Amazon Prime is adding a ton of new titles to its streaming service this July. While it’s admittedly lacking in original content (there are only three new Amazon Originals coming this month, and two of them are for children), we noticed quite a few contemporary classics, cult hits, and even some blockbusters coming to the lineup. All in all, we don’t think you’ll be disappointed. Here are the 10 best movies and shows coming to Amazon Prime Streaming in July:
NYPD Blue makes our list by default, because we can only watch re-runs of Law & Order so many freakin’ times. NYPD Blue is a similar police procedural crime drama based in New York City that explores the lives of several everyday police officers in the [fictional] 15th Precinct. It’s kind of like a very toned down version of The Wire meets Law & Order SVU.
This one is kind of obsolete, now that we know for sure that the infamous Zodiac Killer is none other than U.S. Senator Ted Cruz. But even so, it’s still an exceptional film. Zodiac is about the early days of the Zodiac killings. It takes place in the late 1960s/early ‘70s and stars Jake Gyllenhaal as Robert Grasysmith, a cartoonist at the San Francisco Chronicle who becomes nothing short of obsessed with trying to decode the crazy serial killer’s horrifying coded taunt letters, and Robert Downey Jr. as Paul Avery, a young crime reporter investigating the case. The film is acclaimed for its historical accuracy regarding the investigation and those involved, and we have to agree—if you’re going to watch a movie about Ted Cruz’s early life, this is it.
There are people out there who consider Blazing Saddles the single best American comedy film of all time, or, at the very least, the best thing Mel Brooks ever did. In fact, it’s ranked #6 on The American Film Institute’s 100 Years… 100 Laughs list of greatest comedy films of all time. The film itself is a satirical comment on the racism obscured by Hollywood’s re-tellings of the American West, but on a basic level, it’s about a conniving Attorney General named Hedley Lamarr (Harvey Korman), who decides on a whim to appoint a black sheriff to the American frontier town of Rock Ridge, after a band of thugs (hired by Lamarr) kills the current sheriff. Lamarr’s intentions are to eventually force the people of Ridge Rock to abandon their town, figuring what better way to make it happen than by appointing a black guy (Bart, played by Cleavon Little) who was about to be hanged for murder as the active sheriff. Only, with his quick-witted drunken deputy Jim (Gene Wilder), Bart actually does an exceptional job, despite dealing with everyone from the KKK to Nazis. It’s an oldie, but it’s a damn goodie.
Patrick Bateman (Christian Bale) is living the American dream. He’s a handsome, intelligent, 27-year-old Wall Street investor who’s made a small fortune doing what he loves. He comes from a good, wealthy home, and lives a happy life. He also likes to kill people in his spare time. But like, is it even an American dream if you can’t be just a little bit psychotic?
Clint Eastwood is an American Treasure, and as a director, he’s proven time and time again—Jersey Boys, J. Edgar, Invictus, Flags of Our Fathers, and so on—that he is incredible at the helm. Gran Torino is another notch on his directorial bedpost. This American drama stars Eastwood as Walt Kowalski, a retired Polish American factory worker, Korean War Vet, and recent widow. The Detroit neighborhood in which he lives, once dominated by working class white family, has shifted and is now inhabited primarily by poor Asian immigrants. Crime is up, gang activity is up, and Kowalski feels more isolated than ever. However, after he discovers one of his young neighbors, Thao, trying to steal his car as part of a forced gang initiation, he saves the kid from the gang and the two form an unlikely friendship.
Killer Klowns From Outer Space
This one is an absolute classic, and combines two of our most hated, most terrifying symbols of horror: Killer clowns, and space aliens. The plot here is simple: Aliens invade a small town, disguised as none other than killer clowns. Their mothership is, of course, a giant clown tent, and the clowns suspend people in giant cotton candy cocoons, have vicious balloon dogs that are actually real, and trick people with deadly shadow puppets that come to life and kill them.
Part psychological thriller, part neo-noir mystery drama, Mulholland Drive is about a girl (Laura Harring) who gets into a devastating accident on Mulholland Drive, deep in the Hollywood Hills. Though her injuries are minor, she finds herself battling severe amnesia that renders her completely unable to recall who she is or what she’s doing here. She meets a woman named Betty (Naomi Watts) who offers to help her figure everything out. However, it’s not long before both girls are sucked into a psychotic web of lies and deceit, with no way out in sight.
With what we now know about the U.S. election system and all the outside influence plaguing it, the 2016 biographical spy thriller Snowden seems almost elementary in it all, even though just a couple short years ago, it was considered groundbreaking cinema. Starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt as none other than Edward Snowden, the film essentially tells Snowden’s story—who he was before he became known to the world as an NSA whistleblower, how he came to be in the position of power he was in, and what drove him to risk his life to let the truth come to light.
Eat. Race. Win. Season 1
The only Amazon Prime Original coming this month worth watching, Season 1 of Eat. Race. Win. debuts. The docu-series takes a full-speed, behind-the-scenes look at the biggest annual sporting event on the planet—The Tour de France. Particularly, it looks into the methodology of chef Hannah Grant as she sources all the food for Australia’s pro-cycling team, Orica-Scott, while their 9-rider team prepares for competition.
The Americans Season 6
Just weeks after the series finale of The Americans aired (much to our chagrin), the final season in its entirety will be coming to Amazon Prime Streaming (much to our delight!). There’re a lot of layers to this onion, but The Americans is about the Jennings, a nice, polite American family living in the suburbs outside Washington D.C. Only, Mom and Dad are actually deep-cover KGB agents, and life ain’t exactly normal. The series itself is so brilliantly written and includes so many hard-to-know details because its writer, Joe Weisberg, was himself a CIA operative. Definitely check this one out.
Have Netflix? We have picks for that too