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When you run out of TV shows to binge, check out these great movies on Hulu

The streaming wars seem destined to rage on forever, which is great news for cinephiles eager to expand their horizons. Hulu, once merely an upstart among a swath of veteran broadcasters, now features a particularly robust library of films to choose from. As with any catalog, Sturgeon’s law still applies, and it might seem difficult to find the real gems housed within Hulu’s massive library. That said, our strictly curated list is a one-stop guide to the best, smartest, and most intriguing films currently streaming on the landmark service.

More: Time to kill? These are the 101 best movies on Netflix

Note: Hulu’s list of available media is dependent upon which country you’re trying to watch from. This is a list of the best Hulu movies available in the United States.

Drama

Anomalisa

A strange project from filmmaker Charlie Kaufman, Anomalisa is a stop-motion film about the difficulties of connecting with people in the modern world. The animated feature follows a customer service expert named Michael Stone (David Thewlis), who perceives everyone else in the world as speaking in the same voice (Tom Noonan). Stone is unable to relate to the mass of humanity he views as interchangeable, until he meets a woman named Lisa (Jennifer Jason Leigh), who sounds unique. The adult film uses puppets in lieu of physical actors, sure, yet it still manages to create a moving relationship thanks to excellent vocal performances and a keen sense of humanity. Anomalisa is — by and large — a beautiful film, one that artfully studies the nature of our own loneliness with the utmost poignancy.

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Hulu

The Piano

Set in a remote part of New Zealand where gray waves endlessly lap against a desolate shore, The Piano is a tale of reckless passion in a primeval setting. The film begins with Ada McGrath (Holly Hunter), a mute piano player, arriving on the island with her daughter and piano in tow. McGrath is to marry Alisdair Stewart (Sam Neill), who leaves the piano on the beach, as his house has no room for it. His neighbor, a gruff farmer named Baines (Harvey Keitel), buys the piano and offers to let McGrath use it for a price. Although the film is teeming with excellent performances, the highest praise must go to Hunter, who conveys McGrath’s conflicted passions without uttering a word. The gorgeous cinematography might be the initial draw, but it’s th sense of seduction that will hook you.

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Hulu

Creed

Thirty years after Apollo Creed’s fatal defeat at the hands of Ivan Drago, director Ryan Coogler revives the flashy boxer’s legacy in style. Michael B. Jordan plays Adonis Johnson, Creed’s illegitimate child, who decides to pursue a career in boxing. After being denied a slot at Delphi Boxing Academy — a school run by his half brother — Johnson seeks out the legendary Rocky Balboa (Sylvester Stallone) to train him. When Rocky is diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, he must battle his disease and demons to help Donnie prepare for a fight against British champion Ricky Conlan. Stallone’s performance earned him an Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actor, and critics and fans alike agree that Creed is a fitting, inspiring addition to the Rocky saga.

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Hulu

No Country for Old Men

The Coen Brothers are known for cutting even their bleakest films with moments of levity. Such isn’t the case with No Country for Old Men, however, a Western which stays true to the grim, fatalistic source material. Based on the Cormac McCarthy novel of the same name and set in Texas in the ‘80s, the plot concerns hunter Llewelyn Moss (Josh Brolin), a hunter who stumbles upon the remains of a drug deal gone wrong and a bag of money. Moss takes the money, not realizing that the bag contains a tracking device, and is quickly pursued by a Mexican cartel and Anton Chigurh (Javier Bardem), an unstoppable hitman less concerned with the money than with teaching everyone he comes across a lesson. The Coens are at the top of their game here; despite the savagery of its subject matter, this is one of the best-looking Westerns of all time. The Coens wisely leave much to the writing to McCarthy, only changing elements here and there, and actors like Bardem wring a great deal out of the sparse but heavy dialogue.

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Hulu

The Usual Suspects

Noir films often play with perceptions, both the characters’ and the audience’s. This is taken to extremes in The Usual Suspects, a 1995 noir that opens with a massacre on a ship. Eager to find out what happened, customs agent Dave Kujan interrogates one of the two survivors, a frail con man named Verbal Kint (Kevin Spacey), who narrates the whole ordeal in a series of extended flashbacks. Kint and four other criminals, after meeting in a police lineup, decide to team up for a for a heist. When they inadvertently steal from an enigmatic crime boss named Keyser Söze, they are forced into taking on a job for him. Naturally, it’s all downhill from there. Christopher McQuarrie’s screenplay is one of the most acclaimed of all time, both for the sharp dialogue and the film’s brilliant structure. An outstanding cast, including Gabriel Byrne and Benicio del Toro, brings the dialogue to life, and their crackling rapport is a treat.

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Hulu

Apocalypse Now

There is a bit of irony in the fact that Apocalypse Now is perhaps the most iconic Vietnam War film, as the movie actually has very little to say about the politics of the conflict. Instead, Francis Ford Coppola’s film centers on a relatively small mission, using a trip deep into the heart of the jungle to explore the inner madness that war breeds. The plot follows Captain Benjamin Willard (Martin Sheen), a special operations officer assigned a peculiar task. A special forces commander, Colonel Kurtz (Marlon Brando) has gone AWOL, establishing his own private army in Cambodia. Willard is ordered to journey to Kurtz’s compound and assassinate the rogue colonel. Along the way he must survive the perils of warfare, both physical and spiritual.

Coppola was an old hand at filmmaking by the time he directed Apocalypse Now, and the film shows the touch of a veteran. As Willard ventures further into the wilds, the film takes on a more surreal edge, the camera capturing the portentous evening light dripping down through the trees. Sheen’s measured portrayal of Willard grounds the film, but Brando’s legendary (if brief ) performance alone is worth seeing.

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Hulu

Leaving Las Vegas

Las Vegas is the right place to find many things, but love isn’t usually one of them. Yet, love — or something like it — is exactly what the leads in Leaving Las Vegas find. The film opens with alcoholic screenwriter Ben Sanderson (Nicolas Cage) heading to Las Vegas after losing his job and family. Intent on drowning himself in the bottle, Ben finds a second wind when he meets Sera (Elisabeth Shue), a prostitute working for an abusive pimp. Ben and Sera quickly form an uneasy partnership, each appreciating the other’s humanity while trying to overlook their problems. Leaving Las Vegas is a tragic film about two lovers who are unwilling to change their lives, but it never wallows in judgment or pity. Instead, it simply explores how two people try to enjoy the view from rock bottom.

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Hulu

Good Will Hunting

Widely considered Gus Van Sant’s greatest directorial effort, Good Will Hunting tells the story of a boy genius named Will Hunting (Matt Damon). Hunting, a Boston-area janitor who possesses an uncanny photographic memory, comes under the tutelage of a graduate professor after narrowly avoiding jail time for a fight he participated in. This graduate professor — played by the superb Stellan Skarsgard — also assigns Hunting to seek psychotherapy, much to the dismay of Hunting himself. Despite his lack of interest in getting “help,” Hunting develops lasting relationship with Dr. Sean Maguire (Robin Williams), and begins to open up about his life and childhood. A moving film from start to finish, Van Sant’s Good Will Hunting is a fantastic piece of filmmaking.

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Hulu

Fargo

In the grim, icy north of Minnesota, there is only death… well, almost. Jerry Lundegaard (William H. Macy), a car salesman who has fallen on difficult financial times, concludes that the best way to alleviate his monetary woes is to hire two henchmen to kidnap his wife so he can procure ransom money from his father-in-law. When what should have been a simple kidnapping results in a few more corpses than expected, Sheriff Marge Gunderson (Frances McDormand) takes up the case — much to the dismay of Lundegaard. Joel and Ethan Coen’s dark, comedic crime drama took home an Oscar for Best Actress and Best Original Screen Play, though, and was nominated for a few more.

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Hulu

Hoosiers

Considered by many as one of the greatest sports movies of all time, Hoosiers tells the story of the 1951 Hickory High basketball team. Gene Hackman stars as Norman Dale, the new coach whose dictatorial style puts him at odds with the team and community. Coach Dale must earn the trust of his players and their parents, while figuring out how to convince star Jimmy Chitwood to rejoin the team. Barbara Hershey appears as the concerned teacher, and Dennis Hopper garnered an Oscar nod for his performance as the hoops-loving town drunk. These roles might seem like sports clichés now, but Hoosiers is the film that actually helped cement these roles. It set the standard for small-town sports movies, and any self-respecting basketball fan should see it. The fact that it was based on the 1954 Milan High team just makes it even more endearing.

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Hulu

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