While HBO Max may now be Max, there are still loads of new films to watch on the streaming service. From the early hits of now young adult actors and actresses like Dakota Fanning and Jaden Smith to one of Will Smith’s emotional movies and the 2020 Best Picture Oscar winner “Parasite,” there are options for all sorts of audiences, even the superhero-loving ones.
“Shazam! Fury of the Gods” lands on the streamer after being released in theaters in March. The Max rebrand preceded Sydney Sweeney’s next project “Reality,” the television movie taken from an FBI transcript. A campy take on the story of Snow White is available to stream as well.
Here are seven of the best new movies to watch on Max in May.
Dreamer: Inspired By A True Story (2005)
Past, present and future horse girls need look no further than “Dreamer: Inspired By A True Story,” starring Kurt Russel, Kris Kristofferson, baby Dakota Fanning, David Morse and Luiz Guzmán. Cale Crane (Fanning) descends from a line of horse breeders, owners and racers, but it’s been a while since her family has owned a horse of its own. Cale’s father Ben (Kurt Russell) examines horses on race days to make sure they’re healthy enough to run. One day when a racehorse named Sonador goes down on the track after snapping her leg, Cale fights for Sona’s life and rehabilitation over putting her down. The recovery might see her walk again, but her racing is deemed nonexistent. The Cranes take a chance. The triumph of the Crane family and Sonador pulls the heartstrings as the family grows closer than ever over helping heal and train Sonador and her jockey Manolin or “Manny” (Freddy Rodríguez) for the Breeder’s Cup.
The Karate Kid (2010)
The remake of the 1984 classic film starring Ralph Macchio and Pat Morita brings in some heavy hitters for the dynamic duo of Daniel and Mr. Miyagi. In the 2010 version, the pair has been renamed — Dre Parker (Jaden Smith) moves to China for his mother’s job. The maintenance man Mr. Han (Jackie Chan) saves Dre from a brutal beating by his classmates, who have bullied him for his crush on Meiying (Wenwen Han). When Dre comes to and finds Mr. Han helping him recover, he asks the maintenance man to teach him karate so that he can defend himself. Han incorporates unique methods of discipline into Dre’s instruction, much to the approval of Dre’s mother Sherry Parker (Taraji P. Henson). Viewers can anticipate the epic collaboration between Justin Bieber and Jaden Smith, “Never Say Never,” which has a great rap verse, during the credits.
Mirror, Mirror (2012)
The Snow White fairytale gets a twist with the help of Evil Queen Julia Roberts, Lily Collins’ Snow White, Armie Hammer’s Prince Alcott, Nathan Lane’s Brighton and Sean Bean’s the King. For those impatient for Season 4 of “Emily in Paris,” Lily Collins brings her brand of whimsy to the film, in which Julia Roberts’ queen has taken control of a kingdom from an exiled Snow White. The princess in question enlists seven men to help her take back what is rightfully hers by birth. This film also boasts a catchy post-credit song.
Collateral Beauty (2016)
Will Smith portrays Howard, a bereft father, grieving the loss of his daughter. Howard’s letters to Love, Time and Death receive personal responses by people who portray the addressees of those letters, in the aftermath of his daughter Olivia’s death. Naomie Harris portrays Madeline, who runs a support group for people who have lost their children. Howard attends the group, but he doesn’t have much to contribute until Madeline pushes him further. Helen Mirren as Brigitte, Kate Winslet as Claire, Edward Norton as Whit, Michael Peña as Simon and Keira Knightly as Amy round out the emotional film.
Bong Joon-ho’s “Parasite” is a must-watch, especially because it won the Best Picture Oscar in 2020. The Kim family of four slowly takes over the Park family’s luxurious life, starting with the son Kim Ki-Woo (Choi Woo-sik) tutoring the older daughter. Ki Woo gets his sister Kim Ki-Jung (Park So-dam) into the home next as an art therapist for the Parks’ younger son. Patriarch Kim Ki-Taek (Song Kang-ho) becomes the chauffeur and matriarch Kim Chung-sook (Jang Hye-jin) becomes the housekeeper. Depending on viewers’ thriller tolerance, the film’s ending may or may not keep you up at night with how shocking it gets.
Shazam! Fury of the Gods (2023)
Following its theatrical release in March, “Shazam! Fury of the Gods” is now available to stream on Max. The sequel to “Shazam!” (2019) starring Zachary Levi as the titular character, “Fury of the Gods” introduces Lucy Liu and Helen Mirren as gods Kalypso and Hespera, respectively. The gods come to earth in search of the wizard Shazam’s (Djimon Hounsou) staff that Billy broke at the end of the last film. The sequel expands the story of Billy Batson (Asher Angel), who can transform into his adult superhero alter ego “Shazam!” when he says the magical catchphrase. Billy does not want to leave his foster family once he comes of age. His foster brother and best friend Freddy (Jack Dylan Grazer) has gone off on his own to be a solo superhero and pursue Ann (Rachel Zegler) at school.
Euphoria star Sydney Sweeney leads the TV movie “Reality,” which lands on Max May 29. Reality Winner (Sweeney) comes home one day from running errands to two FBI agents waiting for her in Augusta, Georgia to question her. The agents (Josh Hamilton and Marchánt Davis) want to know whether she leaked a classified document about Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. elections. The dialogue is taken directly from an FBI transcript that reveals the conversation that took place in 25-year-old Reality’s home. The Air Force veteran and yoga instructor gets grilled for two hours about her work as an intelligence contractor. The film is written and directed by Tina Satter with Paul Yee’s cinematography.