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Top movies on HBO Max at the moment

If you care about the Oscars, which will be held on March 12th, HBO Max can help you catch up on some of the nominations you need to view in order to participate in discussions about who should win. Start with Sam Mendes’ Empire of Light, which centres on Olivia Colman on the influence of cinema, or the touching Best Documentary Feature nominee All That Breathes. Moreover, there is Baz Luhrmann’s maximalist biopic Elvis and the dark comedy The Banshees of Inisherin starring Colin Farrell and Brendan Gleeson. Additionally, if none of those peaked your attention, there’s still The Menu, gastronomic satire from Succession director Mark Mylod.

A word on how this list was created: We’re putting a focus on movies that have recently been added to HBO/HBO Max and new releases in an effort to keep it current, but we’ve also made sure to add other movies that we believe you’ll want to know about. Regular updates will be made.

Empire of Light is just another entry in the most well-liked movie genre of 2022: movies on the influence of cinema. (Nah, Babylon and The Fabelmans are a couple other examples of that pattern.) Olivia Colman plays a theatre employee who is battling her mental health in Sam Mendes’ Oscar-nominated movie, which is set in the 1980s and features a budding romance between her and a new coworker (Micheal Ward). But the renowned Roger Deakins’ cinematography is the actual star of the show. by Allison Picurro

All That Breathes is a moving movie about two brothers who run a bird hospital in New Delhi. It is a nominee for Best Documentary Feature at the upcoming Academy Awards. The siblings set out on a mission to save and care for black kites, a bird of prey vital to the ecosystem of the city, as they began to fall from the polluted skies. This is undoubtedly one of the year’s best documentaries, and the Oscars were right about it. — Allison Picurro

Viral This documentary film exploring the origins of the January 6 Capitol riots is another deep dive into far-right and far-left politics by YouTube guerrilla journalist Andrew Callaghan. Callaghan has access to some notable figures, including Henry Tarrio of the Proud Boys and Alex Jones, but it’s his time with some of the more common extreme believers that really stands out, such as the elementary school student who was told that some members of the government are reptilian humanoids. Callaghan isn’t aiming to be the star like other web journalists of his calibre; rather, he merely wants to provide perspective. And the things he displays to us are shocking, amusing, terrifying, and depressing. Timothy Surette

Succession director Mark Mylod makes his feature directorial debut with this darkly comedic thriller that satirizes foodie culture. Set during one fateful night at a remote, ultra-exclusive restaurant run by a celebrity chef (Ralph Fiennes), his high-end diners begin to realize that the menu he’s planned for them has some sinister secrets baked into it. -Allison Picurro

One of the best films of 2022, The Banshees of Inisherin takes place on a gloomy Irish island that begins to fall apart when two guys who live there — played by Colin Farrell and Brendan Gleeson — stop being friends. It’s not a mutual break-up: Farrell’s Pádraic is a simple man whose main sources of joy are hanging out with his miniature pony and drinking beer in the afternoons with Gleeson’s Colm. But Colm comes to the decision that he’s running out of time to waste in life and doesn’t want to spend it with someone he deems a lost cause. Pádraic is baffled and devastated, and the film escalates to gory heights when Colm makes it clear what he’s willing to do in order to get Pádraic to leave him alone. It’s a tragic and darkly funny look at the way relationships and perspectives change as people age, set against the backdrop of the Irish Civil War. -Allison Picurro

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