These days, every time you click the play button on a movie or head to the theater, you’re in for the long haul. Need a pee break in the middle of Dune? Better hope you’re streaming, or you’ll miss something important. Do your eyes hurt halfway through The Irishman? Sucks to suck; pay attention. Are you falling asleep during The Northman? That’s what you get for turning 30. Pete Davidson was right: what happened to all the short-ass movies?
Well, we found ’em. The best short-ass movies (under 90 minutes) on Amazon Prime Video. Now, you can enjoy a movie without having to dedicate legit hours of your life that you can’t get back. You are welcome.
A meme-worthy masterpiece still celebrated 20 years after its release, Shrek is one of the most iconic kid movies of all time. It perfectly balances fairytale characters and gross-out gags with a sweet story about loving yourself and never judging a book by its cover. Everyone’s favorite grouchy green ogre, Shrek (voiced by Mike Myers), reluctantly quests to rescue Princess Fiona (voiced by Cameron Diaz). Along the way, he encounters trusty sidekick Donkey (voiced by Eddie Murphy), fights a dragon, and monologues about onions. — Belen Edwards, Entertainment Reporter (*)
How to watch: Shrek is now streaming on Amazon Prime Video.
2. Paranormal Activity
Credit: Moviestore / Shutterstock
The indie film that ushered in a new age of horror, Paranormal Activity brought fresh life to the found footage subgenre. With $15,000, 7 days to shoot, a singly set suburban home, and a pair of actors game to play, writer/director Oren Peli created a demonic story that had audiences howling in terror. Katie Featherston and Micah Sloat star as a young couple who should be in the newlywed phase of moving in together. But in the dark of the night, something keeps creeping into their bedroom. Compared to the sequels that would follow, this first outing might seem tame, even with the flashy alternative ending it got upon studio acquisition. Yet, Paranormal Activity is still deeply chilling. Peli set up an expectation with the long shot of the bedroom, training us to watch for threats, even when the heroes could not in their slumber. And each time that threat comes, it brings goosebumps. —Kristy Puchko, Deputy Entertainment Editor (*)
How to watch: Paranormal Activity is now streaming on Amazon Prime Video.
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3. Office Space
Credit: 20th Century Fox/Kobal/Shutterstock
Mike Judge has always had a knack for finding the pulse of things. It’s Idiocracy that (understandably) tends to get the most credit in our post-Trump world, but 1999’s workplace comedy Office Space is similarly perfect.
Starring Ron Livingston and Jennifer Aniston, the intensely quotable laugh-fest is wall-to-wall with iconic examples of comedy. Everything from Lumberg to the trials of Michael Bolton; from the Red Stapler to the ignoble death of an uncooperative printer. Office Space beautifully, and hilariously captures the mundane tortures, inane logic, and cathartic escapes of an unsatisfying office job. As true and accurate now as it was back then. — Adam Rosenberg, Senior Entertainment Reporter (*)
How to watch: Office Space is now streaming on Amazon Prime Video.
4. Guava Island
Credit: Amazon Studios
Rihanna and Donald Glover lead in this darkly joyous musical movie journey. A vibrant blend of contemporary tracks and timeless storytelling (with just a sprinkling of FX’s Atlanta-esque style), Hiro Murai’s Guava Island tells a tale of oppression and resistance always worth revisiting. If you haven’t seen it before, make the time. At just 55 minutes, it’s a steal. — Alison Foreman, Entertainment Reporter (*)
How to watch: Guava Island is now streaming on Amazon Prime Video.
5. The VelociPastor
You read that right. The VelociPastor, a low-budget B-movie about a pastor who can turn into a dinosaur, is indeed one of the best short-ass movies on Prime Video. Completely self-aware of its ridiculous premise, The VelociPastor basks in the glory of bad special effects and campy dialogue, moving from “so bad it’s good” territory into “this might be the raddest movie I’ve ever seen” territory. Follow along with the titular VelociPastor, Doug Jones (Greg Cohan), as he embraces his newfound power — and also fights a group of cocaine-dealing ninjas. It’s the perfect way to spend 75 minutes. — B.E.
How to watch: The VelociPastor is now streaming on Amazon Prime Video.
6. The Iron Giant
Credit: Warner Bros/Kobal/Shutterstock
The Iron Giant holds up. The Incredibles director Brad Bird’s feature debut from 1999 is all about a skyscraping robot from beyond the stars. If you squint really hard, this story — of a stranded alien and the pre-teen boy who helps him — has a lot in common with E.T. But Steven Spielberg’s puppet never fought back like the Iron Giant.
Vin Diesel lends his signature gravelly voice to the film’s eponymous star, teaming up with the 9-year-old Hogarth (Eli Marienthal) and local junkyard owner Dean McCoppin (Harry Conick, Jr.) as government forces close in. Featuring a dazzling mix of traditional and computer-generated animation and a killer cast that also includes Jennifer Aniston and Cloris Leachman, The Iron Giant is one you don’t want to miss. — A.R.
How to watch: The Iron Giant is now streaming on Amazon Prime Video.
7. Saint Maud
If religious horror is what your dark heart desires, then your prayers are answered with Saint Maud. Critics heralded writer/director Rose Glass’s feature film debut as a horror masterpiece, and it’s easy to see why. Morfydd Clark gives a riveting and nerve-rattling performance as Maud, a hospice nurse who’s tasked with caring for the body. But her bigger goal is to save the soul of her decadent new patient. Amanda (Jennifer Ehle) doesn’t believe in God, but does believe in a good time. Her sensuality concerns and enchants Maud, pulling the two into a bond that will turn bitter and brutal. Weaving real religious rituals into the seductive spin of psychological horror, Glass creates a descent into hell that is a twisted delight to watch. — K.P. (*)
How to watch: Saint Maud is now streaming on Amazon Prime Video.
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8. Pass Over
Spike Lee directs this filmed performance of Antoinette Chinonye Nwandu’s intelligent stage retelling of Waiting for Godot, this time featuring two young Black men, who riff on culture, escape, and the invisible chains that lock disaffected people in place. Both provocative and profane, the Pass Over movie features the original off-Broadway cast (all of whom eventually followed the show to Broadway) in electrifying performances that mine humor and heartbreak from Chinonye Nwandu’s excellent text. — Alexis Nedd, Senior Entertainment Reporter
How to watch: Pass Over is now streaming on Amazon Prime Video.
*This blurb has previously appeared on another Mashable list.