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 Matrix and Seven, the arthouse darlings like Sorry to Bother You and Let the Right One In, and the pure entertainment gems like The Fifth Element and Shrek. 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.
10 PUNCH-DRUNK LOVE
The fourth feature to be directed by perennial critical darling Paul Thomas Anderson, 2002’s Punch-Drunk Love offered a showcase for comedy icon Adam Sandler’s then-unknown dramatic chops as Barry Egan, a desperately lonely man with severe rage issues. Sadly, said chops have only been glimpsed a few times since, with Sandler mostly content to stick to his usual wheelhouse of slapstick comedies like Grown Ups. Still fans of Sandler the actor will always have this critically acclaimed film to remember him by, and stream on Hulu.
Continually considered one of the funniest films in history, 1980 spoof comedy Airplane throws joke after joke at the audience with reckless abandon, and while all of them don’t necessarily hit for everyone, most of them likely will. Granted, Airplane does contain some material likely to be viewed as a bit problematic by current standards, but when seen through the lens of when it was made, it’s clear these jokes weren’t intended to be malicious. Airplane might be best known for taking Leslie Nielsen, then primarily a dramatic actor, and turning him into a comedic force to be reckoned with. Anyone who hasn’t experienced Airplane needs to take this flight while it’s on Hulu.
8 SHUTTER ISLAND
Directed by Martin Scorsese and starring his modern muse Leonardo DiCaprio, 2010’s Shutter Island centers on U.S. Marshal Teddy Daniels, who’s sent to investigate a mysterious disappearance at a mental hospital on the titular island. Unfortunately for Teddy, nothing is what it seems, and the mystery threatens to swallow him whole. The star-studded cast also includes Mark Ruffalo, Ben Kingsley, Max von Sydow, and Michelle Williams. Those looking for a thriller designed to keep them guessing should definitely stream Shutter Island on Hulu.
The film that put Dreamworks Animation on the map, 2001’s Shrek stars Mike Myers as the titular ogre, a creature gruff on the outside but caring on the inside. Despite not wanting to do anything but hang out in his swamp, Shrek is compelled to go on a quest to rescue Princess Fiona (Cameron Diaz) by the villainous Lord Farquad (John Lithgow). By his side is Donkey (Eddie Murphy), a fast-talking animal who can’t help annoying Shrek with his constant chatter. Shrek spawned a franchise of three sequels and multiple specials, and is worth checking out on Hulu.
6 ROSEMARY’S BABY
Although director Roman Polanski is quite rightfully disgraced nowadays for being a convicted rapist, but that doesn’t mean his classic films are suddenly any less great. One of the best is 1968’s Rosemary’s Baby, a deservedly revered entry into the horror canon. Mia Farrow stars as the titular character, a young woman who sees her life get more and more unraveled after she and her husband move into a mysterious New York City apartment building. Before long, she begins to suspect that every single person in her orbit might be involved in a demonic conspiracy. Those who haven’t seen it owe it to themselves to meet Rosemary’s Baby 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 STAR TREK II: THE WRATH OF KHAN
The Star Trek multimedia franchise has so far produced 13 feature films, but arguably the most iconic of those came early on, with 1982’s Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, now on Hulu. For better or worse, The Wrath of Khan changed gears from the metaphysical, exploratory adventure that was Star Trek: The Motion Picture, and did its best to turn Star Trek into more of a space action vehicle. Thankfully, it succeeded with most, and William Shatner’s Captain Kirk yelling KHAN! at Ricardo Montalban’s titular villain has become the stuff of legend.
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.
1 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 sadly not available via Hulu.