Last Updated: November 22nd
More movies. More original series. More classic sitcoms and documentaries. Just more. That’s because HBO Max contains the full catalog of HBO’s original works and all the best stuff from Warner Brothers too (like Lord Of The Rings). Of course, because there’s more, you’ll probably need help deciding what to watch first. That’s where we come in.
Here’s a roundup of the best movies currently streaming on HBO Max. Get to bingeing.
Don’t Worry Darling (2022)
Run Time: 143 min | IMDb: 6.2/10
Cringe-inducing festival appearances and celebrity break-ups aside, Olivia Wilde’s second directorial effort is a very pretty, very fun watch. Most of that is because of Florence Pugh, who plays a young housewife slowly descending into madness once the cracks of her perfect suburban existence begin to show. The rest is thanks to an intriguing plot that keeps you guessing until the very end, a capable supporting cast (and yes, we count Harry Styles amongst them), and Chris Pine, who seems to be having the time of his life playing a suave pseudo-cult leader who favors unbuttoned shirts and misogynistic family hierarchies
The Batman (2022)
Run Time: 176 min | IMDb: 8/10
We know, we know. Another Batman movie? But hear us out, director Matt Reeves puts a fresh spin on the caped crusader, choosing to focus on his vigilante beginnings and infusing this outing with a bit of neo-noir detective work that makes everything feel new and exciting again. Robert Pattinson is excellent as the brooding, aloof Bruce Wayne, a true weirdo who wanders the streets of grimy Gotham hoping to combat criminals while Zoe Kravitz gives Selina Kyle/Catwoman an edge and vulnerability that prove she’s more than capable of holding her own in this dirtbag-infested city. It’s a bit overlong and we wish there was more Batman/Catwoman team-up action but this is truly one of the better Batman takes we’ve seen in the last decade.
Run Time: 195 min | IMDb: 8.3/10
Director Denis Villeneuve delivers a filmmaking masterpiece with this sci-fi epic, based on Frank Herbert’s seminal book series. Timothee Chalamet plays Paul Atreides, the son of a noble house in a futuristic feudal system set in space. Oscar Isaac plays his father, Duke Leto, while Rebecca Ferguson plays his mother, the former Bene Gesserit Jessica. The family is saddled with an unwelcome responsibility: to oversee the production of spice, the galaxy’s most valuable export, on the inhospitable desert planet of Arrakis. Betrayal, destiny, supernatural abilities, space tech, giant sandworms, and Jason Momoa playing a character named Duncan Idaho — it’s all here.
Run Time: 89 min } IMDb: 6.3/10
Zoe Kravitz plays a stay-at-home digital detective in this latest thriller from Steven Soderbergh who — with the help of her friendly A.I. sidekick Kimi — uncovers a string of murders she traces back to the company she works for. She then must venture out into a pandemic-ridden Seattle in search of the reason why. Honestly, we can’t relate. But, Kravitz is quickly becoming a bonafide action star and a Soderbergh script rarely disappoints.
The French Dispatch (2021)
Run Time: 107 min | IMDb: 7.2/10
Perhaps the best Wes Anderson film of the decade, The French Dispatch has all of the director’s popular calling cards: a cast of A-listers playing quirky characters, whimsical settings, gorgeous cinematography, and a cheeky storyline filled with drama, comedy, and heart. The film recounts the stories written by journalists for an American newspaper who are camped out in a fictional 20th-century French city. Everyone from Timothee Chalamet to Tilda Swinton, Frances McDormand, Saoirse Ronan, and of course, Bill Murray, has a role to play as these stories converge across timelines. It’s fantastical and playful and peak Wes Anderson.
Drive My Car (2021)
Run Time: 179 min | IMDb: 7.7/10
This Oscar-nominated drama made history as the first Japanese film to be honored by the Academy in its Best Picture category — which feels like incentive enough to watch it. But, if you need more convincing, the movie is an emotional slow-burn, following a director/stage actor still reeling from his wife’s death. When he takes a new job, directing a production in Hiroshima, he must confront some haunting mysteries she left behind.
The Last Duel (2021)
Run Time: 152 min | IMDb: 7.4/10
Despite bombing at the box office, this Ridley Scott-directed medieval epic based on a true story of the last ever sanctioned duel in Europe deserves more than just critical praise. It deserves a binge-watch from millennials everywhere – the generation apparently to blame for its poor theatrical release. All ribbing aside, Scott has managed to turn what could’ve been a problematic tale about a young, married noblewoman who is raped by her husband’s former squire, into an intriguing meditation on masculinity and rape culture, all set to the backdrop of 14th-century France. Matt Damon plays the quick-tempered, ill-mannered Jean de Carrouges while Adam Driver plays his charming, ambitious squire, Jacques Le Gris. The two men feud over land, money, and power long before Jodie Comer’s Marguerite enters the picture but it’s her point-of-view – a woman entrenched in a man’s world and fighting for her voice to be heard – that carries the most weight here. And the action scenes are nothing to sniff at either.
Promising Young Woman (2020)
Run Time: 113 min | IMDb: 7.5/10
Carey Mulligan gives a magnetic turn as a woman out for revenge in this directorial debut from Emerald Fennell. Mulligan plays Cassie, a young woman haunted by past trauma who makes it her job to educate men who routinely take advantage of women — by whatever means necessary. Her quest for justice quickly takes a dark turn when she’s confronted by the life she thought she’d left behind. It’s a violent, cutting meditation on rape culture and the systems in place that let it flourish, and Mulligan’s never been better.
The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (2001)
Run Time: 178 min | IMDb: 8.8/10
Peter Jackson gave fantasy fans a stunning adaptation of J. R. R. Tolkien’s epic book series which kicked off with this star-studded entry. The main story follows Frodo Baggins (Elijah Wood), a young hobbit faced with an impossible burden – to destroy the ring of Sauron, a Dark Lord with plans to destroy Middle Earth. He’s joined on his journey by wizards and elves and dwarves along the way as each faction fights their own battle against Sauron’s massive army.
The Harry Potter Series
We absolutely refuse to play favorites when it comes to this magical childhood classic. The series stars Daniel Radcliffe as the Boy Who Lived with Emma Watson and Rupert Grint playing his best mates Hermoine Granger and Ron Weasley. There are schools of magic, dragons, goblins, trolls, evil wizards, and everything in between, so just pick whichever stage of angsty adolescence calls to you and go for it.
Run Time: 135 min | IMDb: 7.3/10
This reboot from writer Cary Fukunaga manages to do the impossible: improve upon a cult classic horror film. Bill Skarsgard is absolutely menacing as Pennywise, the supernatural clown terrorizing the small town of Derry by pulling innocent children into his sewer-y lair, while the group of bullied kids who form The Losers Club to stop him — Jaeden Lieberher, Jeremy Ray Taylor, Sophia Lillis, Finn Wolfhard, Wyatt Oleff, Jack Dylan Grazer, and Chosen Jacobs — give the film its emotional center.
The Matrix (1999)
Run Time: 136 min | IMDb: 8.7/10
The Wachowski sisters created one of the greatest sci-fi films in cinematic history with their mind-bending Matrix trilogy but the original is hard to top. Keanu Reeves plays Neo, a young man unplugged from the matrix — a kind of alternate reality that keeps humans docile, so machines can harvest their life energy. He teams up with a band of rebels fighting the machines (Laurence Fishburne as Morpheus and Carrie-Ann Moss as Trinity) and faces off against a henchman named Agent Smith (Hugo Weaving). The real draw of this trilogy, besides its inventive storyline, is the CGI effects. The movie also sports some of the most imaginative fight sequences you’ll ever see on the big screen.
David Byrne’s American Utopia (2020)
Run Time: 105 min | IMDb: 8.5/10
Academy Award-winning director Spike Lee helms this unique look that gives Broadway fans a chance to see David Byrne’s critically acclaimed show that broke records and sold out crowds earlier this year. The show is based on Byrne’s album of the same name, so if you liked watching Hamilton from home, you’ll probably enjoy this.
The Dark Knight (2008)
Run Time: 152 min | IMDb: 9.0/10
The second film in Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight trilogy is undoubtedly its best. Not only does Christian Bale fully immerse himself in the role of Bruce Wayne/Batman, playing the tortured-billionaire-turned-vigilante with a singular conviction, the film also boasts Heath Ledger’s Joker, a maniacal villain worthy of sharing the screen with our hero. The film marks one of Ledger’s final roles before his death, but it’s a viscerally gripping portrait of a man burdened by past trauma and driven by his madness for chaos and destruction. Sure, we’re all rooting for Batman to win, but we can’t deny the fun in seeing Ledger blow sh*t up for two-plus hours.
Run Time: 103 min | IMDb: 6.2/10
Hayley Lu Richardson and Barbie Ferreira star in this road trip comedy with a timely twist. Richardson plays Veronica, a goody-two-shoes who winds up pregnant and in need of an abortion. The only problem: she’s 17 so she can’t get one in her state without parental consent. Enter Bailey (Ferreira), Veronica’s one-time best-friend who agrees to drive her across state lines to get the procedure. Of course, first, they’ll have to outrun the cops, contend with Jesus-freaks ready to kidnap them, and score a ride from limo driver Giancarlo Esposito.
Training Day (2001)
Run Time: 122 min | IMDb: 7.7/10
Denzel Washington and Ethan Hawke star in this gripping crime drama from director Antoine Fuqua. The film follows Hawke’s Jake, a rookie cop assigned to a narcotics beat on the dangerous streets of L.A. where Washington’s roguish Alonzo will be his boss. Most of the film is spent trying to suss out the real bad guy — the so-called “gangbangers” or Washington’s group of badge-wearing thugs — and, as you’d expect, it doesn’t end well for anyone.
The Hangover (2009)
Run Time: 100 min | IMDb: 7.7/10
Sure, the trilogy this film spawned should’ve ended before it began, but we must show some respect to the original Todd Phillips created the bro-comedy to beat all other bro-comedies with this flick about three guys throwing a wild bachelor party for a groom who mysteriously disappears. Bradley Cooper, Ed Helms, and Zach Galifianakis play the groomsmen who wake up after a night of raging to find their friend (Justin Bartha) missing. They have to retrace their steps, which include hasty marriages to strippers, stealing a police car, being roofied, and getting on the bad side of a local Chinese gangster, in order to find him.
The Shawshank Redemption (1994)
Run Time: 144 min | IMDb: 9.3/10
There are prestige dramas, and then there’s The Shawshank Redemption, a thrilling crime saga that set the bar in terms of storytelling. Morgan Freeman and Tim Robbins play convicts who bond during their stints in Shawshank prison. Robbins plays banker Andy Dufresne who’s convicted of murdering his wife and her lover. He befriends Red (Freeman) an old-timer who protects him from other gangs while Andy begins helping the prison’s warden launder money. Eventually, Andy decides to break out of prison, and what results is one of the more exciting escape stories we’ve seen on screen.
V For Vendetta (2005)
Run Time: 132 min | IMDb: 8.2/10
This comic-book-inspired dystopian drama is about more than just mind-blowing fight sequences and compared to some others on this list, the action isn’t as prevalent. Natalie Portman and Hugo Weaving are trying to incite a rebellion against a fascist authoritarian regime, so clearly, they’re going to need more than car chases and shootouts to get the job done. But when the action does come — normally from Weaving’s V, an acrobatically-gifted anarchist with dreams of toppling a corrupt government by way of bombing Parliament — it’s some of the best you’ll see on screen.
The Shining (1980)
Run Time: 146 min | IMDb: 8.4/10
This thriller directed by Stanley Kubrick sees Jack Nicholson embody an alcoholic father who takes an offseason position as caretaker of a remote hotel in order to jumpstart his writing career. He brings his family along for the ride and soon, supernatural hauntings begin to happen. Twin girls at the end of a hallway, the ghosts of slain Native Americans, Nicholson’s character losing his ever-loving mind, an elevator filled with blood, all the normal elements of a truly terrifying King adaptation can be found in this one.
Run Time: 102 min | IMDb: 8.5/10
Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Berman star in this cinematic classic. It’s on every must-watch list. It’s a national treasure. We really don’t need to sell it at this point but in case you’re unfamiliar, it’s the story of a cynical American expatriate who struggles to decide whether or not he should help his former lover and her fugitive husband escape French Morocco. Bogart and Berman’s chemistry is off the charts and the writing here is so smooth, so well-done, it makes you wonder why any other film ever tried after this thing came out.
The Departed (2006)
Run Time: 151 min | IMDb: 8.5/10
Leonard DiCaprio, Jack Nicholson, Matt Damon, Mark Wahlberg, and Alec Baldwin star in this crime thriller from Martin Scorsese about an undercover cop and a mole in the police department who attempt to identify each other while infiltrating an Irish gang in Boston. DiCaprio plays the good guy (or as close as) with Billy, a disturbed officer playing the part of a criminal to get close to Nicholson’s kingpin, Frank. Damon plays the rat, Sullivan, who serves as a police officer on the force, but really works for Frank. The two unknowingly thwart each other at every turn, playing a thrilling game of cat and mouse before their secrets eventually come out.
The Conjuring (2014)
Run Time: 112 min | IMDb: 7.5/10
The Conjuring marks the first installment in a horror series that sees Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga playing a married pair of paranormal investigators, who seek to understand the phenomenon of hauntings. When the duo is called to assist a family living in a ghostly farmhouse in Rhode Island, they encounter more than they can handle when it comes to the undead. Again, these stories were based on true events, so watch at your own risk.
The Grand Budapest Hotel (2014)
Run Time: 99 min | IMDb: 8.1/10
Wes Anderson lends his signature style of storytelling to this hilarious whodunnit set in a grand European hotel featuring a cast filled with his frequent collaborators. Ralph Fiennes plays the hotel’s renowned concierge who is accused of murdering a long-time patron. To prove his innocence, he must work with a young lobby boy (Tony Revolori) and a baker’s assistant (Saoirse Ronan) to find the real culprit.
Gone With The Wind (1939)
Run Time: 238 min | IMDb: 8.1/10
If you’re old enough to remember VHS players, then you’ll probably have not-so-fond memories of having to switch out tapes midway through this behemoth of a movie. That’s because there’s a lot to get through — the American Civil War, the Reconstruction — and it all plays a part in the movie’s main romance between a Southern heiress and her roguish lover. Luckily, since it’s on HBO Max now, you won’t have to press pause on all of the action, drama, and romance contained in this thing.
Wizard Of Oz (1939)
Run Time: 102 min | IMDb: 8/10
Another classic, this Judy Garland starring staple is a fantasy adventure that never gets old. Garland plays Dorothy, a restless young woman, tired of living on her family’s farm, who gets swept by a tornado to a magical land filled with witches and cowardly lions and scarecrows and tinmen and all-powerful wizards. It’s a childhood classic and a nostalgic re-watch.
2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)
Run Time: 149 min | IMDb: 8.3/10
Another Kubrik classic, this sci-fi adventure set the tone for so many space flicks that followed it. The film follows a crew of galactic explorers, who set out to find the origins of a mysterious object buried beneath the Lunar surface. Part thriller, part futuristic drama, there’s a lot to love about this genre entry, even if some of the special effects are a bit outdated.
Studio Ghibli Collection
So, Studio Ghibli is one of the most legendary Japanese animation house in the film industry and fans have begged for years for some of its most popular films — Ponyo, Spirited Away, and Castle in the Sky — to be made available. Well, beg no more animae geeks, because HBO Max has got pretty much every Ghibli creation you can think of.
Raging Bull (1980)
Run Time: 129 min | IMDb: 8.2/10
Robert De Niro stars in this boxing drama from Martin Scorsese playing famed fighter Jake LaMotta. LaMotta succeeded in the ring because of his infamous temper and violence but those same traits are what led him to ruin away from the mat. De Niro plays LaMotta with a kind of swagger and ruthlessness that’s magnetic on screen, even though the character see-saws between hero and villain in his own story.
Nightmare On Elm Street (1984)
Run Time: 91 min | IMDb: 7.5/10
If you’re looking for some nightmare fuel, HBO Max has this horror classic which should do the trick. From the truly disturbed mind of Wes Craven, this story follows a small town terrorized by a murderous spirit that invades people’s dreams, and well, you can probably guess the rest.