A new month has arrived, and that means new movies on HBO Max. Lots of them. If you’re a subscriber, this is the best time to plan which flicks you want to watch. The holiday season offers a lot of extra opportunities to curl up on the couch and enjoy the latest releases, or the films that you’ve been waiting to watch for a long time. So make sure that you take advantage of this while you can because the Christmas season will come and go before you know it. We can get you started, all you have to do is check out our updated list of the best movies on HBO Max right now.
There is no Santa Claus … at least no individual Santa Claus. In the world of Arthur Christmas, the mantle of Santa is passed down within the Claus family, and the whole Christmas enterprise has become increasingly modern. Regardless of the innovations — or the ambitions of his older brother, Steven (Hugh Laurie) — young Arthur Claus (James McAvoy) is the only one who seems to remember that the true spirit of the holiday is giving gifts to children in need. When a young girl’s gift is accidentally left behind, Arthur recruits his grandfather, the appropriately nicknamed Grandsanta (Bill Nighy), to help deliver the gift the old-fashioned way: in a wooden sleigh with flying reindeer.
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 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.
Hotel Mumbai is unlike almost any action thriller you’ve seen before, both because it’s based upon a real event and because there are no action heroes to be found here. But there are heroes, including a waiter named Arjun (Dev Patel). Arjun could have fled when terrorists stormed India’s Taj Mahal Palace Hotel. Instead, Arjun and other staff members risk their lives to save their guests, including the heiress Zahra Kashani (Nazanin Boniadi) and her husband David (Armie Hammer). But there is more tragedy than triumph, and many of the good people will not escape with their lives.
Meet Pee-wee Herman (Paul Reubens), the geekiest geek who ever geeked. In his debut movie, Pee-wee’s Big Adventure, the title character goes on a crosscountry quest to recover his beloved bicycle after it is stolen by a rival. Director Tim Burton puts Pee-wee through a series of bizarrely charming misadventures that starts off as a silly story and only gets more ridiculous as it continues. If you’re gonna watch it, tell ’em Large Marge sent you.
If Scarlett Johansson offered to take you home, most people would probably accept that offer. But in Under the Skin, that dream quickly turns into a nightmare because Johnsson’s unnamed woman isn’t really a woman at all. She’s some kind of alien who has been sent to Earth to seduce men and lure them back to her lair where her people can harvest them. However, the Woman suffers from an identity crisis when she is no longer able to send men to their doom. But she’s also not human enough to successfully hide among us for long.
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