Though best known for producing many of the best television shows of all time, HBO is also home to many excellent films. HBO caught on quick that streaming was the way of the future, and got into the only media game early. We’ll be taking a look at what movies are on HBO right now. HBO-Go is home to not just every great HBO original series, but also hundreds of films ranging from all-time classics to new releases. Joining us in counting down the top 50 HBO movies available right now.

Best movies on HBO Go

50. Best in Show (2000)

Best in Show  •  Trailer

This is a Christopher Guest film, and if you are familiar with his other films, then you know exactly what to expect. The movie is about the owners of five show dogs head for a national dog show with a film crew accompanying them to get a 'behind the scenes' look in the highly competitive and cut-throat world of dog-shows.

Best in Show is consistently funny and features a huge, dynamite cast of comedy legends from Michael McKean to Fred Willard.

Best movies on HBO

Critic Review Highlight

This is a little gem of a comedy, a film candidly and professionally structured around the business of getting real laughs with real gags. Full review —  Peter Bradshaw, The Guardian

Movies on HBO right now

49. Cheech and Chong’s Up in Smoke (1978)

Cheech and Chong's Up in Smoke  •  Trailer

Cheech and Chong’s Up in Smoke is a classic of not just the stoner genre but the overall comedy genre as a whole. The movie is about an unemployed pot-smoking slacker and amateur drummer, Anthony Stoner (Tommy Chong) who ditches his strict parents and hits the road, eventually meeting kindred spirit Pedro de Pacas (Cheech Marin). While the drug-ingesting duo is soon arrested for possession of marijuana, Anthony and Pedro get released on a technicality, allowing them to continue their many misadventures and ultimately compete in a rock band contest, where they perform the raucous tune "Earache My Eye."

The film makes use of an extraordinarily loose structure and plot, taking on a vignette/sketch-style pacing. The film is consistently hilarious and showcases the classic double-act at their top of their games.

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Critic Review Highlight

And on this particular trek., the 70's duo finds themselves in comedic situations which hit and miss in relatively equal measure. Full review —  Hock Teh, IGN

Movies on HBO right now

48. Ford V. Ferrari (2019)

Ford v Ferrari  •  Trailer

The movie is about an American automotive designer Carroll Shelby (Matt Damon) and fearless British race car driver Ken Miles (Christian Bale) who battle corporate interference, the laws of physics and their own personal demons to build a revolutionary vehicle for the Ford Motor Co. Together, they plan to compete against the race cars of Enzo Ferrari at the 24 Hours of Le Mans in France in 1966.

Ford V. Ferrari is one of the most recent films available on HBO Go. This fast-paced bio-drama took away two Oscars at the most recent Academy Awards and was a nominee for ‘Best Picture.'

MOVIES ON HBO

Critic Review Highlight

Even if you’re not a motorhead, chances are you’ll be thrilled by this high-velocity bromance, powered by zesty acting and Mangold’s meticulous direction. Full review — Nick De Semlyen, Empire

Best movies on HBO Go

47. Unbreakable (2000)

Unbreakable  •  Trailer

Unbreakable is easily one of M. Night Shyamalan's best films; arguably his best. It’s a superhero film in disguise, a subversive take on the Superman origin story. “What if superman didn’t know he was Superman.” The movie is about David (Bruce Willis), a security guard, who survives a fatal train accident, only to be tracked down by a man named Elijah Price (Samuel L. Jackson), who claims that David is blessed with superhuman abilities.

It’s an all around solid film, with the only weak spot being some awkward plotting in the third act and a couple extremely minor plot holes.

Movies on HBO

Critic Review Highlight

This compelling conundrum of a film marks the maturity of Sixth Sense director M Night Shyamalan as a distinctive, even remarkable filmmaker. Full review — Peter Bradshaw, Guardian

Best Movies on HBO Right Now

46. Deliverance (1972)

Deliverance  •  Trailer

Deliverance is an important film in cinematic history and in the evolution of action filmmaking in Hollywood. The film was integral to the stylistic shift from the late 60s into the 70s. The movie is about four urban men bound for wilderness go on a weekend canoeing trip down a river in the Georgia backcountry where they face their worst nightmares.

The film is packed with iconic scenes from the above ‘dueling banjos’ scene to the infamous ‘squeal like a pig’ scene. Jon Voigt, Burt Reynolds and Ned Beatty all turn in excellent performances and Vilmos Zsigmond’s cinematography is a definite highlight.

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Critic Review Highlight

Each of the four lead performances is exceptional, none more so than Burt Reynolds' beefy, supercilious Lewis. Full review — TIME Magazine

Best movies on HBO right now

45. Cast Away (2000)

Cast Away  •  Trailer

The now classic story of a Fedex worker who gets stranded on a deserted island. The movie takes place after a deadly plane crash, where Chuck Nolan (Tom Hanks) finds himself marooned on a desolate island. With no way to escape, Chuck must find ways to survive in his new home.

Tom Hanks gives a compelling one man show with little more than a volleyball to play off of. Robert Zemeckis last great film before becoming obsessed with uncanny-valley CG people.

Good movies on HBO

Critic Review Highlight

For much of the time, Hanks is on screen by himself, his only dialogue addressed to an inanimate ball. A lesser performer would have made it an unendurable ordeal. Full review — George Perry, BBC

Best movies on HBO Go

44. Half Nelson (2006)

Half Nelson  •  Trailer

Half Nelson is the crown jewel of the inner-city-school-teacher subgenre. It’s a heavy drama headlined by a showstopping Ryan Gosling. The movie is about Dan Dunne (Ryan Gosling), a history teacher and a drug addict, who befriends a 13-year-old student whose brother is in jail for dealing in drugs. They form an unlikely friendship and help each other solve their issues.

 With audiences used to his heartthrob side in the likes of The Notebook, Gosling took on the challenging protagonist of Half Nelson, a strung-out crack addict barely holding his life together. It’s a great character and a great performance.

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Critic Review Highlight

It's the gritty script and sheer quality of the performances that distinguish this parable. Full review — James Christopher, Times (UK)

Best Movies on HBO Right Now

43. Lethal Weapon (1987)

Lethal Weapon  •  Trailer

When Lethal Weapon premiered in 1987, it both cemented the tropes of the buddy cop genre and perfected the formula in one fell swoop. The film spawned a number of sequels and a wave of copycats and shallow imitations. The movie is about an ex-Navy SEAL Martin Riggs (Mel Gibson) moves to California and starts working at the LAPD. He is paired with Detective Roger Murtaugh (Danny Glover) and together, they fight some of the most dangerous criminals in the city.

The chemistry between Riggs and Murtaugh is pitch-perfect and the film is just as funny as it is thrilling.

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Critic Review Highlight

It's the gritty script and sheer quality of the performances that distinguish this parable. Full review — James Christopher, Times (UK)

Best Movies on HBO Right Now

42. Enter the Dragon (1973)

Enter the Dragon  •  Trailer

Enter The Dragon was the final completed film to star the legendary martial-arts icon Bruce Lee. The movie is about Lee (Bruce Lee), a Shaolin martial artist, who helps the British Intelligence in an undercover mission to nab Han (Shih Kien), who is involved in drug trafficking and sex trade.

Lee is in great form and the fight scenes are excellent in this kung fu classic. Co-star Jim Kelly also gets his chance to shine alongside Lee.

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Critic Review Highlight

A whoop-and-holler entertainment, which is to say that it's a lavish, corny action movie, not boring for a second and as outrageously wry as it is visually appealing. Full review — Alan R. Howard, Hollywood Reporter

Movies on HBO now

41. The Dark Knight (2008)

The Dark Knight  •  Trailer

The middle film in Christopher Nolan's Batman trilogy, The Dark Knight is near-universally regarded as the best of the series and considered by many to be the best Batman film out of the many alternate adaptations of the original source comics. The movie takes place after Gordon (Gary Oldman), Dent (Aaron Eckhart) and Batman (Christian Bale) begin an assault on Gotham's organised crime, the mobs hire the Joker (Heath Ledger), a psychopathic criminal mastermind who offers to kill Batman and bring the city to its knees.

The Dark Knight plays out like a gritty crime, thriller with a strong script, good action, and a fantastic villain found in the Joker as played to perfection by Heath Ledger.

Best movies on HBO

Critic Review Highlight

Watching the first dizzying, vertiginous overhead shot of the glittering skyscrapers and minuscule streets, I literally forgot to breathe for a second or two, and found myself teetering forward on my seat... Full review — Peter Bradshaw, Guardian

Movies on HBO now

40. The Fountain (2006)

The Fountain  •  Trailer

Darren Aronofsky followed up Requiem for a Dream with the extremely ambitious The Fountain.  The movie is about three people living in different centuries embark on a search for the tree of life in order to protect their loved ones and receive the gift of immortality.

Sometimes unfairly derided, The Fountain tells a singular story through three different time periods and three different genres, each building upon the others in unique fashion. The story is thematically rich and rewards repeat viewing.

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Critic Review Highlight

Anybody could see that Aronofsky was one of the few American filmmakers who saw the cinema past as a jumping-off point, not a toy store to plunder. His films were full of promise; and more, they delivered on their promises. Full review — Richard Corliss, TIME Magazine

Movies on HBO now

39. Election (1999)

Election  •  Trailer

Election is an enduring film from early on in the career of filmmaker Alexander Payne. It's a movie about Tracy (Reese Witherspoon) who runs unopposed for her high school election. However, the school's civics teacher has different plans, so he tells the varsity's popular football player (Mathew Broderick) to run for president and chaos follows.

With a Reese Witherspoon and Mathew Broderick double team at the center, Election offers social commentary and satire with a whip-smart screenplay.

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Critic Review Highlight

A dark, insidiously funny satire on the self-involved ways otherwise rational people can allow narrow personal agendas to lead them astray to the point of self-destruction. Full review — Derek Elley, Variety

Best movies on HBO

38. Raising Arizona (1987)

Raising Arizona  •  Trailer

Raising Arizona was the second feature film to come from the inimitable Coen Brothers. It is their goofiest romp by far as it follows a Nic Cage X Holly Hunter couple who take advantage of a rich family with more children than they need. The movie is about Herbert 'Hi' (Nicolas Cage) and Edwina 'Ed' McDunnough (Holly Hunter) who are childless and cannot adopt because of Hi's criminal past. Their yearning for a child leads them to kidnap one of the quintuplets of a rich businessman.

Look for the over-the-top motorcycle riding, dynamite throwing villain, the dog-filled chase scene, and a great supporting role from John Goodman.

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Critic Review Highlight

To their old fascination with Sunbelt pathology, to their side-winding Steadicam and pristine command of screen space, the Coens have added a robust humor, a plot that keeps outwitting expectations and a...dollop of sympathy for their forlorn kidnapers. Full review — Richard Corliss, TIME Magazine

Best movies on HBO Go

37. Jojo Rabbit (2019)

Jojo Rabbit  •  Trailer

Taika Waititi's latest film is the academy award winning JoJo RabbitThe movie is about Jojo who is a lonely German boy who discovers that his single mother (Scarlett Johansson) is hiding a Jewish girl in their attic. Aided only by his imaginary friend -- Adolf Hitler (Taika Waititi) -- Jojo must confront his blind nationalism as World War II continues to rage on.

This anti-hate satire labasts Hitler and the Nazi party party from the perspective of an impressionable member of the Hitler Youth. This is a hilarious film that also offers a heaping helping of heart. If you’ve already seen Jojo Rabbit, we have a video essay on the movie's most impactful scene.

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Critic Review Highlight

It's Waititi's ability to balance unassailably goofy moments with an acknowledgment of real-life horrors that makes the movie exceptional. Full review — Stephanie Zacharek, TIME Magazine

Best Movies on HBO Right Now

36. Shame (2011)

Shame  •  Trailer

Shame was the second feature-film from British director Steve McQueen who quickly cemented himself as one of the best filmmakers currently working in the industry.  His movie is about a successful and handsome New Yorker Brandon (Michael Fassbender) who seems to live an ordinary life, but he hides a terrible secret behind his mask of normalcy: Brandon is a sex addict. His constant need for gratification numbs him to just about everything else. But, when Sissy (Carey Mulligan), Brandon's needy sister, unexpectedly blows into town, crashes at his apartment and invades his privacy, Brandon is finally forced to confront his addiction head-on.

Shame tackles the difficult subject of sex addiction in the lead character played brilliantly by Michael Fassbender. Carey Mulligan is also great in a supporting role.

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Critic Review Highlight

With tremendous performances from Fassbender and Mulligan, and such superb technique from McQueen, this is a horrible inferno. Full review — Peter Bradshaw, Guardian

Befor the Devil Knows You're Dead  •  Trailer

Before the Devil Knows You're Dead was the final film from legendary filmmaker Sidney Lumet, and what a capstone to his impressive filmography. The movie is about Andy (Philip Seymour Hoffman) and his brother Hank (Ethan Hawke) who decide to rob their parents' jewellery store. Things take a turn for the worse when their father decides to hunt down the criminals, not knowing that they are his own sons.

Philip Seymour Hoffman and Ethan Hawk both give astoundly good performances, and that’s not even mentioning that incredible supporting performances from Albert Finney, Marisa Tomei, and Michael Shannon. The unorthodox visual style might not be to everyone’s liking, but this dark thriller is sure to impress in the acting and script departments.

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Critic Review Highlight

Mr. Lumet has forgotten nothing, and still knows more than almost anyone about the elusive art of directing actors. Full review — Joe Morgenstern, Wall Street Journal

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34. Pi (1998)

Pi  •  Trailer

Darren Aronofsky’s first film, Pi, remains one of his most compelling. The movie is about numbers whiz Max Cohen (Sean Gullette) who is stunted by psychological delusions of paranoia and debilitating headaches. He lives in a messy Chinatown apartment, where he tinkers with equations and his homemade, super-advanced computer. One day, however, Cohen encounters a mysterious number. Soon after reporting his discovery to his mentor (Mark Margolis) and to a religious friend (Ben Shenkman), he finds himself the target of ill-intentioned Wall Street agents bent on using the number for profit.

Combining an extremely striking visual style with inventive camera work and an unforgettable soundtrack, Pi surpasses its small budget with flair. The main character is complex and intriguing, and Aronofsky utilizes the cinematic form to ground you as an audience member thoroughly in this distrubed character’s point of view. The end effect is a dizzying whirlwind of psychological confusion and distortion.

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Critic Review Highlight

Aronofsky, who has parlayed this movie's Sundance success into two Hollywood deals, is that rare indie filmmaker who doesn't want to make hip romantic sitcoms. He's a genuine experimenter with a spooky visual style. Full review — Richard Corliss, TIME Magazine

Must-watch movies on HBO

33. A Woman Under the Influence

A Woman Under the Influence  •  Trailer

A Woman Under the Influence is one of many collaborations between actress Gena Rowlands and her writer-director husband John CassavetesThe movie is about Mabel (Gena Rowlands), a wife and mother, who is loved by her husband Nick (Peter Falk) but her mental illness proves to be a problem in the marriage.

The first act’s pacing is a bit harsh, but stick with it and you’ll be rewarded with one of the most intense and emotionally raw performances ever committed to film from a fully unmasked Gena Rowlands. Peter Falk makes for an excellent foil to his troubled wife.

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Critic Review Highlight

The most frightening scenes are extremely compelling, and this is a thoughtful film that does prompt serious discussion. Full review — Nora Sayer, New York Times

Must-watch movies on HBO

32. The Nice Guys (2016)

The Nice Guys  •  Trailer

The Nice Guys is another buddy cop comedy from Shane Black, the man who practically invented the subgenre with Lethal Weapon, except this time around they aren’t actually cops, and they actually hate each other. The movie is about an Amelia (Margaret Qualley), a girl in hiding, who hires Healy (Russell Crowe) to put March (Ryan Gosling), a detective seeking her, in his place. After two hitmen try to get Healy to reveal her whereabouts, he concernedly pairs with March to find her.

The Nice Guys is absolutely hilarious and makes excellent use of a Russell Crowe X Ryan Gosling duo.

Best movies to watch on HBO

Critic Review Highlight

Everything has its own illogic in "The Nice Guys," a consistently entertaining, frequently violent and generally slapdash action comedy directed by Shane Black. Full review — Joe Morgenstern, Wall Street Journal

Best Movies on HBO

31. A Fish Called Wanda (1988)

A Fish Called Wanda  •  Trailer

A Fish Called Wanda is a film called one of the funniest ever made. The movie is about a Wanda (Jamie Lee Curtis), a con artist, who tries to double-cross her lover and the two members of the gang with whom she conducts a diamond heist. Her plan goes awry when she falls in love.

John Cleese penned the script and stars alongside fellow python Michael Palin as well as Jamie Lee Curtis and Kevin Kline. The Americans hold their own against the British comedy legends, with Kevin Kline possibly even managing to steal the show. It might be rather drab visually, but the script and characters remain blisteringly funny from start to finish.

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Critic Review Highlight

Low comedy at high speed, it pretends to be a caper movie about a smooth London jewel heist and its infinitely complex aftermath. Actually, it's a smart farce about ingrained cultural differences. Full review — Shella Benson, Los Angeles Times

Best Movies on HBO

30. Clerks (1994)

Clerks  •  Trailer

One of the most important independent films ever made, Clerks helped usher in a new era in filmmaking outside of the studio system. The movies is about two store clerks, Dante (Brian O'Halloran) and Randal (Jeff Anderson) , trouble customers, who discuss movies, laze around and play hockey on the store roof all the time.

The film’s meager budget was supplied by writer, director Kevin Smith maxing out all of his credit and getting creative with all of the resources he had at his disposal. Clerk’s low budget shows but all of its rough edges only serve to add to the film’s abundance of charm.

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Critic Review Highlight

It is one of those small-scale American independent movies that you either fall for or you don't, and one would confidently expect most of those fed up with big, empty, run-of-the-mill Hollywood epics to raise at least two cheers. Full review — Derek Malcolm, Guardian

Must-watch movies on HBO

29. Biutiful (2010)

Biutiful  •  Trailer

Alejandro González Iñárritu’s last film before Birdman was Biutiful, the story of Uxbal, a man embarking on a personal journey as death looms large over his head. The movies is about a single father Uxbal (Javier Bardem) who finds out that he is suffering from a terminal disease. As he struggles to secure his children's future, he must also come to terms with the guilt of his occupation.

The supernatural component of the story is perhaps a bit jarring and could be integrated into the rest of the narrative more smoothly, but the drama at play is rich. Biutiful is an emotional story that is as capable of being uplifting as it is bleak and disheartening.

Best movies to watch on HBO

Critic Review Highlight

Irritu's previous films have been multilayered narratives. Here, he sticks to a single, admittedly richly vibrant milieu and a central character who appears in virtually every frame. Full review — Philip French, Guardian

Best Movies on HBO Right Now

28. Day of the Dead (1985)

Day of the Dead  •  Trailer

Day of the Dead was the third film in George A. Romero's incredible ‘dead series’ following the zombie establishing Night of the Living Dead and the sub-genre perfecting Dawn of the DeadThe movie is about a trapped in a missile silo, a small team of scientists, civilians and trigger-happy soldiers who battle desperately to ensure the survival of the human race, but tension inside the base is reaching breaking-point, and the zombies are gathering outside.

Day of the Dead is another all-time great zombie film from the master of the genre. Tom Savini’s special effects are a real highlight and the film is chock-full of iconic scenes.

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Critic Review Highlight

An inventive gore-fest, and one of the best horror movies of the eighties. Full review — Kim Newman, Empire

Must-watch movies on HBO

27. The Last Emperor (1998)

The Last Emperor  •  Trailer

This epic bio-drama chronicles the life of China’s final emperor. The movie is about an Aisin-Gioro Pu Yi, the last emperor of China, who has a sheltered upbringing till his world gets turned upside down by the Chinese revolution, a subsequent exile and an inconspicuous end.

Bernardo Bertolucci helmed this immaculately crafted film that raked in a staggering nine Academy Award wins, including all the major craft categories. Each individual aspect of this film excels; worth watching to hear the stunning score alone with impressive work from David Byrne of Talking Heads fame.

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Critic Review Highlight

Constantly absorbing and tremendously interesting. Full review — Todd McCarthy, Variety

Best Movies on HBO Right Now

26. When Harry Met Sally (1989)

When Harry Met Sally  •  Trailer

When Harry Met Sally just might be the crown jewel of the romantic-comedy genre. The movie is about a chance encounter between two graduates which culminates in a short-term friendship. But when fate brings them back together five years later, they are forced to deal with how they feel about each other.

Written by rom-com veteran Nora Ephron and directed by comedy veteran Rob Reiner, When Harry Met Sally is classic cinematic teamup both on screen and off. The chemistry between Billy Crystal and Meg Ryan is magnetic.

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Critic Review Highlight

When Harry Met Sally... is a sweet, embraceable comedy, a moonstruck Manhattan romance that, like a Gershwin tune, turns the sighs and glances, the spats and reconciliations, all the cliches of the heart into infectious melody. Full review — William Gallagher, BBC

Best Movies on HBO Right Now

25. Beginners (2010)

Beginners  •  Trailer

Beginners was the second feature-film from writer, director Mike Mills, the man behind Thumbsucker and 20th Century Women. The movie is about an Oliver (Ewan McGregor), a graphic designer, who is attracted to a free-spirited and unpredictable Anna (Mélanie Laurent) . Memories of his father encourage him to open himself up to the potential of a true and long-lasting relationship.

Beginners is a great, somber drama with the perfect amount of humor to lighten the mood. The film gets heavy and gets deep without ever losing its sense of fun; it strikes the perfect balance of tones. The editing and production design standout as truly excellent.

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Critic Review Highlight

It is tonally elusive, cerebral and subdued, but this is a film with a healthy, if self-conscious IQ. Full review — Peter Bradshaw, Guardian

Best HBO Movies

24. Punch-Drunk Love (2002)

Punch Drunk Love  •  Trailer

Paul Thomas Anderson’s romantic drama Punch-Drunk Love grabs you from the intriguing opening frame and never lets go. It’s the director’s shortest film, but it packs a lot into its brisk runtime. A movie is about a frustrated Barry Egan (Adam Sandler) who calls a phone-sex line to curb his loneliness. Little does he know that he will land in huge trouble and will also jeopardise his relationship with Lena (Emily Watson).

Adam Sandler gives an excellent dramatic performance and his romance with Emily Watson is undeniably sweet and heartfelt. It’s a different kind of romance film, one with an angry edge and spontaneous bursts of humor.

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Critic Review Highlight

What Anderson and his equally unlikely stars, Adam Sandler and Emily Watson, have managed is to stretch the boundaries of the romantic comedy genre to their extreme outer limits. Full review — Kenneth Turan, Los Angeles Times

Best Movies on HBO Right Now

23. Boogie Nights (1997)

Boogie Nights  •  Trailer

The sophomore effort from director Paul Thomas Anderson became a cultural phenomenon and served as the director’s breakthrough to mainstream success. The movie takes place in the San Fernando Valley in 1977, where teenage busboy Eddie Adams (Mark Wahlberg) gets discovered by porn director Jack Horner (Burt Reynolds), who transforms him into adult-film sensation Dirk Diggler. Brought into a supportive circle of friends, including fellow actors Amber Waves (Julianne Moore), Rollergirl (Heather Graham) and Reed Rothchild (John C. Reilly), Dirk fulfills all his ambitions, but a toxic combination of drugs and egotism threatens to take him back down.

The lengthy runtime breezes right by in this exceedingly fun film. The many characters all feel fully fleshed-out and performed to perfection.

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Critic Review Highlight

Boogie Nights, an epic tale of porn, pleasure, and excess, offers a purer hit of exhilaration than any movie this year. Full review — Owen Glelberman, Entertainment Weekly

Best HBO Movies

22. Before Sunrise + Before Sunset (1995 - 2004)

Before Sunrise  •  Trailer

Before Sunrise and Before Sunset both joined the HBO Max platform this month. The Before trilogy is one of a handful of crowning achievements in writer/director Richard Linklater’s career. HBO Max is not currently offering Before Midnight so you may need to seek the conclusion to the trilogy elsewhere. The movie takes place while travelling on a train in Europe, Jesse, an American man, meets Celine, a French woman. On his last day in Europe before returning to the US, he decides to spend his remaining hours with her.

 The Before stand easily alongside cinema’s greatest on-screen romances. The wall-to-wall dialogue is captivating and supremely natural. Warning, you may cry during one or all three of these films.

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Critic Review Highlight

Before Sunrise is so much like real life -- like a documentary with an invisible camera -- that I found myself remembering real conversations I had experienced with more or less the same words. Full review — Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times

Best HBO Movies

21. Nocturnal Animals (2016)

Nocturnal Animals  •  Trailer

Tom Ford’s second feature film is a genuine masterpiece of the thriller genre. The movie is about Susan (Amy Adams) who receives a manuscript of her ex-husband Edward's (Jake Gyllenhaal) new novel and finds it very compelling. However, the story forces her to confront several disturbing truths about their marital life.

 Nocturnal Animals presents an excellent script in the perfect light. This dark, twisty thriller will keep you on the edge of your seat with great acting across the board and a real artist’s touch behind the camera. We can't wait for what Ford directs next.

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Critic Review Highlight

Tom Ford hits it out of the park with a stunning film noir that resonates with ghostly, poetic terror. Don't overthink what Ford has so cunningly crafted. Surrender to it. Full review — Peter Travers, Rolling Stone

Must-watch movies on HBO

20. Prisoners (2013)

Prisoners  •  Trailer

Denis Villeneuve rocketed into Hollywood consciousness with his first American-made film, Prisoners. The movie takes place when the police take time to find Keller Dover's daughter and her friend, when he decides to go on a search himself. His desperation leads him closer to finding the truth and also jeopardises his own life.

A bleak mystery-thriller with morally grey protagonists and eerily-honest antagonists. A never-better Hugh Jackman leads a strong cast through this excellent script.

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Critic Review Highlight

A certain dour realist vigour keeps the nightmare alive. Full review — Peter Bradshaw, Guardian

Must-watch movies on HBO

19. Amelie (2001)

Amelie  •  Trailer

Amelie is just about as whimsical as a film can get, even giving Wes Anderson a run for his money. The movie is about Amelie (Audrey Tautou), a young waitress, who despite being caught in her imaginative world, decides to help people find happiness. Her quest to spread joy leads her on a journey where she finds true love.

The production design and cinematography of Amelie are exquisite, and the titular heroine is sure to wheedle her way into your heart.

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Critic Review Highlight

What comes across most powerfully is Jeunet's athletic, playful directing style, a tour de force of tricks, gags and effects. Full review — Andrew Pulver, Guardian

Best Movies on HBO Right Now

18. The Matrix (1999)

The Matrix  •  Trailer

The Matrix was a cultural phenomenon immediately upon release. Rarely does a film so quickly and completely take over the zeitgeist. The movie is about Thomas Anderson (Keanu Reeves), a computer programmer, who is led to fight an underground war against powerful computers who have constructed his entire reality with a system called the Matrix.

 Taking the sequels out of the equation, The Matrix is an incredible piece of science-fiction and action filmmaking. So much innovation in craft and technique went into pulling off this film.

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Critic Review Highlight

A wildly cinematic futuristic thriller that is determined to overpower the imagination, The Matrix combines traditional science-fiction premises with spanking new visual technology in a way that almost defies description. Full review — Kenneth Turan, Los Angeles Times

Must-watch movies on HBO

17. City of God (2002)

City of God   •  Trailer

City of God is an epic gangster film spanning three decades of gang life in Brazil. The movie takes place in the poverty-stricken favelas of Rio de Janeiro in the 1970s, where two young men choose different paths. Rocket (Seu Jorge) is a budding photographer who documents the increasing drug-related violence of his neighborhood. José "Zé" Pequeno (Leandro Firmino da Hora) is an ambitious drug dealer who uses Rocket and his photos as a way to increase his fame as a turf war erupts with his rival, "Knockout Ned" (Matheus Nachtergaele).

 Memorable characters, an inventive script, bold camera work and editing, and a great sense of directorial style make City of God a must watch. City of God should rank highly on any list of the greatest gangster films ever made.

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Critic Review Highlight

City of God delivers a bruising, visceral experience of the vicious spiral of violence that draws kids into a life of crime, brutality and murder as the only avenue open to them. Full review — David Rooney, Variety

Must-watch movies on HBO

16. In Bruges (2008)

In Bruges  •  Trailer

In Bruges was the feature film debut of Martin McDonagh. The script scored him his first Best Original Screenplay nomination, with his second arriving nine years later with 3 Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri. The movie is about Ray (Colin Farrell) and Ken (Brendan Gleeson), two hitmen, who get stuck in Bruges, Belgium, after an unsuccessful mission. The situation becomes complicated when their boss asks Ken to kill Ray.

The film is packed with memorable lines and deep, belly laughs, and Colin Farrell has never been better.

Best movies to watch on HBO

Critic Review Highlight

In Bruges is a haunting and hypnotic movie, just the thing to get lost in. Full review — Peter Travers, Rolling Stones

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15. Ali: Fear Eats the Soul (1974)

Ali: Fear Eats the Soul  •  Trailer

From director Rainer Werner Fassbinder, Ali: Fear Eats the Soul is a surprisingly understated yet nuanced story of the human spirit. The movie is about Emmi (Brigitte Mira) , a sixty-year-old German woman, who falls in love with Ali (El Hedi ben Salem), a Moroccan immigrant, twenty-five years her junior. The couple faces rejection from friends and this puts a strain on their relationship.

From the outside it appears to be incredibly simple film; few characters, few locations, simple, restrained cinematography… but the simplistic appearance hides a great depth of emotional resonance and character-driven thematic exploration.

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Critic Review Highlight

Technically flawless, deceptively simple and avoiding excesses, it is about problems that are timely and timeless in implications. Full review — Variety

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14. Dragged Across Concrete (2018)

Dragged Across Concrete  •  Trailer

Robbed of its theatrical release due to a dispute with the studio, S. Craig Zahler’s third feature film is a towering testament to his talents as an auteur. The movie is about police partners (Mel Gibson & Vince Vaughn) who descend into the criminal underworld after they are suspended for assaulting a suspect on video.

The 2-hour-39-minute runtime is entirely justified as Dragged Across Concrete becomes one of the most tense cinematic experiences you will likely ever have throughout the entirety of the third act.

Best movies to watch on HBO

Critic Review Highlight

This is a long film, but there is something so horribly compelling about its unhurried slouch towards the precipice. Full review — Peter Bradshaw, Guardian

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13. The Conversation (1974)

The Conversation  •  Trailer

In 1974, Francis Ford Coppola released The Conversation just months before the release of The Godfather: Part II. The movie is about a surveillance expert Harry Caul (Gene Hackman) who is hired by a mysterious client's brusque aide (Harrison Ford) to tail a young couple, Mark (Frederic Forrest) and Ann (Cindy Williams). Tracking the pair through San Francisco's Union Square, Caul and his associate Stan (John Cazale) manage to record a cryptic conversation between them. Tormented by memories of a previous case that ended badly, Caul becomes obsessed with the resulting tape, trying to determine if the couple are in danger.

The fact that Coppola was able to squeeze The Conversation in between production of the two Godfather films is a true testament to the cinematic force he was in the 1970s. The Conversation is both a gripping character study and a thought-provoking exploration into the nature of surveillance. Gene Hackman gives one of, if not the, best performances of his career.

Best movies to watch on HBO

Critic Review Highlight

A major artistic asset to the film -- besides script, direction and the top performances -- is supervising editor Walter Murch's sound collage and re-recording. Full review — Variety

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12. Sophie’s Choice (1982)

Sophie's Choice  •  Trailer

Meryl Streep turns in a career defining performance in this devastating drama. The movie is about Stingo (Peter MacNicol), a young writer, who moves to Brooklyn in 1947 to begin work on his first novel. As he becomes friendly with Sophie (Meryl Streep) and her lover Nathan (Kevin Kline), he learns that Sophie is a Holocaust survivor. Flashbacks reveal her harrowing story, from pre-war prosperity to Auschwitz. In the present, Sophie and Nathan's relationship increasingly unravels as Stingo grows closer to Sophie and Nathan's fragile mental state becomes ever more apparent.

The only misstep is focusing too much on the less interesting Stingo as the protagonist, though his perspective does make for a compelling, gradual reveal of information about our titular heroin. Kevin Kline also turns in a layered performance as a deeply complicated character that keeps the present day storyline engrossing alongside the heartbreaking flashbacks.

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Critic Review Highlight


So perfectly cast and well-imagined that it just takes over and happens to you. It's quite an experience.. Full review — Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times

Best Movies Ever on HBO

11. Blood Simple (1984)

Blood Simple  •  Trailer

The Coen Brothers came out swinging for the fences with this their debut feature. The movie is about a man who hires detectives to find out whether or not his wife has been cheating on him. He orders the detective to kill her off if his suspicions turn out to be true.

Blood Simple is a tense thriller with a hard-hitting, noir edged script and a carefully constructed climactic cat and mouse chase that will have you on the edge of your seat.

Best Ever Movies on HBO

Critic Review Highlight

A gripping, drum-tight noir masterpiece to compare with Touch of Evil. Full review — Peter Bradshaw, Guardian

Must-watch movies on HBO

10. Fight Club (1999)

Fight Club  •  Trailer

Few films infect the zeitgeist as immediately and fully as David Fincher’s Fight Club. The movie is about white-collared insomniac (Edward Norton) who discontented with his capitalistic lifestyle, forms an underground fight club with Tyler (Brad Pitt), a careless soap salesman. The project soon spirals down into something sinister.

Though the message of the film is often misunderstood, Fight Club’s thought provoking themes still resonate as well in 2020 as they did when the original novel was first written. Fight Club is a stylishly assembled flick that also happens to contain one of cinema’s greatest twists; oft parroted, rarely matched.

[Best Movies of All Time on HBO]

Critic Review Highlight

An outrageous mixture of brilliant technique, puerile philosophizing, trenchant satire and sensory overload, Fight Club is the most incendiary movie to come out of Hollywood in a long time. It's a mess, but one worth fighting about. Full review — David Ansen, Newsweek

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9. Aliens (1986)

Aliens  •  Trailer

James Cameron’s follow up to the 1979 sci-fi classic is rightly hailed as one of the best sequels ever made. The movie is about Ellen Ripley (Sigourney Weaver) who is sent back to the planet LV-426 to establish contact with a terraforming colony. Once there, she encounters the Alien Queen and her offspring and has to fight them to survive.

Aliens trades some of the focus on horror of the first film for a larger emphasis on action, while keeping things tense and claustrophobic. This is a sequel that ups the scale and spectacle on all fronts.

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Critic Review Highlight

It's blaster action, not Gothic future-horror. Fortunately, director-screenwriter James Cameron has shaped his film around the defiant intelligence and sensual athleticism of Weaver, and that's where Aliens works best. Full review — Shella Benson, Los Angeles Times

Best Movies of All Time on HBO

8. Die Hard (1988)

Die Hard  •  Trailer

One of the best action films ever made, hands down, and in contention for the top spot of all time. The movie is about detective John McClane (Bruce Willis) who hoping to spend Christmas with his estranged wife, arrives in LA. However, he learns about a hostage situation in an office building and his wife is one of the hostages.

Also it just so happens to be one of the best Christmas films ever made, and that’s a fact. Die Hard excels with a lovable every-man protagonist, a villain for the ages, and hard-hitting, inventive action scenes.

Best movies to watch on HBO

Critic Review Highlight

Die Hard is as high tech, rock hard and souped up as an action film can be. Full review — Variety

Best Movies of All Time on HBO

7. Dog Day Afternoon (1975)

Dog Day Afternoon  •  Trailer

Dog Day Afternoon is an incredible film from master filmmaker Sidney Lumet. The movie is about a man (Al Pacino) who decides to rob a local Brooklyn bank to pay for his lover's operation, but he is forced to take hostages after the heist does not go as planned.

 The film tells the true story of a bank robbery gone wrong but the film places 100% of the focus on the characters over the potential action and thrills of a typical heist film. The entire cast fires on all cylinders in a film that was largely improvised when it came to the dialogue while the structure of the film came from an article about the real-life event.

Best movies to watch on HBO

Critic Review Highlight

Dog Day Afternoon is, in the whole as well as the parts, filmmaking at its best. Full review — Variety

Must-watch movies on HBO

6. Jaws (1975)

Jaws  •  Trailer

Jaws is arguably Steven Spielberg’s best film. The movie is about a police chief (Roy Scheider), a marine scientist (Richard Dreyfuss) and a fisherman (Robert Shaw) who spring into action after a white shark terrorises the inhabitants of Amity, a quiet island.

A pioneer of the summer blockbuster and remarkable exercise in tension. It’s the interplay between the human characters that makes this shark film work so well. The growing chemistry of the leads showcases excellent character work across the board.

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Critic Review Highlight

Delivers an astonishingly effective thriller built on a very primal level: fear... On a sheer cause and effect basis, it could be Spielberg's finest. Full review — William Thomas, Empire

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5. Se7en (1995)

Se7en  •  Trailer

Se7en was David Fincher’s first masterpiece (of many), just his second feature-film following Alien 3, which he later disowned. A movie is about a serial killer who begins murdering people according to the seven deadly sins. Two detectives (Brad Pitt & Morgan Freeman), one new to the city and the other about to retire, are tasked with apprehending the criminal.

Se7en is one of the best thrillers ever made and is a timeless classic of the serial-killer subgenre. The script is tight, the direction is taut, and the performances are excellent.

Best Movies of All Time on HBO

Critic Review Highlight

A dark, gripping thriller which saves it's most shocking revelations for the final scenes. Full review — Mark Salisbury, Empire

Must-watch movies on HBO

4. Doubt (2008)

Doubt  •  Trailer

John Patrick Shanley wrote and directed this adaptation of his own play.  The movie takes place after a nun (Meryl Streep) observes Father Flynn's (Philip Seymour Hoffman) closeness with Donald (Joseph Foster), a black student and the altar boy, when she reports her suspicions to the principal. Together, they try to expose Flynn's antics.

Doubt is a heavy drama that takes aim at abuse within the catholic church through complex character and an objective, limited point of view. This is an incredible film full of astounding performances from Philip Seymour Hoffman, Meryl Streep, Amy Adams, and a scene-stealing Viola Davis.

Best Movies of All Time on HBO

Critic Review Highlight

The air is thick with paranoia in “Doubt,” but nowhere as thick, juicy, sustained or sustaining as Meryl Streep’s performance. Full review — Manohla Dargis, The NYTimes

Best Movies Ever on HBO.

3. Alien (1979)

Alien  •  Trailer

Ridley Scott’s seminal 1979 film is a masterpiece of both the sci-fi and horror genres. The movie is about the crew of a spacecraft, Nostromo, who intercept a distress signal from a planet and set out to investigate it. However, to their horror, they are attacked by an alien which later invades their ship.

Even the smallest details of this late-70s classic have been infused into the cinematic zeitgeist. Ripley, Dallas, the Xenomorph, the facehugger, the chest burster, the eggs, the android, the space jockey, Jonesy, Mother, even the simple matter of the set design and sound design have achieved legendary status.

Best Movies of All Time on HBO

Critic Review Highlight

After 40 years, this sci-fi horror masterpiece still feels lethally contemporary. Full review — Peter Bradshaw, Guardian

Best Movies of All Time on HBO

2. The Diving Bell and the Butterfly 

The Diving Bell and the Butterfly  •  Trailer

The Diving Bell and the Butterfly tells the real-life story of Elle magazine editor Jean-Dominique Bauby who found himself struck by Locked-in Syndrome, an affliction that left his entire body paralyzed except for one of his eyes.

 It’s a captivating tale that speaks to the strength of the human spirit and the will to survive and overcome seemingly insurmountable obstacles.

Top Movies on HBO

Critic Review Highlight

Nothing in director Julian Schnabel's career so far has anticipated the sweetness, sadness, maturity and restraint of this lovely movie. Full review — Peter Bradshaw, Guardian

Best Movies Ever on HBO

1. Requiem For a Dream (2000)

Requiem for a Dream  •  Trailer

Requiem for a Dream is the crown jewel of Darren Aronofsky’s career. The movie is about the drug-induced utopias of four Coney Island people which are shattered when their addictions run deep.

One of the best films ever produced, a harrowing tale of addiction desperation. Requiem For a Dream is a bleak and upsetting watch that showcases the raw power of cinema.

Best Movies of All Time on HBO

Critic Review Highlight

This is, without a doubt, cutting-edge film-making. Full review — Ben Falk, BBC

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The Best Movies on Netflix

Whether you simply watched everything on our Best Movies on HBO list or are still browsing for entertainment, we've got you covered. In this case, we have the absolute best movies on Netflix playing right now. Across every genre and decade, if you want to watch something great, this playlist will get the job done. 

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