The 40 Best Movies on Hulu Right Now

Wondering what to watch on Hulu? Scroll no more.


Hulu was one of the first streaming services on the market, and over the years, it also endured as one of the best in the game — home to a robust and diverse library, including a healthy chunk of the best 20th Century and Searchlight movies, standout original Hulu movies like “Fresh” and “Good Luck to You, Leo Grande,” next-day episodes from countless hit broadcast shows, FX series, and plenty of other must-watch shows and films from throughout the years (being one of the first in the game means Hulu also has a lot of great distribution contracts). And that’s without even touching the potential for add-on subscriptions.

In short, there are a lot of good movies to watch on Hulu so we’ve put together a handy list to help you stop scrolling and start watching — we even made the titles clickable so you can get right to it. From Oscar-winning films to hidden gems, here are the 40 best movies on Hulu right now.

“Parasite” (2019)


Bong Joon-ho’s 2019 masterpiece is the first non-English film to win the Academy Award for Best Picture. It chronicles a family of cons – or some would say opportunists – as they infiltrate the home of a wealthy Korean family one-by-one. There’s a twist in the middle and a shocking ending that no one will see coming. — Lawrence Yee

“Prey” (2022)


The greatest “Predator” sequel yet hinges around an ingenious premise: instead of following in the footsteps of the 1987 original, it flashes back to the Northern Great Plains in 1917 and focuses on a young Comanche woman (Amber Midthunder) as she runs afoul of an earlier incarnation of the legendary alien warrior.

Largely wordless, “Prey” works so well because it strips everything down to its essential components; it’s not overwhelmed by gadgetry or elaborate set pieces, like other entries of the franchise have fallen into (“The Predator,” we’re looking at you). And Midthunder’s casting works so well because she doesn’t fit into the Arnold Schwarzenegger mold; she’s a slight young woman who has to rely on her wit, instincts and knowledge of the land to best a creature that could have easily taken her down. Inventively directed by “10 Cloverfield Lane” filmmaker Dan Trachtenberg from a whip-smart script by Patrick Aison, “Prey” is an absolute return-to-form for the beleaguered “Predator” franchise and proof that the core concept behind the series can still provide dividends, if shot through a creative-enough lens. — Drew Taylor

“Fire Island” (2022)


From screenwriter and star Joel Kim Booster, “Fire Island” takes the best of our favorite romantic comedies – specifically the source material on which it riffs, “Pride and Prejudice” – and makes it even better … by making it gay! Filmed on location in the titular queer haven and starring a who’s who of up-and-coming comic performers (including “Saturday Night Live” Emmy nominee Bowen Yang) and vets (Margaret Cho) alike, Booster’s debut feature film with director Andrew Ahn may exist in a world of happily-ever-afters, but it’s spot on in capturing authentic LGBTQ conundrums unique to today. — Benjamin Lindsay

“If Beale Street Could Talk” (2018)

Annapurna Pictures

The Oscar-nominated “If Beale Street Could Talk” portrays the life and love story of two Black Harlem youths, Tish (Kiki Layne) and Fonny (Stephan James), who grew up together and eventually became each other’s husband and wife-to-be. The couple’s story takes place in the 1970s and highlights the struggles of the Black community faced, including racist housing practices like redlining, police brutality and the unjust mass incarceration of Black people. Excited to start a life together, their futures are traumatically put on hold after Fonny is arrested for a crime he didn’t commit. The original story was written by writer and activist James Baldwin. Written and directed by Barry Jenkins as his “Moonlight” follow-up, “If Beale Street Could Talk” has a cast that includes Layne, James, Regina King, Brian Tyree Henry, Colman Domingo, Pedro Pascal, Dave Franco and Aunjanue Ellis. — Raquel “Rocky” Harris

“Dinner in America” (2020)

Best & Final Releasing

“Dinner in America” is a wonderful film, though tough to sum up succinctly. It’s a romance and a comedy, but it doesn’t feel quite right to label it a rom-com. There are plenty of crimes, but you wouldn’t call it a crime movie. It’s a love letter to punk with one of the catchiest original songs of the 21st century, but it’s certainly not a musical. And perhaps it’s fitting that such an anti-establishment, anarchistically joyful film doesn’t feel at home under any single label. “Dinner in America” stars Kyle Gallner and Emily Skeggs as two full-tilt oddballs who unexpectedly find love — and get up to an absolute spree of antics — after a chance encounter. If it sounds overly familiar, don’t worry, “Dinner in America” is anything but; soft and sharp in the most unexpected ways, fueled by two refreshingly unique characters and performances. — Haleigh Foutch

“Nightmare Alley” (2021)

Searchlight Pictures

In between winning Oscars for “The Shape of Water” and “Pinocchio,” writer/director Guillermo del Toro was merely nominated for Oscars for “Nightmare Alley” (including Best Picture). Based on the 1946 novel of the same name by William Lindsay Gresham, and previously adapted into a 1947 film starring Tyrone Power, this “Nightmare Alley” stars Bradley Cooper as a member of a traveling carnival who perfects his craft and is eventually welcomed into police society as a spiritualist. But which world is more dangerous and duplicitous?

Even with a supporting cast that includes Cate Blanchett, Rooney Mara, Toni Collette, Willem Dafoe, Richard Jenkins and del Toro mainstay Ron Perlman, “Nightmare Alley” is singularly committed to plumbing the blackness of the human spirit. This thing is bleak. But in the playful, inventive storytelling by del Toro, who hopscotches along from location to location through time, and the first-rate production design and cinematography, “Nightmare Alley” becomes somewhat palpable. Or at least palpable enough … before it crushes your soul. Seriously, this has one of the all-time great bummer endings in cinema history. Wallow in despair. — Drew Taylor

“Anastasia” (1997)

20th Century Fox

Don Bluth’s “Anastasia” is highly ambitious. In 1997, it was attempting to take on Disney at its own game with a princess story about what, possibly, happened to the former Russian princess, Anastasia (voiced by the very non-Russian Meg Ryan). The film plays fast and loose with history – this is for children, after all – so in place of Marxism and all that, you get a villainous, zombified Rasputin (Christoph Lloyd) as your villain, a bat sidekick that draws all the annoying comparisons to Iago from “Aladdin,” and some utterly amazing songs. But that’s all in “Anastasia’s” favor. The songs are utterly fantastic and catchy, the animation is lovely with some large-scale CGI recreations of Russian architecture, and charms in all the ways a Don Bluth film does. If anything, it just makes you wish Bluth was still making movies. — Kristen Lopez

“Fresh” (2022)

Searchlight Pictures

“Fresh” is easily one of the most original, surprising horror movies I’ve seen in quite some time and easily one of the best Hulu movies to date, so I will pay it the respect of saying very little so you can experience all the twisted twists for yourself. Daisy Edgar-Jones stars as Noa, who thinks she’s met the guy of her dreams in Steve (MCU star Sebastian Stan). But Steve is not what he seems, things get messed up in a hurry and cannibalism is definitely involved — though probably not quite how you expect. The directorial debut from Mimi Cave, “Fresh” is a ferocious gem that never goes where you think it will — enjoy the ride. — Haleigh Foutch

“Nomadland” (2020)


Coming out at the height of the Covid-19 pandemic, “Nomadland” feels tremendously suited for its time. A riveting, meandering examination of life on the edges of society that interrogates class, corporate powers and more, it was exactly in line with many of the big-picture questions Americans were and are facing today. It took home three Academy Awards that year for Best Actress (Frances McDormand), Best Picture and most notably Best Director for Chloe Zhao, at the time only the second woman to hold that achievement and the first woman of color to do so. — Benjamin Lindsay

“The Bob’s Burgers Movie” (2022)

20th Century Studios

If you like “Bob’s Burgers,” you’re gonna like “The Bob’s Burgers Movie,” which is every bit as whimsical and charming as the long-running animated series, and essentially plays like a super-sized episode that sends the Belcher family on a grand adventure after a sinkhole opens up in front of the restaurant. But don’t worry, if you’re not a “Bob’s Burgers” fan yet, the film is also an easy entry point for newcomers and a witty, endearing feel-good animated feature in its own right. — Haleigh Foutch

“Dunkirk” (2017)

Tom Hardy in Dunkirk
Warner Bros.

One of Christopher Nolan’s very best films, “Dunkirk” is best described as a historical thriller. The film recounts the true World War II story of how the allied troops in Dunkirk were evacuated by sea in a harrowing event. Nolan splits the film up into three timelines – what’s happening on the beach, the boats coming in by sea, and the planes in the air above trying to provide support – that are all happening in tandem. It’s a true feat of editing brilliance that they clock together, even though they’re happening at different speeds. It’s a thrilling and emotional film, anchored by supporting performances from Kenneth Branagh, Cillian Murphy, Mark Rylance, Tom Hardy, Barry Keoghan and Harry Styles. – Adam Chitwood

“Spider-Man” (2004)

Spider-Man Tobey Maguire Willem Dafoe
Tobey Maguire and Willem Dafoe star in “Spider-Man” (Sony Pictures)

Two decades before the multiverse, Tobey Maguire donned the Spidey suit in this origin story of everyone’s favorite web-slinger. At the time, Sam Raimi’s “Spider-Man” was the most successful film based on a comic book. James Franco plays Peter Parker’s best friend Harry Osborn, while Kristen Dunst plays his love interest Mary Jane “MJ” Watson. Yes, the infamous upside-down kiss happens in this movie. — Lawrence Yee

“Spider-Man 2”

Spider-Man 2

Tobey Maguire returns for this second film in Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man trilogy. Peter Parker finds himself at odds with his former friend Harry Osborn, who holds Spider-Man responsible for his father’s death. “Spider-Man 2” introduces one of cinema’s noblest villains in Doctor Octopus, brought from the comic book stage to screen by stage legend Alfred Molina. — Lawrence Yee

“Good Luck to You, Leo Grande” (2022)

Good Luck to You Leo Grande
Searchlight Pictures

“Good Luck to You, Leo Grande” came out of Sundance 2022 poised to be a major awards contender for Emma Thompson, who gives one of the most magnetic performances of her career as Nancy, a woman who hires an escort (Daryl McCormack as Leo Grande himself) in the hopes of sexual gratification. But Nancy is too repressed for a casual romp and Leo Grande is too professional to let her waste her money, so instead, the duo forms an unlikely intimacy built on provocative, candid conversations and slowly built mutual respect — and pivotally, some sexual gratification too.

Unfortunately, that awards talk never materialized, but that doesn’t change the fact that her work here is absolutely remarkable, nor that “Leo Grande” is a refreshing, candid (and rare) film that dares to explore the sexual complexities of a woman in her 60s. And for a film so invested in pleasure, it’s also a fabulously satisfying watch. — Haleigh Foutch

“The Last Duel” (2021)

20th Century Studios

A late-era Ridley Scott masterpiece, “The Last Duel” is based on Eric Jager’s nonfiction account “The Last Duel: A True Story of Crime, Scandal, and Trial by Combat in Medieval France,” about the last officially recognized judicial duel fought in France. And while that sounds somewhat ho-hum, especially for a filmmaker that started his career with a movie called “The Duelists,” what makes this movie so special is the way in which it was made – the point-of-view is divided three times, with each section written by a different writer. The section from Matt Damon’s perspective was written by Damon, the section from the perspective of Adam Driver, Damon’s haughty foe, was written by Damon’s collaborator Ben Affleck (who also steals every scene as a pompous count) and then the section from Jodie Comer’s perspective (Damon’s wife and the woman raped by Driver) aka “the truth” was written by the amazing filmmaker Nicole Holofcener. It’s a stylistic gambit that pays off tremendously, as one of the funniest, most dramatic, most visceral movies in Scott’s oeuvre. If you missed it in 2021, buckle up. — Drew Taylor

“The Departed” (2006)

Warner Bros.

Nobody does a crime drama quite like Martin Scorsese and after decades of refining and defining the genre, he finally took home the Best Directing Oscar for 2006’s “The Departed.” Starring Jack Nicholson as Chicago crime boss Frank Costello, Matt Damon as one of Frank’s proteges working as a double agent within the state police, and Leonardo DiCaprio as a deep cover cop infiltrating the highest ranks of Frank’s organization, “The Departed” is an engrossing saga of subterfuge and betrayal. — Haleigh Foutch

“Death on the Nile”

Death on the Nile
20th Century Studios

“Death on the Nile” is good in all the worst ways. It takes Agatha Christie’s original text and asks the question, “What if it was thirstier?” And I’m not talking about the dry Egyptian desert air. The film starts with a weirdly erotic dance sequence and keeps that energy going, right down to a post-Wonder Woman Gal Gadot grinding on Armie Hammer while reciting Shakespeare on an Egyptian sphinx. It’s the perfect guilty pleasure watch or something to enjoy with friends while drinking some wine. — Kristen Lopez

“Superbad” (2007)

Sony Pictures Releasing

Seth Rogen recently caused a bit of a stir when he joked that nobody has made a good High School movie since “Superbad” hit theaters, more than 15 years ago. That might be a stretch (“The Edge of Seventeen” rules, as do “Lady Bird,” “Booksmart,” the list goes on), but it’s impossible to deny that “Superbad” is a multi-generational comedy hit with true staying power. Rocket-launching the careers of Emma Stone, Jonah Hill and Michael Cera, the 2007 film follows two dorky best friends (Hill and Vera) who make it their mission to party hard and get laid before they head off to college. Naturally, buffoonery ensues and the result is a laugh-til-your-stomach-hurts, painfully relatable coming-of-age comedy that, yes, absolutely stands the test of time. — Haleigh Foutch

“Fight Club” (1999)

20th Century Fox

David Fincher’s 1999 film “Fight Club” is woefully misunderstood, and in that regard is well worth revisiting if you haven’t seen it in a while. Based on Chuck Palahniuk’s novel of the same name, the story follows a disillusioned young man (played by Edward Norton) whose life is suddenly given meaning when he meets a freewheeling soap salesman named Tyler Durden (Brad Pitt). The two start a fight club, which then leads to them starting an entire anarchic enterprise that quickly spirals out of control. But “Fight Club” is not about a fight club, it’s about toxic masculinity – or, more specifically, the fragility of the male ego and the impact of consumerism on male culture in the 1990s. It’s also kind of a twisted romantic comedy at heart, with Helena Bonham Carter’s colorful Marla serving as the object of both Tyler’s and the narrator’s affection. – Adam Chitwood

“It’s Complicated”

Universal Pictures

Going into a Nancy Meyers film, you probably know what you’re in for: some world-class kitchens. And thankfully, with Meryl Streep playing a baker looking for love in all the wrong places (her ex-husband, played by Alec Baldwin), “It’s Complicated” has kitchens in spades. But it also layers in a lot of heart and genuine laugh-out-loud moments where you know Streep, Baldwin and a scene-stealing Steve Martin were simply having a great time. More romantic comedies featuring women of a certain age, please! This one’s a keeper. — Benjamin Lindsay

“How to Train Your Dragon 2” (2014)

DreamWorks Animation

One of the best animated film series in recent memory is the “How to Train Your Dragon” trilogy, and while Hulu only has the second movie available to stream, it’s well worth your time regardless of whether you’re familiar with the franchise or not. “How to Train Your Dragon 2” picks up five years after the young Hiccup (Jay Baruchel) has convinced his Viking brethren to make peace with dragons instead of fear them, and the story finds Hiccup warding off a gang of dragon trappers while stumbling across his long-lost mother. As with every film in this series, “How to Train Your Dragon 2” is full of emotion and compassion – make sure tissues are handy. – Adam Chitwood

“30 Days of Night”

Sony Pictures Releasing

As if cold weather and limited supplies aren’t enough, the residents of Barrow, Alaska face a polar night where the entire town is shrouded in darkness. Bad for the living. Great for the undead. Josh Harnett hits peak horror hunkiness in this 2007 vampire flick based on the comic book of the same name. Melissa George stars as Stella, Hartnett’s love interest. Danny Huston is terrifying as the leader of the vampire scourge. — Lawrence Yee

“Heat” (1995)

Warner Bros.

Released in 1995, “Heat” is arguably one of the best movies of that decade and could be writer/director Michael Mann’s masterwork, a magnum opus about cops and robbers set against the endless sprawl of Los Angeles. Al Pacino plays Vincent Hanna, a dogged cop attempting to foil a bank robbery masterminded by Robert De Niro’s Neil McCauley (his gang of ne’er-do-wells includes Val Kilmer, Danny Trejo and the late, great Tom Sizemore). But the aspects of “Heat,” adapted by Mann from a failed television pilot that aired in 1989, that remain the most gripping are the stories in the margins of the main plot, the doodles and embroidery that make the entire saga infinitely richer and more complex. There’s McCauley’s relationship with Eady (Amy Brenneman), who doesn’t understand his life of crime; the strained relationship between Kilmer’s Shiherlis and his ex-wife (Ashley Judd) and the equally strained relationship between Hanna and his stepdaughter (Natalie Portman); plus there’s an entire B-plot about a serial killer connected to the thieves who has been murdering L.A. prostitutes (Kevin Gage’s chilling Waingro).

And while it did okay when it was released (bafflingly at Christmas), it has only grown in estimation over the years. In 2022 Mann and Meg Gardiner released “Heat 2” as a novel, which toggles back and forth as a prequel and sequel to the movie, that Mann is thinking of adapting himself. Please let that be true. It’s cold out here. We need more “Heat.” — Drew Taylor

“Deep Water”

Hulu/20th Century Studios

It took 20 years for director Adrian Lyne, the master behind erotic thrillers like “Indecent Proposal” and “Unfaithful” to craft another feature. And while “Deep Water” doesn’t have the intrigue of something like “Fatal Attraction,” it’s such a fun throwback to an era where we were all just cool watching beautiful people treat each other horribly. Really, this is Ana de Armas’ show. She perfectly understands the type of movie she’s making and transforms the simple art of eating a grilled cheese into high art. This movie is perfect and I will not stand slander. — Kristen Lopez

“How Stella Got Her Groove Back”

20th Century Fox

A getaway girls’ trip to Jamaica turns into a romantic affair after the highly-successful and single 40-year-old stockbroker Stella (Angela Bassett) meets Winston (Taye Diggs), a young, handsome and charming native who sweeps her off her feet and onto love island. But when it’s time to go home, Stella realizes that she doesn’t want the relationship to end and she’s now met with the challenge of long-distance and their age gap. The movie was adapted from the book, which shares the same name. Kevin Rodney Sullivan directed, and the screenplay was written by Terry McMillan and Ronald Bass. McMillan also wrote the story. The cast includes Bassett, Diggs, Whoopi Goldberg, Regina King, Suzzanne Douglas, Michael J. Oagan, Richard Lawson, Danny Glover, Barry Shabaka Henley and more. — Raquel “Rocky” Harris


20th Century Fox

The prequel to Ridley Scott’s seminal “Alien” films, “Prometheus” reveals the origins of the deadly xenomorphs. Scott returned to direct the 2012 film with a script from Jon Spaihts and Damon Lindelof. The star-studded cast includes Noomi Rapace, Michael Fassbender, Charlize Theron and Idris Elba. The creature and special effects are top-notch. You’ll never think about a C-section the same way. — Lawrence Yee

“I, Tonya”

Neon/30 West

Before director Craig Gillespie was looking at the world of “Pam and Tommy,” he deconstructed another infamous blonde: disgraced figure skater Tonya Harding. Margot Robbie expertly plays the crass, unpolished Harding, a young woman desperate to be taken seriously in the sophisticated world of figure skating. The script plays with fact and fiction, trying to lay out that, regardless of whether Tonya Harding actually was involved in the attack on fellow skater Nancy Kerrigan, she was condemned in the court of public opinion no matter what. It’s a pitch-perfect black comedy that says so much about the media and celebrity. –Kristen Lopez

“Happy Gilmore”

Universal Pictures

During Adam Sandler’s  mid-‘90s reign, the actor-comedian gave the world the instant classic and the uber-quotable “Happy Gilmore.” The film, which made its theatrical debut on February 16, 1996, is centered around Happy Gilmore (Sandler), an aspiring pro hockey player who ends up being a star golfer when he joins a golf tournament in an effort to take home its prize money so he can save his grandmother’s home being taken away. Directed by Dennis Dugan, and written by Sandler and Tim Herlihy, “Happy Gilmore” earned $41.2 million at the box office. The cast includes Sandler, Julie Bowen, Richard Kiel, Carl Weathers, Francis Bay, Christopher McDonald, Kevin Nealon, Allen Covert, Bob Barker and more. — Raquel “Rocky” Harris

“Something’s Gotta Give” (2003)

Sony Pictures

If you’re in the mood for a great rom-com, Nancy Meyers’ 2003 film “Something’s Gotta Give” will do the trick. This movie has everything: Jack Nicholson as a womanizing record company owner; a gorgeous Hamptons beach house; Diane Keaton having a hilarious meltdown; Keanu Reeves as a dreamy doctor. It’s a grown-up love story with the wit and warmth we’ve come to expect from Meyers’ films (see also: “The Holiday”), and by the end you’ll feel all fuzzy inside. – Adam Chitwood

“The Mummy” (1999)

Universal Pictures

Some 24 years before he would win his Best Actor Oscar, Brendan Fraser became a bonafide action star playing Rick O’Connell, an adventurer who is hired by an Egyptologist and her brother to locate Hamunaptra, the City of the Dead. Mayhem ensues when they accidentally resurrect Imhotep, a powerful high priest who was buried alive for defying the Pharoah. “The Mummy” was Rachel Weisz’s breakout role (she too, would go on to win an Oscar) and spawned numerous sequels – Lawrence Yee

“Ford v. Ferrari” (2019)

20th Century Fox

“Ford v. Ferrari  could also be aptly described as The Daddest Dad Movie That Ever Dadded – and that’s absolutely a compliment. This 2019 true story sports drama takes place in the early 1960s and revolves around the Ford Motor Company’s drive to build a race car that can defeat Ferrari at the 1966 24 Hours of Le Mans. Matt Damon is Carroll Shelby, former driver and current builder; Christian Bale is cheeky British driver Ken Miles. The two constantly butt heads, but must work together in order to get this new race car off the ground. James Mangold (“Logan”) directs with an eye towards making a sports drama that excels thanks to its focus on the humans at the center of the story. – Adam Chitwood

“LA Confidential” (1997)

Warner Bros.

One of the best book adaptations and the best LA story, “LA Confidential” is a film with so many layers it demands repeat viewing. Based on the Jams Ellroy novel of the same name, “LA Confidential” follows a trio of cops in 1950s Los Angeles as they investigate a series of crimes that might possibly be related. Curtis Hanson and Brian Helgeland’s script is top-notched and filled with lines you’ll be quoting (“Rollo Tomassi,” always). The attention to period detail is astounding, especially the references to Old Hollywood stars. It’s the perfect movie for anyone looking for Old Hollywood flare in a modern feature. — Kristen Lopez

“The 40-Year-Old Virgin” (2005)

Universal Pictures

This hilarious comedy about a man in his 40s who’s never had sex is regarded as Steve Carrell’s breakout movie role. The film, which Careell co-wrote alongside Judd Apatow, follows home entertainment department store employee Andy (Carrell) as he goes on a slew of quirky adventures all in hopes of bagging a bed buddy to pop his cherry. While on the prowl he runs into Trish, a local shop owner who steals his heart and eventually his virginity. The film came out in theaters on August 11, 2005 and became a commercial hit, raking in $177 million at the global box office. “The 40-Year-Old Virgin” holds a star-studded cast including Carrell, Paul Rudd, Seth Rogen, Catherine Keener, Romany Malco, Leslie Mann and Elizabeth Banks and more. — Raquel “Rocky” Harris

“That Thing You Do!” (1996)

20th Century Fox

“That Thing You Do!” has one of the best title songs of all time. Full stop. That alone should be why you should watch. But if you need more information it’s a rollicking send-up of fame, the music industry, and the (fictional) creation of the one-hit-wonder. It’s pure joy wrapped into one movie. — Kristen Lopez

“Crimes of the Future” (2022)


Proof positive that Canadian auteur David Cronenberg can still be as outré and provocative as he’s ever been, even when pushing 80. “Crimes of the Future,” which borrows a title from an earlier Cronenberg project (an hour-long film from 1970), focuses on Viggo Mortensen’s performance artist Saul Tenser, who grows weird organs and has them removed on stage. (Léa Seydoux is his oddball partner.) In the future, this is what constitutes as entertainment. As the movie rolls along, Tenser gets wooed by a group of extremists who commit assassinations and eat plastic (don’t ask). Every bit as compelling and sensuously strange as earlier Cronenberg masterpieces like “Videodrome” or “Dead Ringers,” “Crimes of the Future” was weirdly overlooked when it was released last year. If A24 had released it instead of Neon, we’d all be walking around with “Crimes of the Future” T-shirts right now. — Drew Taylor

“Black Swan” (2010)

Searchlight Pictures

The film that deservedly won Natalie Portman a Best Actress Academy Award in 2010 is also one of Darren Aronofsky’s best, certainly most cohesively realized. (To date, it’s the filmmaker’s only to be nominated at the Oscars for Best Picture.) Portman stars as Nina Sayers, an obsessively overachieving ballerina for the New York City Ballet Company who struggles to keep her sanity and grasp of reality as she dives deeper into the role she was born to play: the dual roles of the White Swan Odette and the Black Swan Odile of Tchaikovsky’s “Swan Lake.” Mila Kunis and Winona Ryder co-star as fellow dancers with a bite. — Benjamin Lindsay

“Training Day” (2001) 

Warner Bros.

One of Hollywood’s most iconic films and one of Denzel Washington’s most notable roles was in this crime thriller about a well-intentioned good cop named Jake Hoyt (Ethan Hawke) who spends his first day on the job working alongside a rogue detective named Alonzo Harris (Washington). Together and working in LAPD’s narcotics unit, the two parole the streets of the inner city, and Jake begins to learn Alonzo isn’t who he thought he was. Jake then has to decide whether he’ll risk his life in the name of protecting justice or get caught in Alonzo’s crossfire. The film, which earned $104.9 million at the global box office, gave Washington his Best Actor Oscar. The cast includes Washington, Hawke, Antoine Fuqua, Eva Mendes, Tom Berenger, Dr. Dre, Cliff Curtis, Snoop Dogg, Macy Gray, Noel Gugliemi and Charolette Ayanna. — Raquel “Rocky” Harris

“50/50” (2011)

Summit Entertainment

Inspired in part by screenwriter Will Reiser’s own experience with cancer – and his friendship with the real-life Seth Rogen, here playing a fictional stand-in of himself – “50/50” is part heartwarming cancer dramedy and part hard-R comedy of the like we’ve come to expect from producers Rogen and Evan Goldberg. Joseph Gordon-Levitt stars in the Jonathan Levine-directed film as Adam, a 27-year-old public radio journalist who learns of his cancer diagnosis of schwannoma neurofibrosarcoma and sets out to beat the disease with the help of Kyle (Rogen) and his therapist Katherine (Anna Kendrick). — Benjamin Lindsay

“Blade Runner 2049″ (2017)

Warner Bros./Alcon Entertainment

Following up Ridley Scott’s 1982 masterpiece “Blade Runner” seemed like a fool’s errand. Not only is that original film, based on the Phillip K. Dick novel “Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?,” one of the most indelible, unforgettable sci-fi movies ever, but the movie’s enigmatic ending, in which it is implied that Harrison Ford’s grizzled detective Deckard could possibly be one of the human-like robots he’s hunting, is one of the more endlessly debated conclusions in the history of cinema. But somehow “Blade Runner 2049” totally works.

Denis Villeneuve, who maintains Scott’s proto-cyberpunk aesthetic with few additional flourishes (although Roger Deakins damnably refuses to shoot anamorphic so the actual look of the film is slightly off). And by centering the film on a new character (Ryan Gosling’s K, who we know is a Replicant from the jump), Villeneuve and screenwriters Hampton Fancher and Michael Green, are able to maneuver around some of the thornier questions about Deckard’s biological or synthetic origins. It’s downright miraculous And while you can tell “Blade Runner 2049” was meant to be the beginning of a larger story, we should be happy that we got this movie at all. — Drew Taylor

“Groundhog Day” (1993)

Columbia Pictures

A comedy classic through and through, “Groundhog Day” is also quite possibly the best “time loop” movie ever made. Bill Murray stars as a curmudgeonly weatherman who gets trapped in a small town reporting on whether the iconic groundhog will see his shadow or not. After a very long and miserable day, Murray’s character goes to sleep, only to wake up and relive the same day – Groundhog Day – over and over again. The film is hilarious to be sure, but also philosophically compelling as it considers questions about morality and the legitimacy of a selfless deed. And Andie MacDowell is terrific. – Adam Chitwood