The 7 Best New Movies to Watch on Max in January 2024


It’s finally 2024, and to start off the new year on a high note, new films and TV shows (including True Detective: Night Country starring Academy Award winner Jodie Foster and Kali Reis) are arriving on Max (formerly HBO Max) this month. Sci-fi enthusiasts will be pleased to know that the entire Star Trek franchise will be added to the streaming platform in early January, making it a perfect opportunity to revisit these films or binge them for the first time. On top of this fan-favorite saga are other worthwhile titles, such as coming-of-age classic The Breakfast Club and the biopic Snowden. To optimize your search for new films to watch next, here is a carefully curated list with some picks to keep in mind.

The Breakfast Club (1985)

Available on: January 1

Director: John Hughes | Runtime: 1 h 37 m

Cast: Emilio Estevez, Judd Nelson, Molly Ringwald, Ally Sheedy

Starting off this list with a coming-of-age classic. In The Breakfast Club, five teenagers from different cliques (the athlete, the stoner, the princess, the nerd, and the “basket case”) must spend an entire day in detention together. Bored and unable to leave the school grounds, this mismatched group has the opportunity to chat with one another for the first time and be vulnerable. This John Hughes (the mastermind behind Ferris Bueller’s Day Off and Home Alone) film is ideal for people who want to watch something easy to follow and relatable since it tackles the pressures of growing up and fitting in.

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The Ides of March (2011)

Image via Sony Pictures

Available on: January 1

Director: George Clooney | Runtime: 1 h 41 min

Cast: George Clooney, Ryan Gosling, Paul Giamatti, Philip Seymour Hoffman

Before Paul Giamatti won viewers’ affection this year with his latest project, The Holdovers, he starred in this George Clooney-led political drama. In The Ides of March, a young press secretary (Stephen Meyers played by Ryan Gosling) sees himself amid a political scandal. After endorsing a presidential candidate that he believed could actually make a difference in office, Meyers learns that the person he is working for is far from innocent. As he sees himself in the middle of a professional crossroads, the protagonist must decide whether he will maintain his integrity or give into the unethical side of politics.

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Some Kind of Beautiful (2014)

Available on: January 1

Director: Tom Vaughan | Runtime: 1 h 39 min

Cast: Pierce Brosnan, Salma Hayek, Jessica Alba, Malcolm McDowell

This rom-com takes a cynical approach as a messy love triangle gets in the way. Some Kind of Beautiful is centered on Richard Haig (Pierce Brosnan), an English literature professor with a womanizer reputation. After various flings, he finally meets Kate (Jessica Alba), and soon enough, she finds out that she is pregnant. As their relationship falls apart after their son is born, Richard decides to move on with someone new. In this case, it would be Kate’s free-spirited sister Olivia (Salma Hayek).

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Star Trek: The Motion Picture (1979)

Star Trek_ the Motion Picture
Image via Paramount Pictures

Available on: January 1

Director: Robert Wise | Runtime: 2 h 23 min

Cast: William Shatner, Leonard Nimoy, DeForest Kelley, James Doohan

January is a great month for Star Trek fans who subscribe to Max. The entire franchise will land on the streaming service at the beginning of the month, making it easy to watch all the films chronologically. Star Trek: The Motion Picture is the first installment of the franchise, including the original cast from the Star Trek TV series. Set in the 23rd century, the film follows Admiral James T. Kirk (William Shatner) and the Starship Enterprise as they intercept an alien entity that is heading toward Earth inside an energy cloud. After much investigation, the crew finds out that the entity is an ancient space probe (Voyageur 6) that is seeking to reunite with their creator.

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It Comes At Night (2017)

three people sitting at a table around a lamp in It Comes at Night
Image via A24

Available on: January 1

Director: Trey Edward Shultz | Runtime: 1 h 31 min

Cast: Joel Edgerton, Christopher Abbott, Carmen Ejogo, Riley Keough

For those looking for a psychological thriller that keeps you on the edge of your seat, It Comes At Night should be on your radar. This Trey Edward Shultz film takes place in a post-apocalyptic world where society is affected by an unknown and highly contagious disease. As Paul (Joel Edgerton) and his family try to protect themselves by living in isolation in the middle of the woods, their safety is suddenly threatened when another group of people knocks on their door seeking refuge. After much hesitation, these two families agree to living together only to find out that they aren’t sure they can trust each other.

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Lawless (2012)

Shia LaBeouf and Mia Wasikowska in 'Lawless' (2012)
Image via The Weinstein Company

Available on: January 1

Director: John Hillcoat | Runtime: 1 h 56 min

Cast: Tom Hardy, Shia LaBeouf, Guy Pearce, Jessica Chastain

This Western based on a true story, follows the Bondurant brothers as they become successful bootleggers during the prohibition era. Set in Franklin County, Forrest (Tom Hardy), Jack (Shia LaBeouf), and Howard (Jason Clarke) run a moonshine business and thrive through illegal alcohol distribution. Yet, when Charlie Rakes (a corrupt deputy played by Guy Pearce) arrives in their town and demands a cut of their profit, the Bondurant brothers are suddenly on a tight rope and must overcome various challenges in order to maintain their enterprise and family reputation.

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Snowden (2016)

Available on: January 15

Director: Oliver Stone | Runtime: 2 h 14 min

Cast: Joseph Gordon Levitt, Shailene Woodley, Melissa Leo, Zachary Quinto

Another recommendation based on a true story, this film directed by Oliver Stone is focused on Edward Snowden’s (Joseph Gordon Levitt) journey to becoming a National Security Agency (NSA) contractor. As he gains access to secretive information about the U.S. surveillance system and some of its invasive methods, Edward becomes more and more concerned about how the government infringes on civic rights. The contractor reached a melting point in 2013 and decided to share the classified information with the media, ultimately putting his career on the line.


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