Trying to find the best titles to watch on HBO Max is no easy task—especially since the streaming platform boasts hundreds of popular movies. Should you choose that brand-new romantic thriller your friends can’t quit raving about, or should you pick the random documentary you’ve had bookmarked for the past three months? TBH, we’ve all been there. And if you could use some help with the selection process, allow us to introduce you to 30 of the best movies on HBO Max right now, from You’ve Got Mail to Birds of Prey.
The 30 Best Movies on HBO Max
1. The Menu (2022)
- Cast: Ralph Fiennes, Anya Taylor-Joy, Nicholas Hoult
Ralph Fiennes stars as a posh celebrity chef who hosts a group of guests for a special dinner on a private island. As expected, the evening doesn’t go as planned.
2. Joker (2019)
- Cast: Joaquin Phoenix, Robert De Niro, Zazie Beetz, Frances Conroy
Get a deeper look into the fascinating origin story of the Joker, who goes from being a failed stand-up comic to being a terrifying, psychopathic killer. The film earned an impressive 11 Oscar nominations, including Best Picture, and a Best Actor win for Phoenix.
3. Birds of Prey: Harley Quinn (2020)
- Cast: Margot Robbie, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Jurnee Smollett-Bell, Rosie Perez, Chris Messina, Ella Jay Basco
The Suicide Squad spin-off follows the aftermath of Harley Quinn’s painful breakup with the Joker. Left unstable and without protection, Harley eventually teams up with Black Canary, Huntress and Renee Montoya to take down a dangerous crime lord.
4. Empire of Light (2022)
- Cast: Olivia Colman, Michael Ward, Colin Firth
Directed, written and produced by Sam Mendes (American Beauty, 1917), this romantic drama paints a love of film by telling the story of Hilary, a duty manager at a cinema who falls in love with a new employee. The film received an Oscar nomination for Best Cinematography at the 95th Academy Awards.
5. A Star Is Born (2018)
- Cast: Bradley Cooper, Lady Gaga, Andrew Dice Clay, Dave Chappelle, Sam Elliott
It was the film that low-key made us think that Cooper and Gaga had a real-life romance behind-the-scenes. Cooper stars as Jackson Maine, a country rock star who privately struggles with alcoholism. When he discovers budding artist Ally (Gaga), the two fall in love. As her career takes off, however, it takes a huge toll on their relationship.
6. Black Adam (2022)
- Cast: Dwayne Johnson, Sarah Shahi, Henry Cavill
It’s been nearly 5,000 years since Teth Adam was imprisoned and deemed Black Adam after using his powers for vengeance. This is his story.
7. Malcolm X (1992)
- Cast: Denzel Washington, Angela Bassett, Albert Hall, Al Freeman Jr., Delroy Lindo, Spike Lee
This Spike Lee-directed drama follows the life of African-American civil rights activist Malcolm X, including his incarceration, his conversion to Islam and his subsequent fallout with the Nation of Islam. Oh, and did we mention that Denzel’s performance is phenomenal?
8. Wonder Woman (2017)
- Cast: Gal Gadot, Chris Pine, Robin Wright, Danny Huston, David Thewlis, Connie Nielsen
Gadot shines as the fearless immortal hero in this captivating film and, TBH, it’s impossible for us to imagine anyone else taking on this role. In the film, Diana Prince, princess of the Amazons, decides to leave her sheltered home and help prevent World War I, discovering her destiny along the way.
9. Barbarian (2022)
- Cast: Georgina Campbell, Bill Skarsgård, Justin Long
The story follows a woman who experiences a real-life nightmare at a rental house. You’ll be glued to the screen, thanks to the film’s twists around every turn and a stellar performance from lead Georgina Campbell.
10. Se7en (1995)
- Cast: Brad Pitt, Morgan Freeman, Gwyneth Paltrow, John C. McGinley, Kevin Spacey
William Somerset (Freeman), a retiring detective, teams up with newbie David Mills (Pitt) for a final case that involves a series of gruesome murders. As they investigate, they come to realize that the string of victims are all connected to the seven deadly sins.
11. Captain Phillips (2013)
- Cast: Tom Hanks, Catherine Keener, Barkhad Abdi, Faysal Ahmed
The film takes place in 2009 and follows a U.S. containership during what’s supposed to be a normal sail. Everything changes when the boat is overtaken by Somali pirates.
12. Singin' in the Rain (1952)
- Cast: Gene Kelly, Donald O'Connor, Debbie Reynolds, Jean Hagen
Don Lockwood and Lina Lamont (Kelly and Hagen) have risen to superstardom through the silent film era, thanks to their on-screen chemistry. When talking films ("talkies") are introduced, the popular duo’s success is threatened by Lina’s awful voice. Fortunately, an emerging talent named Kathy (Reynolds) just might be the solution they need.
13. The Princess (2022)
- Cast: Princess Diana
The documentary uses archival audio and video to examine the detrimental role the paparazzi and media played in Princess Diana’s public life. The film covers everything from her marriage to (and divorce from) Prince Charles to her untimely death.
14. Menace II Society (1993)
- Cast: Tyrin Turner, Jada Pinkett, Larenz Tate, Samuel L. Jackson, Charles S. Dutton
Eighteen-year-old Caine Lawson is determined to escape his life of violence and crime in Los Angeles. He makes plans to leave the projects, with the support of his girlfriend and teacher, but this proves to be much riskier than he thought. It’s not an easy watch, but it’s packed with insightful messages about drug use and teenage violence.
16. Superintelligence (2020)
- Cast: Melissa McCarthy, Bobby Cannavale, Brian Tyree Henry, Jean Smart, James Corden
Carol Peters (McCarthy), a former corporate executive, is given the opportunity of a lifetime when an anonymous network system decides to grant her a fortune and erase all her debt. Little does she know, she’s being observed by an evil force who’s planning to destroy the human race. As always, McCarthy is a delight.
17. Let Them All Talk (2020)
- Cast: Meryl Streep, Dianne Wiest, Candice Bergen, Lucas Hedges, Gemma Chan
The legendary Streep stars as best-selling author Alice Hughes, who embarks on an exciting cruise across the Atlantic to receive a literary award. During the journey, Alice tries to make the most of the experience, celebrating with her old friends and nephew as she tries to deal with her troubled past.
18. Persona (2021)
- Cast: Kyle Behm, Roland Behm, Lydia X.Z. Brown, Susan Cain
It turns out there’s more to those harmless personality quizzes than meets the eye. This intriguing doc dives into the history of the Myers–Briggs personality assessment and discusses how it became a potentially dangerous tool.
19. The Day Sports Stood Still (2021)
- Cast: Chris Paul, Donovan Mitchell, Danilo Gallinari, Karl-Anthony Towns, Mark Cuban, Adam Silver, Michele Roberts, Mookie Betts, Natasha Cloud
The eye-opening documentary offers some insight into the abrupt shutdown of sports in March of 2020 (due to the pandemic) and how it has impacted the lives and careers of athletes.
20. Bessie (2015)
- Cast: Queen Latifah, Michael Kenneth Williams, Khandi Alexander, Tika Sumpter, Tory Kittles, Mike Epps, Oliver Platt, Bryan Greenberg, Charles S. Dutton, Mo'Nique
This TV film explores the life of blues singer Bessie Smith, who went from struggling artist to the famed "Empress of the Blues," in the 1920s. It's worth noting that Bessie became the most watched HBO original film of all time in 2016, and it also won four Primetime Emmy Awards, including Outstanding Television Movie.
21. Fahrenheit 451 (2018)
- Cast: Michael B. Jordan, Michael Shannon, Sofia Boutella, Lilly Singh, Khandi Alexander, Martin Donovan, Dylan Taylor, Andy McQueen
Based on Ray Bradbury's acclaimed novel, the film centers on Guy Montag (Jordan), who lives in a dystopian world where nearly all literature is banned and burned by "Firemen." But Guy starts to question this system when he meets a woman who loves to read.
22. Crazy Rich Asians (2018)
- Cast: Constance Wu, Henry Golding, Michelle Yeoh, Awkwafina, Ken Jeong, Gemma Chan
Rachel Chu, a Chinese-American economics professor from New York, travels to Singapore with her boyfriend, Nick Young, to meet his family. But she’s in for quite the surprise when she learns that Nick's family is extremely wealthy.
23. The Wizard of Oz (1939)
- Cast: Judy Garland, Ray Bolger, Jack Haley, Bert Lahr, Margaret Hamilton
We can’t be the only ones who’ve made a tradition of watching this classic every year. Follow the yellow-brick road with Dorothy and the rest of the gang as they seek answers from the great Wizard of Oz.
24. Mortal Kombat (2021)
- Cast: Lewis Tan, Jessica McNamee, Josh Lawson, Tadanobu Asano, Mehcad Brooks, Ludi Lin, Chin Han
Take a trip to Japan, where MMA fighter Cole Young makes a startling discovery about his heritage. After being hunted by a dangerous warrior, he finds sanctuary and trains with a team of skilled fighters before facing off against Outworlders to help save the universe.
25. 4 Little Girls (1997)
- Cast: Maxine McNair, Chris McNair, Helen Pegues, Queen Nunn, Arthur Hanes Jr.
The Oscar-nominated documentary recounts the 1963 murder of four African-American girls in a Baptist Church bombing (carried out by the Ku Klux Klan) in Alabama, which lead to the passing of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
26. The Matrix (1999)
- Cast: Keanu Reeves, Laurence Fishburne, Carrie-Anne Moss, Hugo Weaving, Joe Pantoliano
Nothing beats seeing Neo expertly dodge flying bullets in a black trench coat. Follow the skilled computer programmer as he unravels the truth about the Matrix and faces off against intelligent machines.
27. You’ve Got Mail (1998)
- Cast: Tom Hanks, Meg Ryan, Parker Posey, Jean Stapleton, Dave Chappelle, Steve Zahn
Remember when “You’ve got mail” notifications were still a thing? This fan-favorite will take you right back to those nostalgic days and give you all the feels. Hanks and Ryan star as business rivals who, unbeknownst to them both, have fallen for each other anonymously online.
28. All the President’s Men (1976)
- Cast: Robert Redford, Dustin Hoffman, Jack Warden, Martin Balsam, Hal Holbrook, Jason Robards
Two reporters at the Washington Post research a 1972 burglary gone wrong, not knowing that they’re about to uncover a historic scandal that will lead to the downfall of former president Richard Nixon.
29. The Witches (2020)
- Cast: Anne Hathaway, Octavia Spencer, Stanley Tucci, Kristin Chenoweth
When an orphaned boy goes to live with his grandmother in Alabama, he comes across a group of evil and deceptive witches. His grandma wastes no time in relocating to a seaside resort, but unfortunately for them, the witches have something bigger up their sleeves.
30. Zack Snyder’s Justice League (2021)
- Cast: Ben Affleck, Henry Cavill, Amy Adams, Gal Gadot, Ray Fisher, Jason Momoa, Ezra Miller
Inspired by Superman’s selfless sacrifice, Bruce Wayne joins forces with Wonder Woman, and together they create a team of superheroes to face off against a vicious new enemy. Although the plot is very similar to the 2017 theatrical release, this special cut offers fans a rare glimpse at how director Zack Snyder originally envisioned the film before leaving production.