How to watch An American Pickle online: stream Seth Rogen's HBO Max movie from anywhere

watch an american pickle online seth rogen hbo max
(Image credit: HBO Max)

This time-jumping comedy-drama has a dill-ightfully silly premise: hard-working Jewish immigrant Herschel Greenbaum (Seth Rogan) is accidentally submerged in a vat of pickles circa 1920, but wakes up intact 100 years later. It’s the first original film for HBO Max, and you can watch An American Pickle online exclusively through the new streaming service today. Here's how.

An American Pickle cheat sheet

Release date: August 6, 2020

Director: Brandon Trost

Cast: Seth Rogan, Maya Erskine, Sarah Snook, Jorma Taccone, Eliot Glazer

Run time: 1 hr 28 mins

Rating: PG-13

Although An American Pickle comes from writer-producer duo Rogan and Evan Goldberg, don’t expect the R-rated excesses of This is the End, Superbad, or Neighbors (well, maybe just an inappropriately placed pickle or two). This is more mature than its absurd setup suggests, as apt at exploring grief as it is in delivering guffaws, which might be why it’s touted as “from the producers of The Disaster Artist and 50/50” rather than “the people who brought you Sausage Party.”

Seth Rogan plays Herschel, a ditch-digging Ashkenazi Jew in the 1920s, and also his laidback great-grandson Ben in contemporary New York. Living lives of grubby poverty, Herschel and his wife Susan (Sarah Snook of Succession fame) abandon Europe in the hope of greater prosperity in America. But, when a factory accident sees Herschel embalmed in pickle brine, he becomes a modern Rip Van Winkle: awaking in 2020 to find his beloved wife dead, New York City radically altered, and his last living descendent a man with “no life, no children, no friends, and no job”.

An American Pickle is based on Simon Rich's four-part novella, Sell Out, which was published by The New Yorker back in 2013. It also marks the solo directorial debut of cinematographer Brandon Trost, who (along with Rogan's dual-role acting) help An American Pickle to manage to balance saccharine sentiment with amusingly acerbic observations about modern life. It’s like a Jewish Forever Young - for those who know/remember the 1992 JJ Abrams and Mel Gibson collaboration - but with more laughs. If that sounds intriguing, then keep reading as we detail how to watch An American Pickle online through HBO Max.

How to watch An American Pickle online in the US


You’ll need to subscribe to fledgling streaming service HBO Max to watch An American Pickle, as it’s one of their exclusive film features. 

It has a monthly price tag of $14.99, which isn't as cheap as some, but then there's no accounting for the sheer amount of quality content on offer here – around 10,000 hours at launch.

Wondering how can you watch HBO Max? Compatible devices include compatible iPhone and Android devices, Apple and Samsung TVs, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One consoles, Chromecast and Chromebooks, and laptops and PCS. Be aware, however, that it doesn’t work with Roku or the Amazon Fire Stick as of yet.

Lastly, you might already be eligible for HBO Max and not know it – say, if you’re a current HBO Now subscriber or pay for HBO through your cable subscriber. If so, check here to find out if you can receive HBO Max free of charge: 

How to watch an American Pickle from abroad

If you want to watch An American Pickle while out of the US for work or while taking a well-deserved break abroad, it’s possible to watch this quirky comedy-drama no matter where you’ve ended up. 

In some places, like the UK, it's getting a full-on cinematic release (from August 7), while in other countries, HBO affiliates are carrying it - Crave in Canada being one such option. 

But generally, if you're travelling from the US, you'll want to be able to access the same streaming service you would at home. And as HBO Max is only available within the United States, you’ll need to download a VPN to do so.

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A VPN reroutes your device's IP address to a server located somewhere else, thereby allowing you to access all your favorite content just like you would at home.

There are dozens of VPNs to choose from, but we always recommend ExpressVPN. It's fast, easy to use, and simple to install. It's also compatible with a whole host of devices, including Amazon Fire TV Stick, Apple TV, Xbox, PlayStation, and iOS and Android software.

Express VPN's flexible 30-day money back guarantee is hard to refuse. But even better, you can purchase an annual plan at a 49% discount and get 3 months extra FREE – a brilliant deal for an invaluable piece of kit.

Once installed, simply select the location of your home country and click connect! You’ll then be free to enjoy An American Pickle online, along with hundreds of other films and TV shows on HBO Max, no matter where you are in the world.

Just remember that if signing up for the first time, many services require valid credit card details from the country they're based in. Check out each one on a case-by-case basis to see what you need, as you might not have taken the relevant details abroad with you.

What is HBO Max?

Available since May, HBO Max is a worthy competitor to Disney Plus, Hulu, Amazon Prime, and Netflix. It’s at an immediate advantage, having a coveted library of acclaimed HBO TV shows and films at its disposal: The Sopranos, Westworld, The Wire, Succession, and Game of Thrones to name only a few.

Having access to WarnerMedia’s far-reaching library of content, as well as that of third-party providers, makes it even more enticing. It means not just 100 years’ worth of Warner Brothers movies and TV shows, but content from New Line Cinema, DC Entertainment, Turner Classic Movies, Bad Robot Productions, Crunchyroll, and many others. That line-up embraces old Hollywood films, anime and manga, contemporary blockbusters, TV series, and everything in between. It’s a hugely diverse selection.

HBO Max also provides exclusive access to all seasons of Friends (it’ll produce the much-anticipated reunion special, too), The Big Bang Theory and Rick and Morty, as well as being the only US service that allows you to watch Studio Ghibli movies – 21 out of 22 of their animated films, including the Oscar-winning Spirited Away. They’re currently home to all eight Harry Potter films too, but these will be ceded to rights-holders NBCUniversal after August 25.

Not only do they have access to a stunning archive of content, but HBO Max intend to create a bounty of exciting new programming for the platform too. Among the roster of current Max Originals is DC’s Doom Patrol, vogueing reality show Legendary, scripted comedy Love Life, and The Not Too Late Show with Elmo. There will be huge growth in this area too, as Warner Bros intend to produce 8-10 mid-budget films annually, as well as creating 31 original series for HBO Max its first year.

Daniel Pateman

Daniel Pateman is a freelance writer, producing articles across the cultural spectrum for magazines like Aesthetica, Photomonitor, The Brooklyn Rail and This is Tomorrow. He also provides text-writing services to individual curators and artists worldwide, and has had work published internationally. His favourite film genre is horror (bring on Scream 5!) and he never tires of listening to Absolute 80s on the radio.