Looking for a good movie to watch, but you’re not in the mood to pull through the weeds of Amazon Prime Video’s ever-expanding streaming library? Not to worry, as always, we’ve got you covered with handy guide to what to watch on Amazon, from the standout new originals to some bonafide classics that just made their way onto the service.
So what’s new on Amazon this month? Well, the marquis title of March is the long-awaited arrival of Coming 2 America, Craig Brewer‘s sequel to the 1980s comedy classic, which sees Eddie Murphy back on the throne as Crown Prince Akeem of Zamunda. Amazon picked up the high-profile comedy sequel from Paramount last year amid the pandemic shuffle, which means you can watch it from the comfort of your home on streaming this month.
Not much else of note in the new releases this month, but as for some old favorites that are new on Amazon in March, there’s a whole lot of beloved classics to add to your watchlist. Not one, not two, but all three (and all great, and yes I do think the third film is genuinely great, thank you very much) Back to the Future movies are on the docket, and if you’re feeling particularly keen on 80s sci-fi classics E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial is also in the mix. If you like your space creatures with a bit more bite, the excellent (and sci-fi classic in the making) Attack the Block is an endlessly rewatchable gem.
Get the details on all our must-watch March picks below.
Back to the Future
Available: March 1
Director: Robert Zemeckis
Writers: Robert Zemeckis and Bob Gale
Cast: Michael J. Fox, Christopher Lloyd, Lea Thompson, and Crispin Glover
More than three decades later Back to the Future endures as one of the best and most all-around entertaining sci-fi adventure comedies in movie history. Michael J. Fox and Christopher Lloyd star as high school student Marty McFly and his oddball inventor BFF Dr. Emmett Brown, who hop in Doc’s time-traveling DeLorean and wind up in the 1950s, where Marty has to make sure his presence doesn’t prevent his parents from falling in love. Wondrous, energetic, and joyful as movie’s get, Back to the Future holds up in every possible way; as an innovative sci-fi movie that wrote the playbook for decades of time travel movies to follow; as a phenomenally orchestrated piece of filmmaking from director and co-writer Robert Zemeckis; as a funny, feel-good comedy two-hander with genuinely iconic performances from Fox and Lloyd; and best of all, for its vivacious spirit and irresistible uplifting effect.
Available: March 1
Director: Jonathan Levine
Writer: Will Reiser
Cast: Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Seth Rogen, Anna Kendrick, Bryce Dallas Howard, Anjelica Huston
Look, I know a “cancer comedy” is a tough sell on paper, but 50/50 is an absolutely lovely film, with a ton of heart, and all of it in the right place. Directed by Warm Bodies and The Night Before filmmaker Jonathan Levine, and written by Will Reiser, pulling from his own experience as ac cancer survivor, the 2011 dramedy stars Joseph Gordon-Levitt stars as Adam, a 27-year-old who discovers a malignant tumor in his spine with a diagnosis of a 50/50 survival rate, and follows his fight against his illness with the help of his best friend Kyle (Seth Rogen) and his inexperienced but well-meaning therapist (Anna Kendrick).
50/50 walks a seemingly impossible tightrope between goofy humor and cathartic confrontation with morality, interested in neither the saccharine platitudes or emotional torture porn of so many “prestige” films about cancer. For my money, 50/50 might just be the best movie about fighting back against a devastating diagnosis in the entire 2010s decade because, like just about every survivor I’ve ever known, it has the courage to laugh in the face of tragedy and the wisdom to know the difference from laughing at tragedy itself.
Wet Hot American Summer
Director: David Wain
Writers: David Wain and Michael Showalter
Cast: Michael Showalter, Janeane Garafalo, Molly Shannon, Marguerite Moreau, Elizabeth Banks, Paul Rudd, Christopher Meloni, Amy Poehler, Bradley Cooper, Joe Lo Trulgio, Ken Marino, Michael Ian Black, Zak Orth, and David Hyde Pierce
A bonafide cult comedy classic that went from being a beloved box office bomb to one of the most unlikely enduring franchises, Wet Hot American Summer is an absolute hoot. Set on the last day of summer camp, when weeks worth of flirtations, rivalries, and long-brewing hormones boiling over, the film features a truly wild cast of comedy knockouts playing up the turbulence of teenagers, Wet Hot American Summer is an ugly-laugh comedy of the highest caliber, featuring an endless stream of quotable zingers, a healthy dose of absurdism, a bit of smutty sexiness, and arguably the most inspired Christopher Meloni casting in history. Audiences slept on it and critics skewered it, but the spoof’s hyper-silly charms endured for good reason, and Wet Hot American Summer now has a well-earned reputation as an all-timer laugh-per-minute 2000s comedy. And the good news is, if a revisit leaves you hankering for more, Netflix has not one but two follow-up series that are every bit as gleefully goofy as the original.
Available: March 1
Director: Steven Spielberg
Writer: Melissa Mathison
Henry Thomas, Dee Wallace, Drew Barrymore, Peter Coyote, C. Thomas Howell, and Robert MacNaughton
Nobody brings wonder to the suburbs quite like Steven Spielberg, and his 1982 family sci-fi adventure E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial might just be the most beloved and emotionally effective of his whole white-picket-fence bunch. When a little raisinet-looking space goober lands in California and befriends a young boy named Elliot (Henry Thomas), the pair spark up an otherworldly bond and embark on a mission to get “E.T.” back to his home planet safely. Spielberg is really a master at work here, delivering all the awe, emotionality, and preternatural filmmaking ability that have made him a directing legend. Throw in a painfully cute Drew Barrymore as Elliot’s younger sister and partner in covert alien opps, and you’ve got a movie that pulls at every possible heartstring.
Director: Walter Hill
Writers: Roger Spottiswoode, Walter Hill, Larry Gross, Steven E. de Souza Cast: Nick Nolte, Eddie Murphy, Annette O’Toole, James Remar, David Patrick Kelly, Sonny Landham
If the arrival of Coming 2 America has you in the mood for more Eddie Murphy 80s classics, you are in luck. Prime also has the original Coming to America if you really want to keep that vibe going, but if you’re in the mood for a bit more action, 48 Hours is just the ticket. Directed by horror maestro of the era Walter Hill (Warriors, The Driver), 48 Hours is one of the great buddy cop action comedies, starring Murphy alongside Nick Nolte as an unlikely convict-cop duo who team-up to take down some cop killers. Murphy and Nolte are an inspired odd-couple casting (with some serious credit to casting director Judith Holstra, who cast Murphy in his first feature role here), and their chemistry paired with Hill’s consummate command of action make 48 Hours a hell of a ride, even when the script veers towards familiar genre territory. Speaking of the script, some of the content is dated, which is par for the course with films of the era, but if some old-school tastelessness isn’t a dealbreaker for you, 48 Hours holds up as one of the seminal action comedies. And if you’re all in, Amazon also has the (absolutely not as good) follow-up Another 48 Hours.
Attack the Block
Available: March 1
Director/Writer: Joe Cornish
Cast: Jodie Whittaker, John Boyega, Alex Esmail, Franz Drameh, Leeon Jones, Simon Howard, Luke Treadaway, Jumayn Hunter, Nick Frost
If you’ve only seen John Boyega battle aliens in the Star Wars films, strap in for his breakout role, and don’t go expecting any cheeky one-liners. Executive produced by Edgar Wright and directed by Wright’s long-time collaborator Joe Cornish in his feature debut, Attack the Block stars Boyega as Moses, the leader of a teenage street gang in South London, who has to rally his friends and protect their neighborhood when an asteroid unleashes an infestation of deadly alien creatures. Boyega is phenomenal in his film acting debut, absolutely commanding as a gruff and cynical young man rising to an impossible occasion, and Cornish just directs the hell out of the movie, stacking clear character arcs on spectacular action set-pieces, and using every opportunity to let his young cast shine. It’s got one of the most original, striking, and menacing creature designs of the 21st Century, and – its just rules, across the board. In fact, it made the eight-year wait for his second film absolutely grueling, but fortunately, The Kid Who Would Be King didn’t disappoint – and even better, a decade later, Attack the Block holds up as an infinitely rewatchable ass-kicking alien invasion thriller.
Coming 2 America
Director: Craig Brewer
Writers: Kenya Barris, Barry W. Blaustein, David Sheffield
Cast: Eddie Murphy, Arsenio Hall, Jermaine Fowler, Leslie Jones, Tracy Morgan, KiKi Layne, Shari Headley, Teyana Taylor, Wesley Snipes, James Earl Jones
Do you love Coming to America? Good news, so do the folk who made Coming 2 America, the new sequel arriving exclusively on Amazon Prime Video this month. Nearly the entire original cast reunites, led by Eddie Murphy and Arsenio Hall as Prince Akeem and his right-hand-man Semmi, in a slim, but cheerful and vibrant follow-up that sweeps audiences back to the kingdom of Zamunda (and of course, back 2 America) for a new take on the fish-out-of-water comedy that sees Akeem unite with his unexpected heir (Jermaine Fowler), while learning how to be a good king. Directed by Craig Brewer, who previously teamed with Murphy on the magnetic Dolemite Is My Name, Coming 2 America isn’t quite as funny or groundbreaking as its predecessor, but it maintains the sweetness and spirit of the original, even if it sometimes feels like more of a celebration of the 1988 classic than a cohesive comedy in its own right. But guess what, the original is worth celebrating, and Murphy and Brewer make sure you have a dang good time doing it.
KEEP READING: Eddie Murphy on Why He Loves ‘Ridiculousness’ and What the First ‘Coming to America’ Means to Him
The animated movie about sea monsters takes place on the Italian Riviera and will debut in June.
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