: Charles Randolph
Cast: Charlize Theron, Nicole Kidman, Margot Robbie, John Lithgow, Kate McKinnon, Allison Janney, Connie Britton, Liv Hewson
For a movie named Bombshell, Jay Roach’s cinematic investigation of the sexual abuse scandal that rocked Fox News didn’t make much of an impact. So why am I recommending it? Because of the spectacular performances. Charlize Theron earned every bit of that awards buzz you heard last year for her genuinely eerie transformation into Megyn Kelly (and the makeup and hairstyling department sure a heck deserved their Oscar win), but Margot Robbie was the lowkey awards contender who should have earned more hype. Of course, Robbie isn’t playing a recognizable character, but a composite figure, which means it doesn’t make for quite as juicy headlines, but the actress was every bit the formidable, emotionally raw, and charismatic performer that has made her a giant in Hollywood in less than 10 years. As an investigation into toxic workplaces, broken media, the fallacy of Fox News, or the lasting effects of sexual assault, Bombshell is as facile and superficial as it gets, but the cast does tremendous work throughout, digging deep with their performances every time the script clings to the surface.
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About The Author
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Haleigh Foutch is a writer, editor, host, actor, and cat enthusiast based in Los Angeles. She’s currently Senior Editor of Content Strategy and Analytics at Collider, where she’s been climbing the ranks and screaming about the unsung genius of Grosse Pointe Blank for nearly a decade. She also oversees Collider’s horror content and co-created The Witching Hour podcast, previously appeared as a regular panelist on Movie Talk, and has written for Rotten Tomatoes, Complex, Birth.Movies.Death., and more. You can usually find her sharing Buffy the Vampire Slayer memes on Instagram, rehearsing the Five Movements from The OA, and asking people about their pets.
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