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Hulu’s best “just released on our platform” movies this week include original comedy Self Reliance, feel-good sports biopic King Richard, and the truly jaw-dropping The Last Circus

Self Reliance (2024)

This Hulu original thriller-comedy asks: What if you were forced into a dark-web reality show where a gang of trained assassins were paid to hunt you, but they can’t kill you if you’re within a few feet of another person? I’d just break out the handcuffs and have an uncomfortable few weeks with my neighbor Gary, but hero Tommy is a lonely, single guy who is prone to outlandish lies, so it’s tougher for him. The few people he is close to don’t even believe the scenario is real, and no one wants to go along with his seeming delusion. It’s a preposterous premise, but it’s pulled off here with charm and wit thanks to a funny script and likable cast, especially first-time director/star Jake Johnson.

Barbarian (2022)

If you have any interest in horror movies, you must see Barbarian. The movie’s “there’s something spooky in the basement” premise might have been cliché if Barbarian didn’t subvert narrative expectations at every turn, keeping viewers off balance throughout the film. The secret in the basement, by the way, is more than spooky. It’s uniquely, viscerally dreadful.

King Richard (2021)

In this sports biopic, Will Smith plays Richard Williams, father of tennis phenoms Venus and Serena Williams. Smith turns in one of the best performances of his career (and earned an Academy Award for Best Actor) as his daughters’ coach in this inspirational story that examines family, dedication, and the sacrifices that come from the pursuit of excellence.

Miranda’s Victim (2023)

We all know the “you have the right to remain silent” recitation cops give suspected criminals, but the crime behind the Supreme Court decision that defined our Miranda rights is way more obscure. Miranda’s Victims tells the story of the 1963 kidnapping and rape of 18-year-old Patricia Weir and subsequent trial and imprisonment of Ernesto Miranda. Weir was first victimized by Miranda, and then by the court system. Miranda was a victim too, but a much different kind of victim—guilty, but freed from prison when the Supreme Court issued the famous decision after determining his confession was inadmissible. Miranda’s Victims tells a complex story carefully and features a stellar cast, including Abigail Breslin, Luke Wilson, Kyle MacLachlan, Ryan Phillippe, Mireille Enos, and Donald Sutherland.

The Last Circus (2010)

Director Álex de la Iglesia’s The Last Circus opens with the performers from a flea-bitten circus being conscripted to fight in the Spanish Civil War, big shoes and all, and it gets stranger from there. You could call The Last Circus a hyper-violent, heartbreaking, romantic-black-comedy-war-horror-social-satire film where a happy clown and a sad clown battle to the death for the woman they both love, or you could say The Last Circus defies classification. Either way, it’s an explosion of a movie that I guarantee is like nothing you’ve seen before.

Imitation Game (2014)

In a role he was practically born for, Benedict Cumberbatch plays pioneering computer scientist Alan Turing in this historical thriller. Turing, along with a cadre of other cryptology nerds and outcasts, legit saved the world by cracking the Enigma Code during World War 2, and was rewarded with years of post-war persecution and abuse for being gay. The Imitation Game mostly sticks to the more exciting “we’ve gotta break the code!” part of Turing’s life story as opposed to his depressing later days.

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