Cancel Preloader

Streaming on Max: The 23 Absolute Best Movies to Watch

 Streaming on Max: The 23 Absolute Best Movies to Watch

Wondering what you should watch on the Max streaming service?

Max replaced HBO Max last year and streams a variety of titles, including Warner Bros. movies like Dune and HBO originals like Tony Hawk: Until the Wheels Fall Off. Below, you’ll find a batch of can’t-miss films on the streamer, plus a look at new releases for this month. (If you’re still trying to figure out if Max is for you, skim our review of the Warner Bros. Discovery streaming service).

New releases for March

Note: These descriptions are taken from official websites for the films and lightly edited for style.

March 1

  • Deadpool (2016): Superhero. Wade Wilson (Ryan Reynolds) is subjected to a rogue experiment that leaves him with accelerated healing powers.
  • The Revenant (2015): Drama. The film follows the story of legendary explorer Hugh Glass (Leonardo DiCaprio) on his quest for survival and justice.
  • The Farewell (2019): Comedy-drama. Billi (Awkwafina) finds out her family’s beloved matriarch, Nai-Nai, has been given only weeks to live, and the family has decided not to tell Nai Nai herself.

March 5

  • A Revolution on Canvas (2023): Documentary. The daughter of seminal Iranian modern artist and pro-democracy activist Nicky Nodjoumi searches for his lost artwork.

March 8

  • Wonka (2023): Fantasy. The film tells the story of how the world’s greatest inventor, magician and chocolate-maker became the beloved Willy Wonka we know today.

March 12

  • The Lionheart (2023): Documentary. The film centers on the sons of two-time Indianapolis 500 champion Dan Wheldon, who died in a horrific crash at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway in 2011.

March 15

  • Dream Scenario (2023): Black comedy. Hapless family man Paul Matthews (Nicolas Cage) finds his life turned upside down when millions of strangers suddenly start seeing him in their dreams.

Read more: Best TV Shows to Watch on Max

The best movies to watch

The films below consist of notable new releases and blockbusters, HBO and Max originals and Warner Bros. films made exclusively for HBO Max. All score around 65 or higher on Metacritic.


https-cdn-sanity-io-images-xq1bjtf4-production-6ea60228cc1de2367229e992be6c006508952076-6000x4000 https-cdn-sanity-io-images-xq1bjtf4-production-6ea60228cc1de2367229e992be6c006508952076-6000x4000

Like A24 movies? Currently, new A24 releases wind up on Max, which is good news for fans of flicks like Sofia Coppola’s Priscilla. Cailee Spaeny and Jacob Elordi star in the stylish film, which is about the relationship between Priscilla and Elvis Presley and tells things from Priscilla’s point of view.

Jake Sully flies over Pandora's waters on a winged creature's back in Avatar: The Way of Water Jake Sully flies over Pandora's waters on a winged creature's back in Avatar: The Way of Water
20th Century Studios

Avatar: The Way of Water (2022)

Avatar: The Way of Water reintroduced audiences to James Cameron’s film franchise after 13 years and won an Oscar for best visual effects. The sequel centers on the Sully family — Jake, Neytiri and their kids — and is brimming with adventure and heart. It’ll be at least a couple of years until Avatar 3 arrives, but you can pass the time by rewatching this on Max.

elvis-wb elvis-wb
Warner Bros.

Want to see Austin Butler rock out in a pink suit? How about one of the 89 other costumes the actor dons in the dazzling, jam-packed film that runs 2 hours and 40 minutes? Directed by Baz Luhrmann (Moulin Rouge, The Great Gatsby), Elvis is a grand, exhilarating biopic that’s all about the King of Rock ‘n’ Roll. If you didn’t catch it in theaters, now’s your chance to find a spot in the crowd.

screen-shot-2022-02-07-at-10-20-26-am.png screen-shot-2022-02-07-at-10-20-26-am.png

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.

the-fallout the-fallout
Warner Bros.

After a shooting occurs at her high school, 16-year-old Vada Cavell must navigate friendships, school and her relationship with her family. The Fallout skillfully approaches serious subject matter with realistic dialogue and compassion for its characters. With strong performances from stars Jenna Ortega, as Vada, and Maddie Ziegler, as her new friend Mia Reed, the feature will keep you glued to the screen for the entirety of its 90-minute runtime.

Dune Dune
Warner Bros.

Remember 2021, when Warner Bros. movies hit HBO Max on the same day they premiered in theaters? That exciting period may be over, but at least we’ll always have the memory of watching Denis Villeneuve’s stunning sci-fi epic Dune at home. If you’ve never seen the film or need to brush up on what “the spice” is before Part Two, stream Dune now.

rev-1-kr-07674r-high-res-jpeg rev-1-kr-07674r-high-res-jpeg
Chiabella James/Warner Bros. Pictures

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. A complicated man with a tremendous personality, Richard is fascinating to get to know, and his unwavering belief in Venus and Serena is inspiring. 

screen-shot-2021-11-24-at-12-33-19-pm-copy.png screen-shot-2021-11-24-at-12-33-19-pm-copy.png
Imaginal Disc

A rare (nowadays) 90-minute film, American Mexican drama Son of Monarchs will stay with you long after the end credits roll. This deep character study follows two brothers who are changed in markedly different ways by the trauma they suffered in childhood. This story, folding in magical realism, follows how they move forward in life — the butterfly metaphors are strong, with biologist Mendel returning to his hometown surrounded by majestic monarch butterfly forests.

hugh jackman bad education hugh jackman bad education
HBO/Screenshot by CNET

Based on a magazine article by journalist Robert Kolker, this tale about a public school embezzlement scandal and the student journalists who broke the news is captivating from start to finish. Allison Janney and Hugh Jackman are great in their roles as the school officials who took part in the scheme. The drama also won the 2020 Emmy award for Outstanding Television Movie. 

Musical drama

rev-1-tcp-tp-036-high-res-jpeg rev-1-tcp-tp-036-high-res-jpeg
Warner Bros. Pictures

This movie musical version of The Color Purple is adapted from Alice Walker’s 1982 novel and the Broadway play. Set in the early 1900s, it tells the story of Celie, a Black woman living in the South who faces multiple hardships but is able to find strength in the bonds in her life. The cast includes Fantasia Barrino, Taraji P. Henson, Colman Domingo, Halle Bailey and Danielle Brooks, who received a 2023 Oscar nomination for her role as Celie’s daughter-in-law, Sofia.

rev-1-ith-05767r-high-res-jpeg rev-1-ith-05767r-high-res-jpeg
Macall Polay/Warner Bros.

In the Heights stars Anthony Ramos (whom you might recognize as John Laurens in Hamilton) playing Usnavi, a bodega owner struggling to keep his business afloat while a heatwave strikes Washington Heights. Secretly in love with his neighbor Vanessa (Melissa Barrera), who dreams of getting out of the salon and out of the neighborhood, Usnavi serves the people of Washington Heights with a whole lot of love, lottery tickets and cafe con leche. Between the choreographed twirls and fireworks, In the Heights is an examination of wealth disparity, immigration, classism and the importance of culture.


rev-1-bar-00238-high-res-jpeg rev-1-bar-00238-high-res-jpeg
Jaap Buitendijk/Warner Bros.

Unless you’ve been living in Barbie Land (or another place that isn’t the real world), chances are you’re very familiar with this pink-coated comedy already. The flick — Warner Bros.’ highest-grossing global release of all time — brings a long list of stars together for a creative and hilarious adventure. Greta Gerwig directs, Margot Robbie plays the titular role, and Ryan Gosling belts out an incredible power ballad as Ken.

Colin Farrell and Brendan Gleeson laugh while riding a wagon in the movie The Banshees of Inisherin. Colin Farrell and Brendan Gleeson laugh while riding a wagon in the movie The Banshees of Inisherin.

The Banshees of Inisherin (2022)

Set on a remote island off the coast of Ireland, Banshees is a darkly funny and heartbreaking drama that’s consistently stunning to look at. It’s about what happens after Colm (Brendan Gleeson) abruptly decides to cut off lifelong friend Pádraic (Colin Farrell). Farrell and Gleeson also starred together in director Martin McDonagh’s debut feature, In Bruges.

Father of the bride Father of the bride

Father of the Bride (2022)

Max’s Father of the Bride introduces a Cuban American family that includes patriarch Billy, a traditional guy who struggles to digest surprising news from his eldest daughter: She’s met a guy, and she wants to marry and move away with him. The third film adaptation of a 1949 novel of the same name by Edward Streeter, the movie is an enjoyable iteration that includes stars like Andy Garcia and singer Gloria Estefan.

8-bit-christmas 8-bit-christmas
Warner Bros.

A playful comedy set in the ’80s, 8-Bit Christmas follows the story of a young Jake Doyle, a dedicated 10-year-old who desperately seeks a Nintendo. The film is delightfully narrated by Neil Patrick Harris, an older Jake reminiscing on his past quest to secure the gaming console. Yes, there’s a Christmas backdrop to the story, but Jake’s unyielding commitment to his mission, and what he learns along the way, make this cheery feature a must-watch even after the holiday season. 

let-them-all-talk-1 let-them-all-talk-1

Meryl Streep playing an eccentric author in a Steven Soderbergh comedy. What more do you need to know? If you do want to know more: Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist Alice Hughes (Streep) is struggling to finish her next book, chased by her literary agent (Gemma Chan). She boards a cruise ship with old friends, who inspired her best-known work. Tensions are strong. It looks great — Soderbergh uses crisp, natural light — and most of the dialogue is improvised. See how Dianne Wiest, Candice Bergen, Lucas Hedges and the rest of the impeccable cast have fun with that.


all-that-breathes-hbo all-that-breathes-hbo

This captivating documentary is filled with images that will stick with you. It centers on two brothers in New Delhi who run a bird hospital dedicated to black kites — birds of prey that are a staple of the sky. It was a contender for best documentary feature at the 2023 Oscars.

tony-hawk-director-sam-jones-4 tony-hawk-director-sam-jones-4

Tony Hawk: Until the Wheels Fall Off (2022)

Tune into this HBO doc for the gravity-defying skateboard stunts, a time capsule of the ’80s skateboarding scene, and a version of Hawk you’ve probably never seen. We get to know the renowned athlete as a lanky, stubborn but determined kid who adopted his own skateboarding style. Hawk’s persistence is something to marvel at, along with all the stunning skateboard moves this film packs in. Hang on for a memorable ride.

roadrunner roadrunner
CNN/Focus Features

Roadrunner: A Film About Anthony Bourdain (2021)

This film about beloved author, chef and globe-traveling TV host Anthony Bourdain comes from documentary filmmaker Morgan Neville, who also directed 2018’s Won’t You Be My Neighbor? and the Oscar-winning film Twenty Feet from Stardom. In interviews with people who knew Bourdain, like his friends, former partners and longtime colleagues, the doc tracks his career path, relationships and personal struggles. Bourdain fans and those less acquainted with the star will likely appreciate this two-hour look at his life.


The Batman The Batman
Jonathan Olley/DC

Robert Pattinson steps out as Batman in this superhero flick directed by Matt Reeves. The movie takes place in a perpetually gray and rain-soaked Gotham City, where Bruce Wayne starts to seek out a murderer with an affinity for riddles. Along the way, he meets Catwoman, played by a swaggering Zoë Kravitz. Great scene-setting and storytelling make this a satisfying dark mystery. 

the-suicide-squad-1607428006 the-suicide-squad-1607428006
Warner Bros.

Over-the-top violence abounds in this DC film about supervillains who agree to help the US government in exchange for some time off their prison sentences. Their mission is to destroy something alluded to as Project Starfish, harbored in the fictional island country of Corto Maltese. With a notable cast that includes Margot Robbie, Idris Elba and John Cena, 2021’s The Suicide Squad is a wickedly entertaining, darkly funny bloodbath that differs from what you usually see in superhero movies. (Peacemaker, a spinoff TV series, is also available on Max.)


the menu the menu
Eric Zachanowich/Searchlight Pictures

A dinner at an exclusive restaurant turns from something to savor to something to survive in this shocking horror satire. Viewers learn about the privileged guests dining at Hawthorne as Ralph Fiennes’ experienced chef unveils his fateful menu. Find your seat for this delectable experience, which also stars Anya Taylor-Joy.


e62isxzvuaqrcwd e62isxzvuaqrcwd

A movie from Steven Soderbergh, the great director behind Erin Brockovich, Ocean’s Eleven and, more recently, Logan Lucky? Twists, thrills and desperate characters populate this crime thriller set in 1950s Detroit. When a seemingly simple job gets out of hand, a group of criminals must work together to uncover what’s really going on. Take in the incredible cast: Don Cheadle, Benicio del Toro, David Harbour, Jon Hamm and Amy Seimetz. While the plot can be a little convoluted and some won’t be able to get past the fish-eye lens cinematography, Soderbergh’s sense of humor and immersive direction make this crime caper an entertaining night in.

Related post

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *