Although HBO has become perhaps more well-known for its original programming as of late, this year’s movie fare will make everyone remember that its original purpose was to show films. And, this year, the cable network has gone out of its way to provide some of the most exciting choices ever. Selecting programming that includes big-name films helmed by major directors, as well as smaller, more independent choices, HBO has truly established itself as a network that has something for everyone. Here are some of the most fabulous films to light up HBO screens in 2019.
HBO boasts customers from all walks of life — and its animated acquisitions have never been an exception. This year, Despicable Me and Early Man are two standouts that commandeer a lot of attention. Pleasing to both parents and kids, these two films provide endless entertainment.
And for those who want to go back in time 30 years for their animation, there’s The Land Before Time. Teen Titans Go! to the Movies is yet another crowd-pleaser, delighting fans of the series.
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Featuring one of the most delightful characters in of all time, Paddington 2 gives HBO audiences another chance to hang out with the charismatic bear, while Isle of Dogs offers up some quality time with man’s best friend.
Award Nominees and Winners, Crowd Pleasers
Back in the early nineties, Jack Nicholson’s performance as Jimmy Hoffa was controversial to critics. One aspect of the film’s reception that was not divided, however, was the cinematography, which was nominated for an Oscar. But critics either loved or hated the performances in this film.
Nowadays, audiences can see for themselves when they tune into Hoffa. Racking up a BAFTA nomination and a SAG Awards nomination was the 1998 sleeper hit Waking Ned Devine, the uproarious tale of an Irish village that rushes to claim the lotto ticket of one of its deceased residents. Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper’s rendition of their song, “Shallow”, was one of the most talked-about moments of the Academy Awards this year.
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But many forget that the reason they were up on stage was because of their blockbuster performances in the fourth rendition of A Star Is Born. Although Traffic debuted almost two decades ago, its heart-pounding action is still a testament to the brilliant performances of Benicio del Toro and Erika Christensen. For those who still carry a torch for incandescent movie stars Sissy Spacek and Robert Redford, The Old Man & the Gun is a tremendous choice.
Recently, HBO has really excelled at getting its hands on some award winners early. BlacKkKlansman is the perfect example of this, with its timely message reaching back in history while also referencing modern events.
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Documentaries: Sometimes Life Is Stranger Than Fiction
Won’t You Be My Neighbor?, a treatise on the incomparably kind Fred Rogers, is probably the most inspirational film on the slate. Children of the seventies and eighties have fawned over this film, which reflects upon the dazzling decency of Mr. Rogers. Going deep, the doc explores what Rogers was like as a parent and a minister. Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief highlights one of the most mysterious religions around today.
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Spike Lee’s When the Levees Broke: A Requiem in Four Acts provides a powerful reminder of one of the worst natural disasters in American history. Celebrating the spirit of NOLA residents while also delivering commentary on how the government failed its people, this piece will be remembered for some time.
These days, women are wielding more power than ever in the cinema. But this wasn’t always the case, which is what makes the following feature films more important than ever. Either showcasing strong female characters or created by women, they are truly a testament to girl power at its finest.
- Ocean’s 8
- Calendar Girls
- The Miseducation of Cameron Post
- Mean Girls