With with close to 40 million subscribers in the US, Hulu is one of the biggest premium video streaming services. In addition to its many exclusive, current and classic TV shows, it’s also the home for thousands of movies as well, some of which are also exclusive to the service. But which are the best movies on Hulu?
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With Hulu permanently cutting its ad-based subscription tier to just $5.99 a month, more people will likely be checking out Hulu’s catalog of films. We have picked our top 10 best movies on Hulu to stream and enjoy, and they are a mix of classic movies with more recent films.
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The best movies on Hulu
Editor’s note: We will be updating this post as movies leave Hulu and others join the service’s film library.
This Hulu original film is a thriller about a mother and a daughter. The always great Sarah Paulson plays the mother, who is taking care of her daughter (newcomer Kiera Allen) who suffers from paralysis and other medical issues. At least, that’s what she thinks. As she, and we, slowly learn in the movie, her mother may be keeping some secrets from her.
The Princess Bride
This 1987 classic family film still holds up after over 30 years. It takes place in what looks like a generic fantasy land and has what appears at first to be a very basic love story. However, director Rob Reiner, in his adaptation of this novel, takes a ton of different fantasy tale tropes and turns them upside down. Combined with some great humor and terrific performances, this film is definitely one of the best you can watch on Hulu.
Japanese anime became a huge part of American culture starting in the 1990s and part of the reason was the release of this incredible 1988 sci-fi film based on the best-selling Japanese manga comic book of the same name from Katsuhiro Otomo. Set in the year 2019 in a future version of Tokyo, Akira still has some incredible visuals even when looked upon in today’s CGI animated films. It has some powerful imagery that will not leave your head anytime soon, thanks in part to the movie’s main character Tetsuo, who has to deal with his new and powerful psychic abilities. Hulu gives you the choice of watching Akira with subtitles and the original Japanese audio, or in an English dubbed version. It’s not only one of the best movies on Hulu, but the best anime film on Hulu.
Like The Princess Bride, Shrek is a film that takes apart typical children’s fantasy storylines and characters and puts them back together in new and unexpected ways. The 2001 CGI animated film centers on Shrek, an ogre who lives in the forest and just wants to be left alone.
Shrek might be a monster in other fantasy tales, but in this, he turns out to be the hero, as he is recruited to rescue Princess Fiona. He gets some help from a very talkative donkey, but Shrek soon realizes there’s more going on than just rescuing a princess.
The animation and voice performances from folks like Mike Myers, Eddie Murphy, and Cameron Diaz are excellent, and its popularity spawned several sequels and spin-offs, some of which are also available to watch on Hulu.
The 2019 winner of the Academy Award for Best Picture is now available to stream on Hulu. It’s one of the more controversial winners of the Best Picture Oscar, mainly because it’s the first foreign-language movie to receive this honor. South Korean director Bong Joon-ho also won the Best Director Oscar for this movie, along with Best Screenplay, with co-writer Han Jin-won. The movie takes a unique look at the divide between certain people, as a poor family tries to enter the lives of a rich family. It’s definitely one of the best movies on Hulu.
Here’s a recent and intelligent drama movie from 2020. It stars Elizabeth Moss, who also stars in Hulu’s biggest original TV show The Handmaid’s Tale. In this movie, she plays the real-life author Shirley Jackson (The Lottery, The Haunting of Hill House). However, the movie Shirley is a fictional account of a young couple and how they come to live with Jackson and her husband Stanley Hyman. The couple soon start interacting more with Shirley and her husband, even as Shirley starts to write a new novel based in part on their new live-in house members. Moss is the reason to watch this movie as she gives a terrific performance as Jackson, haunted by both others as well as her own personality.
Sorry to Bother You
This 2018 dark comedy comes from rapper Boots Riley, in his excellent debut as a film writer and director. Lakeith Stanfield plays a black man who pays the bills as a telemarketer, who discovered he can be more successful by using his “white voice.” Riley uses his film at first to makes some points about race relations, but later he and the movie goes off in a whole other direction that we won’t reveal here. It’s funny, it’s thought-provoking and thankfully, it’s also entertaining as well. It’s a no-brainer as one of the best movies on Hulu.
There may not be a better action movie than this 1988 film. Bruce Willis became a movie star with this film. He plays John McLane, a NYC cop who is visiting his strange wife in LA at her company’s annual Christmas party. However, a group of “party crashers”, lead by the late Alan Richman’s smooth villain Hans Gruber, take over the building. It’s up to John to take out these heavily armed enemies in a massive skyscraper, while also rescuing his wife and the other hostages. This movie works from start to finish and it’s certainly one of the best movies on Hulu.
Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan
In the over 50 year history of the Star Trek sci-fi franchise, nothing may be as good as this 1982 feature film. It’s Captain James T. Kirk and the crew of the starship U.S.S. Enterprise facing off against Khan, a 20th-century “superman” who is now wanting revenge against Kirk for foiling his plot during the time of the original series. It’s got action, adventure, some great space battle scenes, and at the end a touching sacrifice that may make you cry (even if you know it will be undone in the next film).
The 1980s were full of teen comedies and dramas that had feel-good endings. Heathers is not one of those films. This 1988 movie from director Daniel Waters was the complete opposite of those films made by John Hughes and others during that decade. Winona Ryder’s Veronica wants to take down an influential group of female students called Heathers. Things get out of control very quickly, thanks in part to the efforts of J.D, the psychotic student with a Jack Nicholson impersonation that’s played perfectly by Christian Slater. This dark satire of high school and teenage life is still relevant even today in the social networking culture, not to mention one of the best movies on Hulu.
Best movies on Hulu – honorable mentions
There’s are quite a few great movies on the service that didn’t make our top 10 list: Here’s a look at just some of them you can stream now on Hulu.
- Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid – A great humorous Western film about train and bank robbers who are looking to retire.
- Footloose – Teen rebellion was never this much fun to watch in this film about kids who defy a town’s ban on dancing.
- Predator – It starts as a typical action film, but then it becomes a sci-fi slasher pick as an elite armed rescue team gets killed one by one by an alien hunter.
- Booksmart – This recent teen comedy is hilarious as it tells the story of two highly studious high school seniors who decide to have one last wild night.
- Arrival – Mysterious alien ships come to Earth. Now a team of scientists tries to communicate with these aliens to find out what they want.