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3 underrated movies on Max you need to watch in January

There may be too many reality shows on Max, but the movie lineup is still one of the best in the industry. That’s the primary benefit of drawing upon a century’s worth of Warner Bros. movies while occasionally borrowing a few films from other studios. Because there are so many films to choose from, it’s not unusual for a lot of flicks to fall through the cracks without proper curation.

That’s why we’re offering our picks for the three underrated movies on Max that you need to watch in January. Two of the films are very different crime thrillers, while the third is a political thriller that goes to some dark places. Whether you watch one, two, or all three of these films, you will have a good movie night if you follow our recommendations.

Escape From Alcatraz (1979)

Clint Eastwood talks to a man in Escape From Alcatraz.

In the history of Alcatraz, only three men ever escaped from The Rock. Escape From Alcatraz dramatizes their story with Clint Eastwood in the lead as Frank Morris, a career criminal who escaped from the previous prison he was held in. After being sent to Alcatraz, Morris makes a point of befriending a few inmates, including the Anglin brothers, John (Fred Ward) and Clarence (Jack Thibeau), Charley Butts (Larry Hankin), and an older prisoner named Chester “Doc” Dalton (Roberts Blossom).

Morris also witnesses the cruelty of the Warden (Patrick McGoohan), which only strengthens his resolve to break out of Alcatraz. Getting out of the cells turns out to be relatively easy; surviving the bay, however, is the hard part.

Watch Escape From Alcatraz on Max.

The Ides of March (2011)

George Clooney in The Ides of March.
Sony Pictures Releasing

For anyone who’s not up on their Roman history, the Ides of March is widely known as the day that Julius Caesar was assassinated. The Ides of March is also a fitting title for director and star George Clooney’s political thriller. There may not be literal knives in the back, but Washington, D.C., is absolutely cutthroat when the Presidential nomination is on the line.

Barbie‘s Ryan Gosling also stars in the film as Stephen Meyers, a junior campaign manager for Pennsylvania Governor Mike Morris (Clooney). On the surface, Morris presents himself as being above the backroom deals of politics. But even Morris has skeletons in his closet, as Meyers discovers when he starts seeing a campaign intern named Molly Stearns (Evan Rachel Wood). The information that Meyers has could bring down Morris if his own political career isn’t finished first.

Watch The Ides of March on Max.

Killing Them Softly (2012)

The cast of Killing Them Softly.
The Weinstein Company

There’s no such thing as a perfect crime, but Frankie (Scoot McNairy), Russell (Secret Invasion‘s Ben Mendelsohn), and Johnny “Squirrel” Amato (Vincent Curatola) think they’ve found one in Killing Them Softly. The trio manages to pull off a lucrative robbery of an illegal (and mafia-associated) poker game run by Markie Trattman (Ray Liotta). And because Markie pulled an inside job on one of his own poker games years before, the trio assumes that he’ll be blamed this time.

Too bad for the crew that hitman Jackie Cogan (Brad Pitt) immediately sees through the ruse. It’s Cogan’s job to clean up this mess, even though the film’s name comes from his assassination philosophy. It’s essentially Cogan’s way of murdering his targets mercifully. Mickey (as played by The Sopranos‘ James Gandolfini) is a rival hitman who doesn’t share Cogan’s views. And when the trio are exposed as the robbers, then the bullets are gonna fly.

Watch Killing Them Softly on Max.

Editors' Recommendations

Blair Marnell
Blair Marnell has been an entertainment journalist for over 15 years. His bylines have appeared in Wizard Magazine, Geek…
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