7 best new to Max movies with 90% or higher on Rotten Tomatoes

7 best new to max movies with 90% or higher on rotten tomatoes


New month, new streaming service and many great new movies on Max! Yes, June sees the blue streaming service once known as HBO Max continue its time honored tradition of adding enough great movies to keep the title of best streaming service.

And this month saw an absolute avalanche of movies hit, giving you many options for the best Max movies to watch tonight. Almost too many options, though, so we’re going to help you beat decision paralysis by breaking down the top new to Max with superb Rotten Tomatoes scores.

The reviews aggregator provides a numerical score that reflects the overall views of critics. We’ve narrowed down our picks to the movies with 90% ratings or higher, which is essentially an A grade.

And, as always, this list of the most critically-beloved movies new to Max aims to offer something for everyone. We’ve got a gripping documentary, an unhinged true crime comedy, an instant classic drama, a period-piece musical and a war movie, among others.

I, Tonya (2017)

The story of Tonya Harding’s almost farcical decision to have figure skating rival Nancy Kerrigan attacked always deserved a comedic treatment with A-list talent.

And director Craig Gillespie gave us such a film with Margot Robbie as Ms. Harding, who deals with a terrible mother (Allison Janney in perfect form) and her idiotic and abusive husband Jeff (Sebastian Stan). On top of that, we get a scene-stealing performance from Paul Walter Hauser as the imbecilic Shawn, a bodyguard that Jeff is friends with.

While it’s not 100% true to history, with changes that make Harding seem more likable, I, Tonya is riotously funny and entertaining. Robbie and Janney won a ton of acclaim, and the latter took the Best Supporting Actress award at the 2018 Academy Awards for her performance.

Rotten Tomatoes score: 90%

Genre: Comedic true crime

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The Painter and the Thief (2020)

Artist Barbora Kysilkova endures an experience that most won’t ever get to: not only does a criminal steal two of her wildly impressive paintings — but she forms a friendship with him. Documentary The Painter and the Thief tracks this improbable and unlikely story, which seems like a real-life version of a meet-cute movie.

Critics praise The Painter and the Thief director Benjamin Ree for capturing this unusual and tumultuous situation. The result is a riveting film that seems to defy genre.

Rotten Tomatoes score: 97%

Genre: Documentary

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Moonlight (2016)

Barry Jenkins’ 2016 drama moonlight adapted Tarell Alvin McCraney’s semi-autobiographical play to fantastic success. In its three parts, we follow Chiron from his youth to his adulthood, and we see how a bullied kid (Alex Hibbert) turns into a closeted teen (Ashton Sanders) and becomes a troubled adult (Trevante Rhodes).

Winning Academy Awards for Best Picture and Best Adapted Screenplay, Moonlight also won Mahershala Ali an Oscar for his portrayal of Juan, the drug dealer who forms a paternal bond with Chiron. Moonlight won praise from most critics, for its brilliant performances, gorgeous cinematography and nimble score from Nicholas Brittel (Succession) — which combines orchestral music with tricks from rap’s “chopped and screwed” sub-genre.

Rotten Tomatoes score: 98%

Genre: Drama

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The Hurt Locker (2009)

Best Picture Oscar winner The Hurt Locker is another of the top critically-hailed films to hit Max, and Kathryn Bigelow’s film is truly unlike any other on this list. It focuses on the unrelentingly suspenseful chaos of the Explosive Ordinance Disposal team (i.e. the bomb squad) in the Iraq War, and stars Jeremy Renner as Sergeant First Class William James.

Working the job his own way — by hand, and without explaining himself — James earns the ire of his fellow soldiers for his methods, even when they work. Critics raved that Hurt Locker was one of the best films of the decade, with Renner earning flowers for his charisma and Bigelow won Best Director for the film.

Rotten Tomatoes score: 97%

Genre: War drama

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Hairspray (2007)

John Waters’ Hairspray got a makeover from director Adam Shankman (Hocus Pocus 2), and critics actually raved. The story, of course, is simple: Tracy Turnblad (Nikki Blonsky) loves to dance, and somehow wins a competition for a spot on The Corny Collins show. Chaos, timed to the beat, ensues.

A strong cast — including Zac Efron, Amanda Bynes, Christopher Walken, Allison Janney and Queen Latifah  — supports Blonsky. And it’s all thankfully wrapped up in infectious songs, and a story with a moral backbone about standing against racial segregation.

Rotten Tomatoes score: 92%

Genre: Musical comedy

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Dave (1993)

Dave Kovic (Kevin Kline) is an everyman with a very unique quirk: he looks exactly like the U.S. President (also Kline). And it just so happens that the U.S. Government needs Dave’s help — to ‘play’ president — when the actual commander-in-chief falls ill.

Charming (just like Dave himself), Ivan Reitman’s film is all about what happens when you put a well-meaning guy in the most-important seat of power in the western hemisphere. Sigourney Weaver livens up the film as First Lady Ellen Mitchell, who is used to living with a man she despises, and not one she could warm to.

Rotten Tomatoes score: 95%

Genre: Comedy/drama

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Little Shop of Horrors (1986)

If Hairspray is too “realistic” a musical for you, then you need to take a spin by the Little Shop of Horrors. Well-meaning flower shop clerk Seymour (Rick Moranis) is doing his best, but somehow manages to get himself wrapped up with a plant that loves the taste of his own blood.

Critics saluted director Frank Oz for blending the film’s two predecessors — a 1960 Roger Corman film and an Off-Broadway musical — to an infectious film. It doesn’t hurt that this Little Shop has a fantastic cast, including Moranis, Ellen Greene, Christopher Guest and John Candy.

Rotten Tomatoes score: 90%

Genre: Musical comedy

Stream it on Max

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