Only a few days remain in 2020, but Hulu subscribers still have a chance to catch some great movies before the end of the year. It pays to be one of the top streaming services in the business. Even in the shadow of Disney+, Hulu has an amazing lineup of movies from the past and present.
Unfortunately, Hulu also has a lot of turnover with its films. If you don’t keep up with the dates, you could miss out on the flicks you want to see. But don’t worry folks, we’ve got you covered with a list of the best movies leaving Hulu at the end of December.
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Crimson Tide (1995)
The mid-90s thriller, Crimson Tide, features amazing performances from Denzel Washington and Gene Hackman. Washington plays Lieutenant Commander Ron Hunter, the Executive Officer serving under Hackman’s Captain Frank Ramsey on a nuclear submarine, the USS Alabama. As tensions on the sub reach a boiling point, Hunter defies Ramsey when orders come in to launch missiles at radical Russian nationalists without final authorization. The loyalty of the crew is split between the two men, and their battle of wills brings the ship to the brink of disaster.
Rotten Tomatoes: 88%
Stars: Denzel Washington, Gene Hackman, George Dzundza
Director: Tony Scott
Runtime: 116 minutes
The Bourne Identity (2002)
Nearly two decades ago, director Doug Liman redefined the spy/action thriller genre with The Bourne Identity. Matt Damon stars as Jason Bourne, a covert CIA operative who survives grievous injuries at the expense of his memories. As the Treadstone organization tries to silence Jason, he befriends a German woman, Marie Kreutz (Franka Potente), who becomes his only true ally. Jason wants answers about who he is and what he did. But first, he’ll have to get past The Professor (Clive Owen) and other contract killers. The first-rate action and the intensity of the story have made this one a modern classic.
Rotten Tomatoes: 83%
Stars: Matt Damon, Franka Potente, Chris Cooper
Director: Doug Liman
Runtime: 119 minutes
Drugstore Cowboy (1989)
What exactly is a Drugstore Cowboy? In the context of this film, it’s Robert “Bob” Hughes (Matt Dillon), a junkie who fearlessly robs pharmacies to fuel his drug addictions. Bob’s wife, Dianne Hughes (Kelly Lynch), his best friend, Rick (James LeGros), and his girlfriend Nadine (Heather Graham), stay by his side as they ramp up their activities. However, the sudden death of one of their group forces Bob to reassess his life and get clean … if he can escape from his past and his own inner demons.
Rotten Tomatoes: 100%
Stars: Matt Dillon, Kelly Lynch, James Remar, Heather Graham
Director: Gus Van Sant
Runtime: 101 minutes
The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (2001)
Director Peter Jackson masterfully adapted J.R.R. Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings novels into a successful film trilogy. But it’s the first movie, The Fellowship of the Ring, that remains closest to our heart. Elijah Wood stars as Frodo Baggins, an unassuming Hobbit who finds himself on a desperate journey to destroy the One Ring, an object of incredible power coveted by its evil creator, Sauron. Frodo, Sam (Sean Astin), and the rest of their Fellowship are guided by the wizard, Gandalf (Ian McKellen). But not even Gandalf the Grey can prepare the party for the tragedy and hardship ahead. The Two Towers and The Return of the King are also leaving Hulu by month’s end, too.
Rotten Tomatoes: 91%
Stars: Elijah Wood, Ian McKellen, Liv Tyler, Viggo Mortensen
Director: Peter Jackson
Runtime: 178 minutes
Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome (1985)
For his final turn as “Mad” Max Rockatansky, Mel Gibson goes up against an unexpected adversary: Tina Turner’s Aunty Entity. Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome pits the two opposing forces against each other after Aunty Entity tricks Max into fighting a duel on her behalf in the dreaded arena known as Thunderdome. When Max refuses to play by her rules, Aunty Entity exiles Max and leaves him for dead. That turned out to be a mistake, as Max returns to claim vengeance one last time in the wasteland.
Rotten Tomatoes: 80%
Stars: Mel Gibson, Tina Turner, Bruce Spence
Director: George Miller, George Ogilvie
Runtime: 107 minutes
March of the Penguins (2005)
Penguins are seemingly a favorite subject for nature documentaries, but few presentations have had the power of March of the Penguins. Morgan Freeman narrates the stunning footage of the emperor penguins of Antarctica, as they desperately attempt to keep their chicks alive in the harsh winter temperatures. The titular march refers to a distance of over 60 miles that each of the chicks’ parents must cross in order to feed themselves and their child. Not all of the parents or children survive, but those that remain live on to continue the cycle year after year. It’s a brutal existence, and yet beautiful as well.
Rotten Tomatoes: 94%
Stars: Morgan Freeman
Director: Luc Jacquet
Runtime: 80 minutes
For the penultimate feature film of his storied career, director John Frankenheimer proved that he still had what it takes to create a thrilling movie. In Ronin, Robert De Niro and Jean Reno play mercenaries Sam and Vincent, respectively. Under the direction of Deirdre (Natascha McElhone), Sam and Vincent team with other operatives to pull off a deadly heist. But when the team is betrayed, the two men have only each other to rely on as their former allies try to eliminate them. The car chases in this film are particularly engaging, largely because they seem far more realistic than typical Hollywood action scenes.
Rotten Tomatoes: 67%
Stars: Robert De Niro, Jean Reno, Natascha McElhone
Director: John Frankenheimer
Runtime: 121 minutes
The Spy Who Loved Me (1977)
Several of the Bond movies are leaving Hulu this month, but we’re putting the spotlight on one of our favorites: The Spy Who Loved Me. Roger Moore’s James Bond and Barbara Bach’s Anya Amasova/Agent Triple X find themselves transformed from rivals to partners and potential lovers when a madman, Karl Stromberg (Curt Jurgens), threatens the end of civilization as we know it. But after Anya learns that James killed her previous lover in the line of duty, she vows to get her revenge upon the completion of their current mission.
Rotten Tomatoes: 80%
Stars: Roger Moore, Barbara Bach, Curd Jürgens
Director: Lewis Gilbert
Runtime: 125 minutes
A few years before graduating to the X-Men movies, James McAvoy starred in the adaptation of the Wanted comic book series. McAvoy plays Wesley Gibson, a previously meek office worker, who is recruited into an order of assassins called the Fraternity. Under the tutelage of Fox (Angelina Jolie) and Slone (Morgan Freeman), Wesley discovers that he can perform almost superhuman feats. But the truth behind the Fraternity is sinister, and Wesley soon finds himself all alone against a seemingly invincible organization.
Rotten Tomatoes: 71%
Stars: James McAvoy, Angelina Jolie, Morgan Freeman, Common
Director: Timur Bekmambetov
Runtime: 110 minutes
William Shakespeare’s Romeo & Juliet (1996)
Baz Luhrmann’s wild adaptation of William Shakespeare’s Romeo & Juliet pulls together elements of the past and present to create a world similar to our own, even when radically different. Regardless, Leonardo DiCaprio and Claire Danes faithfully recreated the doomed lovers: Romeo Montague and Juliet Capulet. Although gun fights replace the traditional swordplay, this is still the bard’s story…and the final tragedy remains.
Rotten Tomatoes: 72%
Stars: Leonardo DiCaprio, Claire Danes, Brian Dennehy
Director: Baz Luhrmann
Runtime: 120 minutes