HBO Max: The 26 Greatest Films to Watch

For those who’re new to HBO Max or have not explored the service’s library in awhile, now’s a superb time to test it out. Beginning at $10 a month, a subscription offers you entry to every little thing HBO affords, together with motion pictures that have been not too long ago in theaters. Like all its streaming rivals, HBO Max’s library of nice motion pictures modifications on a regular basis. 

We observe every little thing coming to HBO Max every week and maintain a operating listing of the service’s standout originals, which you’ll be able to take a look at beneath. And should you’re nonetheless looking for one thing to look at, the platform additionally affords tons of artwork home classics from the celebrated Criterion Assortment.

What’s new this week (Aug. 1-7)

Listed here are the highlights.


  • Whiplash (2014) — Drama. Miles Teller stars as a promising younger drummer who enrolls at a cut-throat music conservatory.


  • Belle (2021) — Animated fantasy movie. A highschool scholar turns into a globally beloved singer after getting into a unbelievable digital world.


  • Belfast (2021) — Coming-of-age drama. A younger boy and his working-class Belfast household expertise the tumultuous late Sixties.

Learn extra: The Greatest TV Exhibits to Watch on HBO Max | What You Have to Know to Signal Up for HBO Max

Greatest HBO Max originals and blockbusters


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The French Dispatch (2021)

Settle in for one more eccentric, fantastic-looking characteristic 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 via a triad of separate tales, straight from the pages of a fictional journal. For those who missed this extremely authentic 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 conventional man who struggles to digest shocking information from his eldest daughter: She’s met a man, and she or he needs to marry and transfer away with him. The third movie adaptation of a 1949 novel of the identical identify by Edward Streeter, the film is an fulfilling iteration that features stars like Andy Garcia and singer Gloria Estefan.


Meryl Streep taking part in an eccentric creator in a Steven Soderbergh comedy. What extra do you have to know? For those who 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 previous associates, who impressed her best-known work. Tensions are sturdy. It seems to be 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 solid have enjoyable with that.

twentieth Century Studios

On this energetic action-comedy, Man (Ryan Reynolds) is cheerfully oblivious to the truth that he is residing inside a online game. Millie (Jodie Comer), a real-life programmer, enters the sport to attempt to uncover proof {that a} code was stolen from her, and the 2 quickly group up on the mission. Ultimately, Man should come to grips with the fact of his video-game-dependent existence. (Sounds a bit of Matrix-y proper? Comparisons have been made.) However lengthy story quick: This film is a enjoyable and fast-paced tour that snags two ridiculously charismatic actors for its leads. Load this one onto your display now.

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 way in which, make this cheery characteristic a must-watch even after the vacation season. 


Janus Movies

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

Screenshot by CNET

Based mostly 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 gained the 2020 Emmy award for Excellent Tv Film. 

Chiabella James/Warner Bros. Footage

King Richard is a heat, affecting and simply watchable biopic concerning 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 practising 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. A sophisticated man with an amazing persona, Richard is fascinating to get to know, and his unwavering perception in Venus and Serena is inspiring. 


Steven Soderbergh directs this partaking tech thriller set through the COVID-19 pandemic. Angela, a Seattle tech employee performed by a neon blue-haired Zoë Kravitz, has agoraphobia, a worry 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 strong rating and a protagonist you may be rooting for.

Scott Free

The Final Duel notably did not win a number of eyeballs when it debuted in theaters in October. Nevertheless 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 solid that additionally contains Jodie Comer and Ben Affleck. If any of those particulars pique your curiosity, and also you’re ready to take a seat via its two and half hour runtime, pull out some popcorn and placed on this flick. 

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The Eyes of Tammy Faye (2021)

Jessica Chastain, who gained an Oscar for greatest actress, stars on this biopic of televangelist Tammy Faye Bakker, who, alongside together with her husband, Jim, created and helmed the massively well-liked spiritual broadcasting community PTL within the ’70s and ’80s. Chastain’s dedicated efficiency brings Tammy Faye’s outsize and magnetic persona to life. You will end up drawn into her world, with all its ridiculous make-up selections, weirdly timed prayers and effervescent scandals. It is unclear how lengthy The Eyes of Tammy Faye will stay on the HBO streamer, so we suggest you reserve a night with Bakker when you can.

Warner Bros. Footage

Judas and the Black Messiah (2021)

Judas and the Black Messiah made waves on the Oscars, incomes a greatest 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 alongside Lakeith Stanfield, who performs an FBI informant despatched to infiltrate the social gathering. 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 material with reasonable dialogue and compassion for its characters. With sturdy performances from stars Jenna Ortega, as Vada, and Maddie Ziegler, as her new good friend Mia Reed, the characteristic will maintain you glued to the display for the whole thing of its 90-minute runtime.


It is a candy little gem on HBO Max. Unpregnant stars Haley Lu Richardson and Barbie Ferreira as a buddy duo crossing states to the place pregnant teen Veronica (Richardson) can get an abortion. Sure, it is concerning the difficulty of abortion rights, with Veronica’s dad and mom refusing to provide her permission to have the abortion. Nevertheless it additionally slots into the important thing gear of all street journey motion pictures, depicting a wonderful friendship between the 2 leads.

Imaginal Disc

A uncommon (these days) 90-minute movie, American Mexican drama Son of Monarchs will stick with you lengthy after the tip credit roll. This deep character examine 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.


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 good friend goes lacking. Nice scene-setting and storytelling make this darkish thriller unmissable. 

Warner Bros. Footage

Birds of Prey (and the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn) (2020)

This violent, R-rated superhero entry explodes with colour, amid the surprising leg breaks courtesy of 1 Harley Quinn. Margot Robbie and director Cathy Yan teamed up for this distinctive standalone movie that includes the titular supervillain. Its non-linear plot and loosely assembled anti-heroes — together with Mary Elizabeth Winstead’s The Huntress, Jurnee Smollett-Bell’s Black Canary, Rosie Perez’s alcoholic detective Renee Montoya and Ella Jay Basco’s pickpocket Cassandra Cain — would possibly postpone some who’re after a neater bundle. However should you let the fashionable visuals, artistic motion scenes and Harley Quinn’s charisma take heart stage, you may be in for a scrumptious superhero deal with.


Aka The Snyder Lower. This one’s for the droves of Zack Snyder followers who campaigned for the director to get a second shot at ending Justice League, after he was pressured to go away earlier than completion as a result of private tragedy. In stepped Joss Whedon, however the 2017 theatrical model was a essential and field workplace failure. Now, a four-hour Snyder director’s minimize is prepared on HBO Max, with a ton of recent scenes, a few new villains and the spectacular epilogue. For those who’re on board with Snyder’s slo-mo fashion, it is price trying out his remarkably completely different authentic imaginative and prescient.

Fan of the ’80s? Together with that filmmaking fashion? The sequel to Surprise Girl leans laborious into its inspirations, which can both take you again to pleasingly easy variations of journey and heroism, or actually annoy you with a nonsensical plot and sluggish tempo. Gal Gadot’s Diana Prince hasn’t moved on from Steve Trevor’s (Chris Pine) demise, working on the Smithsonian the place an historic artifact kicks off a world of hassle and forces her to make just a few laborious choices. Kristen Wiig and Pedro Pascal are new additions to the solid. Colourful, light-weight escapism.


Parisa Taghizadeh/Focus Options

Final Evening in Soho (2021)

Dreaming of a terrific film evening? Final Evening in Soho, the newest film from Edgar Wright (Child Driver, Shaun of the Lifeless) is right here to supply. The movie begins within the current day, the place a style-loving Ellie (Thomasin McKenzie) units out for the London Faculty of Style. Ultimately, 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 nice director behind Erin Brockovich, Ocean’s Eleven and, extra not too long ago, 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 solid: Don Cheadle, Benicio del Toro, David Harbour, Jon Hamm and Amy Seimetz. Whereas the plot generally is 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 evening 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 associates, 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 probably 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 have 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 fashion. Hawk’s persistence is one thing to marvel at, together with all of the beautiful skateboard strikes this movie packs in. Dangle on for a memorable trip.


As a frequent watcher of popular culture documentaries, I used to be shocked I missed Beanie Mania, an 80-minute examination of the toys’ heyday. For those who, too, disregarded this plushie-fest when it premiered on the finish of final 12 months, here is your invitation to get in on the mania. “Maybe the most important toy craze in historical past,” as one reporter places it within the doc, the Beanie Infants phenomenon will be traced again to a gaggle of Chicago mothers who began amassing the stuffed animals. The documentary additionally spotlights the lady who thought up including poems to Ty tags. Need extra pleasant ’90s toy tidbits? Put this doc on show. 

Musical drama

Niko Tavernise/twentieth Century Studios

Steven Spielberg’s reimagining of the traditional musical has triumphantly leapt and twirled its method onto HBO Max. The movie scored seven Academy Award nominations and Ariana DeBose gained greatest supporting actress for her function 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 beautiful manufacturing design transport viewers to Fifties New York. The movie darkens in its second half, however with Spielberg on the helm, you may 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) taking part in 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 desires of getting out of the salon and out of the neighborhood, Usnavi serves the individuals of Washington Heights with an entire 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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For those who’re new to HBO Max or have not explored the service’s library in awhile, now’s a superb time to test it out. Beginning at $10 a month, a subscription offers you entry to every little thing HBO affords, together with motion pictures that have been not too long ago in theaters. Like all its streaming…