Last Updated: February 14th
In addition to being America’s most trusted source of Carnivale episodes, HBO Go/HBO Now has a lovely collection of movies available ranging from trashy action thrills to elegant period pieces to star-studded comedies. Here is a ranking of the 30 best movies on HBO Go/HBO Now that you could and should be watching right now.
1. Goodfellas (1990)
Run Time: 146 min | IMDb: 8.7/10
Robert De Niro and Ray Liotta star in this crime drama from the always reliable Martin Scorcese. Liotta plays Henry Hill, a young kid enamored with the life of crime who eventually works his way up the ranks to become a certified bad guy. He reaps the rewards: money, cars, women, a ton of nose candy, but his life soon spirals out of control when his friends turn on him, the authorities close in on his business, and his drug addiction begins to feed his paranoia.
2. Fantastic Mr. Fox (2009)
Run Time: 87 min | IMDb: 7.8/10
Wes Anderson has made a name for himself directing quirky, character-driven stories with stirring emotional undertones, but Fantastic Mr. Fox marked his greatest achievement in the stop-motion animation space. The film follows a smooth-talking Mr. Fox (George Clooney) and his wife Felicity (Meryl Streep) as they try to build a family while contending with some vicious farmers intent on driving them out of their home. It’s preposterous, a bit silly, and yet Anderson is able to evoke some real heart and a deeper meaning from these wily creatures. Plus, the look of the film is just gorgeous.
3. Phantom Thread (2017)
Run Time: 130 min | IMDb: 7.6/10
Daniel Day-Lewis stars in this British period drama about a creative genius who slowly corrupts his closest relationships. Lewis stars as Reynolds Woodcock, a fashion designer who build elaborate dresses for society’s elite. His sister manages the day-to-day business while Woodcock intensely focuses on his work until he meets a waitress named Alma (Vicky Krieps), who he begins a relationship with. Their love affair soon turns sour thanks to Woodcock’s aloof behavior and troubled mental state, so Alma takes things into her own hands to ensure both their futures.
4. Fargo (2006)
Run Time: 98 min | IMDb: 8.1/10
Before FX gave us some spectacular follow-up formatted for TV, the Coen brothers introduced us to the cold, weirdly-accented world of murder and cover-up in Fargo, a thriller continues to stand the test of time. The premise is probably familiar by now: a criminal mastermind’s plan goes awry thanks to the ineptitude and bungling of his henchman and the persistence of a dogged policewoman (the unfairly-talented Frances McDormand). Still, it’s worth a rewatch.
5. Wonder Woman (2017)
Run Time: 149 min, IMDb: 7.5/10
Embraced by critics and filmgoers alike, Wonder Woman is living, breathing, ass-kicking proof that the DCEU is capable of providing superhero fare that doesn’t have to lead to shouty arguments over a Rotten Tomatoes score. Gal Gadot stars as Diana Prince (the titular woman of wonder) in Patty Jenkins’ exhilarating comic book motion picture set during World War I. Leaning into charm and fun alongside scenes of villain thumping, Wonder Woman sees our heroine as something too special not to stand out in her surroundings and the film is all the more captivating for it.
6. Inception (2010)
Run Time: 148 min | IMDb: 8.8/10
Christopher Nolan’s mind-bending thriller is a masterclass in story-telling and the right way to do CGI. The film stars Leonardo DiCaprio as Dominick Cobb, a thief or “extractor” who steals ideas from people’s minds. Joseph Gordon Levitt plays Arthur, his partner in crime. The two take on an impossible job — instead of stealing an idea from someone’s subconscious, they’re tasked with implanting a memory, effectively making someone believe an idea they want them to have is actually their own. Cobb does this to clear his name after the death of his wife, the rest of the team (played by Ellen Page, Tom Hardy, and Dileep Rao) do it for the thrill and the money, but things quickly go south in their subject’s dreamscape, and the group is forced to come up with clever ways to complete their mission. The film never feels long, despite its 2 hour-plus runtime, and along with gripping action sequences and inventive story-telling techniques, Nolan manages to infuse just enough character study and relationship drama to get you invested in his sci-fi adventure.
7. Logan (2017)
Run Time: 141 min | IMDb: 8.1/10
Hugh Jackman bids goodbye to his furry Canadian alter-ego in this hard-R box office smash that offers up a grizzled late period take on Wolverine with a lovely mix of emotional gravitas and the appeal of a dude clawing up the brains of bad guys and ne’er-do-wells alike. Dafne Keen shines as the mysterious young girl that’s found herself in Logan’s life, and Patrick Stewart returns as the least cuddly version of Professor Charles Xavier yet. Critics and fans alike are pretty sweet on this different brand of superhero movie.
8. The Bourne Identity (2002)
Run Time: 119 min | IMDb: 7.9/10
Director Doug Liman knew something the rest of us didn’t when he cast Matt Damon as the amnesiac super-agent, Jason Bourne. The 2002 film would kick off a trilogy starring Damon and even spawn a movie without him but the original is hard to top in terms of action and suspense. Damon plays Bourne, a man washed up on a fishing vessel with no memory of who he is. He’s able to do impossible things and quickly discovers he’s a target. Who’s chasing him and why are secrets we learn over the course of the three films, two of which are on HBO.
9. Being John Malkovich (1999)
Run Time: 1113 min | IMDb: 7.8/10
This Spike Jonze fantasy-comedy is all kinds of weird, in the best possible way. John Cusack plays Craig, an unhappy office worker in a loveless marriage to wife Lotte (Cameron Diaz), crushing on his hot co-worker Maxine (Catherine Keener). One day, Craig discovers a portal in his office that leads into the mind of John Malkovich. After using the portal to make a buck and sharing the knowledge of its existence with his wife and Maxine, Craig begins abusing the privilege of controlling Malkovich, using him to get rich, famous, and begin a relationship with Maxine. Lotte and Maxine work together to regain control of Malkovich’s mind, using a shocking secret to curb Craig’s bad habits. Malkovich does crazy like no one else, but Keener eats up every bit of screentime she’s given.
10. The Hangover (2009)
Run Time: 100 min | IMDb: 7.7/10
Sure, the trilogy this film spawned should’ve ended before it began, but we must show some respect to the original Todd Phillips created the bro-comedy to beat all other bro-comedies with this flick about three guys throwing a wild bachelor party for a groom who mysteriously disappears. Bradley Cooper, Ed Helms, and Zach Galifianakis play the groomsmen who wake up after a night of raging to find their friend (Justin Bartha) is missing. They have to retrace their steps, which include hasty marriages to strippers, stealing a police car, being roofied, and getting on the bad side of a local Chinese gangster, in order to find him.
11. The Shape of Water (2017)
Run Time: 123 min | IMDb: 7.4/10
Guillermo del Toro’s thrilling, heartbreaking romance story has landed on HBO. Sure, Sally Hawkins makes out with a fish man a few times, and yeah, things get weird when the interspecies relationship takes things to the next level. Yet an A-list cast (Michael Shannon and Octavia Spencer give brilliant turns) and an imaginative story about a humanoid amphibian creature looking for compassion and understanding in a cruel world isn’t something you come across every day while scrolling through your streaming options.
12. The Tale (2018)
Run Time: 114 min | IMDb: 7.3/10
Laura Dern gives a hauntingly beautiful performance in Jennifer Fox’s autobiographical drama, The Tale. The film recounts Fox’s own history of sexual abuse at the hands of a riding instructor who was three times her age. Dern plays a grown-up version of Fox, a woman struggling to recall illicit memories of her past, to reconcile the relationship she thought she had as a teenager with a man old enough to be her father with what actually happened — years of grooming, mental, and physical abuse at the hands of adults she had put her trust in. It’s a brutal but necessary watch.
13. Paddington 2 (2017)
Run Time: 103 min | IMDb: 7.9/10
Rarely does a sequel match, let alone surpass, the original, but the follow-up adventure of Paddington, the marmalade-loving bear with a penchant for causing chaos, does just that. That’s partly due to the cast, particularly the addition of Hugh Grant as a maniacal villain with an extensive costume collection, but mostly, this film is a joy because of its heart. Paddington is still the same loveable goof from the original, trying his best to do good and making a mess of things. This time, he lands himself in prison after being falsely accused a thief, eventually befriending his fellow inmates and giving us all a lesson in kindness and compassion. If this movie doesn’t make you smile, we worry for your soul.
14. Temple Grandin (2010)
Run Time: 120 min | IMDb: 8.3/10
Inspirational without being self-congratulatory or condescending, Mick Jackson’s Temple Grandin places Claire Danes in the role of the real-life title character as she develops into a voice in animal science that cannot be ignored. A world that’s unaccommodating to autism and women in the ranching industry does not make things easy for Grandin and Danes portrays her with detail, intelligence and heart. Bonus points awarded for having the courage to include comedy and taking the effort to make something with warmth. You don’t get that too often in movies featuring the inner workings of slaughterhouses.
15. The Fugitive (1993)
Run Time: 130 min | IMDb: 7.8/10
This American thriller from Andrew Davis follows Harrison Ford and Tommy Lee Jones as the two men engage in a dangerous game of cat-and-mouse. Ford plays Dr. Kimble, a prominent surgeon framed for the murder of his wife. Jones plays Deputy Gerard, a U.S. Marshall who investigates the case. Kimble’s innocent of course, and after an escape attempt, he sets out to find his wife’s real killer and ends up uncovering a troubling conspiracy. Ford and Jones are two of the greats, and they excel in the action role, so watching them try to out-maneuver and out-last each other is the real treat here.
16. Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri (2017)
Run Time: 115 min | IMDb: 8.2/10
France McDormand gives an Oscar-winning turn in this crime drama from Martin McDonagh. The film follows McDormand, who plays a grieving mother pissed off at the local police for failing to catch her daughter’s killer. She buys three billboards right outside of her small town and sets off a chaotic chain of events that ends with a suicide, arson, and an unlikely pairing. It’s not perfect, but watching McDormand chew on literally every scene she’s in and act opposite Woody Harrelson and Sam Rockwell (both also stellar in this one) is more than enough reason to check it out.
17. Ice Age (2002)
Run Time: 103 min | IMDb: 7.5/10
Sure, this is an animated film franchise that probably stayed past its welcome, but the original film was the interspecies buddy comedy we never knew we needed. With Ray Romano playing a grumpy woolly mammoth named Manny, who reluctantly teams up with a hapless giant ground sloth named Sid (John Leguizamo) and a tough sabretooth named Diego (Denis Leary), the film took us on a prehistoric journey as the three heroes sacrificed themselves in order to save a human baby. Just recapping the film is bringing on the feels.
18. Mommy Dead And Dearest (2017)
Run Time: 82 min IMDb: 7.4/10
Erin Lee Carr’s spellbinding crime doc Mommy Dead and Dearest plunges into the bizarre and absorbing true story surrounding the murder of Dee Dee Blancharde. It’s an absorbing, strange and disturbing watch that doles out enough jawdropping moments in 83 minutes to put full seasons of TV to shame. Sundance hopefuls would have a field day with the visuals in this documentary if they were to try and adapt this stranger-than-fiction tale of manipulation, murder and motherhood.
19. Anchorman: The Legend Of Ron Burgundy (2004)
Run Time: 94 min | IMDb: 7.2/10
Will Ferrell has given us plenty of hilarious characters over the years but none feel as timeless and enduring as Ron Burgundy. The smooth-talking, jazz-loving anchorman is the most trusted voice in San Diego news until a women-in-the-workplace initiative launches, and he’s forced to share the desk with his sometimes-lover played by Christina Applegate. The supporting cast is what truly puts this comedy over-the-top with people like Paul Rudd and Steve Carrell putting their own spin on Burgundy’s fellow reporters, Brian Fantana and Brick Tamland.
20. Tully (2018)
Run Time: 95 min | IMDb: 7/10
Jason Reitman and Diablo Cody team up for another collab with Charlize Theron, this time about a woman named Marlo who struggles with the demanding job of motherhood. Theron plays the exhausted, put-upon matriarch, a woman with a son who has developmental disorders and a new baby she hadn’t planned to take care of. She hires a night nanny to help ease her workload and through the pair’s relationship, she learns some harsh truths about herself and the situation she finds herself in. It’s a heartbreaking, unflinchingly honest look at motherhood and how draining it can be.
21. Real Women Have Curves (2002)
Run Time: 93 min IMDb: 7/10
Living up to the immense hype it earned at Sundance that year, Real Women Have Curves is a coming-of-age tale that balances drama and comedy while shining a spotlight on the acting skills of future Superstore star America Ferrera. (The film marked the actress’s cinematic debut.) Ferrera plays Ana García, a young Mexican-American woman navigating cultural, societal and familial expectations in Los Angeles as she works toward her goal of heading to college. Smart, dignified and occasionally bittersweet, Real Women Have Curves is a movie unafraid of its warmth and humanity.
22. Big Fish (2003)
Run Time: 125 min | IMDb: 8/10
This fantasy-comedy from Tim Burton stars Ewan McGregor as a young Edward Bloom, a man with a gift for story-telling and a lust for life. In the present, Edward Bloom is an old man, on the outs with his son and on his deathbed. His son Will (Billy Crudup), having grown up hearing his father’s tall tales, believes he’s lied to him his entire life. As Edward narrates his life, the fantastical adventures he went on, meeting Will’s mother, joining a circus, saving a town, meeting a big fish, Will decides to investigate his father’s claims and discovers that the truth is just a matter of perspective. In the end, the film is about reconciliation and appreciating life to its fullest.
23. Bring It On (2000)
Run Time: 98 min | IMDb: 6/10
This teen cult classic starring Kirsten Dunst and Gabrielle Union is about much more than just high school cheerleading. Sure, the film spends a copious amount of time on the mat, panning to girls doing flips in short skirts and shouting chants that rhyme, but the movie is also full of dark comedy and witty commentary on teenage angst. Dunst plays Torrance, the newly-elected leader of a premiere cheer squad that’s been winning trophies off of stolen routines for years. Her rival, Isis (Union) heads up the inner-city squad over in Compton, the team Dunst and her friends have unknowingly been ripping off. Hilarity ensues when Torrance tries to inject some originality into her routines, recruiting new members, making dangerous enemies and yes, having a spitting contest with Jesse Bradford. Swoon.
24. Behind The Candelabra (2013)
Run Time: 118 min | IMDb: 7/10
It’d be rude for a Liberace-focused film not to be showered in sparkly awards upon release, don’t you think? Steven Soderbergh’s HBO Films take on Scott Thorson’s memoir Behind the Candelabra: My Life with Liberace earned Emmys galore for its blend of effective drama and dark comedy. Michael Douglas, Matt Damon, and Scott Bakula all scored well-deserved praise and trophies for their work in this gripping (and appropriately stylish) drama that will have you scrambling down many a Wikipedia rabbit hole after.
25. The Greatest Showman (2017)
Run Time: 105 min | IMDb: 7.6/10
Hugh Jackman, Michelle Williams, Zendaya, and Zac Efron star in this musical biopic about the father of showbusiness, P.T. Barnum. Jackman plays Barnum, a man who hails from poverty, marries a woman above his station and sets out to prove he can create something of worth. He sees an opportunity in other outcasts and builds a circus full of interesting characters and daring acts to entertain the public, but with wealth and success come hardships he hadn’t expected. This is less a dramatic re-telling of Barnum’s extraordinary life, more a feel-good film filled with bangers, but hey, we’re not complaining.
26. Grey Gardens (2009)
Run Time: 104 min | IMDb: 7.5/10
Jessica Lange and Drew Barrymore star in this HBO remake of the 1975 documentary of the same name. Lange plays “Big Eddie,” aunt to former First Lady Jackie Kennedy, while Barrymore plays “Little Edie,” Kennedy’s first cousin. The two women became famous when it was revealed that their estate, Grey Gardens, was in ruin and they’d been living there in squalor for years. The film chronicles their journey to destitution, following “Little Edie” as she tries and fails to make a name for herself away from her mother while “Big Eddie” tries to prevent the end of her marriage. It’s a gripping, tragic tale, one made more visceral thanks to some stellar performances by Lange and Barrymore.
27. Brexit (2019)
Run Time: 92 min | IMDb: 7/10
Benedict Cumberbatch plays political strategist Dominic Cummings, the man largely responsible for Britain’s Brexit mess. The guy spearheaded the campaign for the U.K. to separate from the European Union in 2015 but managed to skirt most of the bad press by ducking out after the vote passed. instead, he left it to the Prime Minister and party leaders to figure out what’s next. Cumberbatch plays the mastermind, a socially awkward, data-driven genius who seems to delight in the destruction of his own government, with a certain reserved glee that feels even more chilling than the boisterous nationalism his colleagues are known for.
28. Love, Simon (2018)
Run Time: 110 min | IMDb: 7.7/10
Nick Robinson and Jennifer Garner star in this coming-of-age comedy about a young teen named Simon, who must come to terms with his identity after a classmate outs him as gay. Robinson plays the titular hero, a kid who picks his friends up for school and likes to actually hang out with his family on their schedules movie nights. He lives an all-around comfortable life until he begins corresponding with an anonymous person online, someone he develops feelings for, someone who’s also gay. When people begin to find out, Simon’s forced to come out to his family, his friends, and himself. It’s a moving look at what it means to grapple with your sexual orientation at a young age, but it never feels overdramatized or preachy, which is a good thing.
29. Justice League (2017)
Run Time: 120 min | IMDb: 6.6/10
Zach Snyder’s DC team-up suffers from all of the vices that go along with a superhero crossover film. There’s a ton of action that distracts from the plot, not enough character-driven moments, another world-weary Batman interpretation from Ben Affleck, and a villain that fails to inspire much of anything, let alone fear, in the audience. On the plus side, the film finally gives us glimpses of some anticipated DC superheroes, guys like Ezra Miller’s spunky, lovable Flash, Jason Momoa’s bad-boy fish king Aquaman, and of course, Gal Gadot’s scene-stealing Wonder Woman. Watching the team assemble is most of the fun here and makes up for the lackluster finale.
30. Fahrenheit 451 (2018)
Run Time: 100 min | IMDb: 4.8/10
Critics didn’t seem to love Michael B. Jordan and Michael Shannon’s interpretation of a literary classic, but that doesn’t mean it’s not worth a watch. The film imagines a terrifying future in which the written word is viewed as something to be feared. To that end, Jordan plays Guy Montag, a fireman whose job is to literally burn every book he comes across, but when Montag meets a woman who makes him question the very nature of his world and work, life begins to spiral out of control for Montag. Gloomy dystopian dramas are hard to watch right now but they are necessary if only to remind us of how bad we don’t want things to get. Plus, Michael B Jordan wielding a flamethrower? Yes, please.
Recent Changes Through January 2019:
Removed: It, The Princess Bride, American Made, Bridget Jones’s Diary, Lady Macbeth, Kingsman: The Golden Circle
Added: The Bourne Identity, The Hangover, Tully, The Greatest Showman, Love, Simon, Brexit
from UPROXX https://uproxx.com/movies/best-movies-on-hbo-go-hbo-now-right-now-ranked/