Best Movies on Hulu Right Now

Hulu had some rough patches in its early days, but it’s quietly become a serious streaming player. While Netflix is still ahead of the pack, and Amazon loops you in because you’re already signed up for their Prime service, you’d be wise to give Hulu a look. The streaming service isn’t just amassing quality TV series like The Handmaid’s Tale and Casual; it also has a surprisingly robust selection of movies.

So if you feel like nothing on Netflix or Amazon is catching your fancy, or if you just want to get the most out of your subscription, take a look at some of the best movies currently available on Hulu.

A Simple Plan

Image via Paramount

Director: Sam Rami

Writer: Scott B. Smith

Cast: Bill Paxton, Billy Bob Thorton, Bridget Fonda, Bent Briscoe, and Gary Cole

Sam Raimi isn’t really known for drama, but he nailed it with this nourish 1998 crime drama. The story foolows three blue-collar guys (Bill Paxton, Billy Bob Thorton, Brent Briscoe) who discover a duffle bag full of money in the woods. They resolve to keep the money, seeing it as a victimless crime. But soon someone comes looking for it, and paranoia and deceit starts splitting the friends apart. Raimi takes a big risk here, leaving behind his spookablast tricks and playing it straight. The result is a dark, brooding, powerful little drama with outstanding performances from the talented cast. – Matt Goldberg

The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

Image via United Artists

Director: Sergio Leone

Writers: Sergio Leone, Luciano Vincenzoni, Age & Scarpelli

Cast: Clint Eastwood, Lee Van Cleef, and Eli Wallach

This is one of my all-time favorite movies, and the best of Sergio Leone’s The Man with No Name Trilogy. The plot is a race to uncover stolen gold with Blondie (Clint Eastwood), who knows the location of the grave, Angel Eyes (Lee Van Cleef), who knows about the treasure, and Tuco (Eli Wallach), a scoundrel who only wants to keep Blondie alive because he knows the location of the treasure. It’s a sprawling epic of a spaghetti western that moves in a flash thanks to the electric direction, the compelling performances, Ennio Morricone’s unforgettable score, and basically being a pinnacle of the genre. Don’t be put off by the long runtime; The Good, the Bad and the Ugly moves faster and with more power than films half its size. – Matt Goldberg

GoldenEye

Image via MGM and EON

Director: Martin Campbell

Writers: Jeffrey Caine and Bruce Feirstein

Cast: Pierce Brosnan, Sean Bean, Izabella Scorupco, Famke Janssen, Robbie Colstrane, Alan Cumming, Desmond Llewelyn, and Judi Dench

If only all the Pierce Brosnan James Bond movies were as good as GoldenEye. Brosnan proved himself a perfect 007 in his debut at the beloved spy, and Martin Campbell showed he was one of the best directors to ever grace the franchise (he would later return with the stellar Casino Royale). In this Bond movie, 007 has to go against his old colleague 006 (Sean Bean) who plans to hijack a nuclear weapon. GoldenEye has pretty much everything you’d want from a Bond movie, and it’s the last gasp of the classic Bond before the series would eventually reinvent itself with Daniel Craig on board. GoldenEye also led to one of the best video games ever made, so it has that going for it too. – Matt Goldberg

Cube

Director: Vincenzo Natali

Writers: Andre Bijelic and Vincenzo Natali

Cast: Nicole de Boer, Nicky Guadagni, David Hewlett, Andrew Miller, Julian Richings, Wayne Robson, and Maurice Dean Wint

Vincenzo Natali’s 1997 sci-fi horror film is a masterclass is taking a limited budget and stretching it into a compelling movie. The premise of Cube is simple: strangers wake up in a cube-like prison. They don’t know each other or how they got inside the Cube. Every Cube has six exits, but some of the exits lead to rooms that are deadly traps. This simple set-up makes for a taut 90 minutes as the prisoners try to figure out how to escape, why they were put inside the structure, and if they can trust each other. Cube shows how you don’t need fancy special effects to have a solid sci-fi movie; you just need a good script, dedicated actors, and a nice hook. – Matt Goldberg

Weiner

Image via Sundance

Directors: Josh Kriegman & Elyse Steinberg

Writers: Josh Kriegman, Elyse Steinberg, and Eli B. Despres

Cast: Anthony Weiner, Huma Abedin

If you want to go back to a time where the laws of political gravity still functioned, you should check out the documentary Weiner. Picking up after congressman Anthony Weiner was booted from office for texting his junk to a woman, the movie follows his hopeful campaign for mayor of New York City, which inevitably comes crashing down when his own flaws and weaknesses crop up again. Weiner is a fly-on-the-wall look at politics as it’s supposed to function—if a candidate does something gross and then implodes, he’s not supposed to win. It’s remarkable that Weiner gave the directors so much access, and perhaps that because he keeps thinking he’s winning even when he’s obviously losing, but it makes for a compelling and darkly comic downfall. – Matt Goldberg

Hot Rod

Director: Akiva Schaffer

Writer: Pam Brady

Cast: Andy Samberg, Jorma Taccone, Bill Hader, Danny McBride, Isla Fisher, Sissy Spacek, Ian McShane, Will Arnett, and Chris Parnell

If you like the work of The Lonely Island, you’ll probably like their bizarre comedy, Hot Rod. Written by Pam Brady (Team America: World Police), the film follows aspiring stuntman Rod Kimble (Andy Samberg) who is wants to raise money to pull off an amazing stunt, and then use that money to save his stepfather Frank (Ian McShane) by getting him a heart operation. While that may sound sweet, Rod only wants Frank to get the heart operation so he can fight Frank and prove that he’s a man. It’s weird, it’s hilarious, and it has the best extended gag ever of someone falling down a hill. – Matt Goldberg

Ingrid Goes West

Director: Matt Spicer

Writers: David Branson Smith and Matt Spicer

Cast: Aubrey Plaza, Elizbaeth Olsen, Wyatt Russell, O’Shea Jackson Jr., Pom Klementieff, and Billy Magnussen

Hilarious and surprisingly moving, Ingrid Goes West stars Aubrey Plaza as a lonely, unstable young woman who, after fixating on “lifestyle guru” Taylor Soane’s (Elizabeth Olsen) Instagram, models her social media life after Sloane’s and moves to California to become her best friend. While the premise may sound like it gets worn out fast, Spicer keeps twisting and turning the plot in fascinating directions, and the performances from Plaza and Olsen are spectacular, with O’Shea Jackson Jr. stealing scenes left and right at a Batman-obsessed landlord. Plaza in particular delivers the best performance of her career, a turn that’s hilarious, terrifying, and deeply sad. – Adam Chitwood

Reservoir Dogs

Image via Miramax

Writer/Director: Quentin Tarantino

Cast: Harvey Keitel, Tim Roth, Michael Madsen, Chris Penn, and Steve Buscemi

Quentin Tarantino’s breakthrough feature has lost none of its potency in the last 25 years. The story takes place before and after a diamond heist gone wrong with the various criminals trying to figure out who betrayed them and how they’ll get out alive. It’s remarkable to see how self-assured and confident Tarantino was in his own voice with Reservoir Dogs, and while others have reduced it to parody or poor imitation, the film is an astounding crime thriller with some top-notch performances from the entire cast. It may not be Tarantino’s “best” movie at this point in his career, but it still holds up wonderfully. – Matt Goldberg

Arrival

Director: Denis Villeneuve

Writer: Eric Heisserer

Cast: Amy Adams, Jeremy Renner, Forest Whitaker, and Michael Stuhlbarg

One of the best films of 2016, Arrival is a striking movie about communication, life, death, and the choices we make that we would make again even if we knew the outcome. The brilliant screenplay by Eric Heisserer and skillful direction by Denis Villeneueve make Arrivals twists and turns all the more potent as they use a hard sci-fi story to tell a thoughtful and powerful tale about first contact with alien life. Amy Adams is incredible (as always), and delivers a powerhouse performance where everything she does, whether it’s talking to aliens or diagramming a sentence, is absolutely captivating. As soon as you finish Arrival, you’ll probably want to watch it again. – Matt Goldberg

Silence

Director: Martin Scorsese

Writers: Martin Scorsese and Jay Cocks

Cast: Andrew Garfield, Adam Driver, Liam Neeson, Shinya Tsukamoto, and Yoshi Oida

Passion projects can sometimes turn out iffy, but in the case of Silence, it was more than worth the wait. Martin Scorsese had been trying to adapt Shusaku Endo’s novel about Jesuit priests captured and imprisoned in Japan for years, and the end result is a contemplative, immaculately crafted, and hugely impactful meditation o faith, resolve, and colonialism. Andrew Garfield is astounding as the lead priest, Father Rodrigues, who refuses to defame his faith even when it means easing the suffering of himself or others. Adam Driver, Liam Neeson, and Shinya Tsukaomoto turn in phenomenal work to fill out the supporting cast, and Scorsese approaches each scene with a meticulousness and perfection that shows just how deeply he cares about telling this story right. – Adam Chitwood

Four Lions

Director: Chris Morris

Writers: Chris Morris, Jesse Armstrong, and Sam Bain

Cast: Riz Ahmed, Kayvan Novak, Nigel Lindsay, Adeel Akhtar, and Arsher Ali

Yes, terrorism can be funny if handled correctly. If you don’t believe me, look no further than Chris Morris’ 2010 dark comedy, Four Lions. The movie follows a group of young British men who want to become suicide bombers, but are too stupid to pull it off. It’s a sharp, biting satire of people who are desperate to be taken seriously, but are gigantic morons. While terrorism should be taken seriously, Four Lions shows that the power of terrorists is reduced when you expose them as buffoons. There really hasn’t been another movie like it, and I hope that Morris’ follow up arrives soon. – Matt Goldberg

Hobo with a Shotgun

Director: Jason Eisener

Writer: John Davies

Cast: Rutger Hauer, Molly Dunsworth, Brian Downey, Gregory Smith, Nick Bateman, and Robb Wells

This movie is absolutely bonkers. Jason Eisener’s 2011 film is gross, gritty, and insane in all the best ways. Set in a disgusting town where people are decapitated by manhole cover (not even close to the most insane thing that happens in this movie), a homeless drifter (Rutger Hauer) gets caught up in the machinations of the twisted burb and starts bringing justice at the end of a shotgun. The title is not misleading. Hobo with a Shotgun is not a movie for everyone. You’ll know if it’s for you after the first 10 minutes or so. But if you like those ten minutes, you’re going to be in for a wild, unforgettable ride. – Matt Goldberg

Hunt for the Wilderpeople

Director / Writer: Taika Waititi

Cast: Sam Neill, Julian Dennison

Taika Waititi’s delightful film Hunt for the Wilderpeople is full of quirky humor, but it is never glib in the face of its often intensely emotional material. Instead, it’s a beautiful dance between the two, as the New Zealand-set story follows something of an inverted Anne of Green Gables, as the young Ricky Baker (Dennison) is taken in by foster parents to help out on their farm. Though he starts to connect with the more overtly loving “Aunt” Bella (Rima Te Wiata), he ends up spending most of the movie with “Uncle” Hector (Neill), as part of a mutual and begrudging acceptance that they need each other more than they care to admit.

The story is part adventure tale and part family drama, yet even in its wilder moments it balances these disparate parts in a wonderfully entertaining way (including a national manhunt, a faked death, and an almost New Wave-like series of vignettes within the story itself). Waititi’s sensibilities as a writer and director here lean towards the bombastic and comedic, but the movie does its best work in the quiet moments. Even the most bizarre turns never distract us from how deeply we end up feeling about this weird little kid and his surly new father-figure out in the New Zealand bush. — Allison Keene

Akira

Director: Katsuhiro Ôtomo

Writers: Katsuhiro Ôtomo, Izô Hashimoto

Cast: Nozomu Sasaki, Mami Koyama, Mitsuo Iwata, Tesshô Genda, Yuriko Fuchizaki, Johnny Yong Bosch, Cam Clarke

If you’re looking for a gateway anime feature, Akira’s about as good as it gets. It’s a strong introduction, for sure, owing to the manga adaptation’s mature themes and animation, so if you’re making a transition from Disney or Pixar … hold onto your butts. This thing grabs you by the optic nerve from the get-go and never lets go.

This cyberpunk/biopunk pic is set in the post-apocalyptic city of Neo-Tokyo in 2019. Ôtomo’s anime adaptation of his own work is a more focused effort than the manga, shortening the timeline and narrowing the range of characters to just a few. The story follows biker gang leader Shōtarō Kaneda and his efforts to prevent his newly super-powered pal Tetsuo Shima from reawakening the massively destructive psychic, Akira. The title character takes on more of a background role in the film but the mystery surrounding his history is a powerful force throughout. Akira is a seminal entry in the trend that brought Japanese anime to the West and helped to establish the art form internationally. Its raw power, unmistakable nods to Japan’s tragic history, and incredible artistry make Akira a must-watch for movie fans everywhere. – Dave Trumbore

Ghost in the Shell (1995)

Director: Mamoru Oshii

Writers: Shirow Masamune, Kazunori Itô,

Cast: Atsuko Tanaka, Iemasa Kayumi, Akio Ôtsuka, Kôichi Yamadera, Yutaka Nakano, Tamio Ôki, Tesshô Genda, Mimi Woods, Richard Epcar, William Knight, Bryan Cranston

If the live-action version by the same name leaves a bad taste in your mouth, do yourself a favor and revisit the original anime adaptation of Masamune Shirow’s incredibly complex and thoughtful manga series. At only 82 minutes, it’s tough for the feature to capture every facet of the story’s exploration of the interfaces of humanity, technology, and society, but it’s one hell of an introduction to the rest of the Ghost in the Shell franchise.

Centering on Motoko Kusanagi, Ghost in the Shell follows her hunt for a nefarious hacker known as the Puppet Master as part of the public-security agency, Section 9. Like the best political thrillers and espionage films, The Major soon finds herself peeling back layer upon layer of cover-ups and obfuscations as she’s drawn deeper into the web of intrigue. It’s a rare tale indeed that leaves the hero’s body broken, battered, and defeated while successfully visually demonstrating their soul’s new sense of enlightenment and understanding. Often imitated, rarely duplicated, Ghost in the Shell is a necessary watch for the modern age. – Dave Trumbore

Raiders of the Lost Ark

Director: Steven Spielberg

Writers: Lawrence Kasdan, George Lucas, Philip Kaufman

Cast: Harrison Ford, Karen Allen, Paul Freeman, John Rhys-Davies, Denholm Elliott, Alfred Molina, Wolf Kahler

This is the movie that started it all for Harrison Ford’s Indiana Jones, even if the heroic archaeologist’s name wouldn’t make it into the title until the follow-up film a few years later. By then, Ford had fronted Blade Runner and finished up the original Star Wars trilogy as Han Solo, solidifying his status as a bona fide movie star, but the first Indy flick is arguably his most fun performance to date.

From the jungles of South America, to a college in Connecticut, a Nepalese bar, a Cairo market, an Aegean island, and ultimately a top-secret warehouse, this journey through antiquity and scripture is a thrill ride from start to finish. If you’ve never seen it or any of the Indy movies, this is the only place to start. And if it’s been a while since you have seen it, rest assured that this is a classic that holds up well to the sands of time. – Dave Trumbore

Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation

Writer/Director: Christopher McQuarrie

Cast: Tom Cruise, Rebecca Ferguson, Jeremy Renner, Simon Pegg, Ving Rhames, Sean Harris, Alec Baldwin

Mission: Impossible has proven to be one of the most consistent franchises in terms of quality (the unfortunate Mission: Impossible 2 aside), and the latest sequel is one of the best. Jack Reacher helmer Christopher McQuarrie reteamed with his leading man for Rogue Nation and the duo dreamed up some of the ballsiest and gloriously kinetic action sequences in the franchise’s proud history. Cruise cleverly allowed Ethan Hunt to evolve throughout the franchise, from cocky espionage golden boy to the weathered, beleaguered “living manifestation of destiny,” and woefully watching him ragdoll his way through one heist, chase, and fistfight after the next is a pure delight. McQuarrie leans into the ensemble element with Rogue Nation, furthering the tradition that really kicked off in Mission: Impossible 3, and while it’s a delight to see so many familiar returning faces, it’s Rebecca Ferguson’s Isla Faust who walks in and steals the show, going toe to toe with Cruise, and adding just the right jolt of chemistry to set Rogue Nation apart from what came before. Rogue Nation is a film that plays up all the best elements of the franchise from which it was hatched, and a glorious display of action filmmaking to boot. — Haleigh Foutch

Sicario

Director: Denis Villeneuve

Writer: Taylor Sheridan

Cast: Emily Blunt, Benicio Del Toro, Josh Brolin, Jon Bernthal, Jeffrey Donovan, Daniel Kaluuya, Victor Garber

Sicario is a potent, precise, and downright gorgeous crime thriller. It’s one of those great films where every technical element is firing on all cylinders. Working from a sinewy, pointed script by Taylor Sheridan the cast – led Benicio Del Toro, Emily Blunt and Josh Brolin — delivers exceptional performances all around, and Denis Villeneuve directs the hell out of the thing. Not to mention the impeccable cinematography and score by Roger Deakins and Jóhann Jóhannsson. Set at the border between Mexico and the U.S., where an escalating drug war fuels violent retribution, Sicario roots around in the anarchy behind the law and order, Sicario delivers powerful character drama and social commentary packed in exquisite display of elegant filmmaking. — Haleigh Foutch

Chicago

Director: Rob Marshall

Writer: Bill Condon

Cast: Renee Zellweger, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Richard Gere, John C. Reilly, Taye Diggs, and Queen Latifah

The 2002 Best Picture winner has been somewhat left by the wayside over the years, but it’s still a vibrant, electrifying adaptation of the stage musical that even director Rob Marshall has struggled to match despite following it up with the musicals Nine and Into the Woods. Bill Condon’s script sharply zeroes in on our country’s obsession with fame and infamy, often conflating the two. From there, the songs do the work and Marshall is keenly aware of his stars’ strengths and weaknesses. Zellweger isn’t much of a dancer, so he simply cuts around her while letting Zeta-Jones, who’s a triple-threat, own her numbers while Gere turns in one of his best performances as a canny lawyer who knows how the system works. That’s not to mention the ingeniously designed numbers like the Cell Block Tango and “We Both Reached for the Gun”. If you haven’t seen Chicago in a while or are wondering why it deserved to win Best Picture, take some time to see how well it holds up. – Matt Goldberg

 

A League of Their Own

Director: Penny Marshall

Writers: Lowell Ganz & Babloo Mandel

Cast: Geena Davis, Tom Hanks, Lori Petty, Madonna, Rosie O’Donnell, Megan Cavanagh, Tracy Reiner, Bitty Schram, and Ann Cusack

What a wonderful “anytime” movie. Penny Marshall’s film, based on the true story of the women’s baseball league during World War II, is an absolute delight from start to finish, the kind of sports dramedy they don’t really make anymore. Geena Davis and Lori Petty play Dottie Hinson and Kit Keller, respectively, competitive but loving sisters who join the Rockford Peaches baseball team where they meet a motley assortment of other winning women. Their coach is drunk, disgraced former baseball star Jimmy Dugan (Tom Hanks), who learns to bond with his team even if he has to remind them, in the film’s best line, “There’s no crying in baseball!”

Everything about this movie works from the cast to the story to the history to the themes, and it’s one of the best sports films ever made. If you’re ever feeling down, A League of Their Own will pick you right back up. – Matt Goldberg

RoboCop (1987)

Director: Paul Verhoeven

Writers: Edward Neumeier and Michael Miner

Cast: Peter Weller, Nancy Allen, Dan O’Herlihy, Ronny Cox, Kurtwood Smith, and Miguel Ferrer

Although it’s certainly bloody and violent, RoboCop, like pretty much all of Paul Verhoeven’s movies, has a sharp string of satire running through it. There’s a stinging commentary on how cheaply we treat everything (with the catchphrase of “I’d buy that for a dollar!” serving as both a running gag and a comment on character behavior) including human life. And yet despite the bloodshed and action, Verhoeven never forgets the human Alex J. Murphy (Peter Weller) at the center of the story. When Murphy returns to his family home and sees that they’ve left, RoboCop is genuinely moving, showing Murphy as a specter in some kind of awful purgatory where he’s both a product and an officer. It’s a fascinating movie in addition to being an endlessly entertaining one. – Matt Goldberg

Rocky

Director: John G. Avildsen

Writer: Sylvester Stallone

Cast: Sylvester Stallone, Talia Shire, Burt Young, Carl Weathers, and Burgess Meredith

Due to its prominence in pop culture and the number of sequels, it can be difficult to remember that the original Rocky is a fairly somber, working-class story about a guy who manages an unlikely victory. We may remember the shouting “Adrian!” but there’s so much more in John. G. Avildsen’s remarkably touching, heartfelt story about a guy who gets kicked around with his largest ambition not to win a world title, but simply get the girl and make something of himself. Rocky has big dreams, but those dreams aren’t about flash and popularity (Rocky II deals with that harsh reality), but about accomplishment and changing your life. Over 40 years later, Rocky is still an inspiration. – Matt Goldberg

The Silence of the Lambs

Director: Jonathan Demme

Writer: Ted Tally

Cast: Jodie Foster, Anthony Hopkins, Scott Glenn, Anthony Heald, and Ted Levine

Even if the figure of Anthony Hopkins’ Hannibal Lecter has been reduced to parody over the years through imitation and sequels, he still remains a towering figure in Jonathan Demme’s The Silence of the Lambs. Although the film exists inside the mold of a paperback thriller, the movie goes far beyond its genre by becoming a fascinating look at identity, weakness, gaze, self-destruction, and reinvention. The “quid pro quos” between Clarice Starling (Jodie Foster) and Lecter are the heart of the film, providing a dangerous dance between the two characters. The movie always comes right up to the edge of pulp before yanking us back into something truly terrifying and dangerous. – Matt Goldberg

Superbad

Director: Greg Mottola

Writers: Seth Rogen & Evan Goldberg

Cast: Michael Cera, Jonah Hill, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, Emma Stone, Seth Rogen, and Bill Hader

Superbad was pretty much a coming-of-age classic as soon as it hit theaters in 2007, as writers Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg, director Greg Mottola, and producer Judd Apatow crafted a high school comedy that was equal parts heart and humor. While the comedy is indeed R-rated, there’s a sweetness to the friendship between Michael Cera and Jonah Hill’s characters that elevates this above your average raunchy comedy. It’s as much a story about a kid being afraid he’s gonna lose his friend at college as it is a story about trying to score alcohol for a high school party, and the surprising twists and turns make it all that much more memorable. – Adam Chitwood

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