While Netflix has largely cornered the streaming market on original movies—and even managed to persuade A-listers like Guillermo del Toro, Alfonso Cuarón, and Martin Scorsese to come aboard—Hulu is starting to find its footing in features, too. Below are some of our top picks for the best movies (original and otherwise) streaming on Hulu right now.
Still looking for more great titles to add to your queue? Check out WIRED’s guides to the best TV shows on Hulu, best movies on Netflix, the best movies on Disney+, and the best movies on Amazon Prime. Don’t like our picks, or want to offer suggestions of your own? Head to the comments below.
Director Gareth Edwards (Rogue One) imagines a not-too-distant future in which the human race is at war with AI—which feels all too relatable for some. John David Washington (Tenet star/son of Denzel) is the world’s best hope for putting an end to this battle once and for all when he’s tasked with tracking down the eponymous Creator, the architect behind the technology that has created this world upheaval. While there are some undeniable plot holes, the freshly Oscar-nominated film’s stellar set pieces and first-class acting talent make this a must-see film for sci-fi fans.
New Girl’s Jake Johnson makes his feature directorial debut with this wonderfully weird and occasionally dark meta comedy, which he also wrote and stars in. Tommy Walcott (Johnson) is living a pretty ordinary existence until he’s approached by Andy Samberg (as Andy Samberg), who offers him the chance of a lifetime: the opportunity to win $1 million as part of a massive reality competition. The only thing Tommy needs to do is not get murdered for 30 days, despite being hunted by dozens of contract killers whose job is to ensure that no contestant walks away with the big prize. The catch? Contestants can only be killed when they’re entirely alone. So Tommy takes it upon himself to partner up with another contestant, which is where Maddy (Anna Kendrick) comes in. Since they both have a cool mil to gain and a lot to lose (aka their lives) if they don’t triumph, they make a pact to spend every waking moment of the next 30 days together. Just when you think you know where Self Reliance is headed, it goes ahead and surprises—and in the best ways possible.
Edge of Tomorrow
Yes, this movie is also available on Max right now, and honestly, it would be super cool if it were on all platforms all the time. Doug Liman’s alien-invasion flick/showcase of Tom Cruise Running is such a good time, it warrants recurrent viewings. (Live, die, repeat, etc.) It might be the greatest video game you’ll never be able to play, but it is a movie you can watch over and over again.
The Last Duel
Jodie Comer is mesmerizing (as usual) as Marguerite de Carrouges—a woman who risks her own life in order to speak out after being viciously raped by Jacques Le Gris (Adam Driver), a respected squire and knight and a close friend of her husband, Jean de Carrouges (Matt Damon). More than just a tale of he said/she said, the film explores the role women played during the late Middle Ages and the courage it took for Marguerite to stand up for herself, a decision that led to one of France’s last court-sanctioned trials by combat.
Christine (Eva Green) is a children’s fashion designer suffering from a debilitating, but undiagnosed, illness following a tick bite. She finds relief, in many forms, with the arrival of Diana (Chai Fonacier), a nanny and housekeeper who happens to possess healing gifts. Christine’s husband Felix (Mark Strong) is suspicious of Diana’s all-too-helpful demeanor, and it turns out he has every right to be. While this film operates as social commentary on the fashion industry, Nocebo is more effective as a creepy psychological thriller filled with the kind of uncomfortable close-ups that make the viewer feel the walls closing in.
No One Will Save You
Home invasion thrillers are never in short supply, but the really effective ones are hard to come by. Kaitlyn Dever shines—and proves yet again that she can shoulder the weight of an entire film—as Brynn Adams, a seamstress living a solitary existence in her childhood home and mourning the loss of her mother and closest friend. When she wakes up one night to discover that someone is in her house, that someone turns out to be something. A home invasion thriller with extraterrestrials might not have been on your must-watch Bingo card, but No One Will Save You is 93 minutes well spent.
Miguel Wants to Fight
Miguel (Tyler Dean Flores) is 17 years old and has never been in a fight. So when he learns that he’ll be moving away from the place and people he has known all his life, he enlists his pals to help him get into his first fistfight. It’s probably not the first coming-of-age ritual to spring to mind, but it’s certainly among them. A talented cast of young actors make this comedy—cowritten by Shea Serrano and Jason Concepcion—immensely watchable.
David Siev paints a deeply personal portrait of the American Dream disrupted as he traces his family’s journey from the Killing Fields of Cambodia to the tiny—and overwhelmingly white—town of Bad Axe, Michigan. Shot in real time, this moving documentary shows the challenges facing Siev’s family, and the restaurant they own, amid political tension and anti-Asian sentiment during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Hal Porterfield (Christopher Abbott) has just been handed the keys to the castle following the death of his hotel magnate father. Rebecca Marin (Margaret Qualley) is a dominatrix who believes she deserves some of the credit—and half the cash—that comes with Hal’s new CEO position. Sexual politics have rarely played out as twisted, or darkly funny, as they do in this mesmerizing, and often claustrophobic, thriller from Zachary Wigon.
Vicky Krieps delivers yet another top-notch performance as Empress Elisabeth of Austria, who—following her 40th birthday—longs to recapture the freedom of her youth. Marie Kreutzer writes and directs this fictional biopic (Empress Elisabeth is real, though the story told within takes plenty of creative liberties), which sees the royal rebelling against her lack of power to affect any real change, despite her title. Even more so, it’s about a woman who is desperate to hold on to the power that youth and beauty entitle her to—regardless of the consequences.
How to Blow Up a Pipeline
Environmentalism meets heist movie in director Daniel Goldhaber’s thriller about a group of young people who try to—as the title implies—expose the fragility of the oil industry. It’s not often that a movie examining the fight against the climate crisis is also an edge-of-your-seat adventure, but here those elements come together beautifully. (You can give cinematographer Tehillah de Castro a bit of credit for that.) Smart, prescient, and nearly unprecedented, How to Blow Up a Pipeline is more than worth the stream.
The Jewel Thief
Like Frank Abagnale (the subject of Steven Spielberg’s Catch Me If You Can) before him, Gerald Blanchard is a criminal mastermind whose sheer audacity is worthy of a Hollywood retelling. Yet the real-life Blanchard is so endlessly captivating and unafraid to share the most intimate details of his capers that it’s best to let him do the talking—which is exactly what he does in this fascinating documentary, in which even the people he duped and the authorities who pursued him seem a bit in awe of his bravado. What else would you expect from a man who allegedly parachuted onto the roof of Vienna’s Schönbrunn Palace in order to break in and make off with the Star of Empress Sisi, a priceless jewel that once belonged to Empress Elisabeth of Austria? (Yes, the very same woman Vicky Krieps portrays in the aforementioned Corsage.)
While the words “postapocalyptic drama” often draw groans from viewers who have tired of the trope, this one is different (yes, we know, you’ve heard that before, too). Vesper (Raffiella Chapman) is a 13-year-old with some pretty serious biohacking skills, which is particularly handy given that she and her father (Richard Brake) are attempting to survive in a world where Earth’s ecosystem is now nonexistent. Making it more of a challenge is that it’s impossible to know who to trust when even Vesper’s uncle (the always-captivating Eddie Marsan) is only looking out for himself. In addition to stellar acting, it’s a visually impressive sci-fi fairytale that plays a bit like a mash-up between Children of Men and Pan’s Labyrinth.
Alien was originally released in 1979, but it has lost none of its potency in the intervening years—which isn’t something most fortysomethings could say. By now you probably know the story: The crew aboard the spacecraft Nostromo, including warrant officer Ellen Ripley (Sigourney Weaver), put a presumably slight pause on their trip back to Earth in order to respond to a distress call from a nearby planetoid. But what they discover is a bizarre alien life form that seems to delight in knocking off crew members in new—and frequently terrifying—ways. Can you say Facehugger? Or Chestburster? Alien is also noteworthy for being the film that kicked off a bona fide, and legendary, sci-fi/horror franchise—and introduced the world to Ridley Scott, who changed the genre game yet again with his next feature, Blade Runner.
Also available on Disney+, Flamin’ Hot tells the story of Richard Montañez (Jesse Garcia), the Frito-Lay janitor who brought Flamin’ Hot Cheetos to the masses. Directed by Eva Longoria, the movie might come off as a little cheesy at times, but its comedy and heart transform it into something more than just a story about a beloved snack.
Raine Allen-Miller made a splash at Sundance with her directorial debut, which offers a playful twist on the typical rom-com. Yas (Vivian Oparah) and Dom (David Jonsson) are both twentysomethings reeling from recent break-ups. After a chance—and rather awkward—first meeting, the pair spend a day wandering around South London, bonding over their shared experience, finding cheeky ways to get over the mourning of their previous relationships, and maybe discovering that romance is not dead after all.
From Rosemary’s Baby to Hereditary, motherhood has long served as the catalyst for some of the horror genre’s scariest flicks. In the case of Clock, it’s the lack of desire to procreate that gets the terror treatment. Ella (Dianna Agron) is a happily married interior designer who is perfectly content with her life and has no desire to add a child to it. But that doesn’t sit well with her friends and family, who keep pressuring her to procreate. So she signs up to take part in a clinical trial for women like herself—whose so-called biological clocks are either broken or nonexistent. This is where things really get scary. Fair warning: Clock gets pretty dark and weird, and it is firmly cemented in the horror genre. But it also plays like a satire of the American Dream and its obsession with family.
Triangle of Sadness
Think of it like Gilligan’s Island, but with more class commentary and vomit. When a bunch of rich people head out to sea on a luxury yacht, their plans are thwarted when a terrible storm leaves many of them stranded on a beach where none of their money or power can help them survive. That already gives away too much, but suffice to say, if you like Menu-esque critiques of the excesses of wealth with just as many dark-comedy twists, this Oscar-nominated film is right for you.
Portrait of a Lady on Fire
OK, so this might be the movie that turned the idea of “lesbian period drama” into a trope, but it’s also one of the best modern queer romance films around, alongside Moonlight and Carol. Set on an isolated French coast in the late-1700s, writer-director Céline Sciamma’s film centers on a young aristocrat woman, Héloïse (Adèle Haenel), who is betrothed to a wealthy Milanese man. When Héloïse’s mother hires Marianne (Noémie Merlant) to paint a portrait of her daughter, the two women fall in love and have the kind of heartbreaking affair that made lesbian period dramas so undeniable in the first place. You’ll be transfixed.
Look, there are probably far too many Princess Diana movies and TV shows already. But this one, directed by Pablo Larraín and starring Kristen Stewart as the Princess of Wales, focuses on one specific Christmas at Queen Elizabeth’s Sandringham Estate in a way that narrows down just how complex each day Diana’s life with the royal family must have been. Yes, the backdrop is the divorce rumors surrounding Diana and Prince Charles (Jack Farthing), but the story is about her relationships within the family and the life she left behind to join them.
This film from director Chloé Zhao, about one woman’s post–Great Recession quest through the American West, won a ton of Oscars, including Best Picture, Best Actress for lead Frances McDormand, and Best Director and Best Editing wins for Zhao. Zhao also won for Best Adapted Screenplay for her adaptation of WIRED contributor Jessica Bruder’s book, also called Nomadland. It’s a bracing look at the modern American dream.
If you’re the kind of viewer who just can’t get enough of murder shows and has been looking for a murder movie, might we suggest Boston Strangler? Based on the real-life serial killer of the same monicker, writer-director Matt Ruskin’s “reimagining” of the 1968 movie focuses on the two reporters—Loretta McLaughlin (Keira Knightley) and Jean Cole (Carrie Coon)—who uncovered the news about the Strangler’s string of killings in the 1960s and broke the story. If nothing else, it’s worth watching just to see what happens when a Bostonian director refuses to let his predominantly non-Bostonian cast imitate the city’s notoriously difficult accent.
Noa (Daisy Edgar-Jones) is a single woman who is on the lookout for a partner but tired of the online dating scene. When she meets Steve (Sebastian Stan), a quirky, handsome stranger, she decides to give him her number. The two hit it off on the first date and eventually find themselves making plans to spend a weekend away—which is when Noa realizes that Steve has been hiding a few disturbing details about himself. Ultimately, Fresh stands as a lesson in the horrors of dating in the digital age (both real and imagined).
Good Luck to You, Leo Grande
Two years after the death of her husband, retired religion teacher Nancy Stokes (Emma Thompson) decides it’s time to do something about the fact that she has never had an orgasm. So she hires Leo Grande (Daryl McCormack), a young male sex worker, and invites him to a hotel room so she can cross a few items off her sexual bucket list. What begins as a transactional relationship quickly, and genuinely, evolves into much more.
Given the existence of Harold Ramis’ near-perfect Groundhog Day, it takes a whole lot of chutzpah for a filmmaker to add another picture to the infinite-time-loop rom-com canon. But writer-director Max Barbakow did it anyway with Palm Springs, and audiences are thankful he did. Building upon the rules originally established in Groundhog Day, Palm Springs offers its own unique twist on the story. Instead of showing one person (Billy Murray’s Phil Conners) slowly being pushed to the brink of insanity because he’s the only one who seems to be experiencing the phenomenon, Palm Springs has three wedding guests—Nyles (Andy Samberg), Sarah (Cristin Milioti), and Roy (J. K. Simmons)—living the same day again and again and working together to find a way out of it.