Last Updated: March 20th
While it may live in the shadow of other better-known streaming services, Hulu, once regarded simply as “that TV thing,” has managed to maintain itself as a viable competitor in terms of offering a great variety of content online. This includes an impressive selection of quality movies, but it’s not always easy to browse through their catalog if you don’t know what you’re looking for. Which begs the question: What is the best movie on Hulu right now? From iconic classics to contemporary indie fare, here’s a look at the 30 best films available to stream, ranked.
1. If Beale Street Could Talk (2018)
Run Time: 119 min | IMDb: 7.2/10
Barry Jenkins follows up the success of Moonlight with this adaptation of a James Baldwin masterpiece. Told in a nonlinear style, the film recounts the romance of Tish and Fonny, two young Black lovers living in 1970s New York. When Fonny is accused of a heinous crime, Tish and her family fight to prove his innocence. The story is heartbreaking and hopeful at the same time, and Regina King puts in an Oscar-winning performance as Tish’s devoted mother.
2. Honeyland (2019)
Run Time: 90 min | IMDb: 8.2/10
This Sundance Grand Jury Prize-winning documentary tells the unbelievably inspiring story of Hatidze, a bee-hunter in North Macedonia who represents a dying breed of ecological custodians. Hatidze and her ailing mother live on a remote mountain range, where she peacefully coexists with the bees whose honey is her livelihood, but when new neighbors arrive to disrupt this fragile harmony, Hatidze must fight for her simple way of life. It’s a moving, intimate portrait of an inspiring woman, and a larger commentary on how our greed and ignorance can irreparably damage our surroundings.
3. I, Tonya (2017)
Run Time: 120 min | IMDb: 7.5/10
As flashy and over-the-top as the sequin-spandex numbers that graced the ice back in the ’80s, I, Tonya manages to straddle a thin line. It’s both a biopic of one of the most notorious female athletes in the history of figure skating and a raucous comedy intent on mocking everything troubling about American culture at the time. Margot Robbie is brilliant in her role — playing a woman tortured by talent and her inability to capitalize on it — and you can literally hear Allison Janney chewing every scene she’s in as Harding’s narcissistic, chain-smoking mother. Plus that parrot bite is as funny as you could hope.
4. 28 Days Later (2002)
Run Time: 113 min | IMDb: 7.6/10
Starring Cillian Murphy and Brendan Gleeson, this British horror flick follows a pretty unlucky bike courier who wakes up from a coma and finds his city not only deserted but filled with the undead. The reason? A group of animal rights activists freed a chimp carrying a virus that caused the entire human population to, well, you know, drop-dead and then reanimate and crave human flesh. The group tries to make their way to safety, a place untouched by the virus, but you can guess how well that goes.
5. Booksmart (2019)
Run Time: 102 min | IMDb: 7.2/10
Olivia Wilde’s directorial debut is this coming-of-age ode to friendship starring Beanie Feldstein and Kaitlyn Dever. Feldstein plays Molly, a politically ambitious high schooler, who resolves to have one night of teenage fun before graduation. She ropes her best friend Amy (Dever) into her plan, and the two navigate a host of wild mishaps to make it to the biggest party of the year. It’s fun and heartfelt and a surprisingly confident first take from Wilde.
6. Vice (2018)
Run Time: 132 min | IMDb: 7.2/10
Adam McKay’s controversial biopic lands on Hulu with its impressive cast of Oscar-winners including Christian Bale, who undergoes a mind-blowing transformation to play former Vice President Dick Cheney. The film follows the build-up to Cheney’s White House appointment, as he gains power first as a Washington insider, then as the man pulling the strings of the Bush administrations. Amy Adams plays his supportive, just as morally compromised wife, Lynne, with Sam Rockwell turning in a hilarious performance as Bush himself.
7. Captain Fantastic (2016)
Run Time: 118 min | IMDb: 7.9/10
Viggo Mortensen and Kathryn Han star in this feel-good drama about an unconventional family’s attempts to stay together despite outside forces closing in on their way of life. Mortensen plays Ben, the father to six children all living in a remote, wooded area. The kids keep a strict schedule, learning on their own, surviving in the wild, eschewing traditional schooling and activities for Ben’s regimen, which pushes them to think for themselves and find their own purpose. When Ben and the kids are forced to leave their utopia and interact with estranged family members in the real world, his teachings and their way of life is challenged in surprising ways.
8. Sorry to Bother You (2018)
Run Time: 111 min | IMDb: 7/10
Boots Riley’s directorial debut comes courtesy of this dark, absurdist comedy that manages to weave themes of class and capitalism into a bonkers tale about a telemarketer living in Oakland who figures out a way to use his “white voice” to make sales. As he moves up the ladder, selling while hiding his identity, he’s pulled into a conspiracy that forces him to choose between cashing in at humanity’s expense or joining his friends in a rebellion against the system. Lakeith Stanfield gives a riveting turn as Cassius Green, Cash, the kid at the center of this bizarre story, and Tessa Thompson gives a commendable performance as Cash’s radical feminist girlfriend, Detroit.
9. The Beatles: Eight Days A Week – The Touring Years (2016)
Run Time: 137 min | IMDb: 7.8/10
Set during the touring years of The Beatles’ career, from 1962-1966, director Ron Howard crafts an intimate portrayal of the world’s most popular band with the help of both Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr, along with widows Yoko Ono and Olivia Harrison. Featuring 4K restorations of some of the band’s most memorable concerts, this documentary is a must for any film lover, Beatles fan or otherwise.
10. A Quiet Place (2018)
Run Time: 90 min | IMDb: 7.6/10
John Krasinski’s breakout horror flick has made its way to Hulu. The film stars Krasinski and his wife, Emily Blunt, as a couple trying their best to raise their family in the middle of an apocalypse where the slightest sound might attract other-worldly creatures intent on hunting them down and killing them. It’s a thrilling turn for both actors, with twists you don’t see coming and a satisfying ending.
11. Creed II (2018)
Run Time: 130 min | IMDb: 7.2/10
Michael B. Jordan, Sylvester Stallone, and Tessa Thompson return for round two of this boxing drama reboot. Still training with Rocky Balboa, Adonis Creed (Jordan) tries to bounce back after a dangerous beatdown, resolving to face off against the son of Viktor Drago, the man who killed his father. The film’s tension is heightened, the hits more violent, and Jordan is as confident as ever in his leading man status.
12. Good Will Hunting (1997)
Run Time: 126 min | IMDb: 8.3/10
This flick put buddies Matt Damon and Ben Affleck on the map, but the story is just as interesting as the pair’s Hollywood friendship. Damon plays the titular Will, a genius who finds himself mopping the floors at M.I.T. He’s lacking direction in his life, surrounded by a crew of thickly-accented Boston bros (Affleck included), who prefer to drink at the pub and talk sports. Will likes to do that too, but he’s also a gifted mathematician searching for an outlet, one given to him by a psychologist played by Robin Williams. The two share undeniable chemistry on screen as their characters bond and push each other to confront harsh truths, and Damon does some of his best work here.
13. The Nightingale (2018)
Run Time: 136 min | IMDb: 7.2/10
Australian director Jennifer Kent follows up her surprise success, The Babadook, with another dark tale, this time one that follows a young woman on a path of revenge. Aisling Franciosi plays Claire, an Irish convict sent to Tasmania in 1825 who chases a British officer (Sam Claflin) through the wilderness intent on making him pay for the crimes he committed against her and her family. Along the way, she recruits help from an aboriginal tracker and the two navigate racial tensions and prejudice on their quest. Franciosi is magnetic as Claire, a woman who refuses to let the horrible abuses she’s suffered break her and Claflin seems to delight in playing the villain of this story.
14. Eyes Wide Shut (1999)
Run Time: 159 min | IMDb: 7.4/10
Nicole Kidman and Tom Cruise star in this erotic thriller from cinematic mastermind Stanley Kubrik about a married New York City couple that flirts with temptation. Cruise plays Dr. Bill Harford while Kidman plays his wife, Alice. The two run in the city’s elite circles and are constantly exposed to sex, drugs, and the opportunity for infidelity. When Alice admits to fantasizing about other men, Bill acts out, attending a masked orgy that ends up altering their marriage forever.
15. Heathers (1988)
Run Time: 103 mins | IMDb: 7.3/10
Helping to close out a decade of memorable teen films on a dark note, Heathers is a savagely funny deconstruction of the frivolousness of popular cliques that helped set the tone of many dark comedies that would follow in its wake. The plot involves a popular group of girls known as The Heathers who invite Veronica Sawyer (Winona Ryder) to join them, guaranteeing that she would gain popularity by association. Eventually, Veronica finds herself teaming up with a dangerous sociopath (Christian Slater) in an attempt to break the Heathers’ tyrannical hold on the school.
16. Akira (1988)
Run Time: 124 min | IMDb: 8.1/10
Loosely based on the ground-breaking manga of the same name, Akira is considered a landmark in Japanese animation, as well as one of the best animated films ever produced. Set in a dystopian future in 2019, a teenager named Tetsuo gains tremendous telekinetic powers after a motorcycle crash, eventually going mad with power before bringing the military-industrial complex to its knees. A live action adaptation has been in the works in some form since 2002, but remains in development purgatory for the time being.
17. When Harry Met Sally (1989)
Run Time: 95 min | IMDb: 7.6/10
You can’t talk about rom-coms without praising the O.G. friends-to-lovers romp that is this ’80s classic. Billy Crystal and America’s then-sweetheart, Meg Ryan, star as two New York City besties (going to batting cages and eating at delis) who worry that adding sex to the mix will ruin their friendship. The film poses the age-old question: Can men and women really be just friends, but it does it in a way that still feels fresh, decades later.
18. Stronger (2017)
Run Time: 119 min | IMDb: 7/10
Jake Gyllenhaal and Tatiana Maslany star in this biographical drama about Boston Marathon bombing survivor Jeff Bauman. Bauman lost both his legs during the terrorist attack as he cheered on his girlfriend who was competing in the race. Gyllenhaal brings the man’s inspiring true story of resilience and recovery to the screen, fully immersing himself in the role and showing the painful aftermath of trauma. There are bits about the terrorists and the coordinated manhunt for them, but the film shines when it focuses on Gyllenhaal.
19. Mission Impossible: Fallout (2018)
Run Time: 127 min | IMDb: 7.8/10
Tom Cruise is joined by Superman himself, Henry Cavill in this latest installment in the action franchise. Cruise returns as Ethan Hunt who leads his IMF team but is joined by Cavill’s CIA Agent, August Walker, who’s tasked with monitoring the group after a mission gone wrong. Hunt is tracking some missing plutonium before a terrorist group called The Apostles can weaponize it against the world but he’s thwarted by a surprising enemy.
20. We Need To Talk About Kevin (2011)
Run Time: 112 min | IMDb: 7.5/10
Eva Khatchadourian (Tilda Swinton), who’s unwilling and unable to properly care for her troubled son Kevin, watches her life unravel as her husband (John C. Reilly) ignores their problems and Kevin grows more and more sociopathic and violent. The story jumps around in time, showing Swinton’s character as both a new mother who blames her son for ruining her life and as a woman who eventually blames herself for what becomes of her son. Swinton proves once again that she’s the actress that indie movies need for complex characters that live their lives in grey areas. At its core, We Need To Talk is about the importance of proper parenting, communication, and probably therapy. And it’s not for the faint of heart.
21. Big Fish (2003)
Run Time: 125 min | IMDb: 8/10
This fantasy-comedy from Tim Burton stars Ewan McGregor as a young Edward Bloom, a man with a gift for story-telling and a lust for life. In the present, Edward Bloom is an old man, on the outs with his son and on his deathbed. His son Will (Billy Crudup), having grown up hearing his father’s tall tales, believes he’s lied to him his entire life. As Edward narrates his life, the fantastical adventures he went on, meeting Will’s mother, joining a circus, saving a town, meeting a big fish, Will decides to investigate his father’s claims and discovers that the truth is just a matter of perspective. In the end, the film is about reconciliation and appreciating life to its fullest.
22. Fyre Fraud (2019)
Run Time: 96 min | IMDb: 6.8/10
The war of the Fyre docs kicked off earlier this year with Hulu releasing their surprise flick just days before Netflix’s planned exposé. Both films rehash the same basic plot: a young entrepreneur scams thousands of millennials and investors out of millions of dollars, but Hulu’s movie takes a closer look the aftermath and damage caused by Billy McFarland and Ja Rule, in addition to interviews and close looks at the events of the Fyre Festival disaster with a critical eye.
23. Annihilation (2018)
Run Time: 115 min | IMDb: 6.9/10
Natalie Portman leads this cast of badass women investigating a natural phenomenon that is slowly invading Earth. Portman plays Lena, a biologist who leads a team of women consisting of a psychologist (Jennifer Jason Leigh), a scientist (Tessa Thompson), and a paramedic (Gina Rodriguez) into “The Shimmer,” a quarantined zone mutated by alien DNA that seems to be transforming matter at will and spreading further each day. Past teams, including one led by Lena’s husband (Oscar Isaac), have disappeared in The Shimmer and Lena goes searching for a clue as to what happened to them and how she can save her husband — who returned changed from his mission. The entire journey is filled with bizarre happenings tied to meta-commentary about evolution and the human condition but honestly, the coolest thing about this movie is its cast and the kick-ass characters they play.
24. Plus One (2019)
Run Time: 99 min | IMDb: 6.6/10
Pen15‘s Maya Erskine and ‘ Jack Quaid star in this modern rom-com about a pair of friends, who agree to suffer a summer of wedding invites together. Alice and Ben have been pals since college, but when their mutuals start getting hitched, and they’re left without dates to the happy nuptials, they make a pact to be each others’ “plus one.” What begins as a chance to score free booze and food quickly spirals into a neverending series of interactions that remind them how lonely they both are and force them to confront their hidden attraction.
25. Hunt For The Wilderpeople (2016)
Run Time: 101 min | IMDb: 7.9/10
A charming, unconventional story about what it means to be a family, Hunt for the Wilderpeople follows a juvenile delinquent named Ricky (Julian Dennison), who is adopted by a couple living on a farm in a remote region of New Zealand. After Ricky fakes his suicide and escapes into the bush, his (reluctantly) adopted father Hec (Sam Neill) goes looking for him, and after a series of mishaps, the two are forced to survive in the woods together for months. It was released during SXSW in 2016 (you can read our review here), and after rave reviews from critics the world over, it’s gone on to become the highest-grossing film in New Zealand history.
26. Love, Gilda (2018)
Run Time: 88 min | IMDb: 7.4/10
Before the Tina Feys, Amy Poehlers, and Maya Rudolphs of the world made Saturday Night Live a female-led powerhouse, comedian Gilda Radner starred on the sketch comedy series. She’s an icon, an absolute legend in the world of stand-up, and she played her bigger-than-life characters on the show with a kind of quirky abandon that made you laugh at them and care for them all at once. This doc looks back at her career, her struggles in an industry that wasn’t always accepting of her gender, and her brushes with more serious issues, like illness and eating disorders. Despite those serious topics, it’s a breezy, feel-good watch for comedy lovers of every generation.
27. Coherence (2014)
Run Time: 89 min | IMDb: 7.2/10
Coherence is one of those low-budget sci-fi stories that is extremely tough to explain without either giving too much away or requiring an extended entry. Essentially, a group of friends sifts through their own issues and insecurities during a mind-bending paradoxical experience. Taking place almost entirely in the same room on a single night, the characters struggle to find answers just as much as the viewer. It’s a challenging yet enthralling film, perfect for those who love to overthink things.
28. The Square (2017)
Run Time: 142 min | IMDb: 7.3/10
This Oscar nominee for Best Foreign Language Film follows Christian, an art curator whose life starts to unravel after he’s robbed and a new controversial piece opens at his exhibit. Co-starring Elisabeth Moss, Dominic West, and an aggressive man-ape artist, the movie shifts seamlessly from an awkward and bitingly funny satire to a dramatic examination of life. Despite a running time of 150 minutes, it never seems to lag, jumping from extremely tense moments to eccentric characters while being undercut with haunting music. Like a work of modern art, it’s very much left open to interpretation.
29. Colossal (2017)
Run Time: 109 min | IMDb: 6.2/10
A decidedly unusual twist on the giant monster movie, Nacho Vigolando’s Colossal follows Gloria (Anne Hathaway), an unemployed writer who moves back to her hometown after her boyfriend Tim (Dan Stevens) breaks up with her. After moving into her childhood home, Gloria’s heavy drinking starts to take a toll on her before she starts to realize that she may have a significant connection with a towering monster that spontaneously appears over Seoul, South Korea.
30. My Best Friend’s Wedding (1997)
Run Time: 105 min | IMDb: 6.3/10
Julia Roberts, Dermot Mulroney, and Cameron Diaz star in this classic rom-com about a woman set upon preventing her best friend’s marriage. Roberts plays Julianne, a woman who realizes she’s in love with her best friend, Michael (Mulroney), just days before he’s supposed to wed his rich fiance, Kim (Diaz). Roberts attends the festivities, befriending Kim while also trying to split the pair up, using wedding planning mishaps and bar karaoke to prove how wrong they are for one another. It’d be cringe-worthy if Roberts wasn’t so damn lovable and Diaz wasn’t hilariously naive.
Recent Changes Through March 2020:
Removed: Almost Famous, Ben Is Back
Added: 28 Days Later, Good Will Hunting