The 9 Best New Movies on HBO Max in October 2021
‘Dune’ premieres on the streaming service and in theaters on Oct. 22
For proof that HBO Max continues to be one of the best streaming services in the game, look no further than the list of new titles being added in October, which is stacked with must-see gems.
Trying to figure out what to watch on streaming can be a challenge, but we’ve gone through and plucked out nine excellent movies that are new to HBO Max in October and are well worth your time. They include new releases like “Dune” and “The Many Saints of Newark” that are being released day-and-date in theaters and on HBO Max at the same time, as well as Oscar-winning classics, feel-good romances and even a horror film if you’re in the mood to celebrate Halloween early.
Below, check out the best new movies on HBO Max in October.
All the President’s Men
If you’re in the mood for a cracking journalism thriller, why not watch one of the best films ever made? Released in 1976 in the immediate wake of the Watergate scandal and President Nixon’s resignation, “All the President’s Men” chronicles the investigative reporting by Carl Bernstein and Bob Woodward that led to Nixon’s downfall. Robert Redford and Dustin Hoffman are spectacular as the two hard-nosed journalists, and director Alan J. Pakula proves he’s one of the greatest thriller directors as he captures this hunt for the story with a compelling, grounded eye.
Gangs of New York
“Gangs of New York” was a passion project for director Martin Scorsese, and it shows. This epic historical drama famously went over budget and over schedule, and while the resulting film was met with a somewhat muted reaction, it’s grown in esteem over the years. The primary story takes place in 1862 New York and charts the rise of a young man whose Irish-born father was slain by the somewhat fanatical Bill “The Butcher” Cutting (Daniel Day-Lewis) years earlier. The man, played by Leonardo DiCaprio, inserts himself into Cutting’s gang, and a story of bloodshed, power and the struggle of American immigrants is brought to life in vivid fashion through Scorsese’s masterful hand. Day-Lewis is Oscar-worthy as Cutting, and the massive-scale production design is a thing of beauty.
If a candy-coated rom-com is more your speed, 2020’s delightful “Emma.” is well worth your time. Directed by Autumn de Wilde, this Jane Austen adaptation is led by Anya Taylor-Joy in the titular role of a wealthy young woman who decides to play matchmaker in her sleepy town, only to fall for someone right under her nose. This is a visually stunning, incredibly pleasant adaptation that hits right in the “feel-good” zone.
The Invisible Man
This being October and all, it’s a good time to check out a great horror movie. And that certainly describes 2020’s “The Invisible Man.” Filmmaker Leigh Whannel’s take on the iconic Universal monster is a grounded story as told through the eyes of a domestic abuse survivor who is haunted by her presumed-dead ex-boyfriend, seemingly invisible. Elisabeth Moss is stunning in the lead role as a woman struggling to work through her trauma, and the film takes on renewed social relevance with its clever twist on the classic story.
Kill Bill 1 and 2
Odds are you’ve probably seen Quentin Tarantino’s two-film epic “Kill Bill,” but if not, you’re in for a treat. The “Pulp Fiction” director pulls heavily from his love of martial arts films to make his own ode to the revenge genre, resulting in a bloody good time. Uma Thurman stars as “The Bride,” a former assassin who was left for dead by her crew and former boss (and lover) when she tried to get out of the game. Awakened from a years-long coma, she sets out to hunt down and kill each person who wronged her one by one, saving the eponymous Bill for last. Volume 1 is a no-holds-barred martial arts action epic, while Volume 2 takes on a more somber, Spaghetti Western vibe. Together they make for one of Tarantino’s most ambitious and enjoyable projects thus far.
While 2012’s “Lincoln” may have the reputation of a “Dad Movie,” it just so happens to stand as a pretty strong statement from director Steven Spielberg about what America means to him. Daniel Day-Lewis is phenomenal in his Oscar-winning turn as President Abraham Lincoln, but the film is smart to zero in on one specific period of Lincoln’s life rather than try and capture his entire life story. Indeed, “Lincoln” is more “The West Wing” than “Ray” as it chronicles the difficult process Lincoln had in passing the 13th Amendment and abolishing slavery in the final four months of his life. The incredible ensemble includes Tommy Lee Jones, Sally Field, James Spader, Hal Holbrook and many more (even the most minor roles are actors you’ll recognize), and it swells to an inspiring conclusion that will likely leave you weepy.
Wes Anderson’s 2012 ode to young love still stands as one of his best films thus far, and is a wonderfully melancholic look at romance. “Moonrise Kingdom” takes place in and around a fictional New England island where an orphan boy escapes from scout camp to run away with the girl he’s in love with. The film chronicles their solo adventure with a mix of whimsy and sadness, as their story of unbridled joy is contrasted with the lonely relationships of the adults surrounding them. Anderson brought some of the stop-motion techniques he used on “Fantastic Mr. Fox” to this film, resulting in a delightfully whimsical take on your typical coming-of-age story.
The Many Saints of Newark
If it’s a brand new movie you’re looking to watch, “The Many Saints of Newark” is raking in positive reviews, against all odds. This prequel movie to “The Sopranos” hails from “Sopranos” creator David Chase and takes place largely in the 1960s and ’70s, with mobster Dickie Moltisanti (Christopher’s father) as the lead character and a teenaged Tony Soprano (played by James Gandolfini’s son Michael) factoring into the plot.
And of course, available on Oct. 22 is director Denis Villeneuve’s highly anticipated sci-fi epic “Dune.” The Frank Herbert adaptation covers only half of the book, but critical reactions to the film’s premiere on the festival circuit have been largely positive, singling out the awe-inspiring visuals and impressive cast. Timothée Chalamet stars as Paul Atredes, a young man who ventures to the dangerous planet of Arrakis with his family and is thrust into a war. The cast also includes Rebecca Ferguson, Oscar Isaac, Josh Brolin, Dave Bautista and Zendaya.
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