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If you have to watch one Hulu movie in July 2024, stream this one

Jon Bernthal in Ford v Ferrari.
20th Century Studios

Hulu doesn’t have a shortage of movies to watch in July, and that’s one of the things we love about the streamer. There’s almost always something good or even great to catch among Hulu’s latest offerings. Some of the highlights this month include Garden State, Get Out, Courage Under Fire, and Funny People. But for our money, the one Hulu movie in July that you have to stream is the 2019 racing drama Ford v Ferrari.

Before director James Mangold seemingly dedicated himself to upcoming genre flicks like a remake of Swamp Thing and another Star Wars prequel, he put together an exceptional cast for Ford v Ferrari. The film is based on the real-life rivalry between the two companies, but that takes a backseat to the drama as Christian Bale and Matt Damon play the men who had to bring Ford’s vision to life.

Audiences responded to the film, and Ford v Ferrari was one of the box office success stories of 2019. Five years later, it remains one of our favorite movies, and that’s why we’re sharing the reasons why you should watch Ford v Ferrari on Hulu in July.

Christian Bale is at the top of his game

Christian Bale smiles in the front seat of a car in Ford v Ferrari.
20th Century Studios

Christian Bale has rarely, if ever, turned in a bad performance. Even in a terrible movie like Thor: Love and Thunder, Bale was the best thing about it. However, Ford v Ferrari throws Bale a challenge by making his character, Ken Miles, extremely unlikable. Miles is arrogant and quick to anger, and he never seems to be very willing to find common ground with anyone other than his family or Carroll Shelby.

In the hands of a lesser actor, that could have made watching Miles an unpleasant experience. Instead, Bale leans into Miles’ faults while also conveying his humanity and other emotions. Bale’s ability to make the audience feel sympathy and even empathy for Miles allows the audience to care about him despite his shortcomings.

Matt Damon gives one of his best performances

Matt Damon in Ford v Ferrari.
20th Century Studios

Bale’s accomplished performance in Ford v Ferrari is matched by his on-screen partner, Matt Damon. And just as Bale brought his A-game to Ken Miles, so too does Damon to his role as Carroll Shelby, a retired race car driver turned owner of his own company, Shelby American. Shelby is one of the few characters in the movie who even genuinely likes Miles despite his abrasive personality. But that doesn’t mean there aren’t some moments of conflict between them.

Damon broke out in the industry in films like Good Will Hunting, but Ford v Ferrari demonstrates just how far he’s come as an actor. Damon always had the talent to be one of the best in Hollywood, and he proved it again in this film.

The rivalry between Ford and Ferrari has compelling drama

Jon Bernthal and Tracy Letts in Ford v Ferrari.
20th Century Studios

The benefits of having an all-star cast come into play with the supporting players of this movie, especially since neither Henry Ford II (Tracy Letts) or Enzo Ferrari (Remo Girone) have very big roles in the film that shares their names. Ordinarily, it might be hard to sympathize with a millionaire like Ford in a fight with a business rival. But Ferrari not only spurns an agreement they were working on but he also insults the entire Ford company after he got want he wanted from them. That makes Ford furious enough to spend an obscene amount of money to build a race car that can humble Ferrari.

Without that rivalry, the core story of this film couldn’t take place. But it also sets off smaller rivalries within Ford itself between Vice President Leo Beebe (Josh Lucas) and the team of Miles and Shelby, whom Beebe tries to undercut every chance that he gets. Marvel’s Punisher actor, Jon Bernthal, also appears as one of Ford’s most famous executives, Lee Iacocca, who is more even-handed than Beebe. Having a strong group of supporting actors helped flesh out a lot of the conflict in Ford v Ferrari.

The racing scenes are intense and exciting

Christian Bale in Ford v Ferrari.
20th Century Studios

The racing scenes in Ford v Ferrari don’t attempt to rewrite the laws of physics like the Fast and the Furious movies. NASCAR fans may also find the older race style of the 24 Hours of Le Mans boring compared to the modern style.

However, Mangold manages to bring excitement to every scene that places Miles behind the wheel. Some of that is due to the drama that’s taking place outside of Miles’ orbit inside of Ford’s inner circle. But that also amplifies things when Miles has to contend with internal attempts to sabotage his run for glory.

The film doesn’t shy away from historical accuracy

Matt Damon and Christian Bale in Ford v Ferrari.
20th Century Studios

Every film based on a “true story” takes a few dramatic liberties with the way things really happened, and Ford v Ferrari is no exception. However, the film resists the urge to go with a traditional Hollywood ending and instead takes a more contemplative turn in the story’s final minutes.

We’re not going to spoil the conclusion here, but it has a large emotional impact after everything else in the film to that point. It would have been a disservice to Shelby and Miles to shy away from what happened. And by staying true to the real events, Ford v Ferrari gets to stick the landing as a modern masterpiece.

Watch F0rd v Ferrari on Hulu.

Blair Marnell
Blair Marnell has been an entertainment journalist for over 15 years. His bylines have appeared in Wizard Magazine, Geek…
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