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The Best Movies on HBO Max

HBO Max may be one of the newest platforms to enter the streaming world, but already it’s one of the best. Not only does the service offer a ton of exclusive content related to its hit properties — like Game of Thrones, The Wire, and The Sopranos — it also has a ton of fantastic films strengthening its online catalog.

Thanks to HBO’s partnerships with standout companies and networks like TCM, Studio Ghibli, and DC, the service has an absolutely stacked selection of films you’re able to choose from.

Whether you’re in the mood for a classic black and white monster movie from the ‘30s, a beloved anime film from Hayao Miyazaki, or a recent blockbuster from this past summer, there’s no end to the number of great films you’re able to choose from.

From universally praised films like The Goonies and The Bourne Identity to celebrated modern films like Dunkirk and District 9, here are some of the best films you can find currently streaming on HBO Max.

Updated: November 3

Horror: Barbarian

One of the newest arrivals to HBO Max, Barbarian is also one of the scariest horror films of the past year. Loaded with chill-inducing scene after chill-inducing scene, it’s an original and well-acted horror vehicle for relative newcomer Georgina Campbell.

Traveling for a job interview, Tess (Campbell) rents a house double-booked by an enigmatic man (Bill Skarsgård). Though initially unsettled, she decides to stay at the house regardless of the stranger’s appearance, the two discovering there’s more to fear about the house than they previously thought.

Led by a powerhouse performance from Campbell, Barbarian is an evenly-paced thrill ride filled with scares and interesting expository sequences. No scene is wasted, no character meaningless or without some purpose in the plot. It’s a fun and unique horror movie, offering a refreshing change of pace from the usual slew of jump scare-heavy horror movies out there.

Mystery: Last Night in Soho

As we’ve frequently mentioned time and time again, director Edgar Wright has yet to make a bad film. Sure, some of his movies may be more well-known or well-loved than others, but all of them are certainly worth watching in their own right — including his latest movie, Last Night in Soho.

Ellie (Thomasin McKenzie) is an aspiring fashion designer with a deep love for the 1960s. Enrolling at a prestigious institute in London, Ellie rents a single-room apartment under the care of an elderly woman (Diana Rigg), and begins experiencing visions of a ‘60s singer (Anya Taylor-Joy).

More firmly rooted in the horror genre than his previous comedic outing with Shaun of the Dead, Last Night in Soho is an homage-filmed Giallo delight perfect for ‘60s enthusiasts and horror fans alike.

Sci-Fi: District 9

After production on the intended Halo film fell through in the early 2010s, director Neill Blomkamp used the budget and props he had leftover to create District 9. In the process, he created one of the best and most ambitious sci-fi movies in recent decades — as well as a film that explored some serious social issues.

In the near future, strange crustacean-like alien creatures have landed on Earth. Their spaceship having apparently broken down, Earth’s population relocate them into an internment camp in South Africa, regularly murdering and harassing them out of fear and disgust.

The most fascinating sci-fi movies are the ones that use its genre to touch upon real-world themes and subject matter. With District 9, Blomkamp uses the topic of aliens to analyze racism, xenophobia, and classism — disturbingly juxtaposed with South Africa’s long history of apartheid and racial injustice.

Drama: Locke

There’s no denying that Tom Hardy is one of the more faceted actors of the current generation. Able to portray the most nuanced characters convincingly, he can give life to comic book villains and WW2 combat pilots. With Locke, Hardy hands in one of his most grounded performances yet, portraying a man who prides himself on his own principles, even if it means the destruction of his personal and professional lives.

Ivan Locke (Tom Hardy) is a construction foreman who receives a call from a female coworker about to give birth to his child. Making the late-night drive from Croydon to London to be with her, Locke engages in a number of phone conversations with his family and colleagues.

Composed of a single setting, a single character, and 90% dialogue, Locke feels like a cinematic experiment. Despite its lack of action, the movie’s sharp dialogue and Hardy’s abundance of charisma carry the film to glorious heights.

Comedy: The Bob’s Burgers Movie

After a sinkhole forms outside their restaurant, the Belcher family has trouble paying off a substantial loan, forcing them to consider shutting down their business. With no other options left, the Belcher siblings try to solve a local murder they believe could save their parents’ restaurant.

Bob’s Burgers is a universally beloved animated sitcom in its own right, enjoying mainstream success comparable to The Simpsons, Family Guy, and South Park before it.

When compared to those aforementioned shows, the joy of Bob’s Burgers is the warmth and emotion the show emits in its episodes — something that is aptly carried over into The Bob’s Burgers Movie.

Romance: Only Lovers Left Alive

Say what you will about vampires, but you can’t argue that the vampire subgenre has been used to some dazzling effect by a number of directors over the years. Take, for example, Jim Jarmusch’s 2013 off-kilter romantic comedy, Only Lovers Left Alive — a tender and existential portrayal of vampires from a more profound perspective.

In a rundown neighborhood of Detroit, an ageless vampire musician (Tom Hiddleston) contemplates suicide. To reinvigorate his love for life, he contacts his vampiric wife (Tilda Swinton), who agrees to visit.

More meditative than ha-ha funny, Only Lovers Left Alive is nevertheless a genuinely moving exploration of life and all its possibilities. And, in an ironic twist for a vampire movie, as the credits roll, you genuinely are moved by a desire to live, whether it means traveling, hearing new music, or reading some books that have been collecting dust on your shelf for far too long.

Family: The Goonies

Steven Spielberg may have only produced and provided the story for The Goonies, but don’t let that fool you — it has all the wit and charm of an actual Spielberg, feeling very much like a spiritual successor to E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial.

As their parents face the threat of incoming foreclosure on their homes, a group of pre-teen adventurers race against a trio of escaped convicts to find the lost treasure of an infamous 18th century pirate.

Led by a handful of young actors who rose to prominence later in their careers (like Sean Astin, Josh Brolin, and Jonathan Ke Huy Quan), The Goonies is one of the absolute best adventure movies for the entire family to bond over.

War: Dunkirk

When you sit down to watch a Christopher Nolan movie, you know you’re in for something out of the ordinary. Case in point with Nolan’s extraordinary 2017 film, Dunkirk, a deconstruction of the traditional war film with a unique, nonlinear storyline.

Divided into three interweaving stories, Dunkirk follows the 1940 evacuation of Allied forces from France, featuring stories centered around British troops on the land, in the air, and on the seas.

With its splintered narrative, Dunkirk can be seen almost as Nolan’s version of an anthology film. Regardless of how you view it, it’s still an astounding and fascinating picture of the Dunkirk evacuation — one of the most pivotal moments in WW2 history.

Thriller: The Bourne Identity

To put it in the simplest terms, what The Bourne Identity is to Matt Damon is essentially what Indiana Jones is to Harrison Ford. Despite an impressive filmography filled with layered performances, The Bourne Identity will forever remain among Damon’s most famous roles, for better or worse.

After being found with various gunshot wounds at sea, a man suffering from amnesia (Damon) tries to discover who he is and who his would-be assassins are.

The film that solidified Damon’s place as an action star, The Bourne Identity is also among the better action films of the early 2000s. With a total of four sequels and one spin-off film following it, it comes across as a darker, more mature version of Mission: Impossible (although definitely not as cartoony).

Underrated: Cat’s Eye

Divided into three stories, Cat’s Eye alternatively follows a smoker (James Woods) trying to quit his habit through unconventional means; a lovesick pro tennis player (Robert Hays) forced to traverse a high-rise ledge; and a young girl (Drew Barrymore) who is terrorized by an evil, miniature troll.

Stephen King is one of the most famous names in horror for a reason. Time and time again, he’s consistently managed to scare readers with the most unassuming of situations, finding terror in everything from a friendly Saint Bernard to a seemingly pleasant clown.

With how tied King is to horror, it makes sense that his stories would provide the basis for several memorable films over the decades — the most underrated of which is almost certainly 1985’s Cat’s Eye.

This article was produced and syndicated by Wealth of Geeks.

Richard Chachowski is a freelance writer based in New Jersey. He loves reading, his dog Tootsie, and pretty much every movie to ever exist (especially Star Wars).

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