Movies  |  Lists

The 50 Best Movies on Hulu Plus

November 7, 2012  |  4:54pm
the-kid.jpg30. The Kid
Director: Charlie Chaplin
Year: 1921
Charlie Chaplin’s first full-length film and one of his finest achievements, The Kid tells the story of an abandoned child and the life he builds with The Little Tramp. Chaplin went against heavy studio opposition to create a more serious film in contrast to his earlier work. However, The Kid features just as much slapstick humor as his previous shorts, but placed within a broader, more dramatic context.—Wyndham Wyeth

rules-game.jpg29. The Rules of the Game
Director: Jean Renoir
Year: 1939
In less capable hands, The Rules of the Game’s large ensemble cast and intertwining story lines would be a jumbled mess. But Jean Renoir creates a multilayered look at a group of the rich and the poor who come together for a dinner party. Throughout, the characters lie, cheat and deceive each other in a masterpiece that is always intriguing.—Ross Bonamie

grizzly-man.jpg28. Grizzly Man
Director: Werner Herzog
Year: 2005
This profile of nature lover Timothy Treadwell, who unwisely tried to live among wild bears in Alaska until he was devoured, cuts a Herzogian swath across the hillside: A man attempts to find harmony with nature but instead finds, as Herzog puts it, “chaos, hostility and murder.” Looming over the film is not only the horror of Treadwell’s demise but also an audio recording of the tragedy, taped inadvertently by the video camera in Treadwell’s tent. Herzog tastefully omits it from the film, but he makes the viewer aware of its existence.—Robert Davis

m.jpg27. M
Director: Fritz Lang
Year: 1931
Fritz Lang is probably most well known for his sci-fi epic Metropolis, but his film M is just as great, if not better. Peter Lorre plays a child murder that an entire town is attempting to find. Lorre’s tortured performance culminates in a scene where the town confronts him, where he states that it is possible that they are the true monsters. Lang’s masterpiece influenced film noir, thriller and even horror films for years after.—Ross Bonamie

au-revoir-les-enfants.jpg26. Au Revoir, les Enfants
Director: Louis Malle
Year: 1987
Au Revoir, les Enfants portrays one French schoolboy’s limited view of the Holocaust in a manner that is reserved yet devastating. Set in a Catholic boarding school in France, it follows a pampered rich boy (Gaspard Manesse) who befriends a new classmate who is secretly a harbored Jew (Raphaël Fejtö). Louis Malle based the film on his own childhood and imbued it with a quiet simplicity that makes its saddest moments gut-wrenchingly real. By merely letting the camera linger on an empty passageway, Malle beautifully emphasizes a terrible moment that his main character—and his audience—will never forget.—Jeremy Matthews

children-paradise.jpg25. Children of Paradise
Director:
Year: 1945
Children of Paradise is the tale of a mime who falls in love with an actress, and the suitors that also love her. Baptiste is phenomenal as the lovelorn mime and the sprawling story and twisting romantic entanglements make this film great enough. But even more shocking are the lengths the filmmakers had to go to, including hiding copies in several locations, for it to survive the Nazi occupation, which almost caused this classic from ever being seen.—Ross Bonamie

32.DeadMan.NetflixList.jpg24. Dead Man
Year: 1995
Director: Jim Jarmusch
Jim Jarmusch directed this post-modern examination of the western film genre as American pop culture finally began to veer away from the expected western films. Jarmusch introduced a complete retrospection of a genre plagued with so many social follies. Depp’s somber, quiet character, William Blake, is reflective of the heroes of the Wild West’s past, but it’s his journey that makes this character stand apart.—Clint Alwahab

BattleshipPotemkin.jpg23. Battleship Potemkin
Director: Sergei M. Eisenstein
Year: 1925
Because of brutal living conditions, the crew of the Prince Potemkin revolts against their cruel officers, igniting a rebellion in Russia and a violent massacre in Odessa. For the longest time, people considered Battleship Potemkin the greatest achievement in cinema. It may no longer have that acclaim, but it still makes most top ten lists (including Sight & Sound’s) and holds its ground as the greatest propaganda film of all time. At one point a few countries even banned it, afraid of its power to provoke political revolution. Many of its scenes, so visually poignant and thus unforgettable, have been referenced in modern movies like Brazil, The Untouchables and Naked Gun 33&1/3.—David Roark

LAvventura.jpg22. L’Avventura
Director: Michelangelo Antonioni
Year: 1960
After honing his craft as a filmmaker in Italy, Michelangelo Antonioni arrived on the international scene in 1960 with a loose trilogy: L’Avventura, La Notte and L’Eclisse, three films about privileged people so bored with their lives that they have little to do but wander the city and lament their failing relationships. But Antonioni—counter to expectations—watched those people with extreme precision. His camera moved as if it were choreographed down to the millimeter because, while the characters in the films may have been bored, the man watching them was not. He was riveted. And he transferred his fascination to the audience, not telling them tales or teaching them lessons, but raising questions, big ones about existence­—why we move around the earth, why we interact with other people, and who we are.—Robert Davis

41.Trainspotting.NetflixList.jpg21. Trainspotting
Director: Danny Boyle
Year: 1996
Based on the gritty Irvine Welsh novel of the same name, this early film from the director of Slumdog Millionaire and Millions follows a thuggish group of heroin addicts in Scotland and features brilliant performances from young Ewan McGregor, Kelly Macdonald and Robert Carlyle.—Josh Jackson

comments powered by Disqus
Related
Load More