HBO Max easily has one of the best libraries of movies on streaming, which is great, but it also makes it that much harder to decide what to watch! So if you want to skip the scrolling portion of your day and get right to the movie-watching part, we've put together a handy list of the best new movies on HBO Max this month, from the big blockbuster premieres to old favorites and hidden gems.

One of HBO Max's biggest selling points in the pandemic era is the day-and-date streaming debuts of major theatrical Warner Bros. movies. Last month had the Snyder Cut/Godzilla vs. Kong double whammy, and this month's marquee title is the new, R-rated Mortal Kombat movie. And while it's technically not a debut, lots of folks will be able to see The New Mutants for the first time when it arrives on HBO Max this month, after a confounding theatrical release amid pandemic closures last year.

On the other end of the cinematic spectrum, another of HBO Max's standout selling points is its wealth of classic films, and this month is no different, with several must-see titles arriving on streaming, including Bringing Up Baby and Mr. Smith Goes to Washington. Check out our picks for this month's highlights below, and if you don't find what you're looking for here, head over to the complete list of new movies and shows on HBO Max in April.

Bringing Up Baby

Available: April 1

Director: Howard Hawks

Writers: Dudley Nichols and Hagar Wilde

Cast: Katharine Hepburn, Cary Grant, Charles Ruggles, Barry Fitzgerald, May Robson, Walter Catlett, Fritz Feld

An impeccably paced masterclass in screwball comedy, Howard Hawks’ 1938 romance is a laugh-out-loud gem. Iconic duo Katharine Hepburn and Cary Grant were never more magnetic or intoxicating to watch, relishing in every gag, pratfall, and double entendre (and hoo boy, there are a lot of sneakily sexy lines layered into the zippy, zany dialogue). Grant goes against type as a stuffy, timid paleontologist and Hepburn is a manic delight as the capricious woman who falls for him at first sight, determined to win his love no matter what it takes. Hawks famously said he made the mistake of making every character in the film “nuts”, but that undercurrent of unhinged energy is exactly what makes Bringing Up Baby such a spectacularly good time. Where else are you going to see Hepburn and Grant crooning to a baby leopard?


Available: April 1

Director: Martin Scorsese

Writers: Nicholas Pileggi and Martin Scorsese

Cast: Ray Liotta, Robert De Niro, Lorraine Bracco, Joe Pesci, and Paul Sorvino

Any director would be happy to make one masterpiece in his or her career, but filmmaker Martin Scorsese has several. Surely Goodfellas is towards the top of the heap, as the director’s 1990 mob drama still stands today as a stone-cold classic. The film tells the true rise and fall story of mob associate Henry Hill (Ray Liotta), tracking his life of crime from childhood up through the 1980s. It’s an epic saga told with vigor—this thing moves, and it’s all thanks to Scorsese’s kinetic camerawork and editing style. The soundtrack is killer, the performances are incredible (Joe Pesci!), and it’s a film that’s been mimicked countless times since. But there’s no touching the original. – Adam Chitwood

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King Arthur: Legend Of The Sword

Available: April 1

Director: Guy Ritchie

Writers: Joby Harold, Guy Ritchie, Lionel Wigram

Cast: Charlie Hunnam, Àstrid Bergès-Frisbey, Djimon Hounsou, Aidan Gillen, Jude Law, Eric Bana, Annabelle Wallis, Kingsley Ben-Adir

Yes, folks, despite the poor box office performance, despite the fact that no one was really asking for a new King Arthur movie, and despite the fact that this would-be shared-universe starter was DOA, I am here to tell you that King Arthur: Legend of the Sword actually rips. Guy Ritchie brings his signature stylings to the table, reimagining Arthur (Charlie Hunnam) as an all-out bloke from the streets of London - sorry, Londinium - who brawls, struts, and swaggers into battle with the evil King Uther (Jude Law, positively eating up that scenery, darling). I'm a big, huge nerd for the legends of King Arthur and I just love when storytellers decide to have fun with the fantastical elements of the lore. Legend of the Sword is having all-caps FUN; with wizards, giant beasts, sea creatures, and Game of Thrones favorite Aidan Gillen playing a guy called "Goosefat Bill", for some reason. Oh, and the score is genuinely one of the best film compositions in recent memory, an absolute banger from the always-reliable Daniel Pemberton that I still turn to on the regular when I need an energetic boost.

The Mask of Zorro

Available: April 1

Director: Martin Campbell

Writers: John Eskow, Ted Elliott, and Terry Rossio

Cast: Antonio Banderas, Anthony Hopkins, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Stuart Wilson, Matt Letscher

Aventure films are hard to get right. It’s a common refrain that they “don’t make them like they used to” when it comes to action-adventure cinema, and while the genre may not be as in fashion as it used to be, I’d argue it’s always been a tricky formula, with more misses than hits. But Martin Campbell’s 1998 take on Zorro absolutely hits. Some questionable casting aside (Anthony Hopkins??), The Mask of Zorro is a fabulously entertaining, relentlessly swashbuckling take on the adventure hero, with Antonio Banderas giving one of the most magnetic and invigorated performances of his career.

Coming off of his first Bond film, GoldenEye, (before he knocked it way out of the park again with Casino Royale), Campbell delivered another ace action movie of the 90s, tapping into the old-fashioned code of honor that comes with the iconic character and making it accessible for modern audiences. It’s got outstanding sword fights, all-timer chemistry between Banderas and breakout Catherine Zeta-Jones, and a hearty dose of Old Hollywood melodrama. In short, it’s a blast; a pitch-perfect adventure film that honors the spirit of the beloved classics while implementing updated filmmaking tools to take the action to the next level.

Mr. Smith Goes to Washington

Available: April 1

Director: Frank Capra

Writers: John Eskow, Ted Elliott, and Terry Rossio

Cast: James Stewart, Jean Arthur, Claude Rains, Edward Arnold, Guy Kibbee

There is no shortage of films about “The Everyman vs. Political Corruption”, but Mr. Smith Goes to Washington might just be the film about “The Everyman vs. Political Corruption”. Starring the great cinematic everyman James Stewart, Frank Capra’s 1939 classic is a bit more whimsical and righteous than we take our political dramedies these days, but it still packs all the narrative, filmmaking, and idealistic emotional punch that it did all those years ago, when it scooped up 11 Oscar nominations (and the win for Best Original Story). Following the death of a Senator, some wheelin-and-dealin’ political folks pick an inexperienced, naive upstart (Stewart, in one of the best performances of his legendary career) to take over the job in the hopes of manipulating him to their will. Trouble is, he’s a straight-up good guy with an unshakeable belief in American Democracy, and in quintessential Capraesque tradition, the good guy always triumphs. It’s a particularly fascinating film to watch now that the filibuster has come under such intense investigation in contemporary politics, and while that context may make Capra’s sentimentality feel more foreign than ever to today’s audiences, there’s no denying it makes for damn good, emotionally cathartic cinema.

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The New Mutants

Available: April 10

Director: Josh Boone

Writers: Josh Boone and Knate Lee

Cast: Maisie Williams, Blu Hunt, Anya Taylor-Joy, Charlie Heaton, Henry Zaga, Alice Braga, Adam Beach

On the heels of Zack Snyder's Justice League, HBO Max will become the streaming destination for another superhero movie with an absolutely fascinating journey to the finish line when The New Mutants drops on April 10. Seriously, if you want to take a wild ride, head over to the New Mutants tag and watch the saga unfold in headlines from start to finish, from delays to reshoots to delayed reshoots, getting lost in the rebranding blitz of Disney's Fox buyout, and ultimately, fizzling out in theaters during the peak of the pandemic. But now, you can finally see the film safely for yourself on streaming.

Mortal Kombat

Available: April 23

Director: Simon McQuoid

Writers: Greg Russo and Dave Callaham

Cast: Lewis Tan, Jessica McNamee, Josh Lawson, Tadanobu Asano, Mehcad Brooks, Ludi Lin, Chin Han, Joe Taslim, Hiroyuki Sanada

When the Mortal Kombat trailer dropped back in February, it topped the previous trailer view records set by superhero juggernauts Logan and Deadpool 2 faster than you can say "Finish him!" And it's easy to see why. The trailer is an absolute blast, jam-packed with all the fatalities and favorite characters fans could ask for, from the die-hard gaming crowd to casual enthusiasts of the 1990s film (that's me). Produced by James Wan, who's built his career bouncing between horror and action, and directed by Simon McQuoid in his feature debut, the update on the beloved combat game is promising a lean, mean, and bloody-as-hell adaptation that appropriately puts a premium on the outlandish fight scenes.

KEEP READING: We Watched the First 13 Minutes of 'Mortal Kombat', Here's What We Think