February 26, 2024

While 2024 has barely begun, another batch of great movies is already set to leave Max on January 31. It’s the inescapable cycle of streaming, especially since most of these films were on loan from other studios. There will be more titles in February to replace these movies, but there’s no guarantee that the five on our list be back on Max any time soon.

That’s why you should take our picks to heart when reading the following list of five movies leaving Max in January that you have to watch now. This month’s picks are heavy on action and comedy, and our first choice, Birdman, goes to some very interesting places on its own terms.

Birdman (2014)

Michael Keaton being followed by a man in a bird costume in a scene from Birdman.
Searchlight Pictures

It’s somewhat ironic that Birdman features Michael Keaton as a faded actor who can’t get away from his former superhero role considering that he went back to Warner Bros. after this movie to play Batman in The Flash and in the canceled Batgirl film.

Riggan Thomson (Keaton) wants to move on to serious roles, but Birdman (Benjamin Kanes) keeps getting in his way. Riggan actually sees his younger self dressed as Birdman following him around while trying to convince him to come back to blockbuster movie roles. It’s a very meta movie, and Keaton is at the top of his game here.

Watch Birdman on Max.

Predator (1987)

Arnold Schwarzenegger in Predator.
20th Century Studios

“Get to da choppa!” Predator has had a long run on Max, but its departure is coming soon. Arnold Schwarzenegger’s rise to stardom continued when he took the role of Dutch Schaefer, the leader of a group of mercenaries played by Bill Duke, Richard Chaves, Jesse Ventura, Sonny Landham, and Shane Black.

After Dutch suspects that his CIA contact, Al Dillon (Carl Weathers), has misled the team about their mission, Dutch’s group is picked off one by one by a Predator (Kevin Peter Hall), an alien hunter that seems unstoppable. And for perhaps the first time in their lives, Dutch and his team aren’t the hunters — they’re the prey.

Watch Predator on Max.

The Terminator (1984)

Arnold Schwarzenegger in The Terminator.
Orion Pictures

The Terminator is the second Arnold Schwarzenegger movie leaving Max this month, and also the best. Director James Cameron hit a home run when he cast Schwarzenegger as the T-800 Terminator, an android from the future who can pass as human. The Terminator must kill Sarah Connor (Linda Hamilton) to prevent her from giving birth to her son, John Connor, humanity’s leader in its darkest hours against the machines that will eventually take over the world.

To save his mother, John has dispatched Kyle Reese (Michael Biehn) to follow the Terminator back in time. Getting Sarah to believe him is hard enough for Kyle, but killing the Terminator is next to impossible. It just won’t stop coming, no matter what they throw at it.

Watch The Terminator on Max.

The Thomas Crown Affair (1999)

Rene Russo and Pierce Brosnan in The Thomas Crown Affair.
MGM Distribution Co.

Former James Bond actor Pierce Brosnan headlines this remake of The Thomas Crown Affair as the title character, a billionaire whose passion lies in stealing priceless art from museums. Insurance investigator Catherine Banning (Rene Russo) is wise to Crown’s games, but he plays them so well that she can’t help herself and starts falling in love with him.

Regardless of Catherine’s feelings toward him, Crown realizes that the walls are closing in on him. And the only way out may be to return what he’s stolen, without anyone realizing how he’s done it or why.

Watch The Thomas Crown Affair on Max.

Wayne’s World (1992)

Mike Myers and Dana Carvey in Wayne's World.

If The Blues Brothers is the best Saturday Night Live spinoff movie, then Wayne’s World is a close second. Mike Myers and Dana Carvey reprise their SNL roles as best buds Wayne Campbell and Garth Algar, the hosts of their own cable access show. TV producer Benjamin Kane (Rob Lowe) realizes that he can use Wayne’s World to tap into a new audience and buy the rights to the show.

Although Wayne and Garth happily take the money, their elation fades quickly when Benjamin tries to turn them into shills for their sponsor. Benjamin also does his best to steal Cassandra Wong (Tia Carrere) away from Wayne with the promise of a movie career. And it might take Wayne and Garth a few tries to make sure that the movie ends well for both of them.

Watch Wayne’s World on Max.

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