True to its name, HBO has always aimed to bring the box office to people’s homes. That’s easier than ever now thanks to the network’s twin streaming services, HBO Go and HBO Now. At any given time, the service offers hundreds of films, from obscure documentaries to summer blockbusters — but not all of them qualify as “great.” If you feel like streaming a movie and don’t want to waste your time on dreck, we’ve rounded up the best movies currently on HBO.
Based (loosely) on a true story, Spike Lee’s BlackKklansman follows Ron Stallworth (John David Washington), who in the ‘70s was the first Black officer in the Colorado Springs Police Department. After going undercover at a Black Student Union meeting, he gets assigned to the intelligence division, and calls the local Ku Klux Klan chapter, posing as a prospective member. Stallworth charms Klan leader David Duke (Topher Grace) himself, but being Black, he can’t show up at the Klan meetings himself, so he recruits Jewish officer Flip Zimmerman (Adam Driver) to be his stand-in. BlackKlansman deals with heavy subject matter, but it’s a comedy through and through, playing up the absurdity of Stallworth’s situation and the Klan’s ideals.
After the success of 7 Days in Hell, a mockumentary about a legendary tennis match between two fictional idiots, the Andy Samberg-led team earned a second go-round via HBO. The result? Tour de Pharmacy, a story that spoofs the Tour de France by focusing on competitors’ use of performance-enhancing substances in the early 1980s. Samberg returns to play Nigerian rider Marty Hass, while Orlando Bloom, Freddie Highmore, Daveed Diggs, and John Cena appear as the other made-up competitors. Tour is filled with classic slapstick comedy, and the concept is bolstered by the inclusion of several veteran actors — we won’t spoil the hilarious surprises here — who play the “modern-day” versions of the film’s protagonists. Lance Armstrong’s cameo doesn’t hurt, either.
It’s true what they say: What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas. But when your best friend, who’s supposed to be getting married in a few hours, is lost somewhere in Sin City, problems arise. The Hangover follows friends Phil (Bradley Cooper), Stu (Ed Helms), and the bride’s brother Alan (Zach Galifianakis) after they wake up in a destroyed hotel room with no memory of the previous night. Using clues to retrace their steps, the trio must find the groom before the wedding is supposed to take place. Needless to say, there’s a reason The Hangover remains one of the highest-grossing comedies of all time.