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25 Best Hulu Movies You Can't Watch Anywhere Else

Hulu has long been a refuge of classic and modern TV shows. But as the years have gone on and streaming platforms have gained more presence and respect in the entertainment marketplace, Hulu has also put its name behind a number of exciting original films. At this point, in fact, Hulu has put out plenty of gems, ranging from high-minded documentaries to endearing romantic comedies. There are so many great Hulu productions out there that it can actually be hard to know where to start.

The movies on this list are the best of the best of what the beloved streaming service has to offer. They're also all Hulu exclusives, which means they're not available to rent or watch on any other platform. There are plenty of excellent titles available on Hulu outside of this list, including films like "Minding the Gap," which is a Hulu original that is also part of the Criterion Collection, and acclaimed movies like "Parasite" and "Portrait of a Lady on Fire." This list, however, consists entirely of Hulu exclusives. From vivid accounts of real-life adventure to searing sci-fi dramas, these 25 films will keep any Hulu subscriber busy for weeks. 

Bad Hair

You wouldn't necessarily expect a movie about a woman's hair coming to life and trying to kill her to be as trenchant as this film winds up being, but that's "Bad Hair" for you. The movie, directed by Justin Simien of "Dear White People" fame, follows Anna (Elle Lorraine), a woman who decides to get a weave in order to become more successful in the world of music TV. 

The new hair certainly helps Anna get noticed at work, but things get weird quickly. Anna discovers that her hair is moving on its own, and suffers severe hunger and strange dreams of having her hair cut on a plantation. Ultimately, Anna's hair grows a life of its own, and begins to terrorize the people around her. 

Although the premise may seem absurd, "Bad Hair" is also a clear-eyed critique of the way beauty is dictated by standards that are overwhelmingly white. In getting a weave, Anna lets those standards take control of her life, a metaphor Simien literalizes in the text of his film. It's the director's first foray into the horror genre, but one that's well worth your time. 

69: The Saga of Danny Hernandez

Rapper Tekashi 6ix9ine has left a huge impression on popular culture, despite his youth. That's a big part of why "69: The Saga of Danny Hernandez" was so highly discussed upon its initial release. This film explores the controversial rapper's story, including his rise to prominence in the world of music, his continued affiliation with gangs, and his several arrests. 

Hernandez's story is crazy enough to require a documentary, although director Vikram Gandhi is limited by the rapper's refusal to participate in or cooperate with filming. Gandhi gets plenty of great footage from the people who know Hernandez best, but without speaking to the rapper himself, it's impossible to get the fullest possible sense of who he is. Even so, "The Saga of Danny Hernandez" contains plenty of insight into the man's rise to prominence, and what it means for both him and the people around him.

WeWork: Or the Making and Breaking of a $47 Billion Unicorn

There's a reason that hugely successful con men are such compelling subjects for documentaries. In retrospect, it seems obvious that the entire illusion they created was built on a house of cards — which only makes the fact that someone was able to pull the whole thing off even more compelling. 

In "WeWork: Or the Making and Breaking of a $47 Billion Unicorn," we get an in-depth look at one of the biggest corporate busts in American history. Telling the story of the rise and fall of WeWork and its ultra-charismatic CEO Adam Neumann, the film chronicles the ways that Neumann was able to convince his employees and investors that the company was worth billions more than it actually was. 

Thanks to interviews with a wide range of subjects, this documentary is able to articulate precisely how Neumann pulled one over on everyone. Although it was criticized for failing to examine the broader culture of capitalism that values CEOs who use phrases like "community-based," the documentary is nonetheless a compelling analysis of exactly how WeWork came to be such a major disaster. 

Boss Level

In "Boss Level," Frank Grillo plays Roy Pulver, a former soldier who is trapped in a time loop of the day that ends in his murder. Over the course of the movie, Pulver has to unravel the government conspiracy that played a role in his death, and take down a villainous colonel played by Mel Gibson. 

Although there are plenty of elements in "Boss Level" that you could find in any standard action movie, the addition of the time loop element makes all that conventional plotting impressively fresh. What's more, Grillo, who is usually a supporting player in these kinds of action movies, takes on the lead role here, and doesn't waste a second of his expanded screen time. The movie may not be high art, but not everything needs to be. Sometimes, you just want to watch Frank Grillo get killed over and over again as he tries to find his way into another day. 

Kid 90

There is no shortage of portrayals of what it's like to grow up in the spotlight of Hollywood. Some look at the experience as an enviable adventure, like the smash-hit Disney Channel sitcom "Hannah Montana." Some lament the loneliness of this life, like Britney Spears' 2000 song "Lucky."  But "Kid 90" offers a uniquely on-the-ground account of what it's like to grow up on screen. The movie features archival footage taken by Soleil Moon Frye, who became famous as TV's beloved Punky Brewster. As it turns out, she carried a video camera with her everywhere she went throughout much of the '90s, thus capturing young stardom in all its complexity.

"Kid 90" uses that footage to give us a picture of what it's like to live as a teenager the whole world knows. The documentary features interviews with people like David Arquette, Brian Austin Green, Stephen Dorff, and, of course, Frye, on growing up in that era with a famous face. Between the archival footage that the film uses and the interviews of former famous teens it includes, "Kid 90" paints a portrait of a group of people who grew up in the spotlight, and had to deal with the consequences for the rest of their lives. 

Becoming Bond

Great actors coupled with iconic roles don't come along that often. More frequently, an actor and a character don't make for a perfect match. In "Becoming Bond," filmmaker Josh Greenbaum examines one very particular era of the James Bond franchise, in order to take a closer look at the relationship between character and actor. Specifically, Greenbaum focuses on the career of George Lazenby, the Australian actor who only portrayed Bond one time in "On Her Majesty's Secret Service." 

The film uses re-enactments of scenes from Lazenby's life, as well as actual footage of interviews with the actor, to examine why he took the Bond part, and why he eventually decided to leave the role after just one film. Lazenby is an interesting but brief chapter in the history of on-screen portrayals of James Bond, but "Becoming Bond" doesn't exclusively examine Lazenby as a part of the Bond timeline. Instead, it flips the script by exploring the way that the Bond character influenced Lazenby's own life, and how it ultimately shaped every role he took on after he stepped away from the part. 

I Am Greta

Thanks to her passionate climate change activism, Greta Thunberg has become a name that more and more people know all around the world. Citizens of every continent have seen her speak at the UN and followed her as she traveled across the world by boat. In "I Am Greta," we get a more intimate look at Thunberg's insistence that impending climate crisis should be a foremost issue on the world stage.

The film was knocked slightly for its lack of revelatory insight, but it's clear from Thunberg's public persona that she's not really interested in winning accolades. Instead, she's focused on an issue that she sees as an emergency, and the documentary makes it clear that her mission is much more important to her than any details about her own life. Regardless of whether you learn anything new about her or her cause, "I Am Greta" helps you understand why her activism has been so transformative for so many.

Fyre Fraud

The Fyre Festival might have been the peak of 2010s scammer culture, and "Fyre Fraud" tells its awful, fascinating story in full detail. For those not in the know, this 2017 festival promised to be one of the most exclusive parties of the year. Promotional material depicted the event as absolutely dripping with luxury: The accommodations would be opulent, the food would be gourmet, and the performances, from a variety of the day's hottest stars, would be unforgettable. But when the day of the festival actually arrived, all of that grandeur failed to materialize. By focusing on Billy McFarland, the entrepreneur at the center of the Fyre Festival plan, this movie reveals the rot at the heart of the event. Specifically, it focuses on the ways in which he managed to convince investors and employees that he knew what he was doing, even when he really, really didn't. 

The documentary spends plenty of time on the build-up to the festival, but it's definitely not time wasted — the payoff is almost ludicrously sweet. The Fyre Festival scandal was broadly publicized as it happened, but the documentary exposes the event's horrible conditions in even further detail. "Fyre Fraud" also gets at something deeper about McFarland, and the culture he exploited: It suggests that many people are willingly fooled when the glamour being promised is simply too tempting to pass up. McFarland may have lied about Fyre Festival, but it was everyone else who believed him. 

The Amazing Johnathan Documentary

"The Amazing Johnathan Documentary" gets at complicated ideas about what it means to make a documentary. The movie's director, Ben Berman, follows the Amazing Johnathan, a magician dying of heart disease on his final tour. That somewhat simple setup may sound conventional, and possibly even heartwarming. But this film has a number of twists, all of which build upon one another until it becomes almost impossible to discern what the truth being presented even is. 

Part of what makes "The Amazing Johnathan Documentary" work is that it seems to recognize, at least in part, how foolhardy it is to try and find truth while pointing a camera at someone. Truth is always illusory, and that's especially true when one's subject has his own agenda. At its core, watching a magic trick is about believing in something you know to be false. With the tricks that it manages to pull off, "The Amazing Johnathan Documentary" turns the concept of truth on its head, and proves that magic doesn't always have to be sleight-of-hand. 

Little Monsters

Although many of Hulu's most successful projects are documentaries, its narrative films have also enjoyed acclaim and popularity. "Little Monsters" is definitely one of the streaming service's most popular movies, thanks in large part to a hugely memorable performance from Lupita Nyong'o. "Little Monsters," which also stars Josh Gad and Alexander England, tells the story of a kindergarten teacher, a musician, and a kiddie-TV personality who have to defend a group of kids from an impending zombie apocalypse. As you might imagine, things get complicated, gory, and bizarrely adorable.

There's no shortage of zombie movies in modern Hollywood, but "Little Monsters" manages to put a fresh spin on many of the genre's most well-worn tropes. As a horror-comedy, it can take certain tonal liberties projects like "The Walking Dead" can't, and it makes thorough use of this creative latitude. Moreover, "Little Monsters" serves as definitive proof that Nyong'o is as skilled at comedy as she is at drama, and acts as a delightful counterpoint to her more serious horror work in films like "Us." As Miss Caroline, she is steely, enchanting, and absolutely hilarious. "Little Monsters" is the kind of project that doesn't often get made inside the Hollywood studio system: It's more than a little offbeat, and attempts to tackle many different jokes, genres, and tones at once. Luckily, its strong performances buoy it to success.

Tiny Shoulders: Rethinking Barbie

There are few things that have had a bigger impact on American culture than Barbie. "Tiny Shoulders: Rethinking Barbie" examines the role that this iconic toy has had within an ever-changing world. This documentary hones in on one specific item, a choice that might have restricted a lesser work to shallowness. But "Tiny Shoulders" uses this focus to examine how standards of beauty have changed over time. 

Barbie has caused shifts in culture, but she's also followed them, and often does both things at the same time. "Tiny Shoulders" is about the origins of Barbie, but the documentary also takes a look inside Mattel as they prepare for the doll's biggest reinvention ever. The movie features interviews with luminaries including Roxane Gay, Gloria Steinem, and plenty of Mattel insiders, and recognizes that Barbie is a lightning rod in American culture. She's a symbol who can stand for any number of things — not all of them good. "Tiny Shoulders" examines several viewpoints on Barbie and gets at how the toy shaped the culture, and how the culture shaped the toy.

Happiest Season

When you think of Kristen Stewart, you probably don't think of romantic comedies. If "Happiest Season" is any indication, that's a mistake. This charming movie stars Stewart as Abby and Mackenzie Davis as Harper, a couple who journey to Harper's family home for Christmas. There's just one problem: Harper's straight-laced parents don't know that their darling daughter is a lesbian. As a result, Abby has to pretend that they're just close friends ... even though she's been eagerly planning to pop the question on Christmas morning.

"Happiest Season" plays into plenty of tropes of the romantic comedy genre. This doesn't drag the film down, however — its strong central performances breathe new life into old clichés. Furthermore, beneath the undercover work that Abby is forced to do, there's an undercurrent of what it means to see people in different contexts. Abby and Harper are a couple in the city, but when they return to Harper's childhood home, Abby is no longer sure how she fits into the life of the woman she loves. This movie is a sweet, delightful diversion, and a reminder that good actors can do great work in any genre.

Big Time Adolescence

Pete Davidson's turn toward the dramatic may seem like a surprise, but for the most part, the public has embraced it. He got a whole lot of positive attention for "The King of Staten Island," which you likely know about, but he also earned praise for his supporting turn in "Big Time Adolescence." This movie follows Davidson's Zeke, a drug-dealing college dropout who becomes a mentor to a rule-abiding teen. 

This is a coming-of-age story, and it certainly features plenty of that genre's conventions. Thanks to a sharp script and a precise ear for dialogue, however, "Big Time Adolescence" manages to transcend its basic formula. Davidson in particular earned praise for his performance in the film, which is a much more sensitive turn than what people have come to expect from him, based on his work on "Saturday Night Live." The entire cast shines, though, and they're a huge part of what makes "Big Time Adolescence" one of Hulu's best films. 


There's no shortage of accounts of Harvey Weinstein's rise to power and subsequent fall, but "Untouchable" was one of the first documentaries to tackle this story. Although the filmmaking throughout is not perfect, "Untouchable" earned praise from critics, in part because of the urgency of the story that it tells. The movie was released in 2018, a year after bombshell accounts of Weinstein's history of abuse began to be published across major platforms, sparking the #MeToo movement. Viewers who have read those stories may not learn anything new in "Untouchable," but this doc certainly brings them together in a unique way.

As has become clear in the years since the Weinstein story first broke, the movie producer was far from the only person to get away with horrendous behavior because of his power. "Untouchable" examines not just the allegations against Weinstein, but also the systems that enabled him to remain a top-level producer for so long.

Batman & Bill

The story of comic book characters' creation is often a story of credit — those who get it for bringing iconic characters to life, and those who are brushed to the side. In "Batman & Bill," audiences are treated to the story of Bill Finger, an unheralded comic book creator who played a crucial role in bringing Batman to life.

It wasn't until after Finger's death that people began to recognize the massive contributions he made to the character. This film examines the reasons why Bob Kane got all the credit for creating Batman, even though Finger contributed the character's signature look, his detective skills, and many of his arch-nemeses, among other crucial details. It took years for Finger's credit to be fully restored, a process "Batman & Bill" examines alongside Finger's legacy, and the wider story of history's many blind spots. Finger was just as crucial as Kane, and now, everyone knows it. 


"Run" is a taut, sleek, well-acted thriller. Starring Sarah Paulson as a highly protective mother and Kiera Allen as her sick daughter, the movie starts by capturing their close relationship before things take several increasingly dark turns. 

"Run" is a movie about being imprisoned without even knowing it. It's also about realizing the person you've spent your whole life with isn't who they say they are. These thematic elements feel weighty, but the movie is wonderfully light on its feet. Above all else, "Run" is about thrilling its audience, and it more than achieves that goal. 

Thanks to expert work from both Paulson and Allen, these broadly drawn characters feel distinctly human. Even as the circumstances of "Run" become increasingly absurd, the relationship between the characters keeps the story grounded with genuine emotional stakes. If you're looking for something thrilling to watch on a Friday night, you can't do better than "Run."

We Are Freestyle Love Supreme

Lin-Manuel Miranda is one of the most ubiquitous creators in the world today. Thanks to "Hamilton," he now has his hands on a vast array of different projects: Miranda acts, produces, writes, and directs. In "We Are Freestyle Love Supreme," which Miranda produced, the creator helps to tell the story of a group he started in 2004, years before anyone knew who he was. The group was dedicated to freestyle rap, and this documentary, directed by Andrew Fried, tells the story of the group while paying tribute to the artform they specialized in. 

Miranda is a part of this story, but he's not the sum total, and even those worn out by his peppy personality will find plenty to love in "We Are Freestyle Love Supreme." Freestyle rap is about creating something beautiful in real time, and the scenes here that highlight this make the documentary well worth watching.

Crime + Punishment

Although it sounds like the famous Dostoevsky novel, "Crime + Punishment" is actually a documentary firmly rooted in the American experience. The documentary follows Latino and Black police officers in the NYPD over the course of four years, chronicling their brush-ups against the system and the way policing is systemically biased toward people in their communities. 

Fittingly, "Crime + Punishment" doesn't come to any easy answers about how the NYPD can be fixed. Instead, it simply shines a light on the everyday corruption that's become part of policing, and the other systemic abuses every police officer eventually has to deal with. 

"Crime + Punishment" is not a loud, shouty movie. It makes its points quietly and deliberately. Ultimately, though, that only reinforces the movie's power, making it all the more clear that the problems endemic to policing aren't going anywhere. It's an urgent, vital movie that gets at the humanity of police officers, even as it highlights the corruption of the institution they exist within. 

Ask Dr. Ruth

Unlike many of the documentaries on this list, the subject matter and vibe of "Ask Dr. Ruth" is easygoing. The film chronicles the life of Dr. Ruth Westheimer, a sex therapist who catapulted to fame late in her life thanks to a TV show in which she provided candid advice to callers about their sex lives. 

What makes Dr. Ruth remarkable, at least in the eyes of most Americans, is her utter willingness to discuss sex in a way most Americans do not. She's not shy, and her frankness about sex helped spur an openness in the culture toward the topic. Thanks to her slight stature, old age, and charming accent, Dr. Ruth has been able to reach a whole lot of people who may have otherwise tuned her out. 

"Ask Dr. Ruth" is a deeply charming film, but it's also one that encourages open conversation about topics that might be seen as taboo. Sex should not be a topic we're afraid of, Dr. Ruth argues: We should be willing to dive in head first, come what may. This documentary captures that stance with wonderful open-heartedness.

Palm Springs

"Palm Springs" debuted fairly early on in the American COVID-19 lockdown, and it couldn't have been more perfectly timed. The comedy, which stars Andy Samberg and Cristin Milioti, follows Milioti's character as she becomes embroiled in a time loop Samberg has already been stuck in for some time.

The movie has plenty of fun with its conceit, but it also updates the "Groundhog Day" formula by showing what happens to a relationship when both people are forced to relive the same day over and over again. Thanks to note-perfect performances from Samberg and Milioti, plus a little help from J.K. Simmons, "Palm Springs" is always charming and frequently moving. It's a movie about being stuck in a rut, to the point of being willing to do something radical to break out of it. As one of the very best movies that Hulu has to offer, it delivers not just laughs, but genuine emotion and a beautiful love story. 


With the advent of influencer culture, the world has been treated to an entirely new type of celebrity. For some young people, the possibility of escape from a life in obscurity the influencer lifestyle offers is tantalizing. In "Jawline," director Liza Mandelup follows Austyn Tester, a teenager from Tennessee trying to make it big online so he can escape the small-town life he feels trapped in. 

Although there are plenty of movies about the horrors of the internet, "Jawline" is not one of them. Instead, it's a tender look at one kid who's trying to make it, and a subculture that has a tendency to consume people like him and spit them out without acknowledging their humanity. "Jawline" does not pass judgment on its subject as a lazy brat: The idea of internet fame is attractive, it argues, not because it's easy. Rather, it's appealing as a way to escape from dead-end circumstances in a country that makes that increasingly impossible, even for teenagers with remarkably good jawlines.

Dumb: The Story of Big Brother Magazine

Sometimes, documentaries choose to tell stories that most people are already pretty familiar with. Other times, though, documentaries introduce their subjects to a largely ignorant audience. So it goes in "Dumb: The Story of Big Brother Magazine." 

Director Patrick O'Dell shines a spotlight on the eponymous publication, which catapulted a generation of skaters to fame and also led to the creation of MTV's "Jackass." Featuring interviews with figures like Johnny Knoxville, Spike Jonze, Tony Hawk, and many others, this movie tells the story of a generation of young rebels who eventually grew into incredibly successful people within their fields. "Dumb" is not as widely seen as many of the films on this list, but it's earned plenty of praise from critics, who hailed the film as an effective chronicling of a group of people who felt like breaking the rules for no other reason than to see what it would feel like.

March of the Penguins 2: The Call

Although it wasn't as much of a phenomenon as the original "March of the Penguins," this sequel contains all of the elements that make the first film so winning. Morgan Freeman returns to narrate the project, and the story at the film's center is just as compelling as anything that happens in the first film. In "March of the Penguins 2," we follow a group of penguins as they journey to a mysterious destination after one of their young hears an enigmatic call. 

Above all else, this sequel, which came more than a decade after the original film, serves as proof that penguins make deeply compelling subjects for nature documentaries. Of course, even as the documentary wonders at their beauty, it's hard not to see the impending threat of climate change hanging over their heads. "March of the Penguins 2" is about the beauty of wildlife, but it's also a harsh reminder that said wildlife may not be around forever.

Too Funny to Fail

"Too Funny to Fail" is both hilarious and refreshingly low-stakes. The documentary tells the story of "The Dana Carvey Show" — specifically, all the ways that it failed to be a success in spite of the many talented people behind it. Stephen Colbert, Steve Carell, and, of course, Dana Carvey all worked on the show, but that didn't keep it from flaming out in truly stupendous fashion. 

In spite of the show's demise, this documentary remains a fairly lighthearted look at what went wrong, including candid interviews with all of these now-famous men. "The Dana Carvey Show" may have been ahead of its time, and "Too Funny to Fail" shows us how well many of the show's sketches still hold up. In spite of what seemed like a sure-fire formula for success, though, the show did, of course, fail. Although that failure might be depressing in the moment, without it, we wouldn't have "Too Funny to Fail," and that would be a loss in its own right. 

Derek DelGaudio's In & Of Itself

Most magic shows choose spectacle over meaning. With "In & of Itself," though, magician Derek DelGaudio steers hard into profundity and storytelling. Mixing amazing tricks with his own personal narrative, the show becomes an experience that's both dazzling and deeply moving. 

"In & Of Itself" is a filmed version of DelGaudio's stage show of the same name, but it translates the experience beautifully. DelGaudio does several tricks over the course of the show that don't lose any of their intense impact through the process of being filmed. Though the tricks are sincerely astounding, they're also truly deep: DelGaudio's show is an examination of how we see ourselves, and how that self-perception helps to guide the decisions we make. It's absolutely mesmerizing, and one of the best things on Hulu. Take care to avoid spoilers, however — this is one production you want to go into blind.