Summer is in full swing and Hulu is here to help with its July selection of blockbuster movies and other cool content. The original Alien quadrilogy is available on Hulu this month, but the two you’ll most want to catch are Ridley Scott’s Alien and James Cameron’s Aliens. Elsewhere, Hulu’s got the twisted erotic thriller Wild Things starring Denise Richards, Matt Dillon, and Neve Campbell, Peter Jackson’s The Lord Of The Rings trilogy, the Tina Turner biopic What’s Love Got To Do With It starring Angela Bassett, the Fourth of July-set slasher movie I Know What You Did Last Summer, and much more. So declare your independence from watching bad movies in July and check out the 12 titles streaming on Hulu that caught our eye.
Alien (available July 1)
The upcoming Alien film directed by Fede Álvarez was supposed to be released on Hulu next year but is now slated for a theatrical release in August 2024. Shortly after this news was made public, all four of the original Alien films—including 1979’s Alien directed by Ridley Scott—were made available on Hulu. The atmospheric sci-fi/horror masterpiece about the crew of the salvage ship Nostromo and their battle with an alien life-form is still the stuff of nightmares thanks to H.R. Giger’s xenomorph design and Sigourney Weaver’s iconic performance as Ellen Ripley.
Aliens (available July 1)
Some geeks argue about which movie is better: Alien or its 1986 sequel, Aliens, directed by James Cameron. You know what? It’s not a competition and it’s okay to love both! Cameron takes the action to another level in this sequel in which Ellen Ripley (Sigourney Weaver) returns to LV-426 with a team of Marines after contact is lost with a human colony on the planet. The sequels Alien 3 and Alien: Resurrection also star Weaver and are available on Hulu this month, but let’s pretend those two movies were something Ripley dreamed up in hypersleep and that the narrative comes to a satisfying close with Aliens.
Alita: Battle Angel (available July 1)
One movie you may have missed in theaters that deserves rediscovering on streaming is Robert Rodriguez’s cyberpunk action film Alita: Battle Angel, based on Yukito Kishiro’s manga series. Rosa Salazar plays the titular deactivated cyborg who is revived and goes on quest to discover who she really is. The visually arresting, motion-capture film also stars Christoph Waltz, Jennifer Connelly, and Jackie Earle Haley. If checking out Alita: Battle Angel on Blu-ray 3D (the best experience, IMHO) isn’t an option for you, stream this overlooked gem on Hulu instead.
Dog Soldiers (available July 1)
Hellboy director Neil Marshall’s directorial debut, Dog Soldiers, is a wild action-horror film starring Sean Pertwee and Kevin McKidd that has the feel of Aliens except that, instead of xenomorphs on a distant planet, soldiers battle werewolves in the Scottish Highlands. The movie has had a problematic journey on home video, starting with one Blu-ray release that was brightened and soft looking, and another so dark, grainy, and murky that it’s unwatchable. A more recent 4K UHD release corrected all past mistakes, so here’s hoping Hulu streams that version and not one of the junky earlier transfers.
Elysium (available July 1)
Hulu is bringing the compelling sci-fi movie Elysium, starring Matt Damon and Jodie Foster, to its roster in time for the film’s 10th anniversary. Elysium is set in the year 2154, when the wealthy live on a luxurious space station orbiting the Earth while everyone else slums it on the ruined planet. Damon plays Max, a man who tries to bring equality to the opposing socioeconomic classes. This is thinking-man’s sci-fi that is not a sequel or a reboot, which was as rare 10 years ago as it is today. So stream it while you can.
I Know What You Did Last Summer (available July 1)
I Know What You Did Last Summer is a quintessential ’90s slasher written by Kevin Williamson, who also wrote Scream. The movie is set over the Fourth of July holiday (great timing, Hulu!) as four friends (Jennifer Love Hewitt, Freddie Prinze Jr., Ryan Phillippe, and Sarah Michelle Gellar) are in a car that hits a fisherman on a dark road. After they decide to dump the body instead of calling the police, guilt eats away at them for a year until they each start getting notes saying that someone knows what they did, forcing the foursome to have a tense reunion to figure out who is taunting them. The movie, in which the late Anne Heche also appears, spawned several sequels and an Amazon Prime Video series, but none of them are as fun as the original.
Hulk (available July 1)
It’s the 2oth anniversary of Ang Lee’s Hulk starring Eric Bana as the titular not-so-jolly green giant. The interesting thing about revisiting this Marvel character in this particular movie 20 years later is that it was made before the Marvel Cinematic Universe launched with Iron Man. After that, all of the MCU movies had a formulaic feel—regardless of the director—complete with post-credits sequences that teased the next Marvel product being readied on the assembly line. Hulk stands separate from that and, whether or not you appreciate Lee’s more artful take on the Hulk’s origin story, at least the director tried to put his own stamp on the whole superhero experience instead of just falling in line with other movies in an established mega-franchise.
The Lord Of The Rings trilogy (available July 1)
If you’re a fan of the Amazon Prime Video series The Lord Of The Rings: The Rings Of Power, you know that season two isn’t coming until at least 2024. The series is remarkably successful at mimicking the look and feel of Peter Jackson’s The Lord Of The Rings trilogy, which is set thousands of years later. Twenty years ago the third installment, The Return Of The King, was released and took home the Academy Award for Best Picture. Now that 11-time Oscar winner as well as The Fellowship Of The Ring and The Two Towers are available to stream. We’re not sure if Hulu is presenting the theatrical versions or the extended versions, but we do know you won’t have to change discs halfway into each movie!
What’s Love Got To Do With It (available July 1)
In honor of the film’s 30th anniversary and to pay tribute to the recently deceased Tina Turner, Hulu is adding the acclaimed musical biopic What’s Love Got To Do With It starring Angela Bassett as Turner to its library. The movie follows Turner—born Anna Mae Bullock—from childhood through her tumultuous marriage to Ike Turner and her 1984 comeback. Bassett was nominated for (and should have won) an Oscar for her electric, sometimes heartbreaking performance in the movie, which also stars Laurence Fishburne. What’s Love Got To Do With It has been challenging to find on a streaming service—especially without ads—but Hulu is where it’s at this July.
Wild Things (available July 1)
It’s been 25 years since Neve Campbell, Denise Richards, and Matt Dillon hooked up to play a scheming threesome in the steamy, Florida-set, neo-noir thriller Wild Things. Summer is the perfect season to stream the titillating John McNaughton-directed movie, also starring Kevin Bacon, Theresa Russell, Robert Wagner, and Bill Murray. There is a more explicit unrated version of Wild Things available on disc, but we’re not sure if Hulu is going to go for that or the R-rated theatrical version. Either way, dive in if you’re thirsty for ’90s thrillers.
Vesper (available July 14)
Vesper is a sci-fi thriller about the titular 13-year-old girl (Raffiella Chapman) who struggles to survive with her father after an ecological disaster. Vesper happens to be a biohacking wiz, so the fate of the planet could be in her teenaged hands. The movie, directed by Kristina Buožytė and Bruno Samper, received excellent reviews, especially for its visually arresting effects.
God’s Country (available July 28)
Based on a short story titled “Winter Light” by James Lee Burke, God’s Country is a thriller directed by Julian Higgins and starring Thandiwe Newton as a college professor named Sandra. She lives in the remote mountains in the American West and one day she confronts two hunters trespassing on her property, leading to an escalating battle of wills. One reviewer describes the movie as “profound and haunting,” and most agree that this is one of Newton’s best performances.