The Best Movies on HBO Right Now (October 2021)

The top films to watch on HBO

While HBO started in the 1970s as a subscription cable channel, it's expanded to offer streaming services like HBO Max. But no matter how you watch it, it has hundreds of films available from the Golden Age of classic films to modern-day, just-released theatrical movies. To help you make the most of your time, we've rounded up the best movies on HBO right now. 

01
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Dune (2021): An Ambitious Adaptation of the Classic Sci-Fi Novel

Zendaya and Timothée Chalamet in 'Dune'

Warner Bros.

IMDb rating: 8.5/10

Genre: Sci-Fi

Starring: Timothée Chalamet, Rebecca Ferguson, Oscar Isaac, Zendaya

Director: Denis Villeneuve

Rating: PG-13

Runtime: 2 hours, 35 minutes

Director Denis Villeneuve is known for creating films full of visual spectacle and beauty, and his version of Dune is no different. Based on the classic Frank Herbert sci-fi novel, it's about the son of a noble family whose destiny involves safeguarding the universe's most precious resource. While the film is as epic as its source material, it's also a bit hard for newcomers to digest. But if you're willing to struggle through some sci-fi jargon, you'll find it's a gorgeous movie filled with adventure and political intrigue.

02
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The Many Saints of Newark (2021): A Solid 'Sopranos' Prequel

Ray Liotta, Alessandro Nivola, Corey Stoll, Jon Bernthal, John Magaro, and Billy Magnussen in 'The Many Saints of Newark'

Warner Bros.

IMDb rating: 7.8/10

Genre: Crime, Drama

Starring: Michael Gandolfini, Alessandro Nivola, Leslie Odom Jr.

Director: Alan Taylor

Rating: R

Runtime: 2 hours

The Sopranos is one of the most beloved television shows of all time. This film is a prequel, detailing the early life of Tony Soprano before he became the feared and flawed mobster fans watched for six seasons. Michael Gandolfini, son of the late actor James Gandolfini, ably steps into the role his father made famous. Backed by a good supporting cast and script, The Many Saints of Newark should please both Sopranos fans and newcomers.

03
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Cry Macho (2021): Clint Eastwood's Latest Drama

Clint Eastwood and Eduardo Minett in 'Cry Macho'

Claire Folger/Warner Bros. Entertainment

IMDb rating: 6.0/10

Genre: Drama

Starring: Clint Eastwood, Dwight Yoakam, Eduardo Minett

Director: Clint Eastwood

Rating: PG-13

Runtime: 1 hour, 44 minutes

Director/actor Clint Eastwood's latest film is based on the book of the same name from N. Richard Nash. It tells the story of a former rodeo star and horse breeder in the 1970s who agrees to take a man's young son away from his alcoholic mom and escort him home. And he imparts a few life lessons to the kid along the way.

04
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Mad Max Fury Road (2015): One of the Best Action Films Ever Made

Mad Max: Fury Road official still

Warner Bros.

IMDb rating: 8.1/10

Genre: Action

Starring: Tom Hardy, Charlize Theron, Nicholas Hoult

Director: George Miller

Rating: R

Runtime: 2 hours

In an era when action movies are filled with CGI, Mad Mad Fury Road is a rare treat. It's an action movie made almost entirely with practical effects and stunts. And the result is mind-bogglingly awesome. The plot is sparse; the titular Mad Max (Tom Hardy) helps a handful of women escape from the villainous Immortan Joe and his band of post-apocalyptic warriors. But you're not really watching for the plot anyway. It's all about the spectacle.

05
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The Goonies (1985): The Beloved '80s Adventure Still Holds Up

The Goonies
Credit: Courtesy of Warner Bros.

IMDb rating: 7.8/10

Genre: Adventure

Starring: Sean Astin, Josh Brolin, Jeff Cohen

Director: Richard Donner

Rating: PG

Runtime: 1 hour, 54 minutes

To an entire generation who grew up in the '80s, The Goonies is like a warm fuzzy blanket of nostalgia. This tale of a group of misfits who go looking for a buried pirate treasure while being pursued by bumbling criminals still manages to charm over 35 years later. It's a fun film that's worth introducing to the kids (if you haven't already).

06
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No Sudden Move (2021): Soderbergh's Latest Crime Drama

Benicio Del Toro and Don Cheadle 'No Sudden Move'

Warner Bros.

IMDb rating: 6.5/10

Genre: Crime, Drama

Starring: Amy Seimetz, Brendan Fraser, Benicio Del Toro, Don Cheadle

Director: Steven Soderbergh

Motion Picture Rating: R

Running Time: 1 hour, 55 minutes

No Sudden Move is the latest crime drama from director Steven Soderbergh (Logan Lucky, Ocean's Eleven). Set in 1950s Detroit, it's about a bunch of criminals who are hired to steal a document. But when the heist goes wrong, they search for the mysterious person who employed them. The film features a fantastic cast of well-known actors, including Brendan Fraser, Benicio Del Toro, Don Cheadle, Jon Hamm, and more, and promises to be a noirish period crime caper full of twists.

07
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Tenet (2020): Christopher Nolan's Latest Trippy Sci-Fi Flick

John David Washington and Robert Pattinson in 'Tenet'

Warner Bros.

IMDb rating: 7.4/10

Genre: Action, Sci-Fi

Starring: John David Washington, Robert Pattinson, Elizabeth Debicki 

Director: Christopher Nolan

Motion Picture Rating: PG-13

Running Time: 2 hours, 30 minutes

Tenet stars John David Washington and Robert Pattinson as secret agents who utilize time travel to prevent an apocalyptic attack. To say more about this trippy sci-fi film would spoil it. Some things you should just experience for yourself. Like director Christopher Nolan's other films, Tenet is visually stunning, but some viewers might also find it a bit confusing.

08
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Clueless (1995): A Satirical Sendup of Jane Austen

Characters from the movie Clueless

Everett Collection 

IMDb rating: 6.8/10

Genre: Comedy

Starring: Alicia Silverstone, Brittany Murphy, Stacey Dash

Director: Amy Heckerling

Motion Picture Rating: PG-13

Running Time: 1 hour, 37 minutes

An influential film for '90s kids, Clueless offers a funny, satirical version of Jane Austen's classic novel Emma. Cher (Alicia Silverstone) is a teenage Beverly Hills socialite who decides to take new student Tai (Brittany Murphy) under her wing and give her a glamorous makeover. But when Tai becomes more popular and they have a falling out, she starts to re-evaluate her life. The film was praised by critics when it released for its humor and its sharp dialogue, which accurately captured how teens talked in the 1990s. Plus, the film is worth a watch simply to marvel at actor Paul Rudd's inability to age over the decades since its release.

09
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Won't You Be My Neighbor? (2018): An Honest Look at a Beloved TV Icon

Portrait Of Mister Rogers
Fotos International / Getty Images

IMDb rating: 8.4/10

Genre: Documentary

Starring: Fred Rogers, Joanne Rogers, John Rogers

Director: Morgan Neville

Motion Picture Rating: PG-13

Running Time: 1 hour, 35 minutes

This biographical film documents the life and career of Fred Rogers, beloved TV icon and host of the long-running children's show Mr. Rogers' Neighborhood. The film won numerous awards and was praised by critics as a fitting and emotional tribute to the man who entertained most of us during our childhoods.

10
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Zack Snyder’s Justice League (2021): It Can't Be Worse Than the Original, Right?

justice league

IMDb rating: 8.3/10

Genre: Action, Adventure

Starring: Henry Cavill, Ben Affleck, Gal Gadot

Director: Zack Snyder

Rating: R

Runtime: 4 hours

Zack Snyder had to quit filming the original Justice League after the death of his daughter. Director Joss Whedon finished it. But, it was a box office bomb. Many fans begged Warner Bros. for an alternate cut that's more faithful to Snyder's original vision for the film, and they finally got it. This new version has updated visual effects, a new score, and new material.

11
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When Harry Met Sally (1989): The Gold Standard for Modern Romantic Comedies

When Harry Met Sally

Columbia Pictures/Alamy

 

IMDb rating: 7.6/10

Genre: Comedy, Romance

Starring: Billy Crystal, Meg Ryan, Carrie Fisher 

Director: Rob Reiner

Motion Picture Rating: R

Running Time: 1 hour, 35 minutes

This classic romantic comedy stars Billy Crystal and Meg Ryan as the eponymous Harry and Sally, a pair of friends who are obviously made for each other but too afraid to commit because they don't want to ruin their friendship. The film is filled with laughs, smart dialogue, and will-they-won't-they tension. It's arguably one of the best romantic comedies of all time, and worthy of repeat viewing.

12
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Life of Pi (2012): Best Reluctant Friendship Between a Man and a Tiger

Suraj Sharma in Life of Pi (2012)

Twentieth Century Fox

IMDb rating: 7.9/10

Genre: Adventure, Drama

Starring: Suraj Sharma, Irrfan Khan, Adil Hussain 

Director: Ang Lee

Motion Picture Rating: PG

Running Time: 2 hours, 7 minutes

Based on the Yann Martel novel of the same name, Life of Pi is the exciting tale of a young man who survives a shipwreck and finds himself stranded in a rowboat with a single stowaway—a Bengal tiger. Adrift on the Pacific Ocean with no help in sight, the man struggles to sustain himself while forming a bond with his new boatmate. The film is both emotional and charming, with stunning visuals, and it nabbed director Ang Lee an Oscar the year it debuted.

13
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Good Morning, Vietnam (1987): An Iconic Robin Williams Performance

Good Morning Vietnam
Sunset Boulevard / Getty Images

IMDb rating: 7.3/10

Genre: Comedy, Drama

Starring: Robin Williams, Forest Whitaker, Tom. T. Tran

Director: Barry Levinson

Motion Picture Rating: R

Running Time: 2 hours, 1 minute

The film that helped make comedian and actor Robin Williams a household name, Good Morning, Vietnam very loosely chronicles the real-life exploits of Armed Forces Radio Service DJ Adrian Cronauer during the Vietnam War. Rebellious and irreverent, he defies his superiors by playing popular rock music for the troops while simultaneously befriending some of the Vietnamese people his country is at war against. Good Morning, Vietnam introduced an entire generation of moviegoers to Williams' manic energy and humor, and it's still an effective showcase of the late star's incredible talent.

14
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The King of Staten Island (2020): Another Lovable Slacker Movie From Judd Apatow

Pete Davidson in "The King of Staten Island"

Universal Pictures

IMDb rating: 7.1/10

Genre: Comedy, Drama

Starring: Pete Davidson, Bel Powley, Ricky Velez 

Director: Judd Apatow

Rating: R

Runtime: 2 hours, 16 minutes

Director Judd Apatow is known for making funny movies about stoners, slackers, and man-children. His latest is The King of Staten Island. Starring Saturday Night Live's Pete Davidson, it's about an aimless loafer who dreams of becoming a tattoo artist. While it perhaps goes on a bit too long, critics call it a sweet coming of age story filled with sincere emotion and humor.

15
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Between The World And Me (2020): A Timely Adaptation of the Best-Selling Book

Artwork from the HBO documentary 'Between the World and Me.'

HBO 

IMDb rating: 7.4/10

Genre: Documentary

Starring: Mahershala Ali, Angela Bassett, Courtney B. Vance

Director: Kamilah Forbes

Rating: TV-14

Runtime: 1 hour, 25 minutes

Based on the critically-acclaimed best-selling book from Ta-Nehisi Coates, Between the World and Me is a powerful look at what it's like growing up as a Black man in America. Coates frames his book as a letter to his teenage son, and it's as relevant now as it was when it was first published in 2015. The HBO film is part stage adaptation, part animation, and part documentary. It features appearances by Ta-Nehisi Coates, Mahershala Ali, Angela Bassett, Oprah Winfrey, and many more.

16
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Magic Mike (2012): Best Girls' Night Flick

Matt Bomer, Joe Manganiello, Kevin Nash, Adam Rodriguez, and Channing Tatum in 'Magic Mike.'

 Warner Bros.

IMDb rating: 6.1/10

Genre: Comedy, Drama

Starring: Channing Tatum, Alex Pettyfer, Olivia Munn

Director: Steven Soderbergh

Rating: R

Runtime: 1 hour, 50 minutes

Mike (Channing Tatum) is a handyman and roofer by day and a male stripper by night. But he secretly wants to start his own furniture-making business. He takes a 19-year-old kid, Adam (Alex Pettyfer) under his wing at the all-male revue he works for in Tampa, Florida. But, Adam's recklessness soon endangers Mike's ambitions and his relationship with the kid's sister.

OK, it sounds a bit hokey, but Magic Mike is a surprisingly fun film thanks to some spirited performances from its stars. Matthew McConaughey practically steals the picture alone. If you're looking for a good film to watch with your best girlfriends, this is a top choice.

17
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John Lewis: Good Trouble (2020): A Worthy Tribute to an Inspiring Activist

John Lewis
Congressman John Lewis was a Freedom Rider. zflickr.com

IMDb rating: 7.1/10

Genre: Documentary

Starring: Bill Clinton, Hillary Clinton, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez

Director: Dawn Porter

Rating: PG

Runtime: 1 hour, 36 minutes

John Lewis, who died in 2020, was a member of the U.S. House of Representatives for Georgia's 5th congressional district for more than 30 years. He was one of the "Big Six" leaders who organized the 1963 March on Washington, and he led the first Selma march across the Edmund Pettus Bridge. Good Trouble is a worthy tribute to the activist, documenting his life and his struggles for equality.

18
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David Byrne’s American Utopia: Best Musical for '80s Fans

David Byrne performs in 'David Byrne's American Utopia.'

HBO

 

IMDb rating: 8.3/10

Genre: Documentary, Musical

Starring: David Byrne, Chris Giarmo, Jacqueline Acevedo

Director: Spike Lee

Rating: TV-14

Runtime: 1 hour, 45 minutes

American Utopia is an adaptation of the Broadway show and music album of the same name created by Talking Heads frontman David Byrne and Brian Eno. The show features songs from this latest album along with older hits like "Once in a Lifetime" and "Burning Down the House." After the Broadway show earned rave reviews, director Spike Lee decided to direct a film version, and it's a brainy, playful expression of art.

19
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Hairspray (2007): A Charming Remake of a Campy Classic

John Travolta and Nikki Blonsky in 'Hairspray.'

 New Line Cinema

IMDb rating: 6.6/10

Genre: Musical

Starring: John Travolta, Queen Latifah, Nikki Blonsky

Director: Adam Shankman

Rating: PG

Runtime: 1 hour, 57 minutes

Hairspray is a star-studded remake of the 1988 John Waters film of the same name (it's also a hit Broadway musical). It chronicles the adventures of an overweight teen named Tracy Turnblad who dreams of being a dancer on a TV show during the 1960s. It's as charmingly campy as its source material, while also tackling serious social issues like segregation. Give this movie a chance if you're looking for a cheerful good time.

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