HBO Max is the premium streaming service from the Warner-owned media giant. For $14.99 a month, subscribers can choose from a vast library of movies and television shows. If you’ve already made your way through their superhero slate, take a look at some of the best movies currently available on the service.
Joaquin Phoenix delivers a sensational performance in this disquieting take on the Batman villain. As Arthur Fleck, a disenfranchised and marginalized member of society, Phoenix channels his frustrations into sowing the seeds of anarchy in Gotham City.
The debut film from Joel and Ethan Coen is a spare film noir about a bar owner (Dan Hedaya) who enlists a private detective to kill his wife (Frances McDormand) and her lover (John Getz). Naturally, things don’t go as planned.
This Italian-language film follows two emotionally affecting stories—the bond between a boy (played by Salvatore Cascio, Marco Leonardi, and Jacques Perrin at various stages of his life) and a movie projectionist (Philippe Noiret) as well as the bond between the pair and the movies they embrace so passionately in post-war Sicily.
Despite advances in special effects, few films have come close to the grandeur and visual impact of director Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey. Co-written with Arthur C. Clarke, the film takes viewers on a psychedelic journey through space in the guise of a manned mission to Jupiter that’s soon thrown off-balance by the sentient HAL—a computer with plans of its own.
Mark Wahlberg leads an all-star cast in this ensemble drama from director Paul Thomas Anderson that details the rise of the adult film industry in San Fernando Valley in the 1970s. As busboy Eddie Adams, Wahlberg makes his way through an exhilarating new form of X-rated expression.
A seemingly mundane story of a blue-collar Italian worker (Lamberto Maggiorani) who finds his job in jeopardy when his only mode of transportation—a bicycle—is stolen turns into a mediation on the challenges of morality and ethics in the face of desperation.
The Wachowski siblings broke new ground in sci-fi and special effects in this daring action film about a hacker named Neo (Keanu Reeves) who learns reality may simply be an illusion. A fourth film in the series is due in 2021.
8. Babe (1995)
A farmer (James Cromwell) becomes fond of a pig named Babe, who quickly takes a position of prominence on the family farm because he believes he can operate as a sheepdog for livestock. The film has become a family classic, and its sequel—1998’s Babe: Pig in the City, which is a bit darker and directed by Mad Max creator George Miller—is also available on the service.
Two vagabonds (Humphrey Bogart, Tim Holt) join up with a prospector (Walter Huston) to search for gold in the Sierra Madre mountains of Mexico. Unity soon crumbles as the men are faced with a series of obstacles, both natural and man-made.
Steven Spielberg offers a suspenseful take on the real-life story of the terrorists who murdered Israeli athletes at the 1972 Olympic Games in Munich and the Israeli team led by Avner Kaufman (Eric Bana) charged with finding and retaliating against the killers.
A nuanced story of love in a time of crisis, Breaking the Waves features Emily Watson as Bess McNeil, a Scottish woman who falls for an oil rig worker named Jan Nyman (Stellan Skarsgård). When tragedy befalls Jan, Bess must navigate their relationship through uncharted emotional waters.
Denzel Washington gives one of the all-time great movie performances in Training Day as Alonzo Harris, a crooked Los Angeles narcotics officer who takes new recruit Jake Hoyt (Ethan Hawke) under his corrupt wing.
Few actors could hold an audience as they navigate the perils of an island as the lone survivor of a plane crash. But few actors are as versatile as Tom Hanks, who makes marooned man Chuck Noland a compulsively watchable survivor.
14. Jaws (1975)
The original summer blockbuster is still a masterclass in suspense, with Steven Spielberg getting the most out of the rarely-seen shark terrorizing a tourist town. It’s up to police chief Martin Brody (Roy Scheider), marine biologist Matt Hooper (Richard Dreyfuss), and salty sea captain Quint (Robert Shaw) to destroy the beast before it’s too late.
Director Henri-Georges Clouzot offers a riveting example of sustained suspense in this fascinating story of four men who volunteer to drive two trucks of volatile nitroglycerine to the site of an oil field fire in South America. One bump in the road too many and they’ll explode. Consider it a predecessor to 1994’s Speed—only far more stressful to watch.
Director Ingmar Bergman received great acclaim for this enchanting story of two children (Pernilla Allwin and Bertil Guve) who find their happy home in ruins after their father dies and their mother remarries. Only their sibling bond and an indomitable will to survive can help them endure the upheaval.
Cary Grant and Alfred Hitchcock teamed for this classic thriller about everyman Roger Thornhill, an advertising executive mistaken for a man caught up in the spy trade. Thornhill’s race to clear his name is bolstered by some legendary scenes, including the famous cropduster chase, and a riveting Bernard Herrmann score.
Kevin Kline, Jamie Lee Curtis, and John Cleese star in this heist comedy about a group of diamond thieves who encounter difficulties finding an agreeable resolution to their illegal activities.
This unsettling French film about a surgeon (Pierre Brasseur) who kidnaps young women in the hopes he can restore the beauty of his daughter (Édith Scob) who was in a disfiguring car accident by grafting their faces to hers is a study in restraint. There’s little gore but plenty of unease in what amounts to a highbrow take on the mad scientist genre.
20. It (2017)
Stephen King’s novel about a group of kids terrorized by pure evil Pennywise the Clown (Bill Skarsgård) is an exercise in effective big-budget terror. The sequel, 2019’s It Chapter Two, is also available.
This story has been updated.