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3 best (HBO) Max movies you need to watch on New Year’s Day

2024 has rolled around, and you’re looking for a way to spend the first day of the new year. If you want something to stream, Max may have the deepest bench of titles worth exploring.

From classics to more modern movies, it has something for everyone across an array of genres and categories. These three titles may not all be to your liking, but between them, you should find something that is exactly what you’re looking for as you ring in the new year.

Barbie (2023)

Barbie | Main Trailer

If you somehow missed 2023’s biggest film, or you just want to live the glory of seeing it in a theater, then Barbie is just what the doctor ordered. Telling the story of the titular doll as she travels to the real world and discovers that womanhood is not as simple as she might have thought, Barbie was a smash hit because it was both funny and smart.

With brilliant costume and production design in Barbie-land, and a witty script with just the right amount of bite, it makes sense that Barbie resonated with a massive audience of both men and women. Whether you played with the dolls or not growing up, Barbie is ultimately about the conundrum of gender and the way it traps everyone in roles they don’t want to play.

Barbarian (2022)

BARBARIAN | Official Trailer | In Theaters September 9

One of the most terrifying, thrilling horror movies of recent years, Barbarian is for those of you who want something to thrill you in 2024. Following a young woman who travels to Detroit for a job interview and discovers that her Airbnb is double-booked, what starts as a tense thriller about the fear women constantly live under turns into something much darker and more perverse as it moves along.

Barbarian is best seen unspoiled, but what you should definitely know is that it’s also a deeply funny movie, and it can often find ways to be funny and scary at the same time. If you’re someone who is at all intrigued by this description, you should probably just do yourself a favor and watch it.

Upgrade (2018)

Upgrade Trailer #1 (2018) | Movieclips Trailers

A futuristic action thriller that lives up to its description, Upgrade follows a man who was paralyzed by a brutal mugging. He discovers that an implant can give him back control of his body and also comes with some superhuman abilities, which he uses to take revenge against those who wronged him. When he discovers his implant isn’t totally under his control, though, things take a turn for the ugly.

Upgrade is dystopian, but it also features plenty of great action and a plot that doesn’t follow conventional beats, making every narrative twist and turn all the more compelling.

Editors' Recommendations

Joe Allen
Joe Allen is a freelance writer based in upstate New York focused on movies and TV.
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