For the most part, Amazon Prime Video has a wide selection of films in all genres. However, an unfortunate exception to that has been found in the fantasy realm. For reasons that aren’t entirely clear, fantasy flicks are few and far between on Prime Video. It’s surprising because fantasy movies are some of the most enjoyable flicks for anyone who wants an escape from the ordinary and mundane. Who doesn’t want to watch a story with dragons, magic, and noble knights? Regardless of anything else, there are still a few great selections that can scratch your fantasy itch. To find the pick that’s right for you, check out our list of the best fantasy movies on Netflix.
Back in the days of cable, there was an old joke about the true meaning of HBO: “Hey, Beastmaster’s on!” Let’s just say that The Beastmaster got a lot of play back then. Through modern eyes, it’s not a great flick. Regardless, it still has its charms even with a generous helping of cheese. Marc Singer stars as Dar, the long-lost son of King Zed (Rod Loomis). Dar has an unusual affinity for animals, including a pair of ferrets, an eagle, and a panther, all of which accompany him on his journey. As a side note, the panther (seen above) is actually portrayed by a more easily trained tiger whose fur was dyed for the role. Knowing that fact makes for an unintentionally hilarious visual.
Rotten Tomatoes: 50%
Stars: Marc Singer, Tanya Roberts, Rip Torn, John Amos
Director: Don Coscarelli
Runtime: 118 minutes
There are a lot of familiar faces from genre TV in Knights of Badassdom, including True Blood’s Ryan Kwanten, Game of Thrones’ Peter Dinklage, Westworld’s Jimmi Simpson, Community’s Danny Pudi, and Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles’ Summer Glau. That actually makes the movie even more enjoyable. Within the film, Joe Revitt (Kwanten) has just been dumped by his girlfriend, Beth (Margarita Levieva). To cheer Joe up, his friends, Hung (Dinklage) and Eric (Steve Zahn), take him to a live-action roleplaying game, where he meets Gwen (Glau). However, the assembled players unintentionally awaken a deadly succubus, who assumes Beth’s likeness before using her dark magic to prey on everyone in her path.
Rotten Tomatoes: 67%
Stars: Ryan Kwanten, Steve Zahn, Summer Glau, Jimmi Simpson, Peter Dinklage
Director: Joe Lynch
Runtime: 85 minutes
Wish Upon a Star is a lot like Freaky Friday. Although instead of featuring a mother and a daughter swapping bodies, this film puts an older sister into her younger sister’s shoes, and vice versa. Katherine Heigl stars as Alexia Wheaton, the popular older sister of Hayley Wheaton (Danielle Harris). In contrast to her sister, Hayley is academically focused and not that popular with her peers. One night, during a shooting star, the sisters independently make a wish to swap bodies and experience each other’s lives. For Hayley, this allows her to pursue Alexia’s boyfriend, Kyle (Don Jeffcoat), which causes some friction between the sisters. Thankfully, the sisters soon begin to have a greater appreciation for each other, especially when they can’t find a way to reclaim their true bodies.
Rotten Tomatoes: N/A
Stars: Katherine Heigl, Danielle Harris, Don Jeffcoat, Scott Wilkinson, Lois Chiles
Director: Blair Treu
Runtime: 89 minutes
In the late ‘80s, critics weren’t exactly kind to Willow. But it’s become a family-favorite film in the subsequent decades. When the evil Queen Bavmorda (Jean Marsh) orders the death of a rival kingdom’s infant princess, Elora Danan, Willow Ufgood (Warwick Davis) becomes her unlikely protector. Willow is an amateur magician who desires to become a great sorcerer. As Willow tries to live up to his ambitions, he is joined by the mercenary Madmartigan (Val Kilmer) and Bavorda’s rebellious daughter, Sorsha (Joanne Whalley). Regardless, the fate of the world and Elora Danan remain in the hands of Willow himself.
Rotten Tomatoes: 51%
Stars: Warwick Davis, Val Kilmer, Joanne Whalley, Billy Barty, Jean Marsh
Director: Ron Howard
Runtime: 123 minutes
Roberto Benigni seems to have a great deal of affection for the story of Pinocchio. Nearly two decades ago, Benigni played the living puppet and directed his own adaptation of Pinocchio. For this more recent film, Benigni plays Pinocchio’s father/creator, Geppetto, and Federico Ielapi takes over the role of Pinocchio. This film stays closer to Carlo Collodi’s original story than the famous Disney adaptation did. Poor Pinocchio wants to be a real boy, but he falls to temptation far more often than he stays on the straight and narrow. And when Pinocchio lies, we all know what happens to his nose.
Rotten Tomatoes: 83%
Stars: Roberto Benigni, Federico Ielapi, Rocco Papaleo, Massimo Ceccherini, Marine Vacth
Director: Matteo Garrone
Runtime: 125 minutes
In hindsight, it’s perfectly believable that David Bowie came from another world. For his first leading role in a feature film, Bowie played Thomas Jerome Newton, a.k.a. The Man Who Fell to Earth. Thomas is an alien disguised as a human on an urgent mission to save his homeworld by bringing water from Earth during his return trip. However, Thomas proves to be more human on the inside than even he suspected. While caught up in an affair with a woman named Mary-Lou (Candy Clark), Thomas becomes hopelessly addicted to alcohol and TV. And when his secret comes out, Thomas finds that he no longer has the means to defend himself or his mission.
Rotten Tomatoes: 81%
Stars: David Bowie, Rip Torn, Candy Clark, Buck Henry, Bernie Casey
Director: Nicolas Roeg
Runtime: 138 minutes
Is there a dragon with a cooler name than Vermithrax Pejorative? It’s highly unlikely! Unfortunately, Vermithrax is not a kind dragon in the early ‘80s fantasy Dragonslayer. To save the kingdom from Vermithrax’s rampage, a young woman, Valerian (Caitlin Clarke), is tasked to seek out the great sorcerer, Ulrich of Cragganmore (Ralph Richardson). What she actually gets is Ulrich’s apprentice, Galen Bradwarden (Peter MacNicol). Galen isn’t exactly ready for the battle of his lifetime. However, he’ll have to learn on the job if he wants to save Princess Elspeth (Chloe Salaman) from becoming the dragon’s next victim.
Rotten Tomatoes: 84%
Stars: Peter MacNicol, Caitlin Clarke, Ralph Richardson, John Hallam, Peter Eyre, Sydney Bromley
Director: Matthew Robbins
Runtime: 109 minutes
Legendary animation producers Arthur Rankin Jr. and Jules Bass co-directed the adaptation of Peter S. Beagle’s The Last Unicorn. Mia Farrow provides the voice of the Unicorn, who is seemingly the last of her kind. Desperate to discover what happened to the rest of the unicorns, she joins a would-be sorcerer, Schmendrick (Alan Arkin), and Molly Grue (Tammy Grimes) on a dangerous journey. To protect the Unicorn’s identity, Schmendrick transforms the Unicorn into a beautiful young woman named Lady Amalthea. But as a human, Lady Amalthea is tempted by her feelings for Prince Lír (Jeff Bridges) to abandon her quest in the name of love.
Rotten Tomatoes: 73%
Stars: Alan Arkin, Jeff Bridges, Mia Farrow, Tammy Grimes, Robert Klein, Angela Lansbury
Director: Arthur Rankin Jr., Jules Bass
Runtime: 84 minutes
Audiences and critics were not ready for director Ralph Bakshi’s Cool World, a wild combination of animation and live-action. In this film, the human world and the cartoon-like Cool World exist in separate realities. For decades, Detective Frank Harris (Brad Pitt) has been the lone human living in Cool World. In the real world, cartoonist Jack Deebs (Gabriel Byrne) believes that he created Cool World, and he is frequently visited by visions of Holli Would (Kim Basinger), a “doodle” who wants to become a human and escape from her realm. When Holli’s ambitions threaten both worlds, Frank and Jack are forced to team up to stop her.
Rotten Tomatoes: 4%
Stars: Kim Basinger, Gabriel Byrne, Brad Pitt, Deirdre O’Connell, Charlie Adler
Director: Ralph Bakshi
Runtime: 102 minutes
Death is a part of life that we’ve never conquered. But within the realm of fantasy and sci-fi, it can be overcome. Archive stars Theo James as George Almore, a widowed man who may have found a way to bring his late wife, Jules (Stacy Martin), back to some semblance of life. George uses his highly specialized scientific knowledge to create a robot, J2, that captures several aspects of Jules’ personality. That leads to an improved model, J3, that physically resembles Jules as well. Unfortunately, George was a bit too successful with J2, because she displays jealousy over his feelings for J3. And a jealous robot is always bad news.
Rotten Tomatoes: 74%
Stars: Theo James, Stacy Martin, Rhona Mitra, Peter Ferdinando, Richard Glover
Director: Gavin Rothery
Runtime: 105 minutes
There can be only one Highlander! And it’s on Amazon Prime. This centuries-spanning epic takes flight after mystical warrior Russell Nash (Christopher Lambert) kills a man in a sword fight in a New York City parking lot. In the process, he leaves a sliver of an ancient weapon lodged in a car. When forensics specialist Brena Wyatt (Roxanne Hart) recovers evidence of the mysterious weapon, she and her partner embark on an investigation of Nash — the Highlander — and find themselves embroiled in a centuries-old feud between immortals.
Rotten Tomatoes: 69%
Stars: Christopher Lambert, Sean Connery, Roxanne Hart
Director: Russell Mulcahy
Runtime: 116 minutes
A modern fairytale set in a contemporary London garden, a young woman who dreams of becoming a children’s author (Jessica Brown Findlay) discovers an unlikely friendship with the rich curmudgeon next door (Tom Wilkinson). The author retreats to the increasingly dilapidated garden for inspiration, but its untidiness has her facing eviction. Her neighbor just so happens to be an extraordinary horticulturalist, and as the two work together to rejuvenate the garden, it becomes something truly magical.
Rotten Tomatoes: 61%
Stars: Jessica Brown Findlay, Tom Wilkinson, Andrew Scott
Director: Scott Aboud
Runtime: 92 minutes
Based on the 2003 Dean Koontz novel of the same name, Odd Thomas stars the late Anton Yelchin as the titular character, Thomas, a line cook and a gifted psychic (imagine being handed that résumé). When Thomas encounters a man named Robert Robertson (Shuler Hensley), a fellow with some kind of mold-like substance for hair, Odd’s clairvoyance kicks in full force in the form of disturbing dreams that point to Robertson as a figure of evil. It’s up to Thomas, the local sheriff (Willem Dafoe), and Thomas’s girlfriend (Addison Timlin) to thwart Robertson’s wretched plan before it’s too late. A whimsical tour de force of thrills and chills, Odd Thomas may not always stand on two feet, but Yelchin’s performance brings enough spunk and energy to move mountains.
Rotten Tomatoes: 38%
Stars: Anton Yelchin, Willem Dafoe, Nico Tortorella
Director: Stephen Sommers
Runtime: 96 minutes
In John Huddle’s After the Dark (known as The Philosophers outside the U.S.), a group of international university students is given the final exam of a lifetime by one Mr. Zimit (James D’Arcy), their esteemed philosophy instructor. Alluding to a post-apocalyptic world, Mr. Zimit poses a challenge to his class: The students must choose 10 of their peers to live life in a nuclear-proof bunker, with each chosen student receiving designated end-of-the-world professions, with positions including published poet, harpist, and soldier. Combining coming-of-age elements with a big blast of sci-fi, After the Dark is an excellent piece of elevated cinema that makes us wonder how we’d fare in Mr. Zimit’s imagined wasteland.
Rotten Tomatoes: 71%
Stars: Daryl Sabara, James D’Arcy, Bonnie Wright
Director: John Huddles
Runtime: 114 minutes
A devout dissection of Nordic mythology, co-writer-director André Øvredal’s Mortal follows Eric (Nat Wolff), an early twenty-something living on the fringes of Norwegian society who possesses the miraculous ability to set things ablaze, literally. After Eric is picked up by local authorities, Christine (Iben Arkelie), a psychologist, is drawn to him. Law enforcement wants to question Eric about a series of murders that occurred years before. When Christine learns that the victims were all members of Eric’s family, a symbolic line begins tracing backward from Eric’s fiery abilities to ancient Nordic mythology. Part superhero film, part fantasy, Mortal shoots for the stars with its larger-than-life narrative but delivers major set pieces with big energy and strong performances.
Rotten Tomatoes: 56%
Stars: Nat Wolff, Priyanka Bose, Iben Akerlie
Director: André Øvredal
Runtime: 104 minutes
Tom (Jesse Eisenberg) and Gemma (Imogen Poots) are in search of real estate. When they visit a development of identical suburban homes called Yonder, the couple is seemingly abandoned by their realtor. They decide to pack it in and head home, but it turns out that Yonder keeps the twenty-somethings in some kind of time loop where no matter how far they drive, they always return to house #9 — the domicile their agent showed them. Tom and Gemma decide to stay at the house for the night, but when a newborn baby arrives with instructions stating, “Raise the child and be released,” Tom and Gemma become the unwilling victims of unseen, otherworldly forces. Vivarium combines fantasy, horror, and sci-fi elements in a rather remarkable way. Whenever the story seems to slip, Eisenberg and Poots wrangle it right back in.
Rotten Tomatoes: 72%
Stars: Jesse Eisenberg, Imogen Poots, Jonathan Aris
Director: Lorde Finnegan
Runtime: 97 minutes
In director Robert Zemeckis’ adaptation of the age-old text, Ray Winstone stars as the voice of the titular hero. At the court of King Hrothgar (Anthony Hopkins) with an army of soldiers, the King wants Beowulf to destroy a horrid troll-like creature known as Grendel (Crispin Glover). Beowulf carries out his mission successfully, but not before Grendel’s mother (Angelina Jolie) learns of her son’s death and swears revenge on the warrior and his forces. Where epic reimaginings of this scale can often fall by the wayside, Zemeckis’ Beowulf manages to feel just as epic and important as the ancient poem we were forced to read in high school literature courses.
Rotten Tomatoes: 71%
Stars: Ray Winstone, Angelina Jolie, Anthony Hopkins
Director: Robert Zemeckis
Runtime: 114 minutes