In recent years, HBO has focused more and more on pushing its original content. Its drama Game of Thrones is dominating the Emmy nominations this year, the network is making noise in the late night comedy department thanks to John Oliver, and its partnership with VICE is making it a serious name in the news world, as well. But HBO was originally known more as the top destination on TV for movies, and despite its new changes, that still remains the case. Except now with streaming services HBO Go and HBO Now, fans can watch movies on the network whenever they want and aren't bound by a programming schedule. So what good movies are on HBO Now in July?
The network's roster of movies added is updated monthly and the genre selection tends to be varied, so there's always something new to watch no matter what your interests may be. This month, HBO Now and HBO Go have added many new flicks that are worth checking out, and all are streaming now or will be later this July. Here are nine great movies you should be sure not to miss during the next few weeks.
1. 7 Days in Hell
The new movie getting the most attention has got to be 7 Days in Hell, an HBO original mockumentary about a fictional 7-day-long tennis match pitting Andy Samberg (doing an extreme Andre Agassi impression) against Jon Snow himself, Kit Harington. The movie is absurd in the best way with appearances by Fred Armisen, Will Forte, and Lena Dunham, and also features a ton of full-frontal male nudity, if that's your thing.
2. Dawn of the Dead
If you're in the mood for some mid-summer horror, there's Zack Snyder's 2004 Dawn of the Dead remake. In a way, this movie helped kickstart the modern zombie revival that has dominated pop culture over the last decade or so, so you can either praise or curse them for that. Also, keep your eyes peeled for a pre-Modern Family Ty Burrell as a zombie!
3. Reno 911: Miami
Remember the great Reno: 911? Well, you probably forgot there's also a movie with the perfectly absurd title Reno 911: Miami, and it was just as good. Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson cameos as a cop. Patton Oswalt plays the villain. Paul Rudd is in it. This movie basically has everything you could possibly want from a summer comedy.
4. J. Edgar
If there's one type of movie I love, it's an epic biopic starring Leonardo DiCaprio. Wolf of Wall Street, The Aviator, Catch Me if You Can... the guy just doesn't know how to make a bad movie if he's playing a real person. J. Edgar may not have been as critically-lauded as those other movies I just mentioned, but who doesn't want to see Leo take on the role of the mysterious founder of the FBI?
5. My Big Fat Greek Wedding
"Put some Windex on!" After reading that, you probably either think I'm insane or you've seen My Big Fat Greek Wedding. One of the most popular rom-coms ever is now yours to stream, and the culture clash is still as funny as it was over a decade ago when the movie first came out. Fun fact: The movie holds the record as the top grossing film to never reach number one at the box office. Take that, Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel!
6. The Book Of Life
One of the newer movies debuting on HBO Now in July, The Book of Life was just released in theaters last October to great reviews, picking up a Golden Globe nomination for Best Animated Feature. The Mexican Day of the Dead-themed film features vocal talent from big stars like Zoe Saldana and Channing Tatum, and also has a unique animation style that's unlike anything you've seen before.
7. A.I. Artificial Intelligence
Steven Spielberg's A.I. Artificial Intelligence tries to play like a robot version of E.T. and never quite accomplishes it, but it's still a good movie nonetheless. Haley Joel Osment is great in the lead, as the still-a-child child actor was at the height of his career, and it's refreshing these days to see a movie about artificial intelligence that isn't trying to kill us.
8. The Drop
The Sopranos' James Gandolfini was a terrific actor whose presence is sorely missed, and his last film, The Drop , is now streaming on the network that made him a star. The movie sees Gandolfini return to the genre that made him famous as the owner of a bar who is in cahoots with the mafia, with Tom Hardy co-starring as his bartender. The film was a hit with critics and serves as a fine sendoff to a great actor. The Drop starts streaming July 25.
9. The Maze Runner
Sci-fi dystopian films based on YA novels are very hot right now, but The Maze Runner is better than most, with a mystery at its core that's missing from the others. The film stars Dylan O'Brien as amnesiac Thomas, who has to piece together who he is and why he's in this super-weird and scary place in order to figure out how he can escape. It's like Lost meets Memento meets The Hunger Games, in a good way. The Maze Runner starts streaming July 18.
There's a lot of great films to choose from this month, so get ready to spend the next few weeks doing nothing but streaming movies and eating snacks — like that's such a bad thing.