3 underrated Amazon Prime Video movies you should watch this weekend (May 10-12)

A man looks through a staircase in The Ninth Gate.
Artisan Films

May is a time for spring cleaning, and while that usually involves emptying out a cluttered closet, that should apply to clogged up streaming queues as well. There are too many movies to watch, and it can be a problem to figure out which one to choose for weekend viewing.

Fortunately, we’ve done the hard work for you. The following is a tidy list of three movies streaming on Amazon Prime Video that are sure to entertain you. From a ’90s comedy classic to an Oscar-nominated dramedy, it’s hard to go wrong with any of these great, underrated movies.

The Birdcage (1996)

Two men sit on a beach in The Birdcage.
MGM

Dinner parties are never that much fun in real life. They often involve awkward banter, bad food, and last longer than they should. But dinner parties in movies are somehow really entertaining to watch, and The Birdcage‘s climactic feast is one for the comedy ages. An American remake of the French classic La Cage aux Folles, the Mike Nichols-directed movie stars Robin Williams and Nathan Lane (Only Murders in the Building) as a long-partnered gay couple whose college-aged son (Dan Futterman) announces his engagement to a fellow student (a pre-Ally McBeal Calista Flockhart). The only problem? Her dad’s an ultra-conservative senator (Gene Hackman), and he wants to meet his daughter’s future in-laws to promote Republican family values after a sex scandal involving his political partner.

What’s a resourceful nightclub owner and skilled drag performer to do? Well, the solution involves a lot of makeup, willful disbelief, and one of the most hilarious makeovers in the history of cinema. The Birdcage is often very funny, with Williams and Lane delivering jokes with their usual creative flair, but it’s Hackman, as the rigid father who takes a shine to Lane’s “mother,” and Dianne Wiest, as his perpetually neglected wife, who get the most laughs. By the time an impromptu dance-off to the tune of We Are Family rolls around, you might find yourself humming along in sweet satisfaction.

The Birdcage is streaming on Amazon Prime Video.

The Big Chill (1983)

Six friends hang out in The Big Chill.
Columbia Pictures

Reunions are a great source of drama because it allows everyone involved a reason to reflect and ask, “Is my life any better than it was before?” Each character in The Big Chill is faced with not only this question but the answers they may not want to admit to themselves, let alone each other. The seven middle-aged friends at the center of the film are brought back together by the sudden death of one of their own, who committed suicide and left his young girlfriend to pick up the pieces.

While it uses death as a key plot device, The Big Chill isn’t somber; instead, it’s often joyous, and always compelling to watch. That’s because of the talented cast, which includes Glenn Close (who was nominated for an Oscar for her great performance), Kevin Kline, Jeff Goldblum, William Hurt, JoBeth Williams, and Tom Berenger, and the excellent soundtrack, which contains great ’60s and ’70s classics like Joy to the World, My Girl, and A Whiter Shade of Pale. The Big Chill is the ultimate hangout movie, and its relaxed vibes make for ideal weekend viewing.

The Ninth Gate (1999)

The Ninth Gate (1/11) Movie CLIP – An Unscrupulous Bookdealer (1999) HD

Sometimes, a movie’s plot is so inscrutable, even if you watch it a half-dozen times, you still don’t understand it. And sometimes, it doesn’t matter, provided the movie has something else to offer that is compelling enough to stick with it. The Ninth Gate is one of those movies. Part thriller, part horror movie, the Roman Polanski movie stars Johnny Depp as unscrupulous rare book dealer Dean Corso, who is tasked with finding one of the rarest books ever made: The Nine Gates of the Kingdom of Shadows. It’s rumored to hold the key to summoning the devil, but all Corso cares about is his paycheck.

Well, that’s until people start dying all around him, and he’s pursed across Europe by a mysterious woman (Emmanuelle Seigner) who could be friend, foe, or both. There’s also an elderly Satan worshipper, a bourgeoise sex cult not unlike the one in Stanley Kubrick‘s Eyes Wide Shut, and a person who seemingly floats in the air during a fight. It’s all very ridiculous, but it’s also very fun to watch. Polanski directs this nonsense with a straight face and a sure hand, and the score by Wojciech Kilar is wonderfully sinister and evocative.

The Ninth Gate is streaming on Amazon Prime Video via Freevee.

Editors’ Recommendations