HBO Max: The 21 Absolute Finest Films to Watch


Should you’re new to HBO Max or have not explored the streaming service shortly, it is time to test it out. 

Beginning at $10 a month, a subscription provides you entry to all the things HBO gives, together with motion pictures just lately in theaters. And like all its streaming rivals, HBO Max’s library of flicks adjustments always. 

We observe what’s coming to HBO Max every week and hold a working listing of the service’s standout originals, which you’ll be able to try under. And should you’re nonetheless trying to find one thing to observe, the platform additionally gives tons of art-house classics from the distinguished Criterion Assortment.

What’s new this week (Sept. 26-Oct. 2)

Listed below are the highlights.


  • Yvonne Orji: A Entire Me (2022) — Comedy particular. Emmy-nominated actor Yvonne Orji talks pandemic, property planning, being the kid of Nigerian immigrants and the brutal realities of courting.
  • The American President (1995) — Romantic comedy. A widowed US president working for reelection and an environmental lobbyist fall in love.
  • Highlight (2015) — Drama starring Mark Ruffalo, Michael Keaton and Rachel McAdams. A staff of journalists in Boston exposes the Catholic church’s systematic coverup of widespread youngster molestation perpetrated by greater than 70 native clergymen.
  • Slacker (1990) — Comedy-drama. It is a few day within the life in a loose-knit Austin, Texas.
  • Popstar: By no means Cease By no means Stopping (2016) — Mockumentary starring Andy Samberg. An egotistical singer decides to movie a documentary about his life. 
  • Oliver! (1968) — Musical drama. It is an adaptation of the Broadway musical primarily based on the Charles Dickens novel.
  • Nightcrawler (2014) — Thriller starring Jake Gyllenhaal. A Los Angeles resident stumbles into a brand new profession as a cameraman and begins nocturnal forays throughout the town searching for surprising and grisly crimes.
  • The Bridge on the River Kwai (1957) — Battle drama. When British POWs construct a significant railway bridge in enemy-occupied Burma, Allied commandos are assigned to destroy it.
  • The Witch (2015) — Horror movie starring Anya Taylor-Pleasure. It brings collectively the age-old ideas of witchcraft, black magic and possession to inform the story of 1 household’s frightful unraveling.
  • Juno (2007) — Comedy-drama. When a precocious teen turns into pregnant, she chooses a failed rock star and his spouse to undertake her unborn youngster.
  • Hoosiers (1986) — Sports activities drama. A failed faculty coach is employed to direct the basketball program at a highschool in a tiny Indiana city.
  • Frank (2014) — Black comedy. An aspiring musician joins an eccentric pop group led by the enigmatic Frank, who wears a large faux head.
  • The Swimming Pool (1969) — Crime drama. When a journalist’s boyfriend permits her former lover to drown, the couple should reply questions from an inspector.

Learn extra: Finest TV Exhibits to Watch on HBO Max

Finest HBO Max originals and blockbusters

At time of writing, these movies all rating round 65 or increased on Metacritic.



Steven Soderbergh directs this participating tech thriller set through the COVID-19 pandemic. Angela, a Seattle tech employee performed by a neon blue-haired Zoë Kravitz, has agoraphobia, a concern that stops her from making it previous the entrance door of her condo. However when she uncovers an unsettling recording whereas doing her job, she’s pushed to make the leap. Kimi is a classy thriller full with eye-catching cinematography, a stable rating and a protagonist you will be rooting for.

Warner Bros. Photos

Judas and the Black Messiah (2021)

Judas and the Black Messiah made waves on the Oscars, incomes a finest supporting actor win for Daniel Kaluuya, amongst its many nominations. It was a lot deserved. Kaluuya is mesmerizing as Fred Hampton, chairman of the Black Panther chapter in Illinois, lighting up the display screen alongside Lakeith Stanfield, who performs an FBI informant despatched to infiltrate the get together. The biopic, dramatizing real-life occasions within the late ’60s, is riveting, surprising and sizzles with themes about racial injustice. A giant, hefty movie that calls for your full consideration.

Warner Bros.

After a capturing happens at her highschool, 16-year-old Vada Cavell should navigate friendships, college and her relationship together with her household. The Fallout skillfully approaches severe subject material with real looking dialogue and compassion for its characters. With sturdy performances from stars Jenna Ortega, as Vada, and Maddie Ziegler, as her new pal Mia Reed, the function will hold you glued to the display screen for the whole lot of its 90-minute runtime.

Screenshot by CNET

Primarily based on {a magazine} article by journalist Robert Kolker, this story a few public college embezzlement scandal and the scholar journalists who broke the information is fascinating from begin to end. Allison Janney and Hugh Jackman are phenomenal of their roles as the varsity officers who took half within the scheme. It additionally received the 2020 Emmy award for Excellent Tv Film. 

Janus Movies

What can we are saying about acclaimed Japanese drama Drive My Automobile? Effectively, it snagged an Oscar for finest worldwide function movie at this 12 months’s Academy Awards. It is also a three-hour film that persons are sitting and watching all over, which, to me, speaks volumes. However significantly, Drive My Automobile is a robust movie that explores loss and letting go. Should you missed it earlier than the Oscars, stream it now.

Chiabella James/Warner Bros. Photos

King Richard is a feel-good biopic in regards to the father of tennis legends Venus and Serena Williams. The movie winds again the clock to earlier than the sisters turned family names, giving us a glimpse of their upbringing in Compton and time spent training on run-down courts with their father, Richard Williams (Will Smith). Satisfied his daughters are going to achieve success, Richard works tirelessly to get their star potential observed by skilled coaches. An advanced man with an amazing character, Richard is fascinating to get to know, and his unwavering perception in Venus and Serena is inspiring. 

Warner Bros.

Wish to see Austin Butler rock out in a pink swimsuit? How about one of many 89 different costumes the actor dons within the dazzling, jam-packed two hour and 40 minute movie? Directed by Baz Luhrmann (Moulin Rouge, The Nice Gatsby), Elvis is a grand, exhilarating biopic that is all in regards to the King of Rock ‘n’ Roll. Should you did not catch it in theaters, now’s your likelihood to discover a spot within the crowd.

Scott Free

The Final Duel notably did not win lots of eyeballs when it debuted in theaters in October. However it’s on HBO Max now, the place audiences can watch from the consolation of their sofa as Adam Driver and Matt Damon battle it out. Directed by Ridley Scott, The Final Duel is a historic drama set within the Center Ages with an A-list forged that additionally contains Jodie Comer and Ben Affleck. If any of those particulars pique your curiosity, and also you’re ready to sit down by way of its two and half hour runtime, pull out some popcorn and placed on this flick. 

Imaginal Disc

A uncommon (these days) 90-minute movie, American Mexican drama Son of Monarchs will stick with you lengthy after the top credit roll. This deep character research follows two brothers who’re modified in markedly alternative ways by the trauma they suffered in childhood. This story, folding in magical realism, follows how they transfer ahead in life — the butterfly metaphors are sturdy, with biologist Mendel returning to his hometown surrounded by majestic monarch butterfly forests.


Searchlight Photos

The French Dispatch (2021)

Settle in for one more eccentric, fantastic-looking function from director Wes Anderson. The auteur behind “Moonrise Kingdom” and “The Grand Budapest Lodge” units his sights on an alluring new story — or moderately, three. The French Dispatch, dubbed a “love letter to journalists,” takes viewers by way of a triad of separate tales, straight from the pages of a fictional journal. Should you missed this extremely unique installment when it hit theaters final October, now’s the time to get in on its fascinating story.

Father of the Bride (2022)

HBO Max’s Father of the Bride introduces a Cuban American household that features patriarch Billy, a standard man who struggles to digest stunning information from his eldest daughter: She’s met a man, and he or she desires to marry and transfer away with him. The third movie adaptation of a 1949 novel of the identical title by Edward Streeter, the film is an pleasing iteration that features stars like Andy Garcia and singer Gloria Estefan.


Meryl Streep enjoying an eccentric creator in a Steven Soderbergh comedy. What extra do you have to know? Should you do wish to know extra: Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist Alice Hughes (Streep) is struggling to complete her subsequent e book, chased by her literary agent (Gemma Chan). She boards a cruise ship with outdated buddies, who impressed her best-known work. Tensions are sturdy. It appears nice — Soderbergh makes use of crisp, pure gentle — and a lot of the dialogue is improvised. See how Dianne Wiest, Candice Bergen, Lucas Hedges and the remainder of the impeccable forged have enjoyable with that.

Warner Bros.

A playful comedy set within the ’80s, 8-bit Christmas follows the story of a younger Jake Doyle, a devoted 10-year-old who desperately seeks a Nintendo. The movie is delightfully narrated by Neil Patrick Harris, an older Jake reminiscing on his previous quest to safe the gaming console. Sure, there is a Christmas backdrop to the story, however Jake’s unyielding dedication to his mission, and what he learns alongside the best way, make this cheery function a must-watch even after the vacation season. 


Parisa Taghizadeh/Focus Options

Final Night time in Soho (2021)

Dreaming of a terrific film night time? Final Night time in Soho, the most recent film from Edgar Wright (Child Driver, Shaun of the Useless) is right here to offer. The movie begins within the current day, the place a style-loving Ellie (Thomasin McKenzie) units out for the London School of Trend. Finally, sleep transports her to the ’60s, the place she encounters an aspiring singer named Sandie (Anya Taylor-Pleasure). Snag a seat for this story dripping with thriller, horror and neon lights.


A brand new Steven Soderbergh film? Aka the good director behind Erin Brockovich, Ocean’s Eleven and, extra just lately, Logan Fortunate? Twists, thrills and determined characters populate this crime thriller set in Fifties Detroit. When a seemingly easy job will get out of hand, a gaggle of criminals should work collectively to uncover what’s actually happening. Take within the unbelievable forged: Don Cheadle, Benicio del Toro, David Harbour, Jon Hamm and Amy Seimetz. Whereas the plot is usually a little convoluted and a few will not have the ability to get previous the fish-eye lens cinematography, Soderbergh’s humorousness and immersive course make this crime caper an entertaining night time in.


CNN/Focus Options

Roadrunner: A Movie About Anthony Bourdain (2021)

This movie about beloved creator, chef and globe-traveling TV host Anthony Bourdain comes from documentary filmmaker Morgan Neville, who additionally directed 2018’s Will not You Be My Neighbor? and the Oscar-winning movie Twenty Toes from Stardom. In interviews with individuals who knew Bourdain, like his buddies, former companions and longtime colleagues, the doc tracks his profession path, relationships and private struggles. Bourdain followers and people much less acquainted with the star will seemingly respect this two-hour have a look at his life.


Tony Hawk: Till the Wheels Fall Off (2022)

Tune into this HBO doc for the mesmerizing, gravity-defying skateboard stunts, a time capsule of the ’80s skateboarding scene, and a model of Hawk you’ve got in all probability by no means seen. We get to know the famend athlete as a lanky, cussed however decided child who adopted his personal skateboarding model. Hawk’s persistence is one thing to marvel at, together with all of the gorgeous skateboard strikes this movie packs in. Cling on for a memorable experience.


Warner Bros.

Over-the-top violence abounds on this DC movie about supervillains who agree to assist the US authorities in alternate for a while off their jail sentences. Their mission is to destroy one thing alluded to as Venture Starfish, harbored within the fictional island nation of Corto Maltese. With a notable forged that features Margot Robbie, Idris Elba and John Cena, 2021’s The Suicide Squad is a wickedly entertaining, darkly humorous massacre that differs from what you normally see in superhero motion pictures. (Peacemaker, a by-product TV collection, can also be accessible on HBO Max.)

Jonathan Olley/DC

Lower than two months after Robert Pattinson stepped out as Batman in theaters, Matt Reeves’ satisfying superhero flick hit HBO Max. The film takes place in a perpetually grey and rain-soaked Gotham Metropolis, the place our bat-channeling protagonist begins to hunt out a mysterious assassin with an affinity for riddles. Catwoman, performed by a swaggering Zoë Kravitz, will get entwined within the affair when her pal goes lacking. Nice scene-setting and storytelling make this darkish thriller unmissable. 

Musical drama

Niko Tavernise/twentieth Century Studios

Steven Spielberg’s reimagining of the basic musical has triumphantly leapt and twirled its means onto HBO Max. The movie scored seven Academy Award nominations and Ariana DeBose received finest supporting actress for her position as Anita. Younger Tony (Ansel Elgort) and Maria (Rachel Zegler) cross paths at a highschool dance and start a forbidden love affair, escalating tensions between two rival gangs. Eye-catching musical numbers and gorgeous manufacturing design transport viewers to Fifties New York. The movie darkens in its second half, however with Spielberg on the helm, you will willingly take in all of it.

Macall Polay/Warner Bros.

Within the Heights stars Anthony Ramos (whom you would possibly acknowledge as John Laurens in Hamilton) enjoying Usnavi, a bodega proprietor struggling to maintain his enterprise afloat whereas a heatwave strikes Washington Heights. Secretly in love together with his neighbor Vanessa (Melissa Barrera), who goals of getting out of the salon and out of the neighborhood, Usnavi serves the folks of Washington Heights with a complete lot of affection, lottery tickets and cafe con leche. Between the choreographed twirls and fireworks, Within the Heights is an examination of wealth disparity, immigration, classism and the significance of tradition.

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