The 30 Best Movies on Hulu This Week (May 2024)

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In 2017, Hulu made television history by becoming the first streaming network to win the Emmy Award for Outstanding Drama Series, thanks to the phenomenon that was The Handmaid’s Tale.

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.

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The Contestant

On January 11, 1998, 22-year-old comedian Tomoaki Hamatsu entered an apartment in Japan where he lived, nude and with no human contact, for 15 months as part of an understandably controversial game show titled Susunu! Denpa Shōnen. Hamatsu had no idea his life was being broadcast. This riveting documentary delves into not just how anyone ever allowed this experiment to happen, but the real-world effects—cultural, psychological, and beyond—it had on both Hamatsu and the tens of millions of viewers who were somehow drawn into witnessing his on-camera abuse.

Rushmore

Wes Anderson fans: rejoice! A collection of the filmmaker’s most beloved films, including The Royal Tenenbaums, The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou, The Darjeeling Limited, and The Fantastic Mr. Fox, have made their way to Hulu. In the case of Rushmore, Anderson’s sophomore feature, it’s being hailed as a 25th anniversary celebration. Jason Schwartzman stars as Max Fischer, a wise-beyond-his-years (for better or worse) teen who is so determined to make a name for himself at the prestigious Rushmore Academy that he immerses himself in extracurriculars at the expense of his actual classes. Along the way he befriends a cynical millionaire (Bill Murray) and the two embark on an odd friendship. Ultimately, Fischer ends up being too smart—and focused on growing up—for his own good. In addition to marking Schwartzman’s film debut, Rushmore began a cinematic collaboration between the actor and Anderson that is still going strong.

Sideways

In the history of Oscar snubs, Paul Giamatti’s lack of an Academy Award nomination for his leading man role in Sideways will go down as one of the most egregious (especially considering that co-stars Thomas Haden Church and Virginia Madsen each earned nods). But we digress. The film, based on Rex Pickett’s novel of the same name, takes audiences on a memorable tour through the vineyards of California’s Santa Ynez Valley, as middle-aged teacher Miles (Giamatti) and his actor pal/former college roommate Jack (Church) take one last guy’s trip ahead of Jack’s impending nuptials. While Jack is game for pretty much anything, especially if it includes cheating on his soon-to-be wife, Miles is attempting to make sense of his life following an ugly divorce and the fact that no one wants to publish his novel. It’s a brilliant tale of love, friendship, and growing older, but also made a huge impact on the wine industry at large. In addition to turning the Santa Ynez Valley (and the many real restaurants and vineyards it features) into tourism hotspots, it’s also partly responsible for killing the merlot industry as we know it.

Dune: Part One

Even if you’ve already moved on to the second film in Denis Villeneuve’s presumed trilogy of Frank Herbert adaptations, the first film in his Dune series is well worth a revisit—if only to pick up on a few things you might have missed the first time around. (The sheer beauty and spectacle of the film make that easy to do.) It’s a film several decades in the making for Villeneuve, who first fell in love with Herbert’s iconic sci-fi novels when he was a teenager and dreamed of turning them into movies ever since. All that prep time paid off, as the director finally managed to accomplish what others thought was impossible and bring a stellar adaptation of the trials of Paul Atreides (Timothée Chalamet) to life. Paul’s highborn family is tasked with managing the mining of a highly coveted spice on the harsh planet Arrakis, but between Paul’s harrowing visions of the future and those pesky sandworms, all does not go according to plan.

Anatomy of a Fall

Between her starring roles in The Zone of Interest and Anatomy of a Fall, German actress Sandra Hüller made it clear that when it comes to scripts, she knows how to pick ’em. In this compelling courtroom drama, Hüller plays a successful writer turned murder suspect when her husband (Samuel Theis) is found dead outside their home on a snowy day. Ultimately, it might be her son (Milo Machado-Graner) and/or his guide dog (Messi, the movie’s real star) who ultimately seal Sandra’s fate. It’s a smart, twisty, and well-acted mystery that will keep you guessing.

The Big Lebowski

Joel and Ethan Coen have made more than just one masterpiece in their time: Fargo, No Country for Old Men, and Inside Llewyn Davis are just a few of their films that qualify for certified Perfect Movie status. Then there’s The Big Lebowski: a trippy fever dream that elevates the idea of a stoner comedy. Jeff Bridges in some ways redefined his career in the title role, when a simple case of mistaken identity (and two people with the same name) gets Bridges’ Jeffrey Lebowski, aka “The Dude,” mixed up in a hoax kidnapping that gets wilder with the introduction of every new character.

Poor Things

Whether or not you agree with her Best Actress Oscar win, there’s no denying that Emma Stone’s bravura performance is one that won’t be soon forgotten and has likely changed the trajectory of her career. Bella Baxter (Stone) is a young woman with the brain of an infant who is brought back to life by the lovably mad scientist Dr. Godwin Baxter, aka God (Willem Dafoe). But Bella is a fast learner and is intrigued by the many adventures the world has to offer her—regardless of what polite society dictates. Mark Ruffalo, Ramy Youssef, and Christopher Abbott are among the men who are entranced by Bella’s frankness (“I must go punch that baby”) in what is undoubtedly the most over-the-top title in Yorgos Lanthimos’ filmography—which is saying a lot. One caveat: Those who are easily offended by nudity or graphic sex might want to give this a skip.

BlackBerry

It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia’s Glenn Howerton is practically unrecognizable in this immensely entertaining recounting of the rise and fall of BlackBerry—the must-have cell phone that had the world entranced before the iPhone came along. Howerton costars as Jim Balsillie, the very real negotiator who, alongside Mike Lazaridis (Jay Baruchel), gave the world its first smartphone. Which is a lot more dramatic (and darkly humorous) than it sounds.

The Royal Hotel

Ozark star Julia Garner reunites with director Kitty Green (The Assistant) for this taut psychological thriller in which BFFs Hanna (Garner) and Liv (Jessica Henwick) decide to backpack their way through the Australian outback. When they’re offered the chance to live and work at a remote hotel in order to replenish their dwindling bank accounts, they jump at the chance—despite Hanna feeling that something isn’t quite right with their place of employment or its clientele. She’s on to something. Garner has played one badass character after the next, and The Royal Hotel is no exception.

All of Us Strangers

It should’ve been a contender! While Oscar snubs are generally a matter of opinion, that All of Us Strangers deserved much greater consideration—and even just a single nomination—from the Academy is a matter of fact. Adam (the always superb Andrew Scott) is a television writer who largely keeps to himself, until an awkward encounter with his tipsy neighbor Harry (Paul Mescal) kickstarts a passionate new relationship. But when he’s not in London with Harry, Adam is returning to the suburban home where he grew up—and where he encounters and is able to interact with his parents (Claire Foy and Jamie Bell), despite their having died 30 years ago. In the hands of a lesser director, the fantastical elements could seem forced. But with Andrew Haigh (Weekend, 45 Years) behind the camera, the surreal setup only augments the emotion.

Romeo + Juliet

You know the story: Romeo Montague (Leonardo DiCaprio) and Juliet Capulet (Claire Danes) are two teenagers who have fallen madly in love, but the worst kind of love: forbidden. As their families are fierce and longtime rivals, everyone knows their connection can only lead to heartbreak, but few people could probably have predicted just how tragic that heartbreak would be for everyone. Baz Luhrmann adapts Shakespeare’s story of young love and loss in the way that only Baz Luhrmann can: loudly, and full of anachronisms (in the best possible way).

The Creator

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 Oscar-nominated film’s stellar set pieces and first-class acting talent make this a must-see film for sci-fi fans. If you like what you see here, be sure and check out Monsters, Edwards’ feature directorial debut, which is also on Hulu.

Self Reliance

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.

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.

Nocebo

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.

Bad Axe

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.

Sanctuary

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.

Corsage

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.

Alien

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.

Rye Lane

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.

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.

Spencer

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.

Nomadland

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.

Boston Strangler

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.

Fresh

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).

Palm Springs

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 DayPalm 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.

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