Can you believe there’s not a single Christmas movie on this list?
I’m here to tell you that there’s a cinematic streaming goldmine available on Hulu that includes recent hits, older classics, domestic releases, and foreign imports. Sure there’s plenty of filler and seemingly thousands of titles I’ve never heard of before, but I’m here to recommend some good movies (and maybe even some “good” movies) to watch this December on Hulu.
Pick of the Month: Fluke (1995)
A very busy man (Matthew Modine) dies in a car crash and is reincarnated as a puppy (a Golden Retriever). He has to learn the canine ropes from a fellow dog (Samuel L. Jackson) but soon begins having memories about his life as a human. When he follows the clues back home though he discovers that the man he remembers killing him is making moves on his family!
I’m a huge fan of this family movie ‐ a family film based on a book by horror novelist James Herbert ‐ and while it delivers its fair share of cheesy moments it also manages some thrills, action, and affecting moments. Plus a chimpanzee carrying a puppy! Pair it with Martin Scorsese’s Kundun for a fun double feature.
Project A (1983)
Jackie Chan stars as a 19th century officer in Hong Kong’s Marine Police in charge of combating the pirate scourge. The department suffers numerous setbacks though resulting in his transfer to the port city’s regular force, but the fight against the pirates continues.
Honestly, you can’t go wrong with any Chan movie from the ’80s or ’90s, but this remains one of my favorites. Comparisons to the films of Harold Lloyd have never been more apt as Chan goes beyond mere props to include the city’s architecture itself in his ridiculously creative and exciting antics. Plus pirates!
Vampires Kiss (1988)
Peter Loew (Nicolas Cage) is a literary agent always on the look-out for the next big book, but his stressful life takes a turn when he discovers he’s been bitten by a vampire bat. Maybe.
Trailers make this look like something of a broad, goofy comedy, but while there are laughs here they’re often of the uncomfortable variety. It’s a dark and bleak descent into madness as Cage’s character is a bad man driven to extremes in his belief that he’s becoming a vampire. There’s a sadness sitting just beneath the surface, and Cage does an incredible job balancing the pathos and the sheer nuttiness.
Doc Hollywood (1991)
Doctor Ben Stone (Michael J. Fox) is a physician on the rise powered equally by talent and ego, but when he crosses paths with a small-town judge he’s sentenced to service in their community. And wouldn’t you know it, he learns some valuable lessons about life.
This Michael-Caton Jones (Rob Roy, The Jackal) comedy remains a fun, casually entertaining movie thanks to a fast, light script and a cast that also includes Barnard Hughes, Woody Harrelson, Bridget Fonda, and others. Julie Warner’s sun-dappled exit from the lake might also be a plus for some viewers.
Legend of Drunken Master (1994)
Jackie Chan (yes, again) stars as a young man whose father is constantly riding him about leading a peaceful life instead of being a drunken brawler. It’s not easy though as a group of scrupulous businessmen are eyeballing the area’s artifacts for illegal export. Unfortunately for them Chan is a beast when he’s been drinking.
This is actually a reboot/sequel of sorts to Chan’s 1978 movie, Drunken Master, and it’s an improvement in every way. It’s a bigger and better action film featuring some spectacular fight sequences with an intense and angry performance by Chan (that never gets in the way of the laughs).
Hard Rain (1998)
An armored truck driver (Christian Slater) finds himself and his booty stuck in the middle of a flooded city, but the troubles aren’t over yet. A group of thieves (led by Morgan Freeman) have targeted the treasure and see it as an easy mark, but they didn’t count on Mr. Slater.
Look, this is a ’90s gem that nowadays would go straight to DVD and probably star a professional wrestler. Slater and Freeman are reliable performers, but the real draw here is the unusual setting of a flooded town. It offers the opportunity for some atypical action scenes and makes for a fun, wet ride.
The Truman Show (1998)
Truman Burbank (Jim Carrey) lives the perfect life until he begins to suspect that it’s not his to live. He soon discovers that he’s on a television show ‐ a show that’s all about him and his life, a show that’s just him 24/7 ‐ and he decides he wants out.
Peter Weir’s film remains Carrey’s best, and it’s one of those movies you just can’t turn off partway through. Truman’s journey of self-discovery and subsequent effort to escape is as suspenseful as any thriller as well as being funny and affecting.
Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (2000)
Two masterful warriors (Michelle Yeoh, Chow Yun-fat) are in pursuit of a stolen weapon, but two others stand in their way. One is a feared assassin, and the other is a young woman (Zhang Ziyi) rebelling against her noble upbringing.
Ang Lee’s gorgeous, emotionally powerful wuxia epic fuses martial arts, romance, and drama into something truly beautiful. It remains the highest-grossing foreign language film ever at the U.S. box-office for good reason as it pulls viewers into a captivating tale.
No Country for Old Men (2007)
A man (Josh Brolin) stumbles across money from a drug deal gone bad and can’t see the downside to taking it. An assassin (Javier Bardem) begins a body count after a bad experience at SuperCuts. A cop (Tommy Lee Jones) would rather avoid both men if at all possible.
The Coen brothers’ second highest grossing film remains one of their best and most nihilistic. Greed and chance play equal roles in the fate of various characters, and while some may take issue with the ending the journey there is filled with suspense and thrills.
Stories We Tell (2012)
A filmmaker (Sarah Polley) explores her family’s history with a focus on her parents. It seems one of them had a secret, and that secret might just have major implications on Polley’s life.
Polley is a fantastic actress and an even better director, and this low-keu but immensely entertaining documentary sees her finding magic in the mundane details of everyday life. There are sweet and surprising moments within, and the film features one of the best endings in years.
Michael (David Thewlis) is trapped in a rut of a world grown stale and repetitive, but he sees a chance for something better when he meets a woman who stands apart from the crowd.
Stop-motion animated films remain a rarity these days with only the likes of Aardman Animations and Laika committed to the format, but that didn’t stop Charlie Kaufman from going that route for his relationship drama about a man looking for something more. There’s beauty here, but it’s wrapped around a depressing package. [Available starting 12/19]
Related Topics: Hulu