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The 50 Best Movies on Hulu Right Now, Updated for April 2023

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On the streaming scene for over a decade, and these days majority-owned by Disney, Hulu has gone through a few iterations in its lifespan, but by 2018 it was reporting subscription numbers upwards of 20 million, and today it offers a suite of content that includes Hulu-branded originals, assorted big-budget Hollywood blockbusters, niche corners that feature stuff like independent horror, and licensing deals for first-run content from name-brand entertainment companies such as Lionsgate and Annapurna Pictures.

Hulu earned strong notices for its original content in 2020, with critical nods to shows like Shrill and PEN15. And with its production and broadcast of Emmy Award-winning program The Handmaid’s Tale, which first appeared in 2017, the streamer finally broke through to a higher echelon of industry recognition. So what’s in the hopper at the streamer these days? We’ve done the parsing, exploring and perusing for you, and discovered a brace of movies to keep you busy and entertainment-sated amidst our plethora of streaming options. From recent breakthrough hits like Palm Springs and Happiest Season, to ’90s action thrillers, to enlightening documentaries, to exclusively hosting new films from hot indie label NEON, and all the way through to lauded recent Oscar winners and beguiling indie fare, here are the Top 50 Best Movies on Hulu right now (updated for April 2023).



‘Something’s Gotta Give’ (2003)

Everett Collection

DIRECTOR: Nancy Meyers
STARS: Diane Keaton, Jack Nicholson, Keanu Reeves

Focus on the interior design of a Nancy Meyers movie, and you’re missing the point. It’s exquisite, sure, but it has nothing on her treatment of the interior lives of women past a certain age. A character like Diane Keaton’s Erica Barry so often gets relegated to a supporting role or a perfunctory presence in lesser movies, but this divorced playwright finding love on her own terms gets the full spotlight here. Granted, she shares it some with an uproarious Jack Nicholson as a perpetual lothario, yet it’s Keaton (an avatar for Meyers herself) who gets to glow.

Watch Something’s Gotta Give on Hulu


'Vacation Friends' (2021)

Vacation Friends where to watch
Photo: 20th Century Fox

DIRECTOR: Clay Tarver
STARS: John Cena, Meredith Hagner, Lil Rey Howery

Has anyone else noticed the fact that Lil Rel Howery has been crushing it in every movie role he’s in recently? And also the fact that Lil Rel Howery has been in a lot of movie roles recently? In the year 2021 alone, he’s been the voice of a shoulder devil and angel in Tom & Jerry, pranked unsuspecting civilians with Eric Andre in Bad Trip, played Kevin Hart’s best friend in Fatherhood, played Ryan Reynolds’s best friend in Free Guy, and commentated the big game in Space Jam: A New LegacyHe stars here alongside John Cena and Meredith Hagner in a movie that’s basically Wedding Crashers meets The Hangover.

Watch Vacation Friends on Hulu


‘Groundhog Day’ (1993)

Photo: Everett Collection

DIRECTOR: Harold Ramis
STARS: Bill Murray, Andie MacDowell, Chris Elliott

Sometimes, it’s a simple comedy that can raise the most profound existential questions. In Groundhog Day, Bill Murray’s weatherman Phil Connors must live out the same day on a seemingly infinite loop. It’s only when he stops seeing this affliction as a Sisyphean punishment and starts interpreting the repetition as a charge to do the most good that he can begin to escape. Any number of religious and philosophical movements see their teachings reflected here, and this very fact makes for a wonderful demonstration of all the things that unite us as humans.

Watch Groundhog Day on Hulu


‘Run’ (2020)

Run (2020)
Photo: Lionsgate/Courtesy Everett Collection

DIRECTOR: Aneesh Chaganty
CAST: Sarah Paulson, Kiera Allen

Run was one of those 2020 films that got caught in the COVID-19 release/format churn. Originally scheduled for a Mother’s Day release, it eventually ended up on Hulu, to the benefit of the streaming platform, as it’s become its most successful original film. The thriller stars Sarah Paulson as Diane Sherman, mother to Chloe (Kiera Allen), a sickly high schooler with a laundry list of conditions and disorders. Diane dotes on Chloe, but it’s also pretty clear early on that all is not what it seems, and as Run unfolds, a war begins between mom and daughter to discover what’s really going on, and whether Chloe was ever really sick at all. Throw all that at the wall and add in a twist ending that’s become a phenomenon on social media, and Run is a satisfyingly twisty watch that pairs well with the latest in contemporary horror.

Watch Run on Hulu


‘I Am Not Your Negro’ (2016)

I AM NOT YOUR NEGRO, poster, 2016. ©Magnolia Pictures/courtesy Everett Collection
Photo: ©Magnolia Pictures / Everett Collection

DIRECTOR: Raoul Peck
STARS: James Baldwin, Samuel L. Jackson

Whether you need a primer on iconic American author James Baldwin or simply want to see his words vividly imagined for the screen, I Am Not Your Negro is the movie for you. Director Raoul Peck, through both archival footage and new narration by Samuel L. Jackson, makes Baldwin’s writing leap off the page and into our soul. The portrait that emerges is a thinker on race and the American psyche molded by his own time but built to speak with searing relevancy to ours.

Watch I Am Not Your Negro on Hulu


‘On the Count of Three’ (2022)

On the Count of Three - Still 1
Photo: Courtesy of Sundance Institute/Marshall Adams.

DIRECTOR: Jerrod Carmichael
STARS: Jerrod Carmichael, Christopher Abbott, Tiffany Haddish

If a comedy about two friends making a suicide pact sounds like it could never possibly work, then you need to see Jerrod Carmichael’s On the Count of Three to prove your assumptions wrong. This astutely observed day-in-the-life story of its two leads finds the humor and the heartbreak in their situation as it winds toward what they think is its inevitable conclusion. Though Carmichael is the main reason for the film’s behind the screen, it’s Christopher Abbott’s live wire who steals On the Count of Three on screen. His car front-seat rendition of Papa Roach can heal the world.

Watch On the Count of Three on Hulu


‘The Town’ (2010)

As Doug MacRay in 'The Town.' Aside from the plethora of shirtless scenes to show off his back muscles, Affleck gives a solid performance as a bank robber who wants to leave his past behind. Everett Collection

DIRECTOR: Ben Affleck
STARS: Ben Affleck, Jeremy Renner, Blake Lively, Rebecca Hall

If Ben Affleck made The Town any more Bostonian, it would bleed Dunkin Donuts coffee. He both directs and stars in this crime story about a native son from the city’s infamous Charlestown neighborhood who’s caught between fulfilling and escaping a legacy of robbery. Can love — or a manhunt by the FBI — break the ironclad bonds of family? It’s thrilling to watch the two opposing forces tug on the protagonist.

Watch The Town on Hulu


‘Benedetta’ (2021)

Photo: Courtesy of IFC Films. An IFC Films Release.

DIRECTOR: Paul Verhoeven
STARS: Virginie Efira, Charlotte Rampling, Lambert Wilson
RATING: Unrated

If all you see is blasphemy in Paul Verhoeven’s riotous Benedetta, look further. What initially presents as a scintillating, sensuous tale of lesbian nuns in 17th century has so much more to offer about the nature of faith, transgression, and order within religious institutional settings. This side of Scorsese, you won’t find another movie so sincere in its desire to understand why people give themselves over to divine and earthly authorities. Benedetta and her fellow nuns pledge to become one with Christ, but what does that mean for one’s burgeoning sense of self? Sparks fly as Verhoeven allows his characters to sort that out.

Watch Benedetta on Hulu


‘It’s Complicated’ (2009)

Photo: Everett Collection

DIRECTOR: Nancy Meyers
STARS: Meryl Streep, Alec Baldwin, Steve Martin

Nancy Meyers is perhaps best known for providing easygoing cinematic comfort food. You get all of that in It’s Complicated and more — as it turns out, she’s got a real knack for bawdy, brassy comedy. As Meryl Streep’s cozy divorcee weighs her romantic options between her good-natured architect (Steve Martin) and her remarried ex-husband (Alec Baldwin), Meyers finds a way to make a raunchy sex romp go down with the silky smoothness of a chocolate croissant.

Watch It’s Complicated on Hulu


'WeWork: or The Making and Breaking of a $47 Billion Unicorn' (2021)

Photo: HULU

DIRECTOR: Jed Rothstein
STARS: Adam Neumann

In the mood to get frothing mad about an eccentric billionaire? Then Hulu’s WeWork documentary is just the ticket. WeWork: Or the Making and Breaking of A $47 Billion Unicorn is an inside look at all the messy details of the rise and fall of the trendy real estate company. And the messy individual at the center? The 41-year-old former CEO Adam Neumann. Director Jed Rothstein doesn’t hold back on the bizarre gossip he knows you’re craving, including an anecdote about how WeWork employees switched the meaning of the words “cappuccino” and “latte” rather than correct Neumann. You’ll be fascinated, horrified, amused, and most of all infuriated by Neumann’s whims, which landed thousands of employees out of the job and landed the former CEO a nearly $1.7 billion payout.

Watch WeWork: or The Making and Breaking of a $47 Billion Unicorn on Hulu


'69: The Saga of Danny Hernandez' (2020)

Photo: Hulu

DIRECTOR: Vikram Gandhi
CAST: 6ix9ine
RATING: Not Rated

This chronicle of the meteoric rise of an ambitious, outsized young rapper from Bushwick, Brooklyn speeds by at the flickering, manic pace of contemporary social media. It tells the story of how Danny Hernandez went from being just a kid working at the bodega to becoming the flame-haired, face-tatted, Platinum-selling rap artist Tekashi 6ix9ine, with a street rep and rap sheet to go with it. But 69 also illustrates the incredible power of social platforms, everything from the short-lived Vine to the furious, chaotic immediacy of TikTok. Like any kid in the 21st century, Hernandez grew up with social media woven into his personhood, and savvily engaged with it to amplify his music and persona. This doc is a biography of the artist at its center, but it also examines the pathways to fame, and the hefty price tag on unchecked ambition.

Watch 69: The Saga of Danny Hernandez on Hulu


'Into the Dark: Pilgrim' (2020)

Photo: Everett Collection

DIRECTOR: Marcus Dunstan
CAST: Reign Edwards, Kerr Smith, Courtney Henggeler  

One of the more consistently interesting corners of Hulu is its Into the Dark series, which produces feature-length horror films with the participation of horror scene heavyweight Jason Blum. In Marcus Dunstan’s Pilgrim, an overeager mother hires a group of Pilgrim re-enactors to enrich her family’s Thanksgiving experience, but as weird as that is, it gets even weirder when they build a shed in the family’s backyard, invite more of their “re-enacting” friends over, and end up putting the parents in stocks, branding them with hot pokers, and accusing them of blasphemy. It’s up to plucky oldest daughter Reign Edwards to save the day, and it all culminates in one of the more bizarre and more bloody Thanksgiving Day dinners ever put to film. “You best get to shucking!”

Watch Pilgrim on Hulu


‘Hell or High Water’ (2016)

Hell or High Water
Photo: Everett Collection

DIRECTOR: David Mackenzie
STARS: Chris Pine, Ben Foster, Jeff Bridges

“Three tours in Iraq but no bailout for people like us,” reads graffiti sprayed against a wall in the opening scene of Hell or High Water, setting a powerful tone for this unique twist on the cops and robbers tale. This thrilling neo-Western follows the twinned journeys of two brothers holding up banks to save their family’s ranch and two Texas Rangers hunting them down. It’s a provocative, pulse-pounding examination of who represents and defends justice in a contemporary world.

Watch Hell or High Water on Hulu


'I Am Greta' (2020)

Photo: Everett Collection

DIRECTOR: Nathan Grossman
CAST: Greta Thunberg, Malena Ernman

She was a nominee for the Nobel Peace Prize twice and has made numerous Most Influential People lists since she came to prominence as one of the world’s foremost  — and youngest — authorities on climate activism, so it makes sense that Greta Thunberg would get her own documentary. I Am Greta opens with a stationary shot aboard ship with the young activist as she makes her 2019 sea voyage to attend climate conferences in New York City. It then rolls into a supercut of ugly weather, accompanied by the soundbites of naysayers. (“I’m from Canada, so I could use a few more degrees of warmth!” Yuk yuk yuk.) It then goes back to the beginning for Thunberg, when she would stage one-person protests outside Swedish Parliament in Stockholm, and her voiceover, delivered in the deliberate manner of speaking for which she has become well known, elaborates on her original motivation to begin pestering those in positions of power to do something, anything, about climate change. I Am Greta doesn’t reveal anything very new about Thunberg’s quest. But it serves as a sounding board for her views, and helps to humanize a young person who has perhaps been somewhat stereotyped as just an angry voice at a microphone. “Humanity sees nature as this big bag of candy,” she says in narration. “That we can just take as much as we want. And so one day, nature will probably strike back in some way.”

Watch I Am Greta on Hulu


'Kid 90' (2021)

Photo: Hulu

DIRECTOR: Soleil Moon-Frye
CAST: Soleil Moon-Frye

Kid 90 is a documentary film that follows the actress Soleil Moon Frye from her time as a child star on Punky Brewster through her hard-partying teen years. We see her take a drag on a joint and take a slug from a bottle of Jagermeister as we hear audio from an old talk show in which she professes kids to “just say no” to drugs. She and her friends take mushrooms and cavort in a field, playing with ladybugs and philosophizing about raindrops on the windshield like Very High Teenagers. She leaves her Los Angeles home at 18 to attend college in New York, scraping by in a spartan apartment with a futon and no refrigerator, falling in with a new group of friends. The partying continued, as you might expect. You know some of her friends from both coasts: Jenny Lewis, Brian Austin Green, Sara Gilbert, Mark-Paul Gosselar, Leonardo DiCaprio (a credited producer of Kid 90), Justin Pierce, Stephen Dorff, Jonathan Brandis, David Arquette, Danny Boy O’Connor (of rap group House of Pain). She asks many of them to give their philosophy on life. Some of them are featured in new interviews, looking back; others aren’t alive to do so. This was Moon Frye’s young life, and looking back at all this, she says she’s “coming of age as an adult.”

Watch Kid 90 on Hulu


‘Prometheus’ (2012)

Droids have feelings, too, or at least they do when they're played by someone like Michael Fassbender in 'Prometheus.' Photo: 20th Century Fox

DIRECTOR: Ridley Scott
STARS: Noomi Rapace, Michael Fassbender, Charlize Theron

There are two kinds of people in this world: those who respect Ridley Scott’s return to the storied Alien franchise … and those who are wrong. Prometheus returns the series to its body horror roots, weaving another terrifying yarn about how extraterrestrial spores slowly infect and demolish a flight crew in the outer reaches of space. If that’s not enough, the film also features one of Michael Fassbender’s best turns as David, the ship’s icy and calculating android butler.

Watch Prometheus on Hulu


'Margaret Atwood: A Word After a Word After a Word Is Power' (2019)

Margaret Atwood A Word After a Word After a Word is Power (2019)
Photo: White Pine Pictures

DIRECTORS: Nancy Lang, Peter Raymont
CAST: Margaret Atwood, Margaret Dorothy Atwood 
RATING: Not Rated

This enlightening portrait of the Canadian author and poet takes as its starting point the sweep of media attention and Emmy awards for the television adaptation of The Handmaid’s Tale. It follows Atwood as she meets admirers and fans, delves into her childhood, and examines her career as both a Booker Award-winning fiction author and prolific poet. Atwood herself is an engaging interview, and she not only sits for one specific to A Word Is Power, but appears in interview footage from over the course of her life as a working writer. Periodically other writers and public figures also appear to give their own testimonials to the power and pleasure of Atwood’s work. When The Handmaid’s Tale showrunner proclaims that Atwood’s writing is a natural fit for adaptation to television, Atwood says “Here’s the secret: I’m a Victorianist. Charles Dickens wrote like a television series.” Oh, and by the way, according to Atwood, the epic poem The Odyssey is also constructed like a television series, so don’t let anyone tell you watching TV will rot your brain. 

Watch Margaret Atwood: A Word After A Word After A Word Is Power on Hulu


'Jacinta' (2021)

Jacinta Hulu Movie
Photo: HULU

DIRECTOR: Jessica Earnshaw
STARS: Jacinta

Jacinta is a compassionate, wrenching portrait of the devastating nature of addiction and the damage it does to so many lives. It’s a documentary that may remind you a bit of Heroin(e)TarnationEvelyn, and even Girls Incarcerated.

Watch Jacinta on Hulu


'The Amazing Johnathan Documentary' (2019)

Photo: Hulu

DIRECTOR: Ben Berman
CAST: The Amazing Johnathan, Ben Berman
RATING: Not Rated

The Amazing Johnathan is a comedian, performance artist, and occasional magician who over the years has made a name for himself with frequent appearances on the Las Vegas comedy circuit, and with shows that strive for the outrageous. What’s more outrageous? A guy making a documentary about The Amazing Johnathan’s act and life who suddenly has to deal with a rival bunch of documentary filmmakers clamoring to access the same subject. That’s part of the subtext of The Amazing Johnathan Documentary, Ben Berman’s film about the comedian, who stepped away from public life in 2014 after being diagnosed with a heart ailment. Berman becomes a character of sorts in his own film, questioning his motives for making it and examining his own history even as he tracks Johnathan and interviews comedy luminaries like Penn Jillette and “Weird Al” Yankovic for their thoughts about the longtime trickster.

Watch The Amazing Johnathan Documentary on Hulu


'Boss Level' (2021)

Photo: Hulu

DIRECTOR: Joe Carnahan
CAST: Frank Grillo, Mel Gibson, Naomi Watts

Boss Level is an explosive hoot of time loop mumbo jumbo that only cares about its temporal niceties for as long as it takes to get to the next shootout, car chase, or, yes, supercut of its hero being beheaded. It’s outrageous. Just go with it.

Watch Boss Level on Hulu


‘Baby Mama’ (2008)

Photo: Universal

DIRECTOR: Michael McCullers
STARS: Tina Fey, Amy Poehler, Dax Shepard

The comedic chemistry of Tina Fey and Amy Poehler’s on-screen pairing makes it so that, as the old adage goes, they could make reading the phonebook entertaining. But luckily they have much better material in Baby Mama as a single career woman desperate to have a baby (Fey) and the hapless surrogate whose womb enables her dream to become a reality (Poehler). This mom-com is packed to the brim with great one-liners, zany supporting characters, and hilarious gags.

Watch Baby Mama on Hulu


‘99 Homes’ (2015)

Photo: Everett Collection

DIRECTOR: Ramin Bahrani
STARS: Andrew Garfield, Michael Shannon, Laura Dern

Where do you go when you hit rock bottom? At the height of the housing crisis that precipitated the Great Recession, Andrew Garfield’s Dennis Nash has to answer that question FAST when he’s evicted from his family home. 99 Homes follows his dance with the devil as he begins to scrounge together the funds to get it back by working with the real estate maven who kicked him out of his own place. In Ramin Bahrani’s brilliantly wrought morality play, Dennis the evictee becomes the evictor – a reversal of fortune that illustrates the brokenness of American capitalism.

Watch 99 Homes on Hulu


'Once Were Brothers: Robbie Robertson and the Band' (2020)

Once Were Brothers Movie
Photo: Everett Collection

DIRECTOR: Daniel Roher
CAST: Robbie Robertson, Martin Scorsese, Bruce Springsteen 

“I don’t know any other musicians with a story equivalent to the story of The Band,” Robbie Robertson says toward the beginning of this music doc, and while that’s pretty conceited, it does manage to encapsulate a group that would be so bold as to simply call themselves The Band. (“Simply their name, The Band. That was it,” Bruce Springsteen says of the group, and how they came together to be something greater than the sum of their parts.) A bunch of other notables help trace the story of the group, including Martin Scorsese, Eric Clapton, and Taj Mahal, and Robertson himself describes his life’s journey in music, beginning with his first childhood guitar and moving through his days as a young rocker obsessed with music. Once Were Brothers covers the representative moments in the life of The Band, including their Big Pink collaborations with Bob Dylan, and features a wealth of vintage performance footage that absolutely breathes “1960s and 70s,” especially in the rich tableau of facial hair on display. (Note also that Hulu is also streaming The Last Waltz, Scorsese’s epic concert film capturing The Band’s farewell performance in 1976.)

Watch Once Were Brothers on Hulu


'The Assistant' (2019)

Photo: Everett Collection

DIRECTOR: Kitty Green
CAST: Julia Garner, Owen Holland

Led by a strong central performance from Julia Garner (Ozark), The Assistant puts a harsh spotlight on a corrosive workplace culture of sexual harassment and mental abuse. As Jane, an assistant to an executive at a film production company, learns of her boss’s illicit sexual encounters in his office, all the while performing demeaning tasks around the office, she attempts to intervene by saving a new hire from the same fate and filing a complaint with human resources, which proves to be a dead end when it’s made clear that her boss is above suspicion. The Assistant is a tightly-controlled, understated film that finds a means of highlighting what’s at stake in the #metoo movement while also allowing Garner to develop Julia as a real, compelling person. The Assistant was written, directed, produced and edited by Australian filmmaker and film editor Kitty Green.

Watch The Assistant on Hulu


‘The Proposal’ (2009)

Photo: Everett Collection

DIRECTOR: Anne Fletcher
STARS: Sandra Bullock, Ryan Reynolds, Betty White

Few modern rom-coms have quite bottled up the energy of the old screwball classics quite like The Proposal. One can feel the energy of the comedies of remarriage in the magnetic pairing of Sandra Bullock as a fearsome publishing bigwig at risk of deportation to her native Canada and Ryan Reynolds as the long-suffering assistant who she strong-arms into “marrying” her so she can stay in America. It’s a movie that does romance as well as it does comedy, a rarity in a subgenre where one side usually prevails over the other.

Watch The Proposal on Hulu


‘Crimes of the Future’ (2022)

Photo: Everett Collection

DIRECTOR: David Cronenberg
STARS: Viggo Mortensen, Léa Seydoux, Kristen Stewart

The maestro of body horror, David Cronenberg, returns to his old genre stomping grounds in Crimes of the Future to deliver an unexpectedly moving and reflexive late career stunner. The director, who was way ahead of the curve at spotting the ways in which humans mutilate themselves to merge with technology, returns with a chilling vision of the future in which humans have eliminated physical pain and infectious disease. But the absence of such maladies does not mean the presence of happiness, as we see through the experiences of two “performance artists” who surgically remove strange bodily organs before a crowd. Though oblique and horrifying in many ways, Cronenberg’s film makes a movie a sincere plea for viewers to understand what makes us human – and hold onto those things, even it feels like an impediment to technological evolution and development.

Watch Crimes of the Future on Hulu


'Shirley' (2020)

Photo: Neon / Courtesy Everett Collection

DIRECTOR: Josephine Decker
CAST: Elisabeth Moss, Odessa Young

Shirley was described as a “gothic, feverish anti-biopic” by A.O. Scott in the New York Times, and a “hard-to-quantify psychological study” by Variety reviewer Peter Debruge, who also likened the fim to a seance. Elizabeth Moss continues her adventurous, celebrated career with the titular turn as author Shirley Jackson, whose short story “The Lottery” caused a sensation upon its 1948 publication but is here suffering from profound writer’s block and a good bit of agoraphobia. Shirley and her husband Stanley Hyman (Michael Stuhlbarg) are joined in their home by a young couple, Fred and Rose Nemser (Logan Lerman, Odessa Young), and this combo unleashes a raft of psychological torture on each other. There’s infidelity, there’s drinking, there’s bouts of near-insanity. And through it all, there’s the nature and idea of writing as a powerful force to be reckoned with, both by its creator and those around her. An off-putting, occasionally hallucinatory film, Shirley shares its unsettled quality with 2018 Academy Award nominee The Favourite.

Watch Shirley on Hulu


'Totally Under Control' (2020)

Photo: Everett Collection

DIRECTOR: Alex Gibney
CAST: Alex Azar, Charlie Baker, Scott Becker

Award-winning filmmaker Alex Gibney’s sobering Totally Under Control might very well prove to be the lasting document of America’s Most Terrible Year. With clear eyes, the Academy Award-winning documentarian takes 2020 at its unfortunate face value. Control tracks the discovery, spread, and eventually all-consuming specter of COVID-19, and unequivocally places the pandemic firestorm’s causal roots and mounting death toll at the feet of President Donald Trump and his coterie of bureaucratic flunkies (‘sup, Jared?) and do-nothing appointees. Through interviews with frontline medical professionals and disillusioned government officials, as well as a wealth of damning press footage of Trump, his sycophants, and other MAGA mouthpieces downplaying every sad thing that we know to be terribly serious and totally true, Totally Under Control illustrates in a narrative close to harrowing real time not only how bad 2020 got, but why it got that way in the first place.

Watch Totally Under Control on Hulu


‘Bridesmaids’ (2011)

BRIDESMAIDS, Kristen Wiig, 2011. ph: Suzanne Hanover/©Universal Pictures/Courtesy Everett Collection
Photo: Everett Collection

STARS: Kristen Wiig, Maya Rudolph, Rose Byrne

If you have time to read more than a blurb on why Bridesmaids is so great, I argued that its GIF-ability made it the definitive comedy of the 2010s in my Decider column “Smells Like ‘10s Spirit.” Those outsized reactions to everyday absurdity, particularly from leading lady Kristen Wiig, made it the perfect movie to capture the imagination of a culture moving further towards visual rather than text-based communication. But the movie also endures because it’s more than just a collection of outrageous moments – it’s an honest, heartfelt look at female friendships.

Watch Bridesmaids on Hulu


‘Scarface’ (1983)

Scarface (1983)
Everett Collection

DIRECTOR: Brian de Palma
STARS: Al Pacino, Michelle Pfeiffer, Steven Bauer

Don’t hold all the dorm room posters against Scarface. Brian de Palma’s crime epic of a Cuban immigrant rising through Miami’s drug cartels has all the trappings of a classic American dream story. It’s just soaked in the kind of cocaine-fueled energy of its leading character, vividly brought to life by Al Pacino at his absolute hammiest. There’s a reason his screaming delivery of “say hello to my little friend!” has become an iconic line … and is worth waiting nearly three hours to hear.

Watch Scarface on Hulu


'Derek DelGaudio's In & Of Itself' (2021)


CAST: Derek DelGaudio

In & Of Itself is the filmed version of a theatrical experience performed 552 times by magician/illusionist/storyteller Derek DelGaudio. At the risk of sounding like a tease, the less you know about it heading into it, the more you’ll get out of watching it. It’s not a “traditional” magic show like you might expect from David Blaine or David Copperfield; it’s more like what the late Ricky Jay and the late Spalding Gray might have come up with if their paths ever intersected. You’ll laugh, you’ll gasp, and you’ll probably even tear up. It can’t replicate the feeling of a “night on the town,” exactly, but it will definitely scratch that “experience” itch of yours.—Mark Graham

Watch Derek DelGaudio's In & Of Itself on Hulu


‘Fire Island’ (2022)

Photo: ©Searchlight Pictures/Courtesy Everett Collection

DIRECTOR: Andrew Ahn
STARS: Joel Kim Booster, Bowen Yang, Conrad Ricamora

It’s by no means required to know Pride and Prejudice to enjoy Fire Island, though it certainly wouldn’t hurt to unlock additional layers of meaning within the film. This contemporary update of Austen set in the summer sun amongst a popular tourist destination for gay men is the rare new rom-com that delivers on both components of the genre. Star Joel Kim Booster’s script is full of sizzling insights about queer men oscillating between casual sex and committed relationships, and it’s gut-busting funny. It’s a film worth sweating and swooning over.

Watch Fire Island on Hulu


'Happiest Season' (2020)

Photo: Hulu

CAST: Kristen Stewart, Mackenzie Davis, Mary Steenburgen

Happiest Season writer and director Clea DuVall assembled an impressively deep bench for her second feature. Kristen Stewart and Mackenzie Davis are the couple at its core, and they’re joined by Alison Brie, Aubrey Plaza, Mary Steenburgen, and Victor Garber (and Ana Gasteyer!). This is rom com central, and a “gathering the fam for the holidays” movie, to boot. But DuVall keeps the mood steady, and the cast is game to bring real life to the ensemble. Happiest Season also tells a story of coming out to one’s parents, and the pressure that decision can put on the people and parties involved. So in that sense, there’s a modern wrinkle to the proceedings. But even with that angle, Happiest Season is content to work within the framework of formula. Upon its initial run, the film got caught up in the COVID-19 floating release date/platform churn, but it overcame all of that with a lot of heart from the cast, and will likely offer future Christmas audiences a chance to cozy up with warm sweaters and a heartfelt group watch.

Watch Happiest Season on Hulu


'I, Tonya' (2017)

Photo: Neon

DIRECTOR: Craig Gillespie
CAST: Margot Robbie, Sebastian Stan, Allison Janney

I, Tonya might not have gotten the shake it deserves its first time around, and that’s despite industry accolades including star Margot Robbie being nominated for Best Actress and Allison Janney winning the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress. Robbie and Janney are of course terrific as Tonya Harding and her mother, LaVona Golden, while Sebastian Stan appears as Jeff Gillooly (remember him?). As it tells the backstory of Tonya Harding, the hardscrabble figure skater who could launch into a triple axel at a moment’s notice but could never outrun her upbringing. To that end, Janney is the film’s coarse heart — chain-smoking and mind-gaming her daughter so much so that Tonya can’t find a way out, even after the infamous attack on her skating rival Nancy Kerrigan. I, Tonya is snappily directed by Craig Gillespie (Lars and the Real Girl) — standard biopic elements abound, but there are also mockumentary-style bits, and pieces here and there suggestive of Steven Soderbergh’s Out of Sight, where crime and violence are played as dark comedy.

Watch I, Tonya on Hulu


‘Father of the Bride’ (1991)

Father of the Bride (1991)
(c) Buena Vista Pictures / courtesy Everett Collection

DIRECTOR: Charles Shyer
STARS: Steve Martin, Diane Keaton, Martin Short

And you thought having a wedding was stressful for the bride. Steve Martin delivers a comedic tour de force as a high-strung, penny-pinching patriarch forced to swallow his pride for his daughter’s big day in Father of the Bride. This family comedy is a delightful and uproarious look at all the little things that can push someone over the edge to the point that they lose sight of what really matters. You’ll want to save the date for this one, be it your first or forty-first watch.

Watch Father of the Bride on Hulu


'March of the Penguins 2: The Next Step' (2018)

Photo: Everett Collection

DIRECTOR: Luc Jacquet
CAST: Lambert Wilson, Morgan Freeman

As the camera comes up on an azure expanse with no horizon, and the stirring string music lifts you high up into the sky, you know you can drop the remote and stop the search: this nature doc has grabbed you. And that’s all before director Luc Jacquet’s film brings you beneath the surface of the water, to meet the penguins as they ride like ribbons of silk on the massive ocean currents. March of the Penguins 2: The Next Step is the sequel to the hit 2005 documentary March of the Penguins, and returns Morgan Freeman as the omniscient narrator. “Meet the remarkable Emperor Penguin…again,” Freeman intones, and thousands of the titular birds are depicted in their wild, windy, freezing natural habitat of Antarctica, bopping to and fro and encountering one another as if they were at some strange avian cocktail mixer. The Next Step travels 2000 feet below the surface of the Southern ocean, following one penguin as it drifts past otherworldly sea creatures and vast fields of octopi. And it tracks an infant Emperor, covered in dun peach fuzz, as it sets out from its windswept inland home “for an ocean it’s never seen.” Instinct, insight, and full immersion in a place none of us will likely ever be: March of the Penguins 2 is a journey waiting to be taken.

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‘Forgetting Sarah Marshall’ (2008)

forgetting sarah marshall
Everett Collection

DIRECTOR:: Nicholas Stoller
STARS: Jason Segel, Mila Kunis, Russell Brand, Kristen Bell

We see all of Jason Segel in the simultaneously uproarious and unsettling opening scene of Forgetting Sarah Marshall where his titular girlfriend unceremoniously dumps him. But the moment of exposure doesn’t feel like a gimmick because Segel spends most of the movie emotionally naked as well, openly grappling with his post-breakup insecurities. A less gifted performer would have made the film an insufferable pity party, but Segel’s sincerity tinged with self-awareness makes this an essential deconstruction of the male romantic ego.

Watch Forgetting Sarah Marshall on Hulu


‘Ford v Ferrari’ (2019)

Ford v Ferrari
Photo: Everett Collection

DIRECTOR: James Mangold
STARS: Matt Damon, Christian Bale, Jon Bernthal

A historical tale of how scrappy American racers took on the Italian behemoth, Ford v Ferrari runs like a well-oiled machine. Though James Mangold’s sleek craftsmanship makes the engine pure, the film would be nothing without the fuel provided by the soulful performances of Matt Damon and Christian Bale as the clashing visionaries behind the foolhardy Ford project. This is peak dad-core cinema right here, folks.

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‘Moulin Rouge!’ (2001)

Moulin Rouge!

DIRECTOR: Baz Luhrmann
STARS: Nicole Kidman, Ewan MacGregor, Jim Broadbent

The word melodrama derives from Greek words meaning “music drama,” a definition that Baz Luhrmann embodies better than anybody with Moulin Rouge! This exuberant portrait of fin de siècle Parisian nightlife finds the throughline between the can-can and MTV, portraying a doomed romance between MacGregor’s penniless writer and Kidman’s ambitious courtesan in period costumes and modern tunes. No movie has earned an exclamation point in its title quite like this one!

Watch Moulin Rouge! on Hulu


‘If Beale Street Could Talk’ (2018)

(c) Annapurna Pictures / Courtesy Everett Collection

DIRECTOR: Barry Jenkins
STARS: KiKi Layne, Stephan James, Regina King

It’s easy to grade Barry Jenkins on a curve for attempting what none others were foolish enough to try: adapting the formidable prose of the legendary James Baldwin to the screen. If Beale Street Could Talk is more than just a participation medal, even if Jenkins himself has second-guessed some of his decisions on the film. This is a film that preserves the raw power of Baldwin’s words and finds a visual corollary in Jenkins’ poetic aesthetic. It’s a tribute to Black joy and love with the power to persevere across the ages.

Watch If Beale Street Could Talk on Hulu


'Portrait of a Lady on Fire' (2019)

Photo: Courtesy Everett Collection

DIRECTOR: Celine Sciamma
CAST: Noemie Merlant, Adele Haenel

“I’ve dreamt of that for years.” 



The cliffs and crashing sea are a constant in Portrait of a Lady on Fire, Celine Sciamma’s immersive drama about the relationship between a painter and her elusive aristocratic portrait subject in 18th century France. In a film with a certain quietness about it — the cast is limited, the setting is relatively static — it’s the roar and constant motion of the sea that agitates, and it keeps the viewer out of balance as the love story at the center of Lady on Fire‘s plot unfolds. Heloise, the aristocrat (played by Adele Haenel), dreamed of running because she was cooped up in a convent for a number of years, until her older sister committed suicide by leaping from the cliffs, and Heloise’s mother (Valeria Golino) instead bethrothed Heloise to a Milanese nobleman. As she begins to plot out her painting, starts to get to know her subject, and eventually falls in love with her, the audience discovers quite a bit about Marianne (Noeme Merlant), too, but Lady on Fire always returns to that roiling sea, and fittingly, it’s the setting for the fiery final acknowledgement of the forbidden love between these two women. Portrait of a Lady on Fire is a mighty period romance that is also furiously contemporary in its thinking on love and relationships.

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‘Shrek’ (2001)

SHREK, Eddie Murphy as Donkey, Mike Myers as Shrek, 2001. ©DreamWorks/courtesy Everett
Photo: ©DreamWorks/Courtesy Everett Collection

DIRECTORS: Andrew Adamson, Vicky Jenson
STARS: Mike Meyers, Eddie Murphy, Cameron Diaz, John Lithgow

Nearly two decades after its release, Shrek remains as relevant and vital as ever – and if you need proof, scroll any social media service long enough to eventually see a meme featuring everyone’s favorite ogre. This family-friendly adventure works as both a witty send-up of fairy tale lore and a moving journey of self-acceptance. It’s got clever jokes for adults and juvenile ones for the kids, ensuring that everyone’s happy with this movie night pick.

Watch Shrek on Hulu


‘Her Smell’ (2019)

Everett Collection / Everett Col

DIRECTOR: Alex Ross Perry
STARS: Elisabeth Moss, Agyness Deyn, Dan Stevens
On its face, Alex Ross Perry’s Her Smell is not not a movie about Courtney Love. But there’s so much more to this music drama than a roman à clef. Through the female punk rocker Becky Something, brought to tempestuous life by the inimitable Elisabeth Moss, the film demonstrates the unique drama that can be wrought by self-destructive talents – and how the same community those personalities draw in can then sustain them through the inevitable crash. Shakespearean in its structure yet ‘90s to its core, Her Smell reeks of greatness.

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‘Fight Club’ (1999)

Photo: Everett Collection

DIRECTOR: David Fincher
STARS: Brad Pitt, Edward Norton, Helena Bonham Carter

So, you think you fully understand Fight Club. Give it another watch, honestly. There is no end to peeling back layers of its trickery, commentary, and irony. With time and distance, this satire of masculinity and consumerism only shows more of its devilishly grinning face to the world.

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‘Spencer’ (2021)

Photo: NEON

DIRECTOR: Pablo Larraín
STARS: Kristen Stewart, Timothy Spall, Sean Harris

If you’d rather your royal dramas resemble The Shining than The Crown, then Spencer is the movie for you. Director Pablo Larraín builds on his incisive film Jackie to paint a portrayal of Princess Diana during a critical crucible as her marriage – and sanity – hang on by a mere thread over a holiday weekend. He’s got an incredibly cooperative partner in star Kristen Stewart, who imbues Diana with the same streak of soulfulness and shyness that runs through her own work and career. This is the cure for the common biopic.

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'Another Round' (2020)

Photo: ©Samuel Goldwyn Films/Courtesy Everett Collection

DIRECTOR: Thomas Vinterberg
STARS: Mads Mikkelson, Thomas Bo Larsen

Anyone with a penchant for indulgence will laugh, and then grimace, at Another Round, a darkly comedic examination of Danish drinking culture from director Thomas Vinterberg. Mads Mikkelsen stars as a depressed school teacher who rediscovers his love of life through an experiment in excessive drinking with his colleagues. The theory: A man is happier with a blood alcohol content of at least 0.05 at all times. The question: Will they be able to stop? Mikkelsen is exceedingly watchable, and the way his tortured apathy transforms into a manic enthusiasm is nothing less than masterful. Be sure to watch to the very end, for the most uplifting solo dance scene of 2020. (Another Round won the Oscar for Best International Feature Film at the 2021 Academy Awards.)

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'Palm Springs' (2020)

Photo: Sundance Institute

DIRECTOR: Max Barbakow
CAST: Andy Samberg, Cristin Milioti

Equal parts fun, poignance and wackiness, Palm Springs twists the rom com setting of a destination wedding ass backward on itself, over and over again, until a cocktail of quantum physics and psilocybin mushrooms attempts to bust the time loop cycle wide open. That’s right, it’s humankind’s perpetual search for life’s meaning and love’s promise at play against the rules of temporal lock grooves as understood by the Bill Murray classic Groundhog Day. With the narrative of Palm Springs repeatedly snapping back on itself, Andy Samberg and Cristin Milioti have quite a load to shoulder. They’re like Tom Cruise and Emily Blunt in Edge of Tomorrow, only with less alien invaders and more cold beers to crush. Samberg and Milioti prove ably up to the task, and get support too from a mischievous JK Simmons.

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'Summer of Soul' (2021)

Photo: Mass Distraction Media

DIRECTOR: Questlove
STARS: Stevie Wonder, Gladys Knight, Nina Simone

DJ, The Roots drummer/leader, and ubiquitous cultural icon Questlove makes his directorial debut in Summer Of Soul, a documentary that explores a previously overlooked moment in 60s musical history: the 1969 Harlem Cultural Festival. Engrossing archival footage of performers like Stevie Wonder is just one reason why the film took home several awards at the 2021 Sundance Festival.

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‘The Departed’ (2006)

THE DEPARTED, Leonardo DiCaprio, Ray Winstone, Jack Nicholson, 2006, (c) Warner Brothers/courtesy Ev
©Warner Bros/Courtesy Everett Collection

DIRECTOR: Martin Scorsese
STARS: Leonardo DiCaprio, Matt Damon, Jack Nicholson, Mark Wahlberg

There are people who will tell you that The Departed is somehow a lesser Scorsese work, almost begrudging the success of the film that finally won Best Picture and Director for the legendary American director. Those people are wrong. This is every bit as rich and rewarding as Scorsese’s best movies about tortured men and organized crime. As a story of two Boston-bred tough guys living their lives as double agents – one for the mob, one for the police – it’s one of Scorsese’s most gripping explorations of his thematic obsession with absent fathers and flailing sons.

Watch The Departed on​​ Hulu


'Nomadland' (2020)

Photo: Everett Collection

DIRECTOR: Chloe Zhao
CAST: Frances McDormand, David Strathairn

Nomadland puts another prestige trophy in Hulu’s case, since it snagged top awards at the 2020 Toronto International Film Festival and Venice Film Festival, and followed up with Golden Globe wins for Best Picture – Drama and Best Director for Chloe Zhao (Songs My Brothers Taught Me, The Rider), who also wrote the film. Then, of course, came the 2021 Oscars, which found Nomadland taking home the Best Picture prize, as well as Zhao winning Best Director. Frances McDormand is Fern — yet another Academy Award winner here — who takes to the road after she loses her job. Roaming the American West and living in her van, Fern falls in with an assortment of fellow nomads, conscious itinerants who either live in makeshift, rootless communities of like minded folks or survive in the space where heart and mettle meets tire and asphalt. Nomadland is lyrical, unhurried; it rests with its characters, respects their decisions, and carves for them a comforting space on the fraying edge of American society. And of course, Frances McDormand is an actor perfectly-cast to exist at the center of all of this. 

Watch Nomadland on Hulu