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Best Movies & TV Shows on HBO Max This Weekend (January 7-8, 2023)

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January is looking like a good start for HBO Max this year, and it’s only getting better this weekend. The black comedy film The Menu makes its streaming debut and is bound to be one of the most popular films on the platform this month, and the streaming service has plenty of Golden Globe-nominated content to prepare ahead of the ceremony next week. HBO Max also has a fresh plate of new television shows and movies to keep viewers on their toes — whether from frights or a dose of superhero adrenaline. Here are everything subscribers should check out on HBO Max this weekend, from fantasy nostalgia to an insightful political documentary.


The Menu has Julian killing his guests

If there were only one movie to check out on HBO Max this weekend, it would be the satirical horror The Menu, starring Anya Taylor-Joy, Nicholas Hoult and Ralph Fiennes. The film has received critical acclaim for its flavorful black comedy, and Taylor-Joy and Fiennes’ performances were both nominated for Golden Globes in their respective categories. Like Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery, The Menu hops on the trend of calling out the obscenely wealthy by sticking its guests in a high-end restaurant on a secluded island where the snobbish elite obsess over food. And the result is the audience starving for more.

RELATED: The Menu Accomplishes What Ready or Not & The Invitation Couldn’t

Taylor-Joy and Hoult play a couple who couldn’t be more opposite as they wait for their dinner — Hoult portrays a self-professed culinary connoisseur who has been dying for this reservation for ages, and Taylor-Joy is a skeptic who is bored before sitting down. And, of course, no one can forget about Fiennes, who gives his all as the obsessive and desperate celebrity Chef Slowik. If The Menu and Hulu’s The Bear prove anything, it’s that Hollywood is going through a food trend, and everyone is hungry for it.

The Nun Is a Sinful and Creepy Addition to The Conjuring

Valak as he appears in The Nun The Conjuring movie

It might be long past Halloween, but horror movies are acceptable to watch year-round. New to HBO Max this weekend is The Nun, which is a spinoff/prequel to The Conjuring 2 and the fifth installment of The Conjuring franchise. Bonnie Aarons reprises her role as the Demon Nun from The Conjuring 2, but where she was just previously an unsettling image that viewers would beg to look away from, there’s now a whole movie dedicated to her. Set in 1952, a demon hunter priest and a nun in her novitiate are sent to investigate evil forces after a devout woman hangs herself in her bedroom window. The movie acts as an origin story of sorts for the entire Conjuring franchise, but nothing can prepare viewers for the frightening horrors that they’ll find throughout the movie or the Demon Nun that ignites the frightening thrill.

RELATED: HBO Max’s Dead Boy Detectives Taps The Winchesters, Arrow Directors

This Place Rules Takes Viewers Back to a Troubling Day

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If there’s one thing HBO knows how to do besides a good scripted series, it’s a well-directed documentary. HBO’s newest documentary, This Places Rules, premiered at the end of 2022, ahead of the two-year anniversary of the January 6th attack on the U.S. Capitol. The documentary captures the months preceding the attack as director Andrew Callaghan travels across the United States to interview people in a very heated time in America. Known for his YouTube channel, where he interviews activists on both sides of the political spectrum, Callaghan offers a fresh angle on the January 6th events in 2021, even if it’s nothing incredibly new.

Matilda Is a Magical Adventure for the Family

Mara Wilson Matilda

Matilda the Musical is a bold take on Roald Dahl’s classic tale and holds up strong against its iconic 1996 predecessor Matilda. Before heading to Netflix to watch the musical adaptation of the heartwarming story, check out the film that initially captured people’s hearts on HBO Max. Matilda is a nostalgic walk down memory lane for people of all ages, showing just how beloved the story really is. It follows a young girl named Matilda Wormwood, whose brilliant mind is praised by her teacher, Miss Honey, but not by her family or school headmistress.

Matilda’s neglected by her family, who sees her as an oddball with nothing special to her, and her school life isn’t much of an improvement thanks to the abusive headmistress Miss Trunchbull. But Matilda finds that she’s much more special than her family thinks her to be when she develops telekinetic powers that help her stand up for herself. Unlike the 2022 film, Matilda is not a musical and honestly might be better off that way. Although, there are a few musical moments that are welcomed and will get a song stuck in viewers’ heads for days.

RELATED: Matilda the Musical vs. 1996’s Matilda: The Biggest Differences Between the Two Films

Stargirl Season 3 Closes Courtney’s Story

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The third and final season of Stargirl has finally dropped on HBO Max, so viewers can now binge the entire CW series that was canceled too soon. The third season opens on a happy note, with the town of Blue Valley back to its cheerful and welcoming state, and the gang has taken advantage of the peaceful times. But, of course, in a superhero universe, nothing ever stays normal. Starman is back from the dead this season, and Stargirl/Courtney’s former enemies are vowing to reform, so there’s trouble in paradise. Being the last season, there were a lot of expectations on how The CW would close out Courtney’s story, but thankfully it was consistent with themes of self-identity and redemption. There’s still this aching feeling that there’s more to be explored with Courtney’s story, but this is the DC Universe, so maybe her story will find its proper ending somewhere else.

Hacks Keeps the Award-Winning Comedy Coming

Hacks header resized

Hacks is nominated for three Golden Globes this year, including Best Musical or Comedy TV Series, Best Actress and Best Supporting Actress in a Musical or Comedy TV Series. With the Golden Globes coming up next week, it’s worth checking out HBO’s potential win for these categories. The series was renewed for a third season back in June 2022, and the first two seasons received critical acclaim for their comedic handling of intimate moments between the two female protagonists.

Led by Jean Smart as Deborah Vance and Hannah Einbinder as Ava Daniels, Hacks follows the two women as they work together to push each other’s careers to the max. Deborah is a legendary Las Vegas stand-up comedy performer, but she’s at risk of losing her position because of her aging. In comes Ava, a young comedy writer who can “de-age” Deborah to make her relevant and back in the spotlight again, but she herself doesn’t come up with a good reputation after an insensitive tweet. The two balance each other’s quirks to make the best of their situation, even if it means they can’t stand each other most of the time.

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