Hulu is one of the best places to catch up with the latest and greatest movies, but it’s also an awesome stomping ground for the classic cinema we love the most. And if you’re too busy to keep up with the platform’s immense curtain of flicks, not to worry: we’re here to help. As subscribers and fans of Hulu’s excellent collection of films, we’ve put together this monthly roundup of the best movies you can stream on Hulu right now.
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Writer-director Christopher Nolan may be best known for his multi-million dollar Hollywood tentpole flicks, but if you’re looking for something slightly off the auteur’s usual beaten path (but still high-budget), The Prestige will undoubtedly satisfy. Starring Hugh Jackman and Christian Bale as 19th-century rival magicians Robert Angier and Alfred Borden, when a personal tragedy befalls Angier, the seasoned performer makes it his life’s work to sabotage the stage-career of Borden — an illusion-laden vengeance that Borden is glad to reciprocate. Filled with unprecedented twists and turns, The Prestige winds its way through a powerful story buttressed by incredible performances from the core cast, resulting in a film that may not hit as hard as the director’s Batman chronology, but redirects the same sense of bravura through a period-thriller lens.
Before delving into multimillion-dollar action epics like The Dark Knight and Inception, director Christopher Nolan’s earlier films were quieter as far as spectacle goes, but just as elaborate and atmospheric as his later films in terms of narrative heft. In fact, the perfect career-transition film might be Insomnia, a 2002 remake of the 1997 Norwegian film of the same name. Starring Al Pacino as a homicide detective on the trail of an elusive killer (played by Robin Williams) in Alaska, the brooding environs and introspective character work on full display in Insomnia would be the celebrated director’s swan song before delving headfirst into the deep waters of super-saga filmmaking.
Based on the Chinese young adult novel In His Youth, In Her Beauty, Better Days stars Zhou Dongyu as Chen Nian, a bullied high school student who crosses paths with Xiao Bei (Jackson Lee), a street thug. As the two youths start to form an alliance, one of Chen’s bullies turns up dead, and the investigating authorities believe that Chen and Xiao could be the killers. Better Days is a gripping bit of melodrama that leans heavily on the humanity of its core characters, delivering an elevated tale of what it’s like to be entering adulthood both on and off your own terms.
In director Rob Schroeder’s Ultrasound, Mad Men alum Vincent Kartheiser stars as Glen, an unassuming everyman who just so happens to encounter some car trouble on a dark and stormy night. Seeking some help, he knocks on the door of a perfectly kind stranger named Arthur (Bob Stephenson), leading the former down an uncanny rabbit hole of deceit and mind control. Presenting a nail-biter of a story without diving into carnage and other typical screen grabs, Ultrasound does its best work as a quietly curious foray into a world that’s hard to pin down.
It’s about time the world of Hellraiser received some much-needed reimagining. For years now, the franchise has seen sequel after sequel, and while Cenobite fans are always pleased to see Doug Bradley donning his Pinhead garb, the series has certainly run into its fair share of cinematic duds. But director David Bruckner has come along to get the saga on track once more. The 2022 remake stars Odessa A’zion as Riley, an on-the-mend drug addict who comes into the possession of a runic puzzle box — a mysterious device that summons an armada of hellish entities. Led by the Hell Priest (Jamie Clayton), Odessa is plunged into a fight for survival when the demonic visitors begin wreaking havoc in the real world. Bruckner’s Hellraiser reboot may not satisfy all of the saga’s diehards, but when you consider it as a gruesome yet polished homage to Clive Barker’s source novella and first batch of films, the 2022 version more than gets the job done.
British director Ridley Scott is responsible for some of the most epic box-office sensations of the last few decades, and if it wasn’t for the smashing success of his 1979 film Alien, it’s quite possible we wouldn’t have movies like Blade Runner, Gladiator, and Black Hawk Down. Sigourney Weavers stars as Ripley, one of the crew of the commercial space vessel known as the Nostromo. When the space-bound ship receives a distress signal from an in-proximity moon, the Nostromo team is tasked with investigating the beacon, only to discover a dilapidated alien ship on the surface of the lunar body. Investigating the vessel, the Nostromo crew discovers a large cavity filled with extraterrestrial eggs, one of which infamously hatches, revealing a horrific creature that impregnates a crew member, leading to one of the biggest cinema shocks of all time and a deadly cat-and-mouse game with a terrifying otherworldly adversary.
If Liam Neeson is the grizzled uncle of modern cinema, then Tom Hanks is the seasoned and well-spoken grandfather. Honing several roles per year, Hanks’ charisma goes a long way toward the watchability of the films he chooses, from recent fare like Finch all the way back to Cast Away, a Robert Zemeckis epic about one man’s trials and tribulations on a desert island. Hanks stars as Chuck Noland, a FedEx employee who is the sole survivor of an international parcel flight for the company. With no civilization in sight, Noland must channel his inner Darwinism to contend with the strange terrain of the unexpected tropical prison, possibly for the rest of his life. Watching Hanks’ tour-de-force performance is the biggest reason to arrive for Cast Away. Even two decades after its premiere, the film still delivers an emotionally gut-wrenching tale that makes us, and Grandpa Hanks, weep over something as simple as a volleyball.
Based on the David Wong novel of the same name, John Dies at the End is a kaleidoscopic horror-comedy of epic proportions. Chase Williamson stars as David, your typical everyman protagonist, and the story follows his mind-altering adventures alongside his gang of friends. At the center of these otherworldly jaunts is a mysterious new drug called “Soy Sauce,” a nightmarish substance accidentally injected by David that allows him to jump through time and space, into and out of alternate dimensions. The end result for us viewers? A wild trek of a film that will leave your brain hovering somewhere over a triple rainbow in a distant universe.
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