When you think of HBO you think of prestige TV, but that’s not all there is to HBO Max. HBO’s new streaming service, launching May 27, will be stuffed with grade-A classic movies transporting you through the milestones of cinema history. And to get you started, I’ve picked some of the unmissable highlights of moviemaking magic to stream right away.
HBO’s streamer comes with an intoxicating catalog of legendary movies from Warner Bros, Studio Ghibli and various other film studios, plus a lineup of groundbreaking classics from across the globe in the Criterion Collection. We’re talking all-timers here, folks. 2001: A Space Odyssey. Apocalypse Now. Battleship Potemkin. Casablanca. Citizen frickin’ Kane. And that’s just going up to C! Of course, they’re not all the sort of thing you have to pretend you’ve seen at film school — Armageddon is in there too.
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If you’re looking for comfort viewing, HBO Max comes with every Die Hard, Alien, Nightmare on Elm Street and Police Academy movie. You’ve got several recent James Bond movies, three different versions of A Star is Born — including the 2018 Oscar winner — and more Godzilla movies than you can shake a giant scaly tail at. And of course there’s the DC Comics films from Warner Bros, which include Wonder Woman, Aquaman, Shazam! and Batman flicks coming out of your pointy ears.
Here’s a handful of electrifying classics to get you started:
The Wages of Fear
A convoy of trucks carrying ultra-delicate explosives drives through a ridiculously hostile jungle in The Wages of Fear, one of the most suspenseful movies ever made. Try and remember to breathe.
Oscar-winning director Guillermo del Toro’s first feature film sees him firing on all cylinders in this delirious slice of neo-vampire weirdness. Cronos is gory, imaginative and just delightfully weird.
The Wild Bunch
Western classic The Wild Bunch.
One of the best and certainly toughest westerns ever made, The Wild Bunch arrived at a pivotal moment for Hollywood. Exploding onto screens at the end of the sixties alongside Easy Rider and Bonnie and Clyde (the latter of which is also on HBO Max), Sam Peckinpah’s opus was one of the touchstones in the coming of the “golden age of Hollywood,” when American cinema told richer and often darker stories in a more natural and provocative style. Infamous for what was then startling violence, it’s also a brutal interrogation of the male psyche and the myth of the Wild West — with quotably hardboiled dialogue and astonishing shootouts.
If you’re into westerns, HBO Max takes you a tour of the age-old genre: start with John Wayne in Stagecoach, Rio Bravo and The Searchers, then progress through to Once Upon a Time in the West and then latter-day westerns like Giant, Dead Man and Blood Simple.
Paths of Glory
Stanley Kubrick pulls you deep into the madness of war in Paths of Glory, a World War I story with a twist. Kirk Douglas is magnificent as an officer battling to protect his men from both the enemy and their own commanders. Powerful and beautifully-shot, it’s also way shorter than Apocalypse Now (which is also on HBO Max, as well as Kubrick’s nightmarish anti-war satire Dr. Strangelove).
Set It Off
A heist with a difference in Set It Off.
This still-dazzling 1996 crime movie puts an impassioned twist on the heist genre with a cast of black women pulling off a score. Smartly crafted and brilliantly acted, Set It Off is as relevant now as it was when it was made.
The Great Dictator
Charlie Chaplin pulls no punches in The Great Dictator.
Comedy legend Charlie Chaplin mixed the laughs with serious satire in this scathing attack on the Nazi regime, which was also his first movie with sound. Hilarious and important, The Great Dictator is a great way into Chaplin’s oeuvre. Other comic pioneers on HBO Max include Harold Lloyd in Safety Last! and Jacques Tati in Monsieur Hulot’s Holiday, both of which influence comedy to this day.
Withnail and I
One of the most quotable comedies ever made, this tale of a larger-than-life but perpetually out-of-work actor manages to be the funniest snapshot of alcoholic degradation you’re ever likely to see. Richard E Grant burns a hole in the screen as Withnail, the kind of guy you love to watch but never want to meet.
The Umbrellas of Cherbourg
Colourful, playful and utterly irresistible, The Umbrellas of Cherbourg is one of several precipitation-themed musicals on HBO Max. Actually, it’s just this and Singin’ in the Rain.
Yojimbo, the samurai movie that inspired the man with no name.
You’re in for a treat if you like samurai movies: HBO Max has a bunch of classics sharper than a slashing katana blade. As well as Throne of Blood and the Lone Wolf and Cub series, there’s Seven Samurai — which inspired The Magnificent Seven — and The Hidden Fortress, from which George Lucas borrowed liberally for a little movie called Star Wars. Start with Yojimbo, an action-packed and massively influential flick that went on to inspire Clint Eastwood’s entire career.
The Killing of a Chinese Bookie
If you liked the recent Uncut Gems, then this is the sweaty street-level flick for you. The Killing of a Chinese Bookie is one of the bold and uncompromising trawls through the throbbing streets of 1970s New York from singular filmmaker John Cassavetes that you can find on HBO Max.
Destroy All Monsters
If you’re not in the mood for a five hour examination of eighteenth-century Swedish family politics — we’re looking at you, Fanny and Alexander — then grab a pizza and a brew and enjoy any of the Godzilla movies on HBO Max. This is the ninth in the series and is basically a nonstop scrap between eleven giant monsters.
Get down with concert film Wattstax.
There are a bunch of concert films on HBO Max that provide tuneful snapshots of the 20th century’s iconic musical movements. Wattstax is a funky fresh film of a 1972 concert featuring the soul, funk and jazz artists of Stax records such as Isaac Hayes, interspersed with introductions by Richard Pryor. For more musical mayhem, check out the Rolling Stones’ concert film Let’s Spend the Night Together and Martin Scorsese’s documentary The Last Waltz.
Not every movie on HBO Max is a black-and-white French arthouse film. You also get recent stunners like Her Smell, an abrasive 2018 drama powered by an audacious turn from Elisabeth Moss.
It’s not hard to see why this stylish crime flick was famously touted as one of Quentin Tarantino’s favorites. Yes, it’s in black and white, but it’s also proof that classic cinema isn’t all glacial arthouse impenetrability. If you don’t want to throw on some shades and smoke cigarettes outside a coffee shop after watching this then I don’t know what to tell you.
Twitter’s new reply settings, HBO Max gets the ‘Snyder…
All the movies on HBO Max
Honestly, I could go on all day, but I’ve got movies to watch. So here’s the full list:
Warner Bros. Classics
2001: A Space Odyssey42nd StreetAdam’s RibThe Adventures of Robin HoodAn American in ParisBen-HurBody HeatBonnie and ClydeBringing Up BabyCannery RowCasablancaCheyenne AutumnCimarronCitizen KaneCity of AngelsCool Hand LukeCountdownDirty HarryDoctor ZhivagoEast of EdenElvis: That’s the Way it isFootlight ParadeFreaksGiantGirl CrazyGold Diggers of 1933Gold Diggers of 1935Gone with the WindHow the West was WonKeeper of the FlameKing KongKluteThe Little Drummer GirlLolitaThe Maltese FalconMildred PierceMillion Dollar MermaidMrs. SoffelNorth by NorthwestNow, VoyagerThe Nun’s StoryPat and MikeA Patch of BlueThe Philadelphia StoryPoint BlankPolyesterThe Postman Always Rings TwicePride and PrejudiceRebel Without a CauseRhapsody in BlueRio BravoRomance on the High SeasThe Sea of GrassThe SearchersShall We DanceShoot the MoonSingin’ in the RainThe Singing NunThe Song Remains the SameA Star is Born (1954)A Star is Born (1976)A Streetcar Named DesireStrike Up the BandTortilla FlatThe Treasure of the Sierra MadreWattstaxThe Wild BunchWithout LoveThe Wizard of OzWoman of the YearWoodstock
Modern Warner Bros. Films and Favorites
AquamanBatman: Gotham KnightBatman: Mask of the PhantasmBatman: The Dark Knight Returns Part 1Batman: The Dark Knight Returns Part 2Batman & RobinBatman ForeverBatman vs. RobinBatman v Superman: Dawn of JusticeBlade Runner: The Final CutContactCrazy Stupid LoveCrazy Rich AsiansCrittersThe Dark Knight RisesDeep Blue SeaThe Devil’s AdvocateDrop Dead FredEmpire of The SunFantastic Beasts: The Crimes of GrindelwaldFreddy’s Dead: The Final NightmareFriday the 13th (2009)Glengarry Glen RossGreen LanternGremlinsGremlins 2: The New BatchHairspray (1988)Hairspray (2007)Harold & Kumar go to White CastleIsn’t It RomanticIT: Chapter 2JokerThe LEGO Batman MovieThe LEGO MovieLethal WeaponLethal Weapon 2Lethal Weapon 3Lethal Weapon 4Little Shop of HorrorsThe Lord of the Rings: Return of the KingA Nightmare on Elm StreetA Nightmare On Elm Street 2: Freddy’s RevengeA Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream WarriorsA Nightmare on Elm Street 4: The Dream MasterA Nightmare on Elm Street 5: The Dream ChildPolice AcademyPolice Academy 2: Their First AssignmentPolice Academy 3: Back in TrainingPolice Academy 4: Citizens on PatrolPolice Academy 5: Assignment Miami BeachPolice Academy 6: City Under SiegePolice Academy: Mission to MoscowPractical MagicSelenaSet It OffShazam!Sherlock HolmesThe Sisterhood of the Traveling PantsThe Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants 2Snakes on a PlaneA Star Is Born (2018)Sucker PunchSuicide SquadSupergirlThe Texas Chainsaw Massacre (2003)Three KingsA Time to KillWes Craven’s New NightmareThe Witches of EastwickWonder Woman
8½…And God Created Woman16 Days of Glory2 or 3 Things I Know About HerThe 3 Penny OperaThe 39 StepsThe 400 BlowsThe 47 Ronin: Part 1The 47 Ronin: Part 2Ali: Fear Eats the SoulAmarcordAn Angel at my TableAshes and DiamondsAtlanta’s Olympic GloryAu Revior Les EnfantsAutumn SonataBabette’s FeastBattle of AlgiersBattleship PotemkinThe Beales of Grey GardensBeauty and the BeastBelle De JourBicycle ThievesThe Bitter Tears of Petra Von KantBlack GirlBlack NarcissusBlack OrpheusBlithe SpiritThe BlobBlood SimpleBreaking the WavesBreathlessBrief EncounterA Brief History of TimeThe BroodBrute ForceBuena Vista Social ClubCalgary ’88: 16 Days of GloryCarnival of SoulsChimes at MidnightLa CiénagaThe CircusCity LightsCleo from 5 to 7Cranes are FlyingCries and WhispersCrisis: Behind a Presidential CommitmentCronosDaisiesA Day in the CountryA Day’s PleasureThe DaytrippersDead ManDesert HeartsDestroy All MonstersDiaboliqueDivorce Italian StyleA Dog’s LifeDon’t Look BackDown by LawThe Earrings of Madame DeEating RaoulEbirah, Horror of the DeepElevator to the GallowsThe Emperor JonesThe EntertainerEquinoxEraserheadEuropaEurope ’51Eyes Without a FaceF is for FakeFacesFanny and AlexanderFantastic PlanetFat GirlFirst Man Into SpaceFor All MankindForeign CorrespondantThe Four FeathersFox and His FriendsThe Front PageFunny GamesGeorge Stevens: A Filmmakers JourneyGeorge Stevens: D-Day to BerlinGermany Year ZeroGidorah, The Three Headed MonsterGimme ShelterGodzillaGodzilla Raids AgainGodzilla vs MechagodzillaGodzilla vs MegalonGodzilla vs GiganGodzilla vs HedorahGodzilla, King of the Monsters!The Gold RushThe Gold Rush: 1942 VersionThe Grand OlympicsGray’s AnatomyThe Great DictatorGreat ExpectationsGrey GardensHamletHanzo the Razor: Sword of JusticeHanzo the Razor: The SnareHanzo the Razor: Who’s Got the Gold?A Hard Day’s NightHarlan County U.S.AHaxan: Witchcraft Through the AgesHearts and MindsHenry VThe Hidden FortressHobson’s ChoiceThe Honeymoon KillersHoop DreamsHouseI Married a WitchI Shot Jesse JamesI Was a Teenage ZombieThe Idle ClassIkiruThe ImmigrantIn the Mood for LoveIn Vanda’s RoomIntermezzoInvasion of Astro-MonsterIrma VepIvan the Terrible Part 1Ivan the Terrible Part 2JubileeJules and JimJuliet of the SpiritsThe Jungle BookThe KidKill!The Killing of a Chinese BookieA King in New YorkThe King of KingsKnife in the WaterKwaidanLady SnowbloodLady Snowblood 2: Love Song of VengeanceThe Lady VanishesL’AmoreL’ArgentThe Last EmperorThe Last MetroThe Last WaveLate AutumnLate SpringL’AvventuraLillehammer ’94: Days of GloryLimelightThe Lodger: A Story of the London FogLolaLola MontesLone Wolf and Cub: Baby Cart at the River StyxLone Wolf and Cub: Baby Cart in PerilLone Wolf and Cub: Baby Cart to HadesLone Wolf and Cub: Baby in the Land of DemonsLone Wolf and Cub: Sword of VengenceLone Wolf and Cub: White Heaven in HellLoneliness of the Long DistanceThe Long Voyage HomeLook Back in AngerLord of the FliesThe Lost Honor of Katarina BlumLove in the AfternoonMajor BarbaraMan Bites DogThe Man Who Knew Too MuchMarriage of Maria BraunMasculin FemininMetropolitanMikey and NickyModern TimesMon OncleMona LisaMonsieur Hulot’s HolidayMonsieur VerdouxMonterey PopThe Most Dangerous GameMothra vs GodzillaMr. ArkadinMultiple ManiacsMy Brilliant CareerMy Dinner with AndreMy Life as a DogMy Night at Maud’sNagano ’98 Olympics: Stories of Honor and GloryThe Naked CityThe Naked KissNanook of the NorthNice and FriendlyA Night in the ShowNight of the Living DeadOf Mice and MenOliver TwistOnibabaParis, TexasPather PanchaliPay DayPepe Le MokoPermanent VacationPersonaPicnic at Hanging RockThe PilgrimThe PlayerPolice StoryPrimaryThe Private Life of Henry the VIIIPygmalionQuadropheniaQuerelleRashomonThe Red BalloonRed DesertThe Red ShoesRembrandtThe Return of Bulldog DrummondReturn of the Scarlet PimpernelRichard IIIThe RinkThe Rise of Catherine the GreatThe RiteThe RiverRodanRome Open CityA Room with a ViewThe Ruling ClassThe RunnerSabotageSafety Last!SalesmanLe SamouraiSamurai Trilogy 1: Musashi MiyamotoSamurai Trilogy 2: Duel at Ichijoji TempleSamurai Trilogy 3: Duel at Ganryu IslandSatan’s BrewSawdust and TinselScannersThe Scarlet PimpernelScenes From a MarriageSchizopolisSeance on a Wet AfternoonSecrets and LiesSensoSeoul 1988Seven SamuraiSeventh SealThe Seventh VeilShadowsShock CorridorShoot the Piano PlayerThe ShootingThe Shop on Main StreetShoulder ArmsSistersSmithereensSolarisSon of GodzillaSpeedyStagecoachLa StradaStranger Than ParadiseThe StrangerStromboliSummertimeSunnysideSweetieTaste of CherryA Taste of HoneyTerror of MechagodzillaThe Testament of Dr MabuseThat Hamilton WomanThe Thief of BagdadThree Colors: BlueThree Colors: RedThree Colors: WhiteThrone of BloodThrough a Glass DarklyTie Me Up! Tie Me Down!Time BanditsThe Times of Harvey MilkThe Tin DrumTo Be or not To BeTokyo OlympiadTokyo StoryTom JonesThe Trial of Joan of ArcTrue StoriesTwin Peaks: Fire Walk with MeTwo English GirlsUgetsuUmberto D.The Umbrellas of CherbourgUnder the VolcanoVampyrVictimVivre Sa VieVoyage to ItalyThe Wages of FearWar and PeaceThe War of the GargantuasThe War RoomWatership DownWeekendWild StrawberriesWings of DesireWise BloodWithnail and IA Woman of ParisA Woman Under the InfluenceThe X From Outer SpaceYojimboYoung and InnocentYoung GirlsZ
Alien (Director’s Cut)AliensAlien 3Alien ResurrectionAmerican PieAnalyze ThisAnnie HallApocalypse NowArmageddonThe Awful TruthAyaBabeBaby BoomThe Bells of St. Mary’sBig Top Pee WeeBoys Don’t CryBraveheartBridesmaidsBroken ArrowCapricorn OneCasino RoyaleCastle in the SkyThe Cat ReturnsCold MountainD2: The Mighty DucksD3: The Mighty DucksThe Darjeeling LimitedDick TracyDie HardDie Hard 2: Die HarderDie Hard with a VengeanceDownton AbbeyDr. StrangeloveEagle EyeElla EnchantedThe Family StoneFast FiveFight ClubFrom Up on Poppy HillA Good Day to Die HardGood Will HuntingGrosse Pointe BlankHackersHalf-NelsonHappy Death DayHarold and MaudeHellboy (2019)Her SmellHey Arnold! The MovieHobbs & ShawHome Alone 2: Lost in New YorkHope FloatsHow to Lose a Guy in 10 DaysHowl’s Moving CastleIn BrugesIn Cold BloodJawsJaws 2Jaws 3-DJaws: The RevengeJohn Tucker Must DieJohn Wick: Chapter 3 – ParabellumThe Kids Are All RightKiki’s Delivery ServiceThe KillingKung Fu PandaThe Land Before TimeLast HolidayThe Last WaltzLet’s Spend the Night TogetherLilies of the FieldLittle Black BookThe Long GoodbyeLove ActuallyMamma Mia!: Here We Go AgainManhattanThe Mighty DucksMona Lisa SmileMr. and Mrs. SmithMrs. DoubtfireMy Neighbor TotoroMy Neighbors the YamadasNausicaa of the Valley of the WindNetworkNotting HillOne Fine DayOcean WavesAn Officer and a GentlemanOnce Upon a Time in the WestOnly Angels Have WingsOnly YesterdayOut of AfricaPaths of GloryPet SemataryPlanes, Trains, and AutomobilesPom PokoPonyoPorco RussoPretty in PinkPrincess MononokeQuantum of SolaceRaising ArizonaReady or NotRedsSave the Last DanceScary Movie 3The Secret World of ArriettyShall We Dance?ShooterShutter IslandSlumdog MillionaireSome Kind of BeautifulSpirited AwayStealing HarvardStripteaseSwingersThe Tale of the Princess KaguyaTales from EarthseaTeen WitchThat Thing You Do!The Thomas Crown Affair (1968)The Thomas Crown Affair (1999)This Means WarTransformers: Revenge of the FallenTropic ThunderTrue LiesTwinsUnfriendedUsVan HelsingVarsity BluesWar of the Worlds (2005)What About Bob?What Women WantWhen Marnie was ThereWhispers of the HeartThe Wind RisesThe WoodX-Men: Dark PhoenixYesterday
New movie calendar for 2020 and 2021 following coronavirus delays
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