So, you have subscribed to HBO, mostly to watch the final season of Game of Thrones, but you want to make the most of your investment. Fortunately, HBO is home to a very good selection of films that that will help you while away the weeks as you wait for each new episode of GoT.

Anchorman: The Legend of Rob Burgandy (2004)

IMDB Score 7.2/10

Will Farrell movies are always meant to be good fun rather than serious art, and Anchorman may be one of the best of them. We meet a series of hilarious characters from the world of news broadcasting, whose work lives are turned upside down when a woman enters their workplace. It is the supporting characters played by Paul Rudd, Steve Carrell, Christina Applegate, Brian Fantana and Brick Tamland that make this film laugh out loud.

Bessie (2015)

IMDB Score 6.6/10

This HBO original film is about the legendary blues singer Bessie Smith, tracking her transformation from a struggling young singer to the empress of blues. Queen Latifah does an amazing job as Smith, and at the time it was released, this film was the most watched HBO original film of all time and won four Prime Time Emmy Awards. It is a fascinating look at the life of a fascinating woman.

The Bourne Identity (2002)

IMDB Score 7.9/10

Despite the many sequels and reboots, the original is still the best when it comes to the Bourne films. Matt Damon plays the amnesiac super-agent Jason Bourne with just the right level of understated power. He is no James Bond out to dazzle, but he is a deadly assassin and skilled spy who will no longer be a government pawn.

Collateral (2004)

IMDB Score 7.5/10

While this Tom Cruise and Jamie Foxx thriller doesn’t exactly break the mould, it is two hours of good quality action. Cruise plays an assassin Vincent, that takes Foxx’s taxi driver Max hostage. The two men begin to form a bond as Max drops Vincent off between hits, but when Max learns what Vincent is up to, he must decide what, if anything, he is going to do about it. The chemistry between these two actors and the killer stunts make this movie good.

Deadpool 2 (2018)

IMDB Score 7.8/10

If you haven’t yet seen the second in the Ryan Reynolds-led, fourth wall breaking, irreverent super hero series, then now is your chance. When Deadpool’s life goes awry again, he assembles his own team of B-list superheroes to help him, but training new superheroes is harder than it looks! This is one of the rare cases where the sequel is as good as the original.

Despicable Me (2010)

IMDB Score 7.7/10

This is the first film in something that has become a phenomenon in its own right and brought us minions. It stars Steve Carrell as the voice of Gru, a supervillain who adopts three girls from an orphanage, an act that starts to change his over-the-top villainous ways. Gru is supported in his work by his minions, who must also come to terms with his transformation. This film is surprisingly intelligent, and has lots of great supervillain and Pixar references that fans will enjoy.

The Greatest Showman (2017)

IMDB Score 7.6/10

This is a colourful musical starring Hugh Jackman, Michelle Williams, Zac Efron and Zendaya. It is a biopic of P.T. Barnum, the father of show business who sets out to show his worth by creating a circus. The film glosses over some of the darker parts of Barnum’s story, but the result is entertaining, feel-good and catchy.

The Hangover (2009)

IMDB Score 7.7/10

A nice film to watch when you yourself are suffering from a hangover, it stars Bradley Cooper, Ed Helms and Zach Galifianakis as a group of friends who use their other friend’s stag do in Vegas to forget about their normal lives and let their hair down. The result is an unbelievable but entertaining ride, and you’ll be rooting for the boys to come out on top.

Inception (2010)

IMDB Score 8.8/10

This mind-bending film from director Christopher Nolan stars Leonardo DiCaprio as a thief that steals things from people’s minds by infiltrating the dreamscapes of a person’s consciousness. But as you delve deeper into a person’s dreamscapes, it becomes increasingly difficult to distinguish dream from reality, and things start to go wrong. DiCaprio is supported by an excellent ensemble cast including Joseph Gordon Levitt, Ellen Page, Tom Hardy and Dileep Rao.

Leaving Neverland (2019)

IMDB Score 7.1/10

Directed by British filmmaker Dan Reed, it is probably wrong to describe this documentary about Michael Jackson and his relationship with two young boys as good, but it is a must see to finally unravel some of the many myths and story that surround the now deceased king of pop. It is hard watching, and will leave you wondering how such things are possible.

Mean Girls (2004)

IMDB Score 7/10

An early film penned by Tina Fey, it stars Lindsay Lohan as an intelligent teenager Cady raised by her scientist parents in the wilds of Africa who suddenly finds herself in a suburban American school. There she encounters the most popular girl in school, Regina George, played by Rachel McAdams, who steals the show. Cady needs to figure our what she wants and how to fit in without losing her soul to school. Lots of quotable one-liners that you probably hear every day, and surprisingly deep commentary on the existence of modern teenagers.

Mommy Dead and Dearest (2017)

IMDB Score 7.4/10

This crime documentary from Erin Lee Carr explores the bizarre story surrounding the murder of Dee Dee Blanchard, for which her daughter Gypsy Rose and her boyfriend were accused. Discover the real story before watching the new movie about the bizarre crime The Act.

O.G. (2019)

IMDB Score 6.2/10

Directed by Madeleine Sackler and written by Stephen Belber, this movie stars Jeffrey Wright as a former prison gang leader named Louis in a compelling performance.  As he nears the end of his 24-year sentence in a maximum-security prison, a new comer shifts the balance of power among the inmates. Louis must decide whether to fight for his place inside, or stay out of it in order not to risk his release. The film was filmed entirely in Pendleton Correctional Facility.

Ocean’s 8 (2018)

IMDB Score 6.2/10

This movie can pretty much be described as a female version of Ocean’s 11 (what, they couldn’t find 11 female actresses?), and is just as self-indulgent as far as film making goes, but it is also good fun. The ridiculously good ensemble cast is led by Sandra Bullock, Cate Blanchett and Anne Hathaway.

Phantom Thread (2017)

IMDB Score 7.6/10

This period drama stars Danial Day Lewis as Reynolds Woodcock, a gifted fashion designer in 1950s London that makes the best and most elaborate dresses for society’s elite. He encounters a young waitress Alma, played by Vicky Krieps, who becomes his muse. Woodcock proves a difficult artist, but Alma will not let this stand in the way of their fairy tale ending.

The Post (2017)

IMDB Score 7.2/10

The Oscar-nominated film directed by Stephen Spielberg stars the always watchable Meryl Streep and Tom Hanks, which should be enough to put it on anyone’s watch list. It follows the war that The Washington Post waged to publish the Pentagon Papers, classified documents that revealed the true extent of the government’s role in the Vietnam War. Meanwhile, as the first female publisher of a major American newspaper, Streep’s character must also fight sexism and prejudice.

The Tale (2018)

IMDB Score 7.3/10

While this film from Jennifer Fox is beautiful, it is also haunting and disturbing, so go in prepared. It recounts the director’s own experience of child sexual abuse. It shows both the years of grooming and abuse, the betrayal of trust, and her struggle to clearly remember and come to terms with what happened as an adult. Laura Dern turns in a spectacular performance.

Tully (2018)

IMDB Score 7/10

A collaboration from Jason Reitman and Diablo Cody, this film stars Charlize Theron as a woman struggling with the demands of motherhood. She has a son with developmental disorders and a new baby that she hadn’t planned on, and hires a night nanny to help her get through the stress. As her relationship with the nanny develops, she learns some harsh truths about herself, and this film is a fairly harsh and unrelenting look at the more difficult sides of motherhood.

Wonder Woman (2017)

IMDB Score 7.5/10

Arguably the best of the DC movies, Wonder Woman is certainly less dark and more entertaining than the most recent offerings from Batman and Superman. Gal Gadot stars as the eponymous amazon who finds herself dragged into the events of World War I. Before there was Captain Marvel, Wonder Woman gave us our first genuine, stand-alone female super hero of the silver screen.

Won’t You Be My Neighbour (2018)

IMDB Score 8.5/10

TV icon Fred Rogers was the ingratiating host of Mr Rogers Neighbourhood, which started in 1968 and continued until 2001 and tried to bridge social, religious and racial divides by teaching kids the importance of kindness, acceptance and compassion. This documentary takes a look at the man behind the show, who genuinely wanted to make the world a better place. It’s a bit of a tear jerker.

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