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

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It's a new year, and that means plenty of new movies are landing on Hulu. One of our favorite streaming services, Hulu is typically better known for its television section, but that doesn't mean you should sleep on its top-notch film library. 

This month, the best movies on Hulu are joined by some award-winning titles praised by critics and audiences alike. There's the award-winning documentary "The Fight," which follows a ragtag team of ACLU lawyers as they tackle some of the most high-profile cases of Trump's tenure. Meanwhile, "Frank" and "Grandma" are two acclaimed dramedies that'll make you laugh and cry in equal measure. 

We've separated the wheat from the chaff by consulting the review aggregation site Rotten Tomatoes to include only the most positively reviewed films new to Hulu. So grab some popcorn, and get ready to curl up on the couch and start watching. Here are the seven best movies new to Hulu this month.

 'The Fight' (2020)

This award-winning documentary is one that news junkies won't want to miss. "The Fight" follows four attorneys with the American Civil Liberties Union fighting four of the biggest cases during the Trump administration. Directors Eli Despres, Josh Kriegman and Elyse Steinberg take great pains to grant humanity to the scrappy team of lawyers working on the front lines for the ACLU. 

The four cases at the heart of “The Fight” will no doubt be familiar. There’s the family separation lawsuit, the 17-year-old rape victim denied an abortion at a Refugee Resettlement facility, the presidential tweet banning transgender people from serving in the military, and the addition of an immigration question on the 2020 census that could cost diverse cities pivotal seats in the House of Representatives. It all comes together in an emotional inside look at how these important battles are fought and how changing the world for the better is something we can all do. 

Genre: Documentary
Rotten Tomatoes score: 99%
Stream it on Hulu

'Frank' (2014)

Get ready to laugh and then tear up at this irreverent indie dramedy from Irish director Lenny Abrahamson (Room, Normal People). "Frank" draws inspiration from the true story of British punk rocker Chris Sievey, who wore a giant papier-mâché head while performing as his alter-ego Frank Sidebottom. 

Michael Fassbender plays a version of Frank, now a lead vocalist in a band who embarks on a tour with his band accompanied by the directionless aspiring songwriter Jon (Domhnall Gleeson). While on tour, Frank gathers the group to record an album on what turns out to be a yearlong retreat. As the weeks pass by, he pushes Jon and the others to the brink of insanity — or is it a creative breakthrough?

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

'The Guard' (2011)

"The Guard" is a gem of a buddy-cop movie that sees a dirty-mouthed Irish officer (Brendan Gleeson) team up with a straight-laced FBI agent (Don Cheadle). It's a comedic fish-out-of-water tale that crackles with energy, from its high-octane shoot-outs to the begrudging rapport and respect that blossoms between the two polar opposite officers. 

Sergeant Gerry Boyle (Gleeson) is a small-town cop with a nasty temper and blase attitude about getting intoxicated on the job who nonetheless has a soft spot for his ailing mother. His life takes an inconvenient turn when a local murder transforms the quiet corner of coastal Connemara into an international crime hotspot. When FBI agent Wendell Everett (Cheadle) is brought on the case, sparks fly, but they're forced to work together to get to the bottom of things. 

Genre: Comedy/mystery and thriller
Rotten Tomatoes score: 94%
Stream it on Hulu

'Grandma' (2015)

In "Grandma," acclaimed actress and comedian Lily Tomlin stars as Elle, a tart-tongued and misanthropic poet coping with the recent death of her long-term partner. Her mourning is upended, however, when her granddaughter Sage (Julia Garner) turns up at her door pregnant and too broke to afford the abortion she has scheduled in about eight hours.

The reasons why Sage hasn't approached her own mom, from whom Elle is somewhat estranged, or why Elle only has a few dollars to her name at the time are both questions answered in ways that are best seen play out, rather than described. All you need to know is that it sets the two on a misadventure across Los Angeles in a vintage Dodge in a mad race to find funds through whatever means necessary. It's the kind of initially breezy family comedy that takes you along for the ride only to deliver a devastating emotional punch by the end of it. 

Genre: Comedy/drama
Rotten Tomatoes score: 91%
Stream it on Hulu

'Shoplifters' (2018)

The lower class struggles on full display in "Parasite" are seen from a different angle in Japanese writer/director Hirokazu Kore-eda's "Shoplifters." Here, the Shibata family lives together in poverty, barely making ends meet. After losing his job due to an injury, father Osamu (Lily Franky) along with his son Shota (Kairi Jō) regularly resort to shoplifting to survive and develop a system of hand signals to communicate their marks. 

Even with their meager means, the Shibatas decide to take in Yuri (Miyu Sasaki), after discovering what they believe to be signs of abuse. But as the girl learns to shoplift with the family, the family uncovers that she's a missing child at the center of a much larger plot. More meditative than Parasite, "Shoplifters" earned praise for its nuance and subtlety. 

Genre: Crime/drama
Rotten Tomatoes score: 99%
Stream it on Hulu

'The Nightmare Before Christmas' (1993)

Why choose between Halloween and Christmas when you can have the best of both worlds? "The Nightmare Before Christmas" is yet another directorial classic from Henry Sellick, the creative mind behind "Coraline" and "James and the Giant Peach." 

The stop-motion animated film centers around the Pumpkin King, Jack Skellington (Danny Elfman), who discovers a whole new world when he happens upon portals to holidays that are a far cry from his Halloween-centric home. Enamored by Christmas town, he returns home hellbent on bringing the holiday under his control. But his plans to kidnap Santa Claus and bring the Christmas spirit to Halloween Town go awry when the villainous bag of bugs Oogie Boogie starts meddling.  On top of voicing quite a few characters in the movie, Elfman (of Oingo Boingo fame) was responsible for coming up with the haunting score of this classic musical. 

Genre: Kids and family/holiday
Rotten Tomatoes score: 95%
Stream it on Hulu

'The Imitation Game' (2014)

If you were a fan of last year's "Oppenheimer," you need to add "The Imitation Game" to your watch list. Just like in Christopher Nolan's biopic, the film focuses on a group of very smart people grappling with a complex problem that needs solving against the clock during World War II. 

Mathematician Alan Turning (Benedict Cumberbatch) is the story's nucleus this time around, and while it does touch on the tragic circumstances of his later life, the bulk of the runtime is dedicated to his work attempting to crack Enigma, a cipher machine used by the Germans to send coded messages. Granted, "The Imitation Game" does take some pretty sizable liberties when it comes to historical accuracy. But if you’re willing to suspend your disbelief a bit, it’s a highly compelling drama about the father of the modern-day computer.  

Genre: History/drama
Rotten Tomatoes score: 90%
Stream it on Hulu starting Jan. 26

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Alyse Stanley
News Editor

Alyse Stanley is a news editor at Tom’s Guide overseeing weekend coverage and writing about the latest in tech, gaming and entertainment.

Prior to joining Tom’s Guide, Alyse worked as an editor for the Washington Post’s sunsetted video game section, Launcher. She previously led Gizmodo’s weekend news desk, where she covered breaking tech news — everything from the latest spec rumors and gadget launches to social media policy and cybersecurity threats.  She has also written game reviews and features as a freelance reporter for outlets like Polygon, Unwinnable, and Rock, Paper, Shotgun. She’s a big fan of horror movies, cartoons, and miniature painting.


  • Dale Dantoni
    What a depressing list.. you calling a film about a grandmother trying to get her granddaughter an abortion a family film.

    Just.. Wow.
    Reply