HBO Max has undergone a lot of changes in the two years since it was launched in May 2020. At its inception, the service struggled to distinguish itself for many consumers from HBO (an understandable source of confusion), and its been a long road to becoming one of the best streaming libraries available.
All Warner Bros. movies on HBO Max premiered on the same day as their theatrical release in 2021. Movies like The Batman must wait at least 45 days before being released on the streaming platform.
One of the first signs of a change was the canceled in-progress Batgirl, which was slated to be an HBO Max original. As a result, Warner Bros.' new CEO has stated that he wants to focus less on scripted content that goes straight to streaming services, rather than on non-scripted programming like reality television (something Discovery makes a lot of) as directed.
Several HBO Max originals have been removed from the service in order to lower costs (even though they are HBO Max originals, they still have licensing fees to remain on the platform). However, they are still available to watch elsewhere, via digital rental or other means.
Here's where we get your favorite HBO Max original films and series, as well as where you may find them right now. These do not include HBO shows like Westworld or Barry, because these are not HBO Max originals. Some of these choices are still available on HBO Max, while others are not, and we'll update this list as the situation changes.
The best HBO Max original series
Our Flag Means Death
It gets good later is almost a kiss of death; who could have any time and motivation to hold things together in this day and age? Our Flag Means Death is the little pirate boat that could, both entertaining and entertaining, grow a following of loyal supporters.
Our Flag Means Death is still available on HBO Max.
It is with the greatest sense of sincerity that we continue to acknowledge how good John Cena is at portraying Peacemaker, a well-known comic book hero of our times. He had to deal with a lot of things, including coming off a horrific turn in The Suicide Squad; and still being a team player who helped ensure stability on the planet.
Cena maneuvers his character through difficult terrain with aplomb, although the show had its fair share of comeos and Easter eggs and what-have-you moments, but the main reason a second season on HBO Max is so exciting is because he can clearly handle whatever the show throws at him. Be it aliens or alienated emotions, Peacemaker is up to the challenge.
Peacemaker is still available on HBO Max to watch.
The recent season 2 finale has only whet the appetite for a third season of HBO Max. While the series may well have fallen under the HBO banner, its set a new standard for streaming comedy, avoiding the usual bloat and pacing issues.
Hacks is still available on HBO Max to watch.
Fboy Island is the only show on the list that is likely to be in the least amount of trouble as a result of its cost of production, and it has a humdinger of a premise that might be sold to another network (during an episode of his podcast Homestuck Made This World):
Three women are there, like a beach resort, with oh, lets say 20 men. Who are they? Its a dating program, kind of like The Bachelorette or something like that, where you know everybody is going on dates, and people are gonna be voted off one by one. Or, Among Us, for example. Because half of the men are there to really find love, blah blah blah blah blah The Bachelorette, Bachelorette type of thing.
The most enjoyable part of the Bachelor/ette franchise is figuring out which contestants are there for the correct reasons, and which ones are fuckboys. What if that were the entire purpose of the program? This is, apparently, how former Bachelor co-executive producer Elan Gale came up with the concept for Fboy Island.
The only issue with this is that it will make you switch from fboy to fuckboy in your regular vocabulary, because the program does not drop the f-bomb, and over time, fboy starts to sound like an actual normal word. Which is not.
FBoy Island is still available on HBO Max.
The award-winning novel by Emily St. John Mandels follows a devastation pandemic and the transformed society that emerges from it. Station Eleven is at times difficult, at times hopeful, and always worthwhile.
From our analysis:
Station Eleven is the rare piece of pandemic media that relies less on the heroism of a resolution, or the joy of a core cause, and more on the notion of community and the creation of art. The show's vignettes remain unaltered. It's a thread that connects episodes together, and it's a reason to stay alive at all.
Station Eleven is still available on HBO Max.
The best HBO Max original movies
An American Pickle
An American Pickle is a warm, funny tale about family connection across generations and what is gained and lost over the years. (Despite its slapstick humor), it is a different kind of Seth Rogen comedy; nonetheless, it has its moments of warmth.)
The two Greenbaums discuss what their different perspectives on Judaism imply to them, and the ways that generations of assimilation in another culture can alter your relationship with your heritage. The film suffers a bit when it turns into a more traditional Rogen comedy of mistakes halfway through, but the heart of this generational fish-out-of-water comedy remains true.
Brandon Trost, who co-directed the dance dance revolution comedy The FP with his brother Jason, has made his solo directorial debut.
On VOD platforms, an American Pickle is available for digital rental or purchase.
Rear Window, directed by Alfred Hitchcock, is a bored guy who spends his time recuperating by watching his neighbors, only to discover that one of them is a murderer who must be charged in the film. Kimi is an excellent example of a mature crime thriller that isn't overdone or at least, not yet.
Zoe Kravitz plays an agoraphobic IT worker who works remotely; everyone is staying home and social distancing, so our heroine has as many neighbors to watch as the hero of Rear Window. However, she is unable to go outside even with the aid of a mask, which limits her ability to do anything about it when she discovers a murder.
Not quite. In her job as a tech worker, she performs diagnostics for an in-home device called Kimi, which operates similarly to Amazon's Alexa, recording its owners' voices and obeying simple commands. Or, in the case of Kimi, she unwittingly records a murder in progress. It's the perfect modern twist with a high-octane denouement during which our heroine has to brave the outdoors but also the accused.
Kimi is still available on HBO Max to watch.
No Sudden Move
No Sudden Move is a film about a lot of sloppy, ludicrous crimes, and gangsters who escaped the underworld in the mid-1950s. These are the first characters we encounter from Steven Soderbergh, who gives us a solid history lesson with a lot of current relevance.
No Sudden Move is still available on HBO Max to watch.
Zack Snyders Justice League
I understand why some people dislike this film or don't want to engage with it. The controversies, outbursts, and tense fan groups are enough to keep anybody away. But on the other hand, youll see one of the finest superhero movies ever made, a four-hour space opera epic (in the correct usage of that word, not the bacon one) from a filmmaker who cares deeply about the subject matter and was finally able to complete a project interrupted by personal tragedy.
On HBO Max, Zack Snyder's Justice League is still available to watch.
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