The Best Movies Now on Max

Gene Wilder and Cleavon Little in Blazing Saddles (1974)

Max may be one of the newest platforms to enter the streaming world, but already it’s one of the best. Not only does the service offer a ton of exclusive content related to its hit properties — like Game of Thrones, The Wire, and The Sopranos — it also has a ton of fantastic films strengthening its online catalog.

Thanks to HBO’s partnerships with standout companies and networks like TCM, Studio Ghibli, and DC, the service has an absolutely stacked selection of films you’re able to choose from.

Whether you’re in the mood for a classic black-and-white monster movie from the ‘30s, a beloved anime film from Hayao Miyazaki, or a recent blockbuster from this past summer, there’s no end to the number of great films you’re able to choose.

From universally praised films like Blazing Saddles and James Bond to celebrated modern films like A Ghost Story and Evil Dead Rise, here are some of the best films you can find currently streaming on Max.

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Updated: February 22.

Comedy: Blazing Saddles (1974)

Bart and Jim share a drink
Image Credit: Warner Bros.

Hoping to drive away the ignorant, dim-witted residents of a western frontier town, a corrupt politician (Harvey Korman) hires a Black railroad worker (Cleavon Little) as the town’s new sheriff.

Quite possibly one of the best–if not the best–comedy movie of all time, the fact that Blazing Saddles is currently trending on Max’s most-watched movies list should provide enough evidence of its favorable reputation to this very day.

Approaching its historic 50th anniversary, Mel Brooks pulled out all the stops when it came to Blazing Saddles, crafting a laugh-out-loud spoof of the traditional Western genre, complete with slapstick, potty humor, and metafictional satire of Hollywood filmmaking.

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Sci-Fi: Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country (1991)

William Shatner in Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country (1991)
Image Credit: Paramount Pictures.

Nowadays, Star Trek fans typically look to The Wrath of Khan, First Contact, or even the J.J. Abrams-produced Star Trek films as the best movies in the series. However, one shouldn’t ignore the above-par quality of 1991’s The Undiscovered Country – one of the best Star Trek films in the franchise’s history.

As the Klingon Empire attempts to negotiate a truce with the Federation, Captain James Kirk (William Shatner) and the Enterprise crew try to prevent a Klingon official (Christopher Plummer) from sabotaging the peace talks.

The final film to feature the vintage cast of The Original Series, The Undiscovered Country also offers a fitting farewell to Kirk and the crew of the U.S.S. Enterprise. Improving upon the middling quality of The Final Frontier before it, it’s a more than satisfying love letter to Gene Roddenberry’s beloved sci-fi creation.

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Fantasy: A Ghost Story (2017)

A Ghost Story (2017)
Image Credit: A24.

What happens to us after we die remains a question that continuously baffles and terrifies the average human mind. Fortunately, it’s also provided the basis for dozens of wonderful movies over the years, including 2017’s sensational, A Ghost Story.

After a car accident results in his death, a wayward spirit (Casey Affleck) returns home, haunting his grief-stricken widow (Rooney Mara) as she tries to come to terms with his sudden passing.

A minimalist fantasy film that cleverly reinvents the whole idea of the sheet-covered ghost, A Ghost Story also offers a stirring meditation on the power of loss, grief, and the struggle to move on in the wake of a loved one’s death.

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Horror: Evil Dead Rise (2023)

Alyssa Sutherland in Evil Dead Rise (2023)
Image Credit: Warner Bros.

Among the most terrifying movies currently on Max, Evil Dead Rise continues the loose-knit narrative universe of the Evil Dead franchise in wake of 2013’s Evil Dead and the short-lived Ash vs. Evil Dead series.

Discovering the cursed Necronomicon beneath their apartment building, an ordinary family accidentally awakens a demonic creature that possesses the soul of their mother (Alyssa Sutherland).

More of a spin-off of the Evil Dead series than a straight sequel, Evil Dead Rise opts for a more blood-curdling interpretation of Sam Raimi’s series than the dark comedy of Ash vs. Evil Dead. As a result, viewers are entreated to one of the bleakest, most gut-wrenching Evil Dead films in quite some time.

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Romance: Wedding Crashers (2005)

Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson in Wedding Crashers (2005)
Image Credit: New Line Cinema.

Impersonating a pair of distant familial relatives, two best friends (Owen Wilson and Vince Vaughn) try to insert themselves into a family preparing to celebrate an upcoming wedding.

Over the past several decades, certain groups of actors have pooled their efforts to entertain viewers. In the 1940s and ‘50s, audiences had the Rat Pack. In the ‘80s, it was the Brat Pack. In the 2000s, audiences enjoyed the comedic hijinks of the consistently rowdy Frat Pack.

Teaming together for a variety of films from the late ‘90s to the present day, the Frat Pack’s best films can be found in the 2000s, as seen with movies like Zoolander, Old School, Anchorman, and Wedding Crashers – four of the decade’s absolute best comedies.

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Sports: Rocky (1976)

Rocky
Image Credit: Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios Inc.

Earlier this month, the world bid farewell to the iconic actor Carl Weathers. An unparalleled performer who oozed charisma in any and every project he appeared in, Weathers’ most famous role came with the 1976 sports classic, Rocky.

As he grapples over his faltering career, an underdog boxer in Philadelphia (Sylvester Stallone) vigorously trains for an upcoming bout against the heavyweight champion (Weathers).

Though Weathers hands in some fantastic performances with later projects like Predator, Arrested Development, and The Mandalorian, the actor remains well-known for his performance as Apollo Creed–the uber confidant arch-enemy to Stallone’s up-and-coming boxer in the Rocky universe.

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Elevated Horror: Midsommar (2019)

Florence Pugh in Midsommar.
Image Credit: A24.

If ever you needed proof that A24 holds a taut monopoly over the horror genre, just look at some of the studio’s most recent films–including Talk to Me, Pearl, X, or 2019’s folk horror film, Midsommar.

After a sudden tragedy up-ends her life, a young woman (Florence Pugh) agrees to attend a strange pagan festival in Sweden with her emotionally distant boyfriend (Jack Reynor) and his two friends (Will Poulter and William Jackson Harper).

A disorienting psychological horror film that merges the magical splendor of The Wizard of Oz with the cult premise of The Wicker Man, Midsommar is a movie able to disgust, intrigue, and enrapture viewers the moment they hit play.

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Animated: The Peanuts Movie (2015)

Bill Melendez and Noah Schnapp in The Peanuts Movie (2015)
Image Credit: 20th Century Fox.

Virtually everyone knows the lovable cartoon band known as the Peanuts. Originally created by comic strip writer Charles M. Schultz, the Peanuts soon found their way into several television specials and, more recently, a 2015 animated family movie.

As the downtrodden Charlie Brown (Noah Schnapp) works out ways to impress his mysterious crush (Francesca Angelucci Capaldi), his mischievous dog Snoopy writes an ambitious novel about his attempts to save his own love interest from the villainous Red Baron.

Keeping in line with the cozy warmth of the original comics, The Peanuts Movie is guaranteed to entertain viewers completely unfamiliar with the series and more nostalgic fans alike. A smart, funny, and creative children’s movie, it's also the perfect homage to Schultz’ famed comic strip characters.

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Biopic: Snowden (2016)

snowden
Image Credit: Open Road Films.

In the early 2010s, N.S.A. worker Edward Snowden (Joseph Gordon Levitt) uncovers disturbing information about his organization’s past surveillance operations, leading him to leak said information to the press.

In 2013, American computer intelligence expert Edward Snowden unleashed a vast storm of classified secrets related to U.S. intelligence, launching renewed discussions about U.S. security and individual’s rights to privacy.

A controversial figure among contemporary Americans, Snowden’s story forms the basis of Oliver Stone’s 2016 biographical film. A thought-provoking political thriller, it forces viewers to formulate their own individual opinions on Snowden’s actions, as well as the government’s right to spy on average citizens.

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Family: The Lego Movie (2014)

The Lego Movie (2014)
Image Credit: Warner Bros.

One of the absolute best family films of the 21st century yet, The Lego Movie was–in many ways–the original Barbie of the 2010s. Using its famed toy line counterpart as its source material, the movie’s utilization of Lego ensured a movie of immense creative possibilities.

Uncovering a high-level conspiracy orchestrated by the evil Lord Business (Will Ferrell), an ordinary construction worker in the Lego universe (Chris Pratt) attempts to fulfill his destiny as the “Special,” protecting his world from harm.

The children’s equivalent to The Matrix films, The Lego Movie excels at weaving together meticulous references and cameos from pre-existing Lego lines, incorporating everything from Star Wars and Lord of the Rings to Marvel and the Wizarding World of Harry Potter.

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Black & White: Citizen Kane (1941)

Citizen Kane
Image Credit: RKO Pictures.

Returning to Max this month is arguably the most famous American film ever made. A landmark achievement in narrative and technical filmmaking, Citizen Kane remains required viewing for most movie fans across the globe, having garnered the same iconic status as its contemporaries in Casablanca or Gone with the Wind.

After the death of influential newspaper mogul Charles Foster Kane (Orson Welles), an investigative reporter (William Alland) interviews Kane’s estranged friends and family members to learn the meaning behind his enigmatic last words.

Orson Welles’ directorial masterpiece, Citizen Kane broke every rule associated with filmmaking at the time of its release, introducing innovative new techniques, unique camera angles, and a splintered narrative format still used by filmmakers to this day.

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Western: Hang ‘Em High (1968)

 
Clint Eastwood in Hang 'Em High (1968)
Image Credit: United Artists.

Wrongfully hanged for a crime he never committed, a former lawman (Clint Eastwood) volunteers to become a U.S. Marshal, pursuing the nine men responsible for his near-death experience.If there are two names that will forever remain synonymous with the Western genre, it’s Clint Eastwood and John Wayne. Two charismatic performers in practically every movie they appeared in, Eastwood and Wayne reigned supreme over the Western for literal decades.

Looking at Eastwood’s individual filmography, viewers will find no shortage of impressive titles, from his early Man with No Name trilogy to his similarly fantastic Hang ‘Em High. A thrilling revisionist Western, it’s among the single best films in Eastwood’s entire career.

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Superhero: X-Men: Days of Future Past (2014)

Nicholas Hoult, Hugh Jackman, James McAvoy in "X-Men: Days of Future Past"
Image Credit: Marvel/Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation.

It’s not an exaggeration to call X-Men: Days of Future Past the best X-Men movie in the series’ continuity. Ranking alongside X2 or X-Men: First Class, the movie features a first-rate story, impeccable acting, and a time-bending story that glossed over canonical inconsistencies in the X-Men’s often murky timeline.

In a nightmarish near future where mutants have been rendered nearly extinct, the remnants of the X-Men send Wolverine (Hugh Jackman) back in time to the 1970s, allowing him to contact a younger Professor Xavier (James McAvoy) and prevent their dystopian reality.

Bridging the narratives of the original X-Men films with the prequel events of X-Men: First Class, Days of Future Past provides an effective conclusion to the X-Men universe as fans knew it, rebooting the series for a new, alternative timeline.

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Mystery: Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me (1992)

Sheryl Lee in Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me (1992)
Image Credit: New Line Cinema.

Like most of his projects, David Lynch’s work on Twin Peaks has achieved a widespread audience of cult followers. As a result of the show’s undying popularity, the series has since received two continuations in the form of Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me and the long-awaited Twin Peaks: The Return.

As the F.B.I. investigate the recent murder of a Washington teenager, high school student Laura Palmer (Sheryl Lee) experiences disquieting premonitions about her own death, leading her into conflict with her friends and family members.

A spin-off prequel to the original Twin Peaks, Fire Walk With Me provides a tense, gut-wrenching origin story for Laura Palmer, allowing audiences to see her traumatic life mere days before her death in Twin Peaks.

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Teen: The Breakfast Club (1985)

The Breakfast Club
Image Credit: A&M Films.

Numerous teen movies came before it, but 1985’s The Breakfast Club did something few entries in its genre could. Merging infectious comedy with poignant and relatable themes, director John Hughes painted a more endearing portrait of teenagers than any other film, forever changing the teen comedy as viewers knew it.

Spending an entire Saturday serving out a weekend detention, five teenagers from different social cliques see past their differences, growing closer as they learn more about one another’s troubled background.

The standout project of the famous ‘80s Brat Pack, The Breakfast Club continues to resonate with both nostalgic fans and younger audience members experiencing their first brush with high school adolescence.

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Anthology: True Detective (2024)

True Detective TV Series (2024)
Image Credit: HBO Entertainment.

The latest season of HBO's crime anthology series, True Detective, has finally arrived. Featuring a predictably fantastic cast and a characteristically dark plot, the series’ long-awaited fourth season has helped True Detective climb to the very top of this week’s most-watched TV shows list on Max.

In the secluded town of Ennis, Alaska, a pair of detectives (Jodie Foster and Kali Reis) investigate the sudden disappearance of eight men at a local research facility.

Marking a return to form for the series, True Detective’s fourth season relies on its A-list cast and macabre tone to maximum effect, achieving the same disturbing atmosphere as the show’s unrivaled first season.

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Adult Animation: Rick and Morty (2013)

Rick and Morty Justin Roiland
Image Credit: Adult Swim.

In what might only be described as a late Christmas gift to fans across the globe, the latest season of the sci-fi comedy series, Rick and Morty, has finally arrived on Max. As expected, the latest installment of the series comes loaded with sharp humor, nuanced characterization, and even more absurd adventures for the title characters.

As they continue their search for Evil Morty (Harry Belden) and Rick Prime (Ian Cardoni), universe-hopping adventurers Rick (Cardoni) and Morty (Belden) grapple with an array of challenges in their everyday lives.

While the seventh season may be a bit wobbly in some places, Rick and Morty’s latest installment nevertheless manages to retain the series’ trademark blend between poignant drama, dark comedy, and surreal sci-fi satire.

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Documentary: Roadrunner: A Film About Anthony Bourdain (2021)

Anthony Bourdain in Roadrunner: A Film About Anthony Bourdain (2021)
Image Credit: Focus Features.

For over 20 years, Anthony Bourdain dazzled viewers with his intricate, often unconventional take on the topic of food. A celebrity chef who traveled the world in search of the best meals imaginable, Bourdain was able to find happiness in everything from a simple plate of Waffle House pecan waffles to a Michelin-Starred three-course meal in France.

Taking his own life under tragic circumstances in 2018, the world grieved the loss of Bourdain, not as some celebrity travel show host, but as an intimate and dependable friend–a guiding light who explored food, exotic countries, and the intricacies of human emotion.

Bourdain’s life, his career, and his legacy in the entertainment industry forms the backbone of the 2021 documentary, Roadrunner: A Film About Anthony Bourdain. Documenting Bourdain’s improbable rise from the kitchens of New York to international fame, it’s a touching tribute to the food industry’s equivalent to Steve Irwin, Bob Ross, and Hunter S. Thompson all rolled into one.

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War: Full Metal Jacket (1987)

Full Metal Jacket Movie (1987)
Image Credit: Warner Bros.

As the Vietnam War rages in Southeast Asia, a group of young men undergo a grueling training regimen with the U.S Marine Corps, facing off against a domineering drill sergeant (Lee Ermey) who pushes them to their physical and mental limits.

Perhaps the most accomplished director of all time, Stanley Kubrick made a habit of imposing his own distinct vision for countless conflicting genres, be it horror (The Shining), science fiction (A Clockwork Orange), or war (Full Metal Jacket).

Looking at Full Metal Jacket in its entirety, Kubrick offered a stunning deep-dive into the transformation average soldiers undergo in the midst of war–abandoning their individuality in training, only to lose their morality in combat.

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Music: Singin’ in the Rain (1952)

Gene Kelly in Singin' in the Rain (1952)
Image Credit: MGM/Loew's Inc.

Quite possibly the finest entry in the musical genre, Singin’ in the Rain is every bit as uplifting and enjoyable now as it had been 70 years ago. A sweeping and evocative musical comedy, it’s the Golden Age of Hollywood at its finest.

Struggling to keep up with the innovations brought on by the arrival of talkies, a group of silent movie stars attempt to make their first sound picture, dubbing over their shrill leading lady’s voice with a promising chorus girl’s (Debbie Reynolds).

Through its interesting central storyline, energetic performances, and rich musical dance numbers, Singin’ in the Rain is that rare musical capable of sustaining every member of the audience, regardless of whether they love musicals or hate them.

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Award-Winning: Barbie (2023)

margot robbie barbie
Image Credit: Warner Bros.

Perhaps the most notable release of 2023, Barbie garnered significant mainstream attention months before the film was even released. With a sharp script, A-list cast, and luminous set design, it’s without a doubt the most popular film of the past summer season.

Having grown weary of the glitz and glamor of Barbieland, Stereotypical Barbie (Margot Robbie) and her boyfriend Ken (Ryan Gosling) depart for the real world, learning the pros and cons that come with everyday existence.

In addition to being a hilarious comedy, what makes Barbie such an altogether fantastic film is the level of thematic topics it broaches in its runtime. Deconstructing such issues as feminism, patriarchy, corporate consumerism, individuality, and existentialism, it's one of the weightiest, most thought-provoking, family-friendly films in some time.

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Crime: The Bling Ring (2013)

The Bling Ring (2013)
Image Credit: A24.

Late last year, acclaimed director Sofia Coppola returned with her most recent film, the moving musical biopic, Priscilla. While Coppola’s latest has garnered significant attention among contemporary audiences, it’s worth noting just how fantastic many of Coppola’s previous films have been, starting with her 2013 crime film, The Bling Ring.

Tracking influential celebrities’ movements through social media, a group of fame-loving teenagers and young adults start robbing their idols’ homes, using whatever valuables they find to increase their social standing.

Based on an extraordinarily bizarre true story, The Bling Ring analyzes the ongoing cultural obsession with fame and celebrity status–something the titular Bling Ring ironically achieved with their serial burglaries in the late 2000s.

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Thriller: Natural Born Killers (1994)

Woody Harrelson and Robert Downey Jr. in Natural Born Killers
Image Credit: Warner Bros.

One of the most controversial movies currently sitting on Max, Natural Born Killers’ release in 1994 was met with prolonged scrutiny from international audiences. While some deemed the movie a senseless depiction of violence for violence’s sake, others believed Natural Born Killers offered a stirring condemnation of our growing indifference to rampant criminality.

Overcoming their individual childhood traumas, a pair of disillusioned young lovers (Woody Harrelson and Juliette Lewis) take to the road, where their nihilistic worldview soon transforms them into cold-blooded serial killers.

Like the equally controversial A Clockwork Orange, Natural Born Killers won’t satisfy a mass audience of viewers. Though some might be turned away by its brutality and cynicism, the film features a disturbing premonition of trends that characterize society today: our obsession with true crime, serial killers obtaining near-celebrity status, etc.

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Action: On Her Majesty’s Secret Service (1969)

On Her Majesty's Secret Service George Lazenby
Image Credit: United Artists.

Discovering another heinous plot orchestrated his arch-enemy Ernst Stavro Blofeld (Telly Savalas), James Bond (George Lazenby) travels to the Swiss Alps, partnering with a gorgeous countess (Diana Rigg) in the hopes of stopping Blofeld for good.

When Sean Connery left the role of James Bond behind for the first time following You Only Live Twice, audiences wondered how the franchise might continue without the original Bond guiding them.

In response, Eon Studios cast the little-known male model George Lazenby as the tuxedo-clad superspy, ushering in 1969’s On Her Majesty’s Secret Service. Though a bit kitschier and cartoonish than the more grounded Bond films that preceded it, On Her Majesty’s Secret Service nevertheless remains a well-loved entry in the Bond canon.

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Drama: Up in the Air (2009)

George Clooney in Up in the Air (2009)
Image Credit: Paramount Pictures.

Among the most lauded films of 2009, Up in the Air illustrates the profound issues that characterize the corporate working world–including the disconnect between an inherently amoral job and an individual worker’s quest for personal happiness.

Working as a professional contractor who specializes in laying off employees across the country, the emotionally distant Ryan Bingham (George Clooney) instructs a new employee (Anna Kendrick) assigned to work with him.

Subtly acted by George Clooney in what might be the actor’s single best performance, Up in the Air shows that there’s more to life than success in the business world, as well as emphasizing the profound dangers that come from prioritizing work over personal time.

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Classic: The Hidden Fortress (1958)

Misa Uehara in The Hidden Fortress (1958)
Image Credit: Toho.

As medieval Japan is plunged into chaos amidst a widespread war, two peasants (Minoru Chiaki and Kamatari Fujiwara) reluctantly agree to escort a pair of mysterious refugees (Toshiro Mifune and Misa Uehara) through the countryside.

Like most iconic directors, Akira Kurosawa has nothing but fantastic movies making up his filmography, from legendary action movies like Seven Samurai to prototypical buddy cop movies like Stray Dog.

Among Kurosawa’s most influential films, The Hidden Fortress is most known today for providing the inspiration for Star Wars, with George Lucas adopting numerous plot elements for his space opera universe (the bickering servants, the wandering princess, the samurai general posing as an ordinary drifter).

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Underrated: Robin Hood: Men in Tights (1993)

Cary Elwes, Mel Brooks, Amy Yasbeck, Mark Blankfield, Richard Lewis, and Matthew Porretta in Robin Hood: Men in Tights (1993)
Image Credit: 20th Century Fox.

Yes, to be fair, Robin Hood: Men in Tights pales in comparison to Mel Brooks’ earlier, far better work on Blazing Saddles. Yet even then, Brooks’ fans continuously clamor to this medieval satire, glorying in its infinite slapstick, clever wordplay, and hilarious potty humor.

Returning to his native England after the Crusades, the fun-loving Robin of Loxley (Cary Elwes) fights to end the despotic rule of Prince John (Richard Lewis) and his right-hand man: the Sheriff of Rottingham (Roger Rees).

A swashbuckling comedy that specifically lampoons contemporary adaptations of Robin Hood (cough, cough, Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves), Men in Tights is bound to tickle the funny bone of anyone who adores Brooks’ body of work.

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Author: Richard Chachowski

Title: Journalist

Expertise: Classic Film, Contemporary Film and TV, Video Games, Comic Books

Bio:

Richard Chachowski is an entertainment and travel writer who has written for such publications as Wealth of Geeks, Fangoria, Looper, Screen Rant, and MSN. He received a BA in Communication Studies and a BA in Journalism and Professional Writing from The College of New Jersey in 2021. He has been a professional writer since 2020. His geeky areas of interest include Star Wars, travel writing, horror, video games, comic books, literature, and animation.