Special Report

The 50 Best R-Rated Movies You Can Watch on Max

Warner Bros. Discovery is aiming for a larger streaming audience. On May 23, the company’s streaming service, HBO Max, will lose the HBO part of its name and officially become just Max – offering both HBO’s premium content and lifestyle content from Discovery+ cable networks including HGTV, TLC, Food Network, and the Discovery Channel.

HBO Max has been a top streaming service for cinephiles, as its catalog includes not only films from major studios like DC, Warner Brothers, and New Line Cinema, but also popular classics from the Criterion Collection and highly sought-after animated films from Studio Ghibli.

For fans of R-rated films, which can offer honesty, grit, and uncensored realism, Max’s catalog has a lot to offer. To determine the best R-rated movies to stream on Max this May, 24/7 Tempo developed an index using average ratings on IMDb, an online movie database owned by Amazon, and a combination of audience scores and Tomatometer scores on Rotten Tomatoes, an online movie and TV review aggregator, as of early May 2023, weighting all ratings equally. We considered only movies with at least 5,000 audience votes on either IMDb or Rotten Tomatoes, and ruled out documentaries. Data on streaming availability, also current as of early May, comes from the streaming guide Reelgood. Directorial credits are from IMDb.

Click here to see the best R-rated movies to stream on Max this month

The list contains many cult favorites including indie filmmaker John Cassavetes’s groundbreaking 1968 drama “Faces,” David Lynch’s surreal neo-noir mystery thriller “Blue Velvet,” Stanley Kubrick’s Vietnam War drama “Full Metal Jacket,” and relative newcomer “Nightcrawler,” a psychological thriller written and directed by Dan Gilroy. (Read about Nightcrawler on our list of the 25 best journalism movies.)

Many Academy Award-winning films are available to stream including Bong Joon-ho’s “Parasite,” which swept the 2020 Oscars with five nominations and four wins; Wes Anderson’s “The Grand Budapest Hotel,” which won four out of nine nominations; and the Coen brothers’ Cormac McCarthy adaptation “No Country for Old Men,” which garnered eight nominations and four wins. (Check out all 18 movies by the Coen brothers, ranked.)

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