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The best movies on HBO Max right now

Even though the streamer has seen a scorched earth approach with its recent cullings, HBO Max is arguably still top-tier in that it hosts some of the best movies to stream right now. In terms of the selection on hand, HBO Max has a library that boasts incredible variety and depth, with something to satisfy every type of viewer through original releases and legacy additions. That kind of catalog is excellent to have, but we’ve put together a consistently updated list for you to parse through the best movies to stream on HBO Max now.

In need of some more streaming recommendations? 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+ worth looking through. 

Recently added to HBO Max
Casino Royale (2006)
Casino Royale
Genre Adventure, Action, Thriller
Stars Daniel Craig, Eva Green, Mads Mikkelsen
Directed by Martin Campbell

Daniel Craig had a celebrated tenure as the iconic British spy James Bond, and his debut still stands among the best even after the success of No Time to Die. Casino Royale also stars Eva Green, Judi Dench, and Jeffrey Wright, with Mads Mikkelsen giving a standout performance as the villain Le Chiffre.

The movie explores a younger, rawer take on 007, with the covert agent assigned on a mission to bankrupt Le Chiffre — a terrorist financier — in a high-stakes, deadly poker game. Casino Royale earned critical acclaim for its gritty reinvention of the character and for taking the franchise formula in bolder directions.

I Love You, Man (2009)
I Love You, Man
Genre Comedy, Romance
Stars Paul Rudd, Jason Segel, Rashida Jones
Directed by John Hamburg

Paul Rudd has been charming audiences for years now, and I Love You, Man is one of the more affectionately regarded rom-coms from the 2000s.

Starring alongside the equally appealing Jason Segal and Rashida Jones, this goofball romantic comedy follows Rudd’s leading man in an awkward three-person dynamic. When Peter Klaven (Rudd) finds himself in search of a friend to be the best man at his wedding with Zooey Rice (Jones), he soon picks Sydney Fife (Segal). But things begin to get awkward as Peter’s newfound best friend starts creating tension in his relationship with Zooey.

Creed (2015)
Genre Drama, Action
Stars Michael B. Jordan, Sylvester Stallone, Tessa Thompson
Directed by Ryan Coogler

Michael B. Jordan’s directorial debut Creed III takes Adonis’ story and boxing career to new heights, and HBO Max hosts the film that kicked off this successful new series. Creed follows the titular amateur boxer Adonis Creed as he looks to break away from the mundanity of his — admittedly successful — life to pursue his true calling in the form of professional boxing.

After embarking on this risky venture, Creed trains under the ring of Sylvester Stallone’s iconic Rocky Balboa, who’s become jaded about his past. Creed succeeds in being a spinoff of a legacy franchise that fully justifies its existence, with or without the title of its predecessors.

Taxi Driver (1976)
Taxi Driver
Genre Crime, Drama
Stars Robert De Niro, Jodie Foster, Albert Brooks
Directed by Martin Scorsese
One of legendary director Martin Scorsese’s oldest classics, Taxi Driver is one of the earliest — and greatest — collaborations with equally lauded actor Robert De Niro. An influential and grimy crime drama, this movie tells the disturbing story of New York cabby Travis Bickle. A war veteran, the movie follows along as Travis’ increasingly deteriorating mental state pushes him to extremes, and decides to take justice and the law into his own hands. A bleak painting of urban decay, Taxi Driver is a powerful showcase of neo-noir filmmaking.
The Silence of the Lambs (1991)
The Silence of the Lambs
Genre Crime, Drama, Thriller
Stars Jodie Foster, Anthony Hopkins, Scott Glenn
Directed by Jonathan Demme
A chilling classic, The Silence of the Lambs is a critically acclaimed crime drama and psychological horror film. Directed by Jonathan Demme and adapting Thomas Harris’ 1988 novel, the film centers around top-class FBI agent Clarice Starling — played by Jodie Foster — as she attempts to track down a serial killer dubbed “Buffalo Bill.” To do so, she consults with Dr. Hannibal Lecter — played by Anthony Hopkins — a brilliant psychiatrist turned cannibalistic murderer, to get inside the mind of their target. This Academy Award-winning hit emphatically became one of the most influential horror and thriller movies.
The Terminator (1984)
The Terminator
Genre Action, Thriller, Science Fiction
Stars Arnold Schwarzenegger, Michael Biehn, Linda Hamilton
Directed by James Cameron
Directed by box office hitmaker James Cameron, The Terminator is an all-time sci-fi classic from the ’80’s age of the “movie star.” Starring actor Arnold Schwarzenegger in the titular leading role, the movie centers around the cybernetic assassin being sent back in time to kill Sarah Conner, as her unborn son will eventually prove to be the defeat of the nearly all-powerful A.I. known as Skynet. This hostile A.I. leads the oppression of humanity in a dystopian future, and The Terminator saw critical acclaim for its tense sci-fi story and brutal action.
The Dark Knight Rises (2012)
The Dark Knight Rises
78 %
Genre Action, Crime, Drama, Thriller
Stars Christian Bale, Michael Caine, Gary Oldman
Directed by Christopher Nolan
Following up on what’s widely considered to be the greatest live-action Batman movie is a tall order, but Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight Rises earns its victory lap. Taking place nearly a decade later, a Dark Knight Returns-esque Bruce Wayne comes out of retirement when the mysterious Bane leads a resurgent League of Shadows against Gotham City to finish what Ra’s al Ghul started in Batman Begins. Tom Hardy does an excellent job at putting together this imposing rendition of the hulking mastermind, and The Dark Knight Rises ultimately serves as a satisfying finish to Bruce Wayne’s character arc and Nolan’s celebrated Batman trilogy.
The Dark Knight (2008)
The Dark Knight
Genre Drama, Action, Crime, Thriller
Stars Christian Bale, Heath Ledger, Michael Caine
Directed by Christopher Nolan
The movie that effectively became the gold standard for live-action Batman ventures, Christopher Nolan’s sophomore effort in the revered Dark Knight trilogy became the most acclaimed. The Dark Knight takes place in the titular superhero’s second year of cleaning up the streets of Gotham City, which has seen organized crime take a stranglehold over it for decades. However, the Clown Prince of Crime makes his presence known to attempt to upend that progress through sheer chaos. In part thanks to the dynamic between Christan Bale’s take on the brooding hero and Heath Ledger’s mesmerizing rendition of the Joker, The Dark Knight succeeds as one of the best superhero movies to date, as well as a compelling Michael Mann-like crime thriller.
The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers (2002)
The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers
Genre Adventure, Fantasy, Action
Stars Elijah Wood, Ian McKellen, Liv Tyler
Directed by Peter Jackson
Following up on the widespread critical acclaim of director Peter Jackson’s adaptation of The Fellowship of the Ring, The Two Towers successfully builds upon its predecessor’s strengths. This epic fantasy adventure is masterfully structured into three parallel storylines: Frodo and Sam continue their trek across Middle-earth to destroy the One Ring in the fires of Mordor; Aragorn, Legolas, Gimli, and the revived Gandalf arrive at the war-ravaged nation of Rohan to help defeat the invading army of Sauron; and Pippin and Merry escape the orcs’ imprisonment and, with the help of Treebeard, coordinate the attack on Sauron’s fortress at Isengard. Bolstered by a talented ensemble cast, The Two Towers is as riveting a watch now as it was in 2002.
Batman Begins (2005)
Batman Begins
Genre Action, Crime, Drama
Stars Christian Bale, Michael Caine, Liam Neeson
Directed by Christopher Nolan
Christopher Nolan revitalized the DC Comics icon for the big screen with this origin story. Going back to the more grounded, street-level roots of the character, Batman Begins stands as one of the most triumphant Hollywood reboots. Christian Bale brings forth a darker, grittier take on the Dark Knight in a story that’s truer to the source material. Nor does it stray far from the inherent fantastical nature of the comic book medium, with Liam Neeson giving a convincing portrayal of international terrorist Ra’s al Ghul and Cillian Murphy in tow as the mad doctor known as the Scarecrow. Batman Begins paved the way for arguably one of the best modern movie trilogies.
The Banshees of Inisherin new
The Banshees of Inisherin
87 %
r 114m
Genre Drama, Comedy
Stars Colin Farrell, Brendan Gleeson, Kerry Condon
Directed by Martin McDonagh
There is no greater wound than a broken heart, especially when it’s inflicted by your best friend. The Banshees of Inisherin explores a broken bond between lifelong friends Colm Doherty (Brendan Gleeson) and Pádraic Súilleabháin (Colin Farrell) at the end of the Irish Civil War in 1923. One day, Colm simply cuts all ties to Padraic and absolutely refuses to give him a good reason why. Pádraic’s sister, Siobhán (Kerry Condon), tries to encourage her brother’s attempts to mend the broken friendship. Regardless, Colm threatens to harm himself if Padraic even tries to talk to him, leading to even greater friction between them.
Burn After Reading (2008)
Burn After Reading
63 %
r 96m
Genre Comedy, Drama
Stars George Clooney, Frances McDormand, Brad Pitt
Directed by Joel Coen, Ethan Coen
The Coen brothers strike again in the black comedy, Burn After Reading. As the film unfolds as CIA Analyst Osbourne Cox (John Malkovich) loses his job and his marriage in short order. His unfaithful wife, Katie Cox (Tilda Swinton) takes the opportunity to openly continue her affair with Harry Pfarrer (George Clooney). She also inadvertently leaks Osbourne’s memoir, which is found by gym workers Linda Litzke (Frances McDormand) and Chad Feldheimer (Brad Pitt). Chad and Linda think they’ve stumbled on something that can make them rich. What they’ve really found is a world of trouble.
Se7en (1995)
65 %
r 127m
Genre Crime, Mystery, Thriller
Stars Brad Pitt, Morgan Freeman, Gwyneth Paltrow
Directed by David Fincher
Is it a stretch to call Se7en a holiday movie? After all, John Doe did go through the trouble of picking up a special present for our heroes, which he ordered straight from Goop! In all seriousness, this is a pretty bleak story that is told extremely well. Brad Pitt stars as David Mills, a young police detective who is partnered with a veteran, Detective Lieutenant William Somerset (Morgan Freeman). The serial killer known as John Doe is plaguing the city with a series of murders inspired by the seven deadly sins. And John Doe plans to drag the detectives down into his world of darkness if it’s the last thing he does.
Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home (1986)
Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home
71 %
pg 119m
Genre Science Fiction, Adventure
Stars William Shatner, Leonard Nimoy, DeForest Kelley
Directed by Leonard Nimoy

One of the common complaints about Star Trek films is that they aren’t accessible to fans outside of the franchise. That’s not a problem for Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home, which may be the most lighthearted and funny Trek film to date. Amazingly, it pulls off this shift in tone without losing the stakes or making a mockery of the original Enterprise crew.

On their way home to turn themselves in for disobeying Federation orders, Admiral James T. Kirk (William Shatner), Spock (Leonard Nimoy), Dr. McCoy (DeForest Kelley), and the rest of the crew are shocked to discover that Earth’s very survival is threatened by a destructive alien probe that sends out a message to the long-extinct humpback whales. With no other option, the crew travels back in time to San Francisco in 1986 to find a humpback whale so they can save the future one more time.

The Lego Movie (2014)
The Lego Movie
83 %
pg 100m
Genre Adventure, Animation, Comedy, Family, Fantasy
Stars Chris Pratt, Will Ferrell, Elizabeth Banks
Directed by Phil Lord, Christopher Miller
The Lego Movie had absolutely no business being as good as it was. It’s kind of a minor miracle, but that’s also part of the film’s message about an everyman, Emmet Brickowski (Chris Pratt), who is called upon to find it within himself to become the hero that his Lego world needs. Compared to Wyldstyle (Elizabeth Banks), the wizard Vitruvius (Morgan Freeman), and even Lego Batman (Will Arnett), Emmet initially seems too ordinary to be “The Special.” Thankfully, Emmet’s spirit and his will allow him to rise above all expectations.
See How They Run (2022)
See How They Run
60 %
pg-13 98m
Genre Mystery, Thriller, Comedy
Stars Sam Rockwell, Saoirse Ronan, Adrien Brody
Directed by Tom George
See How They Run had only a brief stay in theaters, but it’s got a new home on HBO Max. In the early ‘50s, sleazy Hollywood producer Leo Köpernick (Adrien Brody) makes a lot of enemies in London’s theater scene before he ends up murdered. Inspector Stoppard (Sam Rockwell) takes it upon himself to solve the mystery, and he’s reluctantly joined by the overeager Constable Stalker (Saoirse Ronan). Stalker provides a lot of the comedy in this story, but the deeper she and Stoppard dive into the murder investigation, the more twists emerge.
Barbarian (2022) new
78 %
r 103m
Genre Horror, Mystery, Thriller
Stars Georgina Campbell, Bill Skarsgård, Justin Long
Directed by Zach Cregger
Perhaps one of the reasons that Barbarian resonates so strongly is that it’s tapping into a new vein of modern horror: overbooked Airbnb vacations. Through a series of unfortunate events, Tess Marshall (Georgina Campbell) finds herself spending the night with Keith Toshko (Bill Skarsgård), a man she has never met before. And she takes a real chance by agreeing to stay with a stranger. It’s a choice that she will come to regret, but not because of Keith. There is something far more dangerous in play, and Tess soon finds herself in over her head.
The Witch (2015)
The Witch
83 %
r 92m
Genre Horror, Mystery, Drama, Fantasy
Stars Anya Taylor-Joy, Ralph Ineson, Kate Dickie
Directed by Robert Eggers

The Witch was Anya Taylor-Joy’s first feature film, and it made her a star. In the early 1600s, Thomasin (Anya Taylor-Joy) is the eldest daughter in a family of Puritans led by her parents, William (Ralph Ineson) and Katherine (Kate Dickie). After the family is banished by their local religious sect, Thomasin is horrified when her infant brother is stolen out from under her nose. Unbeknownst to the family, there really is a witch (Bathsheba Garnett) in the woods, and she has a taste for the young. Through her hardships, Thomasin discovers that she also has powers of her own, which only makes things scarier.

Braveheart (1995)
68 %
r 178m
Genre Action, Drama, History, War
Stars Mel Gibson, Catherine McCormack, Sophie Marceau
Directed by Mel Gibson
Braveheart won Mel Gibson two Oscars for Best Picture and Best Director on its way to picking up three additional Academy Awards. Based on the legend of William Wallace (Mel Gibson), this historical action film chronicles his battle for Scottish independence. Wallace’s valiant deeds and bravery in the face of overwhelming odds inspire his countrymen to stand up to the oppressive English rule. Wallace also finds an unexpected ally in Princess Isabella of France (Sophie Marceau), the English king’s daughter-in-law. Yet, it may not be enough when even Wallace’s friends seem willing to betray him to his enemies.
DC League of Super-Pets (2022)
DC League of Super-Pets
56 %
pg 105m
Genre Animation, Action, Family, Comedy, Science Fiction
Stars Dwayne Johnson, Kevin Hart, John Krasinski
Directed by Jared Stern
Most of DC’s superhero flicks tend to lean toward older audiences. But DC League of Super-Pets is aimed squarely at the kids. Dwayne Johnson headlines the voice cast as Krypto, the super-powered canine who belongs to Superman (John Krasinski). After Lex Luthor’s evil guinea pig, Lulu (Kate McKinnon), kidnaps Superman and the Justice League, Krypto must turn to an assortment of shelter pets to help him save the day, Fortunately for Krypto, Ace the Bat-Hound (Kevin Hart), PB (Vanessa Bayer), Merton McSnurtle (Natasha Lyonne), and Chip (Diego Luna) have gotten superpowers of their own. Now, they need to earn them as the League of Super-Pets.
District 9 (2009)
District 9
81 %
r 112m
Genre Science Fiction
Stars Sharlto Copley, Jason Cope, Nathalie Boltt
Directed by Neill Blomkamp
Neill Blomkamp wowed Hollywood with his directorial debut, District 9. In this sci-fi allegory tale, aliens (also known as Prawns) have been on Earth for decades and are subjected to extremely poor living conditions, including the slum known as District 9. Sharlto Copley stars as Wikus van de Merwe, an administrator who has been tasked with relocating the aliens to another city. But when Wikus is exposed to an alien virus, he begins transforming into a Prawn himself. Wikus’ only hope is to join an alien, Christopher Johnson (Jason Cope), and his son, CJ, in a plot to reactivate the dormant alien ship and possibly give the Prawns a chance to escape from Earth.
Goodfellas (1990)
90 %
r 146m
Genre Drama, Crime
Stars Robert De Niro, Ray Liotta, Joe Pesci, Lorraine Bracco, Paul Sorvino
Directed by Martin Scorsese
Martin Scorsese’s Goodfellas holds up as one of the greatest crime dramas ever made. The late Ray Liotta headlines a stellar cast as Henry Hill, a real-life mobster who rose through the ranks to become a key figure in the mafia. Henry used his newfound wealth and power to woo Karen (Lorraine Bracco) to marry him and enjoy the spoils of his life of crime. Even Henry’s close friends, Jimmy Conway (Robert De Niro) and Tommy DeVito (Joe Pesci), get to enjoy the good life while it lasts. But nothing lasts forever, and Henry’s greed, lust, and addictions threaten to tear down everything he’s built. And if he’s not careful, those vices will take his life as well.
Inception (2010)
74 %
pg-13 148m
Genre Action, Science Fiction, Adventure
Stars Leonardo DiCaprio, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Ken Watanabe
Directed by Christopher Nolan
Welcome to the heist movie of our dreams. Christopher Nolan struck box office gold with Inception, a mind-bending thriller about Dom Cobb (Leonardo DiCaprio), a professional thief who makes his living stealing secrets from people’s minds while they sleep. However, Cobb is haunted by both a failure from his past and a lethal manifestation of his late wife, Mal (Marion Cotillard). But if Cobb and his team pull off the ultimate job, he might just be able to get back to his kids. First, Cobb will have to prove that inception is real by implanting an idea in his next target.
Elvis (2022)
64 %
pg-13 159m
Genre Music, Drama, History
Stars Austin Butler, Tom Hanks, Richard Roxburgh
Directed by Baz Luhrmann
Director Baz Luhrmann is widely known for his bombastic musicals, and Elvis is no exception. Austin Butler absolutely inhabits the role of the legendary Elvis Presley, and he even won praise from the Presley family for his performance. But the film takes place from the perspective of Colonel Tom Parker (Tom Hanks), Elvis’ manager and the man who helped make him a star. Yet calling Elvis a “star” undersells just how popular he was and continues to be today. Through his rise and fall, the movie explores the man behind the legend. And even in death, Elvis’ legacy lives on.
Training Day (2001)
Training Day
69 %
r 122m
Genre Action, Crime, Drama
Stars Denzel Washington, Ethan Hawke, Scott Glenn
Directed by Antoine Fuqua
Denzel Washington finally won an Oscar for Best Actor for his riveting turn as Detective Alonzo Harris in Training Day. The film follows Jake Hoyt (Ethan Hawke), a police officer who is up for a promotion. Jake is assigned to Harris for the day so the veteran detective can evaluate him. What Jake couldn’t have foreseen is that Harris is corrupt beyond his wildest dreams, and the reality of policing Los Angeles is far uglier than he believed. However, Harris’ agenda for Jake goes far beyond showing him the ropes — and it might get Jake killed.
Belfast (2021)
75 %
pg-13 98m
Genre Drama
Stars Jude Hill, Caitríona Balfe, Jamie Dornan
Directed by Kenneth Branagh
Writer and director Kenneth Branagh’s Belfast may be his most personal film to date, and it’s quite far from his Shakespearean outings. Jude Hill stars as Buddy, a young boy growing up in Ireland just as The Troubles begin in the late ‘60s. Although Buddy and his parents, Pa (Jamie Dornan) and Ma (Caitríona Balfe), are Protestants, they want no part in the increasingly violent battles between their fellow Protestants and the Catholics. At school, Buddy develops feelings for a Catholic girl named Catherine (Olive Tennant). But as the situation intensifies, Pa and Ma consider fleeing the country, much to Buddy’s alarm and despair.
Ex Machina (2015)
Ex Machina
78 %
r 108m
Genre Drama, Science Fiction
Stars Domhnall Gleeson, Alicia Vikander, Oscar Isaac
Directed by Alex Garland
Word to the wise to all future mad scientists: If you’re going to create the most advanced artificial intelligence known to man, maybe don’t give it the face of a beautiful woman. Nathan Bateman (Oscar Isaac) didn’t take that advice in Ex Machina, and his creation, Ava (Alicia Vikander), is disturbingly human. That’s why Nathan enlists a lowly programmer named Caleb Smith (Domhnall Gleeson) to interact with Ava and determine just how human she really is. But Ava has her own agenda, and it doesn’t revolve around being anyone’s plaything.
The NeverEnding Story (1984)
The NeverEnding Story
46 %
pg 102m
Genre Adventure, Fantasy, Family, Drama
Stars Noah Hathaway, Barret Oliver, Tami Stronach
Directed by Wolfgang Petersen
“Turn around, look at what you see…” If that just sparked your memory of Limahl’s theme song from The NeverEnding Story, it means you either lived through the ‘80s or you’re a big fan of Stranger Things. Regardless of how you know it, this film was a seminal moment for fantasy in the ‘80s. In the real world, Bastian Balthazar (Barret Oliver) is a bullied boy whose escape is an enigmatic storybook that follows the adventures of Atreyu (Noah Hathaway), a young warrior in the land of Fantasia. The Nothing is destroying Fantasia, and Atreyu’s quest to stop it bleeds into both worlds, forcing Bastian to question if the story he is reading is somehow becoming real.
What's Eating Gilbert Grape (1993)
What's Eating Gilbert Grape
73 %
pg-13 118m
Genre Romance, Drama
Stars Johnny Depp, Leonardo DiCaprio, Juliette Lewis
Directed by Lasse Hallström
What’s Eating Gilbert Grape? It’s more like “what isn’t eating Gilbert Grape?” Poor Gilbert (Johnny Depp) feels the weight of the world on his shoulders 17 years after his father’s suicide. Now his mother, Bonnie Grape (Darlene Cates), is morbidly obese and never leaves the house. And Gilbert’s younger brother, Arnie Grape (Leonardo DiCaprio), is so severely mentally impaired that Gilbert has to watch over him at all times. Gilbert’s luck starts to turn around when he meets Becky (Juliette Lewis), a young woman who is briefly stranded in his town. And as Gilbert steals time for himself to spend with Becky, his neglect threatens to unravel his family bonds.
Warrior (2011)
71 %
pg-13 140m
Genre Drama, Action
Stars Joel Edgerton, Tom Hardy, Jennifer Morrison
Directed by Gavin O'Connor
Nick Nolte won an Oscar for Best Supporting Actor for his turn as Paddy Conlon, the father of two estranged brothers in Warrior. After years in the military, Paddy’s son, Tommy (Tom Hardy), comes back to town and reluctantly asks his father to help train him for a MMA tournament with a $5 million dollar prize. Meanwhile, Tommy’s brother, Brendan (Joel Edgerton), is a school teacher by day and an amateur fighter by night. When Brendan faces financial ruin, he also joins the MMA tournament and reignites the longstanding grudge that Tommy had against him. And it seems inevitable that the two brothers will face each other in the ring before all is said and done.
Total Recall (1990)
Total Recall
57 %
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).
The Goonies (1985)
The Goonies
62 %
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.
Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991)
Terminator 2: Judgment Day
75 %
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.
Paddington 2 (2017)
Paddington 2
88 %
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 %
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.
Blade Runner 2049 (2017)
Blade Runner 2049
81 %
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)
94 %
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.
Hellboy (2004)
72 %
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)
74 %
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.
12 Years a Slave (2013)
12 Years a Slave
96 %
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.
Donnie Darko (2001)
Donnie Darko
88 %
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.
Nobody (2021)
64 %
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.
Memento (2000)
80 %
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 %
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.
2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)
2001: A Space Odyssey
84 %
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.
No Country for Old Men (2007)
No Country for Old Men
91 %
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.
Mad Max Fury Road (2015)
Mad Max Fury Road
90 %
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.
The Shawshank Redemption (1994)
The Shawshank Redemption
80 %
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 %
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.

The Matrix (1999)
The Matrix
73 %
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.

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