HBO Max has finally had its release in many countries in Europe and is becoming more and more widely available! The new, upgraded version of HBO GO – the super popular streaming service of the HBO TV station – is not only available at a cheaper price for the first month, but, more importantly, enhanced with new exciting content. So, what are the best films and TV series available on the HBO GO replacement?
The library of titles available on HBO Max continues to expand, and even though it may not be as extensive as those of its competitors from across the pond (yet), new movies and series that were not previously available are being constantly added and the choice is becoming more and more interesting and updated. What’s particularly exciting is that HBO Max is the only streaming service available that offers most of the current cinema hits virtually immediately after their theatrical release. What are the movies and TV shows most worth watching then? Here are our picks for the best movies and TV shows to watch on HBO Max!
Best movies available on HBO Max
Since the streaming platform became active, there have been quite a lot of attractive productions added to the HBO Max library, and it is constantly updated with new ones coming in. Which one of them are the most interesting?
Incontestably one of the biggest hits of 2021 finally available for legal online streaming!
Dune is an epic science-fiction movie based on the Frank Herbert novel of the same title. It tells the story of a conflict between two powerful family houses competing for the control of the Arrakis – the most supreme, yet deadly and inhospitable desert planet. The plot follows, above all, the extraordinary and exciting journey of Paul Atreides, the son of Duke Leto of House Atreides, ruler of the ocean planet Caladan, and Lady Jessica.
The ensemble cast sees Timothée Chalamet (The King, Interstellar) as Paul Atreides, and includes Oscar Isaac (Ex Machina, Star Wars: Last Jedi) as Duke Leto, Rebecca Ferguson (Doctor Sleep, The White Queen) as Lady Jessica, along with Jason Momoa (Aquaman, Games of Thrones), Stellan Skarsgård (Good Will Hunting, Chernobyl), or Zendaya (Spider-Man: No Way Home, Euphoria).
The epic movie, directed by Denis Villeneuve, is without a shadow of a doubt one of the most important works of cinematic art created over the past several years, if not decades. The film was released on home media (DVD, Blu-ray and Ultra HD Blu-ray versions) in 2021 and it is finally available to stream legally on HBO Max. Get down to this amazing viewing and begin anticipating the sequel, Dune: Part Two!
KIMI is an American thriller film directed by Steven Soderbergh and written and produced by David Koepp. It tells the story of Angela Childs (Zoe Kravitz), a tech corporation employee who, due to suffering from anxiety and agoraphobia, works from home monitoring incoming data streams from KIMI, a smart speaker device. One day, the woman comes across a recording that suggests a violent crime being committed, which she tries to report. Unfortunately, she faces procedural challenges, along with the hesitance of her superiors and shady internal processes which make it less than possible to ensure the crime is investigated, and Angela is forced to do what she fears the most: to leave her apartment and go outside.
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The cast includes Zoe Kravitz (The Batman, Big Little Lies), Devin Ratray (Home Alone, Side Effects), Rita Wilson (Runaway Bride, The Art of Getting By), Erika Christensen (Traffic, Flightplan), and Jaime Camil (Jane the Virgin, Madness in the Method).
The 2021 horror movie Malignant, directed by James Wan and written by Akela Cooper, follows Madison, a pregnant woman experiencing perplexing visions – she sees people being murdered, only to realise the events are actually happening in real life.
The movie stars such screen personalities as Annabelle Wallis (Anabelle, Peaky Blinders), Maddie Hasson (Twisted, Impulse), George Young (Containment, In the Room), Jacqueline McKenzie (Angel Baby, Deep Blue Sea), and Susanna Thompson (Arrow, Timeless).
Released in 2022 on HBO Max The Fallout, written and directed by Megan Park, follows a high school student maneuvering through a deep emotional trauma in the aftermath of a school shooting in the school she goes to. The film investigates the impact the incident had on Vada’s perception of the world, as well as on all of her relationships with her schoolmates and the people around her.
The film stars Jenna Ortega (You, Jane the virgin) as Vada, and Shailene Woodley (The Fault in Our Stars, Divergent), Maddie Ziegler (To All the Boys: P.S. I Still Love You, West Side Story), Will Ropp (The Way Back, Silk Road) and Julie Bowen (Modern Family, Horrible Bosses) in supporting roles.
King Richard, a 2021 biographical sports drama film directed by Marcus Green and with a screenplay by Zach Baylin, is loosely based on real events and the life of Richard Williams, the father and coach of the famous tennis players: sisters Venus and Serena Williams, who, by the way, have both been executive producers of the film. The film follows the journey of extraordinarily talented Venus and Serena and their family, coming from an unprivileged background, and their rise to the top with the help of their ever-supportive, determined father.
When it comes to the cast, the film stars Will Smith (I Am Legend, The Pursuit of Happyness) in the main role, and Saniyya Sidney (Hidden Figures, Roots) as Venus and Demi Singleton (Goldie, Godfather of Harlem) as Serena, as well as Aunjanue Ellis (When They See Us, If Beale Street Could Talk), Jon Bernthal (The Punisher, The Wolf of Wall Street), and Tony Goldwyn (The Last Samurai, Mark Felt: The Man Who Brought Down the White House) in supporting roles.
2001: A Space Odyssey
In this 1968 visionary masterpiece, Stanley Kubrick pioneers the use of special effects giving an almost mystical, yet impressively accurate depiction of space travel while attempting to explore the origins and evolution of the human race. Dr Dave Bowman, an astronaut, along with other scientist and a sentient supercomputer Hal, embarks on a mission to Jupiter to investigate a mysterious prehistoric black monolith found below the Lunar surface. Through dystopian imagery and departure from conventional cinematic techniques, 2001: A Space Odyssey is a poetic meditation on technology and humanity.
Widely considered as one of the greatest and most influential films of all time, 2001: A Space Odyssey is among key influences cited by such filmmakers as Steven Spielberg, George Lucas and Christopher Nolan. The movie stars Keir Dullea (Bunny Lake Is Missing, Black Christmas), Gary Lockwood (Star Trek: The Original Series, Murder, She Wrote), and William Sylvester (House of Blackmail, The Saint). An absolute must see.
The poetic imagery and seductive sounds of the French director Claire Denis 1999 film Beau Travail, a loosely inspired take on Herman Melville’s seafaring novella Billy Budd, constitute indeed a beautiful piece of work. Through striking images of Djiboutian landscapes, the film chronicles a love triangle among French Foreign Legionnaires in training, and remains a spellbinding tale told through image, sound and rhythm, creating understanding beyond narrative.
In the main roles you’ll see Denis Lavant (Mister Lonely, Holy Motors), Michel Subor (Jules and Jim, The Intruder), and Grégoire Colin (Olivier, Olivier, Nénette and Boni).
An essential piece of African cinema, Touki Bouki follows Mory, a cowherd who rides a motorcycle mounted with a cow’s skull, and Anta, a university student. Set in the backdrop of Dakar, Senegal’s capital, Djibril Diop Mambéty’s film is an imaginative, oneiric tale about alienation, dreaminess and longing and belonging.
The newest take on Batman follows the caped hero on a hunt for a killer, all along keeping his peculiar quirks. Despite the multitude of versions of Batman’s adventures and missions, Matt Reeves’ 2022 film remains an engaging one, with Robert Pattison as Bruce Wayne and the spectacular Colin Farrell stealing the show as The Penguin. In fact, brace yourself: Farrell’s character was so convincing, HBO Max went ahead and gave him his own spin-off series.
Along Robert Pattinson (The Twilight Saga, Tenet) and Colin Farrell (Pride and Glory, Cassandra’s Dream), the movie stars Zoe Kravitz (Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, KIMI) as Catwoman, Paul Dano (Little Miss Sunshine, Looper) as Riddler, and Andy Serkins (Star Wars, Black Panther) as Alfred Pennyworth.
Best TV shows available on HBO Max
In addition to amazing films, HBO Max is already hosting plenty of TV shows absolutely worth watching. Here are our picks for the best TV series on the platform.
House of the Dragon
For the fans of HBO’s cult Game of Thrones, its prequel series needs no introduction. Set two centuries before Game of Thrones, the series depicts the beginning of the descent of the House Targaryen and the family’s fight for control of the Iron Throne as multiple power struggles arise and intensify. Featuring an ensemble cast, the show was created by George R. R. Martin and Ryan Condal for HBO.
After the spectacular reception of The Suicide Squad the time has come for Peacemaker to shine! James Gunn releases a series set after the events happening in the film and focusing on the main protagonist. In case you forgot – this guy has a peculiar idea about the peace in the world, and he is so obsessed with it, that he’s willing to go to extra lengths to achieve it – even if it means killing everyone in the entire world.
The cast ensemble includes John Cena (The Suicide Squad, Fast and Furious 9), Freddie Storma (Pitch Perfect, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince), Robert Patrick (The X-files, Terminator 2: Judgement Day), Jennifer Holland (The Suicide Squad, American Pie Presents: The Book of Love), Steve Agee (Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, Brightburn) and Danielle Brooks (Orange Is the New Black, I Dream Too Much).
Hacks is another interesting position in the HBO Max library, created by Lucia Aniello, Paul W. Downs and Jen Statsky. The series follows Deborah, a Las Vegas legendary stand-up comedy diva, hoping to reinvent her acts in order to appeal to a younger audience. To achieve this goal, her agent takes on board Ava, a young comedy writer/online journalist who has gained an unfavourable reputation due to her alleged arrogance. The duo slowly develops a bond with both women helping each other see different perspectives and achieve their personal goals.
The show stars Jean Smart (Watchmen, Fargo) as Deborah and Hannah Einbinder (North Hollywood) as Ava, as well as Carl Clemons-Hopkins (Candyman, Christmas Dreams), Kaitlin Olson (Flipped, It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia), Christopher McDonald (Requiem for a Dream, Broken Flowers), and others in supporting roles.
Made for Love
The 2021 show directed by Aletheia Jones and Stephanie Laing is based on the Alissa Nutting novel with the same title. The story centers around Hazel, a young woman trapped in a suffocating marriage to an unstable, abusive tech billionaire, and her predicament when she discovers her husband has installed a revolutionary monitoring device in her brain, allowing him to track and watch her every step and all her thoughts and feelings.
The cast includes Cristin Milioti (Black Mirror, The Wolf of Wall Street), Ray Romano (Everybody Loves Raymond, The Irishman), Augusto Aguilera (The Predator, Too Old to Die Young), Noma Dumezweni (Black Earth Rising, The Undoing) and Billy Magnussen (Black Mirror, Game Night).
Station Eleven is an American post-apocalyptic dystopian fiction miniseries created by Patrick Somerville and based on the 2014 novel of the same title by Emily St. John Mandel. The series follows a group of survivors of a flu pandemic which resulted in a collapse of civilisation, trying to rebuild the world they once knew.
The series stars Mackenzie Davis (Black Mirror, Blade Runner 2049), Himesh Patel (Tenet, Don’t Look Up), David Wilmot (Ordinary Love, Intermission) and Matilda Lawler (Flora & Ulysses, The Block Island Sound).
Harley Quinn – season 3
Although Harley Quinn has already been available to stream on HBO GO, the former version of the service only offered the first season. Now you can blissfully enjoy the legal access to the continuation of the adventures of the witty trained ex-psychiatrist superhero with a genius-level intellect and exceptional skills in deception and psychological mastery as the newly-single criminal queenpin in the heart of Gotham City.
The animated show, based on the American comic books published by DC Comics, was created by Justin Halpern, Patrick Schumacker and Dean Lorey, and the main character is voiced by Kaley Cuoco (The Flight Attendant, Big Bang Theory). Other stars include Lake Bell (The Secret Life of Pets, Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse), Ron Funches (Cheaper by the Dozen, 6 Underground), Tony Hale (Being the Ricardos, Transformers: The Last Knight) and Alan Tudyk (Doom Patrol, Santa Clarita Diet).
HBO Max prices – how much does the access to films and series cost?
If our list made you feel like subscribing to HBO Max, you must be wondering how much the service costs. Good news to those who are interested: plans start at $9.99 per month!
With just the basic plan you get full unlimited access to the service as well as to all ten of its entertainment hubs – HBO, DC, Classics Curated by TCM, Studio Ghibli, Cartoon Network, Sesame Workshop, Crunchyroll, Adult Swim, Cartoonito, and Looney Tunes – on top of exclusive Max Original programming. You also get the possibility of streaming across three different devices at the same time (and you can create your own profile, a feature that wasn’t offered by HBO GO!). The films and series are available in 4K, instead of 1080p as it used to be. The service app is supported on Apple and Android smartphones, smart TVs, tablets and laptops, as well as gaming consoles. So do not wait any longer: go ahead and enjoy entertainment to the max!