Last Updated: May 23rd
In addition to being America’s most trusted source of Succession episodes, HBO has a lovely collection of movies available ranging from trashy action thrills to elegant period pieces to star-studded comedies. With all the recent changes to HBO’s streaming services, though, it can be confusing to know what the heck is on which app. Here is a lineup of the 25 best movies on HBO (previously known as HBO Now) that you could and should be watching right now. We also rounded up the best movies on HBO Max in another guide.
Related: The Best Movies On HBO Max Right Now
The Night House (2020)
Run Time: 108 min | IMDb: 6.5/10
Rebecca Hall stars in this psychological horror flick about a widow who uncovers a terrible secret about the house her dead husband built. Hall plays Beth, a woman depressed and haunted by strange visions after her husband commits suicide. She lives in the house he built for them and wrestles with her own fears about dying — she had been declared dead for four minutes after a car crash years earlier. Beth starts to uncover disturbing secrets about her husband’s life, ones that transport her to spirit worlds and force her to confront demons — literally. We won’t spoil anything here but be warned, this one is a mindf*ck.
For A Good Time Call … (2012)
Run Time: 86 min | IMDb: 6/10
A lot of times, the best comedies are ones that center themselves in worlds most of us know nothing about. That’s definitely the case with this indie darling, which follows a pair of enemies-turned-best-friends who are forced to turn to unconventional work to pay for their lavish Grammercy apartment. Lauren Miller plays Lauren, a young woman reeling from a break-up who never strays too far from her comfort zone. Ari Graynor plays Katie, a free-spirit who pushes all of Lauren’s buttons. The two bicker and squabble like an old married couple but their friendship deepens after they get into the phone sex operating business together. Weird? Sure, but we promise it’s a good time.
Shiva Baby (2020)
Run Time: 77 min | IMDb: 7.2/10
This feature film debut from director/writer Emma Seligman combines the hilarious familial tension of a millennial woman sitting shiva alongside her parents and sugar daddy with the kind of erratic, emotional whiplash of a Safdie brothers’ production. It’s nausea-inducing in the best way possible and it all hinges on Danielle (Sennott), a college senior in a relationship with an older man who joins her family for the religious ritual and is quickly confronted by the reality of her messy personal life. Not only does Danielle face off against the traditional expectations of her strictly Jewish parents, but she also runs into an old flame doing enviously well in her new life and she must contend with the arrival of her sugar daddy’s surprise family. It’s cringemaking comedy at its finest and Sennott gives a performance that really should be earning her more awards buzz.
Run Time: 85 min | IMDb: 7/10
Disappointing sequels aside, the original installment in J.J. Abrams’ Cloverfield trilogy remains one of the greatest works of found-footage in the history of film. Most of that is because the narrative style lends itself to the tension, chaos, and horror of fleeing a monster destroying New York City. The film follows a group of friends caught in the bedlam after a Godzilla-like creature begins attacking the Big Apple. While trying to save each other and make it out of the city before the bombs drop, the friends document their journey. The directing by Matt Reeves is superb, almost too good, because you often feel a part of the action, for better and worse.
Run Time: 109 min | IMDb: 6.2/10
A decidedly unusual twist on the giant monster movie, Nacho Vigolando’s Colossal follows Gloria (Anne Hathaway), an unemployed writer who moves back to her hometown after her boyfriend Tim (Dan Stevens) breaks up with her. After moving into her childhood home, Gloria’s heavy drinking starts to take a toll on her before she starts to realize that she may have a significant connection with a towering monster that spontaneously appears over Seoul, South Korea.
Run Time: 117 min | IMDb: 7.7/10
Matthew Vaughn prefaces his wildly successful Kingsman run with this raunchy, raucous action comedy about a comic book nerd who decides to emulate his fictional heroes by becoming a superhero, despite having no training or talent for fighting. Aaron Taylor-Johnson stars as Dave, a high-school nobody whose DIY vigilante-ways land him in trouble with mob bosses and drug dealers and all kinds of nefarious foes. He ends up partnering a father-daughter pair of heroes, Big Daddy (a ridiculously entertaining Nic Cage) and Hit-Girl (a kickass Chloe Grace Moretz). It’s a bizarre, funny, action-packed mess. You’ll love it.
Jackie Brown (1997)
Run Time: 154 min | IMDb: 7.5/10
After earning acclaim with Pulp Fiction and Reservoir Dogs, Quentin Tarantino made his subtlest feature with Jackie Brown, an Elmore Leonard adaptation that the director still makes very much his own. After middle-aged stewardess Jackie Brown (Pam Grier) is picked up by the FBI, she’s pulled between her arms-dealing boss (Samuel L. Jackson), the feds that are after him, and saving her own skin. With an all-star ensemble that includes Robert De Niro and Robert Forster (who earned an Oscar nomination), Jackie Brown is a throwback to the blaxploitation genre, which started in the ’70s, of which Grier was a big part of. It’s a tense, sexy, and desperate story with a wonderful soundtrack to boot.
Blue Bayou (2021)
Run Time: 117 min | IMDb: 7.1/10
Justin Chon writes, directs, and stars in this moving drama about an American man facing deportation. Chon plays Antonio, a man born and raised in Louisianna. Alicia Vikander plays his wife, Kathy. The two face a seemingly insurmountable hardship when Antonio’s past comes back to haunt him and his citizenship is called into question, threatening the future of their family in devastating ways.
Run Time: 73 min | IMDb: 7.7/10
George Clooney and Sandra Bullock star in this tense thriller from Alfonso Cuaron about a space mission gone wrong. Very wrong. Bullock plays Dr. Ryan Stone, a medical engineer on her first space mission after losing her daughter while Clooney plays an experienced astronaut named Lieutenant Matt Kowalski. The two struggle to stay alive after rogue space debris ruins their ship and any chance of making it back to Earth.
Promising Young Woman (2020)
Run Time: 113 min | IMDb: 7.5/10
Carey Mulligan gives a magnetic turn as a woman out for revenge in this directorial debut from Emerald Fennell. Mulligan plays Cassie, a young woman haunted by past trauma who makes it her job to educate men who routinely take advantage of women — by whatever means necessary. Her quest for justice quickly takes a dark turn when she’s confronted by the life she thought she’d left behind. It’s a violent, cutting meditation on rape culture and the systems in place that let it flourish, and Mulligan’s never been better.
American Psycho (2000)
Run Time: 101 min | IMDb: 7.6/10
Christian Bale stars in this horror thriller from director Mary Harron that focuses on a wealthy New York businessman with bloody habits. Bale plays Patrick Bateman, an investment banker seemingly dissatisfied with his life of excess and envious of his successful colleagues. To cope, he entertains psychotic fantasies that see him hacking prostitutes up with chainsaws and torturing his co-workers. It’s an edge-of-your-seat gorefest that leaves you questioning any sense of reality you may have in the end.
Jurassic Park (1993)
Run Time: 127 min | IMDb: 8.1/10
The theme song. The dinosaurs. And Jeff Goldblum. Just a few reasons why this sci-fi flick kicks ass decades after it hit theaters. Steven Spielberg’s adventure epic imagines a different kind of amusement park, one where dinosaurs are the main attraction. Of course, before opening to the public, the billionaire investor of said park invites archeologists and scientists to evaluate how safe it is — for the cloned creatures and future human guests. The answer: not very. There’s a reason this film spawned a hugely successful franchise. In terms of world-building, it just doesn’t get any better.
3:10 To Yuma (2007)
Run Time: 117 min | IMDb: 7.7/10
James Mangold directs this gritty Western starring Russell Crowe and Christian Bale. Bale plays Dan Evans, an impoverished rancher and Civil War vet who owes a debt to a local businessman that threatens the life of his farm. To pay it, he agrees to transport the notorious outlaw Ben Wade (Crowe) to a train departing for Yuma prison. The pair have to survive Wade’s many enemies and the attempt by his own gang to rescue him, but the action takes a backseat to the back-and-forth between these two men who both carry demons they’re trying to escape.
Judas and the Black Messiah (2021)
Run Time: 126 min | IMDb: 7.5/10
Lakeith Stanfield and Daniel Kaluuya star in the stirring biopic about the life and death of Black Panther Chairman Fred Hampton. Stanfield plays William O’Neal, a petty criminal who infiltrated the Black Panthers in order to spy for the FBI. Kaluuya plays Hampton, a rising star in the movement who falls for a fellow revolutionary and fails to see the betrayal from one of his own before it’s too late.
Deadwood: The Movie (2019)
Run Time: 110 min | IMDb: 7.5/10
HBO managed to pull off the seemingly impossible with this follow-up movie based on a series that left us too soon. Ian McShane, Timothy Olyphant, and the rest of the residents of the camp are back to celebrate the South Dakota’s statehood in the only way this dusty drama knows how — with reignited rivalries, betrayals, bloodshed, and lots of swearin.’ The show became a fan favorite thanks to its gritty performances and nuanced storytelling, and the movie continues the tradition, investigating the lives of these pioneers who’ve endured plenty of hardship for their piece of the American dream.
No Country For Old Men (2007)
Run Time: 122 min | IMDb: 8.1/10
The Coen Brothers’ Oscar-winning thriller might mark their best film to date. The movie, adapted from Cormac McCarthy’s novel of the same name, follows a hunter (Josh Brolin) who stumbles upon a drug deal gone wrong and a suitcase full of cash. He’s pursued by thugs for hire and a chilling assassin played by Javier Bardem, who likes to make his victims play a game of coin toss to decide their fate. Of course, things end bloody and bleak but watching Bardem shoot his way through the desert with a bolt pistol is more than enough fun.
The Aviator (2004)
Run Time: 170 min | IMDb: 7.5/10
Leonardo DiCaprio turns in an award-worthy performance as famed director and aviator, Howard Hughes. DiCaprio plays the legend in his early years, from the late 20s to mid-40s, as Hughes became an in-demand producer, aviation magnate, and romance some of the most famous actresses in Hollywood. But Martin Scorsese’s biopic also shows the darker side of the tycoon, whose personal life became increasingly erratic and isolated because of his severe obsessive-compulsive disorder. DiCaprio manages to make Hughes both charming and traumatized, flipping between the man’s charismatic public persona and his deeply disturbing private life with ease.
Birds of Prey (2020)
Run Time: 109 min | IMDb: 7.3/10
Cathy Yan directs this fun, colorful, zany comic book film focused on the emancipation of one of DC’s most iconic heroines – or antiheroines. She’s still figuring it out. After her breakup with the Joker, Margot Robbie’s Harley Quinn rebounds by getting on a gangster’s bad side and joining forces with some other kickass ladies to save her city. There’s also a brief love affair with a breakfast sandwich that’s heartbreakingly beautiful. You’ve been warned.
Won’t You Be My Neighbor? (2018)
Run Time: 94 min | IMDb: 8.5/10
Everyone’s favorite friendly neighbor gets the documentary treatment with this expose on the beloved TV icon. Fred Rogers left his mark on the world through his show, one that sought to bridge cultural, religious, and racial divides by teaching children the importance of kindness, acceptance, and compassion. He taught us all how to be better human beings, but the doc dives further, exploring the man behind the TV personality, a guy who fought Congress for funding for the arts and who left a legacy worth celebrating. Bring tissues for this one, folks.
Reservoir Dogs (1992)
Run Time: 99 min | IMDb: 8.3/10
Grey Gardens (2009)
Run Time: 104 min | IMDb: 7.5/10
Jessica Lange and Drew Barrymore star in this HBO remake of the 1975 documentary of the same name. Lange plays “Big Eddie,” aunt to former First Lady Jackie Kennedy, while Barrymore plays “Little Edie,” Kennedy’s first cousin. The two women became famous when it was revealed that their estate, Grey Gardens, was in ruin and they’d been living there in squalor for years. The film chronicles their journey to destitution, following “Little Edie” as she tries and fails to make a name for herself away from her mother while “Big Eddie” tries to prevent the end of her marriage. It’s a gripping, tragic tale, one made more visceral thanks to some stellar performances by Lange and Barrymore.
Run Time: 104 min | IMDb: 6.5/10
Evan Rachel Wood leads this offbeat comedy about a family of grifters whose latest scam throws a wrench in their dysfunctional dynamic. Wood’s Old Dolio is a 26-year-old woman raised by con artists. Her parents are more than just unconventional, they’re oddly unloving, treating her like a partner in their schemes more than a daughter. When an outsider (Gina Rodriguez) joins their group for their next “job,” Dolio begins to realize she might want more than the life her parents have confined her to.
28 Days Later (2002)
Run Time: 113 min | IMDb: 7.6/10
Starring Cillian Murphy and Brendan Gleeson, this British horror flick follows a pretty unlucky bike courier who wakes up from a coma and finds his city not only deserted but filled with the undead. The reason? A group of animal rights activists freed a chimp carrying a virus that caused the entire human population to, well, you know, drop-dead and then reanimate and crave human flesh. The group tries to make their way to safety, a place untouched by the virus, but you can guess how well that goes.
Real Women Have Curves (2002)
Run Time: 93 min IMDb: 7/10
Living up to the immense hype it earned at Sundance that year, Real Women Have Curves is a coming-of-age tale that balances drama and comedy while shining a spotlight on the acting skills of future Superstore star America Ferrera. (The film marked the actress’s cinematic debut.) Ferrera plays Ana García, a young Mexican-American woman navigating cultural, societal and familial expectations in Los Angeles as she works toward her goal of heading to college. Smart, dignified and occasionally bittersweet, Real Women Have Curves is a movie unafraid of its warmth and humanity.
Temple Grandin (2010)
Run Time: 120 min | IMDb: 8.3/10
Inspirational without being self-congratulatory or condescending, Mick Jackson’s Temple Grandin places Claire Danes in the role of the real-life title character as she develops into a voice in animal science that cannot be ignored. A world that’s unaccommodating to autism and women in the ranching industry does not make things easy for Grandin and Danes portrays her with detail, intelligence and heart. Bonus points awarded for having the courage to include comedy and taking the effort to make something with warmth. You don’t get that too often in movies featuring the inner workings of slaughterhouses.
Recent Changes Through July 2022
Removed: Tenet, Clueless, Speed, Stoker, The Mummy
Added: Colossal, Blue Bayou, Jackie Brown, Gravity, Kick Ass