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The 100 best movies on HBO Max right now (June 2022)

For HBO Max, this weekend is very, very quiet compared to the usually busy updates. It can’t be helped, but it will be a different story next weekend when the July titles are added to the service. In the meantime, there are a handful of new selections this week, along with the legendary lineup of nearly every Warner Bros. Picture film that has ever been made. Trust us: You don’t have time to watch them all. That’s what we’re here for. We’ve already narrowed down the thousands of titles to a simple list of 100 films. These are the best movies on HBO Max right now.

Looking for more suggestions? We also have guides to the best movies on Netflix, the best movies on Hulu, the best movies on Amazon Prime Video, and the best movies on Disney+

Recently added to HBO Max

Blue Bayou (2021) new

Blue Bayou
58 %
7/10
r 117m
Genre Drama
Stars Justin Chon, Alicia Vikander, Mark O'Brien
Directed by Justin Chon
Justin Chon wrote, directed, and stars in Blue Bayou as Antonio LeBlanc, a Korean man living in America with his wife, Kathy (Alicia Vikander), and their daughter, Jessie (Sydney Kowalske). Antonio and his family are horrified to discover that he faces permanent deportation from America because his adoptive parents never made sure he became a citizen. Antonio’s criminal background also plays a part in the unfolding tragedy, as his options to remain with his family dwindle in the face of overwhelming factors beyond his control. Against this living nightmare, there’s only so much Antonio can do before he breaks.

Chernobyl: The Lost Tapes (2022) new

Chernobyl: The Lost Tapes
8.1/10
91m
Genre Documentary
Stars Ronald Reagan, Mikhail Gorbachev
Directed by James Jones
You may have seen or heard of HBO’s acclaimed Chernobyl miniseries. This is not that. Instead, Chernobyl: The Lost Tapes is a harrowing documentary that unearths lost footage from the 1986 nuclear disaster at Chernobyl within the heart of Ukraine and the Soviet Union. Director James Jones guides viewers through the unfolding tragedy with survivor interviews and very dramatic footage that bring the terrifying impact of the accident home in a way that no Hollywood production can match. It’s also something that could easily happen again, especially given the current war in Ukraine.

Total Recall (1990) new

Total Recall
57 %
7.5/10
r 113m
Genre Action, Adventure, Science Fiction
Stars Arnold Schwarzenegger, Rachel Ticotin, Sharon Stone
Directed by Paul Verhoeven
If you only watch one Arnold Schwarzenegger action movie this week, it should probably be one of the first two Terminator films. But Total Recall is also a very viable option! And it completely blows the 2012 remake out of the water. Schwarzenegger plays Douglas Quaid, a construction worker on Earth who needs a little excitement in his life. After paying to have virtual memories of a Martian vacation implanted in his mind, Quaid is shocked to discover that he may have already been to the Red Planet. The answers await on Mars, but first Quaid has to survive several attempts on his life … including one from his wife, Lori (Sharon Stone).

Colossal (2017) new

Colossal
70 %
6.2/10
r 109m
Genre Drama, Fantasy, Science Fiction
Stars Anne Hathaway, Jason Sudeikis, Tim Blake Nelson
Directed by Nacho Vigalondo
Everyone has a monstrous side. It just happens to be a literal monster in Colossal. Anne Hathaway stars as Gloria, a nearly unemployable young woman whose life has been ruined by her addiction to alcohol. One day, Gloria discovers that her drunken antics have manifested themselves as a giant monster in South Korea. Her friend, Oscar (Jason Sudeikis), also displays the ability to manifest in South Korea as a giant robot. Despite Gloria’s guilt about the situation, her self-destructive relationships with both Oscar and herself may have grave consequences halfway across the world.

Father of the Bride (2022) new

Father of the Bride
65 %
5.8/10
117m
Genre Romance, Comedy
Stars Andy García, Gloria Estefan, Adria Arjona
Directed by Gary Alazraki
You may find that the story of Father of the Bride is somewhat familiar, given that this is a movie that has already been made twice before. In this modernized remake, the focus is on a Cuban-American family led by Billy (Andy Garcia) and Ingrid Herrera (Gloria Estefan), a couple on the verge of a divorce. However, they agree to hold off on their split when their daughter, Sofia (Adria Arjona), announces her engagement to Adan Castillo (Diego Boneta), a lawyer who comes from great wealth. Billy takes an instant dislike to both Adan and his father, Hernan (Pedro Damian), as the stress of planning a wedding and hiding his impending divorce puts a massive strain on both families.

Non-Stop (2014) new

Non-Stop
56 %
6.9/10
pg-13 106m
Genre Action, Thriller, Mystery
Stars Liam Neeson, Julianne Moore, Scoot McNairy
Directed by Jaume Collet-Serra
Despite what you may have heard, Non-Stop is not “Taken on a Plane.” But it is fun to watch Liam Neeson kick some butt in another action flick. Neeson plays Bill Marks, an Air Marshal whose routine flight is disrupted when he receives a message demanding money or else a passenger on the plane will die every 20 minutes. Unfortunately for Marks, the perpetrator has already framed him for the crime, and everyone on the ground believes that he is responsible for the deaths that follow. Now, Marks has to find the real killer before his time is up.

Girl, Interrupted (1999)

Girl, Interrupted
51 %
7.3/10
r 127m
Genre Drama
Stars Winona Ryder, Angelina Jolie, Brittany Murphy
Directed by James Mangold
Angelina Jolie was not an unknown actress when she co-headlined in Girl, Interrupted, but she was unquestionably a star after her scene-stealing performance as Lisa Rowe in this film. Regardless, the story revolves around Susanna Kaysen (Winona Ryder), a young woman who is involuntarily institutionalized in the late ‘60s after a suicide attempt. While there, Susanna forms a close bond with Lisa and many of the other female patients. Unfortunately for Susanna, she soon discovers that it’s incredibly difficult to get out of a psychiatric institute. And she can’t take her friends with her.

Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (2000)

Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon
94 %
7.9/10
pg-13 120m
Genre Adventure, Drama, Action, Romance
Stars Chow Yun-Fat, Michelle Yeoh, Zhang Ziyi
Directed by Ang Lee
Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon is both a martial arts film and a timeless romance story, which is why it was such a breakout hit in America two decades ago. Director Ang Lee crafted a beautifully realized film starring Chow Yun-fat as Li Mu Bai and Michelle Yeoh as Yu Shu Lien, two warriors whose love for each other was never consummated because Shu Lien had once been engaged to Mu Bai’s best friend. In the present, their nemesis, Jade Fox (Cheng Pei-pei), emerges from hiding with a new protégé, Jen Yu (Zhang Ziyi). Although Jen is already a great warrior, she too can not be with the man she loves, a raider and a thief known as Lo “Dark Cloud” Xiao Ho (Chang Chen).

The Card Counter (2021)

The Card Counter
77 %
6.3/10
r 111m
Genre Drama, Crime, Thriller
Stars Oscar Isaac, Tiffany Haddish, Tye Sheridan
Directed by Paul Schrader
If you missed The Card Counter in theaters, then you weren’t the only one. This drama flew under the radar in 2021, but it has a new opportunity to find an audience on HBO Max. Oscar Isaac stars as William Tell, a man with an uncanny ability to count cards while playing poker. He’s also quite skilled at remaining undetected by casinos. However, William’s carefully constructed existence is upended when he encounters Cirk (Tye Sheridan), a young man who is familiar with William’s true identity and past. Cirk wants William’s help in gaining revenge on the man who wronged them both: Major John Gordo (Willem Dafoe). William tries to take Cirk under his wing and convince him to move past his vendetta. Unfortunately, a life of violence is still in the cards for both men.

Roadrunner: A Film About Anthony Bourdain (2021)

Roadrunner: A Film About Anthony Bourdain
79 %
7.7/10
119m
Genre Documentary
Stars Anthony Bourdain, Nancy Bourdain, Joel Rose
Directed by Morgan Neville
By any measure, Anthony Bourdain achieved success far beyond anyone’s wildest dreams as a chef, an author, a TV host, and even a celebrity. Why then, did this man feel such an incredible sense of unhappiness and despair that he took his own life? Roadrunner: A Film About Anthony Bourdain attempts to find some answers to that question while also exploring the rich legacy that Bourdain left behind. This documentary film generated some controversy by using A.I. to recreate Bourdain’s voice in a few instances. But that doesn’t take away from the power of this portrait, or the written words by Bourdain himself.

Ride Along (2014)

Ride Along
41 %
6.1/10
pg-13 99m
Genre Action, Comedy
Stars Ice Cube, Kevin Hart, John Leguizamo
Directed by Tim Story
The motivations of Ben Barber (Kevin Hart) are no mystery in Ride Along. Ben wants to marry Angela Payton (Tika Sumpter) and to become a cop. He also wants to impress Angela’s brother, James Payton (Ice Cube). Sensing a chance to possibly blow him off, James offers Ben the opportunity to ride with him on a typical day as a cop. But when Ben and James inadvertently stumble on an operation led by James’ criminal nemesis, Omar (Laurence Fishburne), the two unlikely partners will have to rely on each other to survive.

The Goonies (1985)

The Goonies
62 %
7.7/10
pg 114m
Genre Adventure, Comedy, Family
Stars Sean Astin, Josh Brolin, Jeff Cohen
Directed by Richard Donner
“Goonies never say die!” But we’ll say that you’ll never see another dream team like Richard Donner, Chris Columbus, and Steven Spielberg. It was Spielberg who created the story of The Goonies, which was written by Columbus and directed by Donner. With their families facing eviction from their homes, Michael “Mikey” Walsh (Sean Astin) and his band of Goonies chase the legend of One-Eyed Willie and his missing pirate treasure. While the legend turns out to be true, the Goonies inadvertently alert the Fratelli crime family to the treasure’s existence. This places Mikey and his friends in a race against time to find the treasure and save themselves.

Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore (2022)

Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore
47 %
6.4/10
pg-13 142m
Genre Fantasy, Adventure, Action
Stars Eddie Redmayne, Jude Law, Mads Mikkelsen
Directed by David Yates
Unlike previous films in the Harry Potter franchise, Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore wasn’t a box office smash. But that just means HBO Max subscribers get to see it in the comfort of their own homes sooner rather than later. Jude Law takes the center stage in this film as Albus Dumbledore. Even though Gellert Grindelwald (Mads Mikkelsen) is the most dangerous wizard in generations, Albus is unable to stop his former lover because of a magical pact they made with each other. That’s why Albus is forced to rely on Newt Scamander (Eddie Redmayne) and his unlikely team to fight the battles that he can not. Unfortunately for Albus, Grindelwald has found a loophole of his own: The easily manipulated Credence Barebone (Ezra Miller), a young man who is convinced that Albus must die at his hands.

The Mask (1994)

The Mask
56 %
6.9/10
pg-13 101m
Genre Romance, Comedy, Crime, Fantasy
Stars Jim Carrey, Cameron Diaz, Peter Riegert
Directed by Chuck Russell
New Line has already tried to revive The Mask franchise with Son of the Mask. And the studio will probably try again in the future. But without Jim Carrey, it’s going to be impossible to recapture the lightning-in-a-bottle success of this film. Carrey portrays Stanley Ipkiss, a guy who is just too nice and too passive for his own good. People walk all over Stanley, at least until he discovers an ancient mask that brings out the wilder side of his personality. As himself, Stanley would never have had the guts to court the girl of his dreams, Tina Carlyle (Cameron Diaz). As The Mask, Stanley has no inhibitions. He’s a living cartoon character who has been unleashed on Edge City.

Across the Universe (2007)

Across the Universe
56 %
7.3/10
pg-13 133m
Genre Drama, Romance, Fantasy
Stars Evan Rachel Wood, Jim Sturgess, Joe Anderson
Directed by Julie Taymor
The music of The Beatles powers Julie Taymor’s Across the Universe. And it’s not a coincidence that many of the main characters share names that were used in some of The Beatles’ most famous songs. The story is set against the most turbulent years of the ‘60s as Jude (Jim Sturgess) travels to America to meet the father he never knew. While there, Jude falls hard for Lucy (Evan Rachel Wood). At the same time, a young Black man named Jo-Jo (Martin Luther McCoy) starts a relationship with Sadie (Dana Fuchs). Both relationships will be tested as conflicting desires threaten to tear them apart.

The Grand Budapest Hotel (2014)

The Grand Budapest Hotel
88 %
8.1/10
r 100m
Genre Comedy, Drama
Stars Ralph Fiennes, Tony Revolori, Adrien Brody
Directed by Wes Anderson
The Grand Budapest Hotel is a story within a story, as related by the elderly Zero Moustafa (F. Murray Abraham). In the early ‘30s, young Zero (Tony Revolori) was a bellhop at the Grand Budapest Hotel and the protégée of the hotel’s concierge, Monsieur Gustave H. (Ralph Fiennes). When Gustsave’s lover, Madame D. (Tilda Swinton), perishes, she leaves Gustave a priceless painting in her will. This enrages Madame D.’s son, Dmitri (Adrien Brody), so much that Gustave and Zero are forced to go on the run from charges of theft and murder. And the story only gets stranger from there.

Goodfellas (1990)

Goodfellas
90 %
8.7/10
r 146m
Genre Drama, Crime
Stars Robert De Niro, Ray Liotta, Joe Pesci, Lorraine Bracco, Paul Sorvino
Directed by Martin Scorsese
In light of the recent passing of Ray Liotta, it’s worth taking the time to revisit director Martin Scorsese’s masterpiece, Goodfellas. As Henry Hill (Liotta) rises in the ranks of the mafia, he forms close friendships with Jimmy Conway (Robert De Niro) and Tommy DeVito (Joe Pesci). Henry even lands the woman of his dreams, Karen (Lorraine Bracco). But as quickly as Henry rises to the top, he also has a precarious fall due to his numerous vices and addictions. Henry will have to learn the hard way that there is no friendship that can survive in the world of organized crime. And sometimes survival means betraying your friends.

The Fugitive (1993)

The Fugitive
pg-13 131m
Genre Drama, Action, Thriller
Stars Harrison Ford, Tommy Lee Jones, Joe Pantoliano
Directed by Andrew Davis
The Fugitive is one of the rare adaptations of a television show that actually manages to outdo its source material. Harrison Ford stars as Dr. Richard Kimble, a man falsely accused of killing his wife, Helen Kimble (Sela Ward). After escaping from custody, Richard finds himself hunted by Deputy U.S. Marshal Sam Gerard (Tommy Lee Jones). However, Richard is on the hunt as well for the enigmatic one-armed man (Andreas Katsulas) who murdered his wife. But there’s far more to this crime than either Richard or Gerard suspect.

Bottle Rocket (1996)

Bottle Rocket
66 %
6.9/10
r 91m
Genre Comedy, Crime, Drama
Stars Luke Wilson, Owen Wilson, Robert Musgrave
Directed by Wes Anderson
Director Wes Anderson’s first film, Bottle Rocket, set the tone for an extraordinarily quirky career. Owen Wilson co-wrote the script with Anderson and he co-headlines the film as Dignan, an energetic and somewhat overly ambitious young man who springs his best friend, Anthony (Luke Wilson), from a voluntary psychiatric unit. Dignan wants to turn himself and Anthony into successful criminals, alongside their mutual acquaintance, Bob Mapplethorpe (Robert Musgrave). They just don’t have the aptitude for it. Despite their shortcomings, Anthony manages to make an emotional bond with a maid named Inez (Lumi Cavazos), which may threaten his friendship with Dignan.

Devil in a Blue Dress (1995)

Devil in a Blue Dress
78 %
6.7/10
r 102m
Genre Thriller, Crime, Drama, Mystery
Stars Denzel Washington, Tom Sizemore, Jennifer Beals
Directed by Carl Franklin
Want to know an easy way to sell Devil In a Blue Dress to your friends? Just tell them that it’s a neo-noir film starring Denzel Washington. That should be enough for almost anyone. Washington plays Easy Rawlins, a Black man who is laid off from his job three years after World War II. In need of money, Easy accepts an assignment from DeWitt Albright (Tom Sizemore) to find a missing white woman named Daphne Monet (Jennifer Beals). Poor Daphne has some very shady connections, and every time Easy gets closer to the truth, someone ends up dead. And if Easy isn’t careful, the next dead body may be his.

Young Adult (2011)

Young Adult
71 %
6.3/10
r 94m
Genre Comedy, Drama
Stars Charlize Theron, Patton Oswalt, Patrick Wilson
Directed by Jason Reitman
Young Adult may be a bit of a misnomer, since the lead character, Mavis Gary (Charlize Theron), is closer to 40 than she would like to admit. Feeling that her life has taken a wrong turn, Mavis impulsively decides to go back to her hometown and win back her ex-boyfriend, Buddy Slade (Patrick Wilson). Mavis doesn’t even care that Buddy is already married to Beth Slade (Elizabeth Reaser) or that he already has a baby with her. Mavis’ old high school acquaintance, Matt Freehauf (Patton Oswalt), does his best to keep Mavis from committing a huge mistake. But nothing can stop Mavis from going forward with her plan … not even herself.

Zathura: A Space Adventure (2005)

Zathura: A Space Adventure
67 %
6.2/10
pg 101m
Genre Family, Fantasy, Science Fiction, Adventure, Comedy
Stars Josh Hutcherson, Jonah Bobo, Dax Shepard
Directed by Jon Favreau
If you were to call Zathura “Space Jumanji,” that would be a fair assessment. And someone really ought to do something about all of these mystical board games that are just lying around to suck unsuspecting gamers into the adventure of a lifetime. Quarreling brothers Walter (Josh Hutcherson) and Danny (Jonah Bobo) find the Zathura game after they are forced to stay home with their older sister, Lisa (Kristen Stewart). Before long, Zathura literally transports their house into space and forces the family to play its game, with only an enigmatic Astronaut (Dax Shepard) as their ally.

Sliding Doors (1998)

Sliding Doors
59 %
6.7/10
pg-13 99m
Genre Comedy, Drama, Fantasy, Romance
Stars Gwyneth Paltrow, John Hannah, John Lynch
Directed by Peter Howitt
Sliding Doors has a low-key sci-fi concept, but in a way that none of the characters come to realize. As viewers, we get to see two parallel realities play out. In one timeline, Helen Quilley (Gwyneth Paltrow) successfully makes her train and catches her boyfriend, Gerry (John Lynch), cheating on her with Lydia (Jeanne Tripplehorn). In the other reality, Helen misses her train and remains blissfully unaware of Gerry’s infidelity. While the alternate Helen reinvents herself and finds happiness with a new man, James Hammerton (John Hannah), her other self is on a collision course with heartbreak.

St. Elmo's Fire (1985)

St. Elmo's Fire
35 %
6.3/10
r 110m
Genre Drama, Romance, Comedy
Stars Emilio Estevez, Rob Lowe, Andrew McCarthy
Directed by Joel Schumacher
St. Elmo’s Fire is a quintessential romantic drama from the ‘80s, but you may need a scorecard to keep up with the sprawling cast that includes Emilio Estevez, Rob Lowe, Demi Moore, Judd Nelson, Ally Sheedy, and Andie MacDowell. Kirby (Estevez) is a law student by day and a waiter by night as he tries to pay his way through school. Kirby soon becomes infatuated with Dale (MacDowell), a woman he can’t have because she’s already seeing someone else. But Kirby’s lovelife is relatively straightforward compared to the lustful and very messy decisions made by his friends.

Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991)

Terminator 2: Judgment Day
75 %
8.6/10
r 137m
Genre Action, Thriller, Science Fiction
Stars Arnold Schwarzenegger, Linda Hamilton, Edward Furlong
Directed by James Cameron
A lot of people are going to tell you that Terminator 2: Judgment Day is the best action film of all-time. Because it is. T2 is an absolute blast from start-to-finish, and cemented Arnold Schwarzenegger as an action hero after he portrayed an evil T-800 in the first film. For the sequel, a reprogramed T-800 is sent back to the past to protect John Connor (Edward Furlong) from the deadly T-1000 (Robert Patrick). However, John won’t go into hiding without his estranged mother, Sarah Connor (Linda Hamilton). Although Sarah doesn’t trust the machine, she recognizes that he is their best chance to change the future for the better.

The Perks of Being a Wallflower (2012)

The Perks of Being a Wallflower
67 %
8/10
pg-13 103m
Genre Drama
Stars Logan Lerman, Emma Watson, Ezra Miller
Directed by Stephen Chbosky
Stephen Chbosky held on to the rights to his novel, The Perks of Being a Wallflower, until he was offered the chance to write and direct it himself. The result is one of the best coming-of-age movies in the last decade. Logan Lerman stars as Charlie Kelmeckis, a painfully shy teenager who enters his freshman year alone and friendless. Samantha Button (Emma Watson) and her stepbrother, Patrick Stewart (Ezra Miller), become Charlie’s only real friends at school as he struggles to overcome a trauma that he has hidden from himself. When Charlie’s feelings threaten his relationships with both Sam and Patrick, he runs the risk of being alone again.

Welcome to the Dollhouse (1996)

Welcome to the Dollhouse
83 %
7.4/10
r 88m
Genre Comedy, Drama
Stars Heather Matarazzo, Matthew Faber, Daria Kalinina
Directed by Todd Solondz
Welcome To the Dollhouse’s greatest moments of dark humor come from the way the film refuses to let up on 12-year old Dawn Wiener (Heather Matarazzo). At home, Dawn’s family dismisses her wants and desires, while she is mercilessly harassed by her peers at school. The only kid to show some genuine romantic interest in Dawn is Brandon McCarthy (Brendan Sexton III), a boy who previously bullied her. Unfortunately, Dawn wants a much older boy named Steve (Eric Mabius), despite repeated warnings that she will never be able to have him. At times the film can be pretty painful to watch because Dawn’s ordeal is never-ending. That doesn’t mean it isn’t very compelling.

The Missing (2003)

The Missing
55 %
6.5/10
r 135m
Genre Thriller, Western, Adventure
Stars Cate Blanchett, Tommy Lee Jones, Evan Rachel Wood
Directed by Ron Howard
In The Missing, Magdalena ‘Maggie’ Gilkeson (Cate Blanchett) has a semi-comfortable life in the old west until a renegade gang of Apache led by El Brujo (Eric Schweig) kill her lover, Brake Baldwin (Aaron Eckhart), and kidnap her oldest daughter, Lilly Gilkeson (Evan Rachel Wood), with the intention of selling her into sexual slavery. With no other option, Maggie turns to her estranged father, Samuel Jones (Tommy Lee Jones), to help her track down and rescue Lilly and the other girls who were taken. It also provides Maggie the first real opportunity to discover what kind of man her father really is.

The Survivor (2022)

The Survivor
71 %
6.9/10
r 129m
Genre Drama, History
Stars Ben Foster, Vicky Krieps, Billy Magnussen
Directed by Barry Levinson
HBO’s The Survivor is an original film based on the true story of Harry Haft (Ben Foster). During World War II, Harry is imprisoned in the Auschwitz death camp for his Jewish heritage. To survive, Harry battles other inmates in boxing matches with the full knowledge that the loser will die. In post-war America, Harry allows his story to be told in the hopes of finding Miriam Wofsoniker (Vicky Krieps), the woman he loved before they were separated by the Holocaust. Harry’s rise in the boxing ranks increases his fame, but can he win the big fight and reclaim his lost love?

Les Misérables (1998)

Les Misérables
7.4/10
pg-13 134m
Genre Crime, Drama, History, Romance
Stars Liam Neeson, Geoffrey Rush, Uma Thurman
Directed by Bille August
There have been many adaptations of Victor Hugo’s Les Misérables, but the 1998 version is one of the best. Note that this is not a musical, so don’t expect any songs. Liam Neeson stars as Jean Valjean, a man who spends most of his life being pursued by the relentless lawman, Javert (Geoffrey Rush). Jean was once a minor criminal, but he turned his life around despite being hounded by Javert. Jean also adopts a young girl named Cosette (Claire Danes) and raises her as his daughter. But when the French Revolution begins in earnest, Javert renters their lives again.

Paddington 2 (2017)

Paddington 2
88 %
7.8/10
pg 104m
Genre Adventure, Comedy, Family
Stars Ben Whishaw, Hugh Bonneville, Sally Hawkins
Directed by Paul King
Paddington 2 has some very passionate defenders who really love this anthropomorphic talking bear. The film has great reviews, and it really is as good as they say. In the sequel, poor Paddington Brown (Ben Whishaw) is framed for stealing a book that he purchased and sent to prison. Paddington being Paddington, he goes to work making the prison a better place for everyone. Meanwhile, Paddington’s adoptive family, the Browns, work to clear his name and track down Phoenix Buchanan (Hugh Grant), the actor who stole the book in the hope of finding a lost treasure.

The Batman (2022)

The Batman
72 %
8.2/10
pg-13 176m
Genre Crime, Mystery, Thriller
Stars Robert Pattinson, Zoë Kravitz, Paul Dano
Directed by Matt Reeves
Let the era of Battinson begin! The Batman is a complete reboot of the Dark Knight, with Robert Pattinson in the title role. In director Matt Reeves’ vision for Gotham City, Batman is still early in his career when he goes up against Riddler (Paul Dano), a madman who may bring down the entire city. While Batman trusts Jim Gordon (Jeffrey Wright), he isn’t so sure about Selina Kyle (Zoë Kravitz), a cat burglar who has her own agenda. But if Batman wants to save Gotham, he will have to become more than just a vigilante.

Salt (2010)

Salt
65 %
6.5/10
pg-13 100m
Genre Action, Mystery, Thriller
Stars Angelina Jolie, Liev Schreiber, Chiwetel Ejiofor
Directed by Phillip Noyce
Angelina Jolie goes full action heroine in Salt, a film in which she plays Evelyn Salt. Evelyn is a CIA operative who is happily married to her husband, Mike (August Diehl). But when a Russian spymaster, Oleg Vassily Orlov (Daniel Olbrychski), seemingly defects to the CIA, he outs Evelyn as a Russian double agent and a traitor. As Evelyn fights for her survival, her friend and partner, Darryl Peabody (Chiwetel Ejiofor), is sent to hunt her down and bring her to justice. Yet there is more going on here than meets the eye.

Four Weddings and a Funeral (1994)

Four Weddings and a Funeral
81 %
7.1/10
r 117m
Genre Comedy, Drama, Romance
Stars Hugh Grant, Andie MacDowell, James Fleet
Directed by Mike Newell
Four Weddings and a Funeral may seem like an odd title for a romantic comedy, but it’s a surprisingly apt name for this story. Charles (Hugh Grant) and Carrie (Andie MacDowell) keep running into each other at weddings, including their own nuptials with other partners. There’s an undeniable attraction and perhaps even love between them. Regardless, the timing to become a real couple never seems to work out for Charles and Carrie, even as their bond becomes obvious to their friends and loved ones. And true to the title, there is a funeral, too. It’s just not their funeral.

Hugo (2011)

Hugo
83 %
7.5/10
126m
Genre Adventure, Drama, Family
Stars Ben Kingsley, Sacha Baron Cohen, Asa Butterfield
Directed by Martin Scorsese
Hugo is a live-action film, but you may mistake it for animation given all of the CGI in the film. This is perhaps director Martin Scorse’s only film that is suitable for children, and it even has a child-like sense of wonder as seen through the eyes of Hugo Cabret (Asa Butterfield). After Hugo and his father find a mechanical man with a heart-shaped lock, Hugo becomes obsessed with finding the key. Following the death of his father, Hugo stumbles across the key when he meets Isabelle (Chloë Grace Moretz), the girl who had it all along. Together, they will find the answers they are looking for. It just won’t be easy.

The Raid (2012)

The Raid
73 %
7.6/10
r 101m
Genre Action, Thriller, Crime
Stars Iko Uwais, Joe Taslim, Donny Alamsyah
Directed by Gareth Evans
Did you know that one of the all-time great action flicks is an Indonesian-language thriller directed by a Welshman? Welcome to The Raid: Redemption, an unexpected treat that puts most of the modern Hollywood action flicks to shame. Iko Uwais stars as Rama, a rookie member of a police special forces unit who goes on a dangerous raid to remove drug lord Tama Riyadi (Ray Sahetapy) from his fortified apartment building which is filled with criminals loyal only to him. Much to the alarm of the police, Tama’s forces severely outnumber them and there are no reinforcements on the way. It will come down to Rama to ascend 30 stories to confront Tama, if he can make it through his ordeal intact.

Only Lovers Left Alive (2013)

Only Lovers Left Alive
79 %
7.2/10
r 123m
Genre Drama, Romance
Stars Tom Hiddleston, Tilda Swinton, Mia Wasikowska
Directed by Jim Jarmusch
The life of an immortal vampire may sound enticing to some, but Adam (Tom Hiddleston) has had his fill of it in Only Lovers Left Alive. Despite a loving marriage with another vampire, Eve (Tilda Swinton), Adam has simply lost his will to live and he has become increasingly despondent. This forces Eve to once again reassert herself in Adam’s life after a period of separation. And while she may be able to pull Adam back from despair, Eve will first have to overcome the influence of younger sister, Ava (Mia Wasikowska). But some rivalries seem destined to live forever, even if Eve can save Adam from himself.

Roxanne (1987)

Roxanne
73 %
6.6/10
pg 107m
Genre Comedy, Romance
Stars Steve Martin, Daryl Hannah, Rick Rossovich
Directed by Fred Schepisi
This movie may be called Roxanne, but it’s essentially a modern retelling of Cyrano de Bergerac as adapted by Steve Martin, who wrote and stars in the film. Charlie “C.D.” Bales (Martin) is the beloved fire chief of his small town who seemingly has it all … except for his grotesquely elongated nose, which makes him sensitive about his appearance. One summer, C.D. falls for Roxanne Kowalski (Daryl Hannah), a beautiful astronomy Ph.D. student. While she likes C.D. as a friend, Roxanne only has eyes for firefighter Chris McConnell (Rick Rossovich). That’s why Chris recruits C.D. to help him woo Roxanne with the charming words that he can’t come up with by himself. But as C.D. continues the deception to help his friend, he finds himself with even deeper romantic feelings for Roxanne.

Beetlejuice (1988)

Beetlejuice
70 %
7.5/10
pg 92m
Genre Fantasy, Comedy
Stars Alec Baldwin, Geena Davis, Jeffrey Jones
Directed by Tim Burton
Is it possible to steal your own movie? If so, then somebody should arrest Michael Keaton because he absolutely walks away with Beetlejuice despite having relatively little screen time compared to the other actors. Adam (Alec Baldwin) and Barbara Maitland (Geena Davis) are a recently deceased couple who befriend the young girl, Lydia Deetz (Winona Ryder), who moved into their home. However, the Maitlands aren’t crazy about Lydia’s parents. That’s why the ghost named Betelgeuse (Keaton) attempts to convince the Maitlands to set him loose in the house and scare away the current owners. But Betelgeuse wants a lot more than just a haunting, and it’s a price that the Maitlands aren’t willing to pay.

Blade Runner 2049 (2017)

Blade Runner 2049
81 %
8/10
r 164m
Genre Science Fiction, Drama
Stars Ryan Gosling, Harrison Ford, Ana de Armas
Directed by Denis Villeneuve
Director Denis Villeneuve really has a talent for making visually arresting sci-fi films. Blade Runner 2049 is simply gorgeous, even when it explores the seedy side of the future. Thirty years after the original Blade Runner, a police replicant named K (Ryan Gosling) discovers evidence that a human and a replicant had a child together. K even comes to believe that the child may have been him. To get answers about his true nature, K will have to track down the long-missing Blade Runner, Rick Deckard (Harrison Ford).

Dunkirk (2017)

Dunkirk
94 %
7.8/10
pg-13 107m
Genre War, Action, Drama
Stars Fionn Whitehead, Tom Hardy, Mark Rylance
Directed by Christopher Nolan
Christopher Nolan’s Dunkirk explores one of the darkest hours of World War II, when the Allied forces were trapped on the beaches and harbor of Dunkirk, France, by German forces, as they tried to make their escape across the English Channel. Within the film, the story covers the rescue efforts by sea and by air, while Tommy Jensen (Fionn Whitehead) and other soldiers on the ground struggle to survive the German onslaught. There are uplifting moments of hope and clarity, especially when strangers come together to save the soldiers. But this is also a story of sacrifice, and not everyone will make it home alive.

King Richard (2021)

King Richard
76 %
7.5/10
pg-13 145m
Genre Drama, History
Stars Will Smith, Saniyya Sidney, Aunjanue Ellis
Directed by Reinaldo Marcus Green
Will Smith received an Oscar nomination for Best Actor for his performance in King Richard. This film is based on the real story of Richard Williams (Smith), a man who paved the way for his daughters, Venus (Saniyya Sidney) and Serena Williams (Demi Singleton), to become two of the best female tennis players of their generation. But reaching the top of the mountain involves overcoming a lot of obstacles. And the film does acknowledge that Richard’s wife, Oracene “Brandy” Price (Aunjanue Ellis), also played a critical role in shaping Venus and Serena’s lives.

The Dead Zone (1983)

The Dead Zone
69 %
7.2/10
r 103m
Genre Thriller, Horror, Science Fiction
Stars Christopher Walken, Brooke Adams, Tom Skerritt
Directed by David Cronenberg
Stephen King is a genius. His horror stories are consistently great, and The Dead Zone stands out from the pack. There’s no supernatural killer here. It’s just the tragedy of Johnny Smith (Christopher Walken), a man who is gifted with glimpses of the future after spending five years in a coma. Johnny’s attempt to use his power to help others backfires on him, and he finds himself alienated from society. But when Johnny meets Senatorial candidate Greg Stillson (Martin Sheen), he realizes that the future he saw must never come to pass.

Pacific Rim (2013)

Pacific Rim
65 %
6.9/10
pg-13 131m
Genre Action, Science Fiction, Adventure
Stars Charlie Hunnam, Rinko Kikuchi, Idris Elba
Directed by Guillermo del Toro
Guillermo del Toro has never had a chance to direct a Godzilla movie. Instead, he got to play in his own playground in Pacific Rim. The short version is that giant alien monsters (Kaiju) are popping into our world through a dimensional rift, so humanity created giant robots (Jaegers) to fight them. However, the Jaegers are limited because they require two pilots to be intimately joined in order to function. Former Jaeger pilot Raleigh Becket (Charlie Hunnam) has to shake off his reservations and trauma in order to bond with his new partner, Mako Mori (Rinko Kikuchi). But Mako has some tragedy of her own that she needs to move past before she and Raleigh can save humanity.

The Cooler (2003)

The Cooler
69 %
6.9/10
r 101m
Genre Romance, Drama
Stars William H. Macy, Alec Baldwin, Maria Bello
Directed by Wayne Kramer
Is it possible to have supernaturally bad luck? In The Cooler, Bernard “Bernie” Lootz (William H. Macy) is a man who is essentially employed by a casino due to his almost infectious poor fortune. Bernie simply needs to stand near someone with a hot hand at a gambling table, and their luck will abandon them. At the end of his six-year deal, Bernie tells the casino owner, Sheldon “Shelly” Kaplow (Alec Baldwin), that he intends to leave Las Vegas. To prevent this, Shelly hires a waitress, Natalie Belisario (Maria Bello), to romance Bernie so he will abandon his plans. Unfortunately for Shelly, Bernie and Natalie form a true bond that seemingly turns Bernie’s bad luck into a run of good luck for anyone around him.

High Fidelity (2000)

High Fidelity
79 %
7.5/10
r 113m
Genre Comedy, Drama, Romance, Music
Stars John Cusack, Iben Hjejle, Todd Louiso
Directed by Stephen Frears
High Fidelity stars John Cusack as Rob Gordon, the owner of a vinyl record store who loves music and pop culture a little bit more than his ex-girlfriend, Laura (Iben Hjejle). Rob also enjoys riffing with his fellow employees, Barry Judd (Jack Black) and Dick (Todd Louiso), but he doesn’t realize how good he had it with Laura until after their relationship is over. At that point, Rob resolves to do better with his life and win Laura back. Based on the popular 1995 Nick Hornby novel of the same name, the funniest parts of this movie are all about Rob’s insatiable passion for music and the obsessive Top 5 lists he makes about music, his love life, and everything in between.

Hellboy (2004)

Hellboy
72 %
6.8/10
pg-13 122m
Genre Fantasy, Action
Stars Ron Perlman, John Hurt, Selma Blair
Directed by Guillermo del Toro
There are three live-action Hellboy films. But you should really make sure that you’re watching the two directed by Guillermo del Toro. In the very first movie, Ron Perlman stars as Hellboy, a literal demon from Hell who has been raised as a force for good by his adoptive father, Trevor Bruttenholm (John Hurt). In the present, Hellboy and his friends, Liz Sherman (Selma Blair) and Abe Sapien (Doug Jones), are supernatural special agents who go after the things that go bump in the night. Unfortunately, the infamous Grigori Rasputin (Karel Roden) returns from the grave and plots to transform Hellboy into the beast of the apocalypse.

Dune (2021)

Dune
74 %
8.1/10
155m
Genre Science Fiction, Adventure
Stars Timothée Chalamet, Rebecca Ferguson, Oscar Isaac
Directed by Denis Villeneuve
Director Denis Villeneuve’s adaptation of Frank Herbert’s Dune was one of the few true hits of the pandemic era. And now that the film is back on HBO Max, viewers can see why it received several Oscar nominations as well. Timothée Chalamet portrays Paul Atreides, the heir of House Atreides and seemingly a figure of destiny. The universe is in Paul’s hands, or at least it was until his house was betrayed by the emperor and attacked by House Harkonnen. Now, Paul and his mother, Lady Jessica (Rebecca Ferguson), must find a way to survive on the desert planet, Arrakis/Dune, and reclaim the power that was once theirs.

Frailty (2001)

Frailty
64 %
7.2/10
r 100m
Genre Drama, Thriller, Crime
Stars Bill Paxton, Matthew McConaughey, Powers Boothe
Directed by Bill Paxton
Frailty is a harrowing horror film directed by Bill Paxton, who also stars as Mr. Meiks. In the present, Fenton Meiks (Matthew McConaughey) approaches FBI Agent Wesley Doyle (Powers Boothe) with the story of how his father became a serial killer who believed he received messages from God. Young Fenton (Matt O’Leary) and his brother, Adam (Jeremy Sumpter), were forced to take part in their father’s murders. While Fenton had obvious misgivings about killing, Adam embraces his father’s quest and claims to see visions of his own. And soon, both Adam and his father claim to see a “demon” in Fenton as well.

West Side Story (2021)

West Side Story
85 %
7.7/10
156m
Genre Drama, Romance, Crime
Stars Ansel Elgort, Rachel Zegler, Rita Moreno
Directed by Steven Spielberg
Both versions of West Side Story are now on HBO Max, and also on this list. And they both deserve to be here. Steven Spielberg has given the classic musical a brilliant modern remake while still retaining the core essence of the original story. In the late ‘50s, two gangs, the Jets and the Sharks, are vying for domination of a neighborhood. Tony (Ansel Elgort) is a former member of the Jets who falls for Maria (Rachel Zegler), the sister of the Sharks’ leader, Bernardo (David Alvarez). Tony and Maria’s newfound love is soon tested as the gangs prepare for the ultimate rumble.

Blinded by the Light (2019)

Blinded by the Light
71 %
6.9/10
pg-13 114m
Genre Drama, Comedy
Stars Viveik Kalra, Nell Williams, Hayley Atwell
Directed by Gurinder Chadha
Blinded By the Light is inspired by the real life story of Sarfraz Manzoor, but with some fictional elements added as well. Viveik Kalra stars as Javed Khan, Pakistani teenager living in Britain in 1987. Javed faces constant racism at school, and his parents, Malik (Kulvinder Ghir) and Noor Khan (Meera Ganatra), simply don’t get him. Fortunately, one of Javed’s few friends, Roops (Aaron Phagura), turns him on to the music of Bruce Springsteen. Javed is so inspired by “the Boss,” that he embraces his creative drive. But he still needs to find a way to accept himself and his life.

Doctor Sleep (2019)

Doctor Sleep
59 %
7.3/10
r 152m
Genre Horror, Thriller
Stars Ewan McGregor, Kyliegh Curran, Rebecca Ferguson
Directed by Mike Flanagan
Doctor Sleep walks a fine line between acting as a sequel to Stephen King’s The Shining, and Stanley Kubrick’s theatrical adaptation, which King reportedly hated. Somehow, it manages to reconcile the two as much as possible. In the present, Danny Torrance (Ewan McGregor) is still haunted by his experiences in the Overlook Hotel. But after finding peace within himself, Danny befriends a young girl named Abra Stone (Kyliegh Curran) whose shining power may dwarf his own. Unfortunately, Abra’s powers also draw the attention of a psychic cult called the True Knot, which wants to feed off of her gift. To save Abra, Danny will have to face the literal ghosts of his past.

Amistad (1997)

Amistad
63 %
7.3/10
r 155m
Genre Drama, History, Mystery
Stars Djimon Hounsou, Morgan Freeman, Matthew McConaughey
Directed by Steven Spielberg
Director Steven Spielberg brought the story of Amistad to the big screen and dramatized a real incident that happened in 1839. On the slave ship La Amistad, Joseph Cinqué (Djimon Hounsou) and the other captives stage a mutiny and seize control. Upon their arrival in America, Joseph and his fellow slaves find themselves at the mercy of a legal battle. Roger Sherman Baldwin (Matthew McConaughey) and his associate, Theodore Joadson (Morgan Freeman), take Joseph’s case and attempt to win their freedom in court. In time, even former President John Quincy Adams (Anthony Hopkins) joins Joseph’s representatives. But the odds are stacked against them.

City Slickers (1991)

City Slickers
70 %
6.8/10
114m
Genre Comedy, Western
Stars Billy Crystal, Daniel Stern, Bruno Kirby
Directed by Ron Underwood
In City Slickers, Mitch Robbins (Billy Crystal), Phil Berquist (Daniel Stern), and Ed Furillo (Bruno Kirby) are three middle-aged men who realize that their lives are unfulfilled. However, they find new purpose within themselves when they sign up for a cattle drive under the leadership of Curly Washburn (Jack Palance). But when Curly unexpectedly dies before the drive is over, Mitch and his friends will have to embrace their inner cowboys in order to safely deliver the herd. There is a sequel involving the search for Curley’s gold, but it doesn’t match the heart of the original film.

3:10 to Yuma (2007)

3:10 to Yuma
76 %
7.7/10
r 122m
Genre Western
Stars Christian Bale, Russell Crowe, Logan Lerman
Directed by James Mangold
Remakes of classic western films rarely turn out well, but 3:10 To Yuma bucks the trend thanks in part to strong leading performances by Russell Crowe and Christian Bale. Bale plays Dan Evans, a disabled war veteran who encounters Ben Wade (Crowe), the leader of an outlaw gang. After Dan inadvertently helps Pinkerton agents capture Ben, he is hired to escort their prisoner out of the town. That’s much easier said than done when Ben kills two of his captors while the rest of his gang ruthlessly pursues Dan.

Rob Roy (1995)

Rob Roy
55 %
6.9/10
r 139m
Genre Adventure, History, War, Drama
Stars Liam Neeson, Jessica Lange, John Hurt
Directed by Michael Caton-Jones
The story of a real-life Scottish clan chief Rob Roy MacGregor is immortalized in the mid-90s historical epic Rob Roy. Liam Neeson stars as Rob Roy, a man who tries to do right by his people. When Archibald Cunningham (Tim Roth) steals Rob Roy’s money, he realizes that Archibald’s friend, James Graham (John Hurt), 4th Marquess of Montrose, is also his enemy. Incensed, Rob Roy leads his people to attack James’ ability to collect taxes and rent. In retaliation, Archibald is empowered to strike back at Rob Roy, and he even targets Rob Roy’s wife, Mary MacGregor (Jessica Lange), in a bid to draw him out.

West Side Story (1961)

West Side Story
86 %
7.5/10
pg 152m
Genre Crime, Drama, Romance
Stars Natalie Wood, Richard Beymer, Russ Tamblyn
Directed by Robert Wise, Jerome Robbins
Steven Spielberg has a modern update of West Side Story that recently left theaters and will likely come to HBO Max in the near future. But in the meantime, the original West Side Story has been added to the library, and it retains its power even after five decades. Screen icon Natalie Wood stars as Maria, with Richard Beymer as Tony. Although both Maria and Tony have links with competing gangs, they find themselves romantically drawn to each other. It’s a Romeo and Juliet story for the ages. And we all know how that goes.

12 Years a Slave (2013)

12 Years a Slave
96 %
8.1/10
134m
Genre Drama, History
Stars Chiwetel Ejiofor, Michael Fassbender, Lupita Nyong'o
Directed by Steve McQueen
You may not know this, but 12 Years a Slave is based on the true story of Solomon Northup, and the book he wrote about his experience. Solomon (Chiwetel Ejiofor) was a free Black man in 1841 who was kidnapped and sold into slavery in the south. Despite Solomon’s protests, he is forced to toil for vile slave masters, including Edwin Epps (Michael Fassbender). While in captivity, Solomon befriends a fellow slave named Patsey (Lupita Nyong’o). However, the hope of ever seeing his wife and children again seems like an increasingly remote possibility for Solomon.

The Iron Giant (1999)

The Iron Giant
85 %
pg 86m
Genre Family, Animation, Adventure, Science Fiction, Comedy
Stars Eli Marienthal, Jennifer Aniston, Harry Connick Jr.
Directed by Brad Bird
Before Brad Bird moved over to Pixar, he directed The Iron Giant, an instant classic among animated films. Vin Diesel stars as the Iron Giant, a large robot of alien origin who befriends a young boy named Hogarth Hughes (Eli Marienthal). Hogarth tries to keep the Giant a secret from his mother, Annie (Jennifer Aniston), but he finds a willing accomplice with the local beatnik, Dean McCoppin (Harry Connick Jr.). Unfortunately, paranoid federal agent Kent Mansley (Christopher McDonald) will do anything to destroy the giant, no matter who gets hurt.

March of the Penguins (2005)

March of the Penguins
79 %
7.5/10
g 80m
Genre Documentary, Family
Stars Morgan Freeman, Charles Berling, Romane Bohringer
Directed by Luc Jacquet
March of the Penguins is a beautifully filmed documentary that chronicles the lives of emperor penguins in Antarctica. These birds withstand brutally cold temperatures to mate, and then protect and feed their chicks, even if it means walking 70 miles just to find food. But perhaps the most stunning part of the film is how the penguins react to the loss of their chicks with open displays of sorrow and grief. But despite the occasional touch of tragedy, there is love and hope in the coldest place on Earth.

Nightmare Alley (2021)

Nightmare Alley
69 %
7.4/10
r 150m
Genre Crime, Drama, Thriller
Stars Bradley Cooper, Cate Blanchett, Toni Collette
Directed by Guillermo del Toro
Director Guillermo del Toro veers away from fantasy and sci-fi for his modern remake of Nightmare Alley. Bradley Cooper stars as Stanton “Stan” Carlisle, a man who picks up the art of cold reading after joining a carnival. Stan’s talent allows him to pass himself off as a medium, and leads some desperate people to believe that he really has psychic powers. Soon after, psychiatrist Lilith Ritter (Cate Blanchett) approaches Stan with an offer to con the rich and powerful Judge Kimball (Peter MacNeill). However, Stan soon learns that Lilith may be a more gifted con artist than he is. And he’s the mark.

Donnie Darko (2001)

Donnie Darko
88 %
8/10
r 114m
Genre Fantasy, Drama, Mystery
Stars Jake Gyllenhaal, Jena Malone, James Duval
Directed by Richard Kelly
Donnie Darko is an unsettling sci-fi thriller with a young Jake Gyllenhaal in the title role. After narrowly surviving an inexplicable accident, Donnie begins having disturbing visions of Frank (James Duval), a man in a rabbit suit who warns him that the world will end in 28 days. As the weeks tick down, Donnie begins to realize that Frank’s warnings may prove to be correct. Donnie also finds a romantic connection with Gretchen Ross (Jena Malone). With time running out for both himself and the world, Donnie takes drastic actions to protect Gretchen, even if it means they can’t be together.

Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street (2007)

Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street
83 %
7.3/10
116m
Genre Drama, Horror
Stars Johnny Depp, Helena Bonham Carter, Alan Rickman
Directed by Tim Burton
There’s a reason why they call Sweeney Todd “the demon barber of Fleet Street.” It’s because Sweeney Todd (Johnny Depp) uses his barbershop as a cover to murder people and send their corpses downstairs to Nellie Lovett (Helena Bonham Carter) so she can make them into horrible meat pies. Tim Burton’s adaptation of the Broadway musical does offer some glimpses of Todd’s humanity, and the way he was wronged by the corrupt Judge Turpin (Alan Rickman). But that doesn’t excuse the gleefully morbid way that Todd goes about getting his revenge, or all of the dead bodies he leaves in his wake.

Nobody (2021)

Nobody
64 %
7.4/10
r 92m
Genre Action, Crime, Thriller
Stars Bob Odenkirk, Aleksey Serebryakov, Connie Nielsen
Directed by Ilya Naishuller
After an illustrious career on television, Bob Odenkirk could hardly be described as ordinary. And yet the leading man of Better Call Saul found his inner action star in Nobody. Hutch Mansell (Odenkirk) is a man emotionally estranged from his wife, Becca (Connie Nielsen), and their kids. After a home robbery leaves Hutch feeling like a failure to his family, he recovers his old gun and goes looking for trouble. Unfortunately for Hutch, he finds what he’s looking for when he alienates Yulian Kuznetsov (Aleksei Serebryakov), a vicious Russian mob boss. Once Yulian sends his men to get revenge, Hutch will have to step up and protect his loved ones.

Easy A (2010)

Easy A
72 %
7/10
pg-13 93m
Genre Comedy
Stars Emma Stone, Cam Gigandet, Amanda Bynes
Directed by Will Gluck
Easy A is both a modernized version of The Scarlet Letter, and fully aware of the story within the script itself. In a star-making turn, Emma Stone headlines the film as Olive Penderghast, a high school student who lies about losing her virginity. Olive soon realizes that her gift for lying can be very lucrative, especially because of the boys who need someone to pretend to be intimate with them. She even appropriates the “A” from The Scarlet Letter as her own symbol. Unfortunately for Olive, her lies spiral out of control when no one will tell the truth and help her salvage her reputation.

Memento (2000)

Memento
80 %
8.4/10
r 113m
Genre Mystery, Thriller
Stars Guy Pearce, Carrie-Anne Moss, Joe Pantoliano
Directed by Christopher Nolan
Christopher Nolan’s second feature film, Memento, established him as one of the top directors in Hollywood. Guy Pearce headlines the film as Leonard Shelby, a man who is searching for his wife’s killer. However, that search is complicated by Leonard’s anterograde amnesia, which means that he can’t form any new memories. And every 15 minutes or so, Leonard forgets everything and resets. The film plays with time by beginning at the end and working its way backwards as Leonard wonders who he can trust, and whom he should kill.

Malcolm X (1992)

Malcolm X
73 %
7.7/10
pg-13 202m
Genre Drama, History
Stars Denzel Washington, Angela Bassett, Albert Hall
Directed by Spike Lee
Denzel Washington did not win an Oscar for playing Malcolm X in the movie that shares his name. But he should have, because his performance is mesmerizing and this is one of director Spike Lee’s greatest films. The story follows Malcolm Little from his teenage years to his criminal career and finally to his prison stint where he converted to Islam and ultimately reinvented himself as a high ranking member of the Nation of Islam. Malcolm X’s profile in the Black community alarms his enemies both within and outside of the Nation of Islam. And when Malcolm chooses his own path to follow, it places his life in danger.

Gravity (2013)

Gravity
96 %
7.7/10
pg-13 91m
Genre Science Fiction, Thriller, Drama
Stars Sandra Bullock, George Clooney, Ed Harris
Directed by Alfonso Cuarón
Gravity is director Alfonso Cuarón’s sci-fi masterpiece, but it’s a very grounded story with a powerhouse performance by Sandra Bullock as Dr. Ryan Stone. During her first mission in space, Ryan’s life is threatened on a space walk. Matt Kowalsky (George Clooney) leaves the shuttle to save Ryan, only for both of them to discover that a disaster has claimed the lives of everyone else on the mission. With only each other to rely on, Ryan and Matt must find some way to survive and return to Earth. But that may require a mixture of the miraculous and basic human ingenuity.

Friday (1995)

Friday
54 %
7.3/10
r 91m
Genre Comedy
Stars Ice Cube, Chris Tucker, Nia Long
Directed by F. Gary Gray
Friday is such a classic comedy that Warner Bros. is still trying to make another sequel with Ice Cube. Within the film, Craig Jones (Ice Cube) and his best friend, small-time weed dealer Smokey (Chris Tucker), make the mistake of smoking some of the weed that Smokey’s supposed to sell for local drug lord Big Worm (Faizon Love). And Worm is not in a forgiving mood when he orders them to pay him back in just a few hours or else he will have them killed. On top of that, the neighborhood bully Deebo (Tiny “Zeus” Lister Jr.) steals their money and threatens to knock them the f*ck out! Since neither Craig nor Smokey has a job to fall back on, their misadventures in the neighborhood hilariously push them to the limit.

2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)

2001: A Space Odyssey
84 %
8.3/10
g 149m
Genre Science Fiction, Mystery, Adventure
Stars Keir Dullea, Gary Lockwood, William Sylvester
Directed by Stanley Kubrick
The word “masterpiece” tends to be overused in film criticism. But 2001: A Space Odyssey lives up the hype and is a true accomplishment in the realm of cinema. Director Stanley Kubrick collaborated with sci-fi writer Arthur C. Clarke on this enigmatic story of humanity’s origins and their link to a mysterious alien monolith. During a space mission to follow the monolith’s signal, Dr. David Bowman (Keir Dullea) and Dr. Frank Poole (Gary Lockwood) are alarmed by the ship’s A.I., HAL 9000 (Douglas Rain), as it makes some serious errors along the way. It seems that HAL is all-too human in terms of his personality, and he plots to eliminate the astronauts in order to insure his own survival.

The Suicide Squad (2021)

The Suicide Squad
76 %
7.3/10
r 132m
Genre Action, Adventure, Fantasy
Stars Margot Robbie, Idris Elba, John Cena
Directed by James Gunn
After a brief stint on HBO Max earlier this year, The Suicide Squad is back with some of the most obscure comic book characters ever to grace the big screen. Bloodsport (Idris Elba), the man who shot Superman, is blackmailed into leading a team of dangerous convicts on a suicide mission behind enemy lines. Against his better judgment, Bloodsport even begins to care about some of his teammates. However, not everyone on Task Force X can be trusted. And there’s a fairly high chance that the team didn’t bring enough body bags for this mission. When the tagline for a film is “don’t get too attached,” take it seriously.

Anna Karenina (2012)

Anna Karenina
63 %
6.6/10
r 130m
Genre Drama, Romance
Stars Keira Knightley, Jude Law, Aaron Taylor-Johnson
Directed by Joe Wright
The Russian romance novel Anna Karenina will never be mistaken for a holiday film. But it’s a timeless tale of tragic love that has garnered several adaptations. The 2012 version stars Keira Knightley as Anna Karenina, a woman who accompanies her husband, Alexei Karenin (Jude Law), to Moscow in order to help her brother, Prince Stepan “Stiva” Arkadyevich (Matthew Macfadyen). Much to Anna’s surprise, she falls for Count Alexei Kirillovich Vronsky (Aaron Taylor-Johnson), even though she knows firsthand what the consequences of her infidelity may be. Let’s just say that Russian novels aren’t known for their happy endings.

Jackie Brown (1997)

Jackie Brown
64 %
7.5/10
r 154m
Genre Crime, Thriller, Drama
Stars Pam Grier, Samuel L. Jackson, Robert De Niro
Directed by Quentin Tarantino
For his third film as a director, Quentin Tarantino adapted Elmore Leonard’s novel, Rum Punch, into the stylish flick, Jackie Brown. Pam Grier stars as the title character, a stewardess who smuggles money for Ordell Robbie (Samuel L. Jackson). When ATF Agent Ray Nicolette (Michael Keaton) and the authorities catch Jackie in the act, Ordell plans to kill her. Fortunately, Jackie is a very foxy lady. With the help of bail bondsman Max Cherry (Robert Forster), Jackie comes up with the scheme of a lifetime. But Ordell is a very dangerous man to cross, and he will kill whoever he has to get his money back.

No Country for Old Men (2007)

No Country for Old Men
91 %
8.1/10
r 122m
Genre Crime, Drama, Thriller
Stars Tommy Lee Jones, Javier Bardem, Josh Brolin
Directed by Joel Coen, Ethan Coen
Many Coen Brothers crime films have a light touch and many comedic moments. No Country For Old Men is not one of those films. Instead, the Coens go into very dark territory in this early ‘80s period piece. Llewelyn Moss (Josh Brolin) stumbles across a drug deal gone bad as well as millions of dollars in drug money. Unfortunately for Liewelyn, the cartel has sent Anton Chigurh (Javier Bardem) to retrieve the cash, and he is easily one of the most terrifying movie villains of the 21st century. It’s no wonder that Sheriff Ed Tom Bell (Tommy Lee Jones) feels so outmatched by the criminal element. Anton’s capacity for violence has no limits, and Liewelyn soon realizes just how much trouble he’s in.

The Truman Show (1998)

The Truman Show
90 %
8.1/10
pg 103m
Genre Comedy, Drama
Stars Jim Carrey, Laura Linney, Noah Emmerich
Directed by Peter Weir
Meet Truman Burbank (Jim Carrey), the star of The Truman Show. This show within a movie is all about every aspect of Truman’s life, but he has no idea that everyone around him is playing a role. The only real thing in Truman’s existence is Truman himself, and even his wife, Meryl (Laura Linney), is simply an actress who doesn’t truly love him. As Truman begins to question the carefully constructed lie of his life, the show’s creator, Christof (Ed Harris), becomes increasingly determined that Truman never learn the truth.

Pride & Prejudice (2005)

Pride & Prejudice
82 %
7.8/10
pg-13 127m
Genre Drama, Romance
Stars Keira Knightley, Talulah Riley, Rosamund Pike
Directed by Joe Wright
Jane Austin’s romance novel, Pride & Prejudice, has been adapted several times for film and television. However, director Joe Wright’s 2005 adaptation may be the best one to date. Wright and screenwriter Deborah Moggach are true to the spirit of the novel while also making a few updates that modernize the story while maintaining its period setting. Keira Knightley stars as Elizabeth Bennet, the second oldest of five Bennet sisters who need to find good marriages in order to secure their standing once their father passes. Elizabeth isn’t eager to marry, even though Mr. Darcy (Matthew Macfadyen) is a very determined suitor. However, Elizabeth can still find love if she opens her heart and sees Darcy for who he truly is.

Full Metal Jacket (1987)

Full Metal Jacket
76 %
8.3/10
r 117m
Genre Drama, War
Stars Matthew Modine, Adam Baldwin, Vincent D'Onofrio
Directed by Stanley Kubrick
Stanley Kubrick’s Full Metal Jacket is one of the most harrowing war movies ever made. Matthew Modine stars as Private J. T. “Joker” Davis, a soldier who is paired with Private Leonard “Gomer Pyle” Lawrence (Vincent D’Onofrio). Leonard is bullied so mercilessly by Gunnery Sergeant Hartman (Lee Ermey) and his fellow soldiers that he suffers a frightening mental break. In the aftermath of that incident, Joker is promoted to Sergeant and sent for a tour of duty in Vietnam. From there, Joker’s descent into the hell of war leaves him a changed man.

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone (2001)

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone
65 %
7.6/10
pg 152m
Genre Adventure, Fantasy
Stars Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint, Emma Watson
Directed by Chris Columbus
“You’re a wizard, Harry!” This year marks the 20th anniversary of the first film in J.K. Rowling’s Wizarding World. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone (called Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone in the U.K.) introduces movie lovers to Harry Potter (Daniel Radcliffe). On his way to Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry for his first year, Harry makes lifelong friends with Ron Weasley (Rupert Grint) and Hermione Granger (Emma Watson). However, their bond will be tested when a hidden danger is revealed at Hogwarts. HBO Max has debuted a new “Magical Movie Mode” for this flick, which offers a glimpse behind the scenes and even shares spell incantations onscreen.

King Kong (2005)

King Kong
81 %
7.2/10
pg-13 188m
Genre Action, Adventure, Drama
Stars Naomi Watts, Jack Black, Adrien Brody, Thomas Kretschmann, Colin Hanks, Jamie Bell
Directed by Peter Jackson
Before directing The Lord of the Rings trilogy, Peter Jackson desperately wanted to remake King Kong as a modern blockbuster. Following his LOTR success, Jackson got his chance with a lavish production that makes the “Eighth Wonder of the World” bigger than ever. Naomi Watts stars as Ann Darrow, a struggling actress who is recruited by director Carl Denham (Jack Black) for an on-location shoot that is far more dangerous than she realizes. Although Ann falls for screenwriter Jack Driscoll (Adrien Brody), Kong only has eyes for her. While Kong saves Ann on Skull Island, all bets are off when he is captured and taken back to New York.

Mad Max Fury Road (2015)

Mad Max Fury Road
90 %
8.1/10
r 120m
Genre Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi
Stars Tom Hardy, Charlize Theron, Nicholas Hoult, Hugh Keays-Byrne, Rosie Huntington-Whiteley
Directed by George Miller
Most sequels fail to live up to the original movie that inspired them. But most sequels aren’t Mad Max: Fury Road, a thrilling action film that successfully revamped and updated the franchise for a new century. Tom Hardy headlines the film as Max Rockatansky, but the real star is Charlize Theron’s Imperator Furiosa. She absolutely steals the movie from him. Together, they take it upon themselves to protect the unwilling wives of Immortan Joe (Hugh Keays-Byrne) and escort them to safety across the wasteland. The action is top-notch, and it’s an easy film to watch again and again.

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (2004)

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
82 %
7.9/10
pg 142m
Genre Fantasy, Adventure
Stars Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint, Emma Watson, Alan Rickman, Michael Gambon, Richard Griffiths
Directed by Alfonso Cuarón
All eight of the Harry Potter movies are now on HBO Max. And while you should certainly revisit the first two movies, the third film, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, is widely recognized as the best in the series. Thanks to the artful direction of Alfonso Cuarón and a powerful screenplay by Steve Kloves, Harry Potter (Daniel Radcliffe) has an affecting emotional odyssey when he learns that his godfather, Sirius Black (Gary Oldman), has escaped Azkaban’s prison for wizards. Harry believes that Sirius betrayed his parents and led them to their deaths. However, the truth is something that Harry never expected. And if the Boy Who Lived wants to put things right, he’s going to have to cheat the reaper … and evade the deadly Dementors.

Unforgiven (1992)

Unforgiven
85 %
8.2/10
r 131m
Genre Western, Drama
Stars Clint Eastwood, Gene Hackman, Morgan Freeman, Richard Harris
Directed by Clint Eastwood
Clint Eastwood has made a lot of westerns in his career, but Unforgiven is in a class all its own. Eastwood directed the film and stars as Will Munny, an aging outlaw who turned his back on a life of violence in order to raise a family. Will’s desperate finances lead him to accept a bounty on two cowboys who brutally disfigured a prostitute, Delilah Fitzgerald (Anna Thomson). Will recruits his old friend, Ned Logan (Morgan Freeman), and they join The Schofield Kid (Jaimz Woolvett) to avenge Delilah’s injury. Unfortunately for the trio, Sheriff Little Bill Daggett (Gene Hackman) doesn’t take kindly to assassins, and his brand of justice is even more brutal than Will’s.

The Shawshank Redemption (1994)

The Shawshank Redemption
80 %
9.3/10
r 142m
Genre Drama
Stars Tim Robbins, Morgan Freeman, Bob Gunton, William Sadler, Clancy Brown, Gil Bellows
Directed by Frank Darabont
Stephen King’s The Shawshank Redemption is one of his best non-horror stories, although there are definitely some horrific things that take place inside Shawshank Penitentiary. Andy Dufresne (Tim Robbins) is sentenced to life in prison for murdering his wife and her lover. However, Andy’s pleas of innocence are ignored, even when a fellow inmate offers information that could clear his name. As the decades pass, Andy befriends Ellis Boyd “Red” Redding (Morgan Freeman) and struggles to overcome the cage within his mind as well as the prison holding his body. Andy’s courage inspires Red, especially when Andy’s greatest secret emerges.

Jurassic Park (1993)

Jurassic Park
68 %
8.1/10
pg-13 128m
Genre Sci-fi, Action, Adventure
Stars Sam Neill, Laura Dern, Jeff Goldblum, Richard Attenborough, Samuel L. Jackson, Wayne Knight
Directed by Steven Spielberg
Nearly three decades after its debut, Jurassic Park still stands as a monumental special effects achievement for its depiction of believable dinosaurs. Dr. John Hammond (Richard Attenborough) summons three experts, Dr. Alan Grant (Sam Neill), Dr. Ellie Sattler (Laura Dern), and Dr. Ian Malcolm (Jeff Goldblum), to his private island so they can see a test run of the new theme park with actual cloned dinosaurs. While the doctors are alarmed and excited by the implications of John’s actions, they are soon thrust into a dangerous situation when Jurassic Park is sabotaged from within.

Inception (2010)

Inception
74 %
8.8/10
pg-13 148m
Genre Action, Sci-Fi
Stars Leonardo DiCaprio, Ken Watanabe, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Marion Cotillard, Tom Hardy, Cillian Murphy, Elliot Page
Directed by Christopher Nolan
Your mind is the scene of the crime in Inception, the film that solidified Christopher Nolan movies as events unto themselves. Nolan didn’t need Batman to make this blockbuster, but several of his actors returned for this flick. Within the story, Dom Cobb (Leonardo DiCaprio) is a thief who makes his living by breaking into other people’s dreams to steal their most valuable secrets. However, there’s something even more valuable than secrets: Inception. That’s the act of placing an idea into the mind of a victim and letting them believe that it was their idea. It’s a very dangerous mission, which threatens the lives of Dom and his new team.

A Mighty Wind (2003)

A Mighty Wind
81 %
7.2/10
pg-13 92m
Genre Comedy, Music
Stars Bob Balaban, Christopher Guest, John Michael Higgins, Eugene Levy, Michael McKean, Catherine O'Hara
Directed by Christopher Guest
If This Is Spinal Tap goes up to 11, then A Mighty Wind is more of a 7 or an 8. However, several Spinal Tap veterans appear in this unexpectedly sweet musical mockumentary. After a famous music producer passes away, his children reunite his three biggest acts for a memorial concert: The Folksmen, The New Main Street Singers, and Mitch & Mickey. The Folksmen’s trio, Mark Shubb (Harry Shearer), Alan Barrows (Christopher Guest), and Jerry Palter (Michael McKean), get most of the screen time. But there’s also a very effective subplot about Mitch Cohen (Eugene Levy) and Mickey Crabbe (Catherine O’Hara), a former couple who have mixed feelings about reuniting on stage.

Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery (1997)

Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery
51 %
7.0/10
pg-13 89m
Genre Action, Comedy
Stars Mike Myers, Elizabeth Hurley, Michael York, Mimi Rogers, Seth Green
Directed by Jay Roach
Mike Myers goes for a dual role in Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery. In this hilarious James Bond spoof, secret agent Austin Powers (Myers) battles his nemesis, Dr. Evil (also Myers), in the late ’60s. And when Dr. Evil goes into suspended animation, Austin follows suit and awakens in the present day. Neither Austin nor Dr. Evil is able to easily make the adjustment to modern spy warfare. But at least Austin has a great partner, Vanessa Kensington (Elizabeth Hurley). On the other hand, Dr. Evil has an inept crew of henchmen, and a clone son, Scott Evil (Seth Green), who resents him.

The Matrix (1999)

The Matrix
73 %
8.7/10
r 136m
Genre Sci-Fi, Action
Stars Keanu Reeves, Laurence Fishburne, Carrie-Anne Moss, Hugo Weaving, Joe Pantoliano
Directed by The Wachowskis
There is a fourth Matrix film coming to HBO Max and theaters at the end of this year, but the original movie is still in a class by itself. The Matrix came out of nowhere in 1999 and quickly revolutionized sci-fi action with its slick direction and compelling story. Keanu Reeves stars as Neo, a hacker who is haunted by a singular question: “What is the Matrix?” Trinity (Carrie-Anne Moss) and her boss, Morpheus (Laurence Fishburne), hold the answers, but Neo is completely unprepared for the truth. And as he adjusts to his new reality, Neo is threatened by the ruthless Agent Smith (Hugo Weaving) and an enemy much closer than he realizes.

Reservoir Dogs (1992)

Reservoir Dogs
79 %
8.3/10
r 99m
Genre Crime
Stars Harvey Keitel, Tim Roth, Chris Penn, Steve Buscemi, Lawrence Tierney, Michael Madsen
Directed by Quentin Tarantino
Quentin Tarantino recently said that he briefly considered doing a remake of his directorial debut, Reservoir Dogs, as his tenth and final film. A remake is not going to happen, and that’s a good thing, because this is a classic. Crime boss Joe Cabot (Lawrence Tierney) puts together a motley crew to pull off a heist, including Mr. White (Harvey Keitel), Mr. Orange (Tim Roth), Mr. Pink (Steve Buscemi), and the psychotic Mr. Blonde (Michael Madsen). However, one of their numbers is an undercover cop who is in way over his head. Getting out alive may not be an option, once the heist goes bad and the bodies pile up.

Lethal Weapon (1987)

Lethal Weapon
68 %
7.6/10
r 132m
Genre Action, Comedy
Stars Mel Gibson, Danny Glover, Gary Busey, Mitchell Ryan, Tom Atkins
Directed by Richard Donner
Lethal Weapon is the quintessential action buddy cop movie of the ‘80s. A middle-aged police sergeant, Roger Murtaugh (Danny Glover), is partnered with Sergeant Martin Riggs (Mel Gibson), whom Roger suspects is crazy. But Martin has good reasons for his deteriorating mental state, as he struggles to move past the death of his wife. And when Martin is contacted by his old friend, Michael Hunsaker (Tom Atkins), he and Roger soon find themselves way over their heads in a deadly drug conspiracy. Lots of explosions, shootings, and fistfights ensue. But it’s the comedic chemistry of Gibson and Glover that made this flick into a franchise.

Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory (1971)

Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory
67 %
7.8/10
g 100m
Genre Musical, Fantasy
Stars Gene Wilder, Jack Albertson, Peter Ostrum, Roy Kinnear, Julie Dawn Cole. Leonard Stone
Directed by Mel Stuart
Roald Dahl’s classic children’s novel, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, received a slight name change for the big screen. Instead, Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory wisely put Gene Wilder’s mischievous candy factory owner in the title. It’s just as well because Wilder’s manic performance carries the movie through Willy’s wild shifts in tone and attitude. Peter Ostrum also stars in the film as Charlie Bucket, one of five children from around the world who have located one of Wonka’s golden tickets. The winner will get a lifetime supply of chocolate, but first Charlie and the rest of the kids have to pass Willy’s demented morality tests. Spoiler alert: Most of the children don’t pass, and Willy seems to delight in their bizarre and outlandish fates.

Happy Feet (2006)

Happy Feet
77 %
6.4/10
pg 108m
Genre Musical, Comedy
Stars Elijah Wood, Robin Williams, Brittany Murphy, Hugh Jackman, Nicole Kidman
Directed by George Miller
Would you believe that Mad Max director George Miller helmed the animated film Happy Feet? Not only did Miller expand into new, all-ages territory, but it’s a great example that other studios beyond Disney, Pixar, and DreamWorks can make terrific animated movies as well. Elijah Wood stars as Mumble, a penguin born without the ability to sing. Fortunately, Mumble was also born with the gift of dance, and he uses it to pursue the penguin of his dreams, Gloria (Brittany Murphy). Mumble’s elders may not understand his dancing gestures, but they can’t stifle his moves forever.

Dreamgirls (2006)

Dreamgirls
76 %
6.5/10
pg-13 130m
Genre Musical, Drama
Stars Jamie Foxx, Beyoncé Knowles, Eddie Murphy, Danny Glover, Anika Noni Rose, Jennifer Hudson
Directed by Bill Condon
Dreamgirls is an adaptation of the Broadway musical of the same name, and it plays just as well on the silver screen as it did on the stage. The story is loosely inspired by the history of Motown, and it focuses on the rise of a girl group called the Dreams. Curtis Taylor, Jr. (Jamie Foxx) quickly realizes that the trio of Effie White (Jennifer Hudson), Deena Jones (Beyoncé), and Lorrell Robinson (Anika Noni Rose) can become major stars. The Dreams’ success soon eclipses their associated act, Jimmy “Thunder” Early (Eddie Murphy). However, Curtis’ manipulations also splinter the unity of the Dreams when he elevates Deena at Effie’s expense.

The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring Extended Edition (2001)

The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring Extended Edition
92 %
8.8/10
pg-13 228m
Genre Fantasy, Action, Adventure
Stars Elijah Wood, Ian McKellen, Viggo Mortensen, Sean Astin, John Rhys-Davies, Billy Boyd, Dominic Monaghan, Orlando Bloom, Sean Bean
Directed by Peter Jackson
Nearly two decades ago, Peter Jackson unleashed the first film in his adaptation of J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings. But this isn’t The Fellowship of the Ring that you experienced in theaters. The Extended Edition is a nearly four-hour affair that greatly expands on the early story of Frodo (Elijah Wood), the young Hobbit who comes into possession of the One Ring. To keep this malevolent object out of enemy hands, Frodo and his eight companions embark on a dangerous quest to destroy the ring. Yet the greatest threat to the Fellowship may come from within.

The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (2003)

The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King
94 %
8.9/10
pg-13 263m
Genre Fantasy, Action, Adventure, Drama
Stars Elijah Wood, Ian McKellen, Liv Tyler, Viggo Mortensen, Orlando Bloom, Hugo Weaving
Directed by Peter Jackson
Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings trilogy was capped off with The Return of the King, which won Best Picture at the Oscars. The Extended Version of the film is now on HBO Max, and it includes several scenes that didn’t make it into the theatrical cut. For example, Saruman’s fate is no longer ambiguous. This is also a thrilling and satisfying wrap-up to the story that began during The Fellowship of the Ring. Just be sure to pace yourself along the way. This one clocks in at nearly four and a half hours, so it can be an endurance test for some. But it’s well worth the commitment.

The Departed (2006)

The Departed
85 %
8.5/10
r 151m
Genre Crime, Thriller
Stars Leonardo DiCaprio, Matt Damon, Jack Nicholson, Mark Wahlberg, Martin Sheen
Directed by Martin Scorsese
Would you believe that Martin Scorsese finally won a Best Director Oscar for The Departed? It’s another Best Picture winner on this list as well as a thrilling crime drama starring Leonardo DiCaprio as Billy Costigan Jr. and Matt Damon as Colin Sullivan. Billy is a cop under deep cover within the crime family led by Frank Costello (Jack Nicholson). But Frank also has Colin as a well-placed mole within the police department. As Billy and Colin become aware of each other, it becomes a race to see who can uncover their counterpart’s identity first.

Batman: Mask of the Phantasm (1993)

Batman: Mask of the Phantasm
7.8/10
pg 76m
Genre Superhero, Action
Stars Kevin Conroy, Mark Hamill, Dana Delany, Hart Bochner
Directed by Eric Radomski, Bruce Timm
There have been many Batman movies, but Batman: Mask of the Phantasm may be the best one ever made. This isn’t an exaggeration, as the creative team and the cast behind Batman: The Animated Series created a new adversary for the Dark Knight while opening up a previously unexplored chapter in the life of Bruce Wayne (Kevin Conroy). In the past, Bruce almost walked away from his destiny as Batman to marry Andrea Beaumont (Dana Delany). But in the present, Bruce’s life is complicated by both Andrea’s return and by the emergence of the Phantasm, a vengeful vigilante whose murder spree has been blamed on Batman himself. Mark Hamill’s chillingly evil Joker is the film’s wild card, and the wonderfully dark animation truly captures the spirit of the comics that inspired this movie.

Casablanca (1942)

Casablanca
100 %
8.5/10
pg 102m
Genre Romance, Drama
Stars Humphrey Bogart, Ingrid Bergman, Claude Rains
Directed by Michael Curtiz
Casablanca, the Oscar-winning film that gave the world the iconic line, “Here’s looking at you, kid,” casts Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman as a pair of star-crossed lovers caught up in the dire events of World War II. Bogart portrays an American expatriate who’s forced to choose between the love of his life and the life he’s grown to love in the city of Casablanca.

Citizen Kane (1941)

Citizen Kane
100 %
8.3/10
pg 119m
Genre Drama
Stars Orson Welles, Dorothy Comingore, Joseph Cotten
Directed by Orson Welles
Often cited as the greatest movie ever made, Orson Welles’ Citizen Kane chronicles the rise and fall of fictional newspaper magnate Charles Foster Kane, who rose from poverty to become a prominent player in American politics. Welles directed, co-wrote, produced, and starred in the film, which famously explores its titular character’s life in an attempt to discern the meaning of his dying words.

Spirited Away (2001)

Spirited Away
96 %
8.6/10
pg 124m
Genre Fantasy, Family
Stars Rumi Hiiragi, Mari Natsuki
Directed by Hayao Miyazaki
Acclaimed filmmaker Hayao Miyazaki and the animators at Studio Ghibli crafted this tale of a young girl who finds herself drawn into the fantastic world of Japanese Shinto folklore after an encounter with a powerful witch puts her — and her family — in danger. To date, Spirited Away remains the only hand-drawn, non-English film to win the Academy Award for the year’s Best Animated Feature and was ranked the fourth-best film of the 21st century in a 2016 poll of international film critics. You can also check out the best anime series on Netflix if you’re looking for more like this.

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