The best fantasy movies on Hulu
What do witches, dragons, fairies, a satirical human-mutant conglomerate, and booze-addled superheroes all have in common? No, this isn't a far-left-field drinking game. The answer is that they're all fantasy movies, and they're all on Hulu.
The streaming platform delivers the goods when it comes to all film genres, and fantasy is no exception. To help you wade through all the pixie dust and second hobbit breakfasts, we've put together this roundup of the best fantasy movies on Hulu this month. Read on to see what titles you may recognize and what gems you'd like to check out for the very first time.
Sorry to Bother You (2019)
Corporate culture is getting out of whack, especially in writer-director Boots Riley's satirical Sorry to Bother You. Cassius "Cash" Green (Lakeith Stanfield) lives in his uncle's garage and spends his days as a telemarketer for RegalView, a fictionalized umbrella organization with a sinister underbelly. As Cash rises through the ranks of the evil empire, the world onscreen becomes increasingly more bizarre with every power move the up-and-coming Cash makes.
A wild blend of racial and consumer satirizing meets a never-ending fantastical nightmare, Sorry to Bother You is a mind-melter you don't want to miss.
Rotten Tomatoes: 93%
Stars: Lakeith Stanfield, Tessa Thompson, Jermaine Fowler
Director: Boots Riley
Runtime: 105 minutes Watch on Hulu
High school years are a checklist of crucial moves.
Get good grades and excel academically, apply to colleges, make friends, find love, make a meaningful impact before exploding into smithereens in front of your peers and teachers. In Brian Duffield's Spontaneous, two high school seniors, Mara (Katherine Langford) and Dylan (Charlie Plummer), are faced with the whirlwind reality that they could literally explode at any moment, as it's happening to all their friends in the middle of the school day. Spontaneous combustion aside, Spontaneous is a coming-of-age teen flick turned on its head and packed to the brim with gore, guts, and gasps.
Not for light stomachs.
Rotten Tomatoes: 98%
Stars: Katherine Langford, Charlie Plummer, Yvonne Orji
Director: Brian Duffield
Runtime: 102 minutes Watch on Hulu
Above the Shadows (2019)
In Above the Shadows, Olivia Thirlby stars as Holly, a woman who has literally faded from the seeable world.
Invisible for years, her saving grace arrives in the form of a downtrodden MMA fighter named Shayne (Alan Ritchson). When Holly learns that one of her own tabloid photographs contributed to Shayne's public image demise, she'll do whatever it takes to restore the fighter to his former glory in an attempt to vanquish her invisibility. A film that demands a firm disconnect from our own reality, Above the Shadows dabbles in fantasy and romance in fitting but larger-than-life ways.
The story meanders a bit, and the metaphor's muddled, but the movie works in more ways than it doesn't.
Rotten Tomatoes: 57%
Stars: Olivia Thirlby, Alan Ritchson, Megan Fox
Director: Claudia Myers
Runtime: 111 minutes Watch on Hulu
In Hancock, Will Smith stars as the titular character, a belligerent superhero that watches over the city of Los Angeles, protecting and enraging its citizens.
Why rage? With every heroic feat comes a string of neverending property damage and other ancillary casualties. It's practically Hancock's calling card.
But Hancock could care less, for he's just as fed up with LA's critical denizens as they are of him. Then, one day, the anti-hero rescues a PR representative named Ray (Jason Bateman), who pledges to help the alcoholic superman with his public image. Written in part by Breaking Bad's Vince best boviesdGilligan, Hancock gives Will Smith the stage to unleash a darker brand of comedy-acting than what the world had come to rely on from the Fresh Prince star.
Rotten Tomatoes: 41%
Stars: Will Smith, Charlize Theron, Jason Bateman
Director: Peter Berg
Runtime: 92 minutes Watch on Hulu
Tina (Eva Melander) is a Swedish customs officer with an amazing sense of smell. Not just a heightened sense, though -- the ability is borderline supernatural, as Tina can use her nose to detect lies, guilt, shame, and other hidden emotions from those she encounters.
One day, the customs officer comes across a man named Vore (Eero Milonoff). Sensing something very off about the traveler, Tina begins a personal investigation that ends up opening doors about her own past, revealing secrets and answering questions about herself she's had her whole life. A wild blend of sci-fi, fantasy, Nordic fable, and other sub-genres, Border is one you don't want to miss.
Rotten Tomatoes: 97%
Stars: Eva Melander, Eero Milonoff, Viktor Akerblom
Director: Ali Abbasi
Runtime: 108 minutes Watch on Hulu
Colossal stars Anne Hathaway as Gloria, a down-on-her-luck writer going through a recent breakup. Forced to relocate to her hometown when her boyfriend kicks her out, Gloria takes up a job at a local bar.
Drinking her sorrows away while re-acclimating to her stomping grounds, a towering reptilian beast emerges in South Korea. Leaving a wake of destruction in its path, Gloria soon learns that she and the mythic titan share a psychosomatic connection. Whenever Gloria acts out, so does the monster.
Once the link is established, Gloria must learn to deal with her own emotions before the Godzilla-beast wreaks havoc across the entire globe. Led by a powerful performance by Hathaway and a sharp narrative and directing by Nacho Vigalondo, Colossal is an unforgettable mashup of monster-movie-meets-character-drama.
Rotten Tomatoes: 81%
Stars: Anne Hathaway, Jason Sudeikis, Austin Stowell
Director: Nacho Vigalondo
Runtime: 110 minutes
The Secret Garden (2020)
Mary Lennox (Dixie Egerickx), an orphan, arrives at the estate of her uncle -- the stoic Lord Archibald Craven (Colin Firth). Her next of kin, his lordship pays little mind to his niece. Thus, the girl wanders the house and grounds.
Deep in the woods, the young Mary discovers a hidden garden. A luscious and vibrant haven, the garden is Mary's dear hideaway and a restorative healing place. When tensions rise within the family and secrets are unveiled, the garden becomes Mary's only hope.
This 2020 adaptation of the 1911 Frances Hodgson Burnett novel is, in fact, the fourth film adaptation. It's cozy, if not a bit formulaic in its approach, but comes at a time when a bit of grandeur and heart go a long way. We highly recommend it.
Rotten Tomatoes: 66%
Stars: Colin Firth, Julie Walters, Dixie Egerickx, Maeve Dermody, Amir Wilson
Director: Marc Munden
Runtime: 100 minutes Watch on Hulu
The Shape of Water (2017)
Guillermo del Toro's Oscar-winning The Shape of the Water stars Sally Hawkins as Elisa, a mute janitorial worker at a top-secret government facility in Baltimore, 1962. With the Cold War hanging heavy in the air, Colonel Richard Strickland (Michael Shannon) plans on using an aquatic humanoid (Doug Jones) he discovered in South America as some kind of armament against the Russians.
As Elisa develops a romantic connection with the creature, she formulates a plan of her own, with the help of co-worker Zelda (Octavia Spencer) and next-door neighbor, Giles (Richard Jenkins). With an ensemble of great performances, mesmerizing cinematography, and a story with a ton of heart, The Shape of Water more than earned its Best Picture laurel.
Rotten Tomatoes: 92%
Stars: Sally Hawkins, Michael Shannon, Richard Jenkins
Director: Guillermo del Toro
Runtime: 123 minutes
In this alternative origin story of the ever-nimble Peter Pan, an orphaned Pan (Levi Miller) comes of age in turn-of-the-century London. After being captured by a band of airborne pirates, Pan and other orphans are kidnapped and whisked off to Neverland to mine for pixie dust for the wretched Captain Blackbeard (Hugh Jackman). Escaping Blackbeard's clutches, with the help of fellow captive James Hook (Garrett Hedlund), the pair join forces with Tiger Lily (Rooney Mara) to save Neverland from Blackbeard and his goons. Pan doesn't do anything too significant in reshaping the J.M.
Barrie mythos, but it's a majestic fantasy flick with colorful set pieces and a tremendous score.
Rotten Tomatoes: 27%
Stars: Hugh Jackman, Rooney Mara, Garrett Hedlund
Director: Guillermo del Toro
Runtime: 111 minutes Watch on Hulu
Gemini Man (2019)
Disillusioned with life as a top assassin, Henry Brogan (Will Smith) throws in the towel on his violent career.
That is until a cloned, younger version of himself takes up arms against him. The mysterious doppelganger is quick and tactile, just as Henry was in his glory days of killing. It'll take everything Henry's got to evade sudden death by his own hands.
A loaded action flick set against a fantasy backdrop, Gemini Man isn't Oscar-worthy by any means but doesn't disappoint when it comes to hard-hitting, gunslinging action.
Rotten Tomatoes: 26%
Stars: Will Smith, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Clive Owen
Director: Ang Lee
Runtime: 117 minutes Watch on Hulu
I Kill Giants (2015)
Based on Kelly and Ken Niimura's 2008 graphic novel of the same name, I Kill Giants stars Madison Wolfe as Barbara Thorson, a preteen obsessed with fantasy lore.
Lost in a world of her own, Barbara believes that terrifying giants are due to wreak havoc on her town. Building traps and weapons to defend herself from the titans, she must also contend with bullying and other public-school drama -- unwanted distractions from the mythic besieging that awaits her community. Led by a powerhouse performance from Wolfe, I Kill Giants feels like a cult film that's been around forever and loved by genre fans the world over.
With mesmerizing CGI and a solid story, the film more than earns its place in this month's roundup.
Rotten Tomatoes: 78%
Stars: Zoe Saldana, Imogen Poots, Jennifer Ehle, Madison Wolfe, Noel Clarke
Director: Anders Walter
Runtime: 106 minutes Watch on Hulu
The Secret Life of Walter Mitty (2013)
Walter Mitty (Ben Stiller) leads an unfulfilling life as a negative assets manager for Life magazine.
Disenchanted with his role, he daydreams of an adventurous life where he reigns supreme and everyone knows his name. As Life prepares to move to an exclusively digital format, the company sends Walter on a journey across the world to capture the "quintessential" image for the magazine's final cover. Ben Stiller shines as the titular character, a subtle performance that meshes nicely with the film and short-story author James Thurber's larger-than-life narrative.
Rotten Tomatoes: 51%
Stars: Ben Stiller, Kristen Wiig, Shirley MacLaine, Adam Scott, Kathryn Hahn
Director: Ben Stiller
Runtime: 114 minutes Watch on Hulu
The Princess Bride (1987)
In the magical kingdom of Florin, the fair Princess Buttercup (Robin Wright) is forced to wed the dastardly Prince Humperdinck (Chris Sarandon). When she's kidnapped by a band of thieves before her wedding, her one true love, Westley (Cary Elwes), begins a heroic journey to rescue the princess in this classic fairytale fantasy flick.
Adapted from screenwriter William Goldman's 1973 novel of the same name, The Princess Bride is every bit as dazzling and memorable as it was when it first hit cinema screens more than three decades ago. Harkening back to the whimsy of classic Hollywood spectacles like Zorro and Robin Hood, The Princess Bride isn't afraid to be bold and playful, which is why we all still love it today.
Rotten Tomatoes: 97%
Stars: Cary Elwes, Robin Wright, Mandy Patinkin, Andre the Giant
Director: Rob Reiner
Runtime: 98 minutes