9 best new HBO Max movies that are 90% or higher on Rotten Tomatoes

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HBO Max's movie selection keeps getting better. So, while you could just jump straight to our list of the best movies on HBO Max, we thought you also might want to know what the world of reputable critics think about House Max's streaming offerings. 

And so we chronicled the best HBO Max movies with Rotten Tomatoes scores of 95% and up. That story, the first in this series, debuted in August. But HBO Max isn't a service that rests on its laurels, earning the title of best streaming service by adding more critically-acclaimed movies each month. So, back in October, I rounded up seven newly-added HBO Max movies with Rotten Tomatoes scores of 90% and up.

You'll probably guess what happened next. A couple of months passed, and so I'm back to show off another curated list of recently-added HBO movies with terrific Rotten Tomatoes (opens in new tab) scores. Yes, HBO Max keeps adding more, because keeping up with the Netflixes and Hulus of the world requires it. 

Want more reccs? We've also pulled the best Netflix shows rated 90% and up, the best Apple TV Plus shows rated 90% and up and the best Hulu movies with 90% and up.

So, let's dive into what critics love about nine of the best recently added movies on HBO Max. All you'll need after reading this is an excuse to cancel your plans (and some popcorn or your snack of choice).

The Banshees of Inisherin (2022)

Friendships decay. It's an unfortunate truth. And in The Banshees of Inisherin, we meet Pádraic (Colin Farrell) and Colm (Brendan Gleeson), whose bond dissolved without the former being aware. He's desperate to learn why, but his former buddy doesn't want to explain at all. Winning rave reviews for Martin McDonagh's direction, as well as the performances of its stars and co-stars (Kerry Condon and Barry Keoghan also deliver), The Banshees of Inisherin seems likely to rack up a ton of nominations come awards season. We're happy to see it hit a streaming service, as one of the 9 best new movies to watch this week — and not one of the movies you need to pay to rent online.

Genre: Drama
Rotten Tomatoes score: 97%
Stream it on HBO Max (opens in new tab)

The Automat (2021)

Long before restaurants were designed to be framed in 1:1 ratio photos for Instagram, the automat was the eatery that everyone talked about. For those not familiar, automats revolved around a wall of windows where you bought food you could see in a little window. A history of dining told by a cadre of famous faces — actor Mel Brooks, the late Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Colin Powell, Carl Reiner, Elliott Gould — The Automat got applause for beating resemblance to its subject. The film, from director Lisa Hurwitz, is a straightforward documentary about the restaurants, and a love letter to days gone by. Those who share the nostalgia will likely swoon along with Brooks' song about the automat, while unfamiliar audiences may notice similarities to recent establishments as the automat format has seen something of a revival.

Genre: Documentary
Rotten Tomatoes score: 98%
Stream it on HBO Max (opens in new tab)

MORE: There's a new No. 1 show on Netflix — Wednesday just got beat

De Palma (2015) 

Beloved entertainment company A24 isn't known for documentaries, so that's why we look at its documentary on famed movie director and screenwriter Brian De Palma with all the more interest. De Palma gives the filmmaker the spotlight to review his own work and career, analyzing such films as Carrie, Scarface and Mission: Impossible. While you might feel wanting for other talking heads, this straight-from-the-maestro view is a compelling and engrossing way to showcase a career at the cinema. Applauded by critics for being a very good (and, incidentally affordable) filmmaking class, as De Palma explains his use of Steadicam and other tricks that make his movies engaging.

Rotten Tomatoes score: 95%
Genre: Documentary
Stream it on HBO Max (opens in new tab)

Arthur Christmas (2011)

Excellent modern Christmas movies are a rare breed. Arthur Christmas looked to prove that the genre is still alive, by introducing us to Santa's titular son. This film brings us behind the scenes of Santa's present day operations. A product of the Aardman animation studio best known for Chicken Run and the Wallace and Gromit films, Arthur Christmas has a surprising inventive sense to itself. The titular son of Santa is voiced by James McAvoy, who gets tasked with fixing his dad's sole mistake and delivering presents to the one child who Saint Nick missed.

Genre: Animated holiday movie
Rotten Tomatoes score: 92%
Stream it on HBO Max (opens in new tab)

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (2004)

This may not be the Harry Potter movie with the highest Rotten Tomatoes score (the concluding Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 earned a 96%), but this is the best of the series in our opinion. And, as you might have guessed, that's due to Gary Oldman's fantastic portrayal of Sirius Black. A mysterious figure in the Wizarding World, Black is seen as a threat — but something more important lurks under Oldman's magnetic performance of the wizard who escaped from Azkaban prison. This film also earned its spot due to how it's simply better than the rest, which we credit director Alfonso Cuarón for achieving.

And, yes, if you're wondering, the Potter films were recently added-back to HBO Max. It seems like custody of the films is to be split between HBO Max and Peacock forever.

Rotten Tomatoes score: 90%
Genre: Family adventure
Stream it on HBO Max (opens in new tab)

Star Trek: First Contact (1996)

The Borg are coming (again), and the crew of the U.S.S. Enterprise (which has gotten a redesign) will have to travel through time to survive. The motion picture directorial debut of Jonathan Frakes (who had experience acting and directing on The Next Generation), First Contact got raves for recapturing the spirit of the original Star Trek. This film's interpretation of the Borg, the cyborg antagonists who always return, were lauded for feeling akin to horror movie villains. And that's partially due to how they haunt Capt. Jean-Luc Picard (Patrick Stewart) in his sleep. Except this Borg have taken over the Earth and eradicated humanity. The line, as Picard says, must be drawn. Enjoy a particularly campy performance by James Cromwell as Dr. Zefram Cochrane.

Rotten Tomatoes score: 92%
Genre: Sci-fi
Stream it on HBO Max (opens in new tab)

Richard III (1995)

The most impressive thing about Shakespeare's plays is how they can be uprooted and transposed, such is the case with director Richard Loncraine's Richard III. Now, Richard (Ian McKellen) is the Duke of Gloucester in an alternate version of 1930's England where civil war creates an opening in the throne. But since Richard's brother Edward (John Wood) gets the throne first, he has to scheme his way into power. An excellent performance by McKellen, plus a stacked cast (including Annette Bening as Queen Elizabeth, Robert Downey Jr. as Lord Rivers and Jim Broadbent as the Duke of Buckingham) make this rendition — which asks, "what if Richard III, but with fascism?" remarkable.

Rotten Tomatoes score: 96%
Genre: Drama
Stream it on HBO Max (opens in new tab)

Raging Bull (1980) 

The peak of Martin Scorsese and Robert DeNiro's collaborations, Raging Bull is as relentless as dramas get. And since it was adapted from Jake LaMotta's 1970 memoir Raging Bull: My Story, the film's grit and its protagonist's unlikeable nature feel all the more emphatic. That said, DeNiro's performance makes the LaMotta character shine. As LaMotta hits (and gets hit right back), audiences may shudder, but they will also be transfixed. Offering a singular intensity that could convince you to be scared for the people on screen, his efforts are undeniable, and made Raging Bull the eternal classic it still is today.

Rotten Tomatoes score: 93%
Genre: Drama
Stream it on HBO Max (opens in new tab)

3:10 to Yuma (1957)

Want your westerns with a little less gunfire? The classic 3:10 to Yuma (yes, not the recent remake) delivered a different take on the tense chaos that cowboys climb into. Something of a deep cut in the world of westerns, this film (based on an Elmore Leonard story) is all about how to spring a bad guy. Ben Wade (Glenn Ford) is a criminal who's been caught, but nobody wants to be his escort on the train to the Yuma jail. That's when a cash-strapped farmer (Van Heflin) takes the job. Beloved for its tight shots — that give a sense of tension — 3:10 to Yuma is a classic that HBO Max was right to pick up.

One note: because this movie is on the older side, not as many reviews are available, so its 97% score is only made up of 29 reviews, and therefore not 'Certified Fresh' like the other films on this list.

Rotten Tomatoes score: 97%
Genre: Drama (Western)
Stream it on HBO Max (opens in new tab)

Editor's Picks

Henry T. Casey
Managing Editor (Entertainment, Streaming)

Henry is a managing editor at Tom’s Guide covering streaming media, laptops and all things Apple, reviewing devices and services for the past seven years. Prior to joining Tom's Guide, he reviewed software and hardware for TechRadar Pro, and interviewed artists for Patek Philippe International Magazine. He's also covered the wild world of professional wrestling for Cageside Seats, interviewing athletes and other industry veterans.