In the last couple of years, a vast array of streaming platforms have offered large libraries of movies for affordable prices. That’s wonderful, and this new way to watch films deserves the massive attention it’s earned.

But in shifting our focus to what movies are available to stream on various subscription services, I’ve found myself forgetting that renting movies is often still the best option.

The movie I most want to watch on any given night is usually one I’ve heard about recently but haven’t had a chance to watch yet. For example, I still haven’t gotten around to a few Oscar nominees and would love to check them out. For most of them, renting remains the only way to do that.

So for this list, I’ve gathered a few movies from the recent past that you can rent on Amazon Prime Video. To add some variety, I only included a few 2020 Oscar nominees.


Premise: In this comedic thriller, enterprising members of a financially struggling family trick a wealthy family into hiring them all. They attempt to take more and more from the wealthy family until they get in over their heads.

Setting: Contemporary South Korea

Runtime: 2 hours, 12 minutes

Notable Cast: Cho Yeo-Jeong, Choi Woo-Shik, Jang Hye-jin, Lee Jung-Eun, Lee Sun-Kyun, Park So-dam, and Song Kang-ho

Director: Bong Joon-ho, who also co-wrote the screenplay

Academy Awards: Four wins out of six nominations in 2020. Wins included Best Picture.


Premise: In this crime comedy, a journalist works on a story about strippers who stole from their rich clients by getting them inebriated and then making massive purchases on their credit cards.

Setting: Late aughts to 2014, New York City

Runtime: 1 hour, 50 minutes

Notable Cast: Jennifer Lopez, Julia Stiles, and Constance Wu

Director: Lorene Scafaria


Premise: In this science-fiction drama, mysterious alien ships hover over different locations on Earth. The military recruits a linguist to try and make contact with the aliens to see what they want.

Setting: Contemporary Montana

Runtime: 1 hour, 56 minutes

Notable Cast: Amy Adams, Jeremy Renner, and Forest Whitaker

Director: Denis Villeneuve

Academy Awards: One win out of eight nominations in 2017. Won for Best Sound Editing.

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