HBO Max logo and popcorn

HBO Max logo and popcorn (Photo by AFM Visuals on Shutterstock)

On May 23, 2023, HBO Max re-branded itself as Max and began streaming a large amount of new content for the platform that now includes HBO, Discovery Channel, TLC, Cartoon Network, and more. Since its launch in May 2020, Max owner Warner Brothers Discover has built itself based on strong brand recognition as well as a large media library. There are many films in numerous genres available on the platform. We’ve decided to have a look at our expert sources to find out the top five best movies on Max, based on streaming viewership.

Many people have busy schedules and don’t have enough time to figure out which movies to watch. Some folks turn to film critics to help them decide. According to a recent study, it’s all about online reviews for those browsing their movie selection. For example, in 2018 most U.S. adults (63%) said they had a “moderate to heavy reliance” on online reviews while deciding what to watch.

Conversely, some film viewers prefer to go by word-of-mouth on social media platforms over professional critics. Eighteen percent say they would rather go with the opinion of a random commenter online. Respondents also go to the opinions of close friends (47%), family members (44%), and even streaming platform algorithms (21%) over critics. Researchers find more of these people turn to user-driven spaces like YouTube (50%) and Amazon (46%) over established review aggregators, such as Rotten Tomatoes (24%) or Metacritic (6%).

So, where do you get your movie recs from? Whether you prefer to follow critics, other viewers, or your own preferences we aim to make the decision a bit easier. With our list of the best movies on Max, you can catch up on all the new releases that everyone is talking about. Let us know your favorite movies in the comments below!

Max is the new and improved HBO Max
Max is the new and improved HBO Max (Photo by Miguel Lagoa on Shutterstock)

The List: Best Movies on Max, According to Film Fans

1. “The Batman” (2022)

Our sources highlight films with the most streaming views. Despite tremendous viewership for movies like “The Menu”, “The Suicide Squad”, “Mortal Kombat”, and a slew of classic films from the past; the following films have clawed their way to the top of the charts. Leading the pack is “The Batman” by director Matt Reeves.

According to The Wrap, “putting a new spin on a character like Batman is incredibly difficult, but director Matt Reeves and star Robert Pattinson accomplish this and much more in the 2022 reboot ‘The Batman.’ The film picks up in Bruce Wayne’s second year of prowling the streets as the caped crusader, and finds him roped into an investigation into a series of killings committed by The Riddler (Paul Dano). Reeves draws from films like ‘Zodiac’ and ‘All the President’s Men’ to result in a process-driven (and wildly compelling) crime thriller that packs some of the most striking cinematography in the character’s history thanks to Oscar-winner Greig Fraser.”

This exciting film has also created an anticipated spinoff starring Colin Farrell’s portrayal of the Penguin. Cinema Blend also adds that, “The next iteration of the caped crusader is out as Robert Pattinson tackles the legendary role as Batman in The Batman. Bruce Wayne has been fighting crime for two years in Gotham City, and now must uncover corruption as the Riddler (Paul Dano) wreaks havoc on the wealthy. It’s certainly one of the best live-action Batman movies out there.”

Currently considered as ‘existing outside’ of the upcoming DC Universe of films, Pattinson’s Batman will stand alone in his own stories. Collider’s Ross Bonaime writes: “We’ve been inundated with different versions of Batman in recent years, with everything from the Snyderverse take to LEGO Batman. But even with plenty of Batman options to choose from, Matt Reeves’ The Batman still manages to feel like a fresh take on a character we’ve seen adapted an absurd amount of times. Robert Pattinson plays Bruce Wayne as Gotham’s emo knight, trying to rid the streets of crime and failing at his goal.”

 2. “Dune” (2021)

Some films generate hype and views by virtue of the director. Following in the footsteps of great filmmakers like Steven Spielberg or Christopher Nolan, Denis Villeneuve has created a fandom based on his unique and visionary direction style. Uproxx says, “After delivering stunning sci-fi films like Arrival and Blade Runner: 2049, visionary director Denis Villeneuve took an ambitious stab at the mother of all sci-fi series, Dune. Starring Timothée Chalamet as Paul Atreides, the first Dune tackles the opening salvo of the sprawling epic by capturing the early beginnings of Paul’s messianic journey on the desert planet Arrakis.”

Frank Herbert’s Dune is one of the most influential science fiction stories of all time that was the origin of many sci-fi archetypes and tropes. The success of this film has created a small screen spinoff as well, in “Dune Sisterhood” which is scheduled for release in November of 2023. “Director Denis Villeneuve’s ‘Dune’ is the kind of prestige, epic sci-fi adaptation that studios rarely make, and for that alone it’s worth seeking out. Based on the Frank Herbert novel of the same name, the film stars Timothee Chalamet as the young Paul Atreides, a man who accompanies his family House Atreides as they’re tasked with overseeing the mining of a valuable resource on the planet Arrakis,” raves The Wrap.

Films during the pandemic were challenged by difficulty in the box office and underwent rapid release to streaming platforms. Digital Trends writes, “Director Denis Villeneuve’s adaptation of Frank Herbert’s Dune was one of the few true hits of the pandemic era. And now that the film is back on HBO Max, viewers can see why it received several Oscar nominations as well.”

 3. “The Banshees of Inisherin” (2022)

Lauded as a great film with emotional and heartfelt performances from the cast, “The Banshees of Inisherin” has proven to be a major draw to the Max app. Harper’s Bazaar says, “One of the more recent releases on the list, the Irish drama directed by Martin McDonagh has real Oscar potential and all the main actors have received award nominations for their performances (with Colin Farrell winning the Golden Globe.) Following two men as one decides to suddenly puts an end to their lifelong friendship, the emotional and comedic journey leads to some interesting consequences that will leave you pondering your own friendships.”

This film is an example of a movie that was well-received by viewers as well as critics. According to Tom’s Guide, “Awards season usually brings a ton of great movies to the theaters, but with the rise of streaming, those films are arriving on our home screens sooner than ever. This complex, nuanced tragicomedy features some of the best performances of the year and you are almost certainly going to see Oscar nominations go to Colin Ferrell and Brendan Gleeson. They play longtime drinking buddies on a remote fictional Irish island in 1923. When Colm (Gleeson) suddenly and inexplicably ends their friendship, Pádraic (Farrell) is left confused and hurt.”

Cosmopolitan also adds: “A sudden breakup among lifelong best friends Pádraic (Colin Farrell) and Colm (Brendan Gleeson) sends a small Irish town into chaos and sparks a debate on what really makes life worth living, friendship or art? Not only was the film nominated for nine (!!!) Oscars, it also features the best performance by a donkey — maybe ever.”

 4. “King Richard” (2021)

“King Richard” is a 2021 biopic about Richard Williams, father of tennis super stars Venus and Serena Williams. TV Guide’s Allison Picurro says, “Will Smith won a Best Actor Oscar in this biopic of Richard Williams, father of tennis icons Venus and Serena Williams. He portrays Richard with careful intensity in his dedication to shaping his young daughters’ commitment to the sport, doing everything in his power and going to audacious lengths to help push them forward. King Richard goes beyond the confines of a typical movie like this with its dedication to crafting some spectacular tennis scenes, as well as scene-stealing supporting performances from Saniyya Sidney as Venus; Aunjanue Ellis as the sisters’ mother, Brandy Price; and Jon Bernthal as Venus’ coach. Plus, Beyoncé wrote a power ballad for it.”

CNET claims that, “King Richard is a feel-good biopic about the father of tennis legends Venus and Serena Williams. The film winds back the clock to before the sisters became household names, giving us a glimpse of their upbringing in Compton and time spent practicing on run-down courts with their father, Richard Williams (Will Smith). Convinced his daughters are going to be successful, Richard works tirelessly to get their star potential noticed by professional coaches.”

Simply put, “the movie that finally won Will Smith his Oscar, King Richard is based on the true story of Venus and Serena Williams, revolving around their father, Richard, and his commitment to turning his daughters into tennis champions,” writes Cosmopolitan.

5. “Kimi” (2022)

Rising star Zoë Kravitz appears on our list in a leading role in the 2022 film “Kimi”. TV Guide writes, “Zoë Kravitz plays an agoraphobe who works for a tech company with its own digital personal assistant. Her job is to listen to users’ failed requests and improve the gadget’s artificial intelligence, but when she thinks she hears a murder in one of the recordings, she inadvertently gets involved in the crime. It’s a thriller in the vein of Rear Window, but better than it should be thanks to Kravitz and the eye of director Steven Soderbergh.”

CNET also mentions: “Steven Soderbergh directs this engaging tech thriller set during the COVID-19 pandemic. Angela, a Seattle tech worker played by a neon blue-haired Zoë Kravitz, has agoraphobia, a fear that prevents her from making it past the front door of her apartment. But when she uncovers an unsettling recording while doing her job, she’s pushed to make the leap. Kimi is a stylish thriller complete with eye-catching cinematography, a solid score and a protagonist you’ll be rooting for.”

Nominated for several awards from publications including Seattle Film Critics Society, Black Reel Awards for Television, Hollywood Critics Association, and Indiana Film Journalists Association; Kimi has earned critical praise and acclaim. According to Cosmopolitan, “Zoë Kravitz stars in this thriller as Angela, an agoraphobic tech worker who—after receiving a *very* damning recording of her company’s CEO—tries to bring the evidence to light…even though doing so means having to leave her apartment.”

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Note: This article was not paid for nor sponsored. StudyFinds is not connected to nor partnered with any of the brands mentioned and receives no compensation for its recommendations.


About Alan Corona

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