Of all the streaming services, HBO Max has the richest selection of movie titles. In addition to large portions of the Warner Bros. catalog, they also have tons of seminal, classic films, as well as plenty of foreign releases. Because the catalog is so big and rich, there are about 250 titles that could go on this list. There’s a wealth of options to choose from on the service, and you shouldn’t feel limited by the selection below.
Instead, you should treat it as a jumping-off point, one that will hopefully allow you to explore many of the titles that didn’t quite make the cut. HBO Max has great movies in every genre and from every period of film history. This is just a sampling of what the service has to offer. And if you’re looking for the more HBO Max content we’ve rounded up the best shows on HBO Max to watch right now.
Blade Runner is a seminal work of science fiction, and it’s part of Harrison Ford’s legendary run of great films in the early 1980s. The film tells the story of Rick Deckard, a private detective living in the far-flung future of 2019 when many of the wealthiest members of the human race have fled Earth to colonize the stars. It’s also a world filled with replicants — advanced artificial intelligence that are indistinguishable from people. The movie is really about the line between these replicants and humans, but it’s also a triumph of world-building and design that would be copied for decades to come.
Director: Ridley Scott
Main Cast: Harrison Ford, Rutger Hauer, Sean Young
Runtime: 117 minutes
IMDb Rating: 8.1
The best romantic comedies don’t even look like romantic comedies. Broadcast News is a pitch-perfect look at how a newsroom operates, and it’s so effortlessly funny and human that it’s hard to recognize that it’s also a bittersweet romantic comedy. The film follows a young news producer (Holly Hunter) as she finds herself torn between a long-time friend (Albert Brooks), and the steamy new anchorman who has just joined the network (William Hurt). Plenty of misadventures happen along the way, but at its core, this is a movie about three people deciding who they want to be, and what it means for who they are today.
Director: James L. Brooks
Main Cast: William Hurt, Albert Brooks, Holly Hunter
Runtime: 133 minutes
IMDb Rating: 7.2
What really needs to be said about Casablanca? It’s widely regarded as one of the best films of all time, and it lives up to that billing. The movie follows Rick (Humphrey Bogart) and Ilsa (Ingrid Bergman), former lovers who run into each other after Ilsa has become linked to a hero of the French resistance during World War II. Casablanca is a tragic love story, but it’s also a story about hope set during a time when there wasn’t much reason for it. Rick does the right thing for the world, and it comes at great personal cost to him, and it’s his sacrifice that makes the movie transcendent.
Director: Michael Curtiz
Main Cast: Humphrey Bogart, Ingrid Bergman, Paul Henreid
Runtime: 102 minutes
IMDb Rating: 8.5
Even after more than a decade of superhero dominance, The Dark Knight still feels like the single best piece of comic book entertainment available. The movie was an enormous phenomenon when it premiered in 2008, thanks in no small part to Heath Ledger’s Oscar-winning performance as the Joker. The Dark Knight is a crime thriller, but it also has some of the most electrifying set pieces in any superhero film. Christopher Nolan has made plenty of great films in and out of the superhero genre, but The Dark Knight is still one of his crowning achievements.
Director: Christopher Nolan
Main Cast: Christian Bale, Heath Ledger, Aaron Eckhart
Runtime: 152 minutes
IMDb Rating: 9.0
Read More: Best Superhero Movies of All Time
Stanley Kubrick only made great movies, but Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb may be his most persistently relevant. The movie tells the story of one rogue general who inadvertently causes a series of events that lead to World War III and nuclear annihilation. Although that sounds pretty bleak, and it obviously is, Dr. Strangelove is a comedy, and it features many of the funniest lines of dialogue ever written. The movie is about the absurdity of the nuclear age, and about how close we all are to annihilation every day, even if we don’t think about it.
Director: Stanley Kubrick
Main Cast: Peter Sellers, George C. Scott, Sterling Hayden
Runtime: 95 minutes
IMDb Rating: 8.4
Martin Scorsese is known as the king of the modern gangster film, though in reality, his filmography is much more diverse than that. Even so, Goodfellas may be his best work. The film, which tells the story of Henry Hill’s (Ray Liotta) rise through the ranks of the mob, is a wild, hilarious tale that does a lot to explain what made the mob so appealing. but also what ultimately makes it a terrible, empty life. Henry Hill ends up with nothing. Goodfellas is a title that’s intentionally ironic. When you surround yourself with selfish, uncaring people, all you’re left with is yourself in the end.
Director: Martin Scorsese
Main Cast: Robert De Niro, Ray Liotta, Joe Pesci
Runtime: 146 minutes
IMDb Rating: 8.7
Spike Lee’s epic portrait of the life of Malcolm X is totemic, and runs well over three hours. The film is attempts to chronicle the civil rights icon’s entire adult life, from his years as a young criminal to his time as a prominent Muslim and through his ultimate assassination. Denzel Washington gives the best performance of his entire career in the role, which delves into the contradictions of Malcolm’s character even as it extolls his many virtues. Malcolm X is a thoroughly human portrait of an icon, and it’s an important reminder of a hugely impactful life that was cut short.
Director: Spike Lee
Main Cast: Denzel Washington, Angela Bassett, Delroy Lindo
Runtime: 202 minutes
IMDb Rating: 7.7
The entire Lord of the Rings trilogy is available on HBO Max, and it’s worth taking a day to watch all three films. With every passing day, the trilogy feels more and more like a miracle. Adapted from J.R. Tolkien’s work of the same name, the trilogy tells the story of a band of warriors from a variety of fantastical races who come together to defeat a great evil. It’s a work of high fantasy that is both dorky and incredibly cool. There is no one too smart or sophisticated for Lord of the Rings, even if it’s one of the nerdiest things in the world. A great movie can make even niche material hugely popular, and that’s exactly what these films did.
Director: Peter Jackson
Main Cast: Elijah Wood, Ian McKellen, Orlando Bloom
Runtime: 178 minutes
IMDb Rating: 8.8
Alfred Hitchcock made many, many great films, and you should try to watch as many of them as you can. If you’re looking for a good place to start, though, there may be no better point of entry than North by Northwest. The film, which is almost a Bond movie before Bond existed, tells the story of a mild mannered office drone (Cary Grant) who gets mistaken for a secret agent. From there, he falls in love with a lady (Eva Marie Saint) and ultimately uncovers a criminal conspiracy that he alone can stop. The film’s crop duster sequence is definitely its most famous, and for good reason, but North by Northwest is thrilling from its very first moments, and it’s one of Hitchcock’s best.
Director: Alfred Hitchcock
Main Cast: Cary Grant, Eva Marie Saint, James Mason
Runtime: 136 minutes
IMDb Rating: 8.3
Tokyo Story is as quiet and reflective as movies get, but it’s also one of the most beautiful films ever made. The film is one of the defining works of Japanese director Yasujirō Ozu, and tells the story of a mother and father who come to visit their children in Tokyo but find that their children no longer have time for them. It’s a still movie, but one that ultimately depicts the tragedy of a generation of children who don’t feel that they owe their parents anything. Tokyo Story is a movie about the profound loneliness of growing old and watching the world leave you behind. The movie is widely regarded as one of the best ever made, and with good reason. It’s basically perfect.
Director: Yasujirō Ozu
Main Cast: Chishû Ryû, Chieko Higashiyama, Sô Yamamura
Runtime: 136 minutes
IMDb Rating: 8.2
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