10 Great Movies You Can Watch On HBO Max Right Now
10 Great Movies To Watch On HBO Max Right Now: For a brief minute, HBO looked like it was going the way of the old guard. The once groundbreaking platform that gave us cultural touchstones like The Sopranos and The Wire or comedy classics like Curb Your Enthusiasm and The Larry David Show seemed to be losing a little steam. With the new kid bullies on the block Netflix flooding the market with a scorched earth model of never-ending shows and b-grade movie titles, it seemed as if all competition was destined to fall behind.
That is until Warner Media and AT&T owned HBO, played their Ace card, and revamped its service to unveil HBO Max. By adding tons of new movie catalogs, shows, animated series, and more. They’re doubling down on content to compete in the ever-increasing streaming wars knife fight.
1. Risky Business (1983)
One of the most classic coming of age teen comedies to come out of the 80s and also one of the darkest, Risky Business (1983) was the movie that officially announced Tom Cruise as a massive star and forever cemented dancing in your tighty whiteys into the popular zeitgeist.
Part satire, part coming of age teen sex comedy, it was a stellar debut from writer/director Paul Brickman. Who sadly didn’t wind up doing much after this film. With an incredible performance from Rebecca De Mornay and a kick-ass score from synth masters Tangerine Dream, Risky Business holds up as one of the best of the era.
2. Boogie Nights (1997)
I recently watched Boogie Nights for the first time since seeing it in theatres when it came out in 1997. It held up so incredibly well and reminded me why writer/director Paul Thomas Anderson is hands down one of the best filmmakers of his generation. Inspired by watching dusty porn tapes in the San Fernando Valley, Anderson, at just 27 years old, dives head-on into the seedy yet family-like atmosphere of the burgeoning 1970s porn industry and makes arguably his best film.
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Casting the then untested actor Mark Whalberg as Dirk Diggler was a masterstroke. And it has one of the best ensemble casts in recent memory, with a certified comeback performance by Burt Reynolds, who famously hated making the movie.
3. Mad Max Fury Road (2015)
There’s really no filmmaker alive That could pull off what George Miller did with Mad Max Fury Road (2015). At the spry age of 75, when most directors are kicking back in Malibu, he returned to his iconic Australian film trilogy. Delivering not only the best film of the series but arguably the best action movie of all time.
By updating its themes with a sharp feminist slant in the character of Furiosa, he blasted Mad Max into the 21st century with a balls to the wall dystopian punk masterpiece that is literally one long car chase sequence. George Miller solidified his legendary status with dazzling practical effects and stunts that will leave your jaw firmly on the ground. And proved that age ain’t nothin’ but a number when you’re a true visionary.
4. The Invisible Man (2020)
The characters of Universals Dark Universe have had a tough go over the last decade or so. The Mummy (2017) quickly unraveled at the box office (oh, how I love me a bad pun), and the rest of the iconic monster characters have long been in development paralysis. Until Leigh Whannell and the good folks at Blumehouse released the phenomenal The Invisible Man in 2020.
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Starring the glorious Elisabeth Moss, they flipped the storyline to an abusive stalker ex-boyfriend and delivered one of the best horror movies of the last decade. And in the process proved that getting back to basics with a no-frills non-franchise-style film is precisely what was needed for the dormant property. With talks of a sequel on the way and Whannell attached to direct Ryan Gosling in the Blumehouse produced The Wolfman. It looks as if they’re finally Righting the ship.
5. Malcolm X (1992)
If I had to choose one other movie to place in the top-tier Spike Lee Joint hall of fame right next to his seminal and groundbreaking Do The Right Thing (1989), it would have to be Malcolm X (1992). Working at the peak of powers, Spike gives Denzel Washington the platform to genuinely sore as the influential and divisive X.
It’s a dazzling portrayal of an often misunderstood man demonized by the majority white press that never truly understood his purpose. It also marks another highway robbery Oscar loss for Washington.
6. Hot Fuzz (2007)
I recently watched Hot Fuzz (2007) for the first time, which I’m honestly embarrassed to admit; Edgar, please forgive me. And I not only thought it was one of the funniest comedies I’d ever seen but also my hands-down favorite in the Three Flavours Cornetto trilogy. With Wright/Pegg penning a love letter to American buddy cop movies and some classic Wright horror inflections thrown in for good measure.
They create one of the most frenetically paced, joke a minute frenzied films I’ve ever seen. And as with all of their films, there’s a wholly beating heart at the center of its story. That not only leaves you thoroughly entertained for the 121-minute runtime but also left with a sense of tenderness from the always great friendship between Simon Pegg and Nick Frost.
7. Lincoln (2012)
In the top-tier latter half of Spielberg’s unparalleled career, Lincoln (2012) sits at the top. The director’s passion project is a nuts and bolts political process film that displays the 16th president’s true gifts as an orator and politician and his varied flaws.
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Earning another Best Actor Oscar for Day-Lewis, he clearly needs new bathrooms to put them in. And a stunning Oscar-nominated performance by Sally Field, It’s classic Spielberg with all of the sentiment and grandeur included.
8. Scream (1996)
Horror master Wes Craven pulled off yet another genre game-changer when he returned to direct the slasher subversion masterpiece Scream in 1996.
Written with brilliant reverence and cliche upending wit by Kevin Williamson, Scream was not only one of the best horror movies to come out in a decade, but it also revived a genre that was running on fumes from the horror boom of the mid-80s. It’s a masterful reinventing of the genre that is still copied to this day.
9. Pulp Fiction (1994)
It’s hard to think of another modern-day film that made the kind of impact and cultural reverberation as Quentin Tarantino’s gangster magnum opus Pulp Fiction did when released in 1994. We had literally not seen anything like it, from the non-linear narrative to the erratic mix of honest conversation, humor, and violence. It stunned and awed in equal measure.
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It was indeed a groundbreaking film that would shift the independent film landscape forever and influence generations of filmmakers to come.
10. Citizen Kane (1941)
The title of “greatest film of all time” comes with its own weighted baggage of subjective analysis and historical perspective. But wherever you land on that debate, make no mistake Citizen Kane (1941) is hands down one of the best films ever made. Orson Welles delivered his tour de force masterpiece by co-writing the story with screenwriter Herman Mankiewicz also known as Mank, as told in the recent David Fincher film. But he also directed, starred, and produced it—all at the tender age of 25.
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By having little to no experience in making movies, Welles has always attested his naivety coupled with the help of seasoned cinematographer Gregg Toland and editor Robert Wise with helping to craft the groundbreaking techniques used in the film. Citizen Kane stands the test of time and deserves its accolades in spades.