The best movies on Hulu right now
In the mood for a movie? Lost in a sea of streaming options? To help you out, EW has compiled a list of the best movies on Hulu right now — from the old to the new, the comedy to the drama, and the blockbuster to the indie. Since we last updated, the platform has removed the films Sorry to Bother You and Booksmart, but fear not: We've found many (sometimes literally) killer options to replace them. Ready to take your movie night to the next level? Read on for our picks of Hulu's best films as of February 2023.
NOTE: All titles added to our list in February 2023 have an asterisk next to them.
*Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (1969)
Fans of The Princess Bride will love Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, another film from screenwriter William Goldman's portfolio. A comedic look at the world of outlaws — and loosely based on the true story of Butch Cassidy and Harry Longabaugh, aka the "Sundance Kid" — this Western two-hander follows the bandits as they flee the law after a train robbery gone wrong, only to find themselves living in South America along with Sundance's girlfriend, Etta Place. "They don't make buddy movies better than Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid," writes an EW staffer in their review of the film's Special Edition released in 2000, calling it "a valentine to the Wild West's most dashing thieves."
Watch Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid on Hulu here.
Talent: Paul Newman, Robert Redford, Katharine Ross
Related reading: Don't remake Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid
*Young Frankenstein (1974)
When it comes to satirical monster movies, they don't get much funnier than Young Frankenstein. A send up of 1930s films like Frankenstein and The Bride of Frankenstein, this Mel Brooks production was co-written with star Gene Wilder, who also performs the role of Dr. Frederick Frankenstein (pronounced Fronken-steen). After Frederick inherits the family estate in Transylvania, he decides to continue on with his grandfather's research, but finds himself creating a very similar monster. Featuring a cast of comedy legends, we describe it as Mel Brooks' "most stylish and subtle film." But honestly, when you're talking about Mel Brooks movies, subtle is a spectrum.
Watch Young Frankenstein on Hulu here.
EW grade: B- (read the review)
Talent: Gene Wilder, Peter Boyle, Marty Feldman, Cloris Leachman, Madeline Kahn, Teri Garr
Related reading: Young Frankenstein crew's favorite frights
Back to School (1986)
This comedy classic stars Rodney Dangerfield as a ridiculous self-made millionaire who decides to join his unhappy son at college in a misguided attempt to encourage him. It provided Dangerfield, a long-time standup comedian, a starring vehicle in which he could be his goofy, bug-eyed self, but Dangerfield infuses the role with a surprising amount of pathos as well. And, as a bonus, it features a very young Robert Downey Jr. in one of his first credited on screen roles. If you need a pick-me-up during these dark times (and who doesn't?), Back to School is just the ticket.
Watch Back to School on Hulu here.
Talent: Rodney Dangerfield, Keith Gordon, Sally Kellerman, Burt Young, Terry Farrell, William Zabka, Ned Beatty, Sam Kinison, Paxton Whitehead, Robert Downey Jr.
Related reading: EW's May 2004 interview with Rodney Dangerfield
The Hangover for yuppies, Sideways stars Paul Giamatti as divorcee Miles — a role George Clooney was reportedly interested in playing — a professed writer and wine expert who spends more time getting drunk than getting published. Miles and his about-to-be-married friend Jack (Thomas Haden Church) take a bachelor's trip to wine country, but encounters with women and work leave both men scrambling. The fourth of Alexander Payne's films, Sideways made it onto one of our former critics' lists of the best movies of the 2000s. Impactful enough to increase tourism to the wine region of California's Central Coast and transform Merlot into a punchline, Sideways is a funny, moving film that pairs best with a glass of pinot noir.
Watch Sideways on Hulu here.
Talent: Paul Giamatti, Thomas Haden Church, Sandra Oh, Virginia Madsen
Related reading: Why Sideways was worth the wait
*No Country For Old Men (2007)
Crime thriller No Country For Old Men boasts an impressive cast list, but the true star of the film is the silence that pervades the viewing experience. A film by the Coen brothers, No Country doesn't offer much in the way of dialogue, but the things that are said are potent enough to make your hair stand on end. A former EW critic writes that the film "is the Coens' first movie in ages that doesn't rely on snark as a backup source of energy, the first Coen script that respects its own characters wholeheartedly, without a wink." Those characters include Llewelyn Moss (Josh Brolin), a hunter who discovers the remains of a drug bust gone wrong, and makes off with the cash left behind. Pursued by the law, a bounty hunter, and a psychopathic hitman with a pageboy haircut, Llewelyn's choice to take the cash puts everything he's ever loved at risk. Adapted from the 2005 novel by Cormac McCarthy, No Country For Old Men is well-worth your time, but beware: you'll never look at a coin toss the same way again.
Watch No Country For Old Men on Hulu here.
Talent: Josh Brolin, Tommy Lee Jones, Woody Harrelson, Javier Bardem
Related reading: Why Anton Chigurh is still an iconic movie villain, 10 years later
*District 9 (2009)
In an alternate version of our universe, aliens arrived on Earth in 1982. For 28 years, the aliens (known as prawns), were prevented from returning home by the government, and forced to live in District 9, a refugee camp where they are segregated from the general population. A science fiction action film set in Johannesburg, South Africa, and directed by South African Neill Blomkamp, District 9 is a creative take on the genre, with political resonance and relevance to spare. Relying primarily on found footage in the form of interviews, newscasts, and surveillance tapes to help tell the story of two unlikely partners — a human and a prawn — who join forces to take down the government and the weapons manufacturing company hired to oversee the relocation of the prawns into a new refugee camp, District 9 is an allegory disguised as an alien.
Watch District 9 on Hulu here.
Talent: Sharlto Copley, Jason Cope, David James
Related reading: Box office preview: Will District 9 prove, yet again, that moviegoers want originality?
At the turn of the 21st century, journalists from The Boston Globe's investigative Spotlight team begin looking into a long-buried story about a priest whose arrest for child molestation was allegedly suppressed by the Catholic Church. But the deeper the reporters dig, the more they realize the story — and the conspiracy — are vaster than they could have ever predicted. Based on The Globe's Pulitzer Prize-winning investigation into the Church's pattern of suppressing information regarding priests sexually abusing children within their parishes, Spotlight took home the Oscar for Best Picture in 2016. The film "isn't just the best movie about journalism since All the President's Men," EW's Chris Nashawaty writes. "It might also be the most important."
Watch Spotlight on Hulu here.
*I Am Not Your Negro (2016)
Before he died in 1987, James Baldwin was in the process of writing a book about the murders of his three friends and civil rights leaders: Medgar Evers, Martin Luther King Jr., and Malcolm X. I Am Not Your Negro — a documentary seeking to pick up where Baldwin's unfinished manuscript for Remember This House left off — is a project as powerful as it is pertinent. EW's critic writes that as director Raoul Peck "cuts from archival scenes of police brutality in the South in the '60s to recent footage from Ferguson, Mo., it's impossible not to think: The more things change, the more they stay the same." Narrated by Samuel L. Jackson and written using Baldwin's own words, I Am Not Your Negro exemplifies some of the best the medium has to offer.
Watch I Am Not Your Negro on Hulu here.
Talent: director Raoul Peck, Samuel L. Jackson, James Baldwin
Related reading: I Am Not Your Negro: Samuel L. Jackson, Janelle Monáe, more urge you to 'know your Baldwin'
I, Tonya (2017)
Never before has watching an entire cast of antiheroes been so downright riveting and entertaining. Told from the conflicting accounts of the different people involved, I, Tonya delves into the unbelievable true story of Tonya Harding, the first American woman to complete a triple axel in a figure skating competition. Harding's legacy was forever marred after a shockingly ill-conceived plot by her ex-husband to harm fellow Olympic competitor Nancy Kerrigan emerged. It's a darkly comedic take on one of the most infamous sports scandals in history, and it's buoyed by a revelatory performance from Margot Robbie as Tonya and Allison Janney in an Academy Award-winning turn as her abusive mother, LaVona.
Watch I, Tonya on Hulu here.
Talent: Margot Robbie, Allison Janney, Sebastian Stan, Paul Walter Hauser, Bobby Cannavale
If Beale Street Could Talk (2018)
Based on James Baldwin's 1974 novel of the same name, Barry Jenkins' follow-up to his Best Picture-winning Moonlight is a devastating (and devastatingly beautiful) portrait of the romance between a young, Black couple in 1970s New York. After Fonny (Stephan James) is wrongly accused of rape and arrested, Tish (Kiki Layne) and her mother Sharon (Regina King) stand by him and work to clear his name. It may be a period piece, but the way the film handles issues with the police, sexual assault, and racism feels horribly — but vitally — of this moment.
Watch If Beale Street Could Talk on Hulu here.
EW grade: B+
Talent: Stephan James, Kiki Layne, Regina King, Brian Tyree Henry, Aunjanue Ellis
Minding the Gap (2018)
This Emmy- and Oscar-nominated documentary from director Bing Liu follows three young friends from a small Rust Belt town who use their shared passion for skateboarding to escape the reality of their volatile home lives. And although the skateboarding sequences are riveting, Minding the Gap is, at its heart, a moving, occasionally heartbreaking, and introspective look at growing up and coming to terms with past trauma.
Watch Minding the Gap on Hulu here.
Talent: Bing Liu (director)
Related reading: The biggest revelations from the documentaries of summer 2018
Apollo 11 (2019)
The historic Apollo 11 mission has served as an inspiration for countless shows and movies since its successful launch in 1969, but it's never been seen quite like this. Utilizing a newly discovered archive of 65mm footage — and more than 11,000 hours of uncatalogued audio recordings from the actual launch — director, editor, and producer Todd Douglas Miller drops the audience right in the middle of the action. The documentary is both immersive and intimate as it takes the viewer through every stage of the launch, and is a treat for both cinephiles and history buffs alike.
Watch Apollo 11 on Hulu here.
Talent: Todd Douglas Miller (director)
This Korean export made history at the 92nd Academy Awards when it became the first non-English language film to win Best Picture. In it, writer, director, and producer Bong Joon Ho deftly blends social commentary and class consciousness with thrilling wit. The film follows an underprivileged family, the Kims, who slowly ingratiate themselves into the lives of the wealthy Park family, with disastrous consequences. The journey is full of shocking twists and turns, and, by the end of it, you'll be left questioning who, in fact, are the real parasites?
Watch Parasite on Hulu here.
Talent: Cho Yeo-jeong, Park So-dam, Choi Woo-shik, Song Kang-ho, Lee Sun-kyun, Lee Jung-eun, Jang Hye-jin
Portrait of a Lady on Fire (2019)
In writer-director Céline Sciamma's sizzling romantic drama, a painter (Noémie Merlant) is hired to paint a wedding portrait of an aristocrat (Adèle Haenel) in 18th-century France. During the course of their time together, the two enter into a forbidden romance. With gorgeous cinematography from Claire Mathon, and gripping performances from its leading ladies, Portrait of a Lady on Fire is a work of art in and of itself. Calling the film "beautiful" just doesn't do it justice.
Watch Portrait of a Lady on Fire on Hulu here.
Talent: Noémie Merlant, Adèle Haenel, Luàna Bajrami, Valeria Golino
Related reading: The best and worst reviewed movies of 2019
The Assistant (2020)
In this slow-burn #MeToo drama, Ozark star Julia Garner is the titular assistant of an unseen, demanding film executive. Though Harvey Weinstein is never specifically named, the parallels here are clear and devastating. As EW critic Leah Greenblatt eloquently puts it in her review: "Instead of melodrama, the movie finds its traction in parsing out micro-aggressions and mood: a sort of devastating slow-drip portrait of the power structures that allowed a man like Weinstein to happen — and keep more like him in place, untouched by any justice a hashtag can reach."
Watch The Assistant on Hulu here.
Talent: Julia Garner, Kristine Froseth, Matthew Macfadyen, Patrick Wilson
In Chloe Zhao's Oscar-winning drama Nomadland, fact and fiction intermingle in such a way that it's almost impossible to tell where the film leaves off and real life picks up. A meditation on the generation of older Americans let down by the 2008 recession and the country's lack of financial safety nets, Nomadland follows a widow named Fern as she moves out of her house and into a van, which she drives around the country, in search of job opportunities. Frances McDormand stars as Fern opposite a cast composed mostly of real nomads playing fictionalized versions of themselves. And from the jump, it's clear how seriously McDormand took her work researching her character — while still in pre-production, she was offered a job working at Target.
Watch Nomadland on Hulu here.
Talent: Frances McDormand, David Strathairn, Bob Wells, Peter Spears
Related reading: Nomadland drives away with historic Best Picture win at the Oscars
Palm Springs (2020)
Part Groundhog Day, part romantic comedy, Palm Springs stars Andy Samberg and Cristin Milioti as strangers stuck in a mysterious time loop who are forced to relive the same day (and awkward wedding) over and over again. The concept makes for some hilarious hijinks, and — make no mistake — the film is laugh-out-loud funny, while providing a surprisingly profound meditation on love and life. It would have played well in any year, but when it came out in 2020, the idea that the mundanity and sameness of everyday life can be overcome by choosing to love those closest to us, over and over, was absolutely soul-crushing in the best of ways.
Watch Palm Springs on Hulu here.
Talent: Andy Samberg, Cristin Milioti, J.K. Simmons, Camila Mendes, Tyler Hoechlin, Meredith Hagner
Shirley is a trippy biopic of sorts that follows acclaimed horror writer Shirley Jackson (Elisabeth Moss), who finds inspiration for her next book when a young couple comes to stay with her and her husband. The film is told in the style of one of Jackson's Gothic tales, and the result is "a play of wits and deception where the game isn't victory or even solace, really, but a state of survival that feels dementedly, horrifically true," as David Canfield puts it in his Sundance review of the film. It's another incredible lead performance from Moss, who already churned out the horror hit The Invisible Man that same year. Although, unlike in that film, Moss is more the tormentor than the tormented in Shirley. Or, as Canfield says in his review: She's "gloriously demented." Need we say more?
Watch Shirley on Hulu here.
Talent: Elisabeth Moss, Michael Stuhlbarg, Odessa Young, Logan Lerman
Related reading: When will we stop terrorizing Elisabeth Moss?
*Summer of Soul (2021)
Everyone knows about Woodstock, but far fewer people know about 1969's Harlem Cultural Festival. A series of shows spread out over the course of the summer of 1969 — the same summer Woodstock occurred — the festival received far less attention, even though the level of artists and cultural figures involved was just as impressive. Directed by Ahmir "Questlove" Thompson in his directorial debut, Summer of Soul found its beat on the awards circuit, picking up an Oscar for Best Documentary. A film that EW's Leah Greenblatt describes as a "perfect mixtape," Summer of Soul is a must-watch for music lovers, history enthusiasts, and anyone looking to spend two hours with some of the best musicians of all time.
Watch Summer of Soul on Hulu here.
Talent: Ahmir "Questlove" Thompson
Related reading: Questlove on making Summer of Soul 'in the middle of a revolution'
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