Because of its impressive, deep catalog, there’s always something great to check out on Max if you’re a film buff. Sometimes, though, Max has so many great options that picking any one movie can feel overwhelming, and one way to determine what movie you’re going to watch next is to see what’s leaving the service soon.
Thankfully, we’ve narrowed it down to five titles that you should definitely check out before they leave Max at the end of August.
Paul Schrader’s recent string of movies about potential psychopaths who journal to themselves has been genuinely revelatory, and The Card Counter is no exception.
Starring Moon Knight’s Oscar Isaac as an Iraq War veteran who knows he committed atrocious acts during his time being deployed, The Card Counter is a story of revenge and rage and one that manages to make fairly trenchant political points even while it’s thrilling on a minute-to-minute basis. All that, and some stellar supporting turns from Tiffany Haddish and Willem Dafoe, make The Card Counter well worth watching before the month ends.
George Miller’s Mad Max movies are all gonzo in distinct ways, and Beyond Thunderdome is in some ways the strangest of the bunch. This movie concluded the original trilogy and follows Max as he travels to Bartertown, a place where all conflicts are resolved by battles to the death.
Beyond Thunderdome is a little disjointed when compared to the best of what the Mad Max franchise has to offer, but the movie still has plenty of fascinating ideas that are well worth wrestling with. Miller’s imagination is always worth diving into, and that’s especially true in the world of Mad Max.
Christopher Nolan clearly has a fascination with World War II, and Dunkirk is the film where he takes on the subject most directly. The film tells the story of the evacuation of Dunkirk from multiple perspectives, playing with time in ways that Nolan always does.
In chronicling the story of the stranded soldiers, an airman above the battle, and the regular British citizens who volunteered to help bring the British soldiers home, Nolan managed to make one of his most emotional, thrilling movies to date. The practical effects, score, and slew of great performances all combined to make Dunkirk one of the director’s best movies.
Perhaps one of the great comedies ever made, Airplane! is a parody of the disaster movies that were so popular in the 1970s. The film follows a former pilot with a fear of flying who finds that he’s the only one who can land a plane after most of the passengers and crew fall ill with food poisoning.
Thanks to a brilliant central performance from Leslie Nielsen, and one of the most joke-packed scripts ever written (“Oh stewardess? I speak jive.”), Airplane! is mostly just funny from start to finish. Not every joke has aged perfectly, but Airplane! is filled with enough jokes that you’re almost definitely not going to notice.
A remake of a classic Western of the same name, 3:10 to Yuma tells the story of a lowly rancher who takes on a dangerous job escorting a wanted man in part to prove to his son that he isn’t a nobody. As the criminal and the rancher bond on their journey, and their party is pursued by the criminal’s underlings, we come to understand the complex morality that defined the Old West.
Russell Crowe and Christian Bale are terrific in the central role, and James Mangold’s direction is more than serviceable in his retelling of this classic story. Westerns had something of a second life in the mid-2000s, and 3:10 to Yuma was among the best and deserves a watch.
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