For a relatively new streamer, HBO Max already offers a ton of content, from a selection of his premium HBO offerings to classics from the Criterion Collection. Armando Iannucci’s delightfully entertaining comedy drama The Personal History Of David Copperfield hit the streamer earlier this month, so be sure to give that a watch if you haven’t already.
This list limits the rest of the content to the newer HBO Max Originals, of which there are a handful of quality movies. Plus, blockbustersand , which hit HBO Max earlier this year as part of WarnerMedia’s release plan. See more details on what comes further down, under the superhero, thriller, and comedy picks.
Wonder Woman 1984 (2020)
Fan of the 80s? Including that movie style? The Wonder Woman sequel draws heavily on its sources of inspiration, which either take you back to pleasantly simple versions of adventure and heroism, or really annoy you with a nonsensical plot and slow pace. Gal Gadot’s Diana Prince has not moved on after the death of Steve Trevor (Chris Pine), who works at the Smithsonian, where an ancient artifact sparks a world of trouble and forces her to make some tough decisions. Kristen Wiig and Pedro Pascal are new additions to the cast. Colorful, lightweight escapism.
Aka The Snyder Cut. This one is for the throngs of Zack Snyder fans who campaigned for the director to have a second chance to end Justice League after he was forced to leave before he was finished due to personal tragedy. Joss Whedon stepped in, but the 2017 theatrical release was a critical failure and hit the box office. Now a four-hour Snyder director’s cut on HBO Max is ready, with a ton of new scenes, a few new villains, and the spectacular epilogue. If you’re on board with Snyder’s slo-mo style, it’s worth checking out his remarkably different original vision.
If there’s ever been a movie that improves with multiple rewatches, it’s Tenet. Thanks to its release on HBO Max, you can now understand the plot that goes with its spectacular visuals. John David Washington stars as the protagonist, whose name is a subtle hint to his James Bond mission to stave off a world-destroying attack – from the future. The main character learns to manipulate time with the help of Robert Pattinson’s debonaire Neil. Perhaps the most Christopher Nolan of Christopher Nolan movies, Tenet is as entertaining as it is cerebral.
Legendary / Warner Bros
Unfortunately Godzilla vs. Kong no longer available (it will be again sometime in the future), after hanging out on the streamer for a month after its release in March. Why is it still on this list? To remind you to watch out for the other movies that will be released on HBO Max for a month as part of WarnerMedia’s simultaneous theater and streaming release plan. Coming Up: In The Heights (June 11), The Suicide Squad (August 6), Dune (October 1), and The Matrix 4 (December 22). Plus, Mortal Kombat is leaving soon, so catch him while you still can.
Anne Hathaway and Chiwetel Ejiofor star in this surprising rom-com heist film by Doug Liman (The Bourne Identity). The movie was written and shot during lockdown, and the pandemic actually takes place in the background of the movie. Hathaway and Ejiofor play a couple planning to rob a jewelry store in London while most of the stores are closed. Their relationship has struggled in the lockdown and they are reevaluating a thing or two amid their crazy antics. It’s not the most polished movie, but you’re in it mainly because of Hathaway and Ejiofor’s charisma. The rapture of the pandemic will either intrigue you or reject you.
Whether you like this or not probably depends on how much you love Seth Rogen. You get a lot from him – he plays two roles in An American Pickle, in which he first plays Herschel Greenbaum, a struggling Jewish worker who emigrates to America in 1919. He finds work in a pickle factory – and this is where things get weird – falls into a barrel of pickles that keeps him for 100 years. He wakes up in Brooklyn in 2019 and hangs out with his great-grandson Ben, also played by Seth Rogen. Embracing this creative premise, this is a great low-key comedy for the smaller screen with an impressive chemistry between Rogen and Rogen.
Meryl Streep plays an eccentric author in a Steven Soderbergh comedy. What else do you need to know? If you want to know more, Pulitzer Prize-winning writer Alice Hughes (Streep) is struggling to finish her next book, chased by her literary agent (Gemma Chan). She boards a cruise ship with old friends, who inspired her best-known work. The tensions are great. It looks great – Soderbergh uses bright, natural light – and most of the dialogue is improvised. See how Dianne Wiest, Candice Bergen, Lucas Hedges and the rest of the impeccable cast have fun with that.
This is a sweet little gem on HBO Max. Unpregnant stars Haley Lu Richardson and Barbie Ferreira as a buddy duo that traverses states to where pregnant teen Veronica (Richardson) can have an abortion. Yes, it is about pro-choice, with Veronica’s parents refusing to give her consent for an abortion. But it also fits into the main gear of all road trip movies and shows a nice friendship between the two protagonists.
A coming-of-age drama with motorcycles. Charm City Kings stars with a fresh young cast, including Jahi Di’Allo Winston as Mouse, a 14-year-old immersed in the Baltimore motorcycle world, much to the dismay of his mother. The film’s strengths lie in its impressive young talent and strong direction of motorcycle action scenes. Plus WandaVision fans will see Teyonah Parris in a supporting role. Not perfect, but plenty to admire.
This is a bit of a novelty recording. Check out what Robert Zemeckis (director of Back to the Future) and Anne Hathaway did with their retelling of the Roald Dahl classic. Jahzir Kadeem Bruno is Hero Boy, a young boy who is turned into a mouse by Hathaway’s occasional CGI’d Grand High Witch. No one says it comes close to Anjelica Huston’s 1990 original, but it’s intriguing enough to take a look at it.
New movies will be released in 2021: Netflix, Marvel and more
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