After Russian Film Hub and YouTube, Amazon Prime Video has one of the widest selections of Russian movies and TV shows. Here, we can help direct you to which ones are worth exploring.
While Prime Video has many Russian movies, unfortunately the vast majority of them are really quite low quality. Prime Video, like many streaming services, allows distributors of frankly terrible B movies to upload their titles in return for a small fee per minutes watched. In recent years, a number of Russian companies have ended up dumping garbage content (often with terrible dubbing) on Prime hoping to gain a little bit of revenue. Because of this, you have to be careful to not waste your time when searching for Russian movies and shows on Prime Video.
While we’d advise you to be discerning with Russian content on Prime, there’s definitely a lot of excellent titles that encompass masterful storytelling and world class cinema. The Russian titles on Prime Video include some of the best classic Soviet films, a slew of fascinating contemporary films about WWII, a wide range of excellent historical dramas, and also some superb recent sci-fi and fantasy.
As of October 2023, here are the top Russian movies and TV shows available for streaming on Amazon Prime Video for free. And to further explore Russian film and TV, please also check out Russian Film Hub – the internet’s definitive encyclopedia of Russian and Soviet cinema.
Ekaterina: The Rise of Catherine the Great is a captivating historical drama that delves into the tumultuous life of Catherine the Great, Russia’s most influential and enigmatic empress. Set against the lavish backdrop of 18th-century Russia, the series follows the remarkable journey of young Princess Sophie of Anhalt-Zerbst as she transforms into Catherine the Great, one of history’s most formidable monarchs.
As Catherine navigates the treacherous world of the Russian court, she battles political intrigue, court rivalries, and personal challenges to seize power and implement progressive reforms. With stunning costumes, lavish sets, and compelling performances, Ekaterina is a visual and narrative feast that provides an intimate portrait of a woman who reshaped a nation and left an indelible mark on history.
They Fought for Their Land (also known as They Fought for Their Country) is a classic Soviet war film that poignantly captures the harrowing experiences of Soviet soldiers during World War II. Directed by Sergey Bondarchuk, this epic war drama revolves around the Battle of Stalingrad, one of the most pivotal and brutal confrontations in the war.
The film follows a group of diverse soldiers as they defend their homeland against the relentless onslaught of Nazi forces. Through the eyes of these characters, They Fought for Their Land explores themes of camaraderie, sacrifice, and the indomitable spirit of the Soviet people in the face of overwhelming odds. With its breathtaking cinematography, powerful performances, and unflinching portrayal of the horrors of war, the movie stands as a testament to the resilience and heroism of those who fought for their country. It remains a masterpiece of Russian cinema, touching hearts with its portrayal of wartime valor and sacrifice.
Attraction is a Russian science fiction film directed by Fyodor Bondarchuk, released in 2017. The movie blends elements of science fiction, action, and romance.
The story is set in Moscow and revolves around the arrival of an enormous alien spaceship in the city. As panic and fear grip the population, the military is dispatched to deal with the mysterious visitors. The film focuses on the relationship that develops between a young woman named Yulia and an alien named Hekon, who is different from the others on the spaceship.
Yulia and Hekon’s connection leads to a deeper understanding between humans and the extraterrestrial visitors. However, the military’s mistrust and paranoia threaten their budding relationship and the potential for peaceful coexistence.
Invasion is the sequel to Attraction, released in 2020. It continues the story of the alien invasion and the evolving relationship between humans and the extraterrestrials. As tensions escalate, the fate of humanity hangs in the balance, and the characters must make difficult choices to ensure the survival of their species.
Both films explore themes of communication, cooperation, and the human capacity for understanding and empathy, even in the face of extraordinary circumstances. They offer a fresh perspective on the alien invasion genre and showcase impressive visual effects and action sequences, making them standouts in Russian science fiction cinema.
Battle for Sevastopol is a biographical war drama that chronicles the remarkable life of Lyudmila Pavlichenko, a Soviet sniper hailed as one of the deadliest female sharpshooters in history. The film seamlessly weaves together two narrative threads: Lyudmila’s personal journey from a young Ukrainian girl to a renowned sniper and her experiences during World War II.
As the film unfolds, viewers witness Lyudmila’s determination to defend her homeland as she joins the Red Army and takes on the German forces during the Siege of Sevastopol. Battle for Sevastopol captures the tension, bravery, and camaraderie of wartime, emphasizing the role of women in combat. It also delves into the complex emotions and personal sacrifices faced by those who fought on the Eastern Front.
With gripping action sequences and a poignant portrayal of a real-life hero, the movie pays tribute to the indomitable spirit of Lyudmila Pavlichenko and the countless others who fought for their country during World War II. It is a moving and inspiring tribute to a remarkable woman and a pivotal moment in history.
Chernobyl 1986 is a Russian historical drama film that offers a gripping portrayal of the catastrophic Chernobyl nuclear disaster of 1986. Directed by Danila Kozlovsky, the film unfolds against the backdrop of the Soviet Union and centers on the events leading up to the explosion at the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant and its immediate aftermath.
The movie follows a group of firefighters, plant workers, and first responders who risk their lives to contain the nuclear disaster while grappling with the harsh realities of radiation exposure. It also explores the bureaucratic cover-up attempts by Soviet authorities and the heroism of those who exposed the truth.
Chernobyl 1986 is a harrowing and suspenseful account of the tragedy, highlighting the human cost and the immense challenges faced by those who fought to mitigate the disaster. With powerful performances and a gripping narrative, the film provides a chilling glimpse into one of the most catastrophic nuclear incidents in history.
T-34 is a Russian war film directed by Aleksey Sidorov, set during World War II. The movie tells the story of a group of Soviet prisoners of war who escape from a German prison camp and commandeer a legendary T-34 tank, one of the Soviet Union’s most formidable armored vehicles.
As they embark on a daring and action-packed journey behind enemy lines, the film focuses on their struggles, bravery, and their determination to take the fight to the Nazis. The T-34 tank becomes a symbol of hope and resistance for the Soviet prisoners, as they use it to outmaneuver and outgun their German pursuers.
T-34 is known for its thrilling tank battles, intense action sequences, and a strong sense of camaraderie among the characters. The film pays homage to the heroism of Soviet soldiers during World War II and highlights the resilience of the human spirit in the face of adversity. It combines historical drama with pulse-pounding action, making it a captivating war movie for audiences.
Gogol is a Russian TV series that blends elements of historical drama, mystery, and the supernatural to reimagine the life and works of the famed 19th-century Russian writer, Nikolai Gogol. The series is set in the early 19th century and follows the adventures of the young and struggling writer Gogol as he is recruited to solve mysterious and supernatural crimes in the provincial town of Dikanka.
Each episode of Gogol features a standalone mystery or supernatural event, with Gogol using his keen intellect and fascination with the occult to unravel the enigmas. Along the way, he encounters a cast of eccentric and supernatural characters, including witches, demons, and ghosts.
The series cleverly weaves together Gogol’s literary works and his own life experiences, creating a dark and atmospheric narrative that explores the blurred lines between reality and fantasy. Gogol offers a unique and intriguing perspective on the legendary writer’s life, blending historical and supernatural elements to create a captivating and eerie storytelling experience.
Sobibor is a Russian historical war film directed by Konstantin Khabenskiy that tells the true story of the Sobibor extermination camp uprising during World War II. The film primarily focuses on the events of October 14, 1943, when a group of Jewish prisoners, led by Soviet officer Alexander Pechersky, staged a daring and heroic revolt against their Nazi captors.
As the film unfolds, it vividly portrays the deplorable conditions in the Sobibor camp, where countless innocent lives were brutally extinguished. The prisoners’ meticulously planned revolt culminates in a tense and dramatic uprising that leads to their escape and a desperate bid for freedom.
Sobibor serves as a powerful tribute to the resilience and courage of those who fought against the horrors of the Holocaust. It sheds light on a lesser-known chapter of World War II history, emphasizing the importance of remembrance and the indomitable human spirit in the face of unimaginable cruelty. The film is a moving and harrowing account of a significant moment in the fight against Nazi oppression.
Guardians is a Russian superhero film directed by Sarik Andreasyan. The movie is set in a world where a secret organization known as “Patriot” has genetically enhanced four individuals with extraordinary abilities to protect Russia from threats. Each of these enhanced individuals represents a different element: Land, Water, Air, and Fire.
As the story unfolds, a powerful supervillain threatens to unleash destruction on the world, and the Guardians must come together to stop this formidable foe. They combine their unique powers and talents to battle the villain and save humanity from impending disaster.
Guardians is notable for its action-packed sequences, special effects, and a distinctly Russian take on the superhero genre. The film explores themes of patriotism, teamwork, and the responsibilities that come with having superhuman abilities. It offers a fresh perspective on the superhero genre, with a focus on Russian culture and a unique group of heroes defending their homeland.
The Diamond Arm is a classic Soviet comedy film directed by Leonid Gaidai. Released in 1969, it remains one of the most beloved and iconic comedies in Russian cinema.
The movie centers around Semyon Gorbunkov, a mild-mannered Soviet tourist, who becomes unwittingly embroiled in a smuggling operation during a cruise on the Black Sea. A criminal gang attempts to use him as a mule to transport stolen diamonds hidden in a cast on his arm, which becomes the “diamond arm” of the title.
As the story unfolds, Gorbunkov finds himself in a series of hilarious and absurd situations as he tries to evade both the criminals and the police. Along the way, he encounters colorful characters and gets involved in slapstick adventures.
The Diamond Arm is renowned for its witty humor, memorable characters, and satirical take on Soviet society. It’s a timeless comedy that continues to be cherished by audiences for its clever writing and comedic brilliance, making it a cornerstone of Russian cinematic comedy.
The Red Queen is a Russian television series inspired by the true story of Regina Zbarskaya, a Soviet fashion model who became one of the most successful models in France in the 1960s. The series follows the life of Zoya Kolesnikova, a young woman from a poor family who dreams of becoming a fashion model. After changing her name to Regina, she moves to Moscow and begins working as a model, eventually catching the eye of Vera Aralova, a prominent fashion designer.
As Regina’s career takes off, she becomes embroiled in a dangerous game of cat and mouse between the Soviet government and Western intelligence agencies. The show explores the tensions of the Cold War era and the challenges faced by individuals living under a totalitarian regime. Throughout its eight episodes, The Red Queen delves into themes of identity, loyalty, and survival, raising questions about the cost of success and the consequences of playing by the rules of a corrupt system. Despite facing numerous obstacles and betrayals, Regina remains determined to achieve her goals and prove herself as a talented model and businesswoman.
Viking is a Russian historical action film directed by Andrey Kravchuk, released in 2016. The movie is set in the early 10th century and tells the story of Prince Vladimir the Great, a legendary figure in Russian history who played a crucial role in the Christianization of Kievan Rus’.
The film follows the life of Vladimir, initially portrayed as a ruthless and ambitious warrior who seeks to unite the various Slavic tribes and expand his rule. However, as he faces challenges, including conflicts with neighboring nations and inner turmoil, Vladimir undergoes a transformation. He eventually chooses to embrace Christianity, leading to significant changes in his personal life and the course of history.
Viking is known for its epic battle sequences, historical accuracy, and its exploration of the complex character of Vladimir the Great. It presents a mix of action, drama, and political intrigue against the backdrop of the Viking Age, shedding light on the pivotal moment when Russia converted to Christianity. The film offers a fresh perspective on this historical figure and his impact on Russian culture and identity.
The Golden Horde is a Russian historical drama film directed by Andrey Proshkin, released in 2018. The movie is set during the 13th century and centers around the rise and fall of the Mongol Empire, particularly the reign of Batu Khan, the grandson of Genghis Khan, and his establishment of the Golden Horde.
The film explores the brutal conquests and political intrigue that characterized the Mongol Empire’s expansion into Eastern Europe, including its interactions with various Russian principalities. It delves into the relationships between the Mongols and the local Russian leaders who grapple with the choice of submission or resistance.
Through its sweeping cinematography and dramatic storytelling, The Golden Horde offers viewers a glimpse into the historical events and characters of this tumultuous period. It examines themes of power, cultural clashes, and the complex dynamics between conquerors and the conquered. The film provides a vivid and immersive experience of a significant chapter in both Russian and world history.
Soldier Boy is a 2019 Russian film based on the true story of Sergei Aleshkov, the youngest soldier in World War II, who was only six years old when he joined the Soviet Army. The film tells the story of how Sergei lost his family during the war and was rescued by an army regiment, the 142nd Guards Rifle Regiment of the 47th Guards Rifle Division. He was adopted by the unit commander, Commander Kuznetsov, and became the youngest member of a regiment in WWII. Despite his young age, Sergei distinguished himself with numerous heroic acts and earned the Medal “For Battle Merit” on April 26, 1943.
The movie follows Sergei’s journey as he experiences the harsh realities of war and struggles to come to terms with the loss of his family. Throughout the film, we see how the soldiers of the regiment take him under their wing and try to preserve his childhood despite the dire circumstances.
Siberian Sniper is a Russian war drama film directed by Dmitry Koltsov and released in 2022. The movie takes place during World War II and follows the story of a Soviet unit’s last surviving sniper, Egor Cherin, who is sent on a suicide mission to break a German stronghold in order to save his fellow soldiers.
With no reinforcements or snipers, the Russian army is struggling to resist the German militia’s siege. The mission to locate the German base and take them out falls on Egor’s shoulders, and he must use his skills as a sharpshooter to complete the task. Despite the odds against him, Egor embarks on the dangerous mission to save his comrades and turn the tide of the war.
On the Road to Berlin is a Russian war drama film released in 2015, directed by Sergei Popov. The movie is set during World War II and follows the journey of a Soviet reconnaissance and sabotage group tasked with disrupting German forces as they advance toward Berlin.
The film primarily focuses on the group’s dangerous and challenging mission behind enemy lines, where they encounter fierce battles, unexpected obstacles, and the ever-present threat of discovery. As they move closer to the German capital, the group faces not only physical challenges but also personal and moral dilemmas.
On the Road to Berlin is known for its intense combat sequences, realistic portrayal of wartime conditions, and the camaraderie among the group members. It offers a glimpse into the sacrifices made by Soviet soldiers and the tenacity of those who fought against the Nazi forces. The film serves as a tribute to the resilience and heroism of those who played a vital role in the ultimate defeat of Nazi Germany.
Red Ghost: Nazi Hunter is a Russian World War II action thriller film directed by Andrei Bogatyrev. The story takes place in 1941, where a small group of Soviet soldiers are trying to return to their comrades while being hunted down by a special unit of the Wehrmacht. Meanwhile, a mysterious sniper known as the Red Ghost is rumored to be killing Nazi soldiers one by one, earning himself a reputation as a formidable opponent. As the Soviet soldiers take refuge in a farmhouse, they are surrounded by the Wehrmacht unit, and the Red Ghost appears to aid them in their fight for survival.
Not to be confused with the iconic Ivan the Terrible film by Sergei Eisenstein, this show explores the life and reign of Ivan IV, also known as Ivan the Terrible, who was the Grand Prince of Moscow and the first Tsar of Russia. The series examines Ivan’s transformation from a gentle and fair ruler to a brutal tyrant, known for his violent outbursts and cruel policies.
The show focuses on Ivan’s personal struggles and relationships, including his marriage to Anastasia Romanovna and his conflicts with the boyars, the nobility of Russia. It also delves into his military campaigns and conquests, such as the capture of the Khanate of Astrakhan.
One of the main themes of the show is the debate surrounding Ivan’s character and motivations. While some historians portray him as a brilliant leader who modernized Russia and brought it into the modern era, others depict him as a bloodthirsty tyrant who ruled through fear and violence.
Throughout the series, viewers are invited to form their own opinion of Ivan the Terrible, as the show presents both the positive and negative aspects of his reign. Overall, the show provides a nuanced and engaging look at a pivotal figure in Russian history.
AK-47 Kalashnikov is a Russian biographical film released in 2020, directed by Konstantin Buslov. The movie tells the story of Mikhail Kalashnikov, the legendary Soviet engineer and inventor of the AK-47 assault rifle, one of the most iconic firearms in history.
The film explores Kalashnikov’s life, from his upbringing in a Siberian village to his experiences as a soldier during World War II and his subsequent career as a firearms designer. It delves into his motivation and struggles in creating the AK-47, a weapon renowned for its simplicity, reliability, and widespread use in conflicts around the world.
AK-47 Kalashnikov portrays Kalashnikov as a complex figure, grappling with the moral implications of his invention and its impact on warfare. The film combines historical drama with elements of personal reflection, highlighting the dichotomy between the man behind the weapon and the weapon itself.
Forbidden Empire also known as Viy (Russian: Вий), is a Russian dark fantasy adventure film directed by Oleg Stepchenko and released in 2014. The film is loosely based on the classic 19th-century horror novella Viy by Nikolai Gogol.
Set in the 18th century, Forbidden Empire follows the journey of an English cartographer named Jonathan Green, played by Jason Flemyng, who is commissioned by Peter the Great to create a map of Russia’s uncharted territories. His travels lead him to a remote village where he encounters supernatural phenomena, ancient legends, and a mysterious creature known as Viy.
As Green delves deeper into the village’s mysteries, he becomes entangled in a battle between good and evil, where he must confront dark forces and confront his own skepticism. The film blends elements of folklore, horror, and adventure as it explores the clash between reason and the supernatural.
Forbidden Empire is known for its visually striking landscapes, special effects, and its adaptation of Gogol’s tale into a dark and thrilling cinematic experience. It combines historical elements with a supernatural narrative, creating a unique and atmospheric fantasy film.
1942: Unknown Battle is a Russian war film set during the Battle of Rzhev, a major and protracted confrontation on the Eastern Front. The film follows a small group of Soviet soldiers who find themselves surrounded by German forces. Despite being vastly outnumbered and facing dire circumstances, these soldiers decide to make a stand and defend their position against overwhelming odds.
The movie is notable for its intense combat sequences and its focus on the human aspect of war, shedding light on the often-overlooked battles that played a crucial role in the outcome of World War II on the Eastern Front.
Tanks for Stalin is a Russian war drama set during World War II and is based on the novel of the same name by Arkady Fiedler. The film follows the journey of a group of American tank specialists who are sent to the Soviet Union as part of the Lend-Lease program to help the Soviet Red Army. Their mission is to train Soviet tank crews on how to operate American tanks, specifically the M3 Lee. They face numerous challenges, including language barriers, cultural differences, and the harsh conditions of the Eastern Front.
As the story unfolds, the American trainers form bonds with their Soviet counterparts and become deeply involved in the war effort. The film portrays the camaraderie that develops between the American and Soviet soldiers and their shared determination to defeat the Axis powers.
The Blackout: Invasion Earth is a Russian science fiction film set in a near-future world where a mysterious alien force has plunged Earth into darkness and chaos.
The film follows a group of survivors as they try to navigate the post-apocalyptic landscape, where most of humanity has been wiped out, and technology has become unreliable. The survivors are faced with the dual challenges of fighting off hostile alien invaders and dealing with the breakdown of societal order.
As the story unfolds, the film explores the dynamics among the survivors and their struggle for survival. It also delves into the mystery behind the alien invasion and the true nature of the extraterrestrial threat.