Is HBO Max’s movies worth the subscription price?
With plans starting at under ten dollars a month, HBO Max is a reasonably priced streaming service with premium content. The platform offers original series, critically-acclaimed documentaries, new movies, and classic cinema. HBO Max has entertainment that’s a cut above & a price that’s comparable to other platforms.
HBO Max is a cinephile’s dream streamer. The platform allows you to watch some new movies at the same time they’re released in theaters. There are also hubs like Turner Classic Movies which have timeless hand-picked films for your enjoyment. HBO Max also features movies curated by Criterion Collection, so you know you’re getting the best.
With movies from every era & genre, it can be a little daunting to know what to watch first. That’s why we’re here to recommend the best movies on HBO Max.
Promising Young Woman
We promise you don’t want to miss this 2021 Academy Award for Best Picture nominee. This darkly comedic thriller is the feature directorial debut for Emerald Fennell. The film stars Carey Mulligan as a thirty-something college dropout seeking retribution for her friend who was raped.
Promising Young Woman earned Fennell & Mulligan Oscar nominations for Best Director and Best Actress respectively. Fennell took home the award for Best Original Screenplay. Comedian Bo Burnham & former Community star Alison Brie are also featured in the cast.
If international art house movies are your jam, then HBO Max has you covered. Persona is one of several Ingmar Bergman films featured on the streaming service. This 1966 psychological horror drama is a perfect introduction to the Swedish director’s dreamlike films.
Persona follows the story of a psychiatric nurse named Anna who is assigned to care for famous actress Elisabeth Vogler after she goes mute. The two go to a vacation home on the Baltic Sea for Elisabeth to recover. While they are there, Anna reveals some dark secrets of her past.
If you like to be intellectually challenged by films, Persona is perfect for you. The real horror of the film comes from its ability to tap into your subconscious. Persona is an incredibly influential movie & is cited by horror director Ari Aster as one of his favorite films.
The 40-Year-Old Virgin
The comedy section on HBO Max has plenty to offer if you’re looking for some lighter fare. There you can find one of the biggest comedies of the last twenty years. The 40-Year-Old Virgin not only gave director Judd Apatow a blank check for the rest of his career, but it helped make Steve Carell a household name.
If you’ve never seen The 40-Year-Old Virgin before, the premise is simple. Carell plays an electronics salesman named Andy who unwittingly reveals to his coworkers that he’s never had sex. His colleagues proceed to help him lose his virginity, yet what Andy actually ends up desiring is true love.
Iconic avant-garde filmmaker David Lynch’s 1977 debut is perfect for Halloween streaming. Eraserhead has a fairly straightforward plot on paper. A printer named Henry Spencer is on vacation when he finds out that his girlfriend Mary is expecting a child. However, watching this experimental horror classic gives you so much more than that.
From the very start of Eraserhead, you are bombarded with an ethereal ambiance that sends you into a trance-like state. Time seems to have no meaning in the surrealistic industrial world that Henry inhabits. Eraserhead is full of dreamlike imagery & logic that will take you to mental destinations you’ve never been before.
Lynch made Eraserhead for roughly $10,000 while he was still a student at the American Film Institute. The film gained a cult following thanks to midnight screenings & word-of-mouth about its otherworldliness. HBO Max also has Lynch’s 1984 version of Dune & his 1992 film Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me.
The Dark Knight
HBO Max has the film responsible for revolutionizing superhero movies. If you haven’t seen The Dark Knight, have you been living under a rock for the past thirteen years? If so, get a subscription to HBO Max & press play on the film that cemented Christopher Nolan as an in-demand filmmaker.
Before The Dark Knight, comic book movies were seen as corny & made for children. In 2008 Christopher Nolan presented an ominous & gritty version of Gotham City that stunned moviegoers. Christian Bale brings out a different side of Batman & Bruce Wayne, but Heath Ledger’s Joker steals the show.
We’re arguably still living with a Dark Knight hangover. Almost every superhero franchise has gone for a more serious & adult reboot. Think Man of Steel or Logan. Watch The Dark Knight to see the film that started the trend. HBO Max also has the Tim Burton Batman films & Todd Phillips’ Joker.
Wanting an introduction to the French New Wave? Look no further than Jean-Luc Godard’s Breathless. This 1960 masterpiece ignited a film movement with its improvisational style & rebellious nature. Breathless stars the elegant Jean Seberg & Jean-Paul Belmondo, who passed away last month.
Breathless tells the tale of a thief & cop-killer named Michel (Belmondo) who tries to evade the authorities. Seeking a place to hide out, Michel tracks down an American girl named Patricia (Seberg). The two abscond to Patricia’s apartment where she unknowingly helps Michel avoid capture.
Jean-Luc Godard’s debut brought an edge to film that had rarely been seen before it. Breathless explores sexual & social situations that were considered controversial in 1960. Its antihero protagonist & fatalistic outlook became a huge influence on the New American Cinema of the late 60s & 70s.
HBO Max has countless movies from a variety of directors, genres, and years. The service is constantly adding new films for you to enjoy at a fair price. Let these recommendations be a starting point for your cinematic journey. What’s your favorite movie on HBO Max? Let us know in the comments!/