Best Movies on Hulu Right Now

Last Updated: January 9th

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 Castle Rock; 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.

Annihilation

Image via Paramount Pictures and Skydance

Writer/Director: Alex Garland

Cast: Natalie Portman, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Tessa Thompson, Gina Rodriguez, Tuva Novotny, and Oscar Isaac

Annihilation is not a sci-fi action movie, but it’s so much better than that. The new film from Ex Machina director Alex Garland is a cerebral, horrifying look at self-destruction, decay, and coming to grips with both. Natalie Portman plays a biologist who, along with a team of fellow scientists, goes to investigate an unexplained phenomenon called “The Shimmer” in order to find out what happened to her husband (Oscar Isaac). The imagery in the movie is stunning, and it features some truly horrifying creatures. At times the film plays like “What if Kubrick and Tarkovsky had a baby, and that baby made The Thing?” It’s riveting, mesmerizing, and an experience you won’t soon forget. – Matt Goldberg

Sorry to Bother You

Image via Sundance

Writer/Director: Boots Riley

Cast: Lakeith Stanfield, Tessa Thompson, Jermaine Fowler, Omari Hardwick, Terry Crews, Patton Oswalt, David Cross, Danny Glover, Steven Yuen, and Armie Hammer

It’s best to go into Sorry to Bother You as cold as possible, but if you need to know the brief synopsis, it follows Cassius Green (Lakeith Stanfield), a young black man who discovers he’s a wiz at telemarketing when he puts on his “white voice”, but as he starts becoming more successful, he begins to compromise his values. But that’s just the basic premise of Boots Riley’s scathing satire on race, capitalism, art, masculinity, and commerce. It’s not a film that works 100% of the time, but its ambition is undeniable and the film is at turns hilarious, damning, and completely bonkers. – Matt Goldberg

The Prince of Egypt

Image via DreamWorks Animation

Directors: Brenda Chapman, Steve Hickner, and Simon Wells

Writer: Philip LaZebnik

Cast: Val Kilmer, Ralph Fiennes, Michelle Pfeiffer, Sandra Bullock, Jeff Goldblum, Danny Glover, Patrick Stewart, Helen Mirren, Steve Martin, and Martin Short

The reason why Prince of Egypt isn’t a bigger film have nothing to do with the quality of the film, since the movie is excellent. The problem is that it awkwardly landed in the space when animated movies were moving from 2D to 3D (and 2D movie released after Toy Story had a hell of a battle) and the hype was at the level of The Lion King, which probably set an unreachable bar. But taken on its own merits, The Prince of Egypt is a lovely film that wonderfully tells the Exodus story of Moses (Val Kilmer), who must turn against his adopted brother Ramses (Ralph Fiennes) by demanding the freedom of the Jewish people. Filled with great music and stunning animation, it’s worth giving The Prince of Egypt a second chance. – Matt Goldberg

Stronger

Image via Lionsgate

Director: David Gordon Green

Writer: Jeff Bauman

Cast: Jake Gyllenhaal, Tatiana Maslany, and Miranda Richardson

It was easy to overlook Stronger because it came out so close to Patriot’s Day, and both movies dealt with the aftermath of the Boston Marathon Bombing. But while Patriot’s Day is a jingoistic approach to terrorism where a single cop happens to be at the center of the action, Stronger feels far more real as it focuses on the story of Jeff Bauman, who lost his legs in the bombing, but was able to help lead the authorities to the bombers. Director David Gordon Green wisely focuses on the story of a man who has heroism thrust upon him when he’s just trying to heal from the physical and mental trauma of the attack, and with great performances from Gyllanhaal and Maslany, Stronger carries a surprising emotional weight about what happens outside of simple media narratives. – Matt Goldberg

Shutter Island

Image via Paramount

Director: Martin Scorsese

Writer: Laeta Kalogridis

Cast: Leonardo DiCaprio, Mark Ruffalo, Ben Kingsley, Michelle Williams, Emily Mortimer, Max Von Sydow, and Patricia Clarkson

It’s a blast to see Martin Scorsese go no-holds-barred horror while still retaining all the artistry of his other works. The story, based on the novel by Dennis Lehane, takes place in 1954 and follows U.S. Marshal Teddy Daniels (Leonardo DiCaprio) who’s investigating the disappearance of a murderer from a hospital for the criminally insane. However, it soon becomes clear that the mystery isn’t anywhere close to straightforward, and that perhaps Teddy should be investigating himself and his own trauma. Although Shutter Island doesn’t get the same level of attention as other Scorsese/DiCaprio collaborations, the film has lost none of its power over the years. – Matt Goldberg

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

A Simple Plan

Image via Paramount

Director: Sam Raimi

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 follows 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 Nightmare Before Christmas

Director: Henry Selick

Writer: Caroline Thompson

Cast: Danny Elfman, Chris Sarandon, Catherine O’Hara, William Hickey, Glenn Shadix, Paul Reubens, Ken Page, and Ed Ivory

The 1993 stop-motion animated musical is a stone-cold classic today, and the film has lost none of its impact. For those who still haven’t seen this marvelous movie, it follows Jack Skellington, the most popular guy in Halloweentown, but he’s started to grow bored with his holiday. When he stumbles upon Christmastown, he decides that he should take over for the year, which leads to a delightful mishmash of the macabre and the merry.

Henry Selick’s movie has lost none of its power with Danny Elfman’s score and songs remaining as memorable as ever. It’s a powerful movie, but we should also settle the debate once and for all: It’s a Halloween movie, not a Christmas movie, so you should get cracking on watching or rewatching this one before All Hallows Eve even though, admittedly, The Nightmare Before Christmas is still enjoyable year-round.

Minding the Gap

Image via Hulu

Director: Bing Liu

Bing Liu crafts a personal, heartbreaking, and revelatory documentary that follows him and his two friends in their rust belt town of Rockford, Illinois. Bing, Zack, and Keire bonded over their love of skateboarding, but through Minding the Gap, we see the toll that abuse and limited options have taken on their lives. It’s not an easy movie to watch, and yet I wouldn’t categorize it as a “downer” since it’s done with such honesty and unflinching approach even as the friends start to break apart and go down their own separate paths. It’s a true coming-of-age story with all the turmoil and hope that entails, and it makes Minding the Gap an absolutely engrossing experience. – Matt Goldberg

Tucker & Dale vs. Evil

Image via Magnet

Director: Eli Craig

Writer: Eli Craig and Morgan Jurgenson

A comedic spin on the “party-going youths meet backwoods sociopaths” subgenre of horror, a la Texas Chainsaw MassacreTucker and Dale vs. Evil is a straight up comedy of errors in horror movie clothing. The film follows the titular Tucker (Alan Tudyk) and Dale (Tyler Labine), two country bumpkins best friends renovating their dilapidated remote vacation home where they encounter a group of preppy, wildly biased college kids. When Dale’s attempt at friendly conversation is perceived as a threat, it sets off a series of ever-escalating confrontations that are only as hilarious as they are deadly. As far as I’m concerned, every Alan Tudyk performance is a gift, but it’s Tyler Labine’s soft-hearted Dale who steals the show as he tries to comprehend the fresh hell he somehow wandered into. Thanks to their on-point performances and some gore gags that are equal parts gruesome and guffaw-inducing, Tucker and Dale vs. Evil is one of the most delightful horror comedies in recent memory.  – Haleigh Foutch

Colossal

Image via Neon

Director/Writer: Nacho Vigalondo

Cast: Anne Hathaway, Jason Sudeikis, Austin Stowell, Tim Blake Nelson, and Dan Stevens

Nacho Vigalondo sneakily made a brilliant movie about alcoholism and toxic masculinity, and then hid it in a giant monster movie. Anne Hathaway plays Gloria, a woman whose life has pretty much fallen apart due to her drinking problem, so she goes back home to try and piece everything back together. But she discovers when she goes to a local playground at a specific time of day, a kaiju appears in South Korea and start wreaking havoc. If you can get on board with the concept, you’ll find Colossal to be a pretty ingenious movie about destructive behaviors. Hathaway and Sudekis, who plays Gloria’s childhood pal who now runs a bar, are tremendous, and while it may seem like a strange movie, it plays perfectly with some wicked twists and turns. – 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

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

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

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

I, Tonya

Director: Craig Gillespie

Writer: Steven Rogers

Cast: Margot Robbie, Allison Janney, Sebastian Stan, Julianne Nicholson, Paul Walter Hauser, and Bobby Cannavale

Biting and acerbic, I, Tonya is a powerful, thoughtful, and surprisingly funny look at how notorious figure skater Tonya Harding (Margot Robbie) never got a fair shake. Best viewed with the 30 for 30 documentary The Price of Gold so you can see how accurate I, Tonya really is, Craig Gillespie‘s movie zeroes in on the fact that Harding didn’t make herself a victim, and yet she was abused throughout her life, first by her mother LaVona (Allison Janney in an Oscar-worthy performance), then her husband Jeff (Sebastian Stan), and finally by the public at large.

What’s refreshing about I, Tonya is that it doesn’t make Harding out to be a martyr or a saint. She’s not exactly “likable”, but what the film asks from us is to understand where she came from and how she got a raw deal. It’s the kind of story we weren’t telling in the 90s because we were too busy ridiculing Harding, and the great well of empathy the movie has for her is astounding. Thankfully, the movie never becomes sappy thanks to the electric performances, a sharp tone, and Coen-esque humor. I, Tonya may not give Harding a “second chance”, but it shows she never really had much of a chance at all. – Matt Goldberg

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