August 18, 2022

When HBO Max first launched, most have been excited concerning the streaming service’s library of HBO TV exhibits and main Warner Bros. blockbuster movies. But when there’s one factor each HBO and Warner Bros. are recognized for, it’s making nice dramas. So the choice of drama films obtainable on HBO Max – each from Warner Bros. and from different studios – is unsurprisingly dense and excessive in high quality. They vary from new releases to unforgettable 90s films to bona fide classics, they usually’re all assured to hit that “drama” candy spot whenever you’re searching for it.

However you might be daunted by all of the choices obtainable, so we’ve used our experience to pluck out the very best drama films on HBO Max for a very stellar listing. Beneath, you’ll discover a variety of drama movies from a variety of administrators, however all of them have one factor in widespread: they’re nice films. So get your popcorn prepared and take a look at our listing of the very best dramas on HBO Max beneath.


Editor’s Be aware: This text was final up to date April 2022 to incorporate Romeo + Juliet, Seven, and Defiance.

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The Final Duel

Picture by way of twentieth Century Studios

Director/Author: Ridley Scott

Author: Nicole Holofcener, Ben Affleck, Matt Damon

Forged: Matt Damon, Adam Driver, Jodie Comer, Ben Affleck

The Final Duel is a gripping adaptation of Eric Jager’s guide by the identical identify, which explores one of many final judicial duels fought in France. Primarily based on true occasions, Ridley Scott’s second movie of 2021 is about in medieval France the place Jean de Carrouges’ (Matt Damon) spouse Marguerite (Jodie Comer) accuses Jacques Le Gris (Adam Driver) of raping her, resulting in a nail-biting duel to the dying between de Carrouges and Le Gris. The Final Duel is ingenious in the way in which that it permits viewers to see the case laid out from every character’s viewpoint with each refined and profound modifications in line supply, physicality, and context. It’s offered in three chapters: “The Fact In line with de Carrouges,” “The Fact In line with Le Gris,” and eventually, “The Fact.” The movie makes it clear that Marguerite’s account is essentially the most correct viewpoint offered, although it doesn’t reduce how disturbing it’s to witness Le Gris assault her twice.

As with most of Scott’s movies, The Final Duel is a visible masterpiece, and he expertly crafts a fascinating film out of historic realities. Sadly, this delicate matter would have benefited from a extra female contact, past Nicole Holofcener’s involvement in writing the script. Medieval France, like many intervals all through historical past, was extremely troublesome for ladies and there have been missed alternatives to extra deeply discover how Marguerite was handled as an object with out company. – Maggie Lovitt

The Many Saints of Newark

Vera Farmiga and Jon Bernthal in The Many Saints of Newark
Picture by way of Warner Bros.

Director: Alan Taylor

Author: David Chase, Lawrence Konner

Forged: Alessandro Nivola, Michael Gandolfini, Leslie Odom Jr., Vera Farmiga, Jon Bernthal, Ray Liotta, Michela de Rossi

Prequels, sequels, and threequels are all the fashion today, and The Many Saints of Newark is not any exception. Stacked to the gills with character actors, together with the likes of Vera Farmiga, Ray Liotta, and Jon Bernthal, amongst others, the movie touches down in Newark, New Jersey, in 1967, and follows the upbringing of everybody’s favourite crime boss amidst the chaos of not solely the Newark riots, however of modifications in his family — some extra harmful than others. Michael Gandolfini shines as a youthful model of Tony Soprano, the position originated by his late, nice father James Gandolfini, nevertheless it’s Alessandro Nivola who steals the present as Dickie Moltisanti, Tony’s ruthless and calculating uncle who helped mildew him into essentially the most iconic mob boss of all time. For followers of The Sopranos, the movie is a welcome dive again into the seedy underbelly of what made the HBO sequence nice, and even for non-fans, David Chase’s latest journey into the hearts and minds of the well-known prison household — earlier than they’d actually made their mark — stands out as a powerful mob movie for the ages. —Maggie Boccella

The Eyes of Tammy Faye

Picture by way of Searchlight Photos

Director: Michael Showalter

Author: Abe Sylvia, Randy Barbato, Fenton Bailey

Forged: Jessica Chastain, Andrew Garfield, Cherry Jones, Vincent D’Onofrio

Primarily based on the documentary of the identical identify by Randy Barbato and Fenton Bailey, The Eyes of Tammy Faye tells the inspiring true story of Tammy Faye Bakker (Jessica Chastain), a larger-than-life televangelist who made it her mission to encourage kindness and acceptance everywhere in the world. The biographical drama depicts Tammy’s ascension to stardom and exposes the extraordinary scrutiny and criticism she endured for her look and eccentric character over the course of her profession. The Oscar-nominated Chastain, who received a SAG, Golden Globe, and Critics’ Selection award for her efficiency, completely embodies the welcoming girl from head to toe, paying homage to her lasting legacy within the course of. — Emily Bernard

King Richard

King Richard

Director: Reinaldo Marcus Inexperienced

Author: Zach Baylin

Forged: Will Smith, Aunjanue Ellis, Saniyya Sidney, Demi Singleton, Tony Goldwyn, Jon Bernthal

In a profession spotlight efficiency, Will Smith stars as the daddy of Venus and Serena Williams on this sports activities biopic that places Smith within the sneakers of the hard-working, success-oriented, household man. Whereas there was some criticism on the complimentary portrayal of an advanced man, there will be little question that King Richard tugs on the heartstrings in a stirring story about parenthood and what it takes to teach and lift not one, however two world-famous athletes. Newcomer Saniyya Sidney performs a nuanced younger Venus Williams struggling underneath the pressures from her father and from the world. Successful story that deserves all of the reward it will get. — Therese Lacson



Director: Christopher Nolan

Author: Christopher Nolan

Forged: Fionn Whitehead, Tom Glynn-Carney, Jack Lowden, Harry Kinds, Aneurin Barnard, James D’Arcy, Barry Keoghan, Kenneth Branagh, Cillian Murphy, Mark Rylance, Tom Hardy

Dunkirk is something however a easy historic function, and the rationale for that’s the meticulous enhancing of three totally different tales, every following its personal timeline. First, on the seashores of Dunkirk, France, the English military tries to discover a approach to escape enemy siege and return to Britain; the occasions that happen there span per week. Then, on the coast of England, a person and his son attempt to attain the French coast to rescue troopers; a plot that lasts a day. Lastly, three pilots are tasked with defending the English Channel from the sky, in an hour-long succession of occasions. By manipulating time to his will, Christopher Nolan creates probably the greatest warfare films ever made, a function that permits the viewers to expertise the agony of ready for a dying that appears sure, and the depth just a few moments of adrenaline can provide our lives. — Marco Vito Oddo

Romeo + Juliet

Romeo + Juliet

Director: Baz Luhrmann

Writers: Craig Pearce, Baz Luhrmann

Forged: Leonardo DiCaprio, Claire Danes, Brian Dennehy, John Leguizamo, Pete Postlethwaite, Paul Sorvino, Diane Venora

In honest Verona, the place we lay our scene, shit is getting craaaazyyyyy. William Shakespeare’s romantic tragedy, ubiquitous in its cultural affect, will get a fast-paced, shiny, unorthodox, and grandiosely immature replace from Baz Luhrmann in 1996’s Romeo + Juliet. Starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Claire Danes within the title roles (serving to cement their “we’ll at all times have a crush on them” standing), the movie retains the stylized Shakespearean dialogue, however transplants all of it right into a modernized model of “90s gang warfare” that has extra ballsy bravado than the weirdest neighborhood theater manufacturing of Shakespeare you’ve ever seen (they name the weapons “daggers” and “swords”! It’s nice!). Luhrmann’s stylistic tics flourish regardless of and due to the oppressively gritty milieu, each elevating and trapping DiCaprio and Danes’ inherently doomed however sweepingly passionate love affair – a proper battle that underlines what’s so eternally interesting about Shakespeare’s authentic textual content breathlessly. If anybody makes an inventory of the very best Shakespeare movies and leaves this one off the listing, they’re the pretentious one, not this movie. – Gregory Lawrence


Picture by way of New Line Cinema

Director: David Fincher

Author: Andrew Kevin Walker

Forged: Brad Pitt, Morgan Freeman, Gwyneth Paltrow, John C. McGinley

Or Se7en, when you choose. Greater than something, you come to Seven for the yucks. The movie, although it doesn’t truly present you a lot, is disgusting. It tells the story of a serial killer who murders his victims in accordance with the seven lethal sins. He does this with nice aplomb and creativity. Perhaps an excessive amount of creativity. His efforts are hounded by an old-fashioned cop (Morgan Freeman) and a younger hotshot (Brad Pitt), neither of whom actually make a lot headway in catching the dangerous man. The movie is frightening and dirty, seems beautiful and has an ideal soundtrack, and when you don’t already know the way it all ends, take into account your self fortunate for the expertise you continue to have forward of you. – Evan Saathoff


Picture by way of Paramount Photos

Director: Edward Zwick

Author: Clayton Frohman, Edward Zwickr

Forged: Daniel Craig, Liev Schreiber, Jamie Bell, Alexa Davalos, Allan Corduner, Mark Feuerstein

Primarily based on the guide Defiance: The Bielski Partisans by Nechama Tec, this film follows the true story of three Polish Jewish brothers, who saved and recruited Jews in Belarus throughout World Warfare II. The plot revolves across the occasions of 1941, in Nazi-occupied Poland. When the mother and father of the Bielski household are killed, the 4 brothers handle to outlive and flee to the close by forest. What was as soon as their childhood playground, turns right into a battleground, the place they vow to avenge their father or mother’s dying. The Bielski brothers, Tuvia (Daniel Craig), Zus (Liev Schreiber), Asael (Jamie Bell), and Aron (George Mackay), meet fellow survivors and be a part of fingers with them, forming a rebel group with one objective: to wipe out as many Nazis as they will. — Remus Noronha

The Shawshank Redemption

Tim Robbins and Morgan Freeman in The Shawshank Redemption

Director/Author: Frank Darabont

Forged: Tim Robbins, Morgan Freeman, Bob Gunton, Clancy Brown, William Sadler

The Shawshank Redemption isn’t simply probably the greatest movies of the 90s – it’s probably the greatest movies ever made. It’s like an R-rated Frank Capra movie, improbably written by Stephen King. One cause it’s so indelibly a 90s film, regardless of primarily going down within the 40s, is that it performed in a near-constant loop on cable TV from roughly 1995 to proper now. Critically, activate TNT and there’s a few 40% probability you’ll be watching The Shawshank Redemption. It’s a narrative about Andy Dufresene (Tim Robbins) a wrongfully-imprisoned man who spends a number of many years in Shawshank State Penitentiary, advised from the viewpoint of Crimson (Morgan Freeman), an inmate he befriends. It’s a robust drama about having hope within the darkest locations, and, after all, about discovering the redemption that most individuals deserve. — Tom Reimann

Magic Mike

Picture by way of Warner Bros.

Director: Steven Soderbergh

Author: Reid Carolin

Forged: Channing Tatum, Alex Pettyfer, Cody Horn, Matt Bomer, Olivia Munn, Joe Manganiello, and Matthew McConaughey

Whereas the prospect of a male stripper film based mostly on the actual life story of Channing Tatum appears like a recipe for catastrophe, within the fingers of a grasp filmmaker like Steven Soderbergh, it’s a murals. Magic Mike is immensely entertaining providing up some actually dazzling set items, nevertheless it’s additionally extremely humorous and real poignant. Whereas Soderbergh definitely has a watch on giving people a great time, at coronary heart Magic Mike is a movie about chasing the American Dream. It’s surprisingly darkish in locations, and Tatum is definitely fairly terrific within the lead position right here, providing up among the complexity that has turned him into a really gifted actor. And, after all, there’s Matthew McConaughey within the first puzzle piece of his McConaissance, giving an Oscar-worthy flip because the charismatic Dallas, proprietor of the movie’s central male strip membership. Don’t let the subject material idiot you: Magic Mike is a real movie for cinephiles. — Adam Chitwood

Simply Mercy

Picture by way of Warner Bros.

Director: Destin Daniel Cretton

Writers: Destin Daniel Cretton and Andrew Lanham

Forged: Michael B. Jordan, Jamie Foxx, Rob Morgan, Brie Larson, Rafe Spall, and Tim Blake Nelson

Simply Mercy is important viewing. Filmmaker Destin Daniel Cretton (Brief Time period 12) adapts Bryan Stevenson’s non-fiction guide of the identical identify and brings to life a narrative concerning the failings of the prison justice system and the inhumanity of the dying penalty in stark, unsettling actuality. Michael B. Jordan performs Stevenson, an idealistic younger Harvard legislation graduate who travels to Alabama within the hopes of preventing for poor individuals who can’t afford authorized illustration. Whereas there, he makes an attempt to assist a person (Jamie Foxx) attraction his homicide conviction – which was secured with minimal proof. It’s an emotionally upsetting however needed watch for folk on each side of the dying penalty debate, as Cretton forces viewers to confront the realities of such a sentence. – Adam Chitwood

No Nation for Previous Males


Administrators/Writers: Joel and Ethan Coen

Forged: Josh Brolin, Javier Bardem, Kelly Macdonald, and Tommy Lee Jones

In hindsight, No Nation for Previous Males profitable Greatest Image is without doubt one of the boldest strikes the Academy has ever made. It was not the straightforward alternative. Atonement and even There Will Be Blood would have been way more conventional picks for the Academy, however they went for it. They gave credit score the place it was due, and honored the Coen Brothers’ masterful Cormac McCarthy adaptation with 4 main Oscars. The movie is extreme and difficult, with one of many all-time nice villain performances from Javier Bardem, enjoying a personality who stays enigmatic all through. It’s a troublesome film, however that’s precisely what makes it so particular. Should you have been lukewarm on first watch, give it one other go. It takes just a few viewings to essentially soak within the brilliance of what the Coens are doing right here, and boy is it particular. – Adam Chitwood

Michael Clayton

Picture by way of Warner Bros.

Director/Author: Tony Gilroy

Forged: George Clooney, Tom Wilkinson, Tilda Swinton, Sidney Pollack, and Michael O’Keefe

The 2007 drama Michael Clayton nonetheless holds up tremendously effectively. The story facilities on an legal professional (performed by George Clooney) who’s attempting to deal with a colleague’s obvious breakdown all whereas a significant consumer that his legislation agency is representing is being sued in a category motion case. It’s a potboiler thriller, however Tony Gilroy’s director elevates it above your normal John Grisham adaptation into one thing way more cinematic and introspective. – Adam Chitwood

Citizen Kane

Picture by way of Warner Bros

Director: Orson Welles

Writers: Orson Welles and Herman J. Mankiewicz

Forged: Orson Welles, Joseph Cotton, Dorothy Comingore, Everett Sloane, and Ray Collins

Sure, Citizen Kane is without doubt one of the biggest films of all time. No, it’s not boring. Quite the opposite, when you like investigative dramas and tales about broken people, Orson Welles‘ acclaimed 1941 drama is a rattling entertaining movie. The story begins with the dying of newspaper magnate Charles Foster Kane (Welles) and his cryptic final phrase, “Rosebud.” Even when you realize what “Rosebud” is, the movie loses none of its affect as Welles, by pioneering new cinematic methods like Deep Focus, is ready to weave a fascinating and tragic narrative a few man who good points the world however loses his soul by being unable to purchase the issues he actually desires out of life. Full of terrific performances and a timeless story, Citizen Kane is a traditional that should not intimidate you from lastly giving it a shot. – Matt Goldberg


Picture by way of Toho

Director: Akira Kurosawa

Author: Akira Kurosawa, Shinobu Hashimoto, and Hideo Oguni

Forged: Takashi Shimura and Miki Odagiri

Whereas director Akira Kurosawa is related to films that includes samurai and ronin like Seven Samurai, Yojimbo, Crimson Beard, and Rashomon, considered one of his strongest options centered on a humble authorities bureaucrat. Kenji Watanabe (Takashi Shimura) is that bureaucrat, and when he discovers he has abdomen most cancers with lower than a yr to dwell, he goes on a search to offer his life which means by attempting to construct a playground. The movie is a robust meditation on what we would like our legacies to imply, what it means to dwell your life to the fullest in service of others, and the flexibility to seek out the braveness to make a distinction. It is an attractive and heartbreaking masterpiece from a filmmaker whose filmography is crammed with masterpieces. – Matt Goldberg

The Departed

Jack Nicholson and Matt Damon in The Departed

Director: Martin Scorsese

Author: William Nicholson

Forged: Leonardo DiCaprio, Matt Damon, Jack Nicholson, Mark Wahlberg, Vera Farmiga, Martin Sheen, Ray Winstone, Anthony Anderson, Alec Baldwin, and James Badge Dale

Filmmaker Martin Scorsese’s 2006 crime drama The Departed is the movie that lastly received him the Greatest Director Oscar, however he was merely attempting to have a great time. After critical epics like The Aviator and Gangs of New York, Scorsese admitted he opted to make a industrial movie, selecting to remake the Hong Kong thriller Infernal Affairs with an all-star forged. The result’s a tremendously entertaining crime drama filled with stellar performances, and led by considered one of Leonardo DiCaprio’s finest turns ever. The movie not solely received the Oscar for Greatest Director, but in addition Greatest Image, Greatest Tailored Screenplay, and Greatest Movie Enhancing. – Adam Chitwood

Blood Easy

Picture by way of Circle Movies

Writers/Administrators: Joel and Ethan Coen

Forged: John Getz, Frances McDormand, Dan Hedaya, Samm-Artwork Williams, and M. Emmet Walsh

Few filmmakers make a debut as assured or beautiful as Blood Easy, however the Coen Brothers has no drawback making their voices heard with their first function. Dan Hedaya performs a dive bar proprietor who suspects that his spouse (Frances McDormand) is dishonest on him with an worker (John Getz). His suspicions confirmed, he asks a P.I. (M. Emmet Walsh) to kill the lovers, however this plot quickly spirals uncontrolled and results in surprising bloodshed. The Coens made a masterpiece of neo noir and whereas they’d go on to a sequence of classics like Elevating Arizona, Miller’s Crossing, Fargo, The Large Lebowski, and No Nation for Previous Males, their first movie nonetheless ranks amongst their finest.


casablanca humphrey bogart ingrid bergman

Director: Michael Curtiz

Writers: Julius J. Epstein, Philip G. Epstein, and Howard Koch

Forged: Humphrey Bogart, Ingrid Bergman, Paul Henreid, Claude Rains, Conrad Veidt, Sydney Greenstreet, and Peter Lorre

The 1942 winner for Greatest Image, Casablanca has misplaced none of its affect over the many years. It truly is a film that has all of it—motion, journey, intrigue, romance, patriotism, sacrifice—it is extra than simply “This is taking a look at you, child.” The story follows jaded nightclub proprietor Rick Blaine (Humphrey Bogart) who simply desires to be left alone till the love of his life, Ilsa (Ingrid Bergman), involves him searching for assist for her husband, a Czech Resistance chief. Do not be daunted by the movie’s status; you may nonetheless get pleasure from it for a way damned entertaining and surprisingly humorous it may be. Casablanca nonetheless hits with all of the immediacy of its authentic launch because it embraces common themes about love and self-sacrifice. It is an attractive film, and one price revisiting. – Matt Goldberg

The Story


Author/Director: Jennifer Fox

Forged: Laura Dern, Isabelle Nélisse, Elizabeth Debicki, Jason Ritter, Frances Conroy, John Heard, Frequent, and Ellen Burstyn

Filmmaking doesn’t get extra ingenious or extra harrowing than The Story. Jennifer Fox got down to interrogate her personal reminiscences and look into sexual abuse she suffered by the hands of adults who she thought have been her associates. It’s an important film of the #MeToo motion, inspecting how predators prey on their victims and the way these victims flip their ache inward and deform what actually occurred to keep away from going through that ache. Led by a searing, advanced efficiency from Laura Dern, The Story is an important film, brilliantly made with thought and ingenuity, and probably the greatest movies of 2018. – Matt Goldberg



Director: Todd Phillips

Author: Todd Phillips and Scott Silver

Forged: Joaquin Phoenix, Robert De Niro, Zazie Beetz, Frances Conroy, Marc Maron, Brian Tyree Henry, Shea Whigham, Invoice Camp, Glenn Fleshler, Leigh Gill, Josh Pais, Douglas Hodge, with Brett Cullen as Thomas Wayne, and Dante Pereira-Olson as Bruce Wayne.

My stance has not modified since final fall — Joker is without doubt one of the finest comedian guide films ever made, if solely as a result of it is not like a comic book guide film in any respect. This can be a Eighties character examine offered underneath the guise of a comic book guide film. If this film is known as Arthur as an alternative of Joker, it nonetheless works completely. I do not know if it might gross a billion {dollars}, however that is how structurally sound this movie is, in my eyes. It does not require the extra context of Gotham Metropolis and Batman and all of the fanboy baggage that these issues carry with them. Joaquin Phoenix delivers probably the greatest performances of the last decade as Arthur Fleck, the type of man who cannot catch a break or make his personal. He is a horrible comic and a awful clown in addition. Arthur simply desires to be seen and acknowledged, and involves consider that homicide and mayhem are the means to that finish. Fame is not sufficient when infamy lasts a lot longer. Well-known folks come and go, however infamy lives ceaselessly.

Director Todd Phillips fully upends his whole fame with this film, which proves he is a lot greater than the Hangover franchise. His tackle Joker holds a terrifying lens as much as society and does not shrink back from the ugliness of life, which is extra honest for some than others. I like how Phillips depicts psychological sickness and the methodical means he offers with the violence on this movie. This movie was by no means meant to shock you, nevertheless it does not give a shit if it does, and I respect that type of punk rock perspective. Robert De Niro‘s casting lends Joker a meta aspect because of his turns in Martin Scorsese‘s similarly-themed Taxi Driver and The King of Comedy, however whether or not this movie advantages from these comparisons or not is as much as you. Both means, it feels of a bit with these movies, and I do not assume it is too loopy to say that, both. That is as near a comic book guide film masterpiece as you are gonna get, proper up there with The Darkish Knight, Logan and The Crow. Joker is an unsightly film about an unsightly man, but when you have not appeared out the window currently, it is an unsightly world on the market, and as Arthur says, “You get what you fucking deserve.” – Jeff Sneider


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