Photo via Marvel

There’s a lot to love on Hulu right now.

Looking through all of the streaming services has taught me a few things, but the most important one is this: Use Hulu for TV needs and go somewhere else for movies.

Its selection pales next to Netflix and Amazon, but there’s still plenty to enjoy on a nightly basis.

For this list, I sifted through and came up with a range of movies new and old, left the country for a few others, and snuck in some of the broader-appealing Criterion movies (I’ll let you figure out which ones).

The best movies on Hulu in November 2017

1) Short Term 12

Before she landed the titular role in Captain Marvel, Brie Larson won an Oscar for Room. Before she won the Oscar, she won over audiences and critics with her work in Dustin Cretin’s Short Term 12. She plays a supervisor in a treatment facility for troubled teens. It’s a sensitive topic that the film handles in a way that feels honest. The movie goes to some dark places thematically, but there are enough victories for the characters mixed in that it’s not a grueling movie to sit through.

good movies on hulu : short term 12 Movieclips Film Festivals & Indie Films/YouTube

2) Cloverfield

Cloverfield is awesome. I understand the complaints about the handheld/found footage aesthetic, but I don’t hear them. From concept to execution, Cloverfield is a blast. Say what you will about J.J. Abrams, but the man knows how to make an event movie. He also has an eye for talent. He roped in longtime collaborators Matt Reeves (Dawn of the Planet of the Apes) and Drew Goddard (Cabin in the Woods), both masters of genre. Cloverfield is much scarier than you’d think for a monster romp. And now that there’s a Cloverfield Cinematic Universe taking shape (last year’s 10 Cloverfield Lane and this year’s untitled entry), now’s a great time for a refresher on how it all began.

best movies hulu : cloverfield Screengrab via High Definition Trailer/YouTube

3) 10 Cloverfield Lane

10 Cloverfield Lane came out of nowhere last year when was announced just two months prior to its release (it had previously flown under the radar as Valencia). For most of its runtime, it’s a taut locked-room thriller. It’s about a woman (Mary Elizabeth Winstead) who wakes up after a car crash in bunker belonging to a mysterious man (John Goodman). There’s another man stuck with them (John Gallagher Jr.) whose allegiances are hard to peg. The movie is a showcase for its cast and talented young director (Dan Trachtenberg). The ties to Cloverfield proved to be divisive among audiences, but it’s too good to miss out on.

best movies on hulu : 10 Cloverfield Lane Photo via Facebook

4) Iron Man

It’s hard to believe it’s been almost 10 years since Jon Favreau first laid out the blueprint for the movies of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. While creative fatigue may have set in somewhere along the way for some, the MCU movies continue to bring in interesting filmmakers and make overnight stars of its leads. Favreau and star Robert Downey Jr. found magic in this origin story for Tony Stark, taking a second-tier superhero in the eyes of mainstream audiences and putting him on par with Batman and Superman. After 14 movies (and a staggering nine movies scheduled to be released by 2019), Iron Man continues to be one of the crown jewels of the MCU.

Best movies on Hulu: Iron Man Photo via Marvel/YouTube

5) Bound

The Wachowski siblings burst on the scene with this slick-as-hell crime thriller. Gina Gershon and Jennifer Tilly team up to steal $2 million from the mafia. The plot is straightforward, and the movie rocks along at a fast pace. It’s a testament to the Wachowski’s talent that a movie with a minimal number of locations feels so kinetic and propulsive. Despite going on to work on significantly more expensive and complex films, Bound remains either the best or second-best Wachowski film (the other being The Matrix).

best movies on hulu : ound Screengrab via YouTube Movies/YouTube

6) Creed

For those suffering from sequel fatigue, Ryan Coogler’s Rocky installment is the antidote. Coogler and leading man Michael B. Jordan lend Creed fresh perspective and energy while still packing the emotional wallop that endeared the series to so many people 40 years ago.

good movies on hulu : Creed Screengrab via Warner Bros. Pictures/YouTube


7) A Fistful of Dollars

This Sergio Leone classic kicked off the equally admired Dollars Trilogy or Man With No Name Trilogy (alongside For a Few Dollars More and The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly). It features Clint Eastwood in his first starring role and his instantly iconic work as the Man With No Name. Between Eastwood, Leone’s directing, and of course, Ennio Morricone’s legendary work on the score, A Fistful of Dollars is a masterpiece.

best movies on hulu : a fistful of dollars Screengrab via Movieclips Trailer Vault/YouTube

8) Kill Bill vol. 1 & 2

Quentin Tarantino’s sprawling martial arts revenge epic offers up over four hours of everything audience’s love about Tarantino films. Calling a QT film “sprawling” may be redundant, but he knows how to deliver the goods each time out. Uma Thurman is The Bride, and she’s out to find Bill and kill him. It’s a simple enough pitch, but there is so much more to the story than just revenge. While the mythical “Whole Bloody Affair” version isn’t readily available, streaming the two films back-to-back is a reasonable approximation.

best hulu movies : kill bill Screengrab via Movieclips Trailer Vault/YouTube

9) 13 Assassins

Takashi Miike’s samurai epic 13 Assassins, a remake of a 1963 film of the same name, is one of the Japanese master’s best films. It’s about a group of assassins (as you could guess from the title) who team up in an attempt to kill the odious Lord Matsudaira Naritsugu. The first half of the film is restrained as the team comes together and forms its plan, but the film’s climactic battle pays off the buildup and rewards the audience’s patience tenfold (thirteenfold?). It’s roughly 40 minutes of immaculately staged action mayhem. It’s pure spectacle that will take your breath away.

hulu movies : 13 assassins Screengrab via triviatrailers/YouTube

9) Sicario

Canadian director Denis Villeneuve is quickly establishing himself as an A-list director, between Prisoners, this year’s excellent Arrival, and 2017’s high-stakes curio Blade Runner 2049. Sicario is a taut drug war thriller top-lined by Emily Blunt, Benicio del Toro, and Josh Brolin (all doing great work). Villeneuve has a strong eye for visuals and a knack for making movies that linger days after you watch them. If nothing else, this one is worth checking out for the awesomely tense opening and a spectacular border crossing attempt gone awry.

best hulu movies : Sicario Screengrab via Movieclips Trailers/YouTube

10) Fargo

Fargo is arguably the pinnacle of the Coen Brothers’ oeuvre. But that’s a matter of opinion. What isn’t up for debate is the greatness of Frances McDormand’s iconic performance as Marge Gunderson. This tale of a crime committed by a bunch of idiots and the pregnant police chief who’s smarter than everyone captures everything that is great about the Coens. It’s darkly funny, sharply written, unflinching, and impeccably acted. Fargo is a classic that is as fresh today as it was 20 years ago.

best movies on hulu : Fargo Screengrab via Movieclips Trailer Vault/YouTube

11) The Truman Show

The reality TV angle of Truman has become increasingly relevant with each passing year, but the recommendation here is for Jim Carrey’s performance. He’s a tragicomic force who never hits a false note. The movie itself is great all the way around, but Carrey is its heart and soul.

best movies on hulu: the truman show

Photo via Paramount Pictures

12) Clueless

I rewatched Clueless recently, and one of these times I’m going to stop being surprised by how well it holds up. Despite some bits that wouldn’t fly today, the jokes still have zip, and the film has more than enough brains to match the laughs. The movie’s reputation as a comedy classic is deserved. Alicia Silvestone’s performance as Cher is a potent mixture of obliviousness, sincerity, and puppet master—it’s great. Paul Rudd has been wooing audiences for decades and it’s a testament to his likability that his flirtation with his step sister isn’t as creepy as it should be. Clueless is both of its time and timeless.

best hulu movies : clueless Screengrab via YouTube Movies/YouTube

14) Coming to America

Eddie Murphy’s ‘80s movies are almost an autopilot decision when you find one on Hulu. Just scan through until you land on one and click play and put the remote and your worries away. Hulu has a handful of options, but when Coming to America is among them, you go with Coming to America. Prince Akeem (Murphy, in one of numerous roles) is an all-time comedy character and his fish-out-of-water antics still hit the funny bone.

best movies on Hulu : Coming to America Photo via MovieWeb

15) Election

Here’s the thing about Election: You need to watch it at least twice, preferably several years apart. How you feel about the sad sack high school teacher played by Matthew Broderick, the ambitious overachiever student played by Reese Witherspoon, and their escalating feud might change depending on how old you are. But even if you find out you are always Team Broderick or always Team Witherspoon, it’s worth re-watching just for the laughs, which, in classic Alexander Payne-style, are born from familiar humiliation and recognizable human folly. Also, this is Chris Kline’s finest hour and you must witness it if you’ve ever made fun of his career.

good movies on hulu : Election Photo via Paramount Pictures

16) The Curious Case of Benjamin Button

There’s a hypnotic quality to David Fincher’s The Curious Case of Benjamin Button. You can feel it in the trailers for the film, and that intoxicating sensation swallows you up when you watch it. Brad Pitt stars as Benjamin, a man afflicted with a disease that causes him to age in reverse. Questionable southern accent aside, Pitt is quite good in the role. Watching Benjamin age backward against the backdrop of major 20th-century events creates an interesting juxtaposition. Like most Fincher films, Curious is technically dazzling and rewards multiple viewings.

curious case of Benjamin Button Screengrab via YouTube Movies/YouTube

17) Compliance

Compliance is the kind of movie meant to push buttons and provoke strong reactions. Writer-director Craig Zobel’s film is about an unlucky fast-food employee being kept on the phone by someone claiming to be a police officer. The caller (Pat Healy) asks the employee (Dreama Walker) to do increasingly disturbing things in the name of clearing herself. Despite being based on a true story, Compliance’s premise will certainly test viewers’ patience and suspension of disbelief. Much like the phone caller’s demands, Compliance puts you through the emotional ringer.

best movies hulu : compliance Screengrab via Movieclips Trailers/YouTube

18) Cropsey

Imagine if one of the regional myths you grew up believing held more truth than you ever knew. That’s the setup for this documentary based on a New York urban legend. The filmmakers get more than they intended as their search for the truth leads them to the case of convicted child kidnapper Andre Rand. The truth, or whatever the doc uncovers, proves to be far scarier than the legend.

hulu movies : cropsey Photo by Chad Davidson/Ghost Robot

19) The Hunt for the Wilderpeople

First New Zealand gave us Peter Jackson; now it’s given us Taika Waititi. Jackson makes oversized spectacles, and Waititi has built his name on small-scale stories with strong characters (Eagle vs Shark, What We Do in the Shadows). That is, until Marvel recruited him for his own oversized spectacle (the upcoming Thor: Ragnorok). Wilderpeople is such a delightful movie that you understand why Waititi is getting called up while also being greedy enough to want him to keep making movies where his is the main creative voice.

best movies on hulu : Hunt for the Wilderpeople Screengrab via Piki Films/YouTube


20) Byzantium

As far as vampire thrillers go, this one is comparatively low-key. Gemma Arterton and Saoirse Ronan play a pair of vampires who have been on the run for hundreds of years. They try to live anonymously, but when their cover is blown, they’re on the run again. It’s arty fare and something that may test the patience of some. Director Neil Jordan creates a beguiling atmosphere, and Arterton and Ronan are strong leads, and combined they help carry the movie through clunky moments. Even if it isn’t totally successful in everything it sets out to do, it’s a worthy effort with enough highlights to make it worth your time.

hulu movies : Byzantium Screengrab via FilmTrailerZone/YouTube

21) I Saw the Devil

This South Korean thriller pits two of the country’s most well-known actors (Choi Min-sik and Lee Byung-hun) as a cop and a serial killer, respectively. It’s a cat-and-mouse story, or maybe cat-and-cat is more appropriate, as Byung-hun relentlessly tracks and tortures the man (Min-sik) who killed his wife. The film is directed by maestro Kim Jee-woon, so you’re in good hands. I Saw the Devil is brutal and provocative, and if you have the stomach for it, it’s well worth a watch.

hulu movies : I Saw the Devil Screengrab via Attack From Plan B/YouTube

22) Timecrimes

Spanish director Nacho Vigalondo isn’t well known in America, so this is a chance to impress your friends with your excellent taste in foreign films. Vigalondo’s biggest movie to date is the indie hit Colossal (starring Anne Hathaway and Jason Sudeikis), but his debut Timecrimes remains his best film. It’s a low-budget time-travel thriller (think Primer with a more propulsive plot) that is heady without being pretentious and twisty without being confounding.

best hulu movies : timecrimes Screengrab via Shudder/YouTube

23) Everybody Wants Some!!

Richard Linklater’s spiritual cousin to Dazed and Confused received the usual acclaim that accompanies most Linklater joints, but it didn’t translate to a big audience. That seems fitting, as it wouldn’t be right if Everybody Wants Some!! (the two exclamation points are important) didn’t find and build its audience the old-fashioned way just like Dazed did. The movie follows a group of baseball players as they navigate life on a college campus. Like most Linklater movies, Everybody’s is about the experience and characters rather than plot mechanics. Get you some!!

best movies on hulu : Everybody Wants Some!! Screengrab via Movieclips Trailers/YouTube

24) Nerve

This Emma Roberts- and Dave Franco-starring techno-thriller is fast-paced fun. Roberts plays a woman looking for some extra money who decides to play a popular online game. In the game, called Nerve, players take on dares from anonymous viewers. For each completed dare, the player gets money instantly deposited into their bank account, so the allure to keep going is strong. Franco is one of the game’s best players, and when he teams up with Roberts, they become a popular duo. The movie is pretty dopey and gets pretty heavy-handed at the end, but it moves so fast that those concerns don’t really hit until long after the film is over.

best movies on hulu : nerve Screengrab via Lionsgate Movies/YouTube

25) Barbershop: The Next Cut

The third entry in Ice Cube’s Barbershop series might be its best. The movie, like the barbershop itself, has a looseness to it that makes you want to linger in the shop longer than you need to. The conversation is alternately fun and fierce. The ball-busting goes both ways, with everybody cracking wise and getting cracked on but always in a way that’s good-hearted. If that were all the movie had going, that would be enough for a fun time. But The Next Cut tackles larger issues, most notably the changing racial makeup and growing crime problems of Chicago. In a movie with the central idea of people hashing out the day-to-day of their lives, the thornier societal issues flow naturally out of the conversation, and the movie is consistently entertaining. The cast, including stalwarts Ice Cube, Cedric the Entertainer, Eve, Sean Patrick Thomas, Anthony Anderson, and newcomers Lamorne Morris, Nicki Minaj, and Common, has easy chemistry and the film’s two hours just fly by.

best movies on hulu : Barbershop 3 Screengrab via JoBlow Movie Trailers/YouTube

26) Daddy’s Home

It’s a crying shame Will Ferrell and Mark Wahlberg’s 2010 collaboration, The Other Guys, isn’t available, but their second one is. Ferrell plays a buttoned-up step-dad competing for the affection of his stepkids with the kids’ father, played by Wahlberg. The game of one-upmanship grows increasingly silly, as those kinds of things are wont to do, and Ferrell and Wahlberg sell the jokes as best they can. Daddy’s Home isn’t the funniest movie you’ll see with Wahlberg or Ferrell, but it gets the job done.

hulu movies : Daddy's Home Screengrab via Movieclips Trailers/YouTube


27) American Ultra

Being totally honest, I hated American Ultra when I saw it, but now that it’s available for streaming, I’ve thought about giving it another look. It comes from the highly prolific and equally divisive Max Landis and is about two stoners who get mixed up with government spooks. Between the premise and the mix of violence, lowbrow humor, and romantic chemistry between the leads, I reductively refer to this as the poor man’s Pineapple Express (sadly not on Hulu). Just because I don’t like it doesn’t mean you won’t, and movies that take risks deserve to be seen, good or bad.

best hulu movies : american ultra Screengrab via Movieclips Trailers/Y

28) Heathers

Mean Girls before Mean Girls, Scream before Scream, that’s how I pitch this ’80s classic to people who haven’t seen it. It’s a satire and a biting black comedy. High school tales about the coolest of the cool and the people who want to undermine them are the forever-cool leather jackets of film.

29) Pina

I don’t believe in guilty pleasures. Everyone should like what they want with no reservations or qualifications. That said, I have a soft spot for dance movies, be they good (most of the Step Up series, Mad Hot Ballroom) or bad (How She Move, You Got Served, the first Step Up film). Pina is Wim Wenders appreciation of famous German choreographer Pina Bausch. The film was shot in 3D (and is actually worth seeing in 3D), but the version on Hulu is 2D and still worth your time.

good movies on hulu : pina Screengrab via criterioncollection/YouTube

30) Men in Black

As there been a better one-two blockbuster punch than Independence Day in 1996 and Men in Black in 1997? Summer movies were in a better place when Will Smith dominated. Men in Black is so clever and so much fun. Smith and Tommy Lee Jones, as galaxy defenders Agent J and Agent K, have great chemistry. Jones’ nonchalance in the face of aliens mixes so excellently with Smith’s constant disbelief. Between the aliens, the gadgets, the silliness, and the intelligence, movies don’t get much more entertaining than Men in Black.

good movies on hulu :Men in Black Screengrab via YouTube Movies/YouTube


31) The Foot Fist Way

The Foot Fist Way is the rawest, purest form of Danny McBride. He plays a brash tae kwon do instructor, Ben Simmons, who shares his considerable lack of skills with kids. Fists and foul-mouthed barbs fly as Simmons trains the kids for a tournament. Simmons is a rough draft version of Lenny Powers, and it’s worth watching to see McBride and co-writer and director Jody Hill before they blew up. If you’re a fan of McBride’s style, you owe it to yourself to catch up with The Foot Fist Way.

best movies on hulu : the foot fist way Screengrab via Paramount Movies/YouTube

32) Scream

I love Scream so much. It’s hilarious and terrifying (the opening sequence is in the horror pantheon). The cast is fun and playful, and director Wes Craven matches their energy behind the camera. Kevin Williamson’s script is sharper than Ghostface’s knife. Scream has extreme rewatch value, and even if the potency of the scares fades over time, everything about the movie picks up the slack. It’s a classic for a reason, and any time is a good time to revisit it.

scary moves on hulu : Scream Screengrab via prinzefilms/YouTube

33) Mean Creek

This mid-aughts indie is a tough film about bullying. Without preaching or talking down to its audience, Mean Creek presents an honest look at the effects of bullying when a group of kids (led by Rory Culkin) decide to prank their tormentor (Josh Peck). Their attempt to teach a lesson goes horribly awry, and the bullied find themselves in a position they never expected to be in. The movie doesn’t sugarcoat anything, and the matter-of-fact approach only serves to heighten the drama. Mean Creek deserves a much bigger audience than it received, and now that it’s readily available to stream, hopefully it’ll find it.

best movies on hulu : Mean Creek Screengrab via YouTube Movies/YouTube

34) Daddy Longlegs

If nothing else, it’s worth looking up Daddy Longlegs just for its poster. It’s about a father (co-star and co-writer Ronald Bronstein) who’s terrible at being a dad but nevertheless must forge ahead with his very limited amount of time with his sons. The movie, like its protagonist, will test the patience and comfort of its audience. If you’re looking for something different, look no further. The movie’s co-directors, Josh and Benny Safdie, are having a bit of a moment with their acclaimed film Good Time, so now’s a good time to check out their feature debut.

good movies on hulu : daddy longlegs Screengrab via IFC Films/YouTube

35) Anomalisa

Charlie Kaufman is arguably the best American filmmaker going right now. Or the most important. At the very least, he’s the best screenwriter. Anomalisa marks his second directorial effort after the much-praised Synecdoche, New York, and it’s full of the pathos and introspection that have marked much of his work to date. It’s about a lonely man living a pedestrian life who meets someone who breaks up the monotony. But it’s about so much more than just that. This film is not for everyone, and its ending won’t leave you feeling particularly satisfied, but Kaufman has written some of the absolute best films of the last 20 years (Being John Malkovich, Adaptation, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind). He doesn’t get the chance to direct very often, so we have to savor the films we do get from him.

Best movies on Amazon Prime and Hulu: Anomalisa Photo via Paramount Pictures

Editor’s note: This article shares blurbs with some of our other streaming guides and is regularly updated for relevance.

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