The Highest-Rated Movies on Amazon Prime Video Canada, According to Rotten Tomatoes
Need some help navigating Amazon Prime Video’s vast library of movies? Consider starting with these certified-fresh flicks, which are among the best-reviewed movies on Rotten Tomatoes.
1. The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (1920)
Number of reviews: 52
If you’re new to silent cinema, there’s no better place to start than The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari. In the sleepy German town of Holstenwall, a sideshow operator named Caligari arrives at the local fair with Cesare, a sleepwalker who has the ability to tell the future. One man in the audience asks, “How long shall I live?” Cesare’s reply: “Your time is short: you die at dawn.” In true horror movie fashion, the prophecy is fulfilled, and Cesare becomes the prime suspect. The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari is justifiably famous for its unusual set design: tilted windows, winding staircases and hills that jut from the landscape at right angles. Just as celebrated is the film’s twist ending, which is as shocking now as it must have been 100 years ago.
2. Booksmart (2019)
Number of reviews: 344
Is it possible to cram four years of debauchery into one night? That’s what the heroes of Booksmart—BFFs Molly Davidson (Beanie Feldstein) and Amy Antsler (Kaitlyn Dever)—aim to find out. On the final day of high school, the two straight-A seniors realize they should have had more fun, and plan to go to a graduation party to pursue their respective crushes. Throw in a few colourful characters, a murder mystery party theme, and one especially bad drug trip, and you’ve got one of the funniest—and most heartfelt—teen comedies in recent years.
3. The Farewell (2019)
Number of reviews: 322
When aspiring writer Billi (Awkwafina) receives word that her maternal grandmother, Nai Nai (Zhao Shuzhen), has been diagnosed with terminal lung cancer and only has a few months to live, she travels back to Changchun, China, from New York City to spend time with her. There’s just one caveat: Billi’s family is keeping the diagnosis a secret from Nai Nai, and Billi struggles to take part in the ruse. Understated and heartbreaking, The Farewell is an enthralling portrait of a woman straddling two (often contradictory) cultures.
4. Spotlight (2015)
Number of reviews: 364
Walter Robinson (Michael Keaton) leads a small group of investigative journalists, including Sacha (Rachel McAdams) and Michael (Mark Ruffalo), at the Boston Globe. After interviewing a lawyer (Stanley Tucci) who claims the Archbishop of Boston did nothing to stop local priests from sexually abusing children, the team learns that the Catholic Church covered up decades of abuse not just in the city of Boston, but throughout the state of Massachusetts. Spotlight is the one of the definitive films about journalism—and a sobering reminder of the media’s role in holding authority figures accountable.
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5. E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial (1982)
Number of reviews: 129
Accidentally left behind by his fellow travellers in California’s San Fernando Valley, a gentle alien creature must navigate a strange and hostile environment alone. He soon encounters Elliott (Henry Thomas), a 10-year-old who’s reeling from his parents’ recent separation. Along with brother Michael (Robert MacNaughton) and sister Gertie (Drew Barrymore), Elliott must find a way to evade E.T.’s government pursuers and send him home. Both a stirring depiction of growing up with divorce and a thrilling sci-fi adventure, the timeless E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial effortlessly blurs the line between art and entertainment.
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6. Boyhood (2014)
Number of reviews: 314
The extraordinary Boyhood follows Mason Evans Jr. (Ellar Coltrane) from primary school to college. Despite its title, the movie also charts the journeys of his divorced parents (Patricia Arquette and Ethan Hawke) and sister (Lorelei Linklater). Shot in 39 days over the course of 12 years, Boyhood derives much of its power from the events it doesn’t show—there are no first kisses or standing up to bullies here, only the moments of growing up we take for granted. From Mason gazing up at the sky as a six-year-old to watching his dad perform an original tune, director Richard Linklater imbues every scene with warmth and compassion. This intimate epic is one of the undisputed masterpieces of the 21st century.
7. Manchester by the Sea (2016)
Number of reviews: 339
Reserved janitor Lee Chandler (Casey Affleck) returns to his Massachusetts hometown to bury his older brother, Joe (Kyle Chandler), who has suffered a cardiac arrest. Lee is given more unwanted responsibility when he discovers that he’s been named the legal guardian of his 16-year-old nephew (Lucas Hedges). His homecoming, meanwhile, starts to bring back memories of an unspeakable tragedy he experienced with his ex-wife Randi (Michelle Williams). Manchester by the Sea is a movie about sorrow and forgiveness—it may not be the easiest watch, but it’s impossible to look away.
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8. M (1931)
Number of reviews: 53
A string of child murders has sent the people of Berlin into mass hysteria—things have gotten so bad, in fact, the city’s crime lords and panhandlers are planning manhunts of their own. The killer, Hans Beckert (Peter Lorre, in his greatest role), sends anonymous letters to the press and the police, taking credit for the disappearances and promising that more children will die. M is a chilling portrait of a world gone mad and established the blueprint for—count ’em—three genres: the psychological thriller, the serial killer movie and the police procedural. You’ll never look at a whistling man the same way again.
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9. The 39 Steps (1935)
Number of reviews: 47
At a music hall in London, Canadian tourist Richard Hannay (Robert Donat) meets Annabella Smith, a spy on the run who’s uncovering a plot to steal classified British documents. After Smith is assassinated at Hannay’s apartment later that night, he travels to the Scottish Highlands to continue her mission—all the while being pursued by police and government spies alike. One of director Alfred Hitchcock’s best movies, The 39 Steps is bona fide entertainment—and infinitely rewatchable.
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10. Short Term 12 (2013)
Number of reviews: 170
Grace Howard (Brie Larson) is the lead counsellor at Short Term 12, a foster-care facility for at-risk teens in L.A. Dedicated to a fault, Howard often puts her work before everything else, much to the concern of her co-worker and boyfriend Mason (John Gallagher, Jr.). Things take a turn, however, when Jayden (Booksmart‘s Kaitlyn Dever), a new arrival with a history of self-harm, forces Grace to revisit her own traumatic past. Boasting stellar performances and a genuine sense of realism, Short Term 12 is one of the most moving films you’ll find on Amazon Prime Video Canada.
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