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5 great Oscar-winning movies you need to watch on Hulu

Three men stand in a crowded hall in Dune.
Warner Bros.

We’ve reached the end of awards season, with the 96th Academy Awards on tap for this Sunday, March 10. The best films of 2023 will be honored at the 2024 Oscars. Films like OppenheimerPoor Things, and Killers of the Flower Moon are looking to take their place in history as Oscar winners.

To celebrate the Oscars, we’ve gathered some previous winners that are available to stream on Hulu. While none of these movies won Best Picture, their victories in other categories, like Best Original Song or Best Visual Effects, qualify them as Oscar winners nonetheless. Our picks include a remake of a beloved musical romance, a sci-fi adaptation of a beloved novel, and an awe-inspiring documentary.

A Star Is Born (2018)

Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper in A Star is Born
Warner Bros. Pictures

Bradley Cooper established himself as an ambitious writer-director with his terrific adaptation of A Star Is Born. Jackson Maine (Cooper) is an aging rock star whose best days are behind him. After playing a festival, Jackson stumbles into a bar and meets Ally (Lady Gaga), a talented, but shy singer-songwriter. It’s love at first sight as Jackson takes Ally under his wing and helps her career take off. As Ally’s popularity soars, Jackson struggles to silence his inner demons, threatening his relationship with the rising star.

Thanks to incredible lead performances, Cooper’s remarkable direction, and fantastic musical numbers, A Star Is Born is a modern classic. The fact Green Book won Best Picture over A Star Is Born is a tragedy, and Rami Malek beating Cooper in Best Actor looks worse as time passes. Out of its eight nominations, A Star Is Born received one Oscar: Best Original Song for the show-stopping duet Shallow.

Stream A Star Is Born on Hulu.

Free Solo (2018)

A rock climber makes his ascent on a wall.
National Geographic

Alex Honnold, one of the world’s most renowned rock climbers, set out to do the impossible: complete a free solo climb of El Capitan. For those unfamiliar with the term, free soloing means to climb without ropes or protective gear. To recap: Honnold wishes to climb a 3,000-foot wall in Yosemite National Park with only climbing shoes and chalk. Failing is not an option because if Honnold falls, he will die.

Free Solo is as impressive of an accomplishment as you’ll ever see. The footage captured by directors Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi and Jimmy Chin is jaw-dropping. The anxiety-inducing scenes of Honnold on the wall will take your breath away. However, the real genius of Free Solo are the moments off the wall, as the audience sees the countless hours of preparation and sacrifice it takes to achieve greatness. Free Solo won Best Documentary Feature at the 2019 Oscars.

Stream Free Solo on Hulu.

Dune (2021)

Zendaya and Timothée Chalamet as Chani and Paul looking to the distance in Dune.
Warner Bros. Pictures

With Dune: Part Two in theaters, now is the perfect time to revisit the first film in the planned trilogy, Dune. Paul Atreides (Timothée Chalamet) is the smart and talented son of Duke Leto (Oscar Isaac) and Lady Jessica (Rebecca Ferguson). By the Emperor’s orders, Leto is named the new fief holder of Arrakis, a dangerous desert planet that produces the galaxy’s most vital resource, called “the spice.” Leto accepts the offer and moves House Atreides to Arrakis, with plans to broker peace with the Fremen, the natives who live in the desert.

Meanwhile, House Harkonnen conspires to retake Arrakis and destroy House Atreides. Thrust into the center of the battle is Paul, who holds the key to uniting Arrakis and freeing the Fremen. Dune is a visual and technical achievement that showcases Denis Villeneuve’s directorial strengths as an expert worldbuilder. Nominated for 10 Oscars, Dune won six, including Best Visual Effects, Best Production Design, Best Cinematography, Best Film Editing, Best Sound, and Best Original Score.

Stream Dune on Hulu.

The Abyss (1989)

An otherworldly encounter in The Abyss.
20th Century Studios

James Cameron’s résumé is loaded with sci-fi masterpieces, groundbreaking sequels, and three of the four highest-grossing films of all time. Given all of Cameron’s high-ptrofile blockbusters it’s easy for his other very good films, like the The Abyss, to get lost in the shuffle. After an American submarine sinks, the government sends a group of Navy SEALS, led by Hiram Coffey (Michael Biehn), to an underwater drilling site called Deep Core to investigate the crash. The site is run by the formerly married duo of Bud (Ed Harris) and Lindsey Brigman (Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio).

Strange occurrences begin to occur as they look for the submarine. The SEALs believe Russia is behind the disturbances, while the oil workers think it could be something more supernatural. There is no better underwater filmmaker than Cameron, who successfully uses every aspect of the setting to create a suspenseful, claustrophobic thriller. Cameron’s visuals and special effects in The Abyss are stunning. The Academy agreed, awarding the Oscar for Best Visual Effects to The Abyss.

Stream The Abyss on Hulu.

Dirty Dancing (1987)

A male fance hoists a woman in the air.
Vestron Pictures

Nobody puts Baby in a corner. Do you want charisma, sex appeal, and confidence? Look no further than Patrick Swayze in Dirty Dancing. It’s the summer of 1963, and teenager Baby Houseman (Jennifer Grey) heads to the Catskills for a vacation with her family. While exploring the resort, Baby meets Johnny Castle (Patrick Swayze), the confident and handsome dance instructor. When Johnny loses his dance partner, Baby volunteers to step in. What starts as a dance partnership quickly transforms into a romantic relationship as Johnny and Baby fall in love.

Not everyone approves of this relationship, including Baby’s father, Jake (Jerry Orbach), who looks down on Johnny due to his low economic status. It all culminates with one final dance at the end of the summer, a performance that Baby hopes will change her father’s opinion of Johnny. Dirty Dancing is Romeo and Juliet (minus the suicide) with dancing instead of poetry. It’s a hot, sweaty romantic drama with excellent choreography and a memorable soundtrack. (I’ve Had) The Time of My Life, the climatic song during the talent show, won the Oscar for Best Original Song.

Stream Dirty Dancing on Hulu.

Editors' Recommendations

Dan Girolamo
Dan is a passionate and multitalented content creator with experience in pop culture, entertainment, and sports. Throughout…
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