The 6 Best Hulu Original Films, Ranked
HULU – the American streaming service started back in 2008. While its main focus was on TV content having been owned by NBC Universal and The Walt Disney Company, the service has recently delved into churning out Original movie content. While Netflix and Amazon Prime Video are still known as the actual beasts for Movie Originals, HULU original Films are slowly crawling up to form in line. While the streaming service has mostly taken a look towards non-fictional story letting, the list will only consist of the major films they have produced. If you are searching for the Best movies to watch on Hulu, this will be a safe place. Please note that this is an ever-updating list so there will be changes to it on a regular basis.
Here are some of the Best HULU Original Films ranked from Worst to Best:
6. Happiest Season (2020)
Toted as the first major lesbian Christmas romantic-comedy, Clea DuVall (The Intervention) takes a semi-autobiographical approach to this holiday film. Focusing on a lesbian couple of Abby (Kirsten Stewart) & Harper (Mackenzie Davis), Happiest Season does the same old guy-meeting-the better-halve’s-conservative-parents-arc with a delightful update to the proceedings.
Hailed as the first mainstream lesbian holiday rom-com, the film features an ensemble cast including Alison Brie, Dan Levy & Aubrey Plaza among others. Using the coming-out-to-the-parents troupe as the grounds of a bittersweet romance that shades away in secret while a facade is put on, the film serves as an interesting calling card for young people unable to come to terms with their sexuality just because they don’t want to hurt sentiments.
Cinematically speaking, Happiest Season doesn’t add much to the already stoked holiday season romances and just paddles along with a conventional narrative without doing much to overtake the notions. Some fine performances aside, the film really doesn’t hold a candle when better Holiday movies and better coming-out movies are just around the corner.
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Watch/Stream Happiest Season Here
5. Bad Hair (2020)
Justin Simien’s sophomore film is as campy as it can get. If you are not aware or don’t think the premise is bonkers, let me spell it out for you. Bad Hair is a film about Anna (Elle Lorraine) – a meek, yet determined production assistant to a progressive (for the ’80s) TV network named. When she is suggested to change her style (particularly her hair) in order to really stand out within the network’s overwhelming team, Anna goes ahead and gets herself an expensive weave in spite of being rationally penniless. What follows is quite unimaginable. Her new hair seems to take up a life of its own.
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Simien’s film is rooted in a strong commentary about how women (specifically black women) are treated on the work front. While the comic narrative somehow paddles along, the horror in the film doesn’t understand the head or tail of the satire it is coming out of. There are sparks here and there but the film mostly fails to deliver thrill or commentary in the right dose. It is still recommended for Elle Lorraine’s dedicated performance as Anna.
Watch/Stream Bad Hair Here
4. Run (2020)
Partially inspired by the Gypsy Rose Blanchard case Aneesh Chaganty returns after the brilliant screen-thriller ‘Searching‘ with anxiety-inducing results. Unlike his debut, this one is an out and out genre film that amps up its thrill when it’s limited space becomes a threat to the two characters involved.
Run is about an isolated, homeschooled teenager named Chloe (Kiera Allen) who due to premature birth is unable to function without a certain devised set of rules and meds. Her mother Diane (an overbearing Sarah Paulson) has dedicated her entire life to her care and is unable to come to terms with her having to leave home for college. However, there are more things that she is hiding under the rug than just Chole’s admission details. The film takes a turn southwards once Chole starts suspecting her mother’s intentions and more sinister and darker secrets run amok.
Chaganty is a master of restricted space thrills. Pretty much like his debut feature, Run has an intriguing idea that hinges too heavy on its performances. While both Polson and Allen are great, the third act stretches out and as the cloud fades away from the central conflict, the film also starts slipping away from the director’s hand. However, it’s an interesting film that one should definitely not run away from.
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Watch/Stream Run Here
3. Big Time Adolescence (2020)
Miles better than the other Pete Davidson comedy released in 2020, Big Time Adolescence is a constantly funny coming-of-age film that uses it’s two central characters to investigate the idea of boyhood and manhood simultaneously.
Following the life of 16-year-old Mo (played by Griffin Gluck) who can’t seem to make friends because he both ideologies and enjoys the company of his sister’s ex-boyfriend and much older babysitter Zeke Presanti (Davidson), the film is about Mo trying to forge through the difficult terrains of high-school as he poses as the drug peddler for secrete parties.
It is a slippery slope that director Jason Orley plays along. However, due to some finely tuned performances and relatable & philosophical ramblings on how to exist in contemporary society without becoming a loser, Big Time Adolescence manages to become a tender investigation of forcing oneself to wake up and grow up. The chemistry between Gluck and Davidson in particular really holds this film together and makes it a charming outing.
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Watch/Stream Big Time Adolescence Here
2. Palm Springs (2020)
Max Barbakow’s Palm Springs is one of those laid-back, chilled-out hangout movies that use its sci-fi premise to create an uproaring self-reflective image of not doing anything extremely loud with itself. In fact, there’s a point in the film where Nyles (played by Andy Samberg) casually tells Sarah (Cristin Milioti) that they are now a victim of ‘one of those time-loop things.’
Basing itself on the groundhog day premise where the same days repeat itself, once the two characters die or end up sleeping, Palm Springs is a funny comedy that also serves as an allegory for marriage. While Barbakow doesn’t pint point to that, there are quaint hints all along.
The fact that the film takes place at a wedding and the entire arc where the two characters fight with each other endlessly until they realize that they have to spend the rest of their time with each other is as perfect as a metaphor for marriage as there could be. Boosted by an incredible back and forth between Samberg and Milioti who are both constantly charming and endearing, this is one of those films that you can rewatch anytime and never get bored off.
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Watch/Stream Palm Springs Here
1. Minding the Gap (2018)
Bing Liu – Who serves as a part of this self-questioning documentary about a trio of young skaters in Rockford, Illinois has held his camera up close for more than a decade. This is why all the shots that feature these skaters swirling along mid-fences feel like a hypnotic montage. But it’s not just that, Liu’s Minding the Gap recollects almost a decade old footage to astonishingly questions the life of American youth.
On the surface, the film feels like your usual Skateboard Documentary that would recollect memories of how these young people made it big in the skating scene. But Liu – Who shot this film himself wishes to rig through the very center that plagues the lives of young people who run away from their homes. This is an incredibly personal look at fractured American lives that need internal catharsis.
In one of the most brilliant scenes I have seen all year, Bing Liu sits in front of his mother questioning the physical abuse that was forced upon him by his stepfather when he was a teenager. In another, a teary-eyed Kiere Johnson is unable to find his father’s grave. The film is about skaters who have undergone domestic trauma, woefully accepted schematic racism, and have also been a victim of economic dislocation due to a deranged teenage life. It’s an incredibly poignant and heartfelt documentary that knows that a person grows up at every bend of their lives and that coming-of-age doesn’t always add up for everyone.
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Watch/Stream Minding the Gap Here