My 9 favorite new to Max movies you should watch in October 2023

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Max has a ton of great TV shows and movies. It’s why it’s currently the best streaming service out there. But while the HBO shows get all the buzz, the movie library is incredibly deep and is always getting new movies added each month.

This month, there’s a wide variety of options to choose from, but going through the list a clear top seven rose to the top. Thankfully, they cover a wide range of genres, from spooky comedies to pure slasher horror, as well as action movies and award-winning dramas. We even get one of the best bad movies of all time — and yes, that’s definitely a thing.

Ready to start watching? Here are my seven favorite movies that are new to Max this month.

A Night at the Roxbury

Let me be clear about something — by no objective measure is A Night at the Roxbury good. It’s an incredibly sophomoric comedy and probably would never get made today. But this is a list of my favorite movies that are new to Max, not the best movies new to Max. And I’d be lying if A Night at the Roxbury wasn’t clearly one of my favorite seven films new to Max this month. The reason? Will Ferrell and Chris Kattan are just funny — and A Night at the Roxbury is no exception to that rule.

The plot of the movie? Basically, brothers Steve (Ferrell) and Doug (Kattan) Butabi want to get into the Roxbury nightclub and eventually open a club of their own. But the plot doesn’t matter. All that matters is sitting back for a brief 82 minutes and enjoying the dated 90s comedy and its equally dated, but actually good soundtrack. In fact, the soundtrack may be the best part of this movie — it went on to be certified Gold by the RIAA after selling at least 500,000 units.

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Beetlejuice may be making news these days for unexpected reasons, but Max has it so you can watch the Tim Burton classic just in time for Halloween. In fact, if you’re going to watch Beetlejuice you better hurry because Max is pulling it at the end of the month. And it won’t come back even if you say “Betelgeuse, Betelgeuse, Betelgeuse.”

Starring Michael Keaton as the titular Betelgeuse (pronounced Beetlejuice), this movie is loaded with acting talent. Alec Baldwin and Geena Davis play Adam and Barbara Maitland, a recently deceased couple forced to spend the next 125 years haunting their country home in Winter River, Connecticut. So when Charles Deetz (Jeffrey Jones), Delia Deetz (Catherine O’Hara) and Lydia Deetz (Winona Ryder) suddenly move in and start changing everything, the Maitlands call on Betelgeuse to rid them of the Deetzes. What follows is a spooky comedy you won’t want to miss.

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Furious 7

Furious 7 is arguably the last great Fast and Furious movie. It’s also the last movie from “The Fast Saga” to feature Paul Walker, who sadly passed away in a car accident off set during the filming of Furious 7. Ultimately, director James Wan put a lot of effort into being able to rework the movie so it could be finished with Walker’s Brian O’Conner being able to drive off into the sunset rather than being killed off.

But setting aside the sentiment of Furious 7, it’s also just a great action movie. There’s an airdrop sequence that is among the best stunts in the Fast and Furious franchise and yet somehow still feels relatively grounded compared to stunts that would come in subsequent movies. And the family is all there, including Vin Diesel as Dominic Toretto, though we also get the addition of antagonist Deckard Shaw (Jason Statham, who had a brief cameo in the previous movie) and Mr. Nobody (Kurt Russell). Yes, Furious 7 may totally abandon the idea of “Point Break but with cars” that the original The Fast and The Furious movie had, but you still won’t want to miss it.

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Get Shorty

Get Shorty is the story of Miami loan shark Ernesto “Chili” Palmer’s turn from criminal to movie producer, a job that admittedly the Barry Sonnenfeld film paints as being a criminal by a different name. John Travolta is excellent as Palmer and is joined by a loaded cast. Gene Hackman plays Hollywood director Harry Zimm, a B-movie director who is simultaneously in hot water with Miami gangster Ray “Bones” Barboni (Dennis Farina) and drug dealers/movie investors Bo Catlett (Delroy Lindo) and Ronnie Wingate (Jon Gries). I barely even have enough space to mention Rene Russo as Karen Flores, Danny Devito as Martin Weir and James Gandolfini as Bear, who also star in the movie.

There have been a few follow-ups to Get Shorty over the years — a sequel Be Cool, that you can also watch on Max and a 2017 TV series that ran for three seasons. But trust me, you want the original, not the copies. And for my fellow Justified fans, there’s something here for you too. Get Shorty is based on the 1990 Elmore Leonard novel of the same name. The same Elmore Leonard who wrote the source material for Justified.

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Scream (1996) 

Scream may be parodied and copied to death at this point, but the original 1996 Wes Craven film is still brilliant and worth watching. The slasher movie follows a group of California teens who suddenly must survive a spate of killings committed by the now-infamous Ghostface. It stars David Arquette as Deputy Sheriff Dewey Riley, Courteney Cox as journalist Gale Weathers and Neve Campbell leads the cadre of high schoolers that make up the cast of Scream.

What makes Scream so brilliant though isn’t the plot itself, or even Craven’s textbook execution of a slasher film — though both are certainly reasons to watch. What makes Scream brilliant is how it satirizes the slasher genre while paying homage to horror movies at the same time. The movie was even originally developed with the title Scary Movie, the same title that would be used in Keenen Ivory Wayans’ 2000 parody film that made fun of Scream and so many other horror movies. So if you only ever watch one slasher movie in your life, make sure it’s Scream. You don’t actually need to see any others.

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The French Connection 

The French Connection was a very real organized drug smuggling operation that at one point supplied most of the heroin found in the U.S. It’s been referenced in many movies, including The Godfather and America Gangster, but the original movie about The French Connection was this 1971 film directed by William Friedkin. Friedkin’s movie is specifically based on a Robin Moore nonfiction book that follows the investigation of two New York City detectives as they try and expose the international drug trafficking network.

In the movie version of The French Connection, Gene Hackman and Roy Scheider star as detectives Jimmy "Popeye" Doyle and Buddy "Cloudy" Russo, fictional versions of the real-life detectives Eddie Egan and Sonny Grosso. Their pursuit of wealthy French heroin smuggler Alain Charnier (Fernando Rey) would go on to be one of the best films ever made, winning the Academy Award for Best Picture, Best Director and Best Actor, as well as a few other wins and nominations. It’s objectively the best movie coming to Max this month, so if I could only recommend one movie to watch, it’d be this one.

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Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory

Before there was Wonka, before there was Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, there was Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory. And no offense to Timothée Chalamet, who will hopefully be great in his portrayal of the eccentric chocolatier, the one true Willy Wonka is and will always be Gene Wilder from this version of Roald Dahl’s children’s tale.

Admittedly, as you get older, Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory can get a bit more complicated. The film was already strange as a kid, but the more you think about it, the stranger it gets. And the less time spent thinking about controversial author Roald Dahl, probably the better. But ultimately, Rotten Tomatoes puts it best when it calls it “strange yet comforting,” which in my opinion is an accurate assessment. And it's that comforting factor combined with Wilder’s iconic performance that made it onto this list for me.

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Final Destination (2000)

While panned by critics, the original Final Destination film was popular enough with horror fans to spawn an entire franchise of movies. In no small part this was due to the movie's fairly original concept — if you cheat death, will it hunt you down?

In Final Destination, high school teen Alex Browning (Devon Sawa) has a premonition that the plane he and his class are about to board will explode mid-flight. After events conspire to keep him and his friends off the flight, saving their lives from the explosion that does come to fruition, Alex's classmates start dying off in mysterious circumstances.

While this isn't an acting masterclass by any means, though Sawa's performance did garner some praise, Final Destination is an enjoyable watch for anyone looking for an original horror story to watch during spooky season.

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Blade Runner 2049

While not spoken of in the same reverent tones as the original Blade Runner, Blade Runner 2049 is beloved by both critics and audiences alike. The movie takes place 30 years after the original film and stars Ryan Gosling as Detective KD6-3.7 a.k.a. "K," a replicant who works as a "blade runner," a term used to describe officers that track down the bioengineered humanoids known as replicants and "retire" (kill) them. In the course of his work, K discovers a conspiracy that ultimately brings him to Rick Deckard (Harrison Ford) — the former blade runner and main character of the first film.

Gosling and Ford are both excellent in Blade Runner 2049, but it's the visuals of the film that frankly may be the best thing about it. The scenes are often breathtaking, and it's no surprise that acclaimed cinematographer Roger Deakins would go on to win an Oscar for his work on the film, one of five Academy Awards the movie was nominated for (winning two).

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Malcolm McMillan
Senior Streaming Writer

Malcolm McMillan is a senior writer for Tom's Guide, covering all the latest in streaming TV shows and movies. That means news, analysis, recommendations, reviews and more for just about anything you can watch, including sports! If it can be seen on a screen, he can write about it. Previously, Malcolm had been a staff writer for Tom's Guide for over a year, with a focus on artificial intelligence (AI), A/V tech and VR headsets.

Before writing for Tom's Guide, Malcolm worked as a fantasy football analyst writing for several sites and also had a brief stint working for Microsoft selling laptops, Xbox products and even the ill-fated Windows phone. He is passionate about video games and sports, though both cause him to yell at the TV frequently. He proudly sports many tattoos, including an Arsenal tattoo, in honor of the team that causes him to yell at the TV the most.