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Best movies to stream on Hulu, according to critics

  • Best movies to stream on Hulu, according to critics

    What are the best movies to stream on Hulu? The streaming giant offers mainstream hit movies alongside a wide selection of oddball masterpieces and little-known wonders that gained acclaim from critics. Stacker’s list of the top 100 movies on Hulu has artsy thrillers, compelling dramas, international sensations, and popular favorites from across the globe. You’ll also find a range of documentaries known for riveting, often unbelievable, forays into out-of-the-way subjects that wow and shock. These are the best films according to critics, so consider them vetted in terms of artistry and impact. Because they’re esteemed by critics, a hard crowd to impress, these films are entertaining and watchable—they’re the kind of films that pull you in from the first frames and keep you captivated until the end.

    Stacker’s list has a range of great movies from every genre, but there’s no doubt that documentaries dominate the list. Documentaries have a reputation for being merely educational or staid and boring. Hulu’s streaming the kind of documentaries that keep you on the edge of your seat until the end. The ones on this list are known for their dramatic, suspenseful qualities and their emotional power. You’ll also find exposés on little-known topics. A few of these documentaries changed the world after they brought their subjects to light. Several offer intimate, newly surprising insights into stars like Whitney Houston, Grace Jones, Glen Campbell, and Joe Strummer that you’ll find uplifting and stirring.

    Hulu’s fiction features include horror and sci-fi films that will awe and scare with plots that take unexpected detours. You’ll find true stories and biopics that open a view into intimate and dramatic worlds. The films on our list pull you into the story with amazing cinematic artistry. There are more than a few mainstream classics alongside stand-outs that rose to greatness with a low budget or unconventional methods like shooting on a cell phone or with a square aspect ratio.

    Stacker compiled Metacritic data on all films streaming on Hulu as of April 29, 2020, and ranked them according to their Metascores, with initial ties broken by IMDb user scores. Critics have an eye for excellence. Click ahead for the top films on Hulu that critics recommend. These are the movies that will wow you.

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  • #100. Middle of Nowhere (2012)

    - Director: Ava DuVernay
    - Metascore: 75
    - IMDb user rating: 6.4
    - Runtime: 97 min

    Ava DuVernay’s second feature won the Best Director Award at Sundance Film Festival, earning praise for its strong point-of-view centered on a woman in Compton whose spouse is incarcerated. The strength of this film led DuVernay to her third feature, the Oscar-nominated “Selma.” In "Middle of Nowhere" everyday, quiet moments are shot with a patient observation that pulls viewers into the understated drama.


  • #99. Mother! (2017)

    - Director: Darren Aronofsky
    - Metascore: 75
    - IMDb user rating: 6.6
    - Runtime: 121 min

    The cacophonous parable “Mother!” uses archetypal themes and biblical stories to tell the story of a pregnant woman, played by Jennifer Lawrence, who lives in a lush farmhouse that’s increasingly violated by unhinged people and mobs. Javier Bardem plays her spouse, a brooding, narcissistic poet. Darren Aronofsky infuses the film’s violence with a strange grandeur rippling with symbolism.


  • #98. Nico, 1988 (2017)

    - Director: Susanna Nicchiarelli
    - Metascore: 75
    - IMDb user rating: 6.7
    - Runtime: 93 min

    An avant-garde style pervades Susanna Nicchiarelli’s biopic of the famous Nico from the band The Velvet Underground and also a central figure of Andy Warhol’s scene in the 1960s. The film follows the icon on a 1988 tour across Europe. Actress Trine Dyrholm won praise for a performance that embodies the intensity of the woman at midlife as she confronts her relationship with her long-lost son.


  • #96. Dina (2017) (tie)

    - Directors: Antonio Santini, Dan Sickles
    - Metascore: 75
    - IMDb user rating: 6.8
    - Runtime: 103 min

    Tenderness abounds in this documentary that follows the everyday relationship between two people on their journey to get married. Scott has Asperger's syndrome, while Dina has anxiety disorders. The two interact in ways that are direct, sweet, and moving, and critics and audiences find themselves enraptured by the quotidian beauty of the couple's approach to love.


  • #96. Risky Business (1983) (tie)

    - Director: Paul Brickman
    - Metascore: 75
    - IMDb user rating: 6.8
    - Runtime: 99 min

    In this early hit in Tom Cruise's career, he plays a high schooler who runs a brothel out of his parent's house (they're away) with a sex worker played by Rebecca De Mornay. As in many '80s teen comedies, this one obsesses over both wealth and its mindless destruction as in an ecstatic scene that demolishes a Porsche. In the iconic underwear dance, Cruise slides through his parent's upper-class home to Bob Seger’s “Old Time Rock and Roll.”

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  • #95. The Wolfpack (2015)

    - Director: Crystal Moselle
    - Metascore: 75
    - IMDb user rating: 7.0
    - Runtime: 90 min

    This fascinating documentary looks at seven siblings who were confined to a New York apartment for 14 years, locked in with their mother by their father. While confined, they learn of the outside world through movies that they watch and recreate with elaborate detail that has a mesmerizing charm in several sequences. Director Crystal Moselle befriended the group once one ventured out in the world, and the others soon followed.


  • #92. Whitney (2018) (tie)

    - Director: Kevin Macdonald
    - Metascore: 75
    - IMDb user rating: 7.2
    - Runtime: 120 min

    This documentary presents an intimate window into the life of pop diva Whitney Houston to make sense of both her talents and tragedies. Director Kevin Macdonald examines the singer's stratospheric rise and enormous vocal abilities alongside the experience of being Black in America. The film aims to shed light on the singer's marital and familial conflicts, as well as her struggles with substance abuse.


  • #92. The Full Monty (1997) (tie)

    - Director: Peter Cattaneo
    - Metascore: 75
    - IMDb user rating: 7.2
    - Runtime: 91 min

    This story about working-class men who become strippers was a huge international hit with multiple Oscar nominations, including Best Picture. Robert Carlyle and Tom Wilkinson are a part of the ensemble of men who seek a sense of masculine identity after job loss and despair. Through their audacious plan, they gain confidence and camaraderie in a comedy about friendship and resilience.


  • #92. Rango (2011) (tie)

    - Director: Gore Verbinski
    - Metascore: 75
    - IMDb user rating: 7.2
    - Runtime: 107 min

    Johnny Depp voices a lost house pet turned gunslinging gecko in this animated hit that pays homage to spaghetti westerns. The lizard Rango finds himself sheriff of a small town in the wild west and must rise to heroism despite not being cut out for it. Critics admire the vibrant and expansive animation that combines with wit and gags geared toward adults.


  • #91. Life, Animated (2016)

    - Director: Roger Ross Williams
    - Metascore: 75
    - IMDb user rating: 7.5
    - Runtime: 92 min

    Owen Suskind, who is autistic, was a withdrawn and quiet child until his captivation with Disney animated films fostered an opening-up to the outside world. The now-adult Suskind, along with his family, makes for an endearing and eccentric subject in this film that documents the ways people communicate and the power of art.

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