10 Best Movies to Watch on HBO Max When Lonely (March 2024)

Are you alone? Is loneliness bothering you? Are you looking for a way to pass the time all on your own? Well, we got just the thing: movies. From exciting to joyful to feel-good to something you can relate to, movies help us vent our loneliness in numerous ways. In this article, we bring you the best movies to watch on HBO Max when lonely.

10. Persona (1966)

Considered one of the greatest films of the 20th century, ‘Persona’ is written and directed by Ingmar Bergman. Starring Liv Ullmann and Bibi Andersson, the film follows two women, one who is a famed stage actress gone mute and another who is her nurse. Reviewed by the critics of the time as a “terrible knowledge of our loneliness,” the film follows the two women and their emotionally converging experience. Its take on loneliness, anxiety, and existential crisis without using a word also points to the failure of language as a means to communicate. This becomes a way for the viewers to put their insecurities, especially if they cannot speak about their issues, in the characters and watch how things unfold. A perplexing film that has different outcomes for each viewer based on their perception, ‘Persona’ is a work of art in the truest sense. It can be streamed here.

9. Singin’ in the Rain (1952)

Sometimes, all we need to come out of the boredom of loneliness is a lighthearted, feel-good rom-com, and ‘Singin’ in the Rain’ is one of the best out there. Directed by Gene Kelly and Stanley Donen, it is set in the 1920s and shows the shift from silent movies to talkies using romance. Starring Gene Kelly, Jean Hagen, and Debbie Reynolds, this film and its iconic songs make it one of the greatest musical movies ever made. You can stream it here.

8. The Breakfast Club (1985)

A cult classic that transcends time, ‘The Breakfast Club’ is directed by John Hughes. It follows five students with completely different mindsets who are forced to interact with each other at detention. They don’t like each other in the beginning but end up becoming the best of friends. So if you are feeling lonely in a new environment, just give the new people around you a chance, and maybe you too will forge a friendship that lasts a lifetime. ‘The Breakfast Club’ is a fun-to-watch teen drama starring Judd Nelson, Molly Ringwald, Ally Sheedy, Anthony Michael Hall, and Emilio Estevez. You can stream it here.

7. Ted 2 (2015)

All of us have, at some point in our lives, wanted an imaginary friend. And now that we are lonesome adults, we want someone rated R with whom we can share our anger and negative emotions, the ones we aren’t to vent out otherwise. ‘Ted 2,’ directed by Seth MacFarlane, follows best buddies John (Mark Wahlberg) and the foulmouthed Ted (voiced by MacFarlane). In the movie, we see how Ted, assisted by a lawyer and a civil rights attorney, tries to adopt a child with his human wife, Tami-Lynn. The reason for this is that the law finds Ted property and not a human. But will not being a human stop Ted from making his family complete? ‘Ted 2’ offers a window through which we can scream, laugh out loud, and, most importantly, curse. You can stream the movie here.

6. La Notte (1961)

This one is for those who are struggling to come out of the loneliness that has resulted from a deteriorating relationship and the feeling of being in a relationship and yet alienated. Directed by Michelangelo Antonini, this exemplary film follows a wealthy novelist and his wife (played by Marcello Mastroianni and Jeanne Moreau, respectively) who have fallen out of love. It takes place over a single day as the couple moves from one social circle to another, an adventure underscored by the basal boredom of the so-called affluent folk. Moving forward by thought rather than plot, ‘La Notte’ is something you can connect to and be a part of something historical. Why? Because this is the first Italian film to win the Golden Bear at the Berlin International Film Festival. It was also one of Stanley Kubrick’s top 10 films. You can stream it here.

5. Chungking Express (1994)

Directed by Wong Kar-wai, this Hong Kong drama follows two cops (Tony Leung and Takeshi Kaneshiro) dealing with breakups and their different experiences during their respective break-up periods. While one tries to relive his relationship memories by buying particular pineapple tins, another tries to keep his head in his profession to keep away the pain. Undoubtedly a story of loneliness from a breakup or even the possibility of a breakup, ‘Chungking Express’ is a melancholic movie that addresses the above-mentioned feeling while also reminding us that there are ways to smile even though we may not feel so. Told in the story sequence, ‘Chungking Express’ is considered one of the best rom-coms ever made. You can stream it here.

4. Edward Scissorhands (1990)

Being different is what often results in loneliness and isolation. In ‘Edward Scissorhands,’ the titular character is a science experiment left incomplete. This is what has left it with scissors in place of hands. Thus, despite being kind, he is treated as an outcast. So when he falls in love with the daughter of the woman who finds him, he is made to feel as if it’s not possible. Can he prove otherwise?

How Edward (Johnny Depp) behaves with others is one thing, but how those around him behave with him is what we need to address here. In the movie, he is excluded and even considered hostile. One logical way to steer clear of such behavior is by accepting that you are different (introverted, specially-abled, and more). This is the first step towards giving a person a chance to like you the way you are, and someone always will. It will be painful to accept, but this way, you can live a life that you want and not one based on what other people think. If you don’t, you will always remain sad and lonely. If you do, someone will join you because there is always someone for everyone, just as there is Kim (Winona Ryder) for Edward. ‘Edward Scissorhands’ can be streamed here.

3. Joker (2019)

A formidable film showcasing urban isolation, ‘Joker’ shows the origin of the highly popular DC Comics villain Joker/Arthur Fleck, who is Batman’s arch-enemy. Fleck is a party clown living an impoverished life underscored by a society that has shunned him and treated him as a freak all the time. The way he is abused, mentally and physically, ultimately makes him embrace a life of chaos wherein he takes up the name Joker, one that stands as an embodiment of the tragedy of life that is no less than a comedy.

While we do not suggest you take the path that Arthur Fleck (played by Joaquin Phoenix, who won the Best Actor Oscar for the role) took, it is important to see the toll that mistreatment and isolation can take and even cost a person their sanity. So, if you are feeling this way, do reach out to your near and dear ones for help. Asking for help doesn’t mean you are weak. It allows you to know who really cares for you and strengthens the relationship you have with them by allowing them to come closer. You can stream ‘Joker’ here.

2. Her (2013)

A movie that showcases our relationship with our personal devices, especially computers and smartphones, when trying to cope with loneliness, as well as how technology plays a role in helping us develop connections, ‘Her’ follows an introverted author facing a divorce, who bonds with his new AI. Author Theodore Twombly (Joaquin Phoenix) gives the AI of his operating system a feminine voice and calls it Samantha (voiced by Scarlett Johansson). Over time, Samantha adapts to Twombly, something Twombly takes as love. Can we judge him for it? Aren’t we doing the same thing? If you are lonely, ‘Her’ allows you to be a part of someone else’s loneliness and ironically makes you feel better as you, along with Twombly, bond with Samantha. Directed by Spike Jonze, ‘Her’ can be streamed here.

1. Only Yesterday (1991)

Pick up any Studio Ghibli movie, and your feeling of loneliness will be taken care of in a most moving manner. This one is also a Studio Ghibli venture, directed by Isao Takahata and based on the manga of the same name, created by Hotaru Okamoto and Yuko Tone in 1982. We follow twenty-seven-year-old Taeko Okajima, who arrives at her elder sister’s in-laws’ place in the countryside to get away from the hustle and bustle of city life. Her journey and stay there remind her of her childhood and make her cherish the memories, all of which take the shape of a fruitful realization. A movie that is philosophical in a very visually appealing and heartwarming manner, ‘Only Yesterday’ is bound to take you back to your childhood and remind you of your loved ones. Who knows, you might even call them up and catch up very soon! Wouldn’t that be nice? You can watch ‘Only Yesterday’ here.

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