7 best new to Hulu movies that are 90% or higher on Rotten Tomatoes

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It's a new month and that means tons of new movies are arriving on Hulu. While the streaming service is better known for its TV shows than its movies, it has a surprisingly deep library of critically acclaimed movies. 

This February, seven titles rose above the rest to join the ranks of the best movies on Hulu. 'Judas and the Black Messiah,' '12 Years a Slave,' and 'Call Me by Your Name' lead this group — which also includes a Best Picture Oscar winner. 

Don't believe me when I say these movies are a cut above the rest? All seven movies have a rating of over 90% fresh on Rotten Tomatoes, so you know that most critics have given them their stamp of approval. So turn on the TV and get ready to start watching. Here are the seven best movies new to Hulu this month.

 'Joan Baez: I Am a Noise' (2023)

Joan Baez was a voice of her generation in the 1960s, but the acclaimed folk singer remains an icon in the music world over 60 years later. 

"Joan Baez: I Am a Noise" takes a look not only at this incredible career but also goes beyond that. The documentary dives into previously unreleased home movies, artwork, diaries, therapy tapes, and audio recordings that paint a deeper picture of the musician/activist who once said she's not famous — just well-known. If you're looking for the most critically praised movie new to Hulu this month, this is it.

Genre: Documentary
Rotten Tomatoes score: 98%
Stream it on Hulu starting today

'Judas and the Black Messiah' (2021)

"Judas and the Black Messiah" was nominated for several Academy Awards in 2021, including Best Picture and two Best Supporting Actor nominations. Nomadland (which is also new to Hulu this month) would ultimately beat out this movie for Best Picture but Daniel Kaluuya did take home an Oscar for his portrayal of civil rights leader Fred Hampton.

Starring Kaluuya as Hampton and LaKeith Stanfield as Bill O'Neal (also nominated), this movie is based on the true story of how the FBI infiltrated the Black Panther Party of Illinois and ultimately assassinated Hampton during a raid that led to the death of an additional BPP member and several injuries after the FBI fired 100 rounds inside Hampton's apartment. You know how the story ends but the betrayal still stings all the same.

Genre: Biographical drama
Rotten Tomatoes score: 97%
Stream it on Hulu

'12 Years a Slave' (2013)

From one powerful dramatization of true events to another, "12 Years a Slave" is the story of Solomon Northup (Chiwetel Ejiofor), a free man from upstate New York who was abducted and sold into slavery in Louisiana. He then spends 12 years in captivity until a meeting with abolitionist Samuel Bass (Brad Pitt) finally gives Northup a chance at returning to freedom.

This movie is not fun to watch, but it is an incredible story. It would be nominated for nine Academy Awards, winning three — including Best Picture. The cast is also incredible, with a call sheet that includes Michael Fassbender (nominated for Best Supporting Actor), Benedict Cumberbatch, Paul Dano, Paul Giamatti and Lupita Nyong'o (won Best Supporting Actress) in addition to Ejiofor (nominated for Best Actor) and Pitt.

Genre: Biographical drama
Rotten Tomatoes score: 95%
Stream it on Hulu

'Call Me by Your Name' (2017)

The third Best Picture nominee on this list, "Call Me by Your Name" stars Timothée Chalamet as Elio Perlman, a Jewish French-Italian 17-year-old boy who begins a secretive relationship with Oliver (Armie Hammer), one of Elio's father's graduate students at the nearby university.

While this love story doesn't have a happy ending, to quote Nicole Kidman, "Heartbreak feels good in a place like this." The performance from Chalamet in particular is a star-making one, making him the third-youngest Best Actor nominee ever. Once you're done watching, you won't be surprised that this movie not only got a standing ovation when it debuted at Sundance but received the longest standing ovation in New York Film Festival history when it was shown at the NYC festival following its Sundance debut.

Genre: Romantic drama
Rotten Tomatoes score: 94%
Stream it on Hulu

'Nomadland' (2020)

The fourth Best Picture nominee on this list and second winner, "Nomadland" suffers in the annals of history for coming out in the COVID-19 pandemic. Despite winning Best Picture, Best Director (Chloé Zhao) and Best Actress (Frances McDormand), it feels like this acclaimed movie has fallen through the cracks. That's all the more surprising given it made $39.5 million at the U.S. box office even though it came out on Hulu a mere month after its release and movie theaters were struggling in general.

But now it's back on Hulu and you can see this acclaimed drama for yourself. The movie follows McDormand as Fern, a former factory worker and recent widow who sells her belongings and purchases a van to begin a nomadic lifestyle in search of new work. As the movie goes on, Fern becomes more comfortable with and more entrenched in her nomadic life and finds she may never return to her old life. 

Genre: Drama
Rotten Tomatoes score: 93%
Stream it on Hulu

'Love Is Strange' (2014)

While this movie doesn't join the majority of our list in being Oscar-nominated, that doesn't mean it isn't worth watching. Most critics praised this story about a same-sex couple in New York forced to live apart during a trying time in their lives, particularly the performances of stars John Lithgow and Alfred Molina.

In "Love is Strange" Lithgow and Molina play Ben Hull and George Garea, a gay couple in Manhattan that have been together for 39 years. They finally get married, only for the archdiocese to fire George as a music teacher at a local Catholic school due to his marriage to another man. while they figure out what to do next, Ben and George have to live apart after selling their apartment, imposing on friends and family. A strange movie indeed, but one worth watching while it's available on Hulu.

Genre: Romantic drama
Rotten Tomatoes score: 93%
Stream it on Hulu

'The Cabin in the Woods' (2012)

This may be my favorite horror movie. Admittedly, that's because it's not your typical horror movie. Instead, it's really a satire on the slasher genre with a twist at the end that is still one of my favorites in any movie.

Starring Kristen Connolly as Dana Polk, Anna Hutchinson as Jules Louden, Chris Hemsworth as Curt Vaughan, Jesse Williams as Holden McCrea, and Fran Kranz as Marty Mikalski "The Cabin in the Woods" starts out with a group of college kids who go out for what they think will be a fun weekend in the woods. But in reality, something more sinister is afoot, with Gary (Richard Jenkins) and Steve (Bradley Whitford) pulling the strings behind the scenes. Don't skip this brilliant movie while it's on Hulu.

Genre: Comedy horror
Rotten Tomatoes score: 92%
Stream it on Hulu

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Malcolm McMillan
Senior Streaming Writer

Malcolm McMillan is a senior writer for Tom's Guide, covering all the latest in streaming TV shows and movies. That means news, analysis, recommendations, reviews and more for just about anything you can watch, including sports! If it can be seen on a screen, he can write about it. Previously, Malcolm had been a staff writer for Tom's Guide for over a year, with a focus on artificial intelligence (AI), A/V tech and VR headsets.

Before writing for Tom's Guide, Malcolm worked as a fantasy football analyst writing for several sites and also had a brief stint working for Microsoft selling laptops, Xbox products and even the ill-fated Windows phone. He is passionate about video games and sports, though both cause him to yell at the TV frequently. He proudly sports many tattoos, including an Arsenal tattoo, in honor of the team that causes him to yell at the TV the most.