Last updated: July 3, 2020
Hulu has a lot of great movies – here are the 25 best films on the streaming service. In an age of options, less feels like more. While Netflix has an ever-expanding library, Hulu offers a more focused collection of great movies. Because volume isn’t the objective, Hulu succeeds in curating a batch of excellent films.
There are the iconic classics like The Dark Knight and The Graduate, the arthouse darlings like Sorry to Bother You and If Beale Street Could Talk, and the pure entertainment gems like Mission: Impossible – Fallout and Bumblebee. Hulu keeps it simple, and offers something for everybody. Here are the 25 best movies that you can watch on Hulu right now.
Before we start, first a disclaimer. modern streaming libraries are like carousels, always moving and always changing. The films in this list are available on Hulu at the time of writing. We’ll be updating this top 25 list frequently, so keep an eye out for Hulu’s latest and greatest offerings. Also, the list isn’t ranked from worst to best, so a lower number is not meant to denote higher quality. It’s just a list of 25 great movies.
While it slipped through awards season without much hype, Detroit remains one of 2017’s best films. Rotten Tomatoes awarded it an 84% for its “gut-wrenching dramatization of a tragic chapter” in American history. Director Kathryn Bigelow tackles the 1967 incident in Motor City with aplomb, deftly guiding a sprawling cast (led by John Boyega and Will Poulter) through a maze of tension, bigotry, and survival. Detroit streams exclusively on Hulu.
24 The Mask
In the mid-1990s, Jim Carrey was suddenly vaulted to A-list comedy star status. In 1994 alone, Carrey starred in Ace Ventura: Pet Detective, Dumb and Dumber, and the comic book-based The Mask. Carrey stars as likeable loser Stanley Ipkiss, a bank employee that quickly falls madly in love with mobster girlfriend Tina Carlyle (Cameron Diaz). Thanks turn around for Stanley when he discovers the titular mask, which transforms him into a green-faced live-action cartoon trickster with superpowers, that also happens to be nearly invulnerable. Before long, Stanley’s alter ego has run afoul of both the law and Tina’s boyfriend, leaving Stanley caught in the middle. The Mask is still very much smokin’ when streamed on Hulu.
23 Hellbound: Hellraiser II
It’s fair to say that most horror sequels pale in comparison to the original, but in the case of 1988’s Hellbound: Hellraiser II, many fans would insist it’s just as good as Clive Barker’s 1987 directing debut. Hellbound sees Kirsty Cotton venture into Hell in search of her father Larry, only to encounter Pinhead and his Cenobite pals once again, as well as her wicked stepmother Julia and a new foe, Dr. Channard. Boasting extreme gore and some of the craziest visuals in horror history, Hellraiser 2 is a great addition to Hulu’s fright fare.
In 1995, director Martin Scorsese and two of his stars from Goodfellas would reunite for another terrific mob drama, now on Hulu. While not quite as beloved as its predecessor, Casino is still held in high regard. Once again based on true events, Casino stars Robert De Niro as Sam “Ace” Rothstein, a gangster overseeing the titular mob-run gaming establishment. Joe Pesci plays volatile enforcer Nicky Santoro, while Sharon Stone earned a Golden Globe for playing Ginger McKenna, Ace’s ex-prostitute love interest.
21 Liar Liar
Jim Carrey can be a bit of a controversial figure nowadays, with his outspoken political stances, but 1997’s Liar Liar sees him at basically the height of his powers as a comic actor. Carrey plays Fletcher Reed, an attorney way more concerned with his status and bank account than ethics. While Fletcher loves his son, and misses his ex-wife, his workaholic attitude causes him to miss lots of important moments. This leads Fletcher’s son Max to make a wish that for one day, his dad can’t tell a lie. That premise allows Carrey to completely cut loose with the physical comedy he’s so good at, making Liar Liar a great pick for a night of laughs on Hulu.
20 The Graduate
Widely regarded as one of the greatest American films of all time, director Mike Nichols’ 1967 dramedy The Graduate earned seven Oscar nominations, winning Best Director. Based on a novel, The Graduate stars Dustin Hoffman – in arguably his signature role – as 21-year-old recent college grad Benjamin Braddock, who finds himself in an odd position when he’s seduced by an older woman – Anne Bancroft’s legendary Mrs. Robinson – and then falls for her daughter Elaine (Katherine Ross). To call The Graduate anything less than iconic would be an insult, and it’s a truly excellent addition to Hulu’s library.
19 Batman Begins
The story of a newly orphaned Bruce Wayne’s transformation into Batman has been told multiple times, whether it be in movies, TV shows, or animated projects. It’s a tale any superhero fan is very familiar with, but arguably its greatest telling to date came in 2005’s Batman Begins, the first entry into Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight trilogy. Christian Bale stars as The Caped Crusader, backed by an excellent supporting cast, including Liam Neeson, Michael Caine, Gary Oldman, Morgan Freeman, and Cillian Murphy. Katie Holmes also appears as Bruce’s love interest Rachel Dawes, although Maggie Gyllenhaal would take over for the sequel. Comic book fans have every reason to answer Hulu’s Bat-Signal, and stream this terrific film.
18 If Beale Street Could Talk
Directed by Moonlight helmer Barry Jenkins, and based on the 1974 novel by James Baldwin, If Beale Street Could Talk proved nearly as critically acclaimed as Jenkins’ prior film, earning three Oscar nominations. The story centers on Tish (Kiki Layne), a pregnant woman who sets out to clear the name of her fiance Fonny (Stephan James) after he’s imprisoned for a crime he didn’t commit. If Beale Street Could Talk is one of the best reviewed films on Hulu, and is more than worth a watch.
The 2020 winner for Best Picture at the Oscars, the South Korean film Parasite is a truly remarkable creation, and it’s now on Hulu. Directed by Bong Joon-ho, Parasite focuses on the Kims, a poor family willing to do just about anything to get financially ahead. When one of them gets hired to tutor the daughter of a rich family, the Parks, the Kims use that opportunity to get as much cash as they can for as long as they can. Unfortunately, their scheme goes awry, heading down into very dark places, both literal and figurative.
16 Let the Right One In
Released in a decade where vampire cinema was dominated by the sparkly Twilight, director Tomas Alfredson’s Swedish hit Let the Right One In was exactly what the classic creature needed to remind audiences that despite their affliction, vampire movies don’t have to suck. Lina Leandersson stars as Eli, an ageless vampire with the appearance of a child, and Kare Hedebrant plays Oskar, the bullied young boy she enters into an unexpectedly sweet relationship with. The film was later adapted stateside by Matt Reeves, with Chloe Grace Moretz in the Eli role. That version is also available via Hulu.
Starring Taron Egerton and directed by Dexter Fletcher, 2019’s acclaimed Rocketman is a musical biopic of legendary singer/songwriter Elton John. Featuring Egerton actually performing all the John songs used onscreen, Rocketman is an often very dark look at the ups and downs of John’s life, from his early interest in music through his peak fame in the 1970s. Hulu subscribers who love biopics or John’s music owe it to themselves to board this rocket.
14 The Dark Knight
One of the most successful superhero movies of all time – and arguably one of the greatest – director Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight has arrived on Hulu. The late Heath Ledger won an Oscar for his work as chaotic villain The Joker, but he’s surrounded by an incredible cast, including Gary Oldman, Aaron Eckhart, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Morgan Freeman, Michael Caine, and of course Christian Bale as Batman. The Dark Knight was a phenomenon back in 2008, but it holds up just as well today, and remains a triumph for Nolan and company.
13 Best in Show
A biting (no pun intended) satire on the dog show industry, 2000’s Best in Show is mockumentarian Christopher Guest at the top of his game. Sporting a cast of comedy greats – including Eugene Levy, Catherine O’Hara, Michael McKean, Jane Lynch, Larry Miller, Fred Willard, and many more – Best in Show is an absolutely hilarious way for Hulu subscribers to spend 90 minutes.
12 A Quiet Place
While John Krasinski might always be best known for playing Jim on iconic sitcom The Office, 2018’s acclaimed sci-fi/horror film A Quiet Place demonstrated that he has just as much talent behind the camera. Directed, co-written by, and starring Krasinski, A Quiet Place centers on a family living in the aftermath of an apocalyptic alien invasion. The invading creatures are deadly, and hunt by sound, meaning that the Abbott clan has to spend most of their life in silence. Unfortunately, things eventually go wrong, and the monsters come calling. Krasinkski’s real-life wife Emily Blunt co-stars in this prime Hulu pick.
11 True Grit
Written and directed by the Coen Brothers, True Grit is a critically acclaimed 2010 adaptation of a 1968 novel that also served as the basis for a classic John Wayne western of the same name. After a teenage girl (Hailee Steinfeld) sees her father murdered, she enlists the help of an often drunk U.S. Marshal named Rooster Cogburn (Jeff Bridges) in bringing the killer to justice. Matt Damon and Josh Brolin also star in this prime Hulu pick.
10 The American President
In the age of Donald Trump’s many sordid personal scandals, it’s almost quaint to imagine a time when a widower president having a romantic relationship with a lobbyist would be enough to endanger an administration. Yet, that prospect seemed all too feasible in 1995’s The American President, directed by Rob Reiner and written by Aaron Sorkin, now available on Hulu. President Andrew Shepherd is played by Michael Douglas, while his new love Sydney Ellen Wade is played by Annette Bening. Amusingly, the presidency of Bill Clinton would almost be undone a few years later due to his own secret affair, although his wife was of course very much alive at the time.
9 Mission: Impossible – Fallout
This sixth entry into the hugely popular Mission: Impossible action franchise sees leading man Tom Cruise back as IMF agent Ethan Hunt, alongside his usual crew of associates. Mission: Impossible – Fallout also contains some amazing, death-defying action scenes, as has become par for the course with this series. Henry Cavill proves to be a game addition to the cast, and director Christopher McQuarrie returns to the helm ably, in this Hulu selection designed for adrenaline junkies.
8 A Simple Favor
Directed by Paul Feig, and based on a novel by author Darcey Ball, 2018’s new to Hulu A Simple Favor is a deft mix of the mystery, drama, and comedy genres. Anna Kendrick stars as a decidedly ordinary mommy vlogger named Stephanie, albeit one with a dead husband. She strikes up an unlikely friendship with a boozing bad girl named Emily (Blake Lively), who disappears under mysterious circumstances, leading Stephanie to lead a quest to find her.
A flop upon release, 2002’s Equilibrium has since gained a cult following, and is worth checking out on Hulu. Christian Bale stars John Preston, a high-ranking government official in a future dystopia in which emotions are illegal, and must be held down by prescribed drugs. Once John forgets a dose though, a whole new world of emotion opens up, and he begins to realize he’s on the wrong side. Throw in an odd form of martial arts called “gun kata,” and the recipe has formed for some absolutely brilliant action sequences.
6 Creed 2
Creed 2, the 2018 sequel to director Ryan Coogler’s acclaimed 2015 film, sees Michael B. Jordan return to the role of Adonis Creed, son of iconic boxer Apollo Creed. Apollo of course died in Rocky 4, killed during a fight with Russian destroyer Ivan Drago (Dolph Lundgren). Now, Adonis gets the chance to avenge his dad’s death via a fight with Ivan’s son Viktor, but many in his life are worried he’s not ready, and might suffer the same fate. Find out what happens when the bell rings on Hulu.
A biopic about former U.S. vice president Dick Cheney was always going to be a controversial, divisive prospect, especially one directed by Adam McKay with a sharp satirical edge. In the end, 2018’s Vice ended up earning mostly praise from critics, and multiple Oscar nominations, including one for Christian Bale’s eerily accurate performance as Cheney. Bale famously put on lots of weight for the role, and is almost unrecognizable at a glance. Vice’s all-star cast also includes Amy Adams, Steve Carell, Sam Rockwell, and more. Vice is worth a stream on Hulu, especially during these current politically-charged times.
4 The Interview
In 2019, Blumhouse’s horror film The Hunt saw its release canceled – at least temporarily – as a result of political controversy, mainly thanks to it being targeted by President Donald Trump. Back in 2014, a similar circumstance occurred, but on an international scale. The Interview, co-directed by Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg, stars James Franco as a superficial TV host and Rogen as his producer. The duo are invited to travel to North Korea and interview leader Kim Jong-un, only to be enlisted by the U.S. government in a plot to assassinate the dictator. The Interview was pulled from theaters after North Korean threats, but it can be watched on Hulu without fear.
3 Sorry to Bother You
One of the most uniquely creative movies of 2018, director Boots Riley’s debut is a thought-provoking look at American race relations, framed through a dystopian comedic lens. Sorry to Bother You stars Lakeith Stanfield as Cassius “Cash” Green, who gets a job as a telemarketer, only to discover that putting on his “white voice” is what gets the money rolling in. Sorry to Bother You is a film not really suited to being summed up in a paragraph, but its 93% Rotten Tomatoes score kind of speaks for itself. Check it out on Hulu.
A darker than dark comedy, Heathers was written by Daniel Waters and directed by Michael Lehmann, and sports a huge cult following, which is sure to only get bigger via Hulu. Winona Ryder stars as Veronica Sawyer, a high school student who runs afoul of former friends the Heathers, a trio of rich, popular girls that rule teen society with an iron fist. After being wronged by them, Veronica makes the mistake of teaming up with outcast bad boy J.D. (Christian Slater) in order to get revenge. Sadly, J.D.’s idea of revenge is straight up murdering his enemies.
It’s fair to say most people didn’t expect much out of Bumblebee, outside of the usual entertaining diversion supplied by most of the mainline Transformers films. Yet, under the direction of Travis Knight, this 2018 new to Hulu Transformers spinoff arguably ended up being the best entry in the entire franchise to date. Hailee Steinfeld stars as Charlie Watson, a young woman who befriends the titular Autobot. John Cena plays Jack Burns, an agent of Sector 7, the secret government agency that tracks aliens on Earth.
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