18 Best PG-13 Movies on HBO Max (May 2024)

PG-13 movies are often some of the most engaging and entertaining cinematic creations. The rating typically means that parental guidance is advised for children while watching these movies, as some material in these films is sensitive and could be inappropriate for younger audiences. However, the rating also allows makers to create a raw portrayal of the movie’s themes or simply include sexually graphic or violent sequences needed to convey the story’s emotion. Nonetheless, PG-13 movies are often an excellent watch for the entire family. If you are looking for PG-13 movies on HBO Max, we have sorted out some of the best ones the platform offers.

18. The Visit (2015)

Directed by M. Night Shyamalan, ‘The Visit’ follows young siblings Becca (Olivia DeJonge) and Tyler (Ed Oxenbould), whose first visit to their grandparents’ house becomes a nightmare. As the two teens record the events in a camcorder, we are provided with our own perspective (via the camcorder) and subjected to the paranormal behavior of the two old people, Marja, aka Nana (Deanna Dunagan) and Frederick, aka Pop Pop (Peter McRobbie), as they try to kill the kids, or so it seems. How the kids survive is what we find out. Kathryn Hahn plays the role of the kids’ mother, Loretta, daughter of Marja and Frederick. You can stream ‘The Visit’ here.

17. Blue Beetle (2023)

Based on the DC superhero Blue Beetle/Jaime Reyes, this action movie is the character’s origin story. It shows how graduate Jaime Reyes, hailing from a Latin American family, comes across the Scarab, an ancient relic that gives him the powers of the Blue Beetle, an armored symbiotic exoskeleton that is a tool of war of a benevolent alien race known as Reach. Capable of extraordinary powers that are only limited by the host’s imagination, the Blue Beetle Scarab needs to be kept from falling into the wrong hands. Can Reyes do it? To find out, you can watch the movie here.

16. Aquaman (2018)

Directed by James Wan, ‘Aquaman’ is another superhero movie based on the DC character Arthur Curry/Aquaman (Jason Momoa), who would go on to become the King of the underwater kingdom of Atlantis. This movie showcases the character’s origin story and how he claims his rightful place by retrieving the Trident of Atlan and defeating his evil half-brother, King Orm (Patrick Wilson). The rest of the cast includes Amber Heard, Nicole Kidman, Willem Dafoe, Dolph Lundgren, and Yahya Abdul-Mateen II. You can watch the movie here.

15. Moonage Daydream (2022)

This documentary film has been directed by Brett Morgen and is based on the life of world-famous English singer/songwriter David Bowie. Using archive footage and footage of live concerts, the film throws light on Bowie’s creative journey connected to his spiritual journey. ‘Moonage Daydream’ is a tribute to one of the most influential artists of the 20th century, and if you love music, this film serves as a delightful watch. You can stream it here.

14. Behind Enemy Lines (2001)

Directed by debutant John Moore, ‘Behind Enemy Lines’ is set during the Bosnian War (1992-1995). It follows Lieutenant Chris Burnett, a fighter navigator, who intends to leave the Navy but isn’t allowed to do so by commanding officer Leslie Reigart. During an aerial reconnaissance mission, Burnett and his co-pilot Jeremy Stackhouse spot unusual activity when flying over a demilitarized zone. They end up getting shot down by Serbian soldiers. Stackhouse is executed while Burnett manages to escape. Behind enemy lines, he has to find a way to stay alive and leave the territory. He manages to establish contact with Reigart, who tries to execute a rescue mission but gets stalled by politics, leaving Burnett on his own. Despite negative reviews from critics, ‘Behind Enemy Lines’ was a box office success and has become a must-watch war film. It stars Owen Wilson, Gene Hackman, Gabriel Macht, David Keith, Olek Krupa, and Joaquim de Almeida. You can watch the film here.

13. In the Heights (2021)

Based on Quiara Alegría Hudes and Lin-Manuel Miranda’s eponymous stage play, ‘In the Heights‘ is a musical drama movie directed by Jon M. Chu. It tells the tale of the residents of Washington Heights in York City’s Upper Manhattan as they pursue their dreams in life. The film’s musical numbers will leave an instant impression on you, and the heartfelt stories of the characters will touch your hearts. Moreover, the movie’s direction and music have received acclaim, and the movie is one of the best stage-to-movie adaptations of recent years. You can stream the film here.

12. Yes Man (2008)

How bad can saying yes to everything be? We have the great Jim Carrey to answer that question in this Peyton Reed-directed romantic comedy. ‘Yes Man’ is loosely based on filmmaker/comedian Danny Wallace’s 2005 eponymous memoir. It follows bank loan officer Carl Allen (Carrey), who goes on a negative spree after his wife, Stephanie, divorces him. But after attending a motivational seminar on the advice of a colleague, he starts saying yes to everything, leading to hilarious consequences. Will Carl find peace? Probably, but not before finding out what being a “yes man” feels like. Co-starring Zooey Deschanel, Bradley Cooper, John Michael Higgins, Rhys Darby, and Danny Masterson, ‘Yes Man’ is a signature Jim-Carrey movie that you can watch right here.

11. Weathering with You (2019)

‘Weathering with You’ is a Japanese animated fantasy drama film written and directed by Makoto Shinkai. The plot unfolds as a high school boy named Hodaka runs away from his island home to Tokyo, where he meets an orphan girl named Hina, who can manipulate the weather. As they grow closer, they decide to use Hina’s powers to bring sunshine to the perpetually rainy Tokyo. However, they soon realize that their actions have consequences, and they must face the reality of their situation. You can watch the movie here.

10. The Wind Rises (2013)

‘The Wind Rises’ is a Japanese animated historical drama directed by Hayao Miyazaki and animated by the revered animation studio Studio Ghibli. It is a fictionalized retelling of the life story of Japanese aviation engineer Jiro Horikoshi, who designed aircraft that were used by Japan during World War II. The movie explores his life experiences, achievements, and love life. To learn about and explore the life of a person of historical significance in an appropriate animated style, you can stream the movie here.

9. Night Is Short, Walk On Girl (2017)

‘Night Is Short, Walk On Girl’ is an animated rom-com directed by Masaaki Yuasa. It is based on the 2006 novel ‘The Night Is Short, Walk on Girl’ by Tomihiko Morimi and illustrated by Yusuke Nakamura, who also designed the characters for the film. It tells the story of a group of teens who explore and enjoy Kyoto at night, opening themselves up to a wide range of nightlife experiences and meeting numerous eccentric characters. Among them is a sophomore who is in the dark about one of her classmate’s feelings for her. To open yourself up to this exploration, you can see the film right here.

8. Far from the Madding Crowd (2015)

‘Far from the Madding Crowd’ is a romantic drama film by Thomas Vinterberg. The film, set in rural England during the Victorian era, is an adaptation of Thomas Hardy’s novel. The narrative follows the life of Bathsheba Everdene, a young woman who inherits her uncle’s farm and becomes a wealthy landowner. As she navigates the challenges of running the farm, she attracts the attention of three suitors: the shepherd Gabriel Oak, the wealthy bachelor William Boldwood, and the dashing but reckless Sergeant Francis Troy. Bathsheba’s choices and the consequences of those choices drive the narrative. Carey Mulligan, Matthias Schoenaerts, Michael Sheen, and Tom Sturridge play significant roles.

As viewers embark on this emotionally charged narrative, they are not only treated to stunning cinematography capturing the rustic beauty of English landscapes but also witness an empowering portrayal of a strong-willed woman defying conventions ahead of her time. With its superb performances, thought-provoking storyline, and rich character development intertwined with mesmerizing visuals and a poignant score, ‘Far from the Madding Crowd’ guarantees an immersive experience for those seeking a powerful exploration of human nature set against the backdrop of unyielding societal pressures. You may watch it here.

7. King Richard (2021)

King Richard‘ is a biographical sports drama film based on the life of Richard Williams. It stars Will Smith as Richard, who trains his daughters, Venus and Serena, to etch their names among the greatest tennis players of all time. The film, directed by Reinaldo Marcus Green, has received critical acclaim and highlights the struggles of the Williams family. A few sequences featuring sensitive subjective might have earned it a PG-13 rating, but the story of the Williamses will resonate and inspire viewers of all ages. You can watch ‘King Richard’ here.

6. Barbie (2023)

Thanks to Greta Gerwig for not making it R-rated, ‘Barbie’ is an effective commentary on the inherent patriarchy that exists in the modern world. What makes it even more remarkable is that it uses the Barbie doll, a female doll considered the most popular in the world, for its motive. Margot Robbie plays the titular character who is forced to leave Barbieland and come to the real world to address an issue that threatens her very existence. Ryan Gosling plays Barbie’s boyfriend, Ken. The supporting cast includes Issa Rae, Kate McKinnon, Emma Mackey, Simu Liu, and Will Ferrell. You can watch ‘Barbie’ here.

5. The Batman (2022)

‘The Batman,’ directed by Matt Reeves, is a superhero movie based on the DC Comics character of the same name. It follows Bruce Wayne/Batman, who must stop the Riddler’s deadly game of chaos in Gotham City. The film comprises exhilarating visuals and spellbinding performances from Robert Pattinson, Zoë Kravitz, Paul Dano, Jeffrey Wright, Andy Serkis, and Colin Farrell. With violent action sequences and mature themes, the brooding superhero drama pushes the limits of the PG-13 rating, making it one of the most exciting picks on this list. You can check out the film here.

4. Wings of Desire (1987)

‘Wings of Desire’ is a fantasy romance drama film helmed by Wim Wenders. This German film, set in Berlin during the Cold War, follows two angels, Damiel and Cassiel, who watch over Berlin and provide comfort to its residents. Damiel becomes enamored with the human experience and falls in love with a trapeze artist named Marion. His desire to become human and experience life’s joys and sorrows drives the narrative. The film stars Bruno Ganz, Solveig Dommartin, Otto Sander, and Curt Bois.

The movie delves into existential questions as it magnificently portrays longing, isolation, and the yearning for connection. It beautifully captures both the beauty and despair inherent in humanity’s collective experience. The film challenges our perception of reality and invites us to reflect on our own lives with empathy. Wim Wenders skillfully examines the dichotomy between heaven and earth while subtly exploring political tensions within divided Berlin during that era. With stunning black-and-white visuals contrasting against vivid colors used when depicting real-life experiences versus angelic perspectives, ‘Wings of Desire’ showcases how observing life from different angles can alter one’s understanding. Feel free to check out the film here.

3. Chungking Express (1994)

‘Chungkng Express’ is a romantic comedy-drama film directed by Wong Kar-wai. The film consists of two interconnected stories about love and loneliness set amidst the neon-lit streets of Hong Kong. The first story follows a police officer known as Cop 223, who is dealing with a breakup and meets a mysterious woman involved in the drug trade. The second story follows Cop 663, who is also dealing with a breakup and forms a connection with a quirky snack bar worker named Faye. The film’s ensemble cast includes Brigitte Lin, Takeshi Kaneshiro, Tony Leung Chiu-wai, and Faye Wong.

This cinematic masterpiece delves into profound themes, captivating viewers with its poetic storytelling and visually striking cinematography. Through intertwining storylines and complex relationships, the movie touches upon themes such as love, loneliness, chance encounters, and missed opportunities. Watching ‘Chungking Express’ would be a truly enriching experience for anyone seeking to immerse themselves in art that seamlessly blends romance with elements of mystery and introspection. You can watch the movie here.

2. Dune (2021)

Directed by Denis Villeneuve, ‘Dune’ or ‘Dune: Part One’ is a sci-fi epic based on Frank Herbert’s 1965 novel of the same name. It is set in the distant future, wherein humanity has settled on different planets and functions under one Emperor. The film focuses on the Atreides family, who live on Caladan, the ocean planet. But when the Emperor asks Duke Leto Atreides to take on the mining responsibilities of Arrakis, the desert planet, he has to follow the order. Thus, the Atreides family arrives at Arrakis, unaware of the dangers that the planet poses, including its king, Baron Vladimir Harkonnen. On the other hand, Paul Atreides, Leto’s son, has strange visions of a girl who appears to belong to the Fremen, the Arrakis natives. Dark times lay ahead, and it is up to Paul to figure out what his visions mean before it’s too late. The film’s cast includes Timothée Chalamet, Zendaya, Rebecca Ferguson, Oscar Isaac, Jason Momoa, Stellan Skarsgård, and Josh Brolin. You can watch it here.

1. Batman Begins (2005)

The first part of Christopher Nolan’s critically and commercially acclaimed standalone Dark Knight Trilogy, ‘Batman Begins’ showcases the origin of Batman. In other words, how billionaire Bruce Wayne put on the cape of the Dark Knight to fight crime in Gotham City after losing his parents as a kid. They were shot to death by a thief in front of his eyes. The film shows him going against his former trainer, Ra’s al Ghul, who wants to destroy Gotham. Christian Bale stars as Bruce Wayne/Batman, Liam Neeson as Ra’s al Ghul, and Michael Caine as Alfred the Butler, along with Gary Oldman, Cillian Murphy, Katie Holmes, and Morgan Freeman. You can watch the film here.

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