88 Of The Best Movies To Stream On HBO Max In June

·59 min read

1.*13 Going on 30 (2004)

jennifer garner as jenna rink grabbing her boobs and looking surprised in a pink slip

You know 13 Going on 30 is good because it convinced us all to buy Razzles for about a year despite them being one of the most abhorrent candies ever created. Jennifer Garner is perfectly cast as Jenna Rink — a 13-year-old who, as the title suggests, makes a birthday wish that results in her waking up as her 30-year-old self. Her new life is complete with a career, a credit card, and Judy Greer as a best friend, but as Jenna learns what she's been up to for the past 17 years, she tries to make amends with the naivety of a pre-teen. Mark Ruffalo is a perfect compliment in the rom-com as Matt Flamhoff, who taught us all that falling for your best friend is usually the best move, especially if they're willing to do the "Thriler" dance with you at an office function.

Watch it on HBO Max.

Columbia Pictures / Courtesy Everett Collection

2.20 Feet From Stardom (2013)

Darlene Love singing at a mic in a recording studio in 20 feet From Stardom

Winning the Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature in 2014, 20 Feet From Stardom turns the spotlight on the backup singers who made some of rock 'n' roll's biggest hits so unforgettable. It's fascinating to hear the perspective of vocalists like Darlene Love, Merry Clayton, and Judith Hill, whose huge talents have mainly been used to support huge stars instead of bringing them fame. In interviews with backup vocalists and the rockers they lifted up, you get a full, previously unseen picture of the politics and workings of the recording industry, and gain a whole lot of respect for the unsung performers who make it all happen.

Watch it on HBO Max.

Radius-twc / Courtesy Everett Collection

3.*Across The Universe (2007)

evan Rachel wood and jim sturgess embracing

I thought Across The Universe was cool when I was a seventh-grader, I think it's cool now, and I'll love it forever. That said, I feel the story put together by story writer and director, Julie Taymor (The Lion King, Frida), as a jukebox musical of The Beatles' catalog is intricate, interesting, and worth a watch. And undeniably, Jim Sturgess and Evan Rachel Wood have excellent chemistry as central lovebirds Jude and Lucy. (Where is Jim Sturgess? Bring him back!) The rerecorded songs also slap, OK? Yeah, I will love this movie until I die.

Watch it on HBO Max.

Sony Pictures / Courtesy Everett Collection

4.Atonement (2007)

James McAvoy and Keira Knightley dressed in WWII-era attire

It's rare to find a romance that ends with what I'd call a "twist," but that's part of what made Atonement — both the 2001 book by Ian McEwan and the 2007 film adaptation — so popular. Full of intrigue and tragedy, it most notably brought Saoirse Ronan to the scene as meddling little sister Briony and gave us Keira Knightley in yet another period piece, but wearing THE green dress. The most incredible dress that has ever dressed. James McAvoy...is also there. But it's Ronan and Knightley who bring the drama to life. Petition for them to costar again soon.

Watch it on HBO Max.

Focus Features / Everett Collection

5.The Batman (2022)

Zoe Kravitz and  Robert Pattinson as Catwoman and Batman staring each other down in front of the Gotham skyline

The newest in the long line of semi-recent Batman movies is a quintessential neo-noir, giving us a more holistic look at Gotham's underbelly rather than a character study of the caped crusader. Robert Pattinson is moody and thus fitting as the latest Bruce Wayne, whose newest iteration leaves the moniker of billionaire playboy behind in favor of tortured loner. Zoë Kravitz, Paul Dano, Colin Farrell, and Jeffrey Wright round out the cast as Catwoman, The Riddler, Penguin, and Commissioner Gordon, respectively — a compelling group of supporting characters I truly hope we get to see together in a sequel. The Batman can at times feel like simply an introduction to a new Batman interpretation, and it would be a treat to see these characters really be let loose.

Watch it on HBO Max.

Warner Bros. / Courtesy Everett Collection

6.Batman Begins (2005)

Christian Bale dressed as Batman surrounded by flying bats

"I love Batman Begins because it's the story of how Batman began" is a refrain you'll hear from me all the time. While it might sound like a bit, I really mean it. I love this movie for explaining to me — someone who was extremely uninterested in any kind of superhero movie until I *eye-roll* decided to become a Christopher Nolan completist over quarantine — how this sad little prince became the king of vigilante justice. Kicking off the trilogy that changed comic book movies...forever? Batman Begins, with Christian Bale at its helm, brought us a Bruce Wayne who's as tortured as he is slick, with a voice so gravelly and unnatural, it goes beyond cool into funny and then somehow back to cool again with every word. Thanks to this film — which, by the way, features SO many actual bats — I'm fully in my Batman era. I hope you join me.

Watch it on HBO Max.

Warner Bros. / Courtesy Everett Collection

7.Batman Returns (1992)

michelle pfiffer in leather as catwoman and danny devito in a prosthetic nose as the penguin in batman returns

DC Comics is a world both plagued and blessed with chaos, and I'm down with that. To this very day, anyone can have a take on Batman. We can have as many Batmen, as many Jokers, as many Catwomen as is necessary, and it turns out, that number is infinite. I'd argue that this trend really started when Tim Burton took over the franchise with 1989's Batman, a totally normal take on Gotham in comparison with 1992's perfection of the form, Batman Returns. Michael Keaton takes his second run at Bruce Wayne, becoming everyone's favorite Batman but mine (I can't totally explain it, but I think his lips are too "smoochy"), but most importantly, he's joined by Michelle Pfeiffer as Catwoman and Danny DeVito as the Penguin in what are two of the most memorable Batman side-character performances to date.

Watch it on HBO Max.

Warner Bros. / Courtesy Everett Collection

8.*Beach Rats (2017)

Harris Dickinson and others shirtless outside in beach rats

Waiting with bated breath to see Harris Dickinson in 2022 Palme d'Or winner Triangle of Sadness? Go back to see him in his debut film Beach Rats where he stars as Frankie, who is struggling to discover, define, and communicate his sexuality. Living in Brooklyn with his mother, he leaves daily in favor of heading to the Coney Island beach and boardwalk to buy drugs, hang out with his girlfriend, and meet older men to hook up with. But things get more difficult to compartmentalize and explain as his sex life, social life, and home life begin to converge.

Watch it on HBO Max.

Courtesy Everett Collection

9.Best in Show (2000)

Jim Cranshaw and Jennifer Coolidge sitting on fancy chairs with a fluffy standard poodle at their feet

The Jennifer Coolidge renaissance is upon us, and Best in Show should be a required rewatch for all. This iconic mockumentary about a dog show and its, erm, unique human entrants is one of the best by director Christopher Guest — how could a premise like that miss? It's cowritten by Eugene Levy, whose Schitt's Creek moment seems to be never-ending, and to top it off, Catherine O'Hara plays his wife here as well. The late Fred Willard as commentator Buck Laughlin is one of my favorite comedy performances, full stop, and *checks notes* show dog Exxel's Dezi Duz It With Pizaz is nothing short of breathtaking as Coolidge's dog Rhapsody in White the Standard Poodle.

Watch it one HBO Max.

Castle Rock Entertainment / Ronald Grant / Courtesy Everett Collection

10.*Blade (1998)

wesley snipes shirtless and tattooed as blade

Released in 1998, Blade, with its cult following, should have been one of our earliest bellwethers that dark takes on comic book films would be all the rage. Wesley Snipes leads as Eric Brooks, aka Blade, whose mother was attacked by a vampire, resulting in her death and in him being born half-human and half-vampire. His vampiric powers, perfect memory, fighting prowess, and desire for revenge make him the ultimate vampire hunter (not to mention a character ripe for successful film adaptation).

Watch it on HBO Max.

New Line Cinema / Courtesy Everett Collection

11.Blade Runner (1982)

Harrison Ford holding a gun in a dingy room

When a group of androids known as replicants escape their space colony and come back to Earth, retired "blade runner" Rick Deckard is tasked with hunting them down. But as they're nearly indistinguishable from humans and are even programmed to have memories, it's a difficult task, and one with a thin ethical line. Though there have been many cuts of the film over the years, this one is the version that director Ridley Scott had final say over, making it the definitive version in the court of public opinion.

Watch it on HBO Max.

Warner Bros. / Everett Collection

12.Blade Runner 2049 (2017)

Ryan Gosling at a futuristic office front desk bathed in yellow light

I'm usually the last to admit that a revival or late sequel of a beloved movie was a good idea. "It's a cheap money grab!" I yell as everyone else manages to just have a good time. But even I will break and say that Blade Runner 2049 is a film absolutely worth resuscitating Ridley Scott's original work for. While the original movie centers on humans wondering if they're replicants, 2049 chillingly has beings who assume they're replicants asking the reverse, in a same-but-different take on the neo-noir. The sets are to die for — some of my favorite production design I've ever seen — and the script strikes the perfect balance between reverence and originality. Ryan Gosling reminds us that he deserves to be considered one of the greats, and even Jared Leto is watchable. Now, that's good casting.

Watch it on HBO Max.

Stephen Vaughan / Warner Bros. / Courtesy Everett Collection

13.The Blair Witch Project (1999)

Heather Donahue staring at someone behind the camera in the blair witch project

Though there were, of course, films that used the technique before, The Blair Witch Project feels like the ultimate found footage movie, bringing the technique into commercial popularity and making Blair Witch one of the most successful independent films of all time. It's a simple premise — three film students walk into the woods to investigate the Blair Witch, an urban legend that locals recall in snippets as a century of rumored kidnapping and ritualistic murder. The Blair Witch Project is far from the campy, loud horror we've become accustomed to, often opting to put fear in the hearts of millions with only the sound of snapping twigs. It's easy for me to sit around and say that it's not that scary, but would I ever watch this before going on a camping trip? Absolutely not.

Watch it on HBO Max.

Artisan Entertainment /Courtesy Everett Collection

14.*Borat (2006)

sacha baron cohen as borat in times square

Borat is divisive, and for good reason! It's a bizarre, uncomfortable, often offensive, (at-the-time) experimental work whose immense popularity feels at once improbable and inevitable. Sacha Baron Cohen created one of the most iconic characters in modern comedy with Borat Sagdiyev — the mustachioed Pamela Anderson lover who wants to learn more about life in the US of A. Multiple times I've considered myself "over" Borat. Who's out here pulling for Borat in 2022? But I can't lie. I so much as picture Borat walking around New York in that grey suit and can't help but laugh out loud.

Watch it on HBO Max.

20th Century Fox / Courtesy Everett Collection

15.Bottle Rocket (1996)

Luke and owen wilson in jumpsuits with heist gadgets in bottle rocket

Bottle Rocket is Wes Anderson's feature directorial debut, offering a glimpse into what would become his signature style without such tight grip. The script, cowritten by Owen Wilson and based on a short film by him, is the beginning of a long collaboration. It's also the first acting credit for both Owen and Luke Wilson, starring as conspirators in a hypothetical 75-year-long heist plot that doesn't quite go according to plan. It's refreshing to go back and watch Anderson and the Wilson brothers in such a low-budget picture before they all skyrocketed to stardom. And while it's somewhat a relief to encounter Anderson more casually, it also makes you appreciate his later, larger work even more.

Watch it on HBO Max.

Columbia Pictures / Courtesy Everett Collection

16.*The Card Counter (2021)

oscar isaac holding up a playing card

Written and directed by Paul Schrader, The Card Counter follows William Tell (Oscar Isaac), a man who was incarcerated in military prison for nearly a decade where he taught himself to count cards. As he moves around earning modest winnings, he meets fellow gamblers as well as unwelcome characters from his past that complicate his road to redemption. Tiffany Haddish, Tye Sheridan, and Willem Dafoe round out the small but mighty cast.

Watch it on HBO Max.

Focus Features / Alamy

17.*Chef (2014)

john favreau, Emjay Anthony, and john leguizamo in a food truck in chef

"Foodie" culture and media felt fresh and new in 2014 when Chef came out, serving up two hours of delicious-looking, well-styled dishes. Written, directed by, and starring Jon Favreau, Chef shows us a story we've heard tons of real chefs tell in profiles in the near-decade since: a head chef at a fancy restaurant leaves the white coat-clad industry to find his own voice, landing himself in a food truck with complete creative control and little direction. While a white chef serving Cuban sandwiches isn't exactly art, great performances — most notably John Leguizamo's Martin — make Chef a nice casual weekday watch.

Watch it on HBO Max.

Open Road Films / Alamy

18.Chicago (2002)

Catherine Zeta-Jones onstage with two dancers

Considering that the film won the 2003 Academy Award for Best Picture and the stage revival is one of the longest-running Broadway shows in history, it's hard to believe that the original production of Chicago in 1975 wasn't so popular. But as time has gone on, and as we as a people come to love salacious celebrity scandal more by the minute, this tale of showbiz, affairs, and murder has only become more popular. You already know the hit tunes — "All That Jazz," "Cell Block Tango," "Razzle Dazzle" — and they're committed to film flawlessly by leads Renée Zellweger, Catherine Zeta-Jones, and Richard Gere, with a shockingly good supporting performance by *checks notes* John C. Reilly?!

Watch it on HBO Max.

Miramax / Courtesy Everett Collection

19.Chungking Express (1994)

faye wong as faye laying on a bed wearing pink rubber gloves and looking through a magnifying glass

Chungking Express is the intertwining of two unique romance stories. Both set in Hong Kong and involving cops who have lost their girlfriends, the stories are loosely connected and only truly cross paths at the Midnight Express takeout stand where Faye (Faye Wong) — with her iconic pixie cut — works. Written and directed by Wong Kar-Wai and soaked with his signature color-filled style, Chungking Express is an essential '90s film we're lucky to have access to on-demand.

Watch it on HBO Max.

Jet Tone Production

20.Citizen Kane (1941)

Joseph Cotten looks at Orson Welles

It's likely that 1 million (annoying) people have told you to watch Citizen Kane, and now you can add my name to the end of that list. it's always a pleasure to revisit this film — cowritten, directed, and starring early film wunderkind Orson Welles (fellow cowriter Herman Mankiewicz is rolling in his grave at Welles being called a "wunderkind," but it stands, imo) — and be reminded that it truly is one of the all-time greats. The story of fictional newspaper magnate Charles Foster Kane, Citizen Kane is a pseudo-biography of the real-life news barons working at the time, especially William Randolph Hearst, who wasn't particularly thrilled to see "himself" portrayed onscreen. Nevertheless, the damning tale of control and both the greed and the loneliness it can afford you overcame bans and fabricated bad press to become one of the most beloved pictures ever made.

Watch on HBO Max.

RKO Radio Pictures/Courtesy Everett Collection

21.Cloverfield (2008)

Michael Stahl-David as Rob in a store

I'm a huge fan of the year 2008, so it stands to reason that I'm a huge fan of Cloverfield — what I remember as one of the biggest movies of the year. It brought the found-footage trend kicked off by The Blair Witch Project and continued by Paranormal Activity out of the woods and the home and into the streets of New York to its logical end: a creature's apocalyptic invasion. If you just saw The Batman and loved the look, great news. Director Matt Reeves was also at the helm of Cloverfield working in a similar style. Though packed with breathless running, fruitless strategizing, and some well-designed monsters, the standout moments are the flashbacks — it's been 14 years since I first saw this movie, and I still can't look at a Ferris wheel without a tear coming to my eye.

Watch it on HBO Max.

Paramount / Courtesy Everett Collection

22.The Color Purple (1985)

whoopi goldberg as celie in the color purple

Based on Alice Walker's 1982 Pulitzer Prize–winning novel, The Color Purple is a classic with an undeniable all-star cast. The plot follows Celie (Whoopi Goldberg), a Black woman living in the American South at the turn of the century who is horribly abused, and the group of women who surround her throughout her life. Goldberg is stunning as Celie, giving a powerhouse performance that brought her into the forefront of Hollywood. Oprah also supports as Sophia in her first film role, proving that she shines at whatever she does, including acting.

Watch it on HBO Max.

Warner Bros / Courtesy Everett Collection

23.Coming to America (1988)

Arsenio Hall and Eddie Murphy in suits, coats, and hats

Akeem Joffer (Eddie Murphy), prince of the African nation Zamunda, wants to shirk the tradition of arranged marriages and find someone who loves him for him, even without the money and titles. How? You guessed it: coming to America, where he tries to live a normal life in Queens, New York, along with his assistant and friend Semmi (Arsenio Hall). In this smash hit, Murphy is as charming as a prince as he is as a janitor at a fast-food joint, and it's wonderful to see someone who was already so popular still firing on all cylinders at the height of his stardom.

Watch it on HBO Max.

Paramount / Everett Collection

24.Crazy Rich Asians (2018)

Constance Wu getting out of a gold car in a blue tulle dress

Crazy Rich Asians wins my award for "New Movie That Became a Comfort Watch the Fastest." I truly cannot count the number of times I have watched this, especially during quarantine, when designer clothes, parties on skyscrapers, and multimillion-dollar weddings were things that sounded even more incredible and out of reach than usual. If you're not already all in on Henry Golding, Constance Wu, and Gemma Chan, get with the program! It's far past time to hail them as some of the best in the game, and having the trio all in one movie is a treat that I'll enjoy over and over forever.

Watch it on HBO Max.

Warner Bros. Pictures / Courtesy Everett Collection

25.*Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (2000)

michelle yeoh wielding swords in crouching tiger, hidden dragon

Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon was a wild success globally and in the US, as the first foreign-language film to break $100 million box office in the country. The wuxia film was beautifully directed by Ang Lee smack dab in the middle of his sprawling, successful career and stars Chow Yun-fat, Michelle Yeoh, Zhang Ziyi, and Chang Chen performing some of the most impressive martial arts stunts ever committed to screen. It's as much of a joy to watch the story of love, war, and duty play out as it is to see the truly jaw-dropping action. That's what makes it a classic.

Watch it on HBO Max.

Sony Pictures / Courtesy Everett Collection

26.Drive My Car (2021)

Hidetoshi Nishijima in the backseat of a car, with Toko Miura in the driver's seat

Adapted from Haruki Murakami's short story of the same name, Drive My Car follows fictional director Yūsuke Kafuku (Hidetoshi Nishijima) as he stages a production of Uncle Vanya in the wake of his wife's death and the relationship he builds with his chauffeur, a young woman named Misaki Watari (Toko Miura). The film is long (coming in at about three hours) but fully engrossing, and was the winner of this year's International Feature Film Oscar.

Watch it on HBO Max.

Janus Films / Courtesy Everett Collection

27.Dune (2021)

Timothée Chalamet, Zendaya, and other cast members in uniform against a rocky backdrop

Let me first say that I was not a Dune fan before seeing the 2021 film adaptation, but since convincing myself to see it, despite not being a sci-fi fan generally, I have chanted “DUNE, DUNE, DUNE” at least once a day simply remembering the blessed experience of viewing it in the theater. The story, which is ultimately a sweeping political drama, is great, but what brings the movie home are the technical feats: spaceships and planets and even giant worms, all rendered with such verisimilitude, you can’t help but believe for a moment that they’re real, organic things, along with seat-shaking sound, all of which was handsomely rewarded with technical Oscars this year. Lil’ Timmy Chalamet gives it his all in this one and continues to convince me that maybe he’s just as great as we collectively believe, and Oscar Isaac delivers another stunning performance that gives me big, stupid heart eyes every time he’s onscreen. I am desperately looking forward to the next installment, where we are promised more than seven minutes of Zendaya and someone riding the damn worm. Heaven.

Watch it on HBO Max.

Chiabella James / Warner Bros. / Courtesy Everett Collection

28.Ella Enchanted (2004)

Anne Hathaway and Aidan McArdle standing in a forest in medieval clothing in ella enchanted

Everyone loves to be like, "What bad contract sealed the deal for Anne Hathaway to be forced to do Ella Enchanted?" I think that's ridiculous. You're telling me perma-theater kid Annie Hathaway wasn't champing at the bit to do a FULL rendition of "Somebody to Love" in front of a green screen so it looks like she's in a bar for giants while wearing medieval clothing? Yeah, right. This is a soft, comfortable movie, and one that should be treasured, yes, for Hathaway at her silliest and hence best, but also for baffling appearances by Minnie Driver and Cary Elwes — three people who seem to be all in on this movie for children that mysteriously works for me.

Watch it on HBO Max.

Miramax / Courtesy Everett Collection

29.The Eyes of Tammy Faye (2021)

Jessica Chastain singing as Tammy Faye Bakker with sequins

Jessica Chastain's version of "Jesus Keeps Takin' Me Higher and Higher" has been stuck in my head for what feels like an eternity, and I'm not that mad about it. As famed televangelist Tammy Faye Bakker, Chastain is campy and bright, and while her physical transformation was at the forefront of the conversation during the run-up to her Best Actress Oscar–winning performance, it's the outrageous amount of energy she's able to sustain that I find most impressive. While I wish the script lived up to what Chastain was bringing to the table, it's worth witnessing this performance, which earns the spotlight it gets though the film, and will certainly be at the top of her résumé for some time to come.

Watch it on HBO Max.

Searchlight Pictures / Courtesy Everett Collection,

30.*Final Destination Series (2000–2011)

devon sawa on the ground looking scared in final destination

I went into my first Final Destination movie — I think it was the last one? — somehow not knowing the premise, and you can imagine my surprise and delight when I figured out what was happening. On the off chance you're unfamiliar as well, I won't spoil the fun, but know you're in for a campy, gore-y treat in every installation. And if you have seen them, there's no time like the present to get some pals together, throw one of these on, and scream at the TV. If not now then definitely when the long-awaited sixth installment comes out.

Watch them on HBO Max: Final Destination, Final Destination 2, Final Destination 3, The Final Destination, Final Destination 5

New Line Cinema / Courtesy Everett Collection

31.*The Firm (1993)

jean tripplehorn and ton cruise holding hands and staring at one another in the firm

We all have that old, random paperback that we pulled off our mom's shelf to read mindlessly on vacation and ended up loving more than we expected, and for me, it's The Firm. The film adaptation of John Grisham's best-selling legal drama fits perfectly into the sexy '90s thrillers that were rampant at the time, though I'll warn you it skews more legal than salacious at times. Tom Cruise is perfectly Tom Cruise-y as new lawyer Mitch McDeere who scores a job in Big Law and quickly gets roped into their illicit inner workings. We also get more Jeanne Tripplehorn than we did in Basic Instinct, which is a real treat.

Watch it on HBO Max.

Paramount Pictures / Courtesy Everett Collection

32.Four Weddings and a Funeral (1994)

Hugh Grant, Kristin Scott Thomas in 90s wedding guest attire in four weddings and a funeral

There's no time like the present to watch a movie with floppy-haired Hugh Grant front and center, and Four Weddings and a Funeral is the obvious choice. Throughout the titular five events, Charles (Grant) finds himself falling for Carrie (Andie MacDowel) in a classic rom-com format that, simply put, couldn't be more British. It was even the highest-grossing British film at the time of its release, which is cause for celebration via a spot of tea.

Watch it on HBO Max.

Gramercy Pictures / Courtesy Everett Collection

33.Free Guy (2021)

Ryan Reynolds wearing sunglasses and staring up in astonishment

Even as a Ryan Reynolds skeptic, I had a good time watching Free Guy, in which an NPC (Non-Playable Character) named Guy (Reynolds) gets wise to the fact that he's in a video game and works with game designers in the real world to help take down the eccentric billionaire who threatens to delete his city. If "brain off" entertainment is what you crave, absolutely put this on and enjoy the world building, fun graphics, Jodie Comer rocking an American accent, and even a bit part from my king Channing Tatum.

Watch it on HBO Max.

20th Century Studios / Courtesy Everett Collection

34.The French Dispatch (2021)

Elizabeth Moss, Owen Wilson, and Tilda Swinton seated and dressed in pastel colors

Wes Anderson's latest curio is a love letter to the press and is told in a series of vignettes — each a story from the final edition of The French Dispatch after the sudden death of its editor (Bill Murray). It's, of course, Andersonian in style, meticulously colored, timed, and crafted, but it's impossible to say he isn't getting even better over time, if the balance of precision and storytelling is our measure. And with a knockout cast, including many of his longtime collaborators, as well as new faces among his work like Timothée Chalamet, The French Dispatch is another bright feather in Anderson's cap.

Watch it on HBO Max.

Searchlight Pictures / Courtesy Everett Collection

35.Friday (1995)

Faizon Love in a convertible with robbers and talking to Chris Tucker

Ice Cube and Chris Tucker star in this iconic comedy as Craig and Smokey, unemployed friends who need to get $200 one Friday to pay off a local drug dealer before the end of the night or face deadly consequences. With a huge cast of characters, never-ending jokes, and a truly incredible soundtrack, Friday is a must-watch. And thanks to a knockout script from Ice Cube and DJ Pooh, backed up by big performances, we got two sequels, with a reported fourth coming this year. I mean, Friday birthed "Bye, Felicia." How much more influential can you get?

Watch it on HBO Max.

New Line Cinema / Courtesy Everett Collection

36.The Fugitive (1993)

Harrison Ford with his hands up in surrender in a large drain pipe

I'll admit that I was initially drawn to watching The Fugitive for the first time because of the John Mulaney bit in The Comeback Kid, but nevertheless I was happy to be swept away into a '90s thriller. Harrison Ford plays Dr. Richard Kimble, who is accused and sentenced for the brutal murder of his wife, but in a twist of fate escapes confinement and is on the run. If you're into "did he really do it?" plots, court procedurals, and Harrison Ford in baggy pants, this movie was tailor made for you.

Watch it on HBO Max.

Warner Bros. / Courtesy Everett Collection

37.GoodFellas (1992)

Joe Pesci and Ray Liotta in '70s suits

Is GoodFellas the greatest movie of all time? It's definitely possible, and at the very least, it has the best intro hands-down (🎶 "I know I'd go from rags to richessss!" 🎶). Blah-blah-blah, great cast, blah-blah-blah, but I really just want to focus on the late Ray Liotta in a powerhouse performance that's almost unbearable to watch, it's so good. A balance of confidence, manic energy, and some undefinable X factor makes him excellent in almost any early role (check out Something Wild if you're a GoodFellas fan), but it's here that he's most electric. I mean that — you literally feel as if there's a low level of electricity running through him, but he's just trying to keep cool. In case you don't know, GoodFellas is adapted from the book Wiseguy by Nicholas Pileggi (also the cowriter of this film and Nora Ephron's husband), which details the life of gangster Henry Hill (Liotta) and his time in the Mafia. If that doesn't sound interesting to you, I'm gonna go ahead and say that really doesn't matter. Killer performances, Martin Scorsese's expert direction, and one of the great soundtracks make it easy to love.

Watch it on HBO Max.

Warner Bros. / © Warner Bros. / Courtesy Everett Collection

38.*Girl, Interrupted (1999)

winona rider and angelina jolie staring at one another in girl, interrupted

Based on Susanna Kaysen's memoir of the same name, Girl, Interrupted depicts Susanna's 18-month stay in a mental hospital in her late teens where she was diagnosed with depression and borderline personality disorder. Winona Rider plays Susanna and an all-star cast — Angelina Jolie, Brittany Murphy, Elizabeth Moss, and Whoopi Goldberg — supports her fellow patients and members of staff. Despite being set in the 1960s, Girl, Interrupted is absolutely a film of its time, and the '90s fashion is in full force, providing Gen Z outfit inspo from unlikely source material.

Watch it on HBO Max.

Columbia Pictures / Alamy

39.*The Grand Budapest Hotel (2014)

A recent rewatch of The Grand Budapest Hotel solidified it as my favorite Wes Anderson film. It's of course a visual marvel, but the unbelievably fast-paced movie is built on a solid, heartfelt script, making the images all the more enjoyable. Ralph Fiennes and Tony Revolori are the beating heart of the movie as Monsieur Gustave and Zero, a concierge and lobby boy dedicated beyond belief to both the titular Grand hotel they work for and one another as somewhat unlikely friends.   Watch it on HBO Max. 

A recent rewatch of The Grand Budapest Hotel solidified it as my favorite Wes Anderson film. It's of course a visual marvel, but the unbelievably fast-paced movie is built on a solid, heartfelt script, making the images all the more enjoyable. Ralph Fiennes and Tony Revolori are the beating heart of the movie as Monsieur Gustave and Zero, a concierge and lobby boy dedicated beyond belief to both the titular Grand hotel they work for and one another as somewhat unlikely friends.

Watch it on HBO Max.

Fox Searchlight / Courtesy Everett Collection

40.The Harry Potter Series (2001–2005)

Robert Pattinson as Cedric Diggory threateningly holding a wand with two hands

I'll admit to having a soft spot for all of the Harry Potter movies (Fantastic Beasts does not exist in my perfect little world), but Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire is, in my opinion, among the best. It marks the series' transition toward more adult themes, going so far as to depict the first onscreen death in the series, to great effect. There are hormones in the air at Hogwarts as our favorite students enter their fourth year. Everyone's hair looks truly terrible, and the Triwizard Tournament brings a ton of fun new characters into the mix — a recipe for teenage angst, which is often when HP is its most enjoyable. Robert Pattinson also graces this installment, delivering one of his best performances to date as Cedric Diggory and setting him up for a fruitful career — something we should all be thankful for.

Watch them on HBO Max: Sorcerer's Stone, Chamber of Secrets, Prisoner of Azkaban, Goblet of Fire, Order of the Phoenix, Half-Blood Prince, Deathly Hallows Part 1, Deathly Hallows Part 2.

Editor's note: BuzzFeed does not support discriminatory or hateful speech in any form. We stand by the LGBTQ community and all fans who found a home in the Harry Potter series and will work to provide a safe space for fans. If you, like us, feel impassioned about trans rights, learn more or donate here.

Warner Bros. / Courtesy Everett Collection

41.High Fidelity (2000)

John Cusack surrounded by records

If you're interested in John Cusack at his most John Cusack and Jack Black at his most Jack Black, chances are you already love High Fidelity. As a record store owner who's unlucky (or unwilling) in love, Rob Gordon (Cusack) proves we were right all along: People who dabble with DJ'ing are horrible to date but do make great mixtapes. But we really have to give High Fidelity props for being one of the first movies to really showcase Black doing his thing, a gift that continued heavily for the next decade and continues to bless us to this very day.

Watch it on HBO Max.

Buena Vista Pictures / Courtesy Everett Collection

42.The Hitman's Wife's Bodyguard (2021)

Samuel L. Jackson, Salma Hayek, Ryan Reynolds tied to chairs with Antonio Banderas interrogating them

It's difficult for me to overstate how much joy I felt watching The Hitman's Wife's Bodyguard, which was one of the first movies I saw in theaters after a year-and-a-half break during quarantine. Samuel L. Jackson, Salma Hayek, and Ryan Reynolds are entertainers in their purest forms, and this silly vehicle is just what I needed to remember that movies are good, and life is vastly enhanced when you can tune out and just vibe for two hours. As for the plot, the title says it all, and expanding on it here would distract from the point: brain empty, movie fun.

Watch it on HBO Max.

David Appleby / Lionsgate / Courtesy Everett Collection

43.*The Holiday (2006)

kate winslet and jack black in the holiday

I find it difficult to trust people who aren't charmed by The Holiday, which has to be one of the most comforting movies of all time. Kate Winslet and Jack Black as a potential couple? Cameron Diaz as an uptight city gal and Jude Law as the best dad ever in the British countryside? And with the all-time great bit "Mr. Napkinhead" in his pocket to boot? Everyone who made a contribution to The Holiday deserved an Oscar. While technically it's a Christmas movie, I find this house-swap rom-com fit for all seasons. "Nancy Meyers, you've done it again!" —All of us collectively in 2006.

Watch it on HBO Max.

Columbia Pictures / ©Columbia Pictures/Courtesy Everett Collection

44.In the Heights (2021)

Anthony Ramos and Melissa Barrera dancing in an alley surrounded by a crowd

Lin-Manuel Miranda's first — and Best New Musical Tony Award–winning — Broadway effort is brought to the screen in this recent film, which has Anthony Ramos starring as Usnavi, successfully filling the big (like, clown-size big) shoes of Miranda's originated role. We hang a while at Usnavi's corner store in Washington Heights, where we meet everyone in the neighborhood — from his abuela ("She's not really my abuela, but she practically raised me; this corner is her escuela"), his cousin Sonny, and other local business owners and their families to Usnavi's longtime crush, Vanessa — all of whom are pursuing their big dreams.

Watch it on HBO Max.

Warner Bros. / Courtesy Everett Collection

45.In the Mood For Love (2000)

Maggie Cheung in in the mood for love

Wong Kar Wai wrote and directed this critically acclaimed romantic drama, often cited as of the best films of all time (and once named the second best of the 21st century by the BBC). Maggie Cheung and Tony Leung star as Su Li-zhen and Chow Mo-wan who are at first no more than tenants in the same apartment building. But when they discover their respective spouses are having an affair with one another, they begin to explore their own romantic possibilities.

Watch it on HBO Max.

Block 2 Pictures / Alamy

46.*The Janes (2022)

A timely reminder that vigilant protection of legal abortion access should always be a priority, The Janes chronicles the state of abortion access in America in the '60s and '70s and tells the story of a group of women known as Jane who put their lives on the line to give women access to safe abortions pre-Roe v. Wade in Chicago. Through first-person and first-hand accounts with members of the group as well as archival footage and photographs, the documentary is a clear, fierce call for the necessity of abortion access. Some details are horrible by necessity of the effects of illegal abortions being horrible, but it's vital to remember the effect lack of access has on people who can become pregnant. A must-watch. Watch it on HBO Max.

A timely reminder that vigilant protection of legal abortion access should always be a priority, The Janes chronicles the state of abortion access in America in the '60s and '70s and tells the story of a group of women known as Jane who put their lives on the line to give women access to safe abortions pre-Roe v. Wade in Chicago. Through first-person and first-hand accounts with members of the group as well as archival footage and photographs, the documentary is a clear, fierce call for the necessity of abortion access. Some details are horrible by necessity of the effects of illegal abortions being horrible, but it's vital to remember the effect lack of access has on people who can become pregnant. A must-watch.

Watch it on HBO Max.


47.Judas and the Black Messiah (2021)

Daniel Kaluuya as Fred Hampton giving a speak to a room full of people with their fists raised

Daniel Kaluuya stuns as Fred Hampton in this biopic about the great Black Panther Party leader in Chicago. William O'Neal (played by LaKeith Stanfield) is a forced informant, delving deep into the party and getting close with Hampton to ultimately aid the FBI in his assassination when he was just 21 years old. Both actors are unshakable and stunning, with Kaluuya winning a Best Supporting Actor Oscar for the role, undoubtedly for his re-creation of the impassioned and moving speeches about the liberation of Black people that Hampton gave before his tragic early death.

Watch it on HBO Max.

Glen Wilson / Warner Bros. / Courtesy Everett Collection

48.Jurassic Park (1993)

laura dern standing next to bob peck who is holding a gun in a forest in jurassic park

"Hold on to your butts," indeed! With the recent release of Dominion, there's no time like the present to revisit Laura Dern as a paleobotanist tending to an ill triceratops. It's hard for me to watch the first hour of Jurassic Park without wishing it could stay tranquil forever, that Dr. Alan Grant (Sam Neill) and Dr. Ellie Sattler (Dern) could just vibe and say "This park rocks" to get funding for their research. But famously, nothing gold can stay, chaos ensues, and it's all thanks to that pesky Newman. Classic.

Watch it on HBO Max.

Universal / Everett Collection

49.Kimi (2022)

Zoë kravitz looking fearful with a blue bob

Steven Soderbergh's latest, Kimi, follows Angela (Zoë Kravitz), who is working for a tech company monitoring issues on Alexa-like devices when she hears something she wasn't supposed to while checking an audio stream. Confirming that avoiding smart home products like the plague was a good move on my part, Kimi takes on big tech, surveillance, and the social effects of the pandemic and packages it as a very watchable thriller. But above all, shoutout to Angela's blue hair, which I firmly believe is some of the best ever committed to film.

Watch it on HBO Max.

Warner Bros. Pictures

50.King Richard (2021)

Will Smith walking with tennis gear with Saniyya Sidney and Demi Singleton as Richard, Venus, and Serena Williams

Will Smith's portrayal of Richard Williams, father and coach of tennis superstars Venus and Serena Williams, generated endless Oscar buzz, ultimately culminating in his winning this year's Best Actor Oscar (I simply do not get paid enough money to provide a take on "the Slap" here and will be now be moving on as if it were just a normal year). He fully transforms without crossing into caricature and without the use of too much makeup (as is so prominent these days), delivering the kind of solid performance academy voters and viewers simply love. Aunjanue Ellis was also nominated for Best Supporting Actress for her portrayal of Brandi Williams, and she delivers a strong performance I only wish there were more of.

Watch it on HBO Max.

Warner Bros. / Courtesy Everett Collection

51.The Last Duel (2021)

Ben Affleck with a blonde bowl cut and goatee

Based on a true story of French medieval nobility, The Last Duel is the story of Jean de Carrouges (Matt Damon) and squire Jacques Le Gris (Adam Driver), who is accused of assaulting Jean's wife, Marguerite (Jodie Comer). Told in sections from all three points of view and culminating in the titular duel, the film is a gruesome show of patriarchy, but nevertheless a story well told. The choice to let the actors keep their own accents was honestly a treat, since the "British accent no matter where this historical drama is set" move needs to end, and literally nobody needs to watch half-baked French accents for two and a half hours. I like to picture Ridley Scott deciding to skip accents in this movie while going all in on accents in House of Gucci just as a lil' experiment to see which was better received this year. Mmmm, I think the winner is clear.

Watch it on HBO Max.

20th Century Studios / Courtesy Everett Collection

52.The Lord of the Rings Trilogy (2001–2003)

elijah wood as frodo reaching up to reach a falling ring

It's nice to know the Lord of The Rings series is ready and waiting for your return any time you want to smash play and be transported back to the comforting embrace of The Shire. As you know, the cultural impact of the Lord of The Rings trilogy cannot be overstated, launching careers, pushing visual effects forward, and being one of the most critically acclaimed fantasy series to emerge in modern culture. Though I would personally choose to fast-forward through all of the Gollum scenes, I know that I'm in the minority and objectively wrong for doing so.

Watch them on HBO Max: The Fellowship of the Ring, The Two Towers, The Return of the King

New Line Cinema / Courtesy Everett Collection

53.*Magic Mike (2012)

Tatum with other strippers onstage in "Magic Mike"

It's rare for an emerging star to make such a glorious entrance into mass popular culture while working at the height of their power, but that's what we got from Channing Tatum in Magic Mike. Though he'd somewhat been in the cultural conversation, working in saccharine romances and action roles to moderate effect, it was Steven Soderbergh's film about a male strip club in Tampa that made us go wild for him. Yes, some of that was in part to his ummm....looking so good, but his acting talent, impeccable dancing, and sheer charisma as Mike Lane cannot be overstated. We've claimed it's the best performance of his career — I think you'll be hard-pressed to disagree if you give it a watch.

Watch it on HBO Max.

Warner Bros./ Alamy

54.Magic Mike XXL (2015)

Adam Rodriguez, Kevin Nash, Matt Bomer, Channing Tatum, Joe Manganiello, and Gabriel Iglesias leaning over a railing in magic mike XXL

If Magic Mike is Tatum's best, Magic Mike XXL isn't far behind. That might be surprising if you're not as familiar with his work, but it's the most obvious thing in the world if you're well versed in his career, which often has him flailing when cast as a soldier or tough guy because he Looks Like That, and truly soaring when cast as a cutie, softie, regular Joe who often happens to love to dance. Reprising his role as Mike Lane, Channing brings the same realism and raw talent that he does in Magic Mike, but this time in a script more aimed toward female pleasure. I couldn't recommend watching these films more, especially as they're soon to be a trilogy.

Watch it on HBO Max.

Warner Bros. / Courtesy Everett Collection

55.Malignant (2021)

Annabelle Wallis in red light lying down looking scared

The newest from populist horror wizard James Wan (Saw, The Conjuring, Insidious), Malignant was one of the most-talked-about horror releases of the past year, inspiring everyone who saw it to text all of their friends about the twist. It opens with Madison (Annabelle Wallis) realizing that the recurring dreams she has about grisly murders are happening in real life. And the rest? It just needs to be seen to be believed.

Watch it on HBO Max.

Warner Bros. / Courtesy Everett Collection

56.*The Mask (1994)

jim carrey with a green cartoonish face holding a horn that reads "squeeze me gently"

If you're a millennial, you were likely treated to (or cursed by) elementary school classmates reenacting scenes from The Mask daily. I don't know if they had even seen the movie — it's rated PG-13 and they were so tiny — but Jim Carrey's films were just so prevalent in the culture that kids seemed to know every scene by osmosis. Welp, it could be time to return to the source material and watch Carrey as he transforms from Stanley Ipkiss into The Mask, heralding cartoonish chaos wherever he goes. Now you can finally determine who does the "Somebody stop me," line reading better: Carrey himself or Tommy from fourth grade.

Watch it on HBO Max.

New Line Cinema / Courtesy Everett Collection

57.The Matrix (1999)

Keanu Reeves holding two guns and wearing thin sunglasses

The list of movies, shows, and clothing that wouldn't exist had The Matrix not been made is nearly infinite, as it's hard to think of a more influential movie from this time period. Fully encapsulating the '90s in all of their leather-clad, big-computer, tiny-sunglasses glory, The Matrix offered up huge questions about free will, identity, and technology to society, and boy oh boy, did we gobble them up, sometimes coming to the wrong conclusion (lookin' at you, "men's rights activists"). The Wachowskis' greatest work is ripe for revisitation, and I feel like I always notice a new detail every time I watch it. While the rest of the trilogy — well, now a quadrilogy, I suppose, with the new release of The Matrix: Resurrections — can sometimes feels as if it veers too drastically between philosophy and action, the balance is struck perfectly in the first, where moments like "There is no spoon" and "I know kung-fu" live in perfect harmony.

Watch it on HBO Max.

Warner Bros. / Courtesy Everett Collection

58.Memento (2000)

Guy Pearce as Leonard holding a Polaroid photo in his mouth and taking his shirt off to reveal tattoos

The first in a long string of hits by Christopher Nolan, Memento set audiences up for more of what was to come is his career by playing with timelines, half-told stories, and memory. Guy Pearce plays Leonard, a man with severe short-term memory loss who is attempting to use his (presumed) routines, Polaroid photos, scrawled notes, and tattoos to help himself gain enough new information to solve his wife's grisly murder. Told simultaneously backward and forward, the script feels like a feat of engineering as well as writing, alternating between color and black-and-white sequences in each respective timeline. But even with such intricacy, Memento is very watchable (those who have avoided Nolan since Inception, do not be afraid), and captivating performances by Pearce, Carrie-Anne Moss as potential love interest Natalie, and Joe Pantoliano as hang-around friend Teddy will make you stick around even if you lose the thread.

Watch it on HBO Max.

Newmarket Releasing / Courtesy Everett Collection

59.Monster-In-Law (2005)

Jane Fonda, Michael Vartan, Jennifer Lopez sitting at a table

I'm not sure that as a society we deserved a Jane Fonda and Jennifer Lopez collaboration, but thank goodness we were granted one anyway by way of this romantic comedy. Luckily, the central romance between Lopez and Michael Vartan as Charlie and Kevin doesn't take up as much real estate as the relationship between Lopez and Fonda, who leads as Kevin's formidable mother Viola. Is this the greatest of Lopez's mid-2000s romantic comedies? No. But nevertheless, we should cherish them all as jewels in the crown of one of our best rom-com actresses. Extra points for featuring Elaine Stritch.

Watch it on HBO Max.

New Line Cinema / Courtesy Everett Collection

60.Moonstruck (1987)

Cher and Nicolas cage dressed up

If you're a young person who hasn't seen Moonstruck, I NEED you to stop what you're doing and turn it on immediately. Nothing could prepare me to see Cher and Nicolas Cage — two icons who could not be farther apart categorically in my brain — together romantically. Cher plays Loretta Castorini, an Italian American widow who finds herself in a pickle when she falls hard for her fiancé's hot-headed younger brother, Ronny. Quite often, I quote this movie, saying, "Yes, John Anthony Cammareri, I will marry you; I will be your wife" — a line from Cher that alone may have won her the Oscar. I have no notes.

Watch it on HBO Max.

MGM / Courtesy Everett Collection

61.Music Box: Listening to Kenny G (2021)

kenny g playing tenor sax in an office chair wearing slippers in "listening to kenny g"

It's a trip to hear that the best-selling instrumentalist of all time feels "under-appreciated, in general," and that he "doesn't know if [he loves] music all that much." But that's what we get from Kenny G in this fascinating documentary directed by Penny Lane that explores the Smooth Jazz™️ icon's simultaneous popularity and near-universal disdain from us all. Interrogating everything from why he's so loathed by jazz musicians, his love of golf, the appropriative nature of his music, and his meme-ability in more recent years in a tight hour and a half, Listening to Kenny G is a doc well-suited for anyone who's ever heard "Songbird" at a doctor's office, so... everyone.

Watch it on HBO Max.


62.My Big Fat Greek Wedding (2002)

Andrea Martin and the Greek family greeting the couple

The titular Greek wedding lives up to its name in this cult-favorite romantic comedy that was released as an indie picture and skyrocketed to mainstream success. John Corbett is stunning as the statuesque, non-Greek, early-2000s dreamboat Ian Miller, and Nia Varlados, who also wrote the screenplay, is perfection as the charming, extremely Greek Toula Portokalos. As her family stumbles though welcoming a non-Greek man into their family, everyone learns a whole lot about love and Windex in this heartfelt romp that has endless rewatch value.

Watch it on HBO Max.

IFC Films / Courtesy Everett Collection

63.My Cousin Vinny (1992)

Joe Pesci talking with Marissa Tomei on the witness stand of a courtroom

Watching My Cousin Vinny is an exercise in control, as every time Marissa Tomei is offscreen, you will be tempted to do anything you can to bring her back, and fast-forwarding begins to sound like a viable option. Of course Joe Pesci is also great as smooth-talkin' lawyer (kind of) Vinny Gambini. Tomei is his girlfriend, Mona Lisa Vito, and they make an absolutely perfect pair. But once you see Mona Lisa in all of her early-'90s glory, you never want to let her out of your sight. This is far from an original thought. Tomei won the Oscar for Best Supporting Actress for the role, a feat for a performer in a comedy, and incredibly well deserved.

Watch it on HBO Max.

20th Century Fox / Courtesy Everett Collection

64.Nightmare Alley (2021)

Bradley Cooper and Rooney Mara performing at a carnival

It's incredibly important to me that Bradley Cooper look worse for wear for at least 20 minutes of every movie he's in from this point forward, as Nightmare Alley affirms my belief that shiny Coop isn't always the most compelling. The opposite is true of Cate Blanchett, who is at her sleekest as Dr. Lilith Ritter, a psychiatrist who uses her understanding of human behavior to questionable ends. Come to Nightmare Alley for cowriter and director Guillermo del Toro's signature macabre style and stay for the promise of Cooper with dirt on his face and Blanchett playing a true dame.

Watch it on HBO Max.

Kerry Hayes / Searchlight Pictures / Courtesy Everett Collection

65.A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984)

Heather Langenkamp asleep in a bubble bath with Freddy Krueger's claw coming up from the water

Until I saw A Nightmare on Elm Street for the first time last year, I never totally believed that Freddy Krueger was actually scary. His weapons of choice at first glance seem thoughtless and thrown together. His outfit is very silly — autumn stripes and a fedora? OK. "Freddy" is the name of a child, and kind of a wimpy one at that. And then the movie started. It opens with Freddy crafting the claw-glove hybrid — a detailed affair that involves a lot of filing, dripping water, and synthesizers — and within two minutes, there's no way not to be like, "Yeah, fine, that would really hurt." And hunting you in your dreams? That's just not fair. But I will finally admit, it is scary, and a must-watch.

Watch it on HBO Max.

New Line Cinema / Courtesy Everett Collection

66.Ocean's 11 (2001)

George Clooney, Brad Pitt, Matt Damon, Elliot Gould, and Don Cheadle

Ocean's 11, a remake of a 1960 film of the same name, is the ultimate heist movie, bringing humor and style to the genre like never before. At the center of any great heist is a rock star ensemble, and of course the famed 11 are a smash, with Brad Pitt, Don Cheadle, and Elliot Gould as some of the standouts. George Clooney holds the center as suave mastermind Danny Ocean, giving a cool, calm, and collected performance that grounds the madness of the plot and makes a $150 million heist sound almost reasonable. Practical, even. It's always a pleasure to see Julia Roberts, but I always forget how much I love her as Danny's somewhat estranged wife, Tess, until she's there at dinner, giving Danny what for. 11 out of 10. 😎

Watch it on HBO Max.

Warner Bros. / Courtesy Everett Collection

67.*Old (2021)

vicky krieps and thomasin mckensie looking upward in terror in a beach

The rumors are true: I love Old! Yes, the movie about vacationers who are taken to a beach that, for mysterious reasons they must try to discover to survive, makes them age rapidly. The. Beach. Makes. Them. Old. How don't we all love this? The premise is wacky in a way moviegoers aren't treated to much anymore, and true to his style, writer and director M. Night Shyamalan takes it about as far as it can go in every direction. The cinematography is eye-catching and creative, the performances are great, and I cannot emphasize enough that the beach makes them old. Stop what you're doing, smash play, and then text all your friends about it about a year too late. They won't mind.

Watch it on HBO Max.

Lifestyle Pictures / Alamy

68.On the Waterfront (1954)

Marlon Brando and Eva Marie Saint looking at each other intensely

Sometimes it feels like every old movie is about unions and organized crime, but ya know what? I love it! It's impossible to tear your eyes away from Marlon Brando and Eva Marie Saint as Terry and Edie, who together are trying to find justice for Edie's brother, Joey, who was murdered by a corrupt union boss on Terry's watch. Watching older films is valuable for a million reasons, but one of the most fun reasons is to find out the original context of famous quotes you've been hearing all your life. Get ready to watch the "I coulda been a contender" speech in all its glory.

Watch it on HBO Max.

Columbia Pictures / Courtesy Everett Collection

69.Paddington 2 (2017)

paddington the bear in a black and pink striped convict outfit surrounded by fellow inmates

Who could have predicted that a sequel about a very British animated bear would be such a commercial *and* critical hit? Not I. And yet, Paddington 2 has a 99% fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes, and my friends, most of whom are in their late 20s and none of whom have children, won't stop talking about it even five years after its release. With certifiably cute performances by Hugh Grant, Brendan Gleeson, and Sally Hawkins, Paddington 2's story of pop-up books, incarceration, and, of course, marmalade is one that's cemented itself as part of the culture, and it's a great watch for kids and kids-at-heart alike.

Watch it on HBO Max.

Warner Bros. / Courtesy Everett Collection

70.Rent (2005)

Anthony Rapp dancing on a table surrounded by the cast

It would be wrong for me to bury the lede: This is one of my favorite movies. I know it's my job, but I can't even be subjective. I saw this movie at the perfect time, when my preteen brain was sucking up the media that I would, apparently, love forever, and I know I'm not alone. Rent is the quintessential alt-musical gone mainstream. We follow a group of bohemian New Yorkers just trying to survive and make art (and, you guessed it, rent) in the city amid rapid gentrification and the AIDS epidemic. Performances by some of the stage musical's original cast (Anthony Rapp, Jesse L. Martin, Idina Menzel, Wilson Jermaine Heredia, Adam Pascal, Taye Diggs) bring authenticity to this rather faithful translation of playwright and composer Jonathan Larson's last work. It's easy for people to roll their eyes at Rent, but I encourage you to revisit the rock musical to end all rock musicals, and listen to the opening notes of "Seasons of Love" as if for the first time.

Watch it on HBO Max.

Columbia Pictures / © Columbia Pictures / Courtesy Everett Collection

71.Say Anything... (1989)

John Cusack and Ione Skye laughing at a diner

Director Cameron Crowe's reputation for saccharine work, especially in his later films, precedes him, so I didn't expect to love Say Anything... for its grounded character work, nuanced take on familial relationships, and depiction of that weird summer post–high school and precollege that rings true. If you only know Say Anything... from its memeable boom box–over–the–head moment, expect way more than overwrought romantic gestures. Prepare instead for a movie that interrogates the parent-child relationship and has an oddly compelling subplot about tax evasion, along with John Cusack at his mumbliest, of course.

Watch it on HBO Max.

20th Century fox / Courtesy Everett Collection

72.Selena (1997)

Jennifer Lopez onstage singing as Selena

Talk about one of the most fortuitous pieces of casting in memory. Jennifer Lopez gave this performance as the late Mexican American Tejano and pop star Selena as her star was rising, and it is still one of her most beloved film performances to date, combining her undeniable charisma and warmth with music and dance, to great result. The movie follows Selena's life from her childhood in the family band Selena y Los Dinos through her breakout stardom and ultimately her tragic murder by the former president of her fan club. Selena is a celebration of the joy she brought so many people though her music that continues today, as well as a remembrance of a short but brilliant life.

Watch it on HBO Max.

Warner Bros. / Courtesy Everett Collection

73.*Serendipity (2001)

john cusack and kate beckinsale drinking forzen hot chocolate at a table in serendipity

One of the most convoluted premises doesn't even register as so in Serendipity, since it's so effective at sweeping you away into rom-com land with mushy love brain. After Jonathan (John Cusack) and Sara (Kate Beckinsale) have the meet-cute to end all meet-cutes, they spend a magical New York night together (yes, including sipping on frozen hot chocolate at Serendipity 3). But when it's time to part, Sara writes her name and number in a book, trusting that if fate wants to bring them together again, it will happen —you know it — serendipitously.

Watch it on HBO Max.

Miramax Films / Alamy

74.Shaft (1971)

Richard Roundtree with a mustache and leather coat walking down 42nd Street

God, Shaft is cool. The character. The clothes. The theme. The whole thing. This iconic early blaxploitation work directed by Gordon Parks stars Richard Roundtree as Shaft, a private detective who is hired to untangle a mobster's daughter from a rival gang. A comment I couldn't agree with more on a YouTube video of the Shaft theme (which won Best Original Song at the 1972 Oscars for composer Isaac Hayes, the first Black person to receive the award) says, "The 1970s officially began five seconds into this track," and that about sums it up. While the film and the genre as a whole were a bit controversial, Shaft was the start of an evocative franchise, with movies now with Samuel L. Jackson at the helm being released as recently as 2019.

Watch it on HBO Max.

MGM / Courtesy Everett Collection

75.The Shining (1980)

Jack Nicholson sticking his head through a splintered door with a sinister smile

Stanley Kubrick's take on Stephen King's 1977 novel, The Shining, makes use of a sparse cast and an even sparser setting as the Torrance family takes up residence in the Overlook Hotel to tend to it during the off-season — to dreadful result. As you likely know from being alive on planet Earth, the family is plagued by a series of supernatural happenings — first subtle, then lurid, and each increasingly unsettling and terrifying. With Jack Nicholson, Shelley Duvall, and Danny Lloyd each in their most iconic performances, it's always a treat to visit the ill-fated Torrance family at the hotel via a rewatch, though I'll admit it often leaves me sleepless, no matter how many viewings in I am.

Watch it on HBO Max.

Warner Bros. / Courtesy Everett Collection

76.Shiva Baby (2020)

Rachel Sennott and Polly Draper arguing

Running into your sugar daddy *and* your ex-girlfriend while at a shiva with your whole family is a nightmare situation that I wouldn't wish upon my worst enemies, and Shiva Baby plays it with all of the tension and, frankly, horror it can muster. Coming in at a tight 80 minutes, the film packs a wallop in a short amount of time; and fantastic performances from Rachel Sennott, Molly Gordon, and Polly Draper are a master class in knowing glances rife with personal history.

Watch it on HBO Max.

Utopia / Courtesy Everett Collection

77.The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants (2005)

America Ferrera, Amber Tamblyn, Alexis Bledel, and Blake Lively walking down the street

I unabashedly love The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants, a book series I devoured as a preteen and whose first movie I watch conservatively once a year. Tibby (Amber Tamblyn) was originally my blue-haired icon, who taught me to distrust minimum wage and carry a grudge no matter how nice my friends are. As I grow up, Lena (Alexis Bledel) is my girl, and the scene where she goes on a date with Kostas and he's wearing, of all things, a baby blue turtleneck just means the world to me. Even the soundtrack rocks with 2005 hits and nonhits I have nevertheless committed to memory.

Watch it on HBO Max.

Warner Bros. / Courtesy Everett Collection

78.Spirited Away (2001)

Chichiro with the shadowy masked creature No Face

My personal favorite of Hayao Miyazaki's films, Spirited Away is about 10-year-old Chihiro Ogino (Rumi Hiiragi in the film's original Japanese, Daveigh Chase in the English dubbed version), who enters a spirit world and must work in a bathhouse after her parents are turned into pigs, hoping to free them so they can all make their way back to their normal life. It would be disingenuous of me to say that I totally understand what Spirited Away is about, since, although technically made for the young, Miyazaki's work is so rich with symbolism that it can be difficult to nail down. And that's a good thing — the feeling you get from watching this, and his other films, is profound, and I find they always lend themselves to a great discussion with whomever I watch them with.

Watch it on HBO Max.

Buena Vista Pictures / Courtesy Everett Collection

79.Tenet (2020)

John David Washington wearing an oxygen mask in a car

The newest from Christopher Nolan, Tenet is yet another take on temporality, this time proposing a world in which some people and objects move backward in time. At least...I think. I could be wrong, and honestly, that's fine. I'm not watching Tenet to ace Nolan Physics 101. I'm watching because an action drama with an over-the-top budget and barely any CGI (yes, they crashed a real airplane into a real hangar) is a beautiful thing, especially with relative newcomer John David Washington and the always enigmatic Robert Pattinson at the helm. Tenet may not have gotten the super-wide theatrical release the studio was hoping for (though it was still a fair showing, considering the circumstances), but it's absolutely worth watching now. And if you don't think you'll be a fan, I encourage you to remember that almost all of the effects are in-camera — it's a feat of craft, and truly cool to see.

Watch it on HBO Max.

Warner Bros. / Courtesy Everett Collection

80.This Is Where I Leave You (2014)

Adam Driver, Corey Stoll, Tina Fey, and Jason Bateman sitting on a couch

My friends love to make fun of me for loving this movie about siblings who return home for a week to sit shiva for their recently deceased father, but they will never be able to convince me that a movie in which Adam Driver dates Connie Britton is not worth watching over and over again. "Dysfunctional family stuck at home together" is one of my favorite genres (see also: The Family Stone, Dan in Real Life), and one with this much of an all-star cast is almost too much for me to handle. Look no further for a movie to smash play on if you're interested in Rose Byrne as an ice-skater with an American accent, Jane Fonda as a mother with a secret, and Kathryn Hahn generally.

Watch it on HBO Max.

Warner Bros. / Courtesy Everett Collection

81.Tony Hawk: Until The Wheels Fall Off (2022)

tony hawk wearing a skateboard helmet

If there's anything we've learned from his Twitter over the past few years, it's that everybody knows Tony Hawk and nobody knows Tony Hawk. But we get a little closer in this new doc about his life and rise to fame that feels like a spiritual successor to Dogtown and Z Boys. It's always wild to watch how one of the best people in their field came up, but especially when the popularity of the sport comes up with you, and exponentially at that. It's great to see legends like Stacy Peralta and Rodney Mullen reflecting on Tony and on the time. Highly recommended for both skateboarding fans and anyone for whom this would be an intro.

Watch it on HBO Max.


82.The Truman Show (1998)

Jim Carrey holding a television set light and looking up suspiciously

Who among us hasn't looked at the wild world around us and wondered, Am I on a TV show right now? Apparently not Truman Burbank for the first few decades of his life, despite being the first baby to be adopted by a corporation and raised as an unwitting star of The Truman Show. His whole life is televised, his friends and family are paid actors, the world around him is a set, and he's the most popular TV star in the world — he just doesn't know it. But as he catches on, everything changes, both for him and the audience at home. Jim Carrey was wise to take on this more dramatic role, proving he can honestly do it all and setting himself up for a well-rounded career.

Watch it on HBO Max.

Paramount / Courtesy Everett Collection

83.*Watchmen (2009)

blue, glowing Dr. Manhattan standing at a press conference in watchmen

Zack Snyder's affinity for pop iconography, slow motion, and needle drops aren't a fit for every piece of IP, but they are extremely well-suited for this adaptation of the cult-favorite graphic novel Watchmen written by Alan Moore. It's a rather faithful take on the original source material (save for some functional changes to the ending), which as a Watchmen fan I've always appreciated, even if it means a nearly three-hour runtime. The story of a group of caped vigilantes and crime-fighters through the decades as they come together, grow apart, and eventually face the threat of being murdered one by one as the world comes up against a more existential threat of nuclear holocaust. All in all...that may not sound like a lot of fun, but a spot-on soundtrack and great visuals make it super watchable, even if you're not already a fan of the original work.

Watch it on HBO Max.

Warner Bros / Courtesy Everett Collection

84.West Side Story (2021)

Cast members, including Ariana DeBose as Anita, dance energetically

While there has been much debate over whether a West Side Story remake was actually necessary for the year 2021, I'd like to believe that Steven Spielberg struck a perfect balance of finding the "new" in this classic while maintaining its original charm. Also, it gave us some of this year's most exciting performances, notably Rachel Zegler as Maria and Ariana DeBose as Anita, in an Oscar-, Golden Globe– and SAG-winning turn. Mike Faist as Riff is also a standout, and his jumpy, unpredictable energy is hard to tear your eyes away from, even in huge numbers where everyone is giving it their all.

Watch it on HBO Max.

Niko Tavernise / 20th Century Studios / Courtesy Everett Collection

85.When Harry Met Sally... (1989)

Meg Ryan and Billy Crystal squatting next to a large rug

Nora Ephron can do no wrong, but I think most would agree that When Harry Met Sally is her greatest "right." Her signature quick, frank dialogue rings against a backdrop of New York City looking its best, and Meg Ryan and Billy Crystal are magnetic as rom-com leads. I grew up with my parents constantly quoting this movie, and I'm eternally grateful that I was born after this movie was made so I never had to know a time without it. It's a simple plot explained by the title, but characters written so genuinely and deftly make Ephron's masterwork a thing that reaches out and touches you at any point in your life. I know I'll be returning to this film over and over again, gleaning something new every time and always cackling at them singing, "The Surrey With the Fringe on Top."

Watch it on HBO Max.

Columbia Pictures / Courtesy Everett Collection

86.Where the Wild Things Are (2009)

max wearing a crown and looking toward wild thing carol, who is by the ocean

Spike Jonze directs this adaptation of the children's book of the same name, giving it a subdued, moody feel perfectly suited for an indie rock era coming-of-age film. Where the Wild Things Are was announced with a trailer featuring Arcade Fire and is buoyed by an otherworldly soundtrack by Karen O and the Kids (which I still regularly listen to), positioning itself as a hit with millennial pre-teens at the time of its release to great effect — at least among the kids at my school, who went on to hold a "wild rumpus" in the woods themselves with all of the local teen bands playing sets.

Watch it on HBO Max.

Warner Bros / Courtesy Everett Collection

87.The Wizard of Oz (1939)

Margaret Hamilton as the Wicked Witch of the West threatens Judy Garland as Dorothy

It would be difficult to overstate the impact of The Wizard of Oz on pop culture, as you already know. Of course the music, cast, and early use of Technicolor all went toward making this film the phenomenon that it is and no doubt will continue to be until the end of humanity (10 years?). But there's some mercurial secret sauce that makes The Wizard of Oz greater than the sum of its parts. Better watch it for the hundredth time to try to figure out what it is, and here's hoping Cynthia Erivo and Ariana Grande do too before starring in the at-long-last-announced Wicked movie. Who am I kidding? We all know they're gonna kill it.

Watch it on HBO Max.

MGM/Courtesy Everett Collection

88.Young Adult (2011)

Charlize Theron applying dark lipstick

Watching a woman-led movie written by Diablo Cody is always *chef's kiss*, and Charlize Theron is incredible as Mavis in Young Adult. Upon hearing her high school boyfriend has welcomed a baby with his now-wife, Mavis returns to her hometown to try to win him back, hitting a lot of bars, making a few friends, and reuniting with a few enemies along the way. Directed by Jason Reitman (Juno), Young Adult continues his collaboration with Cody, bringing another complex and at times alarmingly relatable story to life.

Watch it on HBO Max.

Paramount / Courtesy Everett Collection

* Denotes title has been newly added to HBO Max for June.

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