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The Best Rated Movies On Amazon Prime

Updated on August 9, 2015

The best rated movies on Amazon Prime -- what are they? Which movies rise above the rest with sites like Rotten Tomatoes, the IMDB, and others, and signal to us their prominence as legendary filmic excursions?

Well, this is a tough nut to crack, but here at the Institute of Platitudinous Research (the IPR) we take pride in developing ways to learn more about which movies are good and which are not so good. So we gathered our best researchers -- a couple rabid chimpanzees and an intern named Melvin -- and we asked them if they could compile a list of the smartest, tautest, leanest, meanest, densest, greatest, and best films ever put down onto... film.

And here is what they came back with, some real legends. So, kick back, make a few lactose-free quesadillas, and enjoy these epic flicks.

Taxi Driver

The incredibly dark and well-acted Taxi Driver is one of director Martin Scorsese's finest works. It stars Robert De Niro as cab-driving loner Travis Bickle, recently back from Vietnam, whose feelings of alienation cause him to feel ever more cornered in by the city around him.

Seventies Manhattan has never looked so gloriously sleazy, and we as the audience can feel our own connections to Bickle as he navigates the complexities, inanities, and pangs of loneliness that come with life in this modern society. But unlike us, Bickle takes his fears and complexes to extreme ends.

De Niro delivers one of the great acting performances of all time here. It is a brilliant character study, and a frightful condemnation of our modern culture, wherein so many are left to feel so alone. It is an incredible film and has a score of 98% on Rotten Tomatoes.

Paper Moon

Paper Moon is one of the best movies to come out of 1970s Hollywood. Directed by Peter Bogdanovich, the film is about life in the Great Depression.

A con-man named Moses (Ryan O'Neal) travels around the mid-west apparently hocking bibles. Addie (O'Neal's real-life daughter Tatum) is a young girl who has recently lost her mother. At the request, Moses agrees to let Addie travel with him across the region, where he can eventually drop her off at her aunt's home. Along the way, the two forge a bond that is much like family.

FIlmed in black and white, the movie does an expert job of blending in nostalgia and taking us back to that time in history. It's got a 91% overall rating on Rotten Tomatoes, too.

Apocalypse Now

Francis Ford Coppola directed the quintessential war movie when he made Apocalypse Now. Without a doubt, it is considered to be the great film about the Vietnam War, let alone one of the very finest offerings American cinema has produced. Here's an interesting tidbit: it has a 99% rating on Rotten Tomatoes.

Made in 1979 after the incredible success his film The Godfather, Coppola actually had a lot of trouble getting his war project made, between studio resistance and relentless production issues. In fact, the production of Apocalypse Now was so ill-fated that the documentary made about it, Hearts Of Darkness, is itself considered a kind of classic. Nevertheless, the film was somehow completed, and it sears across the screen.

Taking place during the Vietnam War, Captain Willard (Martin Sheen) is sent by headquarters on a risky mission to find and eliminate one Colonel Kurtz (Marlon Brando), a high-ranking official who has psychologically gone off the deep end. Willard must navigate his way up river, observing the depravity of war and the empty illusion of victory in such an environment. As the pontoon boat snakes its way up the river, the mood and the images get even spookier. This film touches on many themes and leaves the viewer both haunted and entranced.


A great dark comedy from 1996, Fargo stars William H. Macy as car salesman Jerry Lundegaard, a guy with a slippery moral compass who concocts a crime that ends up back-firing into a larger crime. He hires two criminals to take his wife hostage so her wealthy father will swoop in a pay the ante. Trouble is, the criminals aren't very good at their jobs, and Lundegaard's plans and ensuing activities are hotly pursued by cop Marge Gunderson (Frances McDormand), who's as sharp as she is warmly likable.

Made by the Coen brothers, Fargo is a modern great. It has a tight script, fine actors, a lot of humor, and just enough violence to keep viewers' attuned to the more serious tones at play. It's set in the frozen and vast Minnesotan tundra, which adds a great deal to the crime thriller.

This film comes highly recommended and has a 94% rating on Rotten Tomatoes.

The Hustler

One of my favorite movies, The Hustler is the story of a pool hustler who gets hustled and must face his inner demons.

Only Paul Newman could play the role of Fast Eddie Felson with such depth. The character shows a strong duality in his nature -- confident pool shark who takes as he pleases from those around him, and vulnerable loser who doesn't think enough of himself to focus on anything and anyone outside of his own needs.

Jackie Gleason is Minnesota Fats, a well-liked and respected hustler who Eddie knows he can beat, and in beating, can show everyone how great he is. But backing Fats is gambler Bert Gordon (George C. Scott), who hones right in on Felson's prideful nature and facilitates his stark comeuppance.

The one good thing in Felson's life is a woman with a bad leg and issues with alcohol (Piper Laurie). Felson cannot see her love for what it is though, and beats himself up as he always has for not being able to prove his worth to himself.

This movie is incredibly moving and has some of the best performances out there. The Hustler was made in 1961, shot in black and white, and it has a prodigious 98% on Rotten Tomatoes.

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