There’s no better time to subscribe to HBO Max than now. For its Black Friday special, new and returning subscribers can sign up for the ads-included plan for just $1.99 for three months. That means The White Lotus, House of the Dragon and other movies and television shows non-subscribers have missed out on this year. And for this Thanksgiving weekend specifically, viewers can tune into new documentaries, reality series and films that will be leaving the streaming service at the end of November. With all this and more to choose from, here’s what CBR recommends watching on HBO Max this weekend.
Love, Lizzo Takes a Sneak Peek Into the Musician’s Life
One of the biggest releases on HBO Max this week is Love, Lizzo, a documentary that follows musician Lizzo as she tells the story of her humble upbringing to superstardom. The documentary provides an intimate look into Lizzo’s life, including how she became the trailblazer she is today. In a press release announcing the documentary, Lizzo thrillingly announced that the documentary would showcase the work she put in behind the scenes on her biggest album, Cuz I Love You, her “dramatic” world tour and her new album, Special.
Ben Is Back Creates a Humbling Holiday Experience
Another new release to HBO Max this week is the 2018 film Ben Is Back, starring Julia Roberts, Lucas Hedges and Courtney B. Vance. The critically acclaimed film has some of the best performances from Roberts and Hedges in their careers and is a must-watch for fans of theirs. But more important than that, Ben Is Back follows a mother and son as they attempt to reconcile after the boy comes back from rehab.
While it might never be considered a holiday classic, Ben Is Back portrays the realistic struggles addicts face around Christmas time and delicately handles the subject by never spinning out of control. The film also stars Kathryn Newton, who is set to make her Marvel Cinematic Universe debut as Cassie Lang in Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania. For anyone interested to see what she’s capable of, her down-to-earth role as the sister of someone struggling with addiction in Ben Is Back is a great choice this holiday weekend.
The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey Brings Fans Back to Middle-Earth
Leaving HBO Max next week is The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, based on the 1937 novel by J.R.R. Tolkien. The film acts as the first installment in The Hobbit trilogy and is a prequel to The Lord of the Rings trilogy. Starring Martin Freeman and Ian McKellen, The Hobbit follows Bilbo Baggins on a quest to reclaim the Lonely Mountain from the dragon Smaug. The Hobbit is also known for its inclusion of other Lord of the Rings actors, including Cate Blanchett, Hugo Weaving, Elijah Wood and Andy Serkis — the latter of which has now broken many hearts of Star Wars fans on Andor.
While many claimed it was a step backward from The Lord of the Rings trilogy, it’s still considered a superb fantasy film that garnered even more successful sequels. And with Season 1 of The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power having ended, who can’t get enough of Middle-earth while patiently waiting for Season 2?
Promising Young Woman Is as Ambitious as Its Protagonist
Another film subscribers can’t miss this weekend is the black comedy Promising Young Woman. As Emerald Fennell’s feature directorial debut, Promising Young Woman asserts that Fennell will be a force to be reckoned with in the entertainment industry, and the film world will always be more women to shine. The film also has a stacked cast, with Carey Mulligan as the lead and Bo Burnham, Alison Brie, Jennifer Coolidge and Laverne Cox in supporting roles. Mulligan stars as a 30-year-old woman still living with her parents and troubled by the death of her friend. She goes on a journey of revenge, attempting to track down the man responsible for her friend’s trauma and anyone associated with him.
Station Eleven Puts a Twist on the Post-Apocalyptic Story
If subscribers are looking for something short and sweet for the holiday weekend, look no further than the limited series Station Eleven. Starring Mackenzie Davis and Himesh Patel, Station Eleven is only ten episodes and is the perfect show to watch with family over the holidays. The HBO Max original is a heart-pounding and emotional tale of two unlikely people coming together during a world-collapsing pandemic. For fans of surrogate father and child relationships, as seen in The Last of Us or The Mandalorian, Station Eleven gives them what they want while breaking their hearts at the same time.
Station Eleven also presents another timeline 20 years after the pandemic to show how groups of survivors have coped with the new world — some of whom have done pretty well for themselves, and others who have struggled to hang on to their humanity. It has the ingredients of a post-apocalyptic story but shakes the trope up with Shakespearean themes and a heartwarming emphasis on found family.
We’re Here Season 3 Continues Its Small-Town Tradition
In a world that can sometimes be fueled by hatred, it’s also nice to slow down and see the beauty in the world. That’s what HBO Max’s We’re Here aims to do in its third season, which premieres this week. The reality television series features three former RuPaul’s Drag Race contestants, Bob the Drag Queen, Eureka O’Hara and Shangela, as they travel to small towns across the United States. In these towns, they recruit residents to participate in one-night-only drag shows to spread love and make the world more inclusive. This season will feature towns from Texas, Utah, Florida, Mississippi and New Jersey to inspire people to be their true selves.
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