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The 10 best (HBO) Max movies to watch this 4th of July weekend

Two men sit at a table and look at a scene from “The Hunt for Red October”.
Paramount Pictures

The 4th of July weekend is here, which means some much-needed days to relax, celebrate, eat, and unwind. Maybe you have exciting plans to celebrate with family, or maybe you're taking a vacation trip. Or maybe you're using this time to unwind from the stresses of everyday life by watching a great movie. Thankfully, there's no shortage of streaming services, although few are better than Max.

Warner Bros. Discovery's streaming service, formerly known as HBO Max, has everything you could want from the big and small screens. HBO may be better known for its TV shows, but the service also has an impressive collection of movies that everyone can enjoy. The best movies on Max offer everything from action-packed adventures to hilarious comedies to touching dramas. So if you're planning on spending the holiday weekend at home, what's better than a great movie on Max? Check out these movies that you're sure to enjoy.

Twister (1997)

Warner Bros.

Oscar winner Helen Hunt and the late, great Bill Paxton star in Jan de Bont's 1996 disaster action thriller TwistersThe film centers on intrepid and tornado-obsessed meteorologist Jo Harding, who reunites with her estranged husband, former storm chaser and current TV weatherman Bill Harding, to test a machine that could revolutionize tornado research.

Twisters is a near-perfect action thriller. Thanks to a spectacular cast and impressive visual effects, the film offers enough thrills, witty dialogues and iconic moments – “Cow” – to give audiences a great time. The upcoming release of TwistersLee Isaac Chung’s standalone sequel with HitMan's Glen Powell, should be reason enough to revisit this '90s gem. But if you need another reason, just remember that the decade is notorious for its wonderfully over-the-top action movies, and Twisters is one of the best.

Twisters is aviable Stream on Max.

The Hunt for Red October (1990)

Outstanding

A film full of conversations and yet incredibly intense, The Hunt for Red October is the last great epic of the Cold War. The film tells the story of a Russian submarine captain who decides to defect to the USA in a highly dangerous submarine.

Analyst Jack Ryan is brought in to find out exactly what is going on, and it all comes to a head when we learn what exactly the US is planning to do with this rogue submarine. It's mostly just people talking in rooms, but The Hunt for Red October will definitely cast a spell over you. This should come as no surprise, given that the role of the renegade submarine commander is played by legendary James Bond actor Sean Connery.

You can watch The Hunt for Red October to Max.

The New World (2005)

New Line Cinema

Terrence Malick is a remarkably introspective and emotional director whose understated stories are underscored by spectacular, often breathtaking imagery. Nowhere is this unique combination more evident than in his highly underrated 2005 historical romance drama. The new world. Oscar nominee Colin Farrell plays Captain John Smith, who begins a passionate affair with Pocahontas (Q'orianka Kilcher) upon his arrival in Virginia in 1607.

Like many other films by Malick, The new world is a challenge, especially because its length often seems unjustified. If there's one reason to watch this film, though, it's the grandeur of the new world, which Malick's precise camera captures beautifully. The director is a master of the stoic, and here he reaches new levels of regal restraint. It's far from the best historical film – in fact, it's quite inaccurate, so if you're looking for historical accuracy, you won't find it here – but as a depiction of America as a majestic, unexplored land, it more than succeeds.

The new world is aviable Stream on Max.

American Sniper (2014)

American sniper Warner Bros.

Although it has been a decade now, American sniper When the film first hit theaters, its story of what it's like to wage war in America today is still as moving as ever.

Director Clint Eastwood's specialty, especially in his later years, is stories of men who act courageously but are nevertheless destroyed by the world around them. Bradley Cooper gives one of the best performances of his career as Chris Kyle, and the film around him does justice to the pain and suffering Kyle feels from minute one.

You can watch American sniper to Max.

The Lord of the Rings trilogy (2001–2003)

New Line Cinema

If you want to use the holiday weekend to catch up on one of cinema's best trilogies, then Max is just the thing for you. Peter Jackson's masterful Lord of the Rings The trilogy adapts JRR Tolkien's groundbreaking novels, skilfully bringing them to the screen and producing one of the best fantasy sagas in the history of the medium. The films follow the journey of the hobbit Frodo Baggins (Elijah Wood) as he ventures into the dangerous lands of Mordor to destroy the One Ring in the fires of Mount Doom.

Every entry in the Lord of the rings The trilogy is among the best fantasy films of all time. The production quality is fascinating and inviting, the performances passionate and captivating, and the narrative is thrilling, challenging, and endlessly rewarding. The trilogy is perfect from start to finish, offering a fantastic journey into an unimaginable world that is still as fresh and evocative as it was 20 years ago.

Lord of the Rings The trilogy can be streamed on Max.

The Iron Claw (2023)

A24

Like any holiday, the Fourth of July is often a great opportunity to reunite with family, and there has been no better portrayal of family in recent memory than Sean Durkin's tragic sports drama The Iron Claw. A never-better Zac Efron leads an impressive cast in a dramatization of the famous Von Erich wrestling family, who experienced a series of personal tragedies in the 1980s and early 1990s.

Make no mistake: this is a tragic film that will undoubtedly leave you reaching for the tissues. The Iron Claw is first and foremost a serious and loving portrayal of brotherhood. Despite the admittedly brutal narrative, The Iron Claw remains a tender, raw and poignant portrayal of family bonds that is as rewarding as it is emotionally devastating. A tough but rewarding film, The Iron Claw is worth the tears.

The Iron Claw is aviable Stream on Max.

Gangs of New York (2002)

Miramax films

One of the most underrated films by director Martin Scorsese, Criminal organizations of New York tells the story of New York City long before it became the relatively quiet place it is today.

Set in a time when political corruption was rampant and Irish and Italian immigrants often fought for dominance, the film features one of Daniel Day Lewis' best performances as the main villain, as well as a long opening sequence worth remembering. It's not a pretty picture of American history, but one that gets more interesting with each passing year.

You can watch Criminal organizations of New York to Max.

Paris, Texas (1984)

Road Movies/Filmproduktion GmbH/Argos Films SA

Wim Wenders is a unique filmmaker with an exceptionally idiosyncratic filmography. His neo-western drama/road movie from 1984 Paris, Texas is a compelling portrayal of 1980s American culture that is unique, funny, and ultimately deeply insightful. It centers on Travis Henderson (Harry Dean Stanton), a recluse who reunites with his brother and son to search for his estranged wife.

If someone were to ask, “What is the most American film ever?”, many people would probably answer, “Paris, Texas.” The film is delightful and strangely humorous, a refreshing and lively portrayal of the American West that suits a distinctly creative mind like Wenders. Like all the best neo-westerns, Paris, Texas deconstructs and demystifies the American West, focusing on the images and feelings rather than the plot. The film is about a time, a place and a people. It is a cinematic postcard that evokes nostalgia for something that may never have existed.

Paris, Texas is aviable Stream on Max.

David Byrne's American Utopia (2020)

David Byrne's American Utopia (Official Trailer) Universal Pictures

American Utopia is simply a filmed version of David Byrne's stage show of the same name, but don't be fooled by how disappointing that may sound.

Performing a number of Talking Heads songs as well as some solo numbers, Byrne weaves a tapestry unlike anything you've ever seen before. It's full of innovative visual effects and brilliant digressions about the songs and his own life as an American. Thanks to Spike Lee's astute direction, this filmed version adds even more originality to the stage production.

You can watch American Utopia to Max.

Judas and the Black Messiah (2020)

Warner Bros.

Another honest reflection of America’s many shortcomings, Judas and the Black Messiah tells the true story of a black man who was recruited by the FBI to infiltrate the Black Panther Party in Chicago.

Told from the competing perspectives of the infiltrator and a leader within the party. Judas and the Black Messiah is a reminder of the often very explicit methods the American government has used to undermine black people in America. Thanks to a brilliant lead performance by Daniel Kaluuya, the film is also endlessly captivating.

You can watch Judas and the Black Messiah to Max.