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 Academy Awards classics like Apollo 13 and Chinatown, the arthouse darlings like Sorry to Bother You and The Hunt, and the pure entertainment gems like Raiders of the Lost Ark and Terminator 2. 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.
Last updated: February 3, 2019
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.
Tim Burton has produced and/or directed many films that could be considered cult hits, but right up there near the top is 1988's Beetlejuice, now available on Hulu. Michael Keaton stars as the titular ghost, a rather disgusting fellow that's summoned at one's own risk. However, that's exactly what recently deceased couple Adam and Barbara Maitland (Alec Baldwin and Geena Davis) decide to do, once the mostly obnoxious Deetz family moves in to their home. Winona Ryder also stars as the Deetz' goth daughter Lydia, who befriends the Maitlands.
Director Denis Villeneuve solidified his reputation with Arrival, perhaps the most intimate science fiction movie in recent years. Critics awarded it a 94% Rotten Tomatoes score, and domestic fans boosted its box office to over $100 million, making it one of the most acclaimed films on Hulu. Amy Adams, Jeremy Renner, and Forest Whitaker help ground this mind-bending adventure. Should you have any questions about that ending, we've got you covered.
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22. Apollo 13
Directed by Ron Howard, Apollo 13 told the story of the ill-fated titular space mission, and the harrowing steps the astronauts on-board had to take in order to survive. Boasting a 95% score on RT and multiple Oscar nominations, Apollo 13 is arguably Howard’s best film, and features an amazing cast, including Tom Hanks, Kevin Bacon, Bill Paxton, Gary Sinise, Ed Harris, and Kathleen Quinlan. Apollo 13 is a journey well worth taking on Hulu.
21. Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure
At first glance, Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure - director Stephen Herek's ridiculous time-traveling comedy starring Keanu Reeves and Alex Winter as a pair of wannabe rockstars - might seem like an odd choice for a best of Hulu list, but despite its wild premise, the film is both critically acclaimed (78% on RT) and widely beloved. Bill S. Preston, Esq. and Ted "Theodore" Logan are of course soon set to reunite the Wyld Stallyns for a belated third movie, but it'll likely never get better than their original adventure with Rufus (George Carlin).
20. Terminator 2: Judgment Day
Commonly considered one of the greatest sequels in history - and perhaps better than its predecessor - director James Cameron's 1991 sci-fi/action masterpiece Terminator 2: Judgment Day is a truly iconic work. T2 famously flips the script on the original, casting Arnold Schwarzenegger in the role of cyborg hero, this time out to protect Sarah Connor (Linda Hamilton) and her son John (Edward Furlong) and prevent the Skynet uprising. Terminator 2 is a film worth watching again and again, now that's possible on Hulu.
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While it took director Martin Scorsese 25 years to make Silence, his commitment and passion are fully evident in every frame of the movie. As the title suggests, this is a quiet and interior film, a study of faith and persecution set in 17th Century Japan. Silence is a deeply transporting experience fueled by actors Andrew Garfield, Liam Neeson, and Adam Driver. Though largely ignored by the Oscars, Silence garnered an 84% Rotten Tomatoes score, and is very much worth checking out on Hulu.
18. Blue Velvet
If one's only exposure to director David Lynch is through the TV series Twin Peaks, they owe it to themselves to check out what may be Lynch's best movie, now on Hulu. Also starring Kyle MacLachlan, Blue Velvet in many ways inspired Twin Peaks' colorful aesthetic, and its setting of a seemingly idyllic small town with horrors bubbling not far under the surface. The biggest of those horrors is violent madman Frank Booth (Dennis Hopper), a villain always seen taking hits off of a container of an unidentified gas. Like any Lynch film, it's surreal, but it's also more accessible than much of the director's work.