If you’re looking for something new to watch on streaming, you might find yourself turning to HBO Max more and more often lately. WarnerMedia’s streaming service had a bit of a long launch, but with the arrival of their major studio movie premieres (and finally making the app available on Roku and Apple TV), it’s becoming quite the must-watch for movies. And it just so happens they also have one of the best film libraries available on streaming, so to help you hone in on what to watch, we put together a handy list of the best new movies on HBO Max this month.
As for those big studio debuts, there are two biggies in March: first up is Zack Snyder’s Justice League, the long-fabled, much-debated, and pretty dang entertaining four-hour cut of Justice League. And then of course, there’s Godzilla vs. Kong, the latest film in the MonsterVerse, which sees everybody’s favorite Big Bois finally battle it out after the events of Godzilla, Kong: Skull Island, and Godzilla: King of the Monsters.
Get the details and release dates for those and the rest of our March highlights below.
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Image via Warner Bros.
Available: March 1
Director: Francis Lawrence
Writers: Kevin Brodbin and Frank Cappello
Cast: Keanu Reeves, Rachel Weisz, Shia LaBeouf, Tilda Swinton, Pruitt Taylor Vince, Djimon Hounsou, Gavin Rossdale, Peter Stormare
It brings me great joy that 15 years after its release, Constantine is finally getting the recognition it deserves. The feature film directing debut from celebrated music video director Francis Lawrence, the 2005 comic book adaptation is loaded with rich imagery and enveloping tone, a dark and demonic neo-noir that’s unapologetically grim and gothic. I love it. Critics at the time decidedly did not, and a lot of Hellblazer fans were put off by the new take on John Constantine out of the gate. Sure, Keanu Reeves isn’t British, he definitely isn’t blonde, but he’s got all the snark and cynical charisma (cynichrisma?) of the beloved character while putting his distinct stamp on the material. That’s pretty much the case for the whole film, which captures the spirit of the comics and opts to go its own way, but what a compelling way to go.
Image via Lions Gate Films
Available: March 1
Director: Steven Shainberg
Writer: Erin Cressida Wilson
Cast: Maggie Gyllenhaal, James Spader, Jeremy Davies, Lesley Anne Warren, Stephen McHattie
The undersung 2002 indie Secretary outranked some fierce competition to earn a spot on our list of the 25 Best Romance Movies of the 21st Century list, and for good reason. It’s a compelling, cathartic love story about two lonely outsiders who find the person who can their needs and love them in ways that society might deem wrong or weird, but speaks to their heart and body as right. Maggie Gyllenhaal and James Spader co-star as the oddball couple in question, who find a way to their mutual truths together through beautiful, emotional, and yes, rather erotic series of steps towards open communication and self-confession. There are a lot of sweet romances out there and a few kinky ones, but I struggle to think of another film that hits the balance between the two so elegantly and effectively.
Image via Warner Bros.
Available: March 1
Director: Steven Soderbergh
Writer: Ted Griffin
Cast: George Clooney, Brad Pitt, Julia Roberts, Matt Damon, Andy Garcia, Bernie Mac, Elliott Gould, Don Cheadle, Carl Reiner, Shaobo Qin, Scott Caan, Casey Affleck, Eddie Jemison
One of the most easy-breezy and wildly charismatic movies ever made, with an outrageously A-List ensemble of charmers, Ocean’s Eleven is one of the great hangout movies and one hell of a cracking heist comedy. George Clooney stars as Danny Ocean, a fresh out-of-prison thief who gets right back to work, planning one big revenge heist with the help of his team of thieving experts. Soderbergh is clearly playing with a genre he loves and does fantastic work staging all the set-up you need for a first-rate caper, lining up the dominoes so that it’s an absolute delight to watch them fall, while also keeping just enough surprises up his sleeve to keep the big finale payoff thrilling. It’s one of those endlessly watchable feel-good films I just never seem to get enough of.
RELATED: The Best Comedies on HBO Max Right Now
Image via United Artists
Available: March 6
Director: John G. Avildsen
Writer: Sylvester Stallone
Cast: Sylvester Stallone, Talia Shire, Burt Young, Carl Weathers, Burgess Meredith
To this day, perhaps the greatest underdog movie ever made, Sylvester Stallone’s 1976 Best Picture-winner holds up. Stallone stars and wrote the script for the iconic boxing film, which follows Rocky Balboa from his working-class roots to a shot at the Heavyweight World Championship. The legacy of the Rocky franchise has become so immense over the years that it’s easy to forget the original is such a contained, emotional journey about following your dream, and it’s got a little bit of something for everyone: great boxing matches, of course, but also romance, family drama, unforgettable music… look, it’s a good movie. And if it puts you in the mood for a full-on Rocky binge, good news: HBO Max is currently streaming the first six films.
Image via 20th Century Fox
Available: March 13
Director: Jan de Bont
Writer: Graham Yost
Cast: Keanu Reeves, Sandra Bullock, and Dennis Hopper
Speed is not just one of the best Die Hard knock-offs of the 90s, it’s one of the best action movies ever made. The premise is simple: There’s a bomb on a public transportation bus in Los Angeles, and it will go off if the bus goes below 50 miles per hour. LAPD SWAT officer Jack Traven (Keanu Reeves) makes it his mission to board the bus as he has a personal vendetta against the bomber (played by Dennis Hopper), and when the bus driver becomes injured, a passenger played by Sandra Bullock is forced to take over driving duties. It’s absolutely thrilling from beginning to end and the chemistry between Reeves and Bullock is palpable. Moreover, it came at a time when CG technology was just starting to arrive, so the practical effects and miniature work for all the big action scenes feels tangible and unique compared to today’s CG-filled blockbusters. With character, heart, and high-octane in equal measure, Speed is a must-see. – Adam Chitwood
Zack Snyder’s Justice League
Image via HBO Max
Available: March 18
Director: Zack Snyder
Writer: Chris Terrio
Cast: Ben Affleck, Henry Cavill, Amy Adams, Gal Gadot, Ray Fisher, Jason Momoa, Ezra Miller, Jeremy Irons, Diane Lane, Connie Nielsen, J. K. Simmons, Willem Dafoe, Jesse Eisenberg
Unequivocally one of the most fascinating and singular film releases in the history of cinema, Zack Snyder’s Justice League restores the 2017 cut to Snyder’s vision, fulfilling the world-building laid down in Man of Steel and Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice. A sweeping, ambitious four-hour superhero epic, the Snyder Cut won’t be for everyone, but it’s worth checking out for any cinephile as a striking (and obviously extreme) example of how studio interest can override a filmmaker’s vision and how two well-known directors apply their signature style to the same movie, for better or for worse. I also happened to enjoy the heck out of it, and while the four-hour runtime means it might be a better experience over multiple viewings (and indeed, was intended to be released as a miniseries for a time), Snyder’s love of the material is obvious and he doesn’t half-ass a second of it. And goodness gracious, that’s a lot of seconds.
Godzilla vs. Kong
Image via Warner Bros.
Available: March 31
Director: Adam Wingard
Writers: Eric Pearson and Max Borenstein
Cast: Alexander Skarsgård, Millie Bobby Brown, Rebecca Hall, Brian Tyree Henry, Shun Oguri, Eiza González, Julian Dennison, Kyle Chandler, Demián Bichir, Hakeem Kae-Kazim
Legendary’s MonsterVerse finally delivers the gargantuan smackdown seven years in the making with Godzilla Vs. Kong, pitting the two Titan kings against each other with the promise that “One Will Fall”. Whether you’re team Godzilla or Team Kong, you can pretty much guarantee you’re gonna be all-in on the knock-down-drag-out, especially since the trailers and first-look images revealed the film’s vibrant, epic-scale imagery. With The Guest and You’re Next director Adam Wingard taking on his first studio blockbuster, it’s also another opportunity for an exciting horror filmmaker to put their unique stamp on the iconic movie monsters, and I can’t wait to see what he does with it.
KEEP READING: Here’s How to Watch the MonsterVerse Movies in Order (Chronologically and by Release Date)
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About The Author
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Haleigh Foutch is a writer, editor, host, actor, and cat enthusiast based in Los Angeles. She’s currently Senior Editor of Content Strategy and Analytics at Collider, where she’s been climbing the ranks and screaming about the unsung genius of Grosse Pointe Blank for nearly a decade. She also oversees Collider’s horror content and co-created The Witching Hour podcast, previously appeared as a regular panelist on Movie Talk, and has written for Rotten Tomatoes, Complex, Birth.Movies.Death., and more. You can usually find her sharing Buffy the Vampire Slayer memes on Instagram, rehearsing the Five Movements from The OA, and asking people about their pets.
From Haleigh Foutch