Boston Strangler | Official Trailer | Hulu

Keira Knightley expertly loses her British accent to play an intrepid American reporter who must overcome the sexism of the 1960s to close in on notorious serial killer Albert DeSalvo in Boston Strangler. The Hulu Original, coproduced by Ridley Scott and directed by Matt Ruskin, also stars Carrie Coon, David Dastmalchian and Robert John Burke. [Robert DeSalvo]

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Clemency

Image for article titled The best movies to watch on Hulu right now
Photo: Clemency

Chinonye Chukwu’s Clemency begins not with an act of mercy but a state-sanctioned death. The details are agonizing: a weeping mother clutching a rosary; the squeaking leather of the straps on a lethal injection table; a pool of blood forming around the needle transmitting first sedative, then poison. That horrifying introduction is in line with most movies about prison, which nearly exclusively focus on the dehumanizing experience of incarceration, from classics like Papillon and Cool Hand Luke to the more contemporary Starred Up and A Prayer Before Dawn. But Clemency subverts expectations with an unblinking exploration of how serving as a state-approved executor of the death penalty is its own form of degradation. Alfre Woodard captures with exquisite nuance the emotional and physical toll it might take on someone, spending years overseeing executions; she grounds the film, which otherwise strikes a balance between broad empathy and a pointed call for criminal justice reform. [Roxana Hadadi]

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Collective

Collective
Collective
Photo: Magnolia Pictures

Early in the 21st century, a new wave of Romanian filmmakers like Cristian Mungiu, Cristi Puiu, and Corneliu Porumboiu began drawing international recognition for their gripping, docu-realistic dramas, addressing the power imbalances and the social dysfunction plaguing their country, post-Communism. The best way to describe Alexander Nanau’s documentary Collective is to say that it’s a non-fiction version of those new Romanian classics: like The Death Of Mr. Lazarescu or 4 Months, 3 Weeks And 2 Days, but with real people. It’s a taut, intense procedural, with a resonant story that simultaneously follows a journalistic investigation and an attempt to fix a fatally dysfunctional medical bureaucracy—all while criminal organizations, corrupt politicians, and rabble-rousing television hosts work in concert to stymie any real reform. [Noel Murray]

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The Donut King

The Donut King
The Donut King
Photo: Colin Kennedy

As an energetic montage at the beginning of The Donut King states, Los Angeles has a much higher percentage of donut shops than any other city in the U.S.—one for every 7,000 residents, as opposed to the national average of one per 30,000. And almost all of those donut shops are owned by Cambodian people, whose market dominance is so complete that even East Coast staple Dunkin’ Donuts struggled to break into Southern California in the ’90s. Remarkably—almost miraculously—this is all the work of one man: Ted Ngoy, who sponsored hundreds of refugees to come to the U.S. and gave them turnkey loans to run their own donut shops in the ’70s and ’80s. The first part of Gu’s documentary celebrates Ngoy, as well as the ingenuity and tireless work ethic of immigrants in general, with a vivid hybrid of biographical documentary and food porn set to colorful animation and a hip-hop beat. In fact, The Donut King plays much like an extended episode of Ugly Delicious, before diving into darker territory in its second half that actively dismantles the myths it spent the first hour building. And although this abrupt turn destabilizes the film’s structure in a way it never quite recovers from, it also makes The Donut King much more than simple food porn—not that there’s anything wrong with that, particularly when creative, mouthwatering treats like cronuts and emoji donuts are so lovingly showcased. [Katie Rife]

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Fire Island

Fire Island film from 20TH CENTURY STUDIOS
Fire Island
Image: Courtesy Searchlight Pictures

It doesn’t take long for Fire Island, Joel Kim Booster’s instant-classic Jane Austen riff, to stake its claim in the romantic comedy canon—or rather, defiantly outside of it. Less than a minute into the opening sequence, Booster refers to Pride And Prejudice, his source material, as “hetero nonsense.” As this story’s Lizzie Bennet stand-in, gay Brooklynite Noah continues to narrate: he shudders at the “boyfriend energy” of the naked man in his bed whose name clearly eludes him, then calls his chosen family, the group of friends on their annual Fire Island vacation, the F-word (the one reserved for gays). “Don’t cancel me,” he tells us, tongue firmly in cheek. “I’m reclaiming it!”

Suffice it to say this isn’t your typical rom-com—but then again, how could it be? With all due respect to But I’m A Cheerleader and rather less respect to Love, Simon, queer audiences haven’t seen themselves reflected much in a genre that, at least in its heyday, defined Hollywood’s mainstream and reinforced heteronormative sociocultural standards. Booster and director Andrew Ahn use Austen’s tale of class tension, a romantic comedy urtext, to laugh in the face of such standards, and introduce some new ones. Queer and straight viewers alike may experience Fire Island on Hulu with a mix of delight and disorientation; they haven’t worked the muscles of watching a gay will-they-won’t-they story, let alone one populated by unabashedly out characters. [Jack Smart]

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Flee

Flee Trailer #1 (2021) | Movieclips Indie

The use of animation in documentaries used to be a novel stylistic flourish, until filmmakers started using those interludes so often to cover for missing footage that it started to feel less inspired and more gimmicky. So if nothing else, Jonas Poher Rasmussen’s intense and moving Flee is a reminder of how animation in nonfiction movies can elevate the storytelling. By employing a variety of techniques—chalky abstraction, flat 2D illustrations, even some archival live-action news footage—Rasmussen and a team of artists and animators keep audiences alert and engaged, while taking them inside the somber first-person account of an Afghan refugee who has never fully processed his traumatic childhood. [Noel Murray]

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Good Luck To You, Leo Grande

GOOD LUCK TO YOU, LEO GRANDE | Official Trailer | Searchlight Pictures

From the moment we meet Nancy Stokes, anxiously pacing around a tastefully anonymous hotel room, knocking back a minibar vodka and posing in the mirror to no great personal satisfaction, we can tell she’s a nervous wreck. And why shouldn’t she be? Nancy is a 55-year-old widow awaiting the arrival of a sex worker who’ll hopefully give her the first orgasm of her entire life. The male escort assigned to this monumental task is the “aesthetically perfect” young Leo (Daryl McCormack) and, as he’ll learn over the course of their four meetings, giving Nancy a chance to premiere her O-face means breaking down her well-established defenses.

If that sounds like the premise for a comedy or even a tragedy, it’s actually neither. Good Luck To You, Leo Grande is a tender and richly satisfying charmer whose themes of self-acceptance and body positivity are delivered with a light and carefully crafted touch. Emma Thompson is at her prickly, vulnerable, fiercely intelligent best as Nancy, a stand-in for every woman who’s suppressed her sexuality out of shame, feelings of inadequacy or a need to please others. Unfolding almost entirely in one room, the film is a two-character study of sexual awakening and a heartfelt, yearning dispatch from the farthest corner of the age divide. It’s a sexually frank and intimate story told in a pleasingly mainstream manner that avoids greeting card clichés and empty “girl power” posturing. [Mark Keizer]

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History Of The World, Part I

History of the World Part 1 Official Trailer HD - Mel Brooks (1981)

Mel Brooks wrote, directed, produced and starred in 1981's History Of The World, Part I, an oftentimes hilarious parody of epic historical and sword-and-sandal films. The large ensemble cast includes Sid Caesar, Shecky Greene, Gregory Hines, Charlie Callas, Dom DeLuise, Madeline Kahn, Harvey Korman, Cloris Leachman, Andreas Voutsinas, Spike Milligan, and cameos by many other stars. Despite its title, a sequel was never planned, but Mel Brooks returned in 2023 to create the episodic event History Of The World, Part II for Hulu. [Robert DeSalvo]

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I, Tonya

I, Tonya
I, Tonya
Photo: Neon

From the opening minutes of Craig Gillespie’s unreliably narrated, glibly entertaining biopic I, Tonya, it’s clear that Margot Robbie has disappeared into the role of disgraced figure skater and pop culture punching bag Tonya Harding. It’s not a precise imitation: However hard the wardrobe and makeup teams have worked to deglamorize this glamorous Hollywood star, she still doesn’t look much like the person she’s playing—a truth reinforced by the obligatory, closing-credits appearance by the real Harding, conquering the ice in archival footage. But as she wraps her mouth around a cigarette, a cornpone accent, and some well-delivered profanity, Robbie channels the antagonistic, take-no-shit attitude of her infamous “character,” while adding notes of disappointment and even dignity missing from every headline or Hard Copy treatment of The Tonya Harding Story. In the process, the actor wrestles a rare role worthy of her abilities from an industry that’d just as soon keep her in bubbles. [A.A. Dowd]

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Memories Of Murder

MEMORIES OF MURDER Trailer

Bong Joon-ho’s masterful policier Memories Of Murder follows the investigation into Korean society’s first serial killer, a methodical, elusive predator who raped and murdered 10 women within a two-kilometer radius. The killings evoked a special intensity of shock and despair, not only because the perpetrator was so difficult to snare, but because people simply couldn’t comprehend the scale of his crimes. Yet in the tradition of New Korean Cinema, which can shift tonal gears faster than a Maserati, Bong plays most of the events for broad, uproarious comedy while still managing a devastating undercurrent of sadness. It takes enormous skill to pull off such a high-wire act without diminishing the gravity of the situation, but Bong and his first-rate cast are up to the task, perhaps because they root the questionable antics of the film’s provincial detectives in palpable frustration and anguish. [Scott Tobias]

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Minding The Gap

Minding The Gap
Minding The Gap
Photo: Kartemquin

From the house that fronted Hoop Dreams comes another absorbing, heartbreaking documentary about coming of age on the economic fringe of the American Midwest. It’s boards, not basketball, that the young subjects of Minding The Gap looked to as an escape hatch, back when they were teenagers delivering themselves, an afternoon at a time, from the shared trauma of their home lives. Bing Liu, the director, was one of them, a budding filmmaker shooting skating videos with his friends. Returning to his old stomping grounds of Rockford, Illinois, he catches up with these childhood companions, still haunted by the abuse they experienced as kids, which has shaped their adulthoods in ways both obvious and not. As usual, the Kartemquin long-term filming model pays enormous dramatic dividends. But Liu is just as interested in where these real lives have been as where they’re headed, because the two are intimately related—just one profound takeaway from his multifaceted portrait of boys growing into men, trying to outpace their demons along the way. [A.A. Dowd]

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MLK/FBI

Martin Luther King Jr. in MLK/FBI
Martin Luther King Jr. in MLK/FBI
Photo: IFC Films

Rather than a didactic Martin Luther King Jr. biographical endeavor, this project about the African American experience from veteran director Sam Pollard is an in-depth examination of the bureau’s history as it relates to their surveillance of the pastor-turned-galvanizing-orator. In place of talking heads, Pollard deploys only the audio from MLK’s interviews, filling the screen instead with archival footage and photographs. For context, Pollard talks to some of King’s closest contemporaries, like Andrew Young and Clarence Jones, as well as as notable academics like Donna Murch and David J. Garrow. Their observations, opinions, and first-hand accounts are the building blocks of a pragmatic history lesson. The tone of MLK/FBI can be excessively solemn at times, though maybe that’s a preemptive measure—a reflection of how those wronged in this country are expected to present their arguments in level-headed fashion or be deemed too emotional and hence not “objective.” Never forget that white America polices even the way in which those who are othered choose to talk about their trauma. [Carlos Aguilar]

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Nomadland

Frances McDormand in Nomadland
Frances McDormand in Nomadland
Photo: Searchlight Pictures

Unless the political landscape changes significantly over the next few years, the number of Americans facing an old age like the one profiled in Nomadland will only continue to grow. A longtime resident of Empire, Nevada, Fern (Frances McDormand) watched her town shrivel up and die after the gypsum mine that employed the majority of the community shut down in January 2011. A dandelion seed left to float on the fickle winds of capitalism, Fern now lives in a custom van she calls “Vanguard,” traveling in search of temporary employment and a safe place to park overnight. In the winter, she packs boxes at an Amazon warehouse; in the summer, she fries burgers and cleans toilets at tourist attractions. Her pleasures are simple, her struggles immense. Her hair is short, her shoes sensible. She keeps moving so she doesn’t dwell on the past for long. In different hands, Fern’s story might be tragic. But while Nomadland director (and writer and editor and co-producer) Chloé Zhao is interested in the material realities of a sixtysomething widow living an itinerant lifestyle, she also brings a dignity to the film that verges on sublime. [A.A. Dowd]

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Not Okay

NOT OKAY | Official Trailer | Searchlight Pictures

As far as antiheroines go, Not Okay’s satirical main character Danni Sanders (an aptly caustic Zoey Deutch) has few redeeming qualities. Indeed, despite Deutch’s undeniable charisma and effortless allure, Danni just feels unlikable, mostly because she seems completely unbothered by how tone-deaf she is when it comes to, well, everything.

But in the carefully woven, zippily edited, and largely entertaining world that young, insightful writer-director Quinn Shephard builds for Danni—one that open-endedly reflects on social media, influencer fandom, internet fame, and the so-called “cancel culture” that holds wrongdoers accountable for their misdeeds, perhaps a little too severely at times—that tone-deafness is a branding exercise to Danni. “Lena Dunham does it,” is how she defends her frequent inability to read the room and unpublishable pitches to her online magazine’s editor, the latest of which is cringingly titled, “Why am I so sad?”... [Tomris Laffly]

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Palm Springs

Palm Springs
Palm Springs
Photo: Hulu

Andy Samberg stars as Nyles, a slacker doofus stuck at a destination wedding in Southern California, which he’s attending as the date of a bridesmaid. Blithely wandering the reception in a loud and very informal short-sleeve shirt, Nyles clearly doesn’t have any fucks to give. But he also seems to have a suspiciously premonitory sense of how the night will play out. And before long, Palm Springs reveals the reason for both: He’s stuck in a time warp, waking up every morning to find himself still in Palm Springs on the morning of the wedding. The film employs its magical conceit as a multi-purpose metaphor for a long-term relationship. The flip side, of course, is that monogamy can leave you feeling as stuck as the characters, living the same day over and over again, with only your significant other for company. But Palm Springs wears all that baggage lightly. It’s a sadly rare thing: a sweet, madly inventive, totally mainstream romantic comedy, buoyed by inspired jolts of comic violence (some of them provided by J.K. Simmons as another wedding guest with a very big bone to pick with Nyles). [A.A. Dowd]

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Parasite

Parasite
Parasite
Photo: Neon

The last time Bong Joon Ho made a parable of class warfare, he set it aboard one hell of a moving metaphor: a train looping endlessly around a frozen Earth, its passengers divided into cars based on wealth and status, upward mobility achieved only through lateral revolution. Parasite, the South Korean director’s demented and ingenious movie, doesn’t boast quite as sensational a setting; it takes place mostly within a chicly modern suburban home, all high ceilings, stainless steel countertops, and windows instead of walls, advertising the elegant interior decoration within. But there’s a clear class hierarchy at play here, too; it runs top to bottom instead of front to back, vertically instead of horizontally. And though we’re watching a kind of warped upstairs-downstairs story, not a dystopian arcade brawler, Parasite races forward with the same locomotive speed as Snowpiercer, with plenty of its own twists and turns waiting behind each new door. [A.A. Dowd]

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Possessor

Andrea Riseborough in Possessor
Andrea Riseborough in Possessor
Photo: Neon

Possessor is a mindfuck without a safe word: a slick, nasty bit of science-fiction pulp that’s as interested in shredding nerves as buzzing the brain they’re attached to. The premise, a nightmare vision of bodies snatched and unwillfully weaponized, could have been extracted straight from the racing noggin of Philip K. Dick. But that author’s dystopian premonitions are just one aspect of its genre alchemy, a stylish mash-up of Ghost In The Shell, Inception, Under The Skin, and Olivier Assayas’ corporate-espionage thriller demonlover. And as it’s both written and directed by Brandon Cronenberg, son of Canadian horror maestro David, it should probably come as no great shock that Possessor includes some truly gnarly mutilation of the flesh alongside the mental variety. [A.A. Dowd]

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Prey

Prey | Official Trailer | Hulu

A prequel to Predator, Prey is set in 1719, following Naru (Amber Midthunder), a young Comanche warrior who wants to break the gender traditions of her tribe and become a hunter. Already a skilled tracker and healer, Naru’s strength is put to the test when an unseen adversary endangers her tribe. Within this new setting, [Dan] Trachtenberg strips the Predator franchise back down to its core elements—the ruthlessness of this alien species and the ingenuity of humanity when confronted with nearly impossible odds. In concentrating on character and location, he backs off of the world-changing repercussions of the franchise’s immediate predecessors, creating an involving and tense character-driven experience whose strengths rely on narrative simplicity and a compelling lead in Midthunder. [Richard Newby]

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Rosaline

Rosaline | Official Trailer | Hulu

If the name Rosaline rings a bell, it’s because she’s the mentioned-but-never-seen girlfriend Romeo was dating right before falling for his one true love in William Shakespeare’s Romeo And Juliet. Yet in director Karen Maine’s feature Rosaline, the character once regarded as a footnote becomes the lead, guiding a hilariously irreverent and empowering re-fashioning of that tale of woe. Crafting a comedy from the perspective of the Bard’s minor characters isn’t exactly new, as Tom Stoppard’s Rosencrantz And Guildenstern Are Dead did the same with Hamlet, but the innovative idea is reinvigorated with witty dialogue, a solid ensemble and astute direction... [Courtney Howard]

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Save Yourselves!

Sunita Mani and John Reynolds in Save Yourselves!
Sunita Mani and John Reynolds in Save Yourselves!
Photo: Bleeker Street

Bait and switch may be a reprehensible sales technique, but it often works wonderfully in movies. The indie comedy Save Yourselves! kicks off with what seems like a solid sitcom-episode premise: Extremely online couple Su (Sunita Mani) and Jack (John Reynolds) decide to spend an entire week disconnected from the internet, focusing instead upon their in-person interpersonal dynamic. (The impetus for this experiment, typical of the movie’s droll sense of humor: Su, frustrated, knocks Jack’s phone out of his hand and across the apartment without warning, whereupon he turns to her and says with deep sincerity, “Thank you.”) To that end, the two Brooklynites borrow a friend’s isolated cabin upstate, bringing along their smartphones and laptops but vowing not to pick them up unless there’s a genuine emergency. It’s not too hard to guess what sort of jokes would emerge from this scenario, and severe tech withdrawal does briefly play a key role. The film’s true premise, however, involves the emergency that soon arises, since Su and Jack have cut the world off at the precise moment that it’s invaded by a hostile alien race. [Mike D’Angelo]

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She Dies Tomorrow

She Dies Tomorrow
She Dies Tomorrow
Photo: Jay Keitel/Neon

Amy (Kate Lyn Sheil), the protagonist of She Dies Tomorrow, is not okay. When we first meet her, she seems fine enough—about as fine as any of us are in an era where anxiety and confusion are so prevalent that there’s a term for endlessly scrolling through bad news. She putters around her half-empty house still piled with moving boxes, occasionally stopping to lie on the floor or run her hands over the furniture. She pours herself some wine, picks out a sequin gown, puts it on, and sits down at her laptop to shop online for leather jackets (and, more curiously, cremation urns). It’s not until her friend Jane (Jane Adams) comes by and finds her blankly standing in her backyard holding a leaf blower that we realize how not okay Amy actually is, as she greets her friend with a barely audible, “I was thinking... I could be made into a leather jacket.” With its claustrophobic spaces and free-floating fear, She Dies Tomorrow is built around an eerily timely theme: existential dread as thought virus. Amy is gripped by the unshakable belief that she will die the next day, and everyone who encounters her becomes similarly convinced after only a few seconds of exposure. One character describes the feeling: “It’s like when you’re in New York City... in the summer, when you look up and there’s air conditioners everywhere, and you just know, ‘One of those is going to pop out and crash down on my head.’” The pandemic here is emotional, as first Jane, then everyone she meets, is visited by a psychedelic onslaught of color, sound, and pummeling flashing light. It’s sort of like being abducted by aliens while high on LSD, and it turns all who see and hear it into hollow shells of doom. [Katie Rife]

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Shirley

Shirley
Shirley
Photo: Hulu

Suffering has long been characterized as a woman’s lot, canonized in the form of Catholic saints and celebrated in literature and art. (Pablo Picasso merely made it explicit when he said, “Women are suffering machines.”) To defy this edict will bring further misfortune, leaving only two choices: either smile and let your soul die piece by indignant piece, or embrace the darkness and learn to enjoy it. Josephine Decker’s Shirley is about a woman who opted for the latter: Shirley Jackson (played here by Elisabeth Moss), author of high-school staple “The Lottery” and the oft-adapted The Haunting Of Hill House.  Mocked by her peers, mistreated by her husband, and burdened by mental illness, Jackson lived with the psychic evils that lurk in her writing. But for Decker, what’s important about Shirley’s misery is how she used it to fuel her work. [Katie Rife]

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Some Kind Of Heaven

Barbara Lochiatto in Some Kind Of Heaven
Barbara Lochiatto in Some Kind Of Heaven
Photo: Magnolia Pictures

Watching Some Kind Of Heaven, an entrancing new documentary about life in a massive Florida retirement community, the mind may drift to a whole library of movies about the plastic unreality of suburban life. Partially, that’s because the film’s director, 24-year-old Lance Oppenheim, plainly takes some cues, visual and tonal, from touchstones of the genre. But it’s also because his subject, the so-called “Disney World for retirees,” was essentially built from the same psychic blueprint as those films: the nostalgic dream image of an unblemished American yesterday, a boomer paradise more imagined than remembered. What Oppenheim has found, in his first feature film, is a real place every bit as art-directed as Blue Velvet or Edward Scissorhands or American Beauty. It’s like a movie set the size of Manhattan—a Hollywood facsimile of the midcentury high life you can actually move into. [A.A. Dowd]

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Spider-Man

SPIDER-MAN [2002] – Official Trailer (HD)

Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man plainly hails from a simpler time for superhero blockbusters and a very complicated time for national identity. There are elements that date the movie: the special effects; the endearingly corny post-9/11 appeals to NYC solidarity; Macy Gray. But there’s also something timeless about Raimi’s bright, elastic approximation of an exaggerated comic-book world—a quality that extends from the big colors and slingshot camerawork to the perfect human-cartoon casting of J.K. Simmons as bloviating newspaper editor J. Jonah Jameson. The, ahem, sticking point for a lot of diehard Spidey fans remains Tobey Maguire, who plays Peter Parker as less of a classic introverted geek than an alien doing a strange impression of human interaction. Nonetheless, Raimi smartly roots the movie in his awkwardness, getting at some of the essential appeal of the character as a tragically uncool kid; when he becomes Spider-Man—in a series of scenes that give the origin-story boilerplate stuff a real shot in the arm—the wish-fulfillment fantasy of it shines brighter, even as we’re never allowed to forget that it’s the same stammering space cadet under the mask. What really takes Spider-Man over the top is Willem Dafoe’s literally finger-licking turn as the Green Goblin, still one of the most enjoyably outsized renderings of cackling supervillain menace yet put on the big screen. [A.A. Dowd]

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Supernova

Colin Firth and Stanley Tucci in Supernova
Colin Firth and Stanley Tucci in Supernova
Photo: Bleeker Street

In Harry Macqueen’s quiet road trip drama Supernova, grief is not something that begins with death or even significant loss. For Tusker (Stanley Tucci), a writer living with an accelerated form of dementia, early signs of grief occur in the passenger’s seat of an old RV during a trip through rural England with his longtime partner, Sam (Colin Firth). At first glance, the scene isn’t especially revelatory—Tusker and Sam lightly debate the virtues of regular maps over satellite navigational systems and squabble over Sam’s slower-than-strictly-necessary driving, just like any settled couple would. But as we watch Tusker’s control slowly slip through his grasp, we realize that we’re watching a man mourn what he once was, a bright star collapsing too soon. “I’m becoming a passenger,” Tusker helplessly observes at a particularly pivotal moment of the story. “And I’m not a passenger.” By the end, Supernova isn’t necessarily a tale about a couple’s attempt to make the best of their last moments but about two people coming to grips with one’s mortality. Macqueen approaches the messy reality of letting go with measured sorrow, unrestrained tenderness, and even moments of joy. [Shannon Miller]

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Titane

TITANE Trailer (2021)

Let’s just say that the surprise winner of [2021’s] Palme d’Or, a.k.a. the top prize at the Cannes Film Festival, is about bodies. Young bodies with skin pulled tight over rock-hard muscles, and aging bodies desperate to recapture the suppleness of youth. Traumatized bodies, uncontrollable bodies, bodies in the midst of transformation. There are a lot of wild twists and turns in this movie, but underneath there’s a constant: the agony of being trapped inside of a human body, and the itchy, restless desire to transcend it. [Julia] Ducournau’s work is sometimes compared to that of David Cronenberg, and that rings true in the sense that both are obsessed with the erotics of disgust and the possibilities of a “new flesh.” Yet the similarities between Titane and Cronenberg’s Crash have been overstated. After all, a sexual predilection for cars is only one aspect of our heroine, Alexia (Agathe Rousselle), and her fucked-up psyche... [Katie Rife]

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Triangle Of Sadness

TRIANGLE OF SADNESS - Official Trailer - In Theaters October 7

It would be too lazy, even misguided to view Triangle Of Sadness—a beauty industry term that refers to one’s wrinkles between the eyebrows—as a straightforward “eat the rich” satire. Östlund’s genius lies in his stubborn refusal to be didactic, making sure that our sympathies continually shift throughout the narrative as its power structures evolve. Even so, one thing that stays constant is the feeling of antsy (yet oddly funny) discomfort, often amplified by incessant sounds like buzzing mosquitoes, crying babies, and screaming donkeys. It’s a stellar film that hits a rare sweet spot as both mainstream, accessible entertainment, and also an undeniably incisive piece of cultural commentary. And best of all, it will keep you on your toes until the sensational final moment of its breezy drift. [Tomris Laffly]

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Two Of Us

Image for article titled The best movies to watch on Hulu right now
Photo: Magnolia Pictures

Two Of Us is a romantic drama that often plays more like a horror movie: A woman hides behind a shower curtain. A pan sizzles for an unnervingly long amount of time. A figure emerges from the shadows to smash up a car. Director Filippo Meneghetti establishes the unusual tone of his debut feature in a striking opening sequence that seamlessly blends memory and nightmare, as two girls play a surreal game of hide and seek until one of them disappears. The burden of love is the fear of loss, and that unease is compounded when it’s tied to the inability to live as your authentic self. Meneghetti understands that loving someone isn’t just a joyous experience. It’s an anxiety-inducing one, too. [Caroline Siede]

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Young Adult

Charlize Theron
Charlize Theron
Screenshot: Young Adult

Characters reminisce about the ’90s, wear Pixies T-shirts, and maintain collections of hand-painted action figures in Young Adult, all in line with what viewers might expect from a film that reunites Juno’s writer and director, Diablo Cody and Jason Reitman. What’s different this time around? They’re on the sidelines, gazing with bewilderment, dislike, and/or awe at their heroine, played by Charlize Theron as the type of girl who once upon a time walked all over them. Though her character’s high-school glory days are almost two decades behind her, she’s dredged them up with an unstable determination that attests to the years of disappointment that followed them. It’s an empathetic but bravely brittle portrait of an aging queen bee that showcases a nuanced performance from Theron as a woman too used to being admired to admit how lonely and desperate she’s become. [Alison Willmore]

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