Whether you get HBO via its traditional cable channel or via the HBO Max streaming service, the premium movie and TV service has hundreds of current and classic movies to watch. The selection of HBO films changes monthly, so we are here to show you the best ones currently available.
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Best movies on HBO:
Editor’s note: We will update this list of the best movies on HBO regularly as new ones are released on the streaming service.
This 2011 film snuck up on everyone when it was first released and became an instant comedy classic. Kristen Wiig (who also co-wrote the movie) is perfect as a woman who becomes the lead bridesmaid for her best friend at her upcoming wedding. The movie has tons of great one-liners and situations, as Wiig’s character has to deal with helping her friend get married, but also has to figure out how to straighten up her own messed up life. While Bridesmaids is very funny, it also feels grounded in reality as well.
While many people prefer James Cameron’s 1986 sequel Aliens, we think the original 1979 film is still a tad superior. Director Ridley Scott turned a movie, which could have simply been a “haunted house in space” film, into a terrifying sci-fi horror film that keeps building the tension bit by bit. The space truckers of the movie, who are recruited to investigate an alien signal from a crashed derelict, bring on board an organism that had never really been seen in a movie before. H.R. Giger’s alien designs are another big reason why this movie works, and yet another reason is the perfect cast, who bring a lot of realism to their roles. You can also watch Alien: The Director’s Cut, on HBO, which includes some interesting alternate footage.
3. Gangs of New York
This is without a doubt one of the best movies on HBO. Directed by Martin Scorsese, this film is set in New York City in the middle of the Civil War. Specifically, it’s set in Manhattan in the Five Points area. Bill “The Butcher” Cutting, played perfectly by Daniel Day Lewis, is the leader of the biggest gang in New York and rules the area with an iron fist. However, he’s going to have to deal with Amsterdam Vallon, played by Leonardo DiCaprio. He’s out for revenge as Bill killed his father many years ago. This little known part of US history is brought to life in an excellent movie.
4. Cast Away
This 2000 finds Tom Hanks reteaming with his Forrest Gump director Robert Zemeckis. This time Hanks plays a Federal Express supervisor who is on board a cargo flight above the Pacific Ocean. However, his plan suddenly crashes into the sea and Hanks’ character washes ashore on a deserted island. We get to see how this modern-day Robinson Crusoe deals with both survival on the island, while also trying his best to escape and get back home.
5. Ford vs Ferrari
This 2019 movie got a ton of Oscar nominations, and it’s easy to see why. This film tells the true story of how the Ford car company decided to go after the Italian Ferrari vehicles in sports car racing during the 1960s. Most folks thought Ferrari was unbeatable. However, Ford’s car builder Carroll Shelby, played here by Matt Damon, wanted to prove the critics wrong. He designs and builds a race car that will go up against Ferrari at the classic 24 Hours of Le Mans race. However, the car needs a driver, and that’s where Ken Miles, played by Christian Bale, comes in to drive Shelby’s creation. Even if you don’t know anything about cars or racing, this movie will keep you riveted as we see how this rivalry shapes up. It’s definitely one of the best HBO movies.
6. Die Hard
There have been so many sequels to this 1998 movie, and so many knockoffs as well. However, the original 1988 Die Hard movie remains on of the best, perhaps the best, action movie ever made. Bruce Willis became a movie star by playing NYPD cop John McClane who heads to Los Angeles to visit his estranged wife at her office Christmas party. The party is cut short as a group of criminals take over the office building. They are lead by Hans Gruber, who is truly one of the best movie villains of all time, as played by the late Alan Rickman. McClane wages a one-man war to save his wife from Gruber and the criminals he leads. It’s the perfect mix of action, humor, and character. It makes this film one of the best movies on HBO.
Who knew that a movie based on Batman’s greatest villain could not only be great, but also thought-provoking?. Joaquin Phoenix won the Academy Award for Best Actor for his performance as Arthur Fleck. He’s a professional clown with severe mental issues. He also lives in Gotham City, where it seems no one wants to help or care about him. Fleck’s story turns into the Joker’s origin as we see him go deeper into madness. He then becomes a symbol for others to turn to violence and anarchy. This movie is dark and edgy and unlike any DC Comics-based movie you will ever watch. It’s one of the best HBO movies you can watch.
The summer blockbuster movie trend started with this classic 1975 thriller from director Steven Spielberg. A massive great white shark is prowling the coast of a small resort island in the Northeast. The town’s major and other leaders want to think this problem will go away, but the shark doesn’t care. He just keeps attacking swimmers. Finally, the town’s leaders finally come to their senses and they send out the sheriff, a local fisherman, and a shark expert on a hunt to kill the great white. Roy Scheider. Robert Shaw and Richard Dreyfuss are perfectly cast as the men who have to take on this monster. Even after this many years, this is one terrifying movie to watch, and it’s helped a lot by John Williams’s tension-driving music score.
9. The Invisible Man (2020)
The latest adaptation of H.G. Wells’ classic novel takes a modern twist. Elisabeth Moss plays a woman with a very rich, and very abusive, boyfriend. She decides to leave him. However, this boyfriend has developed technology that can make him invisible to the human eye. Moss tries to convince her friends she’s being stalked by a man no one can see, but they naturally don’t believe her. This horror-themed twist on Welles’ novel is really excellent. It’s definitely one of the best movies on HBO.
10. Spies in Disguise
This animated movie is perfect for the whole family to watch. Will Smith voices super-spy Lance Sterling. He’s an expert at fighting, sneaking, and being smooth all around. However, his life takes an unexpected turn when he is accidentally turned into a small talking pigeon by his tech partner Walter Beckett, voiced by Tom Holland. Together, they must work together to fight a new threat that could take over the world. The interactions between Smith and Holland are the main reason to watch this movie.
These are the best movies on HBO you should add to your watchlist in our opinion, although there are plenty of other great ones to choose from as well. We’ll update this post with new titles once they make it to the streaming service.