- There are a lot of movie titles to choose from on HBO Max.
- Honestly, it’s the most impressive selection we’ve seen of any of the streaming services out there.
- To help you navigate, here’s a list of the best movies on the streamer.
- HBO Max has classics such as “2001: A Space Odyssey,” “Enter the Dragon,” “North by Northwest,” and “The Seventh Seal.”
- There’s also more mainstream movies, including “Cruel Intentions,” “Die Hard,” and all of the “Lord of the Rings” movies.
- Visit Insider’s homepage for more stories.
Streaming services are cropping up all the time and giving people endless amounts of content to watch. But one of the latest, HBO Max, has suddenly set itself apart from the others and is gaining respect from movie buffs thanks to its incredible library of titles.
I have done a lot of lists that dive into the movie catalogues of the big streamers and without question, HBO Max has the best I’ve seen so far in mixing popular titles from the last few decades with essential movies (both from the US and around the world) that many consider the greatest ever made.
The mix of options is quite impressive. They range from classics such as “2001: A Space Odyssey,” “Enter the Dragon,” “North by Northwest,” and “The Seventh Seal,” to more mainstream movies, inlcuding “Cruel Intentions,” “Die Hard,” and all of the “Superman” and “Lord of the Rings” movies.
Here are the 101 movies (listed alphabetically) that you have to watch on HBO Max right now:
1. “8 1/2” (1963)
One of Federico Fellini’s masterpieces, the movie (its title marking the number of movies he had made up to that point in his career) is a surrealist dark comedy that looks at a director (Marcello Mastroianni) struggling with personal and professional issues to create a profound work.
2. “13 Going on 30”
Jennifer Garner is fantastic in this rom-com/coming-of-age story where she plays a teen who gets her wish and becomes “thirty, flirty, and thriving.” Now 30, she learns how she got there wasn’t the most honest, leading her to finding an old friend (played by Mark Ruffalo).
3. “The 400 Blows” (1959)
Another movie regarded as one of the best ever made, François Truffaut takes moments from his and his friends’ lives to create his alter ego Antoine Doinel (a character Jean-Pierre Léaud would play numerous times going forward in Truffaut movies).
We follow the misunderstood Doinel as he runs around Paris skipping school and doing petty crimes. Finally, he’s brought to a centre for troubled youth. It leads to a powerful ending with one of the greatest closing shots ever created as Doinel, who has never seen the ocean, is running along a beach and the looks directly into the camera.
4. “2001: A Space Odyssey” (1968)
Let’s keep the masterpieces going. Stanley Kubrick adapts Arthur C. Clarke’s sci-fi novel and creates one of the greatest space movies ever.
Kubrick takes us all the way back to the dawn of man with amazing photography and powerful classical music and then thrusts us to the future where we see life in space. But things turn sideways when we meet the sentient computer HAL.
5. “Above the Rim” (1994)
This classic sports movie follows a high school basketball prospect (Duane Martin) who without a father in his life forms a bond with two brothers: one a fallen basketball star looking for redemption (Leon) and the other a drug dealer (Tupac Shakur).
And fans of the ’90s, you know that along with the great performances, this movie also includes one heck of a soundtrack.
6. “Adventures in Babysitting” (1987)
Elisabeth Shue became our all-time favourite babysitter thanks to this movie where she takes on all obstacles after driving to the big city (with the kids she’s watching) to try to help out a friend.
7. “Alien” (1979)
Ridley Scott completely raises the bar in the genres of space movies and horror with this thrilling look at an alien that overtakes a ship. (The great sequel, “Aliens,” is also available on HBO Max.)
8. “American Splendor” (2003)
Paul Giamatti is at his prickly best in this biopic where he plays Harvey Pekar, an everyday guy who happens to have a wild imagination that leads to him creating popular comic books.
9. “An American in Paris” (1951)
One of Gene Kelly’s classics, here he brings his magnificent dancing to the equally legendary compositions of George Gershwin.
10. “An American Werewolf in London” (1981)
This fantastic horror movie from John Landis follows a man who after surviving a werewolf attack slowly begins to realise he now is one. Why this movie has stood the test of the time is the incredible makeup and prosthetic work from Rick Baker.
11. “Analyse This” (1999)
Who would have ever thought combining Billy Crystal and Robert De Niro would lead to a great comedy? But that’s what happened here. De Niro plays a mob boss going through some Tony Soprano-like inner anxieties while Billy Crystal plays his psychiatrist.
12. “Andre the Giant” (2018)
While director Jason Hehir was patiently waiting if he would get the green light to make “The Last Dance,” he went and made this fantastic documentary on the life and myth of pro wrestler Andre the Giant.
13. “The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford” (2007)
Brad Pitt delivers a chilling performance as he plays the legendary gunslinger, navigating the final years of his life. The movie is a cherished title thanks to the storytelling of director Andrew Dominik and the beautiful photography from cinematographer Roger Deakins.
14. “Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery” (1997)
Mike Myers spoofs all the spy movies of his youth in creating the outlandish character Austin Powers, who sets off to save the world after being unfrozen in the 1960s and finding himself in the present day.
15. “Bad Education” (2019)
Based on true events, Hugh Jackman stars as a superstar Long Island school superintendent whose shady dealings gets called out by a dogged student (Geraldine Viswanathan) doing a story for the school newspaper. The result is an uncovering of the largest public school embezzlement scandal in American history.
16. “Bad Lieutenant” (1992)
Harvey Keitel plays his most demonic character in this Abel Ferrara movie in which he plays a dirty New York City police detective, who has a serious drug and gambling addiction.
17. “Batman” (1989)
There have been many actors who have played Batman, but there’s something about Michael Keaton as the Dark Knight paired with director Tim Burton that stands out. His performance also set the standard for how the character would be played for decades to come.
18. “Battleship Potemkin” (1925)
This silent film from Sergei Eisenstein is regarded as one of the greatest movies of all time.
Its epic battle sequences in its dramatization of a mutiny that occurred in 1905 when a Russian crew rebelled against its officers has been ingrained in the minds of many great directors. Homages to the movie can be seen in everything from Terry Gilliam’s “Brazil” to Brian De Palma’s “The Untouchables.”
19. “The Beguiled” (2017)
Sofia Coppola’s remake of a 1971 Clint Eastwood movie has Collin Ferrel in the Eastwood role, a wounded Union soldier during the Civil War who is brought back to health at a girls school in Virginia. But the animal urges of all takes over leading to a shocking ending.
The movie also stars Nicole Kidman, Kirsten Dunst, and Elle Fanning.
20. “Belly” (1998)
Hip-hop music video visionary Hype Williams creates a stylish crime movie with rappers DMX and Nas playing the leads. The blacklight shots in the movie have become one of its hallmarks.
21. “Best in Show” (2000)
Christopher Guest’s fantastic mockumentary delves into the already colourful world of the dog show world. Improv giants like Eugene Levy, Catherine O’Hara, Michael McKean, and Fred Willard all shine.
22. “Billy Madison” (1995)
This Adam Sandler classic stars the recently-exited-“SNL”er as a man child who must go back to all levels of education up to high school in order to take over his inheritance from his father.
23. “Blast from the Past” (1999)
This cute comedy is always worth a watch. Brendan Fraser plays a guy who has spent the last 35 years in a fallout shelter as his father (Christopher Walken) is convinced a nuclear blast has destroyed everything. Fraser’s character goes to the surface to find a brand new world – that never suffered a blast – with the help of a new friend (played by Alicia Silverstone).
24. “The Blob” (1958)
This great horror from the 1950s stars a very young Steve McQueen who has to convince a town that a deadly alien blob is terrorizing everything in its path.
25. “Blood Simple” (1984)
This pulpy modern-day noir marks the directorial debut for Joel and Ethan Coen. You can see the raw talent the two have as storytellers both on the page and visually (thanks to the help of cinematographer Barry Sonnenfeld, who would go on to have a great directing career of his own).
26. “Bonnie and Clyde” (1967)
Director Arthur Penn helps forge a path for auteur filmmakers in Hollywood thanks to this genre-busting crime movie about the notorious bandits starring Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway.
27. “Boogie Nights” (1997)
Paul Thomas Anderson’s epic look at the porn industry is an engrossing tale that looks at the rise and fall of a young talent named Dirk Diggler (played by Mark Wahlberg).
28. “Bowling for Columbine” (2002)
Michael Moore’s Oscar-winning documentary looks at America’s obsession with guns and the repercussions of that as he highlights the aftermath of the Columbine school shooting and the wave of gun violence around the country.
Sadly, this movie is still as timely now as when it was made 18 years ago.
29. “Breathless” (1960)
Jean-Luc Godard’s contribution to the French New Wave is an enthralling crime movie heightened by the fantastic performances by the movie’s leads, Jean-Paul Belmondo and Jean Seberg.
30. “Can’t Buy Me Love” (1987)
Patrick Dempsey hit heartthrob status in this high school rom-com where he plays an outcast who pays the popular girl to pretend to be his girlfriend.
31. “Capturing the Friedmans” (2003)
Director Andrew Jarecki uses hours and hours of home video footage to chronicle the crumbling of an upper-middle-class family after the father and youngest son are investigated for child molestation.
32. “Casablanca” (1942)
Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman would turn into icons in this love story set in Morocco during World War II.
33. “Cast Away” (2000)
After teaming with Robert Zemeckis in the 1994 classic “Forrest Gump,” Tom Hanks teams up with the visionary director again for this look at a man’s quest to return to civilisation after crash landing on an uninhabited island.
Chris Rock examines the art of rappers imitating the hardest guys in the neighbourhood to create their alter ego star personas in this great comedy. Rock plays Albert, who turns into MC Gusto after the real Gusto (Charlie Murphy) is thrown in jail.
35. “City Slickers” (1991)
In this comedy, Billy Crystal, Daniel Stern, and Bruno Kirby play Manhattanites who set off to do a cattle drive in the southwest to find themselves. Jack Palance earned an Oscar for his role of the ageing cowboy, Curly.
36. “Citizen Kane” (1941)
Yet another movie on HBO Max regarded as one of the best ever. Orson Welles brings the group of actors he’s been working with since the radio days to tell the epic story of publishing tycoon Charles Foster Kane (played by Welles).
37. “City Lights” (1931)
One of several Charlie Chaplin movies you can watch on the service, in this classic, Chaplin plays a so-called “Tramp” character who falls in love with a blind flower girl.
38. “Constantine” (2005)
In a movie that has grown in popularity over the years, Keanu Reeves plays a cynic who is seeking salvation by exorcising demons.
39. “Contagion” (2011)
At one time thought to be a wildly fictitious horror movie, thanks to the coronavirus pandemic, Steven Soderbergh’s look at a world coping with a disease it can’t control has become all too real.
40. “Cool Hand Luke” (1967)
Paul Newman delivers an Oscar-nominated performance as Luke, a prisoner who can’t conform to the rules of the prison.
41. “Crazy Rich Asians” (2018)
Jon M. Chu adapts the popular book into a dazzling celebration of Asian culture both old and new. That, mixed with the romantic comedy storyline, leads to a very fun watch.
42. “The Crow” (1994)
Brandon Lee was on the verge of being as big an action here as his legendary father, Bruce Lee, but after suffering an injury on “The Crow” set that led to his death the movie became his legacy.
Here he plays a man who after his murder returns as an undead figure fuelled with revenge.
43. “Cruel Intentions” (1999)
This modern retelling of “Dangerous Liaisons” has gained in popularity over the years thanks to its racy material and the casting of talents like Resse Witherspoon, Sarah Michelle Gellar, Ryan Phillippe, and Selma Blair.
In the movie Phillippe and Gellar’s characters play step siblings who make a wager to deflower the headmaster’s daughter, played by Witherspoon.
44. “Dead Man” (1995)
This trippy tale is one of Jim Jarmusch’s best. Johnny Depp plays an accountant on the run for murder who meets a Native American who prepares him for the spirit world.
45. “Death Becomes Her” (1992)
Robert Zemeckis returns on the list, this time in a twisted comedy about a group of rival women who learns of treatment that makes them immortal. Like “American Werewolf in London,” this is another landmark movie in visual effects.
The movie stars Meryl Streep, Goldie Hawn, and Bruce Willis.
46. “Demolition Man” (1993)
Sylvester Stallone and Westley Snipes are top notch in this action movie set in the future. Snipes plays a psycho who after being frozen for his prison sentence gets thawed out and wrecks havoc in a future that has abolished guns. Stallone plays the cop who get unfrozen to take him down.
47. “The Devil’s Advocate” (1997)
Keanu Reeves, Al Pacino, and Charlize Theron are all terrific in this great thriller about a Florida lawyer (Reeves) who goes to work for a New York City firm and realises he’s literally made a deal with the devil.
48. “Diabolique” (1955)
This fantastic thriller has spawned countless copycats, even a 1996 remake. The movie follows a wife and her husband’s mistress who conspire to kill him. But things begin to go haywire when the body suddenly disappears.
49. “Diego Maradona” (2019)
This fantastic documentary looks at one of the greatest and most polarising soccer players ever, Diego Maradona. Director Asif Kapadia (“Senna,” “Amy”) examines the life of the legend, but specifically when he played for S.S.C. Napoli in the 1980s, which led to lots of partying and his link to the mafia.
50. “Dick Tracy” (1990)
Warren Beatty directs and stars as the legendary comic strip detective. The larger than life sets and characters made this movie an acquired taste when it first came out. But, years later, you have to appreciate what was pulled off in this movie long before CGI became the norm.
51. “Die Hard” (1988)
Bruce Willis was already a star when he agreed to play NYPD cop John McClane in this movie. But the success of this blockbuster made him a superstar and put him in the action hero space already occupied by Schwarzenegger and Stallone.
52. “The Dirty Dozen” (1967)
Director Robert Aldrich enlists some of the biggest names in Hollywood, including Lee Marvin, Charles Bronson, Ernest Borgnine, George Kennedy, Telly Savalas, John Cassavetes, and rising stars Jim Brown and Donald Sutherland to make one of the greatest war movies ever made.
Marvin plays the head of a rag-tag group of military convicts who come to do a mission to assassinate Nazi officers.
53. “Dirty Harry” (1971)
Loosely based on the fear over the Zodiac killer in the late 1960s, this movie that would make Clint Eastwood an action hero forever plays San Francisco cop “Dirty” Harry Callahan who is on the hunt for “the Scorpio killer.” Armed with his trusty .357 Magnum, he’s known best for his line: “Do you feel lucky, punk.”
54. “Doctor Zhivago” (1965)
This epic starring Omar Sharif and Julia Christie won 5 Oscars thanks to its gorgeous photography and score that looks at World War I and the October Revolution in Russia.
55. “Dont Look Back” (1967)
D.A. Pennebaker’s landmark documentary gives a fly-on-the-wall look at Bob Dylan’s 1965 tour of England.
56. “Dune” (1984)
David Lynch gives a dazzling adaptation of the Frank Herbert novel.
57. “Empire of the Sun” (1987)
Steven Spielberg casts Christian Bale in an incredible role as an English boy named Jim who has to grow up quickly after he’s separated from his family and becomes a prisoner in a Japanese internment camp during World War II.
Equally impressive is the performance by John Malkovich, who crosses paths with Jim.
58. “Enter the Dragon” (1973)
It’s Bruce Lee’s crowning achievement. He is known the world over thanks to this captivating performance as a martial artist who is tasked with taking down a drug lord.
59. “Eraserheard” (1977)
David Lynch’s feature debut gives us the wild, strange, and beautiful as we follow a man’s daily existence in an industrial landscape.
60. “F for Fake” (1973)
Orson Welles’ love for illusion is put on full display in this documentary in which he examines if authorship really means anything by looking at some of the biggest forgeries ever attempted. And it’s all told with his usual flair.
61. “Fast Five” (2011)
This is one of the best movies in the “Fast and Furious” franchise, mainly thanks to Dwayne Johnson’s Hobbs character.
It also features one of the best endings in the series as Dom (Vin Diesel) and Brian (Paul Walker) race through Rio with a giant safe strapped to the bumper of their cars.
62. “Friday” (1995)
There’s never a wrong time to watch this comedy.
Ice Cube and Chris Tucker plays two friends who have nothing to do on Friday but get into trouble is one of the funniest movies ever made.
63. “Gimme Shelter” (1970)
One of the greatest verite documentaries ever made, Albert and David Maysles along with Charlotte Zwerin chronicle The Rolling Stones’ stop at the Altamont Free Concert during their 1969 tour.
There we witness the infamous concert crumble into madness when a Hells Angeles member stabs someone in the middle of the Stones’ set.
64. “Godzilla vs Megalon” (1973)
There’s a nice collection of old “Godzilla”movies on HBO Max, and this one is a standout. Megalon has been sent from the depths of the ocean to destroy the world and it’s up to Godzilla and Jet Jaguar to stop it.
65. “He Got Game” (1998)
Spike Lee’s obsession with basketball is on full display in this powerful look at the complex relationship between an incarcerated father (Denzel Washington) and his phenom son (Ray Allen) who are bonded by their love of the game.
66. “Hoop Dreams” (1994)
Steve James’ landmark documentary looks at two Chicago kids as they try to live out their dreams of playing in the NBA one day and overcome the hardship around them.
67. “Jaws” (1975)
The ultimate summer movie, Steven Spielberg mixes horror and good times at the beach to deliver a fantastic thriller that follows a group of men trying to hunt down a killer shark.
68. “Juice” (1992)
The longtime cinematographer for Spike Lee, Ernest Dickerson moved to directing with this classic movie that looks at a group of kids whose lives turn upside down when the robbery they commit leads to a murder.
69. “The Kid” (1921)
Marking Charlie Chaplin’s feature directing debut, his so-called “Tramp” character takes care of a young boy (played by Jackie Coogan).
70. “King Kong” (1933)
A landmark in visual effects and stop-motion, the reveal of the giant Kong and his climb up the Empire State Building at the end of the movie are still to this day powerful cinematic moments.
71. “Licence to Drive” (1988)
In a movie that captures is the 1980s, the Coreys (Corey Haim and Corey Feldman) are at their best as two friends who decide to go out on the town despite Haim’s character having just flunked his driver’s licence test.
72. “The Lord of the Rings” trilogy
Through the vision of Peter Jackson, J.R.R. Tolkien’s fantasy book is brought to vivid life.
73. “Magic Mike” (2012)
Steven Soderbergh takes the experiences Channing Tatum had as a stripper in Tampa and turns it into this layered look at a man (Tatum) putting a young guy under his wing while trying to figure out his own life.
74. “The Maltese Falcon” (1941)
John Huston’s noir based on the Dashiell Hammett novel stars Humphrey Bogart as private eye Sam Spade. In this case, Spade is in search of a priceless statue that, as Spade says, is “the stuff dreams are made of.”
75. “Michael Clayton” (2007)
George Clooney is fantastic as a fixer for a big law firm. He must juggle personal issues, allegiances, and his own conscious to help protect one of his lawyers – and his own life.
76. “Midnight Run” (1988)
An action-comedy doesn’t get any better than this. Robert De Niro plays a bounty hunter who sets out to find a crooked accountant, played by Charles Grodin. The laughs and action never stop as the duo travel the country on the run from rival bounty hunters and the FBI.
77. “Monsieur Verdoux” (1947)
Setting aside his the Tramp character, Chaplin writes (a story idea from Orson Welles), directs, and stars in this dark comedy about a distinguished man who kills rich women for their money.
78. “Mrs. Doubtfire” (1993)
In one of Robin Williams’ classic roles, he disguises himself as a female housekeeper to spend time with his kids after a divorce.
79. “The NeverEnding Story” (1984)
Bastian (Barret Oliver) opens a mysterious looking book and finds himself thrust into a fantastical world of huge creatures and a loveable luckdragon.
80. “Night of the Living Dead” (1968)
George A. Romero mixes zombies and racial unrest to create one of the best horror movies ever.
81. “North by Northwest” (1959)
Alfred Hitchcock takes a thriller on the road as he casts Cary Grant as an advertising executive who is on the run for a murder he didn’t commit that leads to a finale on Mt. Rushmore.
82. “Opening Night” (1977)
One of John Cassavetes’ underrated classics, here the actor/director casts his wife Gena Rowlands in the role of a stage actress who witnesses an accidental death of one of her fans and has to deal with the mental anguish she suffers.
83. “Phantom Thread” (2017)
Paul Thomas Anderson’s masterpiece follows Daniel Day-Lewis as a famous dressmaker in 1950s London whose entire life revolves around his work. But when he meets a strong-willed woman (Vicky Krieps) everything changes.
84. “Police Story” (1985)
This amazing Jackie Chan action movie would launch a successful franchise thanks to the movie’s stunts. Two memorable action sequences include Chan demolishing a shanty town as he drives through it and when Chan slides down a pole that’s several stories high.
85. “Rashomon” (1950)
Akira Kurosawa’s masterpiece looks at the rape of a bride and the murder of her samurai husband from several different perspectives.
86. “Rebel Without a Cause” (1955)
Nicholas Ray’s look at misunderstood youth is heightened by the iconic performance by James Dean as the movie’s lead, Jim.
87. “The Red Shoes” (1948)
Cherished by everyone from Martin Scorsese to Francis Ford Coppola, we follow a young ballet dancer (Moria Shearer) in her pursuit to become one of the greats, but must sacrifice greatly to do it.
88. “The Right Stuff” (1983)
Winner of 4 Oscars, this great drama looks at the space race that led to the birth of NASA and the seven astronauts who were the first Americans to space.
Ed Harris, Scott Glenn, Dennis Quaid, and Fred Ward star.
89. “Scanners” (1981)
David Cronenberg’s horror classic looks at a group of people called “scanners” for their telekinetic powers. We follow one scanner, Cameron (Stephen Lack) as he takes on renegade scanner Darryl (Michael Ironside).
Despite all the advances in makeup since this movie comes out, the head explosions and other in-camera effects are still amazing.
90. “School of Rock” (2003″
Jack Black is at the top of his comedy and musical game as he plays a a rocker who while impersonating a substitute teacher comes to realise that his students are incredible musicians and decides to form a band.
91. “Seven Samurai” (1954)
Akira Kurosawa’s essential samurai movie is so great it went on to inspire everything from “The Magnificent Seven,” “Three Amigos,” and countless “The A-Team” episodes.
92. “The Seventh Seal” (1957)
Ingmar Bergman and Max von Sydow would become cinematic gods thanks to this movie in which von Sydow plays a man seeking answers from the Grim Reaper by playing chess against him.
93. The “Superman” franchise
No, we don’t mean the Zack Snyder movies. We’re taking about the four movies spanning 1978-1987 starring Christopher Reeve at Superman. They are all available on HBO Max and are required viewing.
94. “Thief” (1981)
Searching for a heist movie you can’t go wrong with this one. One of the best-ever, this Michael Mann-directed tense drama stars James Caan as a safe cracker looking to go straight after one last job.
95. “The Thin Man” (1934)
One of the first franchises in Hollywood, William Powell and Myrna Loy are the perfect duo. Here in the first movie, retired detective Nick Charles finds himself entangled in a whodunit and his socialite wife Nora (Myrna Loy) is there to fill in the holes he can’t figure out. This movie is perfect in every way!
96. “Tin Cup” (1996)
From the director of great sports movies like “Bull Duham” and “White Men Can’t Jump,” director Ron Shelton takes on the golf world in this one and with Kevin Costner delivers a perfect mix of comedy and love story in telling the story of watched up golfer Roy “Tin Cup” McAvoy (Costner).
97. “The Treasure of the Sierra Madre” (1948)
John Huston casts his father, Walter, Humphrey Bogart, and Tim Holt as a group of men who set out to find gold. They succeed, but greed gets the best of them.
98. “Uncle Buck” (1989)
John Candy shines as a loveable uncle that’s the outcast of the family. But when an emergency forces him to have to watch his nephews, everything goes nuts for him and the kids. John Hughes writes and directs a classic here.
99. “The Wizard of Oz” (1939)
This beloved classic starring Judy Garland as Dorothy Gale never gets old. Sit and watch it with someone who has never seen it before and watch them be amazed by it all.
100. “Yojimbo” (1961)
Toshirô Mifune perfectly portrays a ronin who shows everyone who’s really the toughest when he enters town and plays two rival gangs against each other.
This movie would inspire countless loner characters in the decades to come.
101. “You’ve Got Mail” (1998)
Cuddle up one night and enjoy this great rom-com from Nora Ephron. Reteaming with Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan after the success of “Sleepless in Seattle,” this time the two get a whole lot more screen time together as we follow their hate-to-love relationship that involves old-school dial-up internet.
Note: Numerous HBO Max titles drop off the service monthly, so the availability of titles below may change.