From werewolves to wilderpeople, Hulu has you covered this month.
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 January on Hulu.
Pick of the Month: The ‘Burbs (1989)
Joe Dante’s ridiculous comedy about about the mundane nature of suburban paranoia is a fun watch under any circumstances, but the recent passing of the always delightful Carrie Fisher is a more immediate reason to give it another watch – or even a first-time viewing. She and Tom Hanks lead a wacky ensemble including Corey Feldman, Rick Ducommun, Bruce Dern, Henry Gibson, and some guy named Dick Miller.
Silver Bullet (1985)
This Stephen King adaptation (of his novella, “Cycle of the Werewolf”) doesn’t get mentioned much, but it’s a legitimately entertaining little horror film. Corey Haim is the wheelchair-bound hero of the tale, but his uncle – played by a hopped-up and highly energetic Gary Busey – is the standout here. Add in a sleazy, lycanthropic priest and an all-American finale, and you have a werewolf gem worth a damn.
Lethal Weapon (1987)
The new television adaptation is okay, but it has no hope of reaching the action and emotional heights of Richard Donner’s film. Mel Gibson is in his element as a cop on the edge of sanity, Danny Glover realizes he’s too old for this shit, and Shane Black’s script keeps things sharply entertaining as the bullets fly and explosions pop. Pair it with the film above for a Gary Busey double feature (or pair it with the sequel below for a more obvious one).
The Untouchables (1987)
At the risk of losing me some film critic street cred, this is my favorite Brian De Palma film. I’m admittedly in the bag for Kevin Costner as it is, but terrific set pieces, a strong supporting cast – Andy Garcia and Charles Martin Smith in addition to Robert De Niro and Sean Connery – and a thrilling score from Ennio Morricone all work together to create a rousing tale of good guys, worse guys, and the collateral damage caught between them.
Lethal Weapon 2 (1989)
Sequels aren’t typically on par with their precursors, but I’d put this follow-up against the original any day. Shane Black hands the script reins to Jeffrey Boam, but the action, drama, and laughs remain at elevated levels. The drama’s actually ramped up a bit too with a subplot involving Riggs’ (Mel Gibson) sexy new flame played by Patsy Kensit. This is the good stuff, and while part three works solely as a comedy and part four doesn’t work at all you cannot go wrong with a Lethal Weapon 1 & 2 double feature.
The Man in the Moon (1991)
Young love and tragedy collide in this understated drama featuring a terrific turn from a fifteen year-old Reese Witherspoon. It’s a sweet coming of age tale set against a beautiful Southern landscape, and it lands the relationship drama through strong writing and compelling performances.
Primal Fear (1996)
William Diehl’s brutally entertaining thriller gets a top-notch adaptation from director Gregory Hoblit, and it remains one of the best thrillers for adults of the past two decades. Richard Gere headlines opposite Edward Norton, and both men deliver – the former capitalizes on his clean cut but morally ambiguous persona, and the latter wows in his feature debut. It also has one hell of an ending, and while they never made a film sequel fans should definitely check out Diehl’s two follow-ups (Show of Evil and Reign in Hell).
Cruel Intentions (1999)
Dangerous Liaisons gets the sexy teen adaptation you’ve been waiting for, complete with a memorable late ’90s soundtrack and the kind of downer ending YA films typically avoid. If you’ve seen neither I recommend a double feature of this and The Man in the Moon above, in chronological order, and pretending that Reese Witherspoon is playing the same character in both.
Vanilla Sky (2001)
Hard to believe but Cameron Crowe’s last great movie was fifteen years ago. Yes, I’m talking about Vanilla Sky. I say that knowing full well that a lot of you aren’t fans, but this month offers a great opportunity to correct your mistake. Tom Cruise is fantastic as the egotistical man forced to face his true self, but Kurt Russell steals the film in his brief role as a psychiatrist trying to convince Cruise of something that may or may not be true. Being a Crowe movie it also has a terrific soundtrack too.
Cold War (2012)
Aaron Kwok and Tony Leung headline this dense crime thriller from Hong Kong about dirty cops and dirtier politics, and while the action is back-loaded there are some solid set pieces that make it worth the wait. The film ends with a heavy tease towards a sequel – and that sequel hits screens this year.
Hunt for the Wilderpeople (2016)
One of 2016’s sweetest, funniest, and most entertaining movies is probably the biggest sure-thing in cinema these days. If you share Taika Waititi’s latest with someone in your life and they don’t like it? Get rid of them.
Related Topics: Hulu