10 best epic movies to watch on HBO Max (including Dune)

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With the new addition of the sci-fi epic Dune, HBO Max is quickly becoming the go-to streaming service for large-scale blockbuster viewing options. HBO Max offers a great combination of recent releases, original movies, modern favorites, and classic masterpieces.

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Many of these epics take place in dystopian futures such as Mad Max: Fury Road and Blade Runner 2049, others take place in the modern world but introduce new technologies and life forms such as Principle and Godzilla vs. Kong, and some take place in a totally unfamiliar setting, such as The Lord of the Rings and Dune, but all share the common thread of big scales, high reality and massive stakes.


Dune


dune paul lady jessica

Like other recent Warner Bros. releases, Dune is currently available on HBO Max alongside its theatrical release. The film is an adaptation of the novel and tells the story of a noble’s son who must protect the galaxy’s most precious resource during a time of violence and turmoil.

Dune is filled with beautiful shots, thrilling action, and an incredible cast. The film is ambitious and has an impressive scale. For fans of massive sci-fi epics, Dune is a must see movie that will hopefully kick off a whole franchise.

Loan Player One


Wade playing the game in Ready Player One.

Set in the not-so-distant future, Loan Player One depicts a world in which millions of people escape to a virtual reality oasis to avoid their dark life in the real world. In the world of virtual reality, each player has their own avatar, gear, weapons, and vehicles, many of which are pop culture references.

While it might not be Steven Spielberg’s best summer blockbuster, the film still captures the same nostalgic feel and sense of adventure that is indicative of so many of his films. It’s a fun and entertaining movie that brings together characters, like Batman and Chucky, and items, like Monty Python’s Holy Hand Grenade, from all over the cinema.

Zack Snyder Justice League


Darkseid smiles in Zack Snyder's Justice League

After years of demanding to see the “Snyder Cut,” Fans Finally Were Rewarded When HBO Max Released Zack Snyder Justice League. The film tells a story similar to the theatrical version but is much longer and more epic.

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Zack Snyder Justice League brings some major improvements over the theatrical version of WB, such as fleshing out the characters even more, increasing the scope of the story, and boosting the team’s momentum, making the film the DCEU highlight that fans have been hoping for.

Godzilla vs. Kong


Godzilla vs. Kong on Battleship

After several solo films that built the MonsterVerse, Godzilla vs. Kong sees the two titular monsters clash after the humans recruit Kong to stop Godzilla, who has launched a series of mysterious attacks.

King Kong and Godzilla are two of the most iconic movie monsters who have each appeared in big movies over the years. While the storyline leaves something to be desired, the film chronicles the central fight between the two stars and creates a fun film filled with action and spectacle.

Principle


Robert Pattinson and John David Washington in Tenet

The sci-fi action thriller Principle follows a CIA agent who learns to manipulate the flow of time as he attempts to stop the forces of the future from bringing devastation to his present time.

The film is masterfully directed and well played, but the real strength of the film is the execution of the concept. Director Christopher Nolan has delivered terrific science fiction epics and Principle is visually different from any other movie. As the entropy of objects and characters move forward and backward, often simultaneously in the same scene, the film is filled with breathtakingly brilliantly choreographed moments.

The matrix


The Matrix movie

Set in a dystopian future in which humans and robots are at war with each other, The matrix follows a hacker who discovers his world is a simulation that robots use to enslave humans, causing him to break free and join the war against the machines.

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Few films in the past 25 years have been as cinematically influential as The matrix. With its cyberpunk aesthetic, influence on Eastern philosophy, and groundbreaking use of bullet-time cinematography, The matrix remains one of the greatest science fiction films ever made.

Mad Max: Fury Road


After a 30-year hiatus, the Mad Max the franchise finally came back with Mad Max: Fury Road. The film follows Max Rockatansky and Imperator Furiosa as they flee the evil tyrant Immortan Joe through a post-apocalyptic wasteland.

In his heart, Mad Max: Fury Road is essentially a long, thrilling car chase that features some of the most remarkable and mind-blowing action sequences of all time. It’s a simple story told on an epic scale, resulting in a modern action movie classic.

2001: A Space Odyssey


Man in an orange spacesuit from the 2001 movie A Space Odyssey.

Stanley Kubrick’s sci-fi classic 2001: A Space Odyssey focuses on a crew’s journey to Jupiter after the discovery of an alien monolith on earth. However, during the flight, the crew must deal with their onboard computer system, HAL 9000.

Ambitious and sprawling, the film is Kubrick at its best, as it takes an existential approach to examining the progress of humanity as well as artificial intelligence and other life forms across the universe. 2001: A Space Odyssey manages to be both an epic adventure and a deep reflection on the human condition.

Blade Runner 2049


K wears a mock neck jacket in front of neon signs in Blade Runner 2049

As the long-awaited sequel to the cult classic Blade runner, Blade Runner 2049 takes place in a dystopian future filled with humans and replicants. The film centers around a replicating blade runner who discovers a secret that could change the world.

Blade Runner 2049 proved that director Denis Villeneuve can use an epic sci-fi setting as a vehicle to deliver deep, thoughtful storytelling. The film uses magnificent cinematography and moving performances to tell a beautifully sad story that honors the ambiguity and subtlety of the original.

The Lord of the Rings Trilogy


the Lord of the Rings

Arguably the most epic option available on HBO Max is the sprawling the Lord of the Rings trilogy. The films chronicle the community’s efforts to defeat the Dark Lord Sauron by traveling through Middle-earth and destroying the One Ring of Power.

Extremely ambitious and far reaching, the staggering duration of the trilogy totals over 9 hours. The movies are filled with massive battle scenes, monstrous enemies, and global stakes. HBO Max offers both theatrical and extensive additions of all three films for fans to enjoy.

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