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.
The Dark Knight
The Dark Knight may be the best superhero movie ever made, and it’s certainly one of the best movies on Hulu. The 2008 film is the second in the trilogy of Batman films from director Christopher Nolan, as Batman tries to deal with The Joker, his biggest arch enemy. Played by the late Heath Ledger, who died a few months before the film’s release, his incarnation of the Clown Prince of Crime is dark, disturbing, and utterly captivating, and it netted him a posthumous Best Supporting Actor Academy Award at the Oscars. Christian Bale also is excellent as both Batman and his alter ego Bruce Wayne, and Aaron Eckhart makes you believe that a strong force for good in Harvey Dent could turn into one for evil when he becomes another Batman villain, Two-Face.
You can also check out the first movie in Christopher Nolan’s Batman trilogy on Hulu, Batman Begins.
This 2016 film is one of the few sci-fi films that doesn’t treat its audience with kid gloves. Amy Adams play a linguist who is recruited by the government to attempt to communicate with an alien race that has mysteriously appeared with 12 ships that arrive at different points on the planet. Arrival, directed by Denis Villeneuve, is not your typical alien invasion story with lots of shooting and explosions but rather a movie that deals with communication and how it influences everyone; not just between humans and aliens but with each other as well. It also helps that the aliens in this movie are truly depicted as alien, and not as human or humanoid monsters.
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.
Beavis and Butthead creator Mike Judge wrote and directed this 1999 workplace comedy. It was a box office bomb when it first appeared in theaters but it has since gained a massive following thanks to video and repeated TV showings. It’s easy to see why. Office Space is maybe an exaggerated look at the people who work at a fictional software company, but it has some truly classic and funny comedy sequences. This is because we can either relate to the characters like Ron Livingston’s Peter Gibbons, who decides to just not care anymore about his job, or to Stephen Root’s Milton, the lonely office worker who just wants to get his stapler. And how many people have encountered bosses like Gary Cole’s Bill Lumbergh? His performance as the uncaring supervisor is perfect, whether he asks you to turn in your TPS report, or wants you to work on Saturday (“That’d be great.”)
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.
There are not too many Westerns being made anymore but one of the best of the modern Westerns is Tombstone. Kurt Russell and Val Kilmer bring the characters Wyatt Earp and Doc Holliday to life, perhaps better than any other actors who have played those classic Western icons. There are tons of other great character actors in this movie which offers its own version of the iconic gunfight at the OK Corral in Tombstone, Arizona It’s wonderfully entertaining and fun, and that’s what you want from this kind of movie.
Forget that awful recent remake of this classic 1990 Paul Verhoeven film. The original is still the best. Arnold Schwarzenegger has never been better than in this movie where he plays a man who at first thinks he’s just a regular construction worker, but later finds out his entire life is a lie, and the fate of an entire world could be in his hands. This is an action-packed film that has a few very graphic scenes (it is R-rated for a reason) but also has some funny one-liners from Arnold. It will even make you think about the nature of reality, and you can also enjoy the performances of some great villains, especially Ronny Cox as Vilos Cohaagen.
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.