Hulu is maybe the most underrated streaming platform. They don’t have BIG movies, but they do have a lot of movies that end up being memorable and impressionable. There’s no better evidence than what’s leaving the service this month.
From drama to comedy, every movie on this list should resonate with viewers long after they first watch it. Now that claim will mean different things depending on which movie you’re watching. For Commando, it might just mean you remember laughing at all the incredible one-liner puns Arnie dishes out. For Black Swan, you may be amazed that a film about ballet can be exciting, compelling, and even frightening at times. Let’s dig into why these movies on Hulu are worth your time before they expire this month.
Nightmare Alley (May 1)
When people think of Guillermo Del Toro, they’ll surely talk about films like Pan’s Labyrinth and Pacific Rim. But this 2021 film needs to be held in just as high esteem as those titles. Overlooked in every way, this is a great story of a con man trying to make it by preying on people’s hopes of speaking to their loved ones from beyond the grave.
What makes it truly great is that the Del Toro eccentricities are somewhat toned down, where you have a story that makes sense and fewer mystical elements. However, his trademark style can still be seen in the beautifully weird-looking carny sets. Visually the film has a great style to it, with an excellent use of colors that change from the first half of the movie to the second.
Bradley Cooper also gives a spectacular performance as Stanton Carlisle, along with an always memorable Toni Collette as Zeena the Seer.
Anastasia (May 30)
This was an animated classic by Don Bluth animation. It doesn’t get much attention these days, but people who grew up watching Cartoon Network around the middle of the day will remember this being on pretty regularly. Is it any good, though? Absolutely! Meg Ryan stars as the daughter of a Russian Czar in an animated kids’ movie about Russian politics. Don Bluth delivers.
Commando (May 30)
This movie is a lot like if you took Rambo and said, “Hey, let’s do the same thing but with Arnold Schwarzenegger.” And it was a hit! And instead of mumbling out speeches about war, Arnie cracks one-liners throughout the entire movie.
The plot could be summarized as a massive man in the army who uses around 100 different weapons throughout the film. Apparently he thought an empty mag meant the end of a gun because he tossed them away when there weren’t any more bullets.
Black Swan (May 30)
Maybe you don’t like Natalie Portman as an actress. Maybe you couldn’t give a hoot about ballet. But, you should watch this film despite that. What you’ll find is a compelling drama about a scared little girl who proves herself a woman by the end of the movie.
A film about the obsessive pursuit of perfectionism, Mia (Portman) tries to portray both the white swan as well as her evil sister, the black swan, requiring her to get in touch with her dark side.
This isn’t just about her learning a part for Swan Lake, though. It’s also about her trying to escape her control-freak mother and grow without her smothering influence.
Fight Club (May 30)
Very much a cult classic that speaks for itself. There are people who love this movie and people who despise it. What’s cool about it, though, is that you can’t say it’s about just one thing. It has elements of crazy mob mentality and unchecked masculinity destroying everything, but it also very wisely talks about the emptiness of materialism and the necessity of growing up.
If you take away anything from this crazy movie about an underground cult of men who beat the hell out of each other, take a risk in life and try something new. The people in the movie only come alive when they try something that pushes them way out of their comfort zone.
Adam Sandler’s best comedy. Period. Compared to some of his other movies, the great thing about it is that he plays a character you don’t hate by the end of the film in Bobby Boucher, the Cajun with a heart of gold. Like many fighters, this man is a gentle giant until he hits the field and becomes a fridge with legs tackling anyone with a vengeance. Football season may still be a few months away, but The Waterboy is good for a laugh all year round.
Groundhog Day (May 30)
Bill Murray’s best comedy. Period. You’re in for a treat if you’ve never seen this film. It stars Murray as a weatherman forced to cover the groundhog seeing his shadow, a job which he has a particularly great disdain for. He hates the town, hates the holiday, hates the people he has to be around, but the real fun comes in when he finds out he has to relive that same day over and over again forever.
While the movie is an exceptionally funny comedy, it’s not a bad date night pick either, as it has some very genuinely romantic parts included that help to redeem his character by the time the credits roll. It’s fascinating to watch the journey of a man from a total jerk to someone you would want to be your neighbor.
Perhaps that is the glue that holds the film together, that perfect balance between comedy, romance, and thoughtfully handled concepts of nihilism.