Whether you get HBO via its traditional cable channel, or via streaming on HBO Now, the premium movie and TV service has hundreds of current and classic movies to watch. While that selection does change every month, there’s is usually some great films to watch on HBO (and of course, there’s also the large number of original series and specials to watch as well). Here’s a look at the best HBO movies that are currently available to watch on cable, or via streaming.
Editor’s note – We will update this list as movies are removed from HBO and others are added.
The Bourne Identity
The 2002 action-thriller introduces us to Matt Damon’s most famous role as “Jason Bourne”, a spy for the U.S. government who, after a failed mission in Europe, is found floating at sea with no memory of his previous life. We soon learn that Bourne has a lot of skills that can come in handy, especially since the agency that sent him out on this job is now trying to eliminate him. This film has some great fight sequences, an excellent car chase in Paris, and a solid performance by Damon. This movie was so successful it spawned three direct sequels, plus a spin-off. It’s definately one of the best HBO movies at the moment.
This 2018 film, directed by Spike Lee, finally secured him his first Academy Award for best director earlier this year. It’s easy to see why after watching this film, based on the true story of Ron Stallworth. The black police detective, with the help of a white partner, managed to infiltrate a chapter of the Ku Klux Klan in Colorado Springs, Colorado in the early 1970s. John David Washington plays the role of Stallworth perfectly and is ably assisted by Adam Driver as his partner. Look for Topher Grace in the movie as well, playing none other than the most famous Klansman of all, David Duke.
The merc with a mouth himself returns in this 2018 sequel to the hit movie based on the Marvel Comics anti-superhero. Ryan Reynolds is back as both co-writer and star, as Wade Wilson tries to save a kid who, in the future, is going to become a major threat to humans. Josh Brolin is also excellent as Cable, the cyborg who has a mission to kill the kid. While there is some serious stuff in this movie, most of it is played for laughs, including one of the most memorable, and briefest, super hero teams we have ever seen. HBO also has the Deadpool 2 unrated Super Duer Cut version, and also Once Upon a Deadpool, a PG-13 version with about 10 minutes of all new scenes. The action and humor combine to make this one of the best current HBO movies.
Dawn of the Dead
This 2004 film was the debut of director Zack Snyder, who went on to direct 300, Watchmen and Man of Steel. However, his first film may still be his best. A remake of the classic 1970s zombie film from George A Romero, Snyder’s reboot was one of the first such films that introduced us to the idea of “fast zombies” that swarm over the living to eat them. It makes for a very intense film, almost from the start, and the tension doesn’t really let up as the survivors try to hold out in an abandoned shopping mall.
Before the Marvel Cinematic Universe got started, there were movies based on Marvel Comics’ stable of characters. One of those movies was very polarizing, and that was this 2003 film adaptation of the Hulk, a massive and nearly mindless creature created from inside the body of Dr. Bruce Banner. Director Ang Lee brought a ton of family regret and abuse in this comic book retelling of Hulk’s origin, and we actually like that human aspect of this story. Plus, we get to see the Hulk break a bunch of stuff.
My Big Fat Greek Wedding
This small indie film came out of left field in 2002 to become one of the biggest box office hits of that year. Nia Vardalos wrote the script and stars as the lead character, based on her real-life courtship and marriage of a non-Greek man, and how that affects her highly traditional Greek extended family. The humor comes not from obvious jokes, but from what feels like real situations that most people can relate to. It makes this film one of the best HBO movies on the channel.
Ready Player One
Director Steven Spielberg has helped to create some of the most iconic pop culture movies and characters, so he seems like the perfect choice to direct this 2018 film, which is all about pop culture. Based on the best selling novel by Ernest Cline, the film takes place in the near future, where nearly everyone in the world heads to a completely immersive virtual reality simulation. However, there’s also a contest inside this world that almost everyone wants to win, including a greedy rival who wants to claim victory so it can take over this world. The movie needs to be seen more than once if only to try to spot all of the pop culture characters and Easter Eggs that are shown.
There’s not too many hard sci-fi movies made, but you can catch one of the best on HBO. Sunshine, from 2005, is the story of a ship from Earth that is trying to restart the sun, which is slowly getting less and less warm and thus threatening all life on the planet. The visual effects are excellent and so is the ensemble cast, which includes Rose Byrne, Chris Evans and Cillian Murphy. They are helped by a terrific script by Alex Garland, who later went on to write and direct Ex Machina. Director Danny Boyle also does a great job with visualizing this ultimate mission to save humanity.
There’s Something About Mary
If you are looking for a movie that just wants to make you laugh, look no further than this classic 1998 comedy, directed by the Farrelly brothers. Ben Stiller plays Ted Stroehmann, who managed to have the worst prom date ever with Mary Jensen, played by Cameron Diaz. Over a decade later, Ted decides to track down Mary, but it turns out there’s more than one man who is obsessed with her. The plot takes a bunch of twists and turns, along with some massively funny gags, and it’s certainly the best HBO comedy film.
A Star Is Born (2018)
The fourth version of this romantic, and ultimately tragic, film turned out to be a powerful drama that is helped by some great acting and musical performances. Bradley Cooper made his directorial debut with this movie, and stars as a highly popular country singer who is slowly losing his hearing and his audience. He finds a young female songwriter, played perfectly by Lady Gaga, and he helps her rocket up to stardom. The story has been told many times before, but the 2018 version of A Star Is Born feels more real and emotional than those previous films.