7 Best New Movies on HBO Max in February 2022 - Collider

From Nightmare Alley to Chinatown, new films on HBO Max this month
When it comes to having an expansive and ever evolving movie library, HBO Max has led its streaming competitors since launching. With access to the Warner Bros. film catalogue, which is organized into curated hubs that include both classic movies and the DC Universe, HBO Max has an enviable collection of film choices that are often added to and improved upon with new underrated gems and all-time cinematic classics.
With the streamers options constantly changing it can be hard to stay on top of what’s available and even more importantly, what’s worth checking out. That’s why we felt that it would be worthwhile to highlight some of the best new additions to the HBO Max catalogue. Without further ado, let’s run down some of the best movies that have been recently added to the service.
This classic neo-noir from the new Hollywood era stars big screen icon Jack Nicholson in one of his signature roles. Nicholson stars as J.J. Gittes, a private eye hired by a woman who believes her husband is having an affair. But Gittes’ investigation soon leads to the discovery of a conspiracy that is far more sinister and far-reaching. The film utilizes the traits of the noir genre (which is often dark in style, tone and narrative content) to create a new detective story for its era that is ultimately more disturbing than its influences. Legendary screenwriter Robert Towne won an Academy Award for his work on the film, which maintains its hefty punch almost fifty years after its release.
A beautifully animated science-fiction riff on a classic boy-and-his-dog tale. Set in the late 1950’s during the Cold War, a young boy finds and befriends a giant alien robot who soon becomes hunted by the military. Directed by Pixar alum Brad Bird, The Iron Giant was something of a sleeper hit upon its release, failing to make an impact at the theatrical box office, but finding a large audience in the home market and going on to become a cult classic. With voice work from Jennifer Aniston, Harry Connick Jr. and Vin Diesel, giving his most emotive performance as the Giant, this is a heartstring-tugging adventure that will delight people of all ages.
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An unconventional biopic about Brian Wilson, the leader of the sixties rock band The Beach Boys. Set over two different periods of the musician’s life, the younger version of Wilson is played by Paul Dano and John Cusack takes on the artist during his later years. The narrative alternates between the 1960s, during The Beach Boys recording of their renowned album Pet Sounds, and the 1980s, when the middle-aged Wilson is undergoing an intense form of therapy under the guidance of a controlling psychologist (Paul Giamatti). Love & Mercy presents a unique approach to the biopic genre, with it focusing on two incredibly formative and defining periods of Brian Wilson’s life, as opposed to taking on a more traditional “cradle-to-grave” route in telling a famous person’s life story. Dano is his usual magnetic self on screen, adding another great performance to his already impressive resume, while Cusack gives his most vital performance since High Fidelity.
Guillermo del Toro’s latest film was met with critical acclaim, but failed to make a splash in theaters. However, it recently received an Oscar nomination for Best Picture and is now available to watch on HBO Max. The film follows Stanton Carlisle (Bradley Cooper) an opportunist who takes up work at a carnival and soon learns the trade and tricks of a con man. Using his newfound talent, he begins defrauding money from his grief-stricken patrons, who’re hoping to make contact with deceased loved ones. Carlisle’s ambition soon drives him to push for a big score by conning a heartbroken tycoon (Richard Jenkins), with the help of an alluring psychiatrist (Cate Blanchette), who just might be his match. Del Toro directs another beautifully crafted picture, creating a moody, noir atmosphere that is reminiscent of some of Hollywood’s greatest features, while Cooper delivers a performance that is among the best of his career.
Charlize Theron and Seth Rogen star in the best studio made rom-com to come out in recent years. Fred (Rogen), a free-spirited journalist, runs into an aspiring presidential candidate, named Charlotte (Theron), who it turns out was actually Fred’s babysitter when she was in high school and his childhood crush. Charlotte hires Fred to help write her speeches, and the two start to kindle a relationship despite their apparent social difference. Rogen plays another variation of his usual comic persona, which you probably already know if it does or doesn’t work for you, while Theron proves to be more than capable of holding her own in a comedy and the two share a charming chemistry that makes for enjoyable viewing.
The two halves of Quentin Tarantino’s extremely bloody, kung fu-inspired revenge epic are hard to separate. While the first has some extremely intense action scenes, like the living brawl and the battle with the Crazy 88, the second gives us the much-needed resolution to the Bride’s (Uma Thurman) long path to vengeance and the final standoff with Bill (David Carradine) that the title alludes to. Thurman created an immediately iconic character with the Bride, and Tarantino got to pay homage to one of his most beloved film genres, making a cinematic experience that only he can.
If you saw and loved Steven Spielberg’s remake, then why not check out the original ten time Academy Award winning classic. Adapted from the stage musical by Leonard Bernstein, Stephen Sondheim and Jerome Robbins, West Side Story follows two rival gangs, the Jets and the Sharks, constantly at war for turf dominance. But when Tony (Richard Beymer) falls for Maria (Natalie Wood), the sister of the Sharks leader, all hell starts to break loose. With dazzling choreography and a touchstone book of songs filled with numbers that you’ll catch yourself humming along to, this is one musical that even the most song and dance averse can rumble with.
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