The Best Movies on HBO Right Now (September 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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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.

02
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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.

03
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Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore (2022)—A Long Awaited Harry Potter Prequel

The cast of Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore

HBO Max

IMDb rating: 6.2/10

Genre: Action, Adventure, Fantasy

Starring: Eddie Redmayne, Jude Law, Ezra Miller

Director: David Yates

Rating: PG-13

Runtime: 2 hours, 22 minutes

When Grindelwald (Mads Mikkelsen) hatches a plot to become Supreme Mugwump of the International Confederation of Wizards, Professor Albus Dumbledore (Jude Law) employs Newt Scammander (Eddie Redmayne) to stop his old nemesis.

Harry Potter fans have been demanding a standalone story about Dumbledore for decades, and although the movie focuses more on the other characters, The Secrets of Dumbledore is undisputedly one of the best in the series.

04
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The Bob's Burgers Movie (2022): The Belchers Bring It to the Big Screen

The Belchers in The Bob's Burgers Movie

HBO Max

IMDb rating: 7.2/10

Genre: Animation, Adventure, Comedy

Starring: David Byrne, Chris Giarmo, Jacqueline Acevedo

Director: H. Jon Benjamin, Kristen Schaal, Dan Mintz

Rating: PG-13

Runtime: 1 hour, 42 minutes

When a massive sinkhole appears right in front of Bob's Burgers, the Belcher family's business is once again underwater. Can they get it repaired in time for their grand re-re-re-re-opening?

This long-awaited big-screen adaptation features original musical numbers performed by the show's original cast alongside a few new characters. It's basically a long episode of the show that will satisfy any Bob's Burgers fan.

05
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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.

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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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.

08
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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.

09
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Old (2021): A Shyamalan Film With a Twist

Promotional ad for Old (2022)

HBO Max

IMDb rating: 5.8/10

Genre: Drama, Horror, Mystery

Starring: Gael García Bernal, Vicky Krieps, Rufus Sewell

Director: M. Night Shyamalan

Rating: PG-13

Runtime: 1 hour, 48 minutes

A family getaway to a private beach sounds like the perfect vacation until it's revealed that the beach isn't really private, and everyone starts aging very rapidly.

Old is instantly recognizable as an M. Night Shyamalan movie, with its awkward humor and multitude of twists. More of a thriller than a horror film, it's tame enough for teenage audiences.

10
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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.

11
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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.

12
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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.

13
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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.

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