Scrolling endlessly through the Max (formerly HBO Max) streaming service can be frustrating, so let us help curate your movie night with a selection of some of the best new movies streaming on Max this month. Below, we’ve put together a list that runs the gamut from horror (Halloween is just around the corner) to rom-coms to superhero blockbusters and beyond. There’s a little something for everyone, so choose wisely and you won’t be disappointed.
Check out our picks for some of the best new movies on Max in August 2023 below.
“A Nightmare on Elm Street” Franchise
If you want to kick off Spooky Season early, Max just added the entire “A Nightmare on Elm Street” franchise. All six original films plus the 2010 reboot (you can skip that one) are streaming, so now’s the perfect time to check out Wes Craven’s iconic 1984 franchise-starter that introduced the world to Freddy Krueger. Other standouts include the third film, “Dream Warriors,” which has become a queer cult favorite, as well as Craven’s 1994 meta sequel “Wes Craven’s New Nightmare” – a prototype of sorts for Craven’s other horror franchise, “Scream.”
If it’s been a minute since you’ve watched “Ocean’s Twelve,” now’s a good excuse to give this one another shot. While Steven Soderbergh’s follow-up to the wildly charming and tremendously successful “Ocean’s Eleven” caught some off guard, it’s supremely playful and enjoyable in an entirely different way. Inspired by international cinema, the sequel switches up its visual language, takes the gang abroad and adds Catherine Zeta-Jones to the ensemble as a figure from Brad Pitt’s past. This one’s even more fun if you read it as a movie about the pressures of making a sequel as good as the first (the plot finds the crew reuniting for a bigger job with even more resources, wondering if they can pull it off).
“Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs”
A true “fun for the whole family” film, “Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs” was the feature directorial debut of Phil Lord and Chris Miller, who would go on to direct the “21 Jump Street” movies, “The LEGO Movie” and write and produce “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse.” This 2009 film follows Flint Lockwood (voiced by Bill Hader), a goofy scientist living in the small town of Swallow Falls who accidentally unleashes an invention that starts raining down food all over the city. What begins as a delightful turn of events soon turns into a full-on disaster, and it’s up to Flint to stop his machine before it’s too late. The voice cast also includes Anna Faris, Andy Samberg, James Caan, Will Forte and Terry Crews.
“King Arthur: Legend of the Sword“
Seriously, “King Arthur: Legend of the Sword” is tons of fun. This is Guy Ritchie’s take on Arthurian legend, and in that way it’s bombastic and stylized. But that’s part of what makes it kind of a blast. Charlie Hunnam plays the eponymous King Arthur, while Jude Law fills the role of the villainous Vortigern. This is not your average take on the King Arthur tale, but as soon as Eric Bana Yoshi-jumps a horse over a cliff to murder a wizard, you’ll either be hooked or will immediately know this movie is not for you. Extra points for composer Daniel Pemberton’s incredible original score.
This romantic comedy flew under the radar when it was released in 2016, but it’s a nice little hidden gem. Written and directed by Rebecca Miller, the film stars Greta Gerwig as a woman on the cusp of getting pregnant via artificial insemination until she meets and falls for a married man (Ethan Hawke) who decides he wants to be the father of her child, and wants to leave his wife (played by Julianne Moore). Relationship messiness ensues as Gerwig’s character navigates increasingly tricky situations, with an ensemble cast that also includes Bill Hader, Maya Rudolph and Travis Fimmel.
Ahead of the sequel that’s currently being made, why not revisit one of the biggest blockbusters from the 90s: “Twister?” The film spawned an entire generation of meteorologists as its stars Bill Paxton as a former storm chaser turned weatherman who books it to Oklahoma to get his wife (a tried-and-true storm chaser played by Helen Hunt) to sign divorce papers, only to be wrapped up in a 24-hour storm chase involving increasingly volatile and destructive tornadoes across Oklahoma. A spectacular ensemble cast (Philip Seymour Hoffman! Todd Field!) anchors a truly unique twist on the blockbuster formula, with what at the time were cutting-edge visual effects.
Starting Aug. 25, you can stream “The Flash” on Max. Judging by the box office returns on the DC superhero film, not too many people saw it when it was released theatrically this past June. Now’s your chance! In the Scarlet Speedster’s first solo film outing, directed by “It” filmmaker Andy Muschietti, Barry Allen (Ezra Miller) accidentally travels to an alternate universe while trying to clear his father (Ron Livingston, replacing Billy Crudup) of his mom’s (Maribel Verdú) murder. Unlike Barry’s world, which has Batman (Ben Affleck) and Wonder Woman (Gal Gadot), among others, this parallel realm doesn’t have any superpowers and what’s worse – Zod (Michael Shannon) is on the way to destroy the planet. Eep! Can The Flash fix both worlds and get home in time to clear his father’s name? While “The Flash” isn’t the best superhero movie ever made, as James Gunn and others were loudly proclaiming ahead of time, it’s a fun enough adventure, especially when Michael Keaton’s old ass Bruce Wayne shows up. And just think – you can pause it now and make a sandwich or watch while folding laundry. Anything is possible in the multiverse! Well, anything except for “Flash 2.” – Drew Taylor