7 Movies to Stream on HBO Max, According to an Entertainment Editor

As an entertainment editor, I have a ton of knowledge about movies and television shows (hey, it’s literally part of the job). And when it comes to choosing the right thing to watch on HBO Max at the end of a long day, even I’m simply at a loss sometimes.

One day I could be in the mood for a historical documentary, while the next I’m looking for a mysterious, crime-thriller. Luckily, the streaming platform offers flicks that cover all of the bases. So, whether you're like me and have run out of things to watch or you're simply looking to add something new to your queue, here are seven movies you can (and should) watch on HBO Max right now.

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1. ‘bessie’

This HBO original film first aired on television back in 2015 and tells the story of “Empress of the Blues,” Bessie Smith. Per the the platform’s official synopsis, Bessie is a “vivid portrait of a tenacious spirit who, despite her own demons, went on to become one of the most successful and influential musical artists of the 20th century.” Honestly, between Queen Latifah’s impressive portrayal of the music icon and the gorgeous costume designs, you won’t get a better glimpse into the 1920s blues scene.

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2. ‘se7en’

Starring Morgan Freeman, Brad Pitt, and Gwyneth Paltrow (need we say more?), the 1995 film follows a veteran detective and his rookie partner on the hunt for a murderer who uses the seven deadly sins as part of his MO. However, as they get deeper into the twisted world of the meticulous criminal, they realize that cracking the case is not going to be as easy as they originally thought. And, unfortunately, it will also come at a cost.

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3. ‘wonder Woman’

When it comes to powerful women on the big screen, Diana, princess of the Amazons, is definitely one of our favorites. The 2017 film tells the tale of the origins of Wonder Woman, from her early life, to her first venture into the outside world to fight alongside men (and a handsome American pilot) in the war. Unfortunately, the 2020 sequel, Wonder Woman: 1984, was officially removed from the platform last month, so, we’ll just have to re-watch this one.

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4. ‘a Star Is Born’

Three years later, and we’re still not over this heart-wrenching drama starring Bradley Cooper (who also made his directorial debut) and Lady Gaga. In this new take on the tragic love story, popular musician Jack accidentally discovers (and falls in love with) struggling artist Ally. Unfortunately, as her career starts to take off, Jack must face his inner demons and the duo’s relationship begins to fall apart.

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5. ‘4 Little Girls’

We needed to include at least one documentary on this list. In 4 Little Girls, director Spike Lee offers a detailed look at the 1963 bombing of a church in Alabama, which took the lives of four young girls: Addie Mae Collins, Denise McNair, Carole Robertson and Cynthia Wesley. The movie uses interviews (one with the former Alabama Governor George Wallace), dance and archived footage to look at how the incident inspired America’s civil-rights movement.

6. ‘malcolm X’

Another project from director Spike Lee, this Oscar-nominated film depicts major events of the life of the controversial and influential Black Nationalist leader, Malcom X. From his childhood experiences to his assassination at the age of 39, the biopic covers it all. Between its impressive story telling and Denzel Washington’s groundbreaking performance, Malcolm X has remained one of the most powerful films of the last 30 years.

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7. ’the Invisible Man’

This science-fiction psychological thriller (which was released on February 28) is a loose modern adaptation of H.G. Wells’s 1897 novel. In the film, Elisabeth Moss stars as a young woman trapped in a violent and abusive relationship with a scientist, who decides to make a secret escape in the middle of the night. However, when her ex commits suicide she can’t help but shake the feeling that the death was a hoax and she constantly feels his presence everywhere she goes.

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