Last Updated: November 1st
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 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.
District 9 (2009)
Run Time: 112 min | IMDb: 7.9/10
Neill Blomkamp’s inventive sci-fi alternate reality utilizes the found-footage style of filmmaking to thrilling effect in District 9. After an alien spaceship parks itself over parts of South Africa, the world’s governments decide to put the sick occupants found onboard in an internment camp called District 9. Years later, having used up all their resources and suffered through secret experiments, the aliens are outcast by society, seen as lawbreakers and scum by society. When a company is contracted to relocate the aliens to a new camp, one of its members is infected with alien DNA, setting off a string of events that end up touching on heavier themes of xenophobia, segregation, and the state of humanity as a whole.
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.
Ex Machina (2014)
Run Time: 108 min | IMDb: 7.7/10
Alex Garland’s sci-fi thriller breathed new life into the tired A.I. trope when it landed in theaters a few years ago. The film focuses on a naïve young programmer (Domhnall Gleeson) who’s selected amongst a pool of applicants to evaluate a new A.I. lifeform. The poor kid is whisked away to a remote villa to spend time with the eerily-human-looking robot, Ava (Alicia Vikander), and her eccentric, often cruel creator Nathan (Oscar Isaac), a genius with an ego to match his talent. The film takes some twists you don’t expect, and Isaac gives cinema one of its greatest dance sequences, in case you needed more reason to watch.
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.
Raging Bull (1980)
Run Time: 129 min | IMDb: 8.2/10
Robert De Niro stars in this boxing drama from Martin Scorsese playing famed fighter Jake LaMotta. LaMotta succeeded in the ring because of his infamous temper and violence but those same traits are what led him to run away from the mat. De Niro plays LaMotta with a kind of swagger and ruthlessness that’s magnetic on screen, even though the character see-saws between hero and villain in his own story.
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.
Obvious Child (2014)
Run Time: 84 min | IMDb: 6.8/10
Jenny Slate is one of the more underrated comedians in the game right now, but she proved herself a capable leading lady in Gillian Robespierre’s indie rom-com, Obvious Child. Slate plays Donna, a young hopeful trying to make it in the world of stand-up. She frequents a few undergrounds around New York City, honing her set while disappointing her successful academic mother by phoning it in at a used bookstore in Brooklyn for her regular 9-5. She has a brief and promising love affair with Max (Jake Lacy) before facing a dilemma: an unplanned pregnancy. There aren’t many films that can tackle the sensitive topic of abortion with dignity, grace, and a ton of poop jokes, so you’ll want to check this one out.
The Matrix (1999)
Run Time: 136 min | IMDb: 8.7/10
The Wachowski sisters created one of the greatest sci-fi films in cinematic history with their mind-bending Matrix trilogy, but the original is hard to top. Keanu Reeves plays Neo, a young man unplugged from the matrix — a kind of alternate reality that keeps humans docile, so machines can harvest their life energy. He teams up with a band of rebels fighting the machines (Laurence Fishburne as Morpheus and Carrie-Ann Moss as Trinity) and faces off against a henchman named Agent Smith (Hugo Weaving). The real draw of this trilogy, besides its inventive storyline, is the CGI effects. The movie also sports some of the most imaginative fight sequences you’ll ever see on the big screen.
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: 148 min | IMDb: 8.8/10
Christopher Nolan’s imaginative sci-fi adventure will most likely be remembered as one of the best genre films in cinematic history and for good reason. The movie — which stars everyone from Leonardo DiCaprio and Tom Hardy to Elliot Page, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Cillian Murphy, and Michael Caine — is the ultimate heist flick, following a group of thieves who must repurpose dream-sharing technology to plant an idea into the mind of a young CEO. DiCaprio pulls focus as Cobb, a troubled architect with a tragic past who attempts to pull off the impossible so that he can return to his family.
Run Time: 96 min | IMDb: 7.4/10
Elliot Page stars in this coming-of-age story from Diablo Cody about a young teen who unexpectantly gets pregnant and must decide what to do with the baby. Page plays Juno, an alt-girl who gets knocked up after hooking up with Michael Cera’s nerdy Paulie Bleeker. The film is less about their romance — as pure as it may be — and more about Juno’s own self-discovery as she navigates high school while preggers and tries to get to know the family she plans on having adopt her baby. Page is remarkable as the frustrated, wise-for-her-age teen and he’s supported by a stellar cast that includes Jennifer Gardner, Jason Bateman, Allison Janey, and J.K. Simmons.
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: Kajillionaire, Won’t You Be My Neighbor, Cloverfield, For A Good Time Call, Reservoir Dogs, 28 Days Later, Judas and the Black Messiah
Added: Ex Machina, District 9, Inception, Raging Bull, Obvious Child, Juno, The Matrix