The 35 best movies on Hulu right now

Photo via Marvel

There’s a lot to love on Hulu right now.

If you’re looking for the best movies on Hulu, you’ve come to the right place. While the streaming service is better known for its collection of TV shows, there’s no shortage of good movies on Hulu. We update this list monthly, so you can count on each of these recommendations being available when you’re ready for your next night in. Here are the best movies on Hulu right now.

The best movies on Hulu in May 2018

1) The Matrix

Seriously? Do you seriously need me to tell you how good The Matrix is? How it’s the Wachowskis’ most sublimely cerebral, gloriously weird, well-executed work ever? How it changed the face of Hollywood, setting the gold standard for sci-fi and action movies for years to come? How Keanu Reeves, Laurence Fishburne, and Carrie-Anne Moss created some of the most iconic movie characters of all time? How it’s the movie that makes you go, “Whoa”? Seriously, do I need to tell you all that? If the answer is yes, I just, I can’t with you. Get out of here, go watch this movie already. —Chris Osterndorf

HonestTrailers/YouTube

2) Taxi Driver

Taxi Driver’s anti-hero Travis Bickle is one of the most terrifying characters you’ll ever see. His mix of mental illness, toxic beliefs, and a tendency toward violence makes Bickle a character who wouldn’t be out of place in the world (real or cinematic) of 2018. Scorsese and Robert De Niro have taken audiences to some dark places, and ‘70s New York City is high on the list.

YouTube Movies/YouTube

3) 10 Cloverfield Lane

10 Cloverfield Lane came out of nowhere last year when was announced just two months prior to its release (it had previously flown under the radar as Valencia). For most of its runtime, it’s a taut locked-room thriller. It’s about a woman (Mary Elizabeth Winstead) who wakes up after a car crash in bunker belonging to a mysterious man (John Goodman). There’s another man stuck with them (John Gallagher Jr.) whose allegiances are hard to peg. The movie is a showcase for its cast and talented young director (Dan Trachtenberg). The ties to Cloverfield proved to be divisive among audiences, but it’s too good to miss out on.

Photo via Facebook

This 2017 biopic depicts the origins of Wonder Woman on the comic book page and the polyamorous relationship between William Moulton Marston, the man who wrote her, and the women who helped inspire her. Rebecca Hall shines as Elizabeth Holloway Marston, a brilliant mind in her own right. It’s a worthy companion piece to Patty Jenkins’ Wonder Woman, one that treats its subject matter with respect and dignity. —Michelle Jaworski

Screenwriter Will Reiser tells the story of his own battle with cancer in 50/50. Joseph Gordon-Levitt plays Adam, a 27-year-old with nothing but opportunity in front of him when he falls ill. The movie follows a traditional path, with Will battling the disease and the emotional and existential reckoning that comes with it. Gordon-Levitt is tremendous, and Seth Rogen does some of his best work as Adam’s best friend Kyle (echoing his real-life friendship with Reiser), and Anjelica Huston is devastating as Will’s mother. The movie finds plenty of humor in Adam’s situation, but don’t forget to have a box of tissues close by.

ZappMovieTrailer/YouTube

6) Creed

For those suffering from sequel fatigue, Ryan Coogler’s Rocky installment is the antidote. Coogler and leading man Michael B. Jordan lend Creed fresh perspective and energy while still packing the emotional wallop that endeared the series to so many people 40 years ago.

Screengrab via Warner Bros. Pictures/YouTube

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7) Arrival

Aliens randomly show up and strategically place themselves across the globe, with humans falling into complete panic in response. Most movies would take this set up and deliver a city-destroying action-fest. Director Denis Villeneuve and writer Eric Heisserer aim for something more thoughtful and empathetic. It’s a movie about understanding and listening. This sci-fi thinker is one of the best movies of the decade.

Screengrab via Paramount Pictures/YouTube

8) Fences

After a successful run on Broadway, Denzel Washington brings this August Wilson play to the silver screen. Washington directs and stars alongside his stage costar Viola Davis in this 1950s-set drama about a man grappling with the life choices he made and the repercussions they have on his family. It’s a powerful film, and you’ll want to keep tissues nearby.

Screengrab via Movieclips Trailers/YouTube

9) 13 Assassins

Takashi Miike’s samurai epic 13 Assassins, a remake of a 1963 film of the same name, is one of the Japanese master’s best films. It’s about a group of assassins (as you could guess from the title) who team up in an attempt to kill the odious Lord Matsudaira Naritsugu. The first half of the film is restrained as the team comes together and forms its plan, but the film’s climactic battle pays off the buildup and rewards the audience’s patience tenfold (thirteenfold?). It’s roughly 40 minutes of immaculately staged action mayhem. It’s pure spectacle that will take your breath away.

Screengrab via triviatrailers/YouTube

9) Zodiac

2007’s Zodiac is a film about obsession as much as it is the Zodiac Killer. David Fincher does a great job recreating the heightened panic and anxiety that gripped northern California in the late 1960s and early ‘70s. The first part of the film plays like a horror film before settling into something even more jangling, and it’s anchored by strong performances from Robert Downey Jr., Mark Ruffalo, and Jake Gyllenhaal. Zodiac is Fincher working in his wheelhouse and at the peak of his powers.

YouTube Movies/YouTube

10) Disappearance of Alice Creed

This kidnapping thriller is an exercise in economical storytelling. It’s based on a play, so it’s no surprise that it makes great use of its limited sets. Alice (Gamma Arterton) is from a wealthy family and is snatched up by two criminals and held for ransom. Nothing goes according to the plan, and the clever script delivers a steady stream of satisfying twists.

Screengrab via ScreenJunkies News/YouTube

11) The Hunt for the Wilderpeople

First New Zealand gave us Peter Jackson; now it’s given us Taika Waititi. Jackson makes oversized spectacles, and Waititi has built his name on small-scale stories with strong characters (Eagle vs Shark, What We Do in the Shadows). That is, until Marvel recruited him for his own oversized spectacle (Thor: Ragnorok). Wilderpeople is such a delightful movie that you understand why Waititi is getting called up while also being greedy enough to want him to keep making movies where his is the main creative voice. The Hunt for the Wilderpeople is one of the best movies on Hulu.

Screengrab via Piki Films/YouTube

12) The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

The spaghetti Western to end all spaghetti westerns. The third and final film in director Sergio Leone and Clint Eastwood’s Dollars Trilogy follows three lawless gunslingers in their own personal gold rush during the American Civil War. Between the tense duels and dramatic long shots, The Good, the Bad and the Ugly has everything you’re looking for, including another iconic score from Ennio Morricone. —Austin Powell

Rotten Tomatoes

14) Goon

There’s a growing realization that Seann William Scott is an underrated actor. Yes, Steve Stifler, the Stifmeister. That guy. Scott has had woefully few opportunities to show his chops, but in movies like The Promotion and especially Goon, he gets to show off a deftness for more subtle humor and emotions than American Pie demanded. In Goon, he plays a hockey player who excels only at fighting, but it’s his ticket to a brief respite from the drudgery life has waiting for him. Goon proved to be a cult hit, and Goon 2 is in the can and awaiting release in the U.S.

Adam Broadley/YouTube

15) Mystery Team

The simple pitch of 2009’s Mystery Team is The Wire meets Encyclopedia Brown. It stars Donald Glover, Dominic Dierkes, and D.C. Pierson (who also wrote the script) as three high school seniors who continue the mystery-solving business they started as kids. The Mystery Team gets their biggest case to date when a young girl hires them to figure out who killed her parents. The barrage of jokes is relentless, and the hit rate is high. The cast is packed with tons of now-familiar faces (Aubrey Plaza, Ellie Kemper, Kay Cannon, Bobby Moynihan, and Matt Walsh all pop up) and energetic directing by Dan Eckman.

derrickcomedy/YouTube

16) The Curious Case of Benjamin Button

There’s a hypnotic quality to David Fincher’s The Curious Case of Benjamin Button. You can feel it in the trailers for the film, and that intoxicating sensation swallows you up when you watch it. Brad Pitt stars as Benjamin, a man afflicted with a disease that causes him to age in reverse. Questionable southern accent aside, Pitt is quite good in the role. Watching Benjamin age backward against the backdrop of major 20th-century events creates an interesting juxtaposition. Like most Fincher films, Curious is technically dazzling and rewards multiple viewings.

Screengrab via YouTube Movies/YouTube

17) Compliance

Compliance is the kind of movie meant to push buttons and provoke strong reactions. Writer-director Craig Zobel’s film is about an unlucky fast-food employee being kept on the phone by someone claiming to be a police officer. The caller (Pat Healy) asks the employee (Dreama Walker) to do increasingly disturbing things in the name of clearing herself. Despite being based on a true story, Compliance’s premise will certainly test viewers’ patience and suspension of disbelief. Much like the phone caller’s demands, Compliance puts you through the emotional ringer.

Screengrab via Movieclips Trailers/YouTube

18) Rocky

Rocky Balboa is one of the most iconic characters in all of cinema. The underdog that other underdogs root for, Rocky is the embodiment of the American dream. The things that make Rocky so endearing—the blue-collar work ethic; the value of believing in yourself, Adrian—resonate just as much today. The Rocky series saw its ups and downs, but the success of the most recent entry, Creed, proves that the character’s popularity is everlasting, in and out of the ring.

Movieclips Classic Trailers/YouTube

19) Ingrid Goes West

Single White Female gets a social media twist in Ingrid Goes West. Aubrey Plaza plays the obsessive Ingrid, who sets her sights on a prolific Instagram star, played with bubbly energy by Elizabeth Olsen. Ingrid is a character right in Plaza’s wheelhouse, and she’s exactly as good as you think she would be as an angry, socially awkward young woman. The breakout star here is O’Shea Jackson Jr., who proves that his work playing his father in Straight Outta Compton is no fluke. The movie doesn’t go quite as far as its strong cast is capable of going, but the result is still a satisfying comedy.

Neon/YouTube

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20) Byzantium

As far as vampire thrillers go, this one is comparatively low-key. Gemma Arterton and Saoirse Ronan play a pair of vampires who have been on the run for hundreds of years. They try to live anonymously, but when their cover is blown, they’re on the run again. It’s arty fare and something that may test the patience of some. Director Neil Jordan creates a beguiling atmosphere, and Arterton and Ronan are strong leads, and combined they help carry the movie through clunky moments. Even if it isn’t totally successful in everything it sets out to do, it’s a worthy effort with enough highlights to make it worth your time.

Screengrab via FilmTrailerZone/YouTube

21) I Saw the Devil

This South Korean thriller pits two of the country’s most well-known actors (Choi Min-sik and Lee Byung-hun) as a cop and a serial killer, respectively. It’s a cat-and-mouse story, or maybe cat-and-cat is more appropriate, as Byung-hun relentlessly tracks and tortures the man (Min-sik) who killed his wife. The film is directed by maestro Kim Jee-woon, so you’re in good hands. I Saw the Devil is brutal and provocative, and if you have the stomach for it, it’s well worth a watch.

Spanish director Nacho Vigalondo isn’t well known in America, so this is a chance to impress your friends with your excellent taste in foreign films. Vigalondo’s biggest movie to date is the indie hit Colossal (starring Anne Hathaway and Jason Sudeikis), but his debut Timecrimes remains his best film. It’s a low-budget time-travel thriller (think Primer with a more propulsive plot) that is heady without being pretentious and twisty without being confounding.

Screengrab via Shudder/YouTube

23) Everybody Wants Some!!

Richard Linklater’s spiritual cousin to Dazed and Confused received the usual acclaim that accompanies most Linklater joints, but it didn’t translate to a big audience. That seems fitting, as it wouldn’t be right if Everybody Wants Some!! (the two exclamation points are important) didn’t find and build its audience the old-fashioned way just like Dazed did. The movie follows a group of baseball players as they navigate life on a college campus. Like most Linklater movies, Everybody’s is about the experience and characters rather than plot mechanics. Get you some!!

Screengrab via Movieclips Trailers/YouTube

24) Nerve

This Emma Roberts- and Dave Franco-starring techno-thriller is fast-paced fun. Roberts plays a woman looking for some extra money who decides to play a popular online game. In the game, called Nerve, players take on dares from anonymous viewers. For each completed dare, the player gets money instantly deposited into their bank account, so the allure to keep going is strong. Franco is one of the game’s best players, and when he teams up with Roberts, they become a popular duo. The movie is pretty dopey and gets pretty heavy-handed at the end, but it moves so fast that those concerns don’t really hit until long after the film is over.

Screengrab via Lionsgate Movies/YouTube

25) Barbershop: The Next Cut

The third entry in Ice Cube’s Barbershop series might be its best. The movie, like the barbershop itself, has a looseness to it that makes you want to linger in the shop longer than you need to. The conversation is alternately fun and fierce. The ball-busting goes both ways, with everybody cracking wise and getting cracked on but always in a way that’s good-hearted. If that were all the movie had going, that would be enough for a fun time. But The Next Cut tackles larger issues, most notably the changing racial makeup and growing crime problems of Chicago. In a movie with the central idea of people hashing out the day-to-day of their lives, the thornier societal issues flow naturally out of the conversation, and the movie is consistently entertaining. The cast, including stalwarts Ice Cube, Cedric the Entertainer, Eve, Sean Patrick Thomas, Anthony Anderson, and newcomers Lamorne Morris, Nicki Minaj, and Common, has easy chemistry and the film’s two hours just fly by. 

Screengrab via JoBlow Movie Trailers/YouTube

26) Daddy’s Home

It’s a crying shame Will Ferrell and Mark Wahlberg’s 2010 collaboration, The Other Guys, isn’t available, but their second one is. Ferrell plays a buttoned-up step-dad competing for the affection of his stepkids with the kids’ father, played by Wahlberg. The game of one-upmanship grows increasingly silly, as those kinds of things are wont to do, and Ferrell and Wahlberg sell the jokes as best they can. Daddy’s Home isn’t the funniest movie you’ll see with Wahlberg or Ferrell, but it gets the job done.

Screengrab via Movieclips Trailers/YouTube

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27) Chaplin

Best known for his role as Dr. John Hammond in the Jurassic Park franchise, Richard Attenborough was also a notable director of biopics. His most famous film is probably the 1982 epic, Gandhi (for which he won a best director Oscar), but film nerds may also be interested in checking out 1992’s Chaplin. Although Attenborough’s portrait is hagiographic in a way his real-life subject didn’t deserve, the movie is still an interesting watch for anyone who’s ever been curious about the titular silent film star. It’s a standard biopic, and it makes the standard biopic mistake of trying to cover Charlie Chaplin’s whole life from birth to death. But Attenborough includes a few creative flourishes, such as the occasional stylistic reference to Chaplin’s own work. Above all else, though, the main reason to check out Chaplin is Robert Downey Jr. in the lead role. For anyone who’s become unable to see Downey as anything other than Iron Man, Chaplin is a reminder of the considerable range possessed by this unique performer. Like the man he’s playing in Chaplin, Downey is a one-of-a-kind talent, and Attenborough’s film, which he received an Oscar nomination for, is an early indication of the superstar Downey was waiting to become. This is one of the best movies on Hulu right now.—Chris Osterndorf

Axaygiri Goswami/YouTube

28) Heathers

Mean Girls before Mean Girls, Scream before Scream, that’s how I pitch this ’80s classic to people who haven’t seen it. It’s a satire and a biting black comedy. High school tales about the coolest of the cool and the people who want to undermine them are the forever-cool leather jackets of film.

29) Pina

I don’t believe in guilty pleasures. Everyone should like what they want with no reservations or qualifications. That said, I have a soft spot for dance movies, be they good (most of the Step Up series, Mad Hot Ballroom) or bad (How She Move, You Got Served, the first Step Up film). Pina is Wim Wenders appreciation of famous German choreographer Pina Bausch. The film was shot in 3D (and is actually worth seeing in 3D), but the version on Hulu is 2D and still worth your time.

Screengrab via criterioncollection/YouTube

30) 28 Weeks Later

Everybody loves Danny Boyle’s 28 Days Later, but Juan Carlos Fresdinillo’s sequel is even better. Picking up six weeks after the rage virus ripped through Great Britain, 28 Weeks Later finds the U.K. overrun with military forces trying to contain the virus. The film follows a small group of survivors navigating the infected and the military. The film is relentlessly thrilling and features Rose Byrne, Jeremy Renner, Idris Elba, and Robert Carlyle.

SpEpicVideos/YouTube

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31) The Emperor’s New Groove

I’m not being facetious when I say this is my favorite David Spade performance. His brand of bone-dry sarcasm normally grates (for me at least), but this time he makes Emperor Kuzco believably entitled but doesn’t take it so far that you just hate the character. Spade is a worthy yin to John Goodman’s yang as a gentle giant Pacha. The story follows a familiar arc: Kuzco has to learn to be kind and let go of his selfishness, and Pacha is the poor man who has to teach Kuzco how to deal with people. It’s simple, it’s effective, and it’s hilarious.

Screengrab via YouTube Movies/YouTube

32) Anomalisa

Charlie Kaufman is arguably the best American filmmaker going right not. Or the most important. At the very least, he’s the best screenwriter. Anomalisa marks his second directorial effort after the much-praised Synecdoche, New York, and the claymotion drama is full of the pathos and introspection that have marked much of his work to date. It’s about a lonely man living a pedestrian life who meets someone who breaks up the monotony. But it’s about so much more than just that. Kaufman has written some of the absolute best films of the last 20 years (Being John Malkovich, Adaptation, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind), but he doesn’t get the chance to direct very often, so we have to savor the films we do get from him.

Paramount Pictures

33) Beach Rats

Coming-of-age indie stories are a dime a dozen, but Beach Rats separates itself primarily through the lead performance by Harris Dickinson. Dickinson plays Frankie, a teen who spends his days hanging out with his deadbeat friends and his evenings online looking for older guys to hook up with. Frankie’s frustrations in exploring his sexuality and accepting himself are blunt and relatable. Beach Rats is the kind of movie that will always fly under the radar of most people, but those who give it a chance will find it rewarding.

Neon/YouTube

34) Daddy Longlegs

If nothing else, it’s worth looking up Daddy Longlegs just for its poster. It’s about a father (co-star and co-writer Ronald Bronstein) who’s terrible at being a dad but nevertheless must forge ahead with his very limited amount of time with his sons. The movie, like its protagonist, will test the patience and comfort of its audience. If you’re looking for something different, look no further. The movie’s co-directors, Josh and Benny Safdie, are having a bit of a moment with their acclaimed film Good Time, so now’s a good time to check out their feature debut.

Screengrab via IFC Films/YouTube

35) Columbus

Acclaimed video essayist Kogonada makes his feature directorial debut with this low-key drama about a man (John Cho) who comes home to be with his ailing father and strikes up a friendship with a young woman (Haley Lu Richardson) tethered to the titular town. Every shot of Kogonada’s film is deeply considered, and the images are as well crafted as the architecture the characters obsess over. But at the heart of it are Cho and Richardson, who gives two of 2017’s best performances.

Movieclips Film Festivals & Indie Films/YouTube


Hulu movie list: What’s new on Hulu in May 2018

Paramount Pictures/YouTube

May 1

 3 Ways to Get a Husband (2010)
A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984)
A Nightmare on Elm Street 2: Freddy’s Revenge (1985)
A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: The Dream Warriors (1987)
A Nightmare on Elm Street 4: The Dream Master (1988)
A Nightmare on Elm Street 5: The Dream Child (1989)
A Very Brady Sequel (1996)
The Brady Bunch Movie (1995)
Baby Boom (1987)
Back to School (1986)
Barefoot (2014)
The Beatles: Made on Merseyside (2017)
The Box (2009)
Booty Call (1997)
Breakable You (2018)
Bride and Prejudice (2004)
Bull Durham (1988)
The Counterfeit Traitor (1962)
The Crow (1994)
The Crow II: City of Angels (1996)
The Crow III: Salvation (2000)
The Crow IV: Wicked Prayer (2005)
Demolition Man (1993)
Dirty Pretty Things (2002)
Eight Men Out (1988)
Elizabethtown (2005)
Emperor (2012)
Executive Decision (1996)
Foxfire (1996)
Gator (1976)
Godzilla (1998)
The Hangman (2017)
Here to be Heard: The Story of the Slits (2017)
Hot Boyz (2000)
The House I Live In (2012)
Immigration Tango (2010)
Iron Eagle IV: On the Attack (1995)
Kalifornia (1993)
Lost in Vagueness (2017)
Love is a Gun (1994)
Malena (2000)
Man of the House (2005)
Manhunter (1986)
Mansfield Park (1999)
The Matrix (1999)
The Matrix Reloaded (2003)
The Matrix Revolutions (2003)
Men in Black II (2002)
Men with Brooms (2002)
Never Back Down (2008)
New Guy (2002)
New Rose Hotel (1998)
Ninja Masters (2009)
No Greater Love (2015)
The Pallbearer (1996)
Pink Panther 2 (2009)
Pret-A-Porter (1994)
Priest (2011)
Race for your Life, Charlie Brown (1977)
Rocky (1976)
Rocky II (1979)
Rocky III (1982)
Rocky IV (1985)
Rocky V (1990)
School Ties (1992)
Set Up (2011)
She’s All That (1999)
Starting out the Evening (2007)
Strategic Air Command (1955)
The Swan Princess Christmas (2012)
The Swan Princess: The Mystery of the Enchanted Treasure (1998)
Thief (1981)
To Rome with Love (2012)
Traffic (2000)
Untamed Heart (1993)
Valkyrie (2008)
Wes Craven’s New Nightmare (1994)

May 5

The Longest Week (2014)
Warrior (2011)

May 11

Bleeding Heart (2015)
Into the Fade (2018)

May 12

Baywatch (2017)
Frank Serpico (2017)
Jane (2017)
Still Mine (2012)
Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby (2006)

May 13

Tonight She Comes (2016)

May 15

Animals (2015)
How to be a Latin Lover (2017)
It’s A Disaster (2012)
Periods. (2012)
Soul of a Banquet (2014)
Take Every Wave (2017)
The Other F Word (2011)
The Snapper (1993)
The Strange Ones (2018)

May 16

Knights of the Damned (2018)
The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor (2008)

May 19

Beatriz at Dinner (2017)
Shooters (2002)

May 2

American Folk (2017)
Neat (2017)

May 23

Half Magic (2018)

May 24

Curvature (2017)

May 25

Mad to be Normal (2017)

May 27

The Wedding Plan (2016)

May 31

I, Tonya (2017)
Please Stand By (2018)
Rain Man (1988)

Editor’s note: This article shares blurbs with some of our other streaming guides and is regularly updated for relevance.

Eddie Strait is a member of the Austin Film Critic Association. His reviews focus primarily on streaming entertainment, with an emphasis on Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime, and other on-demand services.

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If you’re looking for the best movies on Hulu, you’ve come to the right place. While the streaming service is better known for its collection of TV shows, there’s no shortage of good movies on Hulu. We update this list monthly, so you can count on each of these recommendations being available when you’re ready for your next night in. Here are the best movies on Hulu right now.