In the Mood for Love

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by Robbie Imes, 7 min read

There are so many new movies coming out lately it’s hard to keep track of what’s what. Frankly, it's overwhelming. It’s even more difficult to know what’s good. Arguably, there’s no worse feeling than settling in for a movie only to find 30 minutes in that the one you have chosen is a dud. 

With no shortage of excellent cinema in the world, there’s no reason to suffer through a bad movie. Thankfully, more and more of these crowd-pleasers are available on streaming platforms like HBO Max, which is a good source for iconic films that might not be brand new, but have actually gotten even better with time. 

While “iconic” can have a lot of meanings, audience praise is telling, and these films aren’t famous for no reason. Lets a dive into some of the most memorable, exciting movies from the past, and lose yourself in cinematic worlds that will make you laugh, cry and sing, sometimes all at the same time.


Best in Show

Christopher Guest’s brilliant Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show mockumentary about loony people obsessed with their dogs is rife with iconic and quotable moments. Bringing together some of his favorite actors (two you’ll recognize from Schitt’s Creek), this mostly improv comedy is the stuff of legend.

If you’re a fan or outrageous characters and even more outrageous premises, then this one is for you. 

Where to see it: HBO Max
Bonus: Guest’s other film, Waiting for Guffman, is also on HBO Max 


The City of Lost Children

This film is the visual and narrative equivalent of a 1990s fever dream. Marc Caro and Jean-Pierre Jeunet directed this follow-up to their delightfully dark Delicatessen, and it is nothing short of spectacular.

With costumes by Jean Paul Gaultier, the visuals on-screen are more than iconic – they are legendary. An adventure film with heart and style, The City of Lost Children is an unforgettable piece of cinema that you will revisit time and again. 

Where to see it: HBO Max
Bonus: Seek out Jean-Pierre Jeunet’s follow up, Amelie, a global smash hit



In the Mood for Love

You’d be hard-pressed to find a more beautiful film about unrequited love. Starring Maggie Cheung and Tony Leung, and written and directed by Wong Kar-wai, the main characters here are married to other people, but so much in love with each other. When they discover their spouses are having an affair, they let their already dangerous feelings for one and other bloom.

A meditative and restrained film about love and disappointment unlike any you have ever seen, this unique romance will leave your heart in pieces. 

Where to see it: HBO Max
Bonus: Wong Kar-wai’s other experimental love story, Happy Together, is a beautiful ode to 1990s LGBTQ+ film cannon 


A Streetcar Named Desire

“Stella!” Everyone knows the line, but more people need to understand the origin. The Tennessee Williams play – brought to the screen by director Elia Kazan – solidified Marlon Brando and Vivien Leigh as the biggest stars in Hollywood at the time.

They were both nominated for Oscars, Best Actor and Best Actress, and the film was a critical success and a box office smash. The Library of Congress noted it as "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant" because it raised the bar for filmmakers. 

Where to see it: HBO Max
Bonus: Catch Marlon Brando in the comedy Guys and Dolls on HBO Max  


Boogie Nights

This biopic about porn actor John Holmes is one wild ride. Paul Thomas Anderson’s Los Angeles porn industry opus brings an ensemble cast together that includes Mark Wahlberg, Julianne Moore and Burt Reynolds, to name a few, and was nominated for three Academy Awards.

With an initial cut of three hours and an NC-17 rating, the film was retooled and released to critical success in theaters in 1997. Mark Wahlberg’s big break, this period drama hasn’t aged a day.

Where to see it: HBO Max
Bonus: An uncut version exists 


This very personal film by Federico Fellini is about a director working on a sci-fi film. An international success at the time of its release, the movie has become a go-to for film students and directors alike.

Surreal, deeply touching and impressive in its cinematic audacity, it won the 1963 Best Foreign Language Oscar and holds a place in the top 10 best films of all time by the BFI.

Where to see it: HBO Max
Bonus: See Fellini’s other quasi-autobiographical film, Amacord, on HBO Max 


The Gold Rush

Of course Charlie Chaplin is on the list! If you haven’t experienced one of his films, then stop reading this right now and change that. This 1925 comedy is one of his most accessible – and successful – films and showcases how the legendary filmmaker explored serious topics though a comedic lens.

Calamity and humor marry in the best of narratives, and there is no better example than withThe Gold Rush.

Where to see it: HBO Max
Bonus: Other Chaplin films on HBO Max include City Lights and Modern Times.



An inarguable masterpiece, Bob Fosse’s incredible musical won eight Academy Awards in 1972, and still holds the record for the most Academy Awards won for a movie that didn’t win Best Picture. Set in Berlin in 1931 as the Nazi Party rose to power, the not-really-a-musical musical became a phenomenon when it was released and has only gotten more interesting with age.

Starring Liza Minnelli and Joel Grey, both nominated for their roles, the captivating narrative grabs the viewer until the final, haunting moment before the credits roll. If you watch no other movie on this list, this is the absolute must. 

Where to see it: HBO Max
Bonus: Liza Minnelli’s mother, Judy Garland, has a breakout film on HBO Max, as well, and it’s called The Wizard of Oz



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The information included within this article is AT&T sponsored content written by Currently Media editorial contributor Robbie Imes. The statements in this article are his own and don’t reflect the positions, strategies, or opinions of AT&T.