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The 10 best movies on Max available to stream now

New to Max? Here are the top movies to start with

The Ring, The Lord of the Rings, The Hobbit.
Paxillop/Pixabay

With HBO Max rebranding to Max, it’s a great time to get acquainted with all of the great movies on the streaming service. In addition to large portions of the Warner Bros. catalog, it also has 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 whether you’re into action movies or comedies, and you shouldn’t feel limited by the selection below.

Instead, you should treat it as a jumping-off point of Max movies, one that will hopefully allow you to explore many of the titles that didn’t quite make the cut. 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 more Max content, we’ve rounded up the best shows on Max to watch right now.

Dunkirk (2017)

Dunkirk
107m
Genre War, Action, Drama
Stars Fionn Whitehead, Tom Hardy, Mark Rylance
Directed by Christopher Nolan

One of the best World War II movies in recent memory, Dunkirk is an incredible achievement in filmmaking as it gets the viewer on ground level with the troops who endured the real-life Battle of Dunkirk. Christopher Nolan’s unique approach to storytelling is intact here, and we even get a cameo from Harry Styles!

Casablanca (1942)

Casablanca
100 %
8.5/10
102m
Genre Drama, Romance
Stars Humphrey Bogart, Ingrid Bergman, Paul Henreid
Directed by Michael Curtiz
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.

The Dark Knight (2008)

The Dark Knight
84 %
9/10
152m
Genre Drama, Action, Crime, Thriller
Stars Christian Bale, Heath Ledger, Michael Caine
Directed by Christopher Nolan
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.

The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (2001)

The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring
92 %
8.8/10
179m
Genre Adventure, Fantasy, Action
Stars Elijah Wood, Ian McKellen, Viggo Mortensen
Directed by Peter Jackson
The entire Lord of the Rings trilogy is available on 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.

Tokyo Story (1953)

Tokyo Story
8.2/10
137m
Genre Drama
Stars Chishū Ryū, Chieko Higashiyama, Setsuko Hara
Directed by Yasujirō Ozu
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.

Deadwood: The Movie (2019)

Deadwood: The Movie
110m
Genre TV Movie, Western
Stars Timothy Olyphant, Ian McShane, Molly Parker
Directed by Daniel Minahan
Deadwood remains on the Mount Rusmore of many HBO show rankings, and for good reason. The Western series was a dense and well-acted saga of a small town and the sacrifices it took to create respect in the 1800s in the U.S. The series was canceled after only three seasons, so this movie is a must-watch apology to the diehards of the series who never got to see where the characters ended up. All of the main ones are back, such as Al Swearengen and Seth Bullock.

Godzilla: King of the Monsters (2019)

Godzilla: King of the Monsters
132m
Genre Science Fiction, Action
Stars Kyle Chandler, Vera Farmiga, Millie Bobby Brown
Directed by Michael Dougherty

The Monsterverse has become bigger and better in recent years, culminating in this thrilling and enormous clash of the titans! Godzilla is the unquestioned star of this film, but it also features a few great human performances, including one from Millie Bobby Brown from Stranger Things, who manages to do quite a bit in her limited screen time.

300 (2006)

300
117m
Genre Action, Adventure, War
Stars Gerard Butler, Lena Headey, Dominic West
Directed by Zack Snyder

If comic book adaptations of ancient Greco-Persian battles are your thing, then Zack Snyder’s 300 is the right action film for you. Gerard Butler plays King Leonidas, the mythological Spartan lord who was able to stand firm against hundreds of thousands of Persian soldiers invading his lands. The color palette of the movie adds to its stylistic flair.

Predator (1987)

Predator
107m
Genre Science Fiction, Action, Adventure, Thriller
Stars Arnold Schwarzenegger, Carl Weathers, Elpidia Carrillo
Directed by John McTiernan

Arnold Schwarzenegger is more kick-ass here than in any other film playing a rescue soldier who spars with an otherworldly alien presence in the middle of the jungle. Predator is now one of the most iconic sci-fi franchises of all time, and this first film is the best in the series.

Edge of Tomorrow (2014)

Edge of Tomorrow
114m
Genre Action, Science Fiction
Stars Tom Cruise, Emily Blunt, Bill Paxton
Directed by Doug Liman
Tom Cruise is one of the great action stars of his or any generation, and Edge of Tomorrow may just be his crowning achievement. Co-starring Emily Blunt, the movie follows Cruise as he and the rest of humanity battle an alien invader, and is sent back in time over and over until he finally finds a way to defeat iy. Cruise and Blunt have incredible chemistry in the movie, which also somehow manages to be one of the funniest performances Cruise has delivered in a long time. The whole thing is sharp, smart, and way better than it has any right being.

What movies are leaving Max in August?

August 12

  • A Very Venture Christmas
  • From the Ladle to the Grave: The Shallow Gravy Story

August 13

  • Thank You, Mr. President: Helen Thomas at the White House (HBO Original)

August 28

  • Tokyo Revengers (Dubbed & Subtitled)

August 31

  • 20 Feet From Stardom
  • 3:10 to Yuma
  • 93Queen
  • A Vigilante
  • Acts of Vengeance
  • Airplane II: The Sequel
  • Airplane!
  • Anger Management
  • Basic
  • Best of Enemies
  • Big Daddy
  • Blue Bayou
  • Brokedown Palace
  • Bullitt
  • Cobra
  • Deep Blue Sea
  • Demolition Man
  • Dolores Claiborne
  • Dragonball Evolution
  • Dunkirk
  • Eagle Eye
  • Enter the Dragon
  • Finding Forrester
  • Ghosts of Mississippi
  • Godzilla
  • Godzilla: King of the Monsters
  • Going in Style
  • Goodbye, Mr. Chips
  • Heist
  • Hellboy
  • Hellraiser III: Hell on Earth
  • Hellraiser IV: Bloodline
  • Hellraiser V: Inferno
  • Hellraiser VII: Deader
  • Hellraiser: Hellseeker
  • Hellraiser: Hellworld
  • Hot Tub Time Machine
  • House at the End of the Street
  • Hunter Killer
  • I Am Love
  • I Love You, Beth Cooper
  • Iris (2015)
  • Jackson (2016)
  • Jersey Boys (2014)
  • Johnson Family Vacation
  • Journey 2: The Mysterious Island
  • Journey to the Center of the Earth
  • Just Cause
  • King Kong
  • Lemon
  • Lethal Weapon
  • Lethal Weapon 2
  • Lethal Weapon 3
  • Lethal Weapon 4
  • Letters to Juliet
  • Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome
  • Make Your Move
  • Miss March
  • Miss Sloane
  • Mona Lisa Smile
  • My Bloody Valentine
  • My Bodyguard
  • My Week with Marilyn
  • Netizens
  • Never Grow Old
  • Norma Rae
  • Outrage
  • Over the Garden Wall
  • Paparazzi
  • Ready Player One
  • Results
  • Robin Hood
  • Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves
  • RocknRolla
  • Rush Hour
  • Rush Hour 2
  • Rush Hour 3
  • School Life
  • Sinister
  • Sleepers
  • Slums of Beverly Hills
  • Squidbillies
  • Tangerine
  • Taxi
  • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: The Secret of the Ooze
  • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles III
  • Tequila Sunrise
  • Thanks for Sharing
  • The Accused
  • The Animatrix
  • The Big Hit
  • The Card Counter
  • The Cold Light of Day
  • The Crazies
  • The Pick-Up Artist
  • The Ring Two
  • The Sentinel
  • The War of the Roses
  • TMNT
  • Vampire in Brooklyn
  • What a Girl Wants
  • What Lies Beneath
  • Whip It
  • White God
  • Whitey: United States of America v. James J. Bulger
  • Wild
  • Wild Hogs
  • Woman Walks Ahead
  • Yogi Bear

What movies are coming to Max in August?

August 1

  • A Hologram for the King
  • A Nightmare on Elm Street
  • A Nightmare on Elm Street
  • A Nightmare on Elm Street 2: Freddy’s Revenge
  • A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors
  • A Nightmare on Elm Street 4: The Dream Master
  • A Nightmare on Elm Street 5: The Dream Child
  • A Royal Affair
  • Agent Cody Banks
  • Agent Cody Banks 2: Destination London
  • American Gangster
  • Amsterdam
  • Angel of Mine
  • Animal Kingdom
  • Annie Hall
  • Antitrust
  • Before Midnight
  • Best Man Down
  • Beyond the Reach
  • Blown Away
  • Body of Lies
  • Bulletproof Monk
  • Chernobyl Diaries
  • Client 9: The Rise and Fall of Eliot Spitzer
  • Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs
  • Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
  • De-Lovely
  • Deadfall
  • Death Wish II
  • Death Wish 3
  • Death Wish 4: The Crackdown
  • F/X
  • F/X2: The Deadly Art of Illusion
  • Fame
  • Fargo
  • Flash of Genius
  • Good News
  • I Am Not Your Negro
  • Ice Station Zebra
  • Infinitely Polar Bear
  • Inside Job
  • Jason Goes to Hell: The Final Friday
  • Kill Your Darlings
  • King Arthur: Legend of the Sword
  • Kingpin
  • Leaving Las Vegas
  • Love Is Strange
  • Maggie’s Plan
  • Miss Congeniality
  • Miss Congeniality 2: Armed & Fabulous
  • Mortal Kombat Legends: Battle of the Realms
  • My Scientology Movie
  • Naked Gun 33 1/3: The Final Insult
  • Night Catches Us
  • Night Moves
  • Ocean’s Eight
  • Ocean’s Thirteen
  • Ocean’s Twelve
  • Our Family Wedding
  • Out of Time
  • Restless
  • Ronin
  • Rubber
  • Searching for Sugar Man
  • Shattered
  • Soul Plane
  • Spaceballs
  • Spawn
  • Stage Fright
  • Stan & Ollie
  • Star 80
  • Stealing Harvard
  • Take Shelter
  • The Age of Adaline
  • The Amityville Horror (1979)
  • The Amityville Horror (2005)
  • The Assistant
  • The Bourne Ultimatum
  • The Bronze
  • The Comedian
  • The Dirty Dozen
  • The Exception
  • The Fluffy Movie
  • The Getaway
  • The Good Lie
  • The Goodbye Girl
  • The Hollars
  • The Hunted
  • The Illusionist
  • The Iron Giant
  • The Killer Elite
  • The Mean Season
  • The Naked Gun 2 1/2: The Smell of Fear
  • The Naked Gun: From the Files of Police Squad!
  • The Omega Man
  • The Phantom
  • The Prince & Me
  • The Seagull
  • The Thomas Crown Affair (1968)
  • The Thomas Crown Affair (1999)
  • The Wash
  • The Water Horse: Legend of the Deep
  • They Died With Their Boots On
  • This Is Elvis
  • Till the End of Time
  • Torpedo Run
  • Transcendence
  • Travels With My Aunt
  • Twister
  • Wes Craven’s New Nightmare
  • Whiteout
  • Wild Wild West

August 4

  • Khun Pan 3

August 7

  • Kim vs Kayne: The Divorce

August 9

  • Get Hard

August 15

  • A Scent of Time (Max original)

August 17

  • Avatar
  • I Love You, and It Hurts (Te Quiero y Me Duele), (Max original)

August 18

  • American Masters: Sidney Poitier: One Bright Light
  • MarkKim + Chef (Max original)

August 20

  • Disappeared: The Bradley Sisters
  • Stand Up to Cancer

August 23

  • BS High (HBO original)

Editors' Recommendations

Movie images and data from:
Joe Allen
Contributor
Joe Allen is a freelance culture writer based in upstate New York. His work has been published in The Washington Post, The…
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