With over 25 million subscribers in the U.S., 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.
With Hulu permanently cutting its ad-based subscription tier to just $5.99 a month, that means more people will likely be checking out the library 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.
Editor’s Note – We will be updating this post as movies leave Hulu and others join the service’s film library.
Iron Man 2
Before Disney Plus starts to take away all of the Marvel Studios superhero films, be sure to watch Iron Man 2 on Hulu. The 2010 movie is the third in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and it brings back Robert Downey Jr. in his second outing as Tony Stark and the Armored Avenger Iron Man. This movie, while not as good as the original, is still very fun to watch, mostly to check out Downey Jr and his performance as the witty billionaire industrialist. This is also the first movie that features Scarlett Johansson playing the role of superspy Natasha Romanoff,a.k.a.The Black Widow, who has appeared in a ton of MCU movies since Iron Man 2. Also, we see the first appearance of Don Cheadle, taking over the role of James “Rhodey” Rhodes and also putting on the War Machine armor for the first time.
This 2009 film is one of the few sci-fi films that doesn’t treat its audience with kid gloves. It takes place in an alternate Earth where a mysterious alien space ship shows up and starts hovering over Johannesburg, South Africa in the early 1980s. It has a massive group of aliens who, on the surface, cannot seem to assimilate with humans. In the present day, these aliens have been placed in an area outside the city called District 9, but are about to be moved to a new location. A man who is part of the team trying to move the alien population accidentally gets infected with a substance that starts to mutate him into one of these “prawns”. Co-writer and director Neill Blomkamp takes on issues like immigration, racism and more, but puts it into a sci-fi action story that’s very entertaining. It’s certainly one of the best movies on Hulu that’s currently available
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 images 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 sub-titles 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.
The Devil Wears Prada
The 2006 comedy-drama is still one of the most popular female-centric movies, and one of the best movies on Hulu at the moment. The somewhat satirical look at the fashion industry and publishing has one of the best performances by Meryl Streep (and that’s saying something) as she plays the cold as ice fashion magazine publisher Miranda Priestly. Indeed, this film has tons of great performances, including Anne Hathaway, Stanley Tucci, and especially Emily Blunt, in the role that made her a movie star.
This found-footage movie from 2007 was made for almost nothing by writer-director Oren Peli, and it shows. It’s definitely not a high budget film. However, the premise of the movie is brilliant. A couple moves into their normal modern California residence, and film everything, even after they discover that they are being attacked by a demonic force. This movie is still terrifying even though the handheld camera trick has been done to death ever since (especially in this movie’s many sequels). The film uses this technique to great effect and slowly builds up the tension as we realize at the couple inside this house is in serious danger. It’s a perfect movie to watch with your lights on or off and is 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 leads a 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. You will find a movie with some cool visuals and excellent performances by Portman and the rest of the cast.
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.
It’s hard to believe that the Mission Impossible TV series of the late 1960s has turned into one of the biggest current movie franchises. On Hulu you can watch the first movie in this six-film series. It from way back in 1996 and stars Tom Cruise as Ethan Hunt, who is part of an IMF team that is trying to get back the NOC list, the list of all the undercover agents the U.S. has around the world. Unfortunately, things go wrong in the mission, and Hunt has to not only try to keep the NOC list from being put in the wrong hands, but also save his own skin. This movie has some truly great action sequences, including the iconic infiltration of CIA headquarters by Hunt that has been imitated and parodies many times since in movies and films.
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 other-worldly 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 Joh Hughes and others during that decade. Winona Ryder’s Veronica wants to take down a group of 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 still is relevant even today in the social networking culture, not to mention one of the best movies on Hulu.