With over 25 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?
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.
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.
1. Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan
It’s been nearly 40 years since Star Trek II was released. Yet this 1982 release remains, by far, the best film made so far in the 13-movie Star Trek franchise. There are several reasons this movie stands out. One is the excellent performance by Ricardo Montalban as the exiled Earth superhuman despot Khan. He seeks revenge on James Kirk, who left him and his people stranded on a planet in “Space Seed,” one of the episodes of the original Star Trek Series. William Shatner has never been better in his role of Kirk in this movie. Finally, the themes of people slowly growing old and looking for some way to get that youth back are well played here inside an action-packed space sage.
2. The Cabin In the Woods
Bad horror films include obvious stereotypes. This 2011 release takes those typical stereotypes (including the subject of the movie’s title) and turn them 180 degrees. The result is a movie that’s frightening, funny, and full of unexpected twists. Let’s just say that five college students who think they are going to a “cabin in the woods” will encounter more than just people waiting to kill them.
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.
4. How To Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World
If you have kids, they likely are fans of the How To Train Your Dragon movie series. Hulu now has the third, and reportedly the last, film in the series for streaming. The 2019 film has Toothless, the main dragon character in the series, finding what might be his mate, a white female dragon called Light Fury. Meanwhile, Toothless’s rider and friend Hiccup has to find the “Hidden World” where he can finally take the remaining dragons to safety. This movie retains the humor, the heart, and the spectacular visuals of the first two films in this series.
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 another intelligent sci-fi movie from 2018, this time from Ex Machina director Alex Garland. Natalie Portman plays a scientist who leads an all-female team inside an alien phenomenon called the Shimmer that has appeared in Florida. To say anything more would give away a lot of the film’s plot, but let’s just say Portman’s character won’t be the same after she enters this mysterious “Area X.” Don’t look for easy answers to questions raised by this movie, you won’t find them. But you will find a movie with some cool visuals and excellent performances by Portman and the rest of the cast.
7. 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.
8. Mission Impossible: Fallout
The Mission Impossible spy-action film series (based on the 1960s TV show) has had its ups and downs in terms of quality, but the 2018 release of the sixth MI film may be the best movie yet in this series. Tom Cruise once again plays IMF secret agent Ethan Hunt, who in this mission (which, of course, he accepts) has to retrieve three plutonium cores that he and his team managed to lose. However, as with all of the MI films, there are constant double and triple crosses, plus many other surprises in store for Hunt and his team along the way.
Henry Cavill makes us forget (well, almost) that he was Superman, as he plays a CIA agent sent to monitor Hunt’s team. Writer-director Christopher McQuarrie keeps us interested with a variety of action set pieces, including a HALO jump, a chase through Paris and one of the best fights inside a bathroom we have ever seen. Oh, and Cruise actually flies a helicopter for the film’s final sequence. As in, the actor, in real life. It’s certainly one of the best movies on Hulu.
9. A Quiet Place
One of the best movies on Hulu is also one of the most recent. The 2018 movie A Quiet Place surprised a ton of people with its premise: some kind of otherworldly creature invasion has hit Earth and decimated its populace because it hunts just by detecting the smallest sound. That means this film has only the smallest amount of dialogue as Emily Blunt, John Krasinski (who also co-wrote and directed the movie) and their children have to stay as quiet as they can to avoid being attacked. The tension in this movie never really lets up, but it goes up to 11 in some places, particularly as Blunt’s character has to give birth, by herself, while staying as quiet as she can.
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.
Other Hulu coverage
Didn’t find anything you like on this list? No worries, there are plenty of other great shows and movies available to watch on Hulu.
If you want to know more about what is Hulu, what kind of resolution it supports, and how it compares with Netfix, check out our dedicated posts below.
We also have a bunch of how-to articles available that teach you things like how to delete your Hulu account, how to download videos, and even how to get Hulu for free.