25 Best Movies On Cinemax That You Should Watching Update 04/2024

Best Movies On Cinemax

Since our last look at Cinemax’s top films, not only has the selection altered drastically, but it has also grown significantly. Classic movies are available on the premium cable channel and its streaming partner, including war movies and westerns in addition to comedy and drama. So if you’re interested in Bikini Superheroes or College Coeds vs. Zombie Housewives, you’ll have to make up your own mind. The name “Skinamax” isn’t just a marketing ploy.
Here are the top 25 Cinemax and Max Go movies of all time:

25. Dances With Wolves

Dances With Wolves

The 1990s Kevin Costner is the director. Kevin Costner’s directorial debut was a milestone in Hollywood’s historically poor representation of “cowboys and Indians,” ignoring the fact that this is the story of a white male savior. Lt. John Dunbar (Kevin Costner) is a Civil War warrior who served in an isolated outpost in Sioux territory and is played by Costner. The acceptance of his presence among the Lakota people comes after he returns a young woman to her tribe, this time a white woman named Stands With Fist. At a time when the United States army was encroaching on all Native Americans, Dunbar’s loyalties were tainted. Dean Semler filmed the film, which won seven Oscars overall, including Best Picture. When the shoot went beyond its $15 million budget, Costner put $3 million of his personal money towards finishing it. When the picture went on to make $424 million worldwide, it was all worth it. Costner was recognized as an honorary member of the Sioux Nation despite the fact that many questioned the validity of a film that included only one native Lakota speaker. The author of this article, Josh Jackson

24. Ronin

This was back in 1998. John Frankenheimer is the director. The earliest documented case of a figure-skating sniper murder in film can be seen in Ronin, which also has some famous vehicle chase moments. Ice-cold, to say the least…. Please refrain from applauding. The combination of Robert De Niro in a spy picture plus a good narrative and well-executed pyrotechnics makes Ronin an instantly likable example of espionage. As stated by Darren Orf:

23. Shakespeare in Love

This was back in 1998. In charge of filming: director John Madden One more film whose reputation has taken a hit after its initial release, partly as a result of an Oscar nomination that was poorly thought out and Gweneth Paltrow’s subsequent poor handling of her public persona. Shakespeare in Love has a poor rap, and no one is more upset by modern Goop than I am. You will enjoy it if you’ve ever worked in the theater, and that is a given if you’re a fan of Gweneth’s Viola de Lesseps in the first place. It’s now safe to declare that Ben Affleck’s character in this film is utterly lovable. After a long time apart, you’ll be astonished at how much you’ve grown fond of it again. In the words of Michael Dunaway:

22. Garden State

Garden State

The year 2004 has passed us by. Zach Braff is the director of this film. Being a writer, director, or actor in your twenties is a great time to be miserable, disoriented, and lonely. Zach Braff plays Andrew, a despondent young man returning to his hometown to attend his mother’s burial. A new love blossoms for him as he reconnects with old friends and his estranged father (Natalie Portman makes for a wonderful manic pixie dream girl). “Can you ever go home again?” is a question that has been asked for generations, and this indie film tries to answer it in a unique way. The soundtrack of Braff’s film ushered in the era of indie rock and reminded a new generation of Nick Drake’s glories. As an adult, he also nailed the sense of uncertainty and dismay that many newly minted adults feel when they realize that life is both overwhelming and necessary. —Kristofer Seppala’s work

21. Rain Man

It was 1988 at this time. For the helmer: Barry Levinson Charlie Babbitt (Tom Cruise) takes on a road journey with his newly discovered brother, Raymond, in this Oscar-winning Best Picture (Dustin Hoffman). When his father suddenly passed away, Charlie was left with his father’s $3 million estate, which was mostly bequeathed to Raymond, a severely autistic son. When Charlie watches Jeopardy! and only buys underwear from Kmart, he learns more about his brother’s peculiarities. Hoffman’s talent is undeniable, and he was honored with the Academy Award for Best Actor in a Leading Role for his portrayal of a genius. A professional who becomes a kind brother is another jewel from Cruise’s portrayal of the high-strung professional. Both the funny and the sad parts of a film are equally vital, and this 1988 classic does a superb job of balancing the two. Jesus Christ —Shawn

20. Loving

This is the year of 2016. Jeff Nichols is the film’s director. When it comes to courtroom dramas, Jeff Nichols’ Loving may not be to everyone’s taste. It’s unlikely that Loving will appeal to you if you’re a fan of potboiling slickness and little more in a courtroom drama. When it comes to the film’s subject matter, it isn’t about a 1967 civil rights victory over the United States’ anti-miscegenation laws as much as it is about two plaintiffs, Richard Loving (Joel Edgerton) and Mildred Jeter Loving (Ruth Negga). A direct result of Nichols’ focus, the film is void of legal language and takes place nearly exclusively outside the courthouse. So if you’re fed up with courtroom dramas that insist on pantomime, and if you think that those kinds of storylines deserve more discipline, then Loving is for you. In a way, it feels like an entirely new idea based on an old and predictable one, even though it’s based on a well-known one. Critics are buzzing about it because it’s an accurate depiction of a pivotal moment in the nation’s fight for civil rights; it’s being released at a time when people are still debating the issue of who can marry; and it’s directed by one of the most critically acclaimed filmmakers in the business today. Film critics long for a product that is stripped of all non-artistic pretensions and aims, leaving only the art behind. In the words of Andy Crump

19. Crimes and Misdemeanors

Crimes and Misdemeanors

In the year of 1989 Woody Allen is the director. “Does God exist?” In such case, is the Lord keeping an eye on us? A married director (Allen) is drawn to the assistant (Mia Farrow) of his pompous brother-in-law (Martin Landau) while a wealthy ophthalmologist (Landau) takes extraordinary steps to deal with an increasingly threatening mistress (Anjelica Huston) in this dark Woody Allen picture (Alan Alda). What follows is a reminder of just how difficult some questions can be to answer. In the words of Michael Burgin: —

18. The Breakfast Club

When did this take place? John Hughes was the director of this film. With all the wonderful and terrible overtones of the 1980s teenage experience, there is no better film than John Hughes’ famous high school dramedy. The Breakfast Club’s appeal lies in its simplicity: It’s a chamber piece in which each member of a ’80s movie high school clique is stuck in detention on a Saturday, left to work through their differences and confront their inner demons by gradually opening up to one another—but not without indulging silly teen comedy stuff, like how smoking marijuana apparently gives one the power to break glass by screams.. It’s a little antiquated, but the sympathetic performances by future Brat Pack members and Hughes’ astute writing on capturing adolescent life at the time serve to act as a fine mix between an archive of the time period and an examination of pubescent difficulties that is still relevant now. —Oktay Ege Kozak

17. The Blair Witch Project

The year 1999 Eddie Sanchez and Daniel Myrick are the film’s directors. The Blair Witch Project, on the other hand, reimagined the horror genre by creating a new manner of presentation and, most importantly, a new way of promoting the film. The Last Broadcast, a year earlier, was a prime example of a found-footage film. As a result of this, Artisan Entertainment expertly used the dearth of information available on the picture in order to launch an online advertising campaign in the early days of the Internet age. Blair Witch Project’s grainy and home movie aesthetic captured an inherent terror of reality and “real people” that had never previously been seen in the horror genre. Those who were otherwise reasonable walked into the film believing that what they were seeing might be true. A well-executed micro-budget independent film could also become a major box office triumph, as demonstrated by this film. In this way, The Blair Witch Project redefined two genres at once. —Jim Vorel

16. Driving Miss Daisy

Driving Miss Daisy

In the year of 1989 Bruce Beresford is the film’s director. Bruce Beresford and Alfred Uhry’s play Driving Miss Daisy is a comedy-drama that examines racism and anti-Semitism in the South, but where it really hits home is as an honest and open-hearted examination of the human flaws of the characters. The story takes place in 1948 and follows an elderly Jewish woman named Daisy Werthan (Jessica Tandy) as she reluctantly accepts the services of a new driver, Hoke Colburn (Morgan Freeman, reprising his role from the off-Broadway production), after she crashes her own car and realizes she can no longer drive. Over the course of 25 years, their relationship transforms from one of occasional hostility to one of mutual respect and affection. Both Washington and Tandy’s performances in this film are truly massive. For their excellent combination of dramatic drama and sensitivity, both gained critical acclaim. Instead of trying to make up for the limitations of the cinema medium, this play adaptation makes the most of what it has to offer. It’s not necessary for the performers to rely heavily on conversation in this film, as we spend most of the time in close proximity to these two characters who are stranded in a car. A glance, facial expression, and vocal tone convey more information than a long, drawn-out diatribe. In the words of — Amy Glynn

15. Her

The year 2013 Spike Jonze serves as the director. Being John Malkovich, Spike Jonze’s first feature-length film, was nominated for an Oscar for Best Director, a fact that made it evident that MTV couldn’t keep up with his enormous potential. He and screenwriter Charlie Kaufman resumed their voyage into solipsism with the wonderfully wild Adaptation following that small postmodern gem. Jonze’s Her resolves any lingering qualms about whether Kaufman’s screenplays’ (well-deserved) popularity stemmed exclusively from the power of Kaufman’s words. Malkovich’s empathetically eccentric characters, psychosexuality, and hard-wrung melancholy are all retained in Her, allowing the picture to pull off a tough stunt in filmmaking: a stunningly mature, profound romance in sci-fi clothing. One of the best films of 2013 is Spike Jonze’s newest, thanks to stunning settings and photography, as well as witty dialogue delivered by a subtly commanding Joaquin Phoenix. It also confirms, like Her, that the filmmaker is a whole package in his or her own right. —Scott Wold ”

14. American Psycho

The year 2000. Mary Harron is the director. Patrick Bateman (Christian Bale) has something wrong with him—a lot wrong. A Christopher Nolan-esque “what is a dream?” quandary, Bateman is simply wicked. One of the rare characters in modern cinema to openly state how mad he is is because the environment he lives in is equally as wild, if not more. The excitement is amplified even further by the banker’s inventiveness when it comes to killing weapons. Anyone up for a nail gun challenge? Until the cinematic adaptation of Bret Easton Ellis’ novel, white-collar Manhattanites had never been considered characters in horror films. As stated by Darren Orf:

13. Fletch


When did this take place? Michael Ritchie was the director of this film. Fletch, a comedy directed by Michael Ritchie and greatly influenced by film noir, was a showcase for Chevy Chase’s comedic talents. Investigator Irwin “Fletch” Fletcher took on several of John Coctotostan’s brilliantly ludicrous personae (“Can I borrow your towel? to Harry S. Truman (“My parents were huge followers of the former president,” “My car just hit a water buffalo.”) Never-endingly quotable and full of unforgettable moments (such as his colonoscopy—”Mooooon River… This is a comedy that only gets funnier with age (“You ever serve time, Doc?…Using the full fist, Doc?”) The author of this article, Josh Jackson

12. Unforgiven

The year 1992 was the year when Clint Eastwood is the filmmaker behind the camera. Director-actor Oscar-winning director Clint Eastwood’s Western drama is an unsettling critique of the genre in general, but also of Eastwood’s own long history with it. In the late 1950s and early 1960s, Eastwood starred in the television show Rawhide, which ran from the late 1950s through the middle of the 1960s. To work with filmmaker Sergio Leone on the so-called Dollars trilogy, Eastwood traveled to Europe in 1963 while still a relatively unknown actor, becoming a genuine international movie star and putting his mark on the genre in ways he never would on Rawhide. After that, the Western and Eastwood would forever be linked. While Eastwood’s films are known for their brutality, Eastwood’s screen character was built on themes of revenge and casual cynicism that audiences had never seen before. Psychopathic on-screen irony had a new look, and it was sultry and seductive. Atonement was unforgivable. To avenge the rape and mutilation of a townie whore, Eastwood returns from retirement as an ex-gunslinger. Honor is brutally restored with guns strapped on. However, at what price? Not the finest Western, but an informative, intense and self-reflexive exploration of the history of violence on screen as well as Eastwood’s own cinematic image in the genre, it is a must-see for any Western fan. It was —Derek Hill,

11. Good Will Hunting

During this time period: 1997 Gus Van Sant is the director. When it comes to tackling the most difficult arithmetic problems in the world, janitor Will is both aggravating and endearing as the underachieving Boston boy. Sean, Damon’s therapist, is a completely original character created by Robbin Williams using the mentor paradigm. Gus Van Sant’s portrayal of a talented youngster from the wrong side of the tracks is what makes this picture so great. Matt Damon and Ben Afleck play closest buddies who are closer than blood siblings in their breakout performances. Although the film deals with sensitive issues like childhood trauma and heartbreak, the sardonic humor and smart banter are equally as unforgettable. Effortlessly pleasant and never overdone. —Amy Libby —

10. Adaptation


When did this take place? Spike Jonze serves as the director. Though Kaufman’s characters and storylines may be absolutely outlandish, they’re only as crazy as our own erratic, obsessive rhythms of thought. Just because Kaufman has direct access to all those idiosyncratic brainwaves doesn’t mean they’re any less unique. He’s powerless to stop. As a result, Kaufman, like his heroes, is prone to obsessive, self-destructive thinking. Then he expands the box even further. The Orchid Thief, written by Susan Orlean for the New Yorker, was the inspiration for Adaptation, a film about a Hollywood screenwriter who is fed up with trying to convert a novel into a film. the aforementioned Steve Dollar

9. The Thin Red Line

This was back in 1998. Terrence Malick is the director. For an auteur of Terrence Malick’s stature, it’s hard to believe that he could get funding to produce poetry on the scale of The Thin Red Line. He returned to the big screen in 1998 with novelist James Jones’ story of a group of soldiers opposing Japanese troops in the paradise of Guadalcanal refracting through Malick’s gorgeous lens on an Australian island. The result was an abstract and persistently thoughtful epic, saturated with beautiful cutaways to the jungle and beast, and—atypically for a filmmaker whose primary focus has always been the place his people dwell in—chock-full of outstanding performances…. (The performances are all flawless, but Jim Caviezel and Nick Nolte steal the show with their zen-like demeanors.) It’s rare for a film to maintain that searing rawness of emotion for its entire running length, but this nearly three-hour masterpiece does. —Brogan Morris’s

8. Rushmore

This was back in 1998. Wes Anderson is the director. Bill Murray’s career was transformed from wide comedian to art house juggernaut by Rushmore, which introduced Jason Schwartzman to the world. One of the most amusing feuds in film history is the result of an improbable inter-generational love triangle. Bill Murray portrays wealthy billionaire Herman Blume, while Schwartzman portrays Max Fischer, a pupil at the exclusive Rushmore Academy in Houston. It’s a surprise friendship, but they both fall for Rosemary Cross (Olivia Williams), a teacher at Rushmore. By breaking ground on a new building without authorization from the school, Max finally gets expelled and is forced to attend a soul-crushing public school. Adding insult to injury, he discovers that Herman has started a relationship with the woman he’s been after. Ruhsmore, like Bottle Rocket, was co-written by Owen Wilson, a former private school expelled like Max. Before the filming of Bottle Rocket, he and Anderson collaborated on the writing for Rushmore, a film with even more of Anderson’s DNA. There are few films that can be re-watched into their tenth or eleventh decade, but this one keeps getting better. The author of this article, Josh Jackson

7. Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid

Butch Cassidy and the Sundance K

1969 George Roy Hill is the director. Anachronistic wonder: The top-grossing film of 1969 and four-time Oscar winner poked at the stoic bravura of Westerns. There’s the broad, buddy-comedy banter between Paul Newman and Robert Redford, the upbeat score by Burt Bacharach and Hal David, including “Raindrops Keep Falling on My Head,” and the witty, self-aware script by William Goldman. When Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid appeared in George Roy Hill’s depiction of the Old West, they practically altered history: He intended to recount the account of the outlaws’ journey to South America, but author Goldman didn’t want to devote the time and resources necessary for an entire novel. As a result, the film begins with a wink and says, “Most of what follows is true. Beautifully filmed by Conrad Hall, the picture manages to perfectly balance reverential genre elegy with occasional hilarity. After Steve McQueen dropped out because he didn’t want his name to appear first in the film’s credits, Newman and Redford were brought in to replace him. A love tale with Katharine Ross, the Kid’s girlfriend, twists their relationship, adding a layer of complexity. However, the Hole in the Wall Gang, the group that Butch and Sundance lead, was originally called the Wild Bunch because of a similar-sounding group in another upcoming Western film that would be released a few months after the film’s debut. The author’s name is Amanda Schurr.

6. The Big Lebowski

This was back in 1998. Joel and Ethan Coen are the filmmakers behind the scenes. What kind of man, if you genuinely cared about your kidnapped trophy wife, would you trust to hand deliver the ransom money to her kidnappers? In spite of having a lot of time on his hands—enough to chase down a stolen rug, at least—he can barely get himself dressed in the morning, drinks White Russian cocktails like he has a real job, and hangs out with a group of emotionally disturbed bowling aficionados. He appears to be doomed to failure on any mission you give him. The Big Lebowski and its ultimate slacker-hero, however, bring us enormous delight and triumph. An untidy bathrobe serves as chainmail for The Dude; an old Ford Torino serves as the knight’s steed. He strolls through life’s ups and downs, strikes and gutters, with no splash of good beauty or unmatched might. Aren’t such ideals something that we should strive for? The author of this article, Josh Jackson

5. The Dark Knight

2008 is the year in review. Christopher Nolan is the director. As a result of Christopher Nolan’s 2005 Batman Begins, the Caped Crusader’s cinematic reputation was resurrected after Joel Schumacher’s 1997 neon-disco nightmare on ice, Batman and Robin. Furthermore, The Dark Knight presented an equally significant rehabilitation of Batman’s arch-nemesis the Joker. Even if it wasn’t a crime of Schumacherian magnitude, Jack Nicholson’s Joker failed to set a standard for the character. Even though it’s part of the superhero family, The Dark Knight is a proper crime story—just like its source material, Detective Comics—less Spider-Man than Heat, in a fairly spectacular suit. Heath Ledger’s portrayal as the Clown Prince of Criminal is a force of nature—brilliantly scripted as a crime boss who seeks nothing less than Gotham’s soul. As terrifying as he is amusing, Ledger’s Joker is the best reminder yet of why he’s Batman’s most feared adversary. —Scott Wold ”

4. Fargo


1996 is the year in question. Ethan Coen and Joel Coen are the directors. “Minnesota nice” has become a film classic thanks to the Coen brothers’ exploration of its nefarious undertones. With each awkward scenario Fargo creates, you’ll find yourself squirming in your seat, wondering what on earth is going on in the minds of its characters. While William H. Macy and Steve Park’s characters, Jerry Lundegaard and Mike Yanagita, put on a brave face to hide their underlying desires for money and friendship, Marge Gunderson (Frances McDormand) is the film’s clear antithesis, since she is sweet, hardworking, and just normal. Filmmakers Joel and Ethan Coen know how to delicately blend softness and brutality in their films, making you admire the aesthetic of postage stamps as much as they make you shudder at the sound of a wood chipper. —Allie Conti’s words

3. The Deer Hunter

Date of birth: 1978 Michael Cimino was the director. Oh, The Deer Hunter, a film of vast ambition and tangled politics, one that critics extol for its nuanced depiction of working class Pennsylvanians, while at the same time denouncing it for its racist one-sidedness and ponderous ambiguity. In spite of Cimino’s failings, The Deer Hunter is a picture that captures the “poetry of the banal” while also boiling over with anti-war fervor and visceral wrath regarding American troops’ experiences in Vietnam. It’s a work of art in its first hour alone, a fly-on-the-wall documentation of life in a Pennsylvania steel town as a group of friends prepare for two key events: a large, raucous Russian Orthodox wedding and the imminent departure of the men for Vietnam, where they realize their lives will be forever altered. One of the film’s most famous scenes is undoubtedly the film’s dramatic second act, which features POW Russian Roulette games and Nick’s agonizing rupture with reality. Its most grotesque and weird episodes are grounded in the true sense of melancholy that threatened to drown many communities in the aftermath of the war. Marissa McAndrew—

2. Raging Bull

The year 1980 Martin Scorsese is the director of this film. This film is the best of the 1980s because it features one of the greatest directing achievements and one of the greatest acting achievements of all time: In the years after its premiere, Martin Scorsese’s Raging Bull has earned its reputation as one of the greatest movies ever made. Robert De Niro gained a lot of weight during filming Raging Bull in order to accurately portray Jake LaMotta’s physical metamorphosis. As a wonderful indication of his dedication, the pounds don’t begin to describe the depths of character portrait he and Martin Scorsese developed. Unforgivingly, the film depicts a vulnerable, insecure man who expresses his need for love via jealously and violence. LaMotta’s mind is conveyed by Scorsese’s shots, which then return to show the harrowing carnage that occurs. It’s a truly immersive experience. In addition, there’s the boxing sequences, in which Scorsese deserves to be lauded for his inventiveness in capturing the ring experience. Even so, what’s truly impressive is that he goes beyond a spectacular sporting event to show us LaMotta’s character via each of his fights. Camera movement, fast cuts, and sudden speed changes all depict his mental state and the need to harm himself or others. It’s rare to see filmmaking as expressive and visceral as this. In the words of Michael Burgin: —

1. Do the Right Thing

Do the Right Thing

In the year of 1989 Spike Lee is the director. One of Spike Lee’s first Oscar nominations, this picture also illustrates that despite decades of racially inflammatory interviews and heckling at Madison Square Garden, Lee is a glass-half-full guy at heart. A cathartic eruption of violence occurs in Right Thing as a result of long-simmering neighborhood tensions, but the film never comes off as sentimental or gives moviegoers the chance to escape discussion after the credits have rolled. Lee’s films have only gotten more difficult since this film, with a stellar cast portraying the tangled relationship between the characters and their Brooklyn neighborhood. —Scott Wold “