8 new to Max movies with 90% or higher on Rotten Tomatoes

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March is here and with it are some great new movies on Max. Our choice for the best streaming service always adds a ton of new shows and movies each month and March 2024 is no different.

But not all movies are created equal and there's a lot to sift through in the full list of everything coming to Max this month. So we've gone through and curated a list of the best of the best. This month, that list includes the original 1933 "King Kong," a true classic, and the critically beloved "The Farewell." And starting March 8, you'll be able to watch Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper in the incredible remake of "A Star Is Born."

Every movie on this list has a Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer rating of 90% fresh or higher, signifying near-universal acclaim. If it is on this list, you know it's a must-watch film. So without further ado, here are the eight best new to Max movies with a 90% or higher rating on Rotten Tomatoes.

'King Kong' (1933)

While it looks dated now, the special effects in "King Kong" were considered a breakthrough at the time. The ability to create a monster at such a large scale through a combination of stop-motion animation and live-action filming is still a marvel, even if the stop-motion Kong is a bit jarring to the modern eye.

Starring Fay Wray as femme fatale Ann Darrow and Robert Armstrong as filmmaker turned explorer Carl Denham, the plot of "King Kong" is probably familiar to most at this point, even if they haven't seen the film. Denham takes Darrow to Skull Island, an island trapped in prehistory. There they capture the giant gorilla-like King Kong and bring him back to New York. It's a decision that ultimately proves fatal, though you'll have to watch to see who survives this iconic horror tale.

Genre: Horror monster
Rotten Tomatoes score: 97% 
Stream it now on Max

'The Farewell' (2017)

"The Farewell" is probably most well-known as a breakout movie for multiple people involved. The movie is partially based on director Lulu Wang's life and she received numerous award nominations for the movie and her screenplay.

The movie stars Awkwafina as Billi Wang, a Chinese-American woman who learns that her grandmother Nai Nai (Zhao Shu-zhen) is dying at the beginning of the movie. But rather than being free to tell Nai Nai or process her grief as she sees fit, her family decides to not tell Nai Nai of her fatal illness. The movie is an insightful portrayal of the grieving process as well as the differences between western and Chinese family values. Aside from Wang's screenplay, "The Farewell" also received praise for the American film debut of Shu-zhen and the award-winning breakout performance of Awkwafina as Billi.

Genre: Comedy drama
Rotten Tomatoes score: 97% 
Stream it now on Max

'Fruitvale Station' (2013)

In 2009, Oscar Grant III was fatally shot by Bay Area Rapid Transit Police at Fruitvale station in Oakland. In response to reports of a fight, Grant and several others were detained by BART Police. While detained, Grant was kneed in the head by BART officer Anthony Pirone and then officer Johannes Mehserle shot Grant in the head. The incident was caught by several bystanders on mobile phones and led to riots and protests after Mehserle was ultimately convicted of involuntary manslaughter but not murder.

But "Fruitvale Station" is about more than that. Instead, director Ryan Coogler paints a fuller picture of a man in the final 24 hours of his life before that life is shockingly taken away. The movie was a breakout moment for Coogler in his feature-length directorial debut, as well as his fellow USC alum Ludwig Göransson, who also made his feature-length debut in composing the movie's score. It also revived Michael B. Jordan's acting career by starring him as Grant. All three would team up again in "Black Panther," making "Fruitvale Station" a valuable insight into the chemistry of this group of filmmaking collaborators.

Genre: Biographical drama
Rotten Tomatoes score: 94%
Stream it now on Max

'Cabaret' (1972)

This movie may be based on a musical based on a play based on a novel, but I promise you, it excels as an adaptation. It was nominated for an incredible 10 Academy Awards, winning eight of them, including Best Actress for Liza Minelli's performance as Sally Bowles and Best Supporting Actor for Joel Grey's performance as the master of ceremonies.

Starring Minnelli as Bowles, the movie is the story of a young promiscuous American woman newly arrived in 1931 Berlin and performing at the Kit Kat Klub nightclub. But just as importantly, "Cabaret" tells the tale of life in the last days of the Weimar Republic in Berlin before the Nazi Party's takeover of Germany.

While the movie does venture outside the confines of the Kit Kat Klub, the musical numbers almost all take place within the nightclub. Don't miss this iconic musical while it's available to watch on Max.

Genre: Musical period drama
Rotten Tomatoes score: 92% 
Stream it now on Max

'A Star is Born' (2018)

Another instance of a musical based on more than one adaptation, 2018's "A Star is Born" is the third remake of the 1937 romance drama. You'd think that'd mean nobody had yet gotten it right, but you'd be wrong. The original took home two Oscars out of eight nominations, the 1954 remake took home no Oscars but was nominated for six and the 1976 remake won one of its four nominations.

So it may not surprise you that this iteration took home an Oscar for Best Original Song — the now iconic "Shallow" — one of the film's eight Oscars nominations.

In this version of the story, Bradley Cooper stars as Jackson "Jack" Maine, a famous country star with a serious addiction problem. He meets a 31-year-old waitress, Ally (Lady Gaga), at a bar and after seeing her sing, encourages her to pursue her singing and songwriting career. As her career grows, they pursue a romantic relationship and what follows is a heartbreaking romantic drama.

Genre: Musical romantic drama
Rotten Tomatoes score: 90%
Stream it on Max starting March 8

'127 Hours' (2010)

The term "tour de force" gets thrown around a lot, but I struggle to think of a better term to describe this movie. Even from just the trailer, you become emotionally invested in the story. And the full-length film lives up to that trailer's promise, earning dozens of award nominations including several Oscars nominations.

It's also based on an incredible true story. Starring James Franco as amateur mountaineer Aron Ralston, "127 Hours" tells the true story of how he was trapped by a boulder in a canyon for 127 hours. The trailer — thankfully — hides the major twist of this movie, so I'm not going to spoil it for you here. You'll have to watch the movie to find out.

Genre: Biographical survival drama
Rotten Tomatoes score: 93% 
Stream it now on Max

'Dear White People' (2014)

Not to be confused with the 2017 Netflix series of the same name, this satirical black comedy (I promise, no pun intended) tells the tale of racial tensions reaching a boiling point at a fictional Ivy League college. And while its subject matter merits serious analysis and discussion, the movie is undeniably funny.

"Dear White People" stars Tessa Thompson as Samantha "Sam" White, who causes discomfort in her white classmates by criticizing their and the school's racist behavior. She does the majority of this criticism in her radio show "Dear White People" and her self-published book, "Ebony and Ivy." This discomfort eventually reaches a boiling point, but not before a witty, inciteful examination of what many Black people experience in American society.

Genre: Satirical comedy drama
Rotten Tomatoes score: 91% 
Stream it now on Max

'Good Time' (2017)

Fans of "Uncut Gems" and "The Curse" should definitely check out the former's predecessor now that it's on Max. The fifth, and currently penultimate film from the Safdie Brothers, "Good Time" stars Robert Pattinson as Connie Nikas, a small-time criminal in New York City who tries to free his developmentally disabled brother Nick (Benny Safdie's) from police custody. The problem? Connie is a wanted man.

Fans of the Safdie Brothers will appreciate the nervy tension that would become a hallmark of 2019's "Uncut Gems," though detractors may find that aspect of the film unbearable. Regardless though, Pattinson's performance is one to watch. The Hollywood Reporter's David Rooney compared it to Al Pacino's performance in "Dog Day Afternoon" — and that's high praise.

Genre: Crime thriller
Rotten Tomatoes score: 91% 
Stream it now on Max

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