The 20 Best Movies to Stream on HBO Max Right Now
HBO Max is the premium streaming service from the Warner-owned media giant. For $14.99 a month, subscribers can choose from a vast library of movies and television shows. If you’ve already made your way through their superhero slate and simultaneous day-and-date theatrical releases, take a look at some of the best movies currently available on the service.
1. Dreamgirls (2006)
Beyoncé and Jennifer Hudson headline this winning drama-musical about an all-female group in the 1960s that rises out of the shadow of bitter singer James "Thunder" Early (Eddie Murphy, who scored an Oscar nomination for the role).
2. Independence Day (1996)
This sensational spectacle of world-ending effects hasn't gotten any less impressive with time. As malevolent aliens destroy cities, it's up to Will Smith, Bill Pullman, and Randy Quaid to save humanity.
3. Blood Simple (1984)
The debut film from Joel and Ethan Coen is a spare film noir about a bar owner (Dan Hedaya) who enlists a private detective to kill his wife (Frances McDormand) and her lover (John Getz). Naturally, things don’t go as planned.
4. The Green Mile (1999)
Tom Hanks stars in this adaptation of the 1996 Stephen King novel, which was serialized and released in six published installments. Assigned duty on death row, a guard (Hanks) grapples with the otherworldly abilities of inmate Michael Clarke Duncan, who may or may not be innocent--and gifted with paranormal powers.
5. 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)
Despite advances in special effects, few films have come close to the grandeur and visual impact of director Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey. Co-written with Arthur C. Clarke, the film takes viewers on a psychedelic journey through space in the guise of a manned mission to Jupiter that’s soon thrown off-balance by the sentient HAL—a computer with plans of its own.
6. Bicycle Thieves (1948)
A seemingly mundane story of a blue-collar Italian worker (Lamberto Maggiorani) who finds his job in jeopardy when his only mode of transportation—a bicycle—is stolen turns into a mediation on the challenges of morality and ethics in the face of desperation.
7. Jerry Maguire (1996)
Tom Cruise and Cuba Gooding Jr. entered the public lexicon with "show me the money," but director Cameron Crowe's movie is about far more than just a catchphrase. As sports agent Maguire, Cruise has to navigate a ruthless business and the romantic potential of new flame Renée Zellweger.
8. Babe (1995)
A farmer (James Cromwell) becomes fond of a pig named Babe, who quickly takes a position of prominence on the family farm because he believes he can operate as a sheepdog for livestock. The film has become a family classic, and its sequel—1998’s Babe: Pig in the City, which is a bit darker and directed by Mad Max creator George Miller—is also available on the service.
9. Point Break (1991)
Keanu Reeves is an FBI agent out to capture Patrick Swayze's band of bank robbers in this cheerfully goofy action thriller augmented by Swayze's philosophical criminal and some whoa-worthy skydiving sequences.
10. Goodfellas (1990)
Martin Scorsese directed this classic based on real-life criminal Henry Hill (Ray Liotta) who comes under the tutelage of mobsters Jimmy Conway (Robert De Niro) and Tommy DeVito (Joe Pesci) and hopes he lives long enough to regret it.
11. Breaking the Waves (1996)
A nuanced story of love in a time of crisis, Breaking the Waves features Emily Watson as Bess McNeil, a Scottish woman who falls for an oil rig worker named Jan Nyman (Stellan Skarsgård). When tragedy befalls Jan, Bess must navigate their relationship through uncharted emotional waters.
12. Escape From New York (1981)
Kurt Russell is Snake Plissken, a grizzled con sent to retrieve the president (Donald Pleasance) from a sealed-off New York in this dystopian action classic from director John Carpenter.
13. The Grifters (1990)
John Cusack headlines this darkly funny crime caper about a family held together by their illegal pursuits. Angelica Huston and Annette Bening co-star.
14. Presumed Innocent (1990)
Harrison Ford stars as attorney Rusty Sabich, who finds himself in hot water when his mistress is found dead and he's charged with doing her in. The suspense film was based on author Scott Turow's 1987 legal thriller.
15. The Wages of Fear (1953)
Director Henri-Georges Clouzot offers a riveting example of sustained suspense in this fascinating story of four men who volunteer to drive two trucks of volatile nitroglycerine to the site of an oil field fire in South America. One bump in the road too many and they’ll explode. Consider it a predecessor to 1994’s Speed—only far more stressful to watch.
16. Fanny and Alexander (1982)
Director Ingmar Bergman received great acclaim for this enchanting story of two children (Pernilla Allwin and Bertil Guve) who find their happy home in ruins after their father dies and their mother remarries. Only their sibling bond and an indomitable will to survive can help them endure the upheaval.
17. North by Northwest (1959)
Cary Grant and Alfred Hitchcock teamed for this classic thriller about everyman Roger Thornhill, an advertising executive mistaken for a man caught up in the spy trade. Thornhill's race to clear his name is bolstered by some legendary scenes, including the famous cropduster chase, and a riveting Bernard Herrmann score.
18. Speed (1994)
Keanu Reeves solidifed himself as action hero material in this classic about a cop (Reeves) who must find a way to stop a bus wired to explode by mad bomber Dennis Hopper if it drops below 50 miles per hour.
19. Eyes Without a Face (1960)
This unsettling French film about a surgeon (Pierre Brasseur) who kidnaps young women in the hopes he can restore the beauty of his daughter (Édith Scob) who was in a disfiguring car accident by grafting their faces to hers is a study in restraint. There’s little gore but plenty of unease in what amounts to a highbrow take on the mad scientist genre.
20. It (2017)
Stephen King's novel about a group of kids terrorized by pure evil Pennywise the Clown (Bill Skarsgård) is an exercise in effective big-budget terror. The sequel, 2019's It Chapter Two, is also available.
This story has been updated.