10 Underrated Movies On HBO Max You Need To See

Several new films, including The father of the bride and house party, are set to arrive on HBO Max this summer. With the ever-expanding world of streaming services, it can be difficult to decide what to watch next. Each platform has so many options that it’s hard to choose just one. As a result, underrated movies often get lost in the sea of ​​title boxes.

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While these films remain unknown to casual moviegoers, due to solid performances, crisp writing, and confident, stylized direction, they’re worth seeing. Here are 10 of the most underrated movies on HBO Max that you need to see.

Baby Shiva (2020)

Baby Shiva

Baby Shiva stars rising star Rachel Sennott as Danielle, a twenty-something Jewish girl who meets her sugar daddy at a shiva with his wife and daughter. Surrounded by nosy parents and family friends, Danielle tries to keep her secret from getting out while navigating the fallout of a past relationship.

Released during the pandemic, the film played virtually at several film festivals and had a limited release. However, since its release on HBO Max, it has found a small but vocal fan base. For those who like to cringe, it doesn’t get any better than this 78-minute skinny comedy.

Bronson (2008)

Tom Hardy in Bronson

Directed by Nicolas Winding Refn (Conduct), Bronson follows Michael Peterson (Tom Hardy), an impulsive young man sentenced to seven years in prison for robbing a post office. Instead of serving his sentence peacefully, he turns into his alter ego Charles Bronson, “Britain’s most violent prisoner”.

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Bronson is a standout performance that viewers can’t miss as he’s one of Tom Hardy’s baddest characters. While the film received polarizing reviews, critics agreed that Hardy’s character alone was worth the price of admission.

Hoop Dreams (1994)

Laying the foundation for many modern sports documentaries, hoop dreams follows the lives of William Gates and Arthur Agee, two boys who want to become professional basketball players. The film captures their lives through all of their hurts, academic struggles, and meltdowns, leading to their ultimate success.

Considered one of the best documentaries of the 90s, hoop dreams was notoriously snubbed by the Oscars, receiving just one nomination for Best Editing. Despite this setback, it became one of the highest-grossing documentaries of its day and is worth watching for its lasting impact on the genre.

Wonder Boys (2000)

wonder boys tells the story of Grady Tripp (Michael Douglas), a writer-turned-teacher who simultaneously deals with the departure of his wife, writer’s block, and the antics of his students. While dealing with these obstacles, he comes under pressure from his publisher to deliver another book.

The film received positive reviews but failed to make a box office comeback. With a cast that includes the likes of Tobey Maguire, Robert Downey Jr. and Frances McDormand, wonder boys has all the makings of a quaint dramedy and deserves a second look from today’s audiences.

Time Bandits (1981)

Terry Gilliam’s third feature film, bandits of time depicts the story of a young boy who accidentally joins a group of time-traveling dwarves as they jump from one era to another in an attempt to steal his treasures. Although it’s not technically a Monty Python movie, it does feature performances from John Cleese and Michael Palin (who also co-wrote the film).

The film was a modest commercial success, although not as well known as most of Gilliam’s other works. With entertaining performances from Shelley Duvall, Ian Holm and the legendary Sean Connery, bandits of time is surely a hidden gem worth revisiting.

Lars and the Real Girl (2007)

From director Craig Gillespie (Me Tonya), Lars and the real girl tells how a delusional and shy young man comes to form a relationship with a doll he finds on the Internet. While her friends and family find it more than odd at first, her gentle nature slowly brings them on.

The romantic comedy received numerous nominations, including Best Original Screenplay at the Oscars. Starring Ryan Gosling in one of his most underrated movies, the cast includes Emily Mortimer, Paul Schneider, and Patricia Clarkson, making this a movie viewers don’t want to miss.

All the President’s Men (1976)

Dustin Hoffman and Robert Redford in All the Presidents men

Based on famous events in modern American history, All the President’s Men features the story of journalists Bob Woodward (Robert Redford) and Carl Bernstein (Dustin Hoffman) whose investigative journalism exposed details of the Watergate scandal and led to the resignation of Richard Nixon.

Related: The 10 Best Journalist Movies, According To Metacritic

Although it was popular when it was released due to its timely nature, Taxi driver, Rockyand Carrie came out the same year and went on to have bigger legacies. Given its detailed writing and hyper-realistic performances, All the President’s Men deserves to be considered one of the best films of its decade once again.

The Raid: Redemption (2011)

Located in the slums of Jakarta, Lowering finds a SWAT team trapped in a building run by a ruthless drug kingpin and his underlings. When they find themselves surrounded, the soldiers have no choice but to fight their way to survive.

Shot with little to no CGI, the film was universally praised for its hands-on stunt work. Reminiscent of Chinese Kung Fu films, the Indonesian action epic used a combination of different fighting styles to stage its scenes. As far as modern low-budget action movies go, it doesn’t get any better than this.

Insomnia (2002)

Considered one of Christopher Nolan’s best films, Insomnia follows two Los Angeles detectives who are called to a southern Alaskan town, where the sun never sets, to investigate the elaborate murder of a local teenager. When one of them cannot sleep, he becomes delusional, which leads to complications in the case.

Insomnia we don’t talk as much about Nolan’s earlier work momentum or the works that followed (The black Knight trilogy, Creation, Interstellar, etc.). That said, it’s a particular addition to Nolan’s resume that curious minds will appreciate and features Al Pacino, Hilary Swank and Robin Williams in a rare dramatic role.

Jackie Brown (1997)

Pam Grier in the final scene of Jackie Brown

With Pam Grier of crafty brown Fame, Jackie Brown tells the story of a flight attendant caught between the role of mule for a drug trafficker and that of an informant for the FBI. When things start to go wrong, the titular character must find a way to survive the ensuing mess.

Quentin Tarantino’s sequel to reservoir dogs and pulp Fiction, Jackie Brown had high standards to uphold for his theatrical run. Although it didn’t have as much critical or commercial success as most of Tarantino’s subsequent work, it more than suffices as an entertaining crime thriller.

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