The Best Movies on HBO Right Now (May 2022)

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, HBO 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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The Batman (2022): The Dark Knight Returns Again

Robert Pattinson in The Batman

IMDb rating: 8.3/10

Genre: Action, Crime, Drama

Starring: Robert Pattinson, Zoë Kravitz, Paul Dano

Director: Matt Reeves

Motion Picture Rating: PG-13

Running Time: 2 hours, 56 minutes

Two years into his stint as the caped crusader, Batman (Robert Pattinson) has a lot of enemies, but he also has a deranged admirer known as the Riddler (Paul Dano). As the Riddler goes after Gotham's elite one by one, the city's future is once again in the hands of the dark knight.

With its stellar cast, writing, and action sequences, The Batman is the Batman movie you didn't know you needed. Standout performances include Zoë Kravitz as Catwoman and Colin Farrell as Penguin.

02
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Kimi (2022): A Tech-Savvy Take on a Classic Premise

Zoë Kravitz in Kimi 2022

HBO Max

IMDb rating: 6.3/10

Genre: Crime, Drama, Thriller

Starring: Zoë Kravitz, Erika Christensen, Rita Wilson

Director: Steven Soderbergh

Rating: R

Runtime: 1 hour, 29 minutes

As an employee of Amygdala Corporation, Angela (Zoë Kravitz) works from home monitoring data collected by the company's smart speaker, Kimi. When she intercepts evidence of a crime, Angela's supervisors tell her to ignore it, leading Angela to launch her own investigation.

Kimi manages to feel both fresh and familiar by applying a technological twist to a classic Hitchcockian premise.

03
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Thelma & Louise (1991): A Classic Road Movie with a Feminist Message

Thelma & Louise holding guns

Pathe Entertainment

IMDb rating: 7.5/10

Genre: Drama

Starring: Susan Sarandon, Geena Davis

Director: Ridley Scott

Rating: R

Runtime: 2 hours, 10 minutes

Thelma (Geena Davis) is a meek housewife who agrees to go on a road trip with her best friend Louise (Susan Sarandon). But, when they run into trouble on the road, they wind up becoming fugitives fleeing to Mexico. At times both funny and heartbreaking, this movie's great performances and feminist slant helped make it a pop culture phenomenon.

04
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Nightmare Alley (2021): Guillermo Del Toro's Beautiful Noir

Cate Blanchett and Bradley Cooper in Nightmare Alley (2021)

IMDb rating: 7.4/10

Genre: Crime, Mystery

Starring: Bradley Cooper, Cate Blanchett, Toni Collette

Director: Guillermo Del Toro

Rating: R

Runtime: 2 hours, 30 minutes

Director Guillermo Del Toro's previous film, The Shape of Water, was a poignant and touching story about two lost souls finding each other and truly connecting despite one of them being a cat-eating fish man. Nightmare Alley is not quite so lovely but is still full of the solid performances and beautiful visuals that make all of Del Toro's work so special.

This movie is an adaptation of William Lindsay Gresham's 1946 novel (which received its first film version in 1947) and tells the story of Stanton Carlisle (Cooper), a man with a shady past who finds a good – and potentially lucrative – hiding spot in a traveling carnival. This study of the dark side of an already pretty seedy world is a must-see for fans of noir and Del Toro.

05
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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.

06
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Joker (2019): Grittiest Villain Origin Story Without a Superhero

Joaquin Phoenix in Joker

HBO Max

IMDb rating: 8.4/10

Genre: Crime, Drama, Thriller

Starring: Joaquin Phoenix, Robert De Niro, Zazie Beetz

Director: Todd Phillips

Rating: R

Runtime: 2 hours, 2 minutes

Before there was Batman, there was a down-on-his-luck clown named Arthur Fleck. When the Joker elicits outrage from billionaire Thomas Wayne, it has a backlash effect as people take to the streets in clown masks.

Joaquin Phoenix's performance isn't quite as memorable as previous interpretations of the character. Nonetheless, his take on Gotham's most famous villain is the best we've seen in the recent slew of DC films.

07
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Moonshot (2022): Most Out-of-This-World Rom-Com

Cole Sprouse and Lana Condor in Moonshit

HBO Max

IMDb rating: 5.5/10

Genre: Comedy, Romance, Sci-Fi

Starring: Cole Sprouse, Mason Gooding, Lana Condor

Director: Christopher Winterbauer

Rating: PG-13

Runtime: 1 hour, 44 minutes

While boarding a spaceship to Mars, Sophie (Lana Condor) befriends a stowaway named Walt (Cole Sprouse). Although Sophie has a boyfriend on the red planet, sparks start flying in space.

Lana Condor and Cole Sprouse have cosmic chemistry, and the rest of the cast delivers consistent laughs in this young adult rom-com.

08
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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.

09
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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.

10
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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.

11
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No Country for Old Men (2007): A Chilling Modern Western From the Cohen Brothers

Tommy Lee Jones in 'No Country for Old Men'

Paramount

IMDb rating: 8.1/10

Genre: Crime, Drama

Starring: Josh Brolin, Javier Bardem, Tommy Lee Jones

Director: Ethan Coen, Joel Coen

Rating: R

Runtime: 2 hours, 2 minutes

Based on the Cormac McCarthy novel, No Country for Old Men is a modern-day Western and crime drama from the Cohen brothers. When Llewelyn Moss (Josh Brolin) stumbles upon the aftermath of a drug deal gone bad, he decides to keep the cash he finds at the scene. But, this draws the attention of a chilling hitman named Anton Chigurh (Javier Bardem) and a world-weary sheriff (Tommy Lee Jones). Filled with fantastic performances, the film is a dark and compelling morality tale.

12
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Gravity (2013): An Eerie Survival Drama

Sandra Bullock in 'Gravity' (2013)

Warner Bros.

IMDb rating: 7.7/10

Genre: Sci-Fi, Drama

Starring: Sandra Bullock, George Clooney, Ed Harris

Director: Alfonso Cuarón

Rating: PG-13

Runtime: 1 hour, 31 minutes

This sci-fi drama from director Alfonso Cuarón (Roma, Children of Men) is a tense tale about two people trying to survive the perils of Space. Sandra Bullock Dr. Ryan Stone (Sandra Bullock) is the newbie on her first shuttle mission. Matt Kowalski (George Clooney) is the grizzled veteran on his last mission. When their routine spacewalk goes horribly wrong, they're left with nothing to rely on but each other.

13
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Gremlins 2: The New Batch (1990)—Furriest Dark Comedy Sequel From the 90s

Gremlins 2: The New Batch

HBO Max

IMDb rating: 6.4/10

Genre: Comedy, Fantasy, Horror

Starring: Zach Galligan, Phoebe Cates, Howie Mandel

Director: Joe Dante

Motion Picture Rating: PG-13

Running Time: 1 hour, 46 minutes

What's weirder than cute furry creatures that turn into monsters if you feed them after midnight? A sequel to a movie with that very premise. In The New Batch, Billy (Zach Galligan) reunites with his mogwai once again to save the town from gremlins.

Most of the cast from the 1984 classic return, including Howie Mandel as the voice of Gizmo. You can also watch the original Gremlins on HBO Max.

14
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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.

15
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The Goonies (1985): The Beloved '80s Adventure Still Holds Up

The Goonies

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).

16
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Harry Potter 20th Anniversary: Return to Hogwarts (2022)—For Hardcore Potterheads

Rupert Grint, Daniel Radcliffe, and Emma Watson in 'Harry Potter 20th Anniversary: Return to Hogwarts' (2022)

HBO

IMDb rating: 8.1/10

Genre: Special

Starring: Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson, Rupert Grint

Director: Eran Creevy, Joe Pearlman, Giorgio Testi

Rating: TV-G

Runtime: 1 hour, 42 minutes

This TV special brings the main cast of the Harry Potter franchise together to reminisce about their time filming the eight fantasy blockbusters. There are plenty of interviews and cast conversations. Who isn't mentioned (or seen) is Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling, who has created controversy in the news and social media over the past few years because of her anti-transgender opinions.

17
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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.

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