10 best Hulu originals to watch right now

Hulu‘s original content has catapulted in recent years. Although its exclusive movie selection is still slim, its original shows are well worth paying attention to. Winning awards left, right and center and attracting some of Hollywood’s hottest talent, the best Hulu originals range from shocking true-crime series to dystopian depictions of our future. Most genres are covered, whether you’re a fan of mysteries, into slow-burning dramas or looking for a more lighthearted watch.

Again, the only thing you’ll struggle to find is a huge choice of movies to browse. There are mainly horror movies and comedies in the film department, but more showstoppers are said to be on the way. Keep reading for the lowdown on 10 of the best Hulu original series and movies the platform has to offer right now. Check out our in-depth Hulu review, too.

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How we evaluated the best Hulu original content

To determine which original content is truly the best, we considered a few important factors. First, we looked at the reviews, and not just the opinions of professional critics on IMDb. We scoured customer reviews published on Hulu and consulted the Tomatometer, too, in order to see what audiences really thought about Hulu’s various efforts. Finally, we delved into award nominations and wins. After all, the more awards a show or movie has, the more gripping it’s likely to be.

5 of the best Hulu original movies

The majority, if not all, of Hulu’s original movies are recent releases. That doesn’t mean they’re not worth your while, but it does mean there’s a small selection to choose from. Below, you’ll find a rundown of the top five original films to kick back and relax, laugh or scream to. From touching comedies to chilling thrillers, Hulu’s exclusive movies really are attempting to please everyone. Head here for more great movies to watch on Hulu.

Big Time Adolescence (2020)

  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 85%
  • Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score: Not yet available
  • Length: 91 minutes
  • Rating: R
  • Featured actors: Griffin Gluck, Pete Davidson 

Mo and Zeke are best friends. But there’s one big problem: Mo is a totally innocent 16-year-old trying to make it through high school, while Zeke is a college dropout with a career in drug dealing. When Zeke decides to become Mo’s mentor, the fresh-faced teen is thrust into a life of partying. But that won’t last long if his dad gets his way.

The Binge (2020)

  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 21%
  • Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score: 85%
  • Length: 98 minutes
  • Rating: TV-MA
  • Featured actors: Vince Vaughn, Skyler Gisondo, Dexter Darden

In a more comedic take on The Purge, The Binge is set in a dystopian future where alcohol and drugs are illegal — except for one night a year. Griffin, Hags and Andrew are three 18-year-olds who have been waiting a long time for The Binge and are determined to live out their wildest fantasies. But will their family and principal get in their way? And will they remain friends after the craziest few hours of their lives?

Little Monsters (2019)

  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 80%
  • Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score: 100%
  • Length: 93 minutes
  • Rating: R
  • Featured actors: Lupita Nyong’o, Alexander England, Josh Gad

If you’re looking for a fresh zombie flick, try Little Monsters. Oscar Winner Lupita Nyong’o plays a kindergarten teacher who makes it her mission to protect her class from a ravenous horde of zombies. Thanks to a partnership with a musician and TV personality, you can expect a healthy dose of romance and comedy alongside plenty of guts and gore.

Palm Springs (2020)

  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 94%
  • Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score: 88%
  • Length: 90 minutes
  • Rating: R
  • Featured actors: Andy Samberg, Cristin Milioti, J.K. Simmons

Groundhog Day meets the world of romcoms in this heartwarming and hilarious Hulu original. Maid of honor Sarah wishes she could be anything else while Nyles hasn’t got a care in the world. But when they both meet at a Palm Springs wedding and find themselves stuck in a time loop, things begin to change. The pair must come together to find a way out or be forced to relive the same day again and again. Will there be romance, or will it all end in chaos?

Wounds (2019)

  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 51%
  • Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score: 14%
  • Length: 95 minutes
  • Rating: R
  • Featured actors: Armie Hammer, Zazie Beetz, Dakota Johnson

When a bunch of underage college kids leave a phone in a bar, bartender Armie Hammer takes it home. Many disturbing images later, and he is catapulted into a gruesome and anxiety-inducing tale that affects his relationship, job and everything in between. 

5 of the best Hulu original shows

You may know Hulu for its award-winning original shows like The Act and The Handmaid’s Tale. Well, there’s plenty more where they came from. Many of the streaming service’s best series feature world-renowned acting talent or were based on bestselling books, guaranteeing you a marathon viewing session to remember. Here are five of the very best shows exclusive to Hulu. For more brilliant series, check out our longer Hulu shows list.

The Act (2019)

  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 89%
  • Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score: 92%
  • Number of seasons: 1
  • Rating: TV-MA
  • Featured actors: Patricia Arquette, Joey King, Chloë Sevigny

This real-life tale sees a seemingly ill girl, Gypsy Blanchard, attempting to escape her stifling mother’s clutches. As Gypsy’s determination continues, the life she thought she knew begins to unravel, revealing a shocking truth. But Dee Dee (her mother) doesn’t want to let Gypsy go; a move that will end in an untimely death. 

Castle Rock (2018)

  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 88%
  • Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score: 80%
  • Number of seasons: 2
  • Rating: TV-MA
  • Featured actors: Bill Skarsgård, Sissy Spacek, Lizzy Caplan

This psychological horror series is based in Stephen King’s favorite town, Castle Rock, Maine. When a death-row attorney is requested to help a mysterious man left in a cage underneath Shawshank Prison, sinister events begin to unfold. Prepare to find out who the imprisoned stranger really is and what the town of Castle Rock has been hiding all along.

The Handmaid’s Tale (2017)

  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 88%
  • Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score: 78%
  • Number of seasons: 3
  • Rating: TV-MA
  • Featured actors: Elisabeth Moss, Samira Wiley, Joseph Fiennes

Based on Margaret Atwood’s renowned book, The Handmaid’s Tale transports viewers to Gilead: a part of the US that has changed for the worse. Women are now treated as property; their sole purpose is to repopulate the country. The most fertile are forced into a form of slavery, but one handmaid, Offred, is determined to find her way out and back to the life she once knew.

Little Fires Everywhere (2020)

  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 78%
  • Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score: 58%
  • Number of seasons: 1
  • Rating: TV-MA
  • Featured actors: Reese Witherspoon, Kerry Washington, Joshua Jackson

Celeste Ng’s bestselling novel forms the basis of this 1990s-set drama. Starring Reese Witherspoon and Kerry Washington, the series follows the seemingly perfect Richardson family and a mother-daughter duo who cause more than a few issues. Follow their secrets and identity struggles as they realize their fates are closely tied.

PEN15 (2019)

  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 97%
  • Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score: 84%
  • Number of seasons: 2
  • Rating: TV-MA
  • Featured actors: Maya Erskine, Anna Konkle

Maya Erskine and Anna Konkle star as their 13-year-old selves as they rewind to the year 2000. In the midst of actual teenagers, they relive the trials and tribulations of middle school, from girl drama to illicit temptations. It’s school like you’ve never seen it before.

How to watch Hulu original content

Finding Hulu’s original content is easy. First, you’ll need to sign up for the platform if you haven’t already. All of the original content is available via the on-demand plan, which comes with a 30-day free trial. (Alternatively, you can try Hulu’s live TV plan for free for seven days.) Once you’re logged in, all you need to do is head to the Originals tab to see a list of every exclusive title the service currently has. They’re handily split into various categories like kids, documentaries and comedies. Or you can go ahead and browse the entire A to Z of Hulu originals.

You’re probably wondering which devices work with Hulu. Well, the list is pretty lengthy. Here’s every compatible device:

  • Amazon Fire tablets
  • Amazon Fire TV devices
  • Android phones and tablets
  • Android TVs (select models)
  • Apple TV (4th generation or later)
  • Chromecast
  • Echo Show
  • iOS phones and tablets
  • LG TVs (select models)
  • Nintendo Switch
  • PlayStation 4
  • Roku devices (select models)
  • Samsung TVs (select models)
  • VIZIO SmartCast TVs
  • Web browsers (both on Mac and PC)
  • Xbox 360 and Xbox One

Our hot take

Hulu was once known for its ability to stream popular network shows and movies from years gone by. But the streaming giant has evolved to take on rivals like Netflix in the original content category. Although its original movie selection still needs some work, Hulu has enough exclusive shows to keep you occupied for months. What’s more, plenty are award-winning, meaning you don’t have to worry about the quality.

*Current as of October 2020

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Get 65+ channels along with a library of 80,000+ TV episodes and movies on-demand! Bundle with Disney+ and ESPN+ for even more great content.

Lauren Sharkey