What’s New to Stream on Amazon Prime for April 2021

Crossing the Streams is our series of guides looking at all the offerings hitting the big streaming services each month. This time we’re checking out the new Amazon Prime arrivals for April 2021, including plenty of new releases, great Westerns, Russell Crowe movies, and more! 

Amazon Prime Pick of the Month for April 2021

Spontaneous Movie

While most YA movies tend to focus heavily on one genre or another, others are far braver in hitting multiple marks simultaneously. Spontaneous (premieres on April 12th) is one of those latter gems as it infuses a thrilling setup — teens start randomly exploding in showers of blood — with big laughs, heartfelt romance, and a heavy as hell metaphorical look at the uncertainty of the world currently faced by teens. There are shades of school shooting trauma here too, and while you wouldn’t think this cocktail would entirely work it absolutely does. Katherine Langford and Charlie Plummer shine, the blood is frequent and copious, and the ending packs an emotional punch. Give this one a spin.

The Many Faces of Russell Crowe

Russell Crowe Master And Commander

Run a poll asking people to name a film they wish had received a sequel, and the odds are quite good that Peter Weir’s Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World (2003) will rank pretty damn high. Based on the acclaimed series of novels by Patrick O’Brian, the film is a sea-set adventure about a British warship in pursuit of a French counterpart through dangerous seas, threats of mutiny, and the harsh pain of time. Russell Crowe plays the British captain and gives a fantastic performance as a man who presses his crew at risk of both his limits and theirs, and the battle sequences are stellar displays of old-school glory.

Remember that time Darren Aronofsky delivered a $360 million box-office haul with a religious epic? Noah (2014) premieres on April 9th and casts Crowe as the titular bible character who, on instructions from God, builds an enormous ark, rounds up a ton of animals, and faces off against asshole mobs and apocalyptic weather. It’s a big, thrilling epic despite hewing close enough to the source material to be considered a respectful adaptation, and it succeeds as large entertainment. Sure, some independent thinker chaos would have been appreciated, but it should appeal to fans of Crowe, big disaster cinema, and bible stories.

Crowe’s most recent feature hasn’t quite gotten a fair shake, so allow me to step up to defend Unhinged (2020). Yes, the protagonist is a dumb bag of rocks — how’s that for the start of my defense?! — but everything else is good stuff for genre fans. Crowe plays a guy having a really bad day, week, month, and life, and when a young woman gives him grief during the morning commute he targets her for a deadly lesson. This is a mean-spirited thriller with a surprisingly high body count, and the car action/stunts are pretty great as they deliver lots of metal-crunching practical effects. Crowe is an absolute monster and legitimately terrifying as the embodiment of the “angry white male,” but while it can be that simple if you want it the film also delivers a strong lesson in empathy — you never know how another person is suffering, so maybe just be nice?


Open Range Costner Duvall

The 60s and 70s are filled with films whose ratings would probably surprise you, and Chato’s Land (1972) is among them. This PG-rated Western is filled with some foul antics en route to a thrilling adventure about a mixed-race Native American (Charles Bronson) targeted by a posse for killing a man in self-defense. Bronson is leathery brilliance, and director Michael Winner keeps the action, suspense, and scenery flowing. The supporting cast includes Jack Palance, Richard Jordan, and James Whitmore, and it’s a fantastic film.

Two movies opened within months of each other in the early 90s which shared a very similar focus, but while the Kevin Costner-led Wyatt Earp (1994) failed to find an audience, Tombstone (1993) has become a beloved Western classic. The cast alone is insane — Kurt Russell, Val Kilmer, Sam Elliott, Bill Paxton, Powers Boothe, Michael Biehn, Stephen Lang, and more — but director George P. Cosmatos backs it up with stylish, highly entertaining action and grand scope. It’s a banger in all the right ways, filled with quotable lines, and endlessly great on rewatch too.

Costner may have lost that particular battle, but he returned a decade later to deliver one of the genre’s best with Open Range (2003). His third and final (as of now) directorial effort, the film is a gorgeous nod to classic Westerns as he and a terrific Robert Duvall find trouble in their attempt to herd cattle through disputed territory. Michael Gambon makes a wonderfully evil villain, Annette Bening crafts a character who’s more than mere window dressing, and Costner shoots the hell out of the American landscape — and action scenes. The violence here is brutally effective, but it never overshadows the character work as these men struggle with past sins and present predicaments. If you’ve missed this one so far, do yourself a favor and watch it now.

New Amazon Originals

Without Remorse Movie

Race and America’s disgraceful past (and present) have often been elements in genre fare up to and including the recent HBO series Lovecraft Country, and now Amazon is entering the fray with Them (premieres on April 9th). The show will follow one story per season involving terror within the American Dream, and first up is the story of a Black family who moves to Los Angeles from the South in the 50s in a search for something better only to find horror both human and otherwise awaiting them. Sounds like heavy stuff, but if it captures and channels real horrors in service of narrative thrills it could be something very special for genre fans.

Amazon already has a successful Jack Ryan series with John Krasinski, and now they’re expanding their world with Tom Clancy’s Without Remorse (premieres April 30th). Granted, while they may not make the play for a crossover (although that would be a mistake) the film looks to have strong bones even as a standalone. Michael B. Jordan takes the lead in this Clancy adaptation for director Stefano Sollima (Sicario: Day of the Soldado, 2018) and co-writer Taylor Sheridan (Sicario, 2015) about a Navy SEAL on a mission of revenge. Yes, please, to all of this… and if it ends with Ryan asking him to join the Clancy initiative, all the better.

The Complete Amazon Prime List for April 2021

Release Date Title Note
4/1 The 6th Day (2001)
About a Boy (2002)
The Abyss (1989)
Aloha (2015)
American Pastoral (2016)
Anaconda (1997)
Anna Karenina (2012)
Art of Falling in Love (2019)
Because I Said So (2007)
Bob Roberts (1992)
The Bone Collector (1999)
Brüno (2009)
Captain Kronos: Vampire Hunter (1974)
Chato’s Land (1972)
Cheech & Chong’s Still Smokin’ (1983)
Cohen And Tate (1989)
Daddy’s Little Girls (2007)
The Dead Zone (1983)
Dear John (2010)
Devil In A Blue Dress (1995)
The Devil’s Double (2011)
Did You Hear About The Morgans? (2009)
Dirty Rotten Scoundrels (1988)
Evan Almighty (2007)
For Colored Girls (2010)
Forgetting Sarah Marshall (2008)
Four Rooms (1995)
Four Weddings And A Funeral (1994)
Frankie & Alice (2014)
Fun Size (2012)
G.I. Joe: The Rise Of Cobra (2009)
The Gift (2000)
Girl Most Likely (2012)
Girl With A Pearl Earring (2003)
Good Luck Chuck (2007)
The Great Debaters (2007)
Gunfighters Of Abilene (1959)
Hancock (2008)
The Happening (2008)
Head Of State (2003)
A Hologram For The King (2016)
How To Train Your Dragon (2010)
The Hunting Party (1971)
Inception (2010)
Johnny English (2003)
Kung Fu Panda (2008)
Lady In A Cage (1964)
Larry Crowne (2011)
League Of Extraordinary Gentlemen (2003)
The Lincoln Lawyer (2011)
Lords Of Dogtown (2005)
Love in Harmony Valley (2020)
Madea’s Big Happy Family (2011)
Madea Goes To Jail (2009)
Mad Max (1980)
The Man Who Could Cheat Death (1959)
Master And Commander: The Far Side Of The World (2003)
Men Of Honor (2000)
Midnight Sun (2018)
Milk (2009)
Minority Report (2002)
Moneyball (2011)
Monster’s Ball (2001)
Moonrise Kingdom (2012)
Motel Hell (1980)
Mud (2012)
My Cousin Vinny (1992)
New In Town (1992)
October Sky (1999)
Open Range (2003)
The Pawnbroker (1964)
Platoon (1986)
The Program (1993)
The Replacement Killers (1998)
Road to Perdition (2002)
The Royal Tenenbaums (2011)
Salt (2010)
Seeking A Friend For The End Of The World
Shaft (2000)
Shooter (2007)
A Simple Plan (1998)
The Skull (1965)
Sleeping With The Enemy (1991)
Smiley Face Killers (2020)
So I Married An Axe Murderer (1993)
Something’s Gotta Give (2003)
Step Up Revolution (2012)
The Sting (1973)
The Sting II (1983)
The Sum Of All Fears (2002)
Surf’s Up (2007)
That Thing You Do! (1996)
Tombstone (1993)
Tyler Perry’s Madea’s Tough Love
Untraceable (2008)
Valerie (1957)
Waiting To Exhale (1995)
What About Bob? (1991)
What Women Want (2000)
4/2 Unhinged (2020)
4/3 Blair Witch (2016)
4/7 The Answer Man (2009)
Girl From Monaco (2009)
High-Rise (2016)
The Priest (2009)
Pulse (2005)
Ragnarok (2009)
Trollhunter (2011)
4/8 Bleed for This (2016)
4/9 Noah (2014)
Them Amazon Original Series
4/12 Paranormal Activity 4 (2012)
Spontaneous (2020)
4/14 Burden (2020)
Cézanne Et Moi (2017)
Terror’s Advocate (2007)
4/16 Cirque Du Freak: The Vampire’s Assistant (2009)
Somewhere (2010)
Wander (2020)
4/18 Side Effects (2013)
4/20 Carol (2015)
4/21 The Hero Of Color City (2014)
Merantau (2010)
Muay Thai Giant (2011)
Venus And Serena (2013)
4/26 The Artist (2012)
4/28 Arrival (2016)
Barry Munday (2010)
The Commune (2017)
Harlem Aria (2010)
Kio (2008)
The Warlords (2010)
4/30 Tom Clancy’s Without Remorse Amazon Original Movie

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