New Movies on HBO Max – Paste – Paste Magazine

HBO Max’s strategy of releasing new movies from Warner Bros. simultaneously in theaters on its streaming platform for a limited time means new original films often get pulled from its library months after release. But Dune and King Richard recently returned to the lineup. Most of the movies HBO Max adds to its robust library each month are mostly older films. Still, there are a handful of new movies available at HBO Max, both brand-new Max Originals and other recent films it just added to its streaming collection.
Below are 12 new movies on HBO Max.
moonfall.jpg HBO Release Date: September 9, 2022 (Originally released February 4, 2022)
Director: Roland Emmerich
Stars: Halle Berry, Patrick Wilson, Charlie Plummer, Michael Peña, John Bradley, Donald Sutherland
Rating: PG-13
Runtime: 130 minutes
Paste Review Score: 7.7


Watch on HBO Max
When news broke that Roland Emmerich, director of beloved blockbuster disaster films such as Independence Day, The Day After Tomorrow and 2012, was slated to direct a film about humanity facing off with the literal Moon, I knew we were in for something special. And while I’m not saying that Emmerich plus apocalyptic disasters is necessarily a proven mathematical equation for success, it’s pretty darn close. Moonfall follows K. C. (John Bradley), a megastructure conspiracy theorist/the-moon-is-actually-hollow-truther who makes the shocking discovery that our beloved Moon has fallen out of orbit. When the news reaches NASA, scientist Jocinda (Halle Berry) recruits her estranged friend, disgraced astronaut Brian (Patrick Wilson), to travel into space and figure out what the heck is going on up there. And “What the heck is going on up there?” turns out to be the question of the century. Is the whole thing a government conspiracy? Are we talking aliens? Monsters? Should we nuke the moon? These are all tantalizing questions, to say the least. Of course, upholding such a consistent level of high-stakes entertainment means leaning into a particular kind of bombast and suspension-of-disbelief. A realistic movie about the Moon falling out of orbit would be a very short one. So when Jocinda gets a phone call from “NASA,” or simply…opens a damning file on a non-password-protected super-super-secret government computer, you really have no choice but to just lean into that as a viewer. The most satisfying part of Moonfall, then (besides it being a movie that’s brave enough to ask the question we’ve all been dying to know the answer for: “What if the Moon was bad?”), is that Emmerich had the courage to breathe life back into the big action blockbuster. In a world full of soulless, self-conscious CGI-rampant action flicks and superhero movies that seem like they were made by robots, Emmerich seems to really care about this movie. And that’s a trend I can get behind. —Aurora Amidon
elvis.jpg HBO Release Date: August 8, 2022 (Originally released June 24, 2022)
Director: Baz Luhrmann
Starring: Austin Butler, Tom Hanks, Olivia DeJonge, Kodi Smit-McPhee, Dacre Montgomery
Rating: PG-13
Runtime: 159 minutes
Paste Review Score: 6.0


Watch on HBO Max
More somatic threat than motion picture, Baz Luhrmann’s Elvis—the rhinestoned belt buckle of musical biopics—is like a sneeze into a bullhorn: Incoherent at volcanic decibels. Luhrmann’s sprawling, confused epic spans the entirety of Elvis Presley’s professional career, from his Sun Records days to his controversial leg shaking, Vegas residency and Paramount Pictures deal. True to life, Elvis (Austin Butler) does not pilot the narrative. The film is more of a cautionary tale about corporate sovereignty by way of Colonel Tom Parker (Tom Hanks), the avaricious manager who ushered the young star into a record deal with RCA Victor and many subsequent Hollywood pictures before gambling away his hefty profits. All of Luhrmann’s maximalist flavors are on display: Breakneck editing, splashy scenery, crotch shots, selective overacting (the culprit here being Kodi Smit-McPhee’s Jimmie Rodgers Snow, a delight). The film’s first hour echoes Luhrmann’s The Great Gatsby most patently, splicing songs by Doja Cat and Denzel Curry into its conservative setting and throwing editing etiquette to the wind. It’s a film so enamored by the idea of Elvis, unencumbered by the thornier specifics of his life which might burst its central bubble of leather suits, red bulbs and honky-tonk goodwill. Luhrmann’s Elvis fits squarely alongside his raft of pasteurized leading men: The Romeos, Christians and Gatsbys whose flawed, pathetic sensibilities are spackled over with pity and pomp. Luhrmann and co-writers Craig Pierce, Jeremy Doner and Sam Bromell rinse their screenplay of any introspection, favoring lush sentimentality. Such is the overarching issue with biopics today: They’re incurious, ever-churning flattery machines. —Saffron Maeve
belle-poster.jpg HBO Release Date: August 1, 2022 (Originally released January 14, 2022)
Director: Mamoru Hosoda
Stars: Kaho Nakamura, Takeru Satoh, Ryô Narita, Lilas Ikuta, Shôta Sometani, Tina Tamashiro
Rating: PG
Runtime: 121 minutes
Paste Review Score: 8.4


Watch on HBO Max
Belle explodes onto the screen with a bombastic concert in a virtual world. Known simply as U, it’s the ultimate virtual community where users can become entirely different from their dull real-life counterparts. Among them is one singer that has captured the love and adoration of billions. As the starlet Belle begins belting out her opening number, center stage on the back of a giant whale, it’s easy to be swept into this vibrant world. Thankfully, Belle has enough substance to back up this spectacle. The crux of writer/director Mamoru Hosoda’s latest film is a reimagined Beauty and the Beast mixed with teenage adversity in a digital wonderland. It’s a potpourri of hormones, misunderstandings and animation styles that recall his 2009 breakthrough Summer Wars. Belle even relies on the family dynamics seen in some of his later movies—like the lone outcast Ren in 2015’s The Boy and the Beast or the wolf siblings in 2012’s Wolf Children. Hosoda’s children have always had to endure great tragedies. It’s within this combination of family struggles and virtual reality that Belle finds its groove. Suzu (Kaho Nakamura) is a 17-year-old high school student who lives in the countryside with her father (Koji Yakusho). Although a few years have passed since the death of her mother, Suzu is still traumatized. She’s shut out the world around her, her despair sapping her of her joy and love of singing. Her relationship with her father is nonexistent, and she’s a certifiable pariah at school. Suzu takes the plunge and joins the world of U. This new world—free of the pressures of reality—allows Suzu to pursue singing once again. That’s until trouble arises in the form of a violent avatar known as “The Dragon.” Belle’s most spellbinding sequences come from inside the virtual world of U. Colorful 3D figures float through a kaleidoscope of colors and towering structures. The biggest setpieces in the movie take place here: An epic concert for billions of eager spectators, a battle through a castle—these are only a few of the memorable sights and sounds of U. To get an idea of what it sounds like, Nakamura’s contributions are like a mixture of rap and pop that becomes an instant earworm like on the opening title, “U.” The song brings in a wild rhythm while Nakamura races to keep up with the beat. It’s the perfect introduction to this futuristic virtual world. Other songs, like the ballad “Lend Me Your Voice” and the soaring anthem “A Million Miles Away,” are more traditional pieces that build up to crescendos that will have your hairs standing on end. Not only is it an intriguing retelling of Beauty and the Beast, it’s also a moving story about overcoming grief and seeking help when everything seems lost. Though it tackles a little too much, Belle is a triumph.—Max Covill
the-bobs-burgers-movie-poster.jpg HBO Release Date: July 12, 2022 (Originally released May 27, 2022)
Director: Loren Bouchard, Bernard Derriman
Stars: H. Jon Benjamin, Dan Mintz, Eugene Mirman, Larry Murphy, John Roberts, Kristen Schaal, Zach Galifianakis, Kevin Kline
Rating: PG-13
Runtime: 102 minutes
Paste Review Score: 8.0


Watch on HBO Max
The Bob’s Burgers Movie is a family recipe that warms the heart, griddle and soul. Loren Bouchard and Bernard Derriman translate the Belchers’ blue-collar experiences from a television snack to a feature-length meal without losing an ounce of the show’s secret sauce. It’s delectably reminiscent of The Simpsons Movie, both successfully stretching what could be a compact 30-minutes into a grander, more spectacular version with theatrical blockbuster freedoms. Bob and company cook a meaty treat for fans that hospitably welcomes newcomers not yet keen on the Belcher’s charms. The film treatment follows a week in the lives of grillmaster Bob Belcher (H. Jon Benjamin), his always exuberant wife Linda (John Roberts) and their three children: Louise (Kristen Schaal), Tina (Dan Mintz) and Gene (Eugene Mirman). Panic strikes when Bob’s denied an extension on their loan payment—monthly debts must be cleared in seven days or they lose the restaurant. Wonder Wharf’s upcoming festival should attract plenty of foot traffic for possible sales, but that point becomes moot when a pipe bursts and creates a hazardous hole that blocks access to their storefront. Also, there’s a dead body. Has Linda’s optimistic “Big Mom Energy” finally met its match? Visually, The Bob’s Burgers Movie sees an animation upgrade as flatter landscape drawings embrace a three-dimensional, pop-off-the-screen style. Vibrancy saturates colors, and outlines are cleaner due to the benefits of a theatrical movie budget. That’s not to say the signature “crudeness” of the circular cartoon characters is lost—Bouchard’s artists just ensure that there’s a difference between the weekly small-screen releases and the grandeur of in-theater projections. It’s a proper counter against the curiosity of how Bob’s Burgers would differentiate itself between in-home streams and ticket prices. The definition is crisper, Bob’s foodie creations a bit tastier and environmental details a little more luscious—appropriately dressed for the occasion, if you will. There’s nothing sacrificed as we bite into a multilayered experience that comes loaded with all the fixings—it’s sweet, salty, comforting and rich with imaginative absurdity. Bouchard creates the animated carny musical that smells like the crusted beef of his dreams, which only encourages the Belchers’ legacy as American middle-class darlings who inspire hope through fart humor, menu wordplay and funny voices. As an already adoring fan? I’m left delighted and plenty stuffed—one happy customer.—Matt Donato
endangered.jpg HBO Release Date: June 28, 2022
Director: Heidi Ewing, Rachel Grady
Stars: Carl Juste, Sashenka Gutierrez, Patricia Campos Mello
Rating: TV-MA
Runtime: 98 minutes


Watch on HBO Max
Journalists around the world face increasing threats as authoritarian governments, brutal police forces and drug cartels ramp up their suppression of free speech. This new HBO documentary, which premiered at Tribeca last month, follows journalists in Sao Paolo, Mexico City and Miami as they go about their job in difficult environments. It also tells the stories of journalists killed outside Tijuana or in the remote rainforests of Brazil.
father-bride.jpg HBO Max Release Date: June 16, 2022
Director: Gaz Alazraki
Stars: Andy García, Gloria Estefan, Adria Arjona, Isabela Merced, Diego Boneta, Chloe Fineman
Rating: PG-13
Runtime: 111 minutes


Watch on HBO Max
Some stories truly are timeless, aren’t they? The original novel Father of the Bride was first published by author Edward Streeter in 1949, and was swiftly adapted into a 1950 film by Vincente Minnelli, starring Spencer Tracy as an old-fashioned man fretting over his daughter’s marriage to modern beau. The story was subsequently remade as the well-known 1991 Father of the Bride from Charles Shyer, starring Steve Martin as a neurotic dad obsessing over every aspect of his daughter’s wedding, while being stuck with an ever-mounting bill he can’t afford. And now, just over 30 years later, Father of the Bride is back yet again—and this time, it’s Andy Garcia’s turn to be put through the wringer. The film actually looks to be surprisingly distinct from the early ‘90s version. For one thing, our cast are predominantly Latinx performers, with Garcia as the titular father, actress Adria Arjona (Good Omens) as his daughter, and the legendary Gloria Estefan as Garcia’s embattled wife. Only this time around, Garcia’s own marriage is on the rocks, and he and his wife conspire to hide their impending divorce from their daughter in the name of getting through the wedding smoothly. Father of the Bride also stars a bevy of up-and-coming Hispanic stars, including Isabela Merced, Diego Boneta, Macarena Achaga and Ana Fabrega. SNL’s Chloe Fineman is also present, taking on the “ostentatious wedding planner” role memorably inhabited by Martin Short in the 1991 version. —Jim Vorel
card-counter.jpg HBO Max Release Date: June 10, 2022 (Originally released Sept. 10, 2021)
Director: Paul Schrader
Stars: Oscar Isaac, Tiffany Haddish, Tye Sheridan, Willem Dafoe
Rating: R
Runtime: 111 minutes
Paste Review Score: 6.0


Watch on HBO Max
I’ve been thinking a lot about Paul Schrader’s The Card Counter, but probably not for the reasons you would think. The film is getting a lot of positive buzz—and I think there are elements really worth talking about in this quiet, contemplative drama—but I can’t help but feel its successes are parkouring off the back of its predecessor, 2017’s fiery and fierce First Reformed. Schrader is known for his meditations on loneliness; his storied history of projects—including script duties for Martin Scorsese films like Taxi Driver, Raging Bull and Bringing Out the Dead—always seem to follow tortured souls who could be part of the same bridge circle or fight club. It’s clear both The Card Counter and First Reformed are cut from that same cloth, though the latter sticks the landing better than the former. Both of these films, in true Schrader style, are about something brewing under the surface—underneath the monotony, the loneliness, the minutiae of life. We follow the quiet life of William Tell, played with steady determination and precision by the incredible Oscar Isaac. He floats through life counting cards at lower stakes casino games, quite literally just passing the time among the tables. But he lets the audience know from the beginning that his demeanor stems from doing ten years of hard time. At first, it seems like he truly just wants to exist in the free world without any constraints, content to glide along by the edges of cards forever. Quickly, though, we learn that there is an anger building inside Tell and he is desperate to exercise it in the right way, the justified way. The Card Counter is about the things we do and how they haunt us. About mentorship and forgiveness and personal responsibility. The film is quintessential Schrader, and it hits all his usual marks. We know he does it well, centering on these types of stories, blowing them out of proportion, and bringing us down the rabbit hole all the way to the aftermath. I only ask in the future that, if we continue treading this path, he try and surprise us for a change. —Lex Briscuso
the-janes.jpg HBO Max Release Date: June 8, 2022
Director: Tia Lessin, Emma Pildes
Rating: TV-MA
Runtime: 101 minutes
Paste Review Score: 8.8


Watch on HBO Max
In the spring of 1972, seven women were arrested for breaking a law that 1973’s landmark Roe v. Wade decision would summarily dissolve. Before that arrest was officially deemed unjust, those women were integral pieces of a Chicago-based collective that helped those who couldn’t wait for policy change to permit their actions. The Janes, a straight-forward, engaging HBO Documentary directed by Tia Lessin and Emma Pildes, has intimate access to collective members who saw their underground abortion network as a duty, a calling and the only thing that made sense in the face of a total ban on reproductive autonomy. The film opens with as dramatic a hook as a largely talking-head-based documentary can. One collective member describes her harrowing experience with a mob-arranged abortion provider; one of the only options available at the time, aside from self-induced methods. Accompanied by archival and wisely chosen stock footage, she relays the textural flashes of the event: The seedy motel, the clinical procedure totally devoid of any comfort or anesthetic, the shocking levels of blood and the unexpected presence of another girl in the room, a stranger whose procedure was done with the same callousness as to whether either of them survived. It was only thanks to that double procedure—and that they both had someone else to make sure the other didn’t bleed out—that she lived to tell the tale. This is only one of the horror stories that makes The Janes, the collective that provided thousands of women with a means to life-saving yet illegal services, so insoluble. Throughout the film, collective members give firsthand accounts of what drew them to each other and eventually bound them together, even through major burnout and stays in mental hospitals. Those telling their stories aren’t from a completely alien era, and the knowledge that they share, in tones frank and thoughtful by turn, is incredibly valuable. If anything, The Janes is a call to find and form networks in one’s own community. It’s a reminder, as the inevitability of another abortion ban inches closer and closer every day, there will always be people who disregard what is lawful in favor of what is right—and documentary can be a tool in teaching what, who and how to effectively parse and evade that lawful, undeniably wrong side of history. —Shayna Maci Warner
dumbledore.jpg HBO Max Release Date: May 30, 2022 (Originally released April 15, 2022)
Director: David Yates
Stars: Eddie Redmayne, Jude Law, Ezra Miller, Dan Fogler, Alison Sudol, Callum Turner, Jessica Wilgram, Mads Mikkelsen
Rating: PG-13
Runtime: 143 minutes
Paste Review Score: 3.8


Watch on HBO Max
There’s a bit in Monty Python and the Holy Grail pointing out that the way Arthur became King doesn’t make a lick of sense. If you’ve seen it, you can probably hear Dennis the peasant (though he’d hate to be defined as such) on his rant: “Strange women lying in ponds distributing swords is no basis for a system of government.” This absurdity, taken quite seriously, is the crux of Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore, only with the Lady of the Lake replaced by a magical, all-knowing deer doling out the divine mandate. This deer (a CG Bambi that can spot leadership potential a mile away) replaces such riveting plot forces as a cursed woman slowly becoming a full-time snake and a bunch of nonsense surrounding the identity of Ezra Miller’s character. It is almost symbolic in its arbitrary silliness, as author-turned-screenwriter-turned-transphobe J.K. Rowling’s Fantastic Beasts franchise can’t decide what it’s about on a moment-to-moment basis, let alone a film-to-film basis. The third film in the series is only sure of one thing: Anything remotely resembling Harry Potter will make money, even if it’s a dull piece of first draft hackwork less sensical than Holy Grail’s “farcical aquatic ceremony.” As Rowling continues submerging her magical world into the same hellish and disreputable bog as her personal legacy, I wish she’d kept The Secrets of Dumbledore to herself. —Jacob Oller
carlin-dream.jpg HBO Max Release Date: May 20, 2022
Directors: Judd Apatow and Michael Bonfiglio
Rating: TV-MA
Paste Review Score: 7.5


Watch on HBO Max
The new documentary about George Carlin’s life is a behemoth. Length-wise, each of the two parts could be feature films on their own. However, for a man who’s so impacted comedy and American culture, it only feels appropriate to devote nearly four hours to exploring his life and career. Part one of George Carlin’s American Dream follows his life growing up in New York City amidst and post-World War II, breaking into show business as a clean-cut comic, and transforming into the counterculture comedian of legend, before the end of the 1970s and beginning of the 1980s forced him to reassess his act. Part two is noticeably darker, documenting his health issues, wife’s death, pivot to political and nearly nihilistic comedy, and, ultimately, his own death. Nonetheless, there are touching moments here: his love for his first wife Brenda, meeting his second wife Sally Wade, and the forgiveness of his daughter, Kelly. Directed by Judd Apatow and Michael Bonfiglio, George Carlin’s American Dream is fairly standard in form. Audio of Carlin, taken from different points in time, are patchworked together and played over archival footage of his life and contemporary news stories. Great pains are made to contextualize his life and how he responded to political movements and the prevailing comedy culture of the day. It’s incredible just how many notes, videos, and audio clips from his personal life there are, and they give real color to the documentary. Talking heads of Carlin’s family members and business associates, along with comedians influenced by his work, are interspersed throughout, along with his own interviews and performances. The result is a comprehensive, if sometimes a little dry, look into all sides of Carlin—a class clown, a rebel, a former idealist, a husband, a loner, a father, an artist—and reiterates his lasting legacy as a talented comedian who keenly understood the human condition. If you want an in-depth look at his life, it doesn’t get more thorough than George Carlin’s American Dream. —Clare Martin
the-survivor.jpg HBO Max Release Date: April 27, 2022
Director: Barry Levinson
Stars: Ben Foster, Vicky Krieps, Billy Magnussen, Peter Sarsgaard, John Leguizamo, Danny DeVito
Rating: TV-MA
Paste Review Score: 7.2


Watch on HBO Max
In 1943, the now-legendary boxer Harry Haft competed in his first bout. Instead of an audience of cheering fans, he performed for a crowd of sadistic Nazis; instead of competing in an arena, his ring was a Polish concentration camp; rather than fighting another trained boxer, he threw punches at fellow Jewish prisoners until the blows killed them. Haft is one of the integral figures in the cruel and barbaric history of concentration camp boxing. Trained by an SS guard for his own entertainment, Haft was forced to compete in a grim total of 76 fights as a prisoner. But his story doesn’t end there. When he finally managed to escape the camp, Haft used his skills as a boxer to garner national attention by fighting legends such as Rocky Marciano, hopefully earning the notice of his lost—and presumed dead—love. The Survivor, directed by Barry Levinson from screenwriter Justine Juel Gillmer’s take on Harry Haft: Auschwitz Survivor, Challenger of Rocky Marciano, tells the athlete’s stranger-than-fiction story in flashback. The bulk of The Survivor takes place in 1949, with Harry (Ben Foster) in the throes of his professional boxing career. Scenes of Harry’s present consistently waltz around his past, not allowing the viewer to forget the atrocities that he suffered in the concentration camps. In attempting to give The Survivor a more precise aim, Levinson falls into campy flashbacks and predictable dialogue. But for a story about humanity and the good and bad of people, the film is also satisfyingly character-driven, which ends up being its saving grace; beautifully strange and nuanced performances give it the direction it needed from the start. —Aurora Amidon
tony-hawk-wheels.jpg HBO Max Release Date: April 4, 2022
Director: Sam Jones
Rating: PG-13
Runtime: 156 minutes
Paste Review Score: 7.4


Watch on HBO Max
Tony Hawk is the best-known and most accomplished skateboarder in the world, and his career has been a storied journey to greatness. As with a lot of famous people and their crafts, the general public only really knows half the battle in Hawk’s quest to conquer the art of skateboarding. They don’t know the toll this life, and the deep devotion within it, has taken on the skater’s mind, body and emotions of his loved ones. That’s where Tony Hawk: Until the Wheels Fall Off comes in. It’s a reckoning of passion told by those who best understand the price of that love story: Hawk, his loved ones and his peers on the board. The new HBO Max documentary from director Sam Jones follows Hawk’s career from his small-fry childhood to his competitive skater days to his world-champion, biggest-in-the-game dominance to now. It is a fully-fledged journey through the athlete’s hopes, dreams, fears, obstacles and reflections. The film relies on the typical documentary stylings—never-before-seen archival footage, photographs and new first-hand interviews with the subject and others important to his story—but it’s a major asset to this film even if the tactic might seem tired in others. Despite knowing my fair share about early skate culture, especially in the ’70s and ’80s when it was really discovering itself and what it would become, the typical docu-methods used in this film felt less stale and overused to me than they might have without a prodigal story to build on. The never-before-seen footage of Hawk trying his hand at different ramps and bowls throughout his childhood and adolescence is exciting at its base in the same way that it’s exciting to watch a sport you love. But when you add in the fact that you’re watching a legend at his inception, it makes the clips that much more incendiary. The accompanying interview commentary that walks you through Hawk’s emotional and physical struggles on and off the board throughout his come-up only adds to the rush of excitement you feel watching him become a master of his field. —Lex Briscuso
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