Amazon has started the roll out of MGM plus – its rebranded version of the Epix streaming platform – and it has big implications for fans of 007.
Epix originally came under Amazon’s wing following the online retail giant’s $8.5 billion acquisition of iconic Hollywood studio MGM back in March 2022.
Industry experts initially saw the purchase as a means of giving the tech giant's Prime Video streaming service access to a huge back catalog of classic content, with the deal seeing massive movie franchises like Rocky and Tomb Raider falling under Amazon’s ownership. In short: it could've rocketed Prime Video to the top of our list of the best streaming services.
Crucially, the deal also saw Amazon get their hands on the James Bond film collection – find out how to watch the James Bond movies in order while you're here – with Amazon marking the purchase by making the complete catalog of 007 movies available to stream on Prime Video for a limited period last year.
However, with this week’s launch of MGM Plus, it looks like Amazon still plans to maintain the studio’s legacy streaming service alongside its established Amazon Prime service, with the rejigged platform the new home for all things Bond (per FlatpanelsHD).
With the exception of the recent Daniel Craig swansong No Time to Die (read our No Time to Die review while you're here), all 007 films have recently slipped off the selection of the best Prime Video movies, with a huge now found on MGM Plus. It’s worth noting that almost all Sean Connery- era Bond movies don’t appear to be available on the rebranded service, while rival streamer Paramount Plus also appears to have a similar amount of Bond films currently available on demand.
Originally launched in the US in 2008 as a premium linear TV channel in partnership with Paramount Pictures and Lionsgate, Epix gave early cable access to all three studios’ movie output. It also provided access to their back catalogue of classic films and new TV shows before MGM was bought and relaunched as an on-demand streaming service.
Launching the new-look service, Michael Wright, head of the streaming service said, said: "MGM Plus will deliver on its iconic and beloved studio legacy, with cinematic, sophisticated, and transportive storytelling. We are growing our library, comprised of original television series and blockbuster films that celebrate the MGM brand."
Espionage fans look set to be well served beyond Bond on the relaunched service, with the British intelligence thriller A Spy Among Friends, starring Damian Lewis and Guy Pearce, among a host of new launch shows and movies on MGM Plus.
The service is also the exclusive home of season three of the acclaimed drama series Godfather of Harlem and season two of the contemporary sci-fi horror series From.
Industry observers are now tipping the tech giant plans to launch MGM Plus internationally as a more high-profile, premium offering alongside Prime Video. A scaled-back, MGM streaming service currently remains available in many regions around the world within Prime Video Channels, where it sits alongside numerous third-party services.
Analysis: MGM Plus offers a Quantum of Solace for 007 fans
Another week, another streaming service.
For classic movie fans in the US, MGM plus certainly looks like a good bet for a subscription, with a seemingly unending catalogue of big hits available on demand including Silence of the Lambs, Rocky, Platoon, Robocop, and The Magnificent Seven, plus more recent smash hits like Top Gun: Maverick.
While MGM Plus seems a fitting home for Bond movies, after Prime Video’s recent treat of making the entire collection of films available on demand, its more than a little disappointing to find major holes in the 007 library on the relaunched service.
Cinephiles will also likely feel let down by the comparative low quality that films are being offered at on the service at launch. Unlike Netflix and Apple TV Plus, there’s no sign of 4K HDR or Dolby Atmos, despite Ultra HD masters being available for multiple titles in the MGM+ library.
If you're wondering which Bond films to watch, we have a guide to the best (and worst) Roger Moore Bond films, every Pierce Brosnan Bond movie, ranked, and Daniel Craig's Bond movies ranked from worst to best.
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Kevin Lynch is a London-born, Dublin-based writer and journalist. The author of Steve Jobs: A Biographic Portrait, Kevin is a regular feature writer for a number of tech sites and the former Technology Editor for the Daily Mirror. He has also served as editor of GuinnessWorldRecords.com and has been a member of the judging panel for the BAFTA British Academy Video Game Awards. Alongside reviewing the latest AV gear, smartphones and computers, Kevin also specialises in music tech and can often be found putting the latest DAWs, MIDI controllers and guitar modellers through their paces. Born within the sound of Bow Bells, Kevin is also a lifelong West Ham fan for his troubles.