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.
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. 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.
2. District 9
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.
4. Training Day
This 2001 crim drama showed us a side of actor Denzel Washington we hadn’t seen before. He has perhaps one of his most memorable roles as Alonzo, a terribly corrupt Los Angeles police narcotics detective. He’s supposed to be taking his new partner Jake, played by Ethan Hawke, out on his first day on the streets. However, that “training day” soon deevolves into a battle for Jake’s soul. Will he stay on the path of the law, or will he follow in Alonzo’s unethical footsteps? Yes, this is the movie with the famous “King Kong got nothin’ on me” speech by Washington, but that’s just the surface for this movie. In the end this morality tale is one of the best movies on Hulu.
5. Breaking Away
This 1979 comedy-drama won the Academy Award that year for Best Original Screenplay. It’s set in Bloomington, Indiana and centers on a group of four young men who grew up in the town, which happens to also be home to the University of Indiana. All of these boys are called “cutters” by most of the students of the university. It’s used as a derogatory term because their parents worked at the now-abandoned limestone quarry. However, one of the four, Dave, sees cycling as a way to possibly get out from under the scorn of the college students. Breaking Away is a story about Dave finding his own path in life, and perhaps inspiring his buddies to do the same. It’s definately 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.
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 up 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 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.