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?
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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.
1. Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan
This 1982 film remains the best movie in the 13-film Star Trek franchise. It was the first to show the cast of the original Star Trek TV series feeling the effect of age, especially William Shatner’s Captain Kirk. It also shows the effects of decisions that were made by Kirk years ago. Khan, the superhuman that Kirk exiled on a planet after the events of the “Space Seed” TV episode, is back, and he only has revenge on his mind. There’s great space battles as Kirk and the crew of the starship Enterprise battle Khan and his group of followers. It also has one of the best, and saddest, endings in sci-fi film history. It’s one of the best movies on Hulu.
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 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.
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. The Terminator
One of the best movies on Hulu is a full-on thrill ride from start to finish. Arnold Schwarzenegger had his true breakout role, playing a cyborg from the future where an evil AI has destroyed nearly all of humanity. However, the human resistance managed to win the final battle, only to discover that the AI sent the Terminator back in time in a last-ditch effort to change history. The Terminator is programmed to kill the mother of the human resistance in 1984 Los Angeles. Will he succeed, or will a lone human warrior, also sent from the future, stop him?
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.