Hulu is like the woebegone middle-child of the streaming family, the one continuously forgotten about and taken for granted. Netflix is the show-off oldest sibling who has to be the best and first at everything. And Disney+ is the baby of the bunch, who mostly skates by on cuteness.
It may be under-estimated, but Hulu is a goldmine of good content. Its original series lineup is stacked, from The Handmaid’s Tale and Ramy to Little Fires Everywhere and Normal People. Plus, the streamer recently joined forces with FX to host its library of content on the platform. Hulu has tons of network TV classics, like Family Matters, Frasier, Buffy the Vampire Slayer and The Golden Girls, too.
Hulu’s film library is similarly stacked with a goldmine of great titles, old and new. From recent Oscar winners to blockbuster superhero flicks to vintage thrillers, here’s a rundown of the best movies to stream on Hulu right now.
Right now, Hulu is the only place you can stream Parasite, Bong Joon Ho’s masterful social justice thriller that won this year’s Academy Award for Best Picture. Just a week after debuting on the platform, Parasite became the most-streamed indie or foreign language film ever on Hulu. It’s also now the second most-watched movie on Hulu overall.
Portrait of a Lady on Fire (2019)
If Hulu had just these two titles in its library — Parasite and Portrait of a Lady on Fire — I’d still call it an exquisite film collection, because this poetic, sensuous film by Céline Sciamma is one I could also watch every day and still find something new to appreciate.
Portrait of a Lady on Fire is about a painter, Marianna, who’s commissioned to do a portrait of a reluctant bride, Héloïse. Spoiler alert: they fall in love with each other, instead. Ugh, it’s the most beautiful, bittersweet movie I’ve ever seen.
Seriously, I think Hulu has every single one of my favorite films from last year. Booksmart, Olivia Wilde’s directorial debut, is about a couple of type-A teenagers (played by Kaitlyn Dever and Beanie Feldstein) who realize they’ve wasted high school being goody-goodies, so they endeavor to get into some trouble before graduation, to hilarious effect. The whole movie is genius, but the “doll scene” alone could be a work of art.
This gorgeous documentary from filmmakers Tamara Kotevska and Ljubomir Stefanov is partly an intimate tale about the ancient tradition of beekeeping in the mountains of Macedonia. But it spins into a larger environmental fable about our individual roles in the grand scheme of planetary health. Honeyland was nominated for Best Documentary Feature at the Oscars.
A Quiet Place (2018)
John Krasinski and Emily Blunt play a couple trying to keep their family silent and thus safe from monstrous aliens that hunt by sound. Blergh, this movie was super scary when I watched it on an airplane, on one of those tiny seatback screens. I can only imagine how freaky it’d be on a full size TV screen streamed in the privacy of your own home…
I, Tonya (2017)
Margot Robbie plays Tonya Harding in this serio-comic biopic about the disgraced figure skater, whose career was derailed in 1994, when her ex-husband waged a sloppy attack on one of her competitors, Nancy Kerrigan. Allison Janney won an Academy Award for playing Tonya’s domineering mother, LaVona Golden, in the film.
The original Spider-Man from 2002 is unimpeachably the best Spider-Man movie. I mean, how could any sequel compete with that infamous upside-down kiss between Tobey Maguire and Kirsten Dunst? It was even restaged in season two of The OC, another gem of early aughts entertainment, a few years later.
Okay, I’ve never actually seen this thriller starring Kathy Bates, but it’s going on my quarantine binge list. Based on a Stephen King book, it’s about a novelist injured in a car crash who’s rescued by a former nurse — who turns out to be one of his biggest fans. But things quickly take a sinister turn… When she finds out he plans to kill off her favorite character, the author’s rescuer becomes his captor. If you were a fan of HBO’s limited series The Outsider, this one’s a good pick.
If you’re in the mood for a mob movie, rather than slogging through all three-and-a-half hours of The Irishman on Netflix, why not queue up this earlier Scorsese flick? There’s a reason Goodfellas is a beloved classic: it’s bloody and gritty in all the best ways.
One of Winona Ryder’s earliest films, Heathers still packs a wallop today. It’s a black comedy about high school that centers on a bored popular girl and her murderous paramour. How very.