Hulu has been slower than some of its competitors getting in the original movie game, focusing more on building its library of films and developing original series. But it’s done a better job of securing rights to new movies that have just finished their theatrical runs. We’ll keep a running tab on the newest Hulu movies, including both originals and first-streaming films.

Below are 10 newly added films from the streaming service. We’ll update the list as Hulu continues to produce new features and acquire the rights to recent films.

the-beta-test-poster.jpg Hulu Release Date: Feb. 4, 2022 (Originally released Nov. 5, 2021)
Director: Jim Cummings, PJ McCabe
Stars: Jim Cummings, Virginia Newcomb, PJ McCabe, Olivia Grace Applegate, Wilky Lau, Kevin Changaris, Jacqueline Doke
Rating: NR
Runtime: 94 minutes
Paste Review Score: 7.8

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Jim Cummings tends to play men who refuse to lose control. His characters feel similar, but then so do many white, cisgender, heterosexual, elder millennial men—unable to wield power over their domain, they flail belligerently through these, their End Times. They find closure in slapping around a corpse (Thunder Road), or they turn to folklore and cryptozoology to explain a world they no longer understand at all (The Wolf of Snow Hollow). Everything is terrifying, everyone is watching, and the least noble thing any of them can do as the teeth rot from their mouths is rage against a universe that no longer wants them. So that’s what they do. In The Beta Test, his first feature with co-director/-writer PJ McCabe, Cummings is Jordan Hines, a Hollywood agent facing extinction. As talent agencies battle the Writers Guild of America over “packaging deals” and his whole career’s culture shifts out from under him, Jordan receives a handsome purple invitation in the mail promising a “no-strings attached sexual encounter with an admirer at The Royal Hotel.” His marriage to Caroline (Virginia Newcomb) looms—as do all things in the white millennial man’s life—and, as he’s fit and attractive and not uncommonly met by temptation in public, he can’t help but fantasize about whatever validation the purple letter offers. Are his fantasies even “OK” anymore? Why does no one seem to care when Raymond (Wilky Lau), a potential big international client, aggressively grabs Jordan’s crotch at a party? A white millennial man cornered by obsolescence—or worse, an obsolescence no one gives much of a shit about—will scratch and whine for scraps of satisfaction. Just any iota that someone gives about what he wants—that he matters. As an excoriation of masculinity, there isn’t much to The Beta Test that Cummings hasn’t explored before, and the long takes and bravura monologues that initially defined his voice as a filmmaker appear here, though more sublimated into the fabric of the film than in any previous feature. And his handle on genre remains deft but slippery. The Beta Test is an erotic thriller as devotedly as it’s a satire and an upsetting glimpse of a very specific dying breed of tinseltown phony. Which is much funnier than it sounds. Because everyone is watching and everything is terrifying. The Beta Test never attempts to refute how lame Jordan is, how ineffectually he inhabits this plane of existence, how much of a baby he is, how unhelpful he will be as the planet devolves into the kind of chaos where violence and oblivion just occur in the background. The film just celebrates Jordan’s delusions as exactly what they are: The only way to cope with a universe that no longer wants people like him around anymore. —Dom Sinacola


beans.jpg Hulu Release Date: Feb. 4, 2021
Director: Tracey Deer
Stars: Kiawenti:io Tarbell, Violah Beauvais, Paulina Jewel Alexis
Rating: NR
Runtime: 92 minutes

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In the late summer of 1990, a land dispute between the Mohawk people and the village of Oka, Quebec, turned violent, when courts allowed a developers to expand a gold course and add condos onto land the Mohawk claimed. Filmmaker Tracey Deer lived through the conflict and her first narrative feature recounts the events through a young preteen girl nicknamed Beans. Beans debuted at the Toronto Film Festival in 2020, playing several other festivals before getting distributed digitally by Hulu.


nightmare-alley.jpg Hulu Release Date: Feb. 1, 2021 (Initial release: Dec. 17)
Director: Guillermo del Toro
Stars: Bradley Cooper, Cate Blanchett, Rooney Mara, Toni Collette, David Strathairn, Ron Perlman, Willem Dafoe
Rating: R
Runtime: 150 minutes
Paste Review Score: 6.0

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Guillermo del Toro has asserted that he was not remaking the 1947 Nightmare Alley. Rather, he was adapting William Lindsay Gresham’s 1946 novel, which had many of its sharper “psychosexual” elements neutered in Edmund Goulding’s film of the same name a year later. “It was done during the code,” del Toro clarifies. Then he just comes out and says it: “So they really circumvented a lot of stuff that was pretty brutal in a good way.” If you’re familiar with Nightmare Alley, or with the differences between Gresham’s novel and Goulding’s less starkly bleak film, you’re likely to guess how, for the most part, del Toro does anything but circumvent the original’s brutality. The story of a smoldering drifter, Stan (Bradley Cooper), with a knack for manipulation and stage craft—del Toro’s version, written with partner Kim Morgan—presents the carnival as a microcosm of America at the dawn of World War II and on the brink of chaos. Stan shacks up with the aforementioned sideshow racket, learning the nuances of geek-taming from gravelly proto-carny Clem Hoately (Willem Dafoe), gaining the trust of old-hand mesmerists Zeena (Toni Collette) and her wet-drunk husband Pete (David Strathairn), and gaining the distrust of carnival strongman Bruno (Ron Perlman returning to the showbiz womb) because he’s falling in love with ingenue Molly (Rooney Mara), whom Bruno has sworn to protect from the various casual, roaming evils of this changing world (i.e., Stan). Though Bradley Cooper is a bit more submerged in his character than Tyrone Power was, del Toro uses his hunky A-lister in much the same way Goulding employed Power, witnessing a pretty face not just go against character, but seemingly devolve in spite of it. Similarly, Blanchett acts the commanding fatale, her chemistry with Cooper enough to forgive how little the film’s concerned with any other characters, or with characters at all. Blanchett at times seems immobile, or Rooney Mara an empty vessel, or Jenkins a blandly villainous magnate, or Cooper overcompensating for how on-rails the plot becomes, their inner lives just so much less vibrant than the world del Toro carefully creates around them. —Dom Sinacola


sex-appeal-hulu.jpg Hulu Release Date: Jan 14, 2022
Director: Talia Osteen
Stars: Mika Abdalla, Mason Versaw, Jake Short, Paris Jackson
Genre: Romantic Comedy
Rating: TV-MA
Runtime: 91 minutes
Paste Review Score: 5.8

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Meet Avery (Mika Abdalla). She’s top of her class, headed to MIT in the fall and gearing up to dominate STEMcon, AKA her very own version of prom. But Avery has a big problem, one that, in her eyes, threatens to completely overshadow her impressive academic accolades. Her long-distance boyfriend, hunky science-guy Casper (Mason Versaw), wants to take their relationship to the next level. The issue? Avery has no idea what goes where. Herein lies the chief tension of Sex Appeal. Every teen sex comedy’s got one, and Sex Appeal follows suit. The film dutifully gives this beloved subgenre a fresh face by drawing attention to its formula and the nitty-gritty minutiae of preparing to lose your virginity. In order to master the art of sex, Avery sets out to create an app that is guaranteed to help those wanting for sex to easily and skillfully hack the act. She recruits her childhood best friend Larson (Jake Short) for help, and the two embark in a flurry of perfectly awkward sexual experiments. A great deal of Sex Appeal’s appeal lies in its high-concept premise. A teenager who approaches losing her virginity like coding Java enhances the scientific makeup of a film that already has many elements of a successful comedy: A racy goal, huge margin for comical errors and mishaps, and a core that bubbles with romantic potential. But by the third act, Sex Appeal is so uncomfortably contorted in an effort to neatly package itself into a pre-established framework that it squanders that potential. A lot of this can be boiled down to one simple variable: Avery. Instead of portraying Avery as a normal teen who is nervous about her first sexual exploit (a very normal affliction), director Talia Osteen and screenwriter Tate Hanyok reduce her to a caricature—a decision born most likely from the knowledge that a character with cartoonishly clear wants, goals and personality traits will make the film’s message more easily decipherable. But when the go-get-the-guy moment inevitably rolls around, delivered hilariously by Rebecca Henderson (playing one of Avery’s moms and a general highlight of the film), it’s less about actually getting the guy, and more about Avery finally managing to find herself. If only the film wasn’t so intent on cramming itself into a small corner of the sex-comedy subgenre, stripping itself of nuance and logic in the process. —Aurora Amidon


bergman-island.jpg Hulu Release Date: Jan 14, 2022
Director: Mia Hansen-Løve
Stars: Vicky Krieps, Tim Roth, Mia Wasikowska, Anders Danielsen Lie
Genre: Drama
Rating: R
Runtime: 91 minutes
Paste Review Score: 9.2

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There is no place on Earth tied more firmly to a filmmaker than Fårö is to Ingmar Bergman. One cannot venture through the small island without being reminded of him at every turn: The rugged, ominous seascape that lurks in the background of Persona (1966); the carcass of a farmhouse that was burned down during the filming of Shame (1968); the seafront estate that the director called home for 40 years. And, of course, there’s the house where Scenes from a Marriage (1973), Bergman’s wildly popular and subversive marital drama, was filmed. That’s where Chris (Vicky Krieps) and Tony (Tim Roth) plant themselves at the start of Mia Hansen-Løve’s Bergman Island. The couple, both writers and directors, are participating in an artist’s retreat to see if being in the shadow of the Swedish filmmaking giant will help get their creative juices flowing. What begins as a straightforward story of two artists creating different projects ultimately turns into Hansen-Løve’s strongest argument for the inextricable nature of life and art yet. On both personal and artistic levels, Chris and Tony are besieged by Bergman’s ghost the moment they set foot on the island. The woman who shows the couple into their house, for example, makes sure to give them the dismal news that Scenes from a Marriage was responsible for a huge uptick in divorce rates upon its release. Still, the couple just can’t seem to hold back from persistently discussing the filmmaker’s achievements, and fighting over which of his films to watch on the island. (Anything but The Seventh Seal, of course, which Tony hates). But what’s so satisfying about Bergman Island is that it ultimately defies all personal and creative expectations placed on it by its association with Fårö. While on Fårö, Chris begins to dream up an idea for a new film, inspired by her own first love. As she narrates to Tony, the film comes to life: A young woman named Amy (Mia Wasikowska) arrives at Fårö for a wedding and is reunited with her old lover Joseph (Anders Danielsen Lie). Bergman Island’s film-within-a-film is an explosive reflection of Chris’s inner state as an artist. Amy and Joseph’s story is gracefully imbued with possibility, only furthered by Wasikowska’s tender, emotional performance. Their B-plot is told with the same nimble vigor as Chris and Tony’s story, but with more of a breezy, unrestrained edge. Amy dances to ABBA and skinny dips at night. Nothing feels forced about the two narratives: They are perfectly woven together both by Hansen-Løve’s subdued, effortless directorial style and Marion Monnier’s artful editing, until each feels like it could not exist without the other. When the two storylines melt into abstraction, it feels perfectly organic. Hansen-Løve’s films have always had such a strong overtone of humanity, with a deep focus on emotions and characters unafraid to wear their hearts on their sleeves, that it only makes sense that her final statement in Bergman Island is that being an artist is a deeply, deeply personal thing. With the backdrop of Bergman, the film suggests that, additionally, it’s a powerful thing to be inspired by an artist. But what’s even more fulfilling is to be inspired by an artist and still reject their methods of creation in favor of your own. —Aurora Amidon


im-your-man.jpg Hulu Release Date: Jan. 10, 2022 (Originally released Sept. 24, 2021)
Director: Maria Schrader
Stars: Maren Eggert, Dan Stevens, Sandra Hüller, Hans Löw
Genre: Romantic Comedy, Sci-fi
Rating: NR
Runtime: 105 minutes
Paste Review Score: 7.8

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Anytime someone makes a concerted effort to shake up rom-com formulas, I’m all in. While the bougie and hyper-literate can poo-poo the whole genre as trite or corny, they’ve either got no heart, or they’ve never truly seen a great rom-com hit the admittedly rare sweet spot of story, actor chemistry and tonal execution. German director Maria Schrader almost achieves that sweet spot with I’m Your Man, but gets a little muddled in her storytelling in the last minutes. That doesn’t take away from her subtle and mature study of loneliness and intimacy via technology. Set in the very near future, Alma (Maren Eggert) is an expert researcher at the Pergamon Museum in Berlin. Falling short on funds, she agrees to be part of a three-week research program where she’ll provide her colleague an in-depth report advising for or against the ethics of a new technology: Entirely lifelike robots algorithmically programmed to be the perfect partner. For Alma, the tech company has programmed Tom (Dan Stevens), a handsome, smart, blonde specimen who also speaks German with a slight British accent because she likes the exotic. Eggert does a beautiful job modulating Alma’s slow thaw towards Tom. Stevens is also pitch perfect as he moves Tom away from his initial cloying programming and assimilates to Alma’s pragmatic needs. Watching him make that transition is like witnessing an expert race car driver shift for the most efficient ride possible; you weren’t aware it was happening but they sure did win that race. And it’s delightfully unexpected that the film doubles down on robot Tom as the romantic, doggedly undeterred in figuring out how to be the best partner he can for Alma. I’m Your Man succeeds in breathing gentle life into the well-worn genre by proving that, just like Tom, the perception of something’s value can actually be hiding something surprisingly deep.—Tara Bennett


everlasting-storm.jpg Hulu Release Date: Jan 3, 2022 (initially released Sept. 3, 2021)
Directors: Jafar Panahi, Malik Vitthal, Laura Poitras, Dominga Sotomayor, David Lowery, Apichatpong Weerasethakul
Genre: Documentary, Drama
Rating: TV-MA
Runtime: 115 minutes

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This six-part anthology movie seeks to capture life during lockdown with both documentary and fictional stories from six different directors, including David Lowery and Apichatpong Weerasethakul. The stories range from family drama to the more surreal (Weerasethakul’s segment just shows an empty bed in an insect-filled room). The film debuted at Cannes before a limited release in the U.S. back in September.


pig-poster.jpg Hulu Release Date: Jan 1, 2022 (initially released July 16, 2021)
Director: Michael Sarnoski
Stars: Nicolas Cage, Alex Wolff, Adam Arkin
Genre: Drama
Rating: R
Runtime: 92 minutes
Paste Review Score: 8.6

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In the forest outside Portland, a man’s pig is stolen. Rob (Nicolas Cage) is a witchy truffle forager that we learn used to be a chef—a Michelin-starred Baba Yaga, a gastronomical Radagast—who sells his pig’s findings to sustain his isolated life. What follows is not a revenge thriller. This is not a porcine Taken. Pig, the ambitious debut of writer/director Michael Sarnoski, is a blindsiding and measured treatise on the masculine response to loss. Featuring Nicolas Cage in one of his most successful recent permutations, evolving Mandy’s silent force of nature to an extinct volcano of scabbed-over pain, Pig unearths broad themes by thoroughly sniffing out the details of its microcosm. The other component making up this Pacific NW terrarium, aside from Rob and the golden-furred Brandy’s endearingly shorthanded connection, is the guy Rob sells his truffles to, Amir. Alex Wolff’s tiny Succession-esque business jerk is a bundle of jagged inadequacies, and only Rob’s calloused wisdom can handle such prickliness. They’re exceptional foils for one another, classic tonal opposites that share plenty under the surface of age. Together, the pair search for the pignapping victim, which inevitably leads them out of the forest and back into the city. There they collide with the seediest, John Wick’s Kitchen Confidential kind of industry underbelly you can imagine, in a series of standoffs, soliloquies and strange stares. It’s a bit heightened, but in a forgotten and built-over way that feels more secret than fantastic. The sparse and spacious writing allows its actors to fill in the gaps, particularly Cage. Where some of Cage’s most riveting experiments used to be based in manic deliveries and expressionistic faces, what seems to engage him now is the opposite: Silence, stillness, realist hurt and downcast eyes. You can hear Cage scraping the rust off Rob’s voice, grinding the interpersonal gears much like the dilapidated truck he tries (and fails) to take into town. Wolff, along with much of the rest of the cast, projects an intense desperation for validation—a palpable desire to win the rat race and be somebody. It’s clear that Rob was once a part of this world before his self-imposed exile, clear from knowing gazes and social cues as much as the scenarios that lead the pig-seekers through basements and kitchens. Part of Pig’s impactful, moving charm is its restraint. It’s a world only hinted at in 87 minutes, but with a satisfying emotional thoroughness. We watch this world turn only slightly, but the full dramatic arcs of lives are on display. A sad but not unkind movie, and certainly not a pessimistic one, Pig puts its faith in a discerning audience to look past its premise.—Jacob Oller


dead-asleep.jpg Hulu Release Date: Dec. 16, 2021
Director: Skye Borgman
Genre: Documentary
Rating: TV-MA
Runtime: 86 minutes
Paste Review Score: 5.5

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The unyielding, algorithm-fueled glut of true crime content gains yet another entry in the straight-to-streaming canon with Dead Asleep, the latest from documentarian Skye Borgman. Much like in her 2017 Netflix film Abducted in Plain Sight, the film’s goal is to be as shallowly entertaining and consumable as possible, even if that means trading documentary ethics for a slick, sensationalist slant. However, the film is not particularly egregious in its missteps, closely following a blueprint that has been regurgitated on a recent loop—a component much more damning of the entire true crime media obsession than one single film. Dead Asleep follows the case of Randy Herman Jr., who was arrested in 2017 after brutally stabbing his childhood friend and roommate, Brooke Preston, to death. Despite being covered in blood and possessing defensive wounds when police arrive on the scene, Herman claims to have no recollection of the incident—an assertion that causes him to plead not guilty by reason of insanity. While Herman’s cognitive functions appear to be completely rational in his on-screen interviews, his defense posits that the DSM-5 would categorize him as having sleep arousal disorder—and this unquellable corner of his psyche is actually what drove him to kill without motivation. Allegedly having suffered from chronic sleepwalking throughout his entire life, Herman believes he was experiencing a period of unconscious action when he murdered the 21-year-old. Given exclusive access to Herman (now 28 and serving a life sentence), his family, legal representation and journalists who locally reported on the West Palm Beach murder case, Borgman’s doc is nonetheless one-sided. Preston’s family declined involvement in the documentary and as such, Brooke is hardly a palpable presence in the narrative. Dead Asleep offers absolutely no resolution—it’s up to the viewer to discern whether or not they buy Herman’s story—an irresponsible way of framing the case, as it omits the perspective of Brooke’s family entirely (aside from one devastating yet voyeuristic clip that reveals her mother’s reaction to her murder). Without their presence, the film flimsily focuses on Herman’s sleepwalking defense, which is ultimately nothing more than a cheap gimmick Borgman has little intention of unraveling. Information is spouted straight from the case file, a banal approach that hardly interrogates the material circumstances and medical intricacies of sleepwalking. It becomes impossible to parse exactly what the documentary exists to prove, aside from the fact that true crime content always performs well—even among those who are explicitly asked not to engage with an unwanted, uncorroborated story. —Natalia Keogan


cryptozoo.jpg Hulu Release Date: Dec. 16, 2021 (initially released Aug. 20, 2021)
Director: Dash Shaw
Stars: Lake Bell, Michael Cera, Emily Davis
Genre: Animation, fantasy
Runtime: 90 minutes

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Dash Shaw’s vibrantly animated Cryptozoo explores the oft-fantasized premise of cryptids and humans coexisting, pulling more from Jurassic Park than typical mainstream animated counterparts like Zootopia. Interested in interrogating the exploitation of fantasy and imagination for human consumption, Shaw’s psychedelic, patently adult animated feature brings daydreams into the pointedly violent and bleak reality that its genre contemporaries are privy to ignore. The universe presented in cartoonist/writer/director Shaw’s film—animated in a style that feels like a graphic novel come to life—is our collective memory of the ’60s counterculture movement, but with one key reality-shattering amendment: Every fabled creature from human folklore walks among us, seldom seen but perpetually hunted due to their high demand on the black market. Ceasing the ill-treatment of these creatures is the life’s work of Lauren Gray (Lake Bell), who tracks down abused and injured cryptids and transports them to the Cryptozoo—a live-in amusement park in San Francisco where these beings are put on display or employed, depending on their proximity to human aptitude. While the fantastical idea of cryptids sharing the Earth with existing fauna tantalizes the imagination, the crux of Cryptozoo is bringing this charming premise into our existing hyper-capitalist society—showing just how easily our bloodthirsty system will snuff out the markedly different and extraordinary. Lauren is just one of the film’s many ’60s Bay Area countercultural caricatures—voiced by a litany of alt-comedians and indie movie actors such as Michael Cera, Jason Schwartzman and Zoe Kazan—alongside an idealistic hippie couple that, in one brutal early scene, learn a harsh lesson on imposing simplistic human attitudes on the complex natural world. The film’s critique of capitalism dovetails with its negative view of American countercultural movements, arguing that the commodification of these movements deters them from making any kind of change; the real-world parallels are evident. —Natalia Keogan

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