The 35 Best Movies on Max Right Now

HBO Max is now Max, but don’t fret — the movies you loved to watch on HBO Max all survived the transition. The new streaming service combines what was on HBO Max and Discovery+ into one giant streamer, but it maintains the stellar library of films that made HBO Max a favorite of cinephiles. And if you’re trying to figure out what to watch on Max, you’ve come to the right place.

Below, we’ve assembled a list of the best movies available to stream on Max right now, from comedies to blockbusters to rom-coms to Oscar-winning dramas and beyond. Since first launching in 2020, HBO Max quickly solidified itself as lowkey one of the best streaming services around, with a robust library of some genuinely great movies past and present to choose from. It now has a different name, but it’s a true bounty of choice with plenty of older films alongside bona fide new releases.

Take a look at our curated list of the best movies on Max below. This list will be updated weekly with new titles, so be sure to check back often.

Blade Runner 2049

Warner Bros./Alcon Entertainment

Speaking of sequels, “Dune” and “Arrival” filmmaker Denis Villeneuve’s 2017 film “Blade Runner 2049” is arguably even better than Ridley Scott’s sci-fi classic. The epic picks up 30 years after the events of the original movie and follows K (Ryan Gosling), a replicant who works as a blade runner to hunt down and “retire” other replicants who ends up crossing paths with former blade runner Rick Deckard (played by Harrison Ford) as he investigates a possible impossibility – a child born of a replicant. With stunning (and Oscar-winning) cinematography from Roger Deakins and a haunting score from Hans Zimmer and Benjamin Wallfisch, this is the kind of epic, thoughtful sci-fi they don’t make much of anymore.

Trick ‘r Treat

Warner Bros. Pictures

“Trick ‘r Treat” has become, for many, a Halloween tradition. This anthology horror film from writer/director Michael Dougherty tells five disparate stories all revolving around Halloween. Each one has terrifically spooky vibes, some intense R-rated gore and a twist ending that’ll have you reaching for the lights. Watch it now or save it for Halloween weekend.

Under the Silver Lake


If you’re looking for a summer movie to watch that’s somewhat underrated, offbeat or downright odd, get thee to “Under the Silver Lake.” The 2018 film comes from “It Follows” filmmaker David Robert Mitchell and stars Andrew Garfield as a disenchanted man who, after a seemingly magical night with a young woman (played by Riley Keough), sets out to uncover the truth behind her apparent disappearance. This is a detective movie by way of aimless ennui, with a sharp commentary on toxic masculinity as it follows Garfield’s character down a series of cascading rabbit holes throughout Los Angeles.

The Skeleton Twins

Roadside Attractions

Bill Hader has said that it was this Sundance hit that sparked HBO to want to work with the “SNL” alum on what would become his hit series “Barry.” In “The Skeleton Twins,” Hader plays a man who, after attempting suicide, is reunited with his twin sister (played by Kristen Wiig) in their hometown. The somewhat estranged siblings discover their lives have more in common than they thought, and Hader and Wiig both deliver tremendous performances that balance comedy with drama.

Avatar: The Way of Water

Avatar The Way of Water

Over a decade in the making, James Cameron’s “Avatar” sequel was well worth the wait. The three-hour “Avatar: The Way of Water” is a truly immersive follow-up to Cameron’s Oscar-winning 2009 film that pushes the groundbreaking technology even further, all in service of storytelling. Cameron is the king of big emotions and that’s true here, as “Avatar 2” resembles his gargantuan “Titanic” in more ways than one — including a rip-roaring third act that never lets up.

The Harry Potter Franchise

'Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban'
‘Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban’

All eight films in the “Harry Potter” franchise are currently streaming on Max, making for a fulfilling binge-viewing if you so desire. The eight-part series still stands as one of the best and most complete film franchises of all time, as it charts the adventures of a boy wizard from his very beginnings to his final showdown with the evil Lord Voldemort. What makes “Harry Potter” so brilliant is the films evolve and mature along with the characters, so while the first few films are bright and cheery – just like their young protagonists – the latter films are dark and complex, reflecting the characters being forced into adulthood.


Paramount Pictures

Call it a hidden gem or a cult classic, but “Almost Famous” and “Jerry Maguire” filmmaker Cameron Crowe’s 2005 film “Elizabethtown” deserves another look. Considered by many to be a disappointment after a terrific string of hits, “Elizabethtown” is a sweet and idiosyncratic spin on a family drama as Orlando Bloom plays a young shoe designer whose career just crashed and burned. Contemplating suicide, he gets a call that his father has died and is tasked with bringing the body home to Oregon from Kentucky, so he postpones his deed and sets off on a journey of self-discovery – complete with a charming flight attendant played by Kirsten Dunst. Backed by an incredible soundtrack, the ensemble includes Susan Sarandon, Judy Greer, Jessica Biel and Paul Schneider.

Good Will Hunting


The film that launched Matt Damon and Ben Affleck onto the world’s stage – and the Oscars stage – remains a moving, artful drama over two decades later. In “Good Will Hunting,” Damon stars as a janitor at MIT who solves an unsolvable problem on a chalkboard, which puts him on the radar of a professor (played by Stellan Skarsgard) who subsequently takes him under his wing. But after a fight puts Will in front of a judge, he’s ordered to therapy sessions with a mild-mannered therapist who happens to be an old friend of the professor’s. Robin Williams gives an Oscar-winning turn as the therapist, while the ensemble is rounded out by Minnie Driver, Ben Affleck, Casey Affleck and Cole Hauser.

Southside With You


This little-seen indie is a remarkable take on the biopic, as it pulls back the curtain on the lives of Barack Obama and Michelle Obama by imagining a single day in their lives in 1989, when a meeting to discuss community organizing turns into a date. Parker Sawyers plays the former president while Tika Sumpter plays the former first lady, and Richard Tanne writes and directs this engaging drama that takes inspiration from Richard Linklater’s “Before” trilogy.

Edge of Tomorrow

Warner Bros.

One of the best films in Tom Cruise’s career (and that’s saying something), “Edge of Tomorrow” is also low-key the best video game movie ever made. The sci-fi film takes place in a near future where an alien invasion threatens to wipe out the globe. Cruise plays a cowardly public relations officer who is thrust onto the battlefront in London, where he is killed – only to wake up to relive the same day over again. And again. And again. He finds a companion in the toughest warrior on the field, played by Emily Blunt, who previously went through the same experience he did. Together, the two must find a way to win this unwinnable battle as the “Groundhog Day” clock starts running out. Doug Liman of “The Bourne Identity” fame directs.

Swiss Army Man


If you love “Everything Everywhere All at Once,” you owe it to yourself to watch the last film made by the directing duo Daniel Scheinert and Daniel Kwan, “Swiss Army Man.” Similarly unique, the film stars Paul Dano as a man stranded on an island who comes across a dead body (played by Daniel Radcliffe). He begins using the body as a utility (hence the film’s title), and the lifeless character starts to speak back to him and respond to what’s going on. This one’s really hard to explain in a way that makes it sound palatable, but it’s equal parts hilarious and emotional, with an incredible original score by Manchester Orchestra.



Kelvin Harrison Jr. burst onto the scene with this underrated 2019 drama that thrills and chills in equal measure. The “Waves” actor plays an all-star high school athlete and adopted son of a white couple living in the U.S., having been rescued from war-torn Eritrea. But when his history teacher (played by Octavia Spencer) brings up concerns about Luce’s behavior and possibly more sinister intentions, his parents (played by Naomi Watts and Tim Roth) don’t want to hear it. This one doesn’t provide any easy answers, but is a terrific acting showcase for all involved. Julius Onah directs.

All That Breathes

all that breathes

You can watch one of the documentaries up for this year’s Best Documentary Feature Oscar on HBO Max this month, and it’s a great one. “All That Breathes” follows two brothers living in New Delhi who capture and treat birds that are dropping from the sky due to the increasing pollution. What really makes this doc soar, though, is director Shaunauk Sen’s cinematic approach to the film. Long takes, slow pans and evocative cinematography capture life in New Delhi in a transfixing way, making the emotional twists and turns all the more impactful.

The Menu

“The Menu” (Searchlight Pictures)

If you’re into darkly comic satires, serve up “The Menu.” Anya Taylor-Joy and Nicholas Hoult star as a well-to-do couple who travel to a remote island near New York to have a premiere dining experience, in which Ralph Fiennes and his teams of chefs will prepare a multi-course meal right in front of these exclusive guests. All is not what it seems, however, and Joy’s character discovers she’s in for something much different than she expected. To say more would spoil the fun, but this one’s a treat.



If you’re looking to get absolutely messed up, watch “Hereditary”! Filmmaker Ari Aster’s breakout 2018 horror film stars Toni Collette as the matriarch of a family who finds themselves haunted (both literally and figuratively) after the death of her mother. It’s hard to explain why “Hereditary” is worth watching without spoiling its twists and turns, but Collette delivers an astoundingly good performance and Aster brings a patient command of the screen that makes the horrors within all the more unsettling.

The Banshees of Inisherin

The Banshees of Inisherin
The Banshees of Inisherin (Searchlight Pictures)

The “In Bruges” trio of Colin Farrell, Brendan Gleeson and writer/director Martin McDonagh reunite for the darkly hilarious new film “The Banshees of Inisherin,” which is a worthy follow-up to their raucous 2008 dark comedy. Set in 1923 during the waning days of the Irish Civil War, the story begins when a man played by Gleeson tells another man, played by Farrell, that he doesn’t want to be friends with him anymore. This sends Farrell’s character down a spiral, as Gleeson’s character tries to left him off easy but both learn that cutting off a friendship has dire consequences. Supporting turns by Kerry Condon and Barry Keoghan round out this sad yet bitingly funny tale of friendship, loneliness and frivolity.

Burn After Reading

Focus Features

The Coen Brothers followed up their dark, Oscar-winning Cormac McCarthy adaptation “No Country for Old Men” with a hysterical farce that feels somewhat underrated. “Burn After Reading” looks and feels like a hard-boiled espionage thriller, but its premise is so dumb – which makes it so funny. Frances McDormand plays a gym employee who comes into possession of a disc from a jobless CIA analyst (John Malkovich) and mistakes it for an important document, when in reality it’s the CIA analyst’s in-progress memoirs. Brad Pitt is incredible as a dim-witted friend of McDormand’s, and George Clooney plays a womanizing U.S. marshal. This whole movie is one giant, terrific joke.


Barbarian Justin Long box office
20th Century

One of the best films of the year is one you should know as little about as possible going in. Suffice it to say “Barbarian” is a creepy horror thriller that surprises at every turn – it’s incredibly difficult to predict what happens next, but with each wild twist the film digs its nails deeper and deeper into your skin, building to an unforgettable climax. The most basic setup of the plot is Georgina Campbell plays a young woman who shows up to an Airbnb to discover it’s been double booked, as a man played by Bill Skarsgård opens the door. Turn out the lights, flip this one on and buckle up.

Gone Girl

20th Century Fox

David Fincher’s 2014 paperback thriller “Gone Girl” is a dark, thrilling and bitingly funny ode to relationships that is perfectly cast. Based on Gillian Flynn’s bestselling novel, Ben Affleck plays a man whose wife (played by Rosamund Pike) goes missing and is presumed dead. He eventually becomes the prime suspect, only for him to presume his wife is setting him up and is very much alive. This is a story about the people we tell others we are versus the real versions of ourselves that eventually bubble to the surface, especially in longterm relationships. Affleck and Pike are dynamite, while Carrie Coon is stellar in her first major role.


Open Road Films
Open Road Films

If you’re in the mood for a dark thriller with a powerhouse lead performance, check out 2014’s “Nightcrawler.” Written and directed by Dan Gilroy, the film is a darkly comic look at the world of local news media, as Jake Gyllenhaal plays a stringer named Lou who records violent events and sells them to a local Los Angeles news station. But as Lou’s ambition grows, his motives become murky. The film certainly has shades of a modern “Taxi Driver” with Gyllenhaal delivering a transformative performance that gets under your skin. The whole thing is anchored by terrific co-starring turns by Renee Russo and Riz Ahmed.


Warner Bros.
Warner Bros.

“Elvis” is a biopic of The King by way of “Moulin Rouge!” and “Romeo + Juliet” filmmaker Baz Luhrmann. Which is to say it’s wildly kinetic, exciting and unlike any take on Elvis Presley’s life before. There are the usual Luhrmann flourishes, especially in the first half of the film, but they fit snugly with the chronicle of a larger-than-life figure. Austin Butler transforms into the role of Elvis, delivering a jaw-dropping performance, while Tom Hanks anchors the film as Presley’s conniving business manager Colonel Tom Parker. The story is told from Parker’s perspective, which offers an interesting twist to the storytelling, but it’s clear Luhrmann cares deeply about doing justice to Elvis’ story. And that soundtrack!

Ex Machina

Ex Machina
Alicia Vikander in “Ex Machina” (A24)

A heady sci-fi two-hander with an iconic dance break from Oscar Isaac, 2014’s “Ex Machina” contains multitudes. The film hails from writer/director Alex Garland, whose knack for telling smart (and thought-provoking) sci-fi stories ranges from “Annihilation” to “Devs.” In “Ex Machina,” Isaac plays an enigmatic billionaire who summons a programmer (played by Domhnall Gleeson) to his remote compound to assess whether his A.I. creation (played by Alicia Vikander). Philosophical conversations are interspersed with feelings of dread and horror, as Garland masterfully weaves a tale about what it means to be human.

Batman Returns

Batman Returns
Warner Bros.

Tim Burton’s 1992 sequel remains one of the boldest, most interesting and sexiest Batman movies ever made – and it holds up tremendously well. “Batman Returns” is the superior follow-up to Burton’s 1989 hit, with Michael Keaton reprising his role as Bruce Wayne/Batman. Michelle Pfeiffer is phenomenal as Selina Kyle/Catwoman, with the character serving as a tempting mirror of Bruce Wayne’s own dichotomy — a more violent path towards vigilantism and revenge. There’s also Danny DeVito’s snarling Penguin, and perhaps most terrifying of all Christopher Walken’s soulless businessman Max Schreck. With a Christmas setting and Burton pushing the Gothic aesthetics to the extreme, this is one of the best Batman movies ever made.

Under the Skin

Under the Skin

If you’re an adventurous sci-fi fan, “Under the Skin” is a must-see. This singular, unnerving film from director Jonathan Glazer stars Scarlett Johansson as an alien woman who preys on men in Scotland. But instead of high-flying theatrics, CGI or predictable plot structure, “Under the Skin” surprises at every turn. Johansson’s performance is predatory and elegant all at once, and the way Glazer captures her character’s kills will keep you up at night. Add in a transfixing score by composer Mica Levi, and this one will have you under its spell.

The Batman

Warner Bros.

Putting a new spin on a character like Batman is incredibly difficult, but director Matt Reeves and star Robert Pattinson accomplish this and much more in the 2022 reboot “The Batman.” The film picks up in Bruce Wayne’s second year of prowling the streets as the caped crusader, and finds him roped into an investigation into a series of killings committed by The Riddler (Paul Dano). Reeves draws from films like “Zodiac” and “All the President’s Men” to result in a process-driven (and wildly compelling) crime thriller that packs some of the most striking cinematography in the character’s history thanks to Oscar-winner Greig Fraser. And that score by Michael Giacchino is a new classic. At three hours in length this one’s quite long, but it’s the detective-driven Batman story fans have long been waiting for.


Dune - Timothee Chalamet
Warner Bros.

Director Denis Villeneuve’s “Dune” is the kind of prestige, epic sci-fi adaptation that studios rarely make, and for that alone it’s worth seeking out. Based on the Frank Herbert novel of the same name, the film stars Timothee Chalamet as the young Paul Atreides, a man who accompanies his family House Atreides as they’re tasked with overseeing the mining of a valuable resource on the planet Arrakis. But once they arrive, they struggle against the planet’s native population and the nefarious House Harkonnen who wants its position back at all costs. This film, gorgeously crafted, is the first half of the “Dune” story with the second half due to be adapted in the forthcoming sequel “Dune: Part Two.”


Warner Bros.

You must be on the right wavelength to enjoy “Malignant,” but if you’re down for a horror movie that plays out with a knowing wink, this might become a new favorite. From “Aquaman” and “The Conjuring” director James Wan, the film stars Annabelle Wallis as a woman who begins to have visions of people being murdered, and when she starts digging into her past she discovers disturbing secrets – all while a killer is on the loose. This thing goes from creepy horror film to murder mystery to campy monster movie and never misses a beat, and the third act is a total blast.

Singin’ in the Rain


Quite simply one of the most joyous films ever made, there’s no way that “Singin’ in the Rain” will leave you in a bad mood. Released in 1952, the film is set against the backdrop of the transition from silent films to “talkies” and revolves around three Hollywood performers: Gene Kelly is Don Lockwood, Debbie Reynolds is Kathy Selden and Donald O’Connor is Cosmo Brown. In addition to telling a compelling Hollywood-set story, the film boasts some of the most mesmerizing musical numbers ever put to film, from the acrobatics of “Make ‘Em Laugh” to Kelly’s iconic “Singin’ in the Rain.” This is a perfect feel-good movie.

The Suicide Squad

Warner Bros.

While filmmaker James Gunn brought a lighter sensibility to his “Guardians of the Galaxy” films for Marvel Studios, his DC film “The Suicide Squad” harkens back to the darkness of his earlier work. Not quite a sequel and not quite a reboot, the 2021 film largely stands alone as it follows the anti-hero team of Task Force X – which includes Margot Robbie’s Harley Quinn and Idris Elba’s Bloodsport – as they’re assigned to sneak into a foreign country on a top secret mission. R-rating antics abound, but there’s a surprising humanity at the center of this gloriously weird and wild superhero movie.


If you’re a fan of the work of Steven Spielberg, then the documentary “Spielberg” is a must-watch. The film is anchored by an interview with Spielberg himself (and his family members) as it runs through his storied career, with the filmmaker offering candid insight along the way. If you’ve ever wondered how Spielberg took the blow of “1941” or why “Catch Me If You Can” was rooted in a family secret, those answers and more are found within.

Zack Snyder’s Justice League


At four hours in length, “Zack Snyder’s Justice League” is really for interested parties only, but for those with even a passing familiarity with “Man of Steel,” “Batman v. Superman” and “Wonder Woman,” this HBO Max exclusive marks a fascinating, rich and wildly different take on “Justice League” than the one that was released in theaters in 2017. Presented in six chapters with an epilogue, everyone gets more story this time around, and it’s for the better. Cyborg (Ray Fisher) provides some emotional heft; Superman (Henry Cavill) actually gets some depth; and Ben Affleck’s Batman gets more to do than half-heartedly pull together a Justice League. This film is director Zack Snyder’s unfiltered vision for better and for worse, and that includes some major teases for sequels that never came to fruition, plenty of violence and lots of slow motion. And honestly? It’s good.

No Sudden Move


Steven Soderbergh’s HBO Max original film “No Sudden Move” is a heck of a crime thriller. Set in 1954 Detroit, it stars Don Cheadle as a gangster short on cash who wants to leave town, and who reluctantly agrees to do a job that immediately goes sideways. He’s then on the run with a fellow gangster played by Benicio Del Toro, trying to figure out who he can trust and discovering who’s behind it all. The script by Ed Solomon brilliantly weaves a twist-filled story with thematic resonance, as the film uses historical context to add to the complexity of its plot and characters.

2001: A Space Odyssey


If you’re looking to watch a sci-fi classic that may or may not make your head hurt a little bit, try Stanley Kubrick’s masterful 1968 film “2001: A Space Odyssey.” The epic adventure takes place in the year 2001 (then the future) and follows a crew that’s sent to Jupiter after a mysterious monolith is discovered on Earth. Aboard the ship is a computer named HAL that wreaks havoc on the mission. This is one of the most visually stunning and perplexing films of all-time – a true work of art that’s open to various forms of interpretation by the time you reach the end of the journey.

The Matrix Quadrilogy

Warner Bros.

Revisit the original trilogy before taking in the truly bonkers fourth “Matrix” film “The Matrix Resurrections.” “The Matrix,” from 1999, remains the best of the bunch, as Keanu Reeves plays a man named Neo who is awoken to the truth that the world he inhabits is actually a computer program called The Matrix, and the real world is actually a desolate landscape run by machines. The story gets far more complicated from there in “The Matrix Reloaded” and “The Matrix Revolutions,” as the few humans awake in the real world stage a coup against their machine overlords. Writers and directors The Wachowskis break ground both in terms of action and allegorical storytelling, as the films are loaded with heady philosophical ideas.

The Lord of the Rings Trilogy

New Line Cinema
New Line Cinema

With the holiday season comes plenty of vacation time, and if you’re in for a really long binge-watch, “The Lord of the Rings” trilogy will do the trick. Peter Jackson’s epic trio of J.R.R. Tolkein adaptations remain some of the most accomplished achievements in the history of moviemaking, as this fantastical tale of a young hobbit who sets out to save the world as he knows it is crafted with ingenuity and passion to spare. Whether it’s your first or fifth time to Middle-earth, it’s a journey well worth taking. As a bonus, HBO Max offers both the theatrical versions and the richer extended versions available to stream.

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