The 50 Best Movies on Max Right Now – The New York Times

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In addition to new Warner and HBO films, the streamer has a treasure trove of Golden Age classics, indie flicks and foreign films. Start with these.

When HBO Max debuted in May 2020, subscribers rightfully expected (and got) the formidable catalog of prestige television associated with the HBO brand. But its movie library drew from a much deeper well. Warner Bros. Discovery, which owns HBO, is a huge conglomerate, and its premiere streaming service comprises decades of titles from Warner Bros., Turner Classic Movies, Studio Ghibli and more. Viewed in that light, its recent rebranding as Max seems fitting.
That means a lot of large-scale fantasy series like Harry Potter and “The Lord of the Rings” trilogy, and selections from the DC extended universe. Max is also an education in Golden Age Hollywood classics and in independent and foreign auteurs like Federico Fellini, Satyajit Ray and John Cassavetes. The list below is an effort to recommend a diverse range of movies — old and new, foreign and domestic, all-ages and adults-only — that cross genres and cultures while appealing to casual and serious movie-watchers alike. (Note: Streaming services sometimes remove titles or change starting dates without notice.)
Here are our lists of the best movies and TV shows on Netflix, the best movies on Amazon Prime Video and the best of everything on Hulu and Disney+.
The third and most ambitious of his “Dollars” trilogy with Clint Eastwood, which began with the “Yojimbo”-inspired duo of “A Fistful of Dollars” and “For a Few Dollars More,” Sergio Leone’s definitive spaghetti Western transported Eastwood’s “man with no name” character to the epic backdrop of the American Southwest during the Civil War. The three men referenced in the title — Eastwood, Eli Wallach and Lee Van Cleef, respectively — are all on the hunt for $200,000 in Confederate gold buried at a cemetery, but they each have incomplete information and shifty motivations. Leone’s genius for drawing out tension leads to an unforgettably suspenseful finale.

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Formed in 1971 and broken up only three years later, Big Star is one of rock music’s most glorious flameouts, a critical darling and cult favorite that never caught fire with the listening public and started to collapse after the first of its three records. “Big Star: Nothing Can Hurt Me” is a noble reclamation project, gathering a who’s who of rock luminaries, from Ira Kaplan to Michael Stipe to Matthew Sweet, to enthuse about a band cursed by inept distribution and infighting. Nicolas Rapold wrote that the documentary “captures what’s it’s like to discover music so good it seems as if it were made just for you.”

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