The HBO movies that are available on launch day (May 27th) are actually pretty terrific. There’s a great selection of classics, fairly new releases, quirky indies, and yes, superhero movies. So check out our list of the best movies on HBO streaming below.
Best Movies on HBO
Alien (1979): Most Gripping Horror Flick
Genre: Sci-Fi Horror
Starring: Sigourney Weaver, Tom Skerritt, John Hurt
Director: Ridley Scott
Motion Picture Rating: R
Running Time: 117
Alien is famous for so many reasons. Routinely cited as one of the scariest, most gripping horror films of all time; on the shortlist of Ridley Scott’s best work. The alien designs are notorious, the cast was intentionally unprepared for the traumatic chest-bursting scene to get a more honest and visceral reaction, and so much more.
Akeelah and the Bee (2006): Most Unexpected Family Film
Starring: Angela Bassett, Laurence Fishburne, Keke Palmer
Director: Doug Atchison
Motion Picture Rating: PG
Running Time: 112
What’s it like to be a smart kid who gets no support at home and is harassed at school? That’s a problem a lot of kids can relate to, which makes Akeelah (Keke Palmer) a sort of every girl that resonates with the audience. Akeelah’s mom (Angela Bassett) has her own stuff going on and is distressingly dismissive of her daughter’s talents, leaving Akeelah to persevere on her own to try to win the National Spelling Bee.
Part of the movie’s charm comes from her relationship with teachers like Joshua Larabee (Laurence Fishburne) and fellow contestants like Dylan (Sean Michael Afable). You won’t see the final act twist coming, but will stick with you long after the movie ends.
Alita: Battle Angel (2019): Best Live-Action Anime Adventure
Genre: Sci-Fi Action Adventure
Starring: Rosa Salazar, Christoph Waltz, Jennifer Connelly
Director: Robert Rodriguez
Motion Picture Rating: PG-13
Running Time: 122
Yukito Kishiro’s beloved manga series Battle Angel Alita has been in development for years, which often bodes poorly for a project like this. But with grindhouse director Robert Rodriquez at the helm (taking over a script written substantially by James Cameron), it really sings. No, this film isn’t perfect, but it’s a beautiful story of a junkyard cyborg (Rosa Salazar) without any memory of who or what she is, who turns out to be much, much more than she first seems.
The movie is hampered a bit by some two-dimensional characters, like villain Chiren (Jennifer Connelly), but it’s a must-see film if you’re a fan of the manga or sci-fi fantasy films in general.
A Star is Born (2018): Best Celebrity-Powered Musical
Genre: Drama, Music
Starring: Lady Gaga, Bradley Cooper, Sam Elliott
Director: Bradley Cooper
Motion Picture Rating: R
Running Time: 136
Reincarnation is real, at least for certain films. A Star is Born has been made no fewer than four times, starting in 1951. The Barbra Streisand and Kris Kristofferson version in 1976 is the best known, but 2018’s take with Bradley Cooper and Lady Gaga is a charming update that’s worthy of the title.
You already know the story: Established musician Jack (Bradley Cooper) discovers diamond-in-the-rough Ally (Lady Gaga) and they fall in love, both as people and with each other’s musical talents.
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