20 Best Movies on Hoopla Right Now

Updated January 2, 2022 • Staff

Hoopla may be more known for audiobooks, but the 100%-free platform also has hundreds of top-notch movie titles on offer. Whether you’re looking to get lost a sci-fi blockbluster, psychological thriller, or just a bit of light fun, you’ve come to the right streaming platform. Here’s our round-up of the best movies now streaming on Hoopla.

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20.

Headhunters (2012)

Fasten your seatbelts because this nasty little chase film will jerk the wheel when you least expect it, featuring balls-to-the-wall action and lots of Norwegian humor – dark humor that is. Based on a novel from the country's most famous crime writer, Jo Nesbø, Headhunters is brutal, insane, and incredibly good. This twisting, turning thriller tells the story of a corporate recruiter (Aksel Hennie), who has a secret side hustle as a nightly art thief. He ends up being pursued by the charismatic Clas Greve, a Dutch businessman played by none other than GoT-star Nikolaj Coster-Waldau. And this plot summary is as far as you will get without the whole thing swerving into another direction. Headhunters does not slow down unless it wants to destabilise you further with simmering suspense. Like a Lars von Trier on speed, expect all the raw colors, emotion, and slightly off-kilter characters you want from a Norwegian production – and brilliant entertainment!

Genre: Action, Crime, Mystery, Thriller
Actor: Aksel Hennie, Baard Owe, Eivind Sander, Joachim Rafaelsen, Julie R. Ølgaard, Julie R. Olgaard, Kyrre Haugen Sydness, Mats Mogeland, Mattis Herman Nyquist, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, Nils Jørgen Kaalstad, Nils Jorgen Kaalstad, Reidar Sørensen, Reidar Sorensen, Synnøve Macody Lund, Synnøve Macody Lund, Valentina Alexeeva
Director: Morten Tyldum
Rating: R
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19.

A Guide to Recognizing Your Saints (2006)

Not only is this multi-award-winning drama seriously star-studded, Robert Downey Jr., Rosario Dawson, Channing Tatum, and Shia LaBeouf also deliver superb performances. With two Sundance Awards and many other nominations in its pocket, A Guide to Recognizing Your Saints is based on the eponymous memoir by author, director, and musician, Dito Montiel, who recalls his violent childhood on the mean streets of Queens in the 1980s (LaBeouf plays the young Dito), as he visits his ailing father after 15 years away in Los Angeles (Downey Jr. plays present-day Dito). It is also real-life Dito's directorial debut, recalling the loose, improvisational style of 70s cinema a'la Scorcese. The powerful plot is told through flashbacks and fourth-wall bending monologues, while the eccentric directing style makes for a raw and immediate experience. The energy of this coming-of-age drama is off the charts!

Genre: Crime, Drama
Actor: Adam Scarimbolo, Chance Kelly, Channing Tatum, Chazz Palminteri, Dianne Wiest, Eléonore Hendricks, Eric Roberts, Federico Castelluccio, Laila Liliana Garro, Martin Compston, Melonie Diaz, Olga Merediz, Robert Downey Jr., Rosario Dawson, Scott Michael Campbell, Shia LaBeouf
Director: Dito Montiel
Rating: R
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18.

I Am Not Your Negro (2017)

In a stunning and vivid (re-) introduction to the Black intellectual, author, and social critic, James Baldwin, this movie digs very deep into the American subconscious and racial history. It tells the story of America by telling the story of “the negro” in America, based on a book Baldwin started to write, which would have studied the famous assassinations of three of Baldwin's friends: Medgar Evers, Malcolm X, and Martin Luther King, Jr. He wrote about 30 pages before he passed away in 1987. Haitian director and activist Raoul Peck picked up the project and made it into a movie, earning him an Academy Award nomination. Narrated by none other than Samuel L. Jackson, I Am Not Your Negro highlights, at the same time, Baldwin's genius, his unique eloquence, and the beauty of his soul as a human being. It is a sad truth that Baldwin's denouncements feel as relevant today as they did 50 years ago. As such, this movie serves as a sobering reminder of how far America still has to go. A mesmerizing experience!

Genre: Documentary
Actor: Bob Dylan, Dick Cavett, H. Rap Brown, Harry Belafonte, James Baldwin, Joey Starr, Malcolm X, Marlon Brando, Martin Luther King, Ray Charles, Robert F. Kennedy, Samuel L. Jackson, Sidney Poitier
Director: Raoul Peck
Rating: PG-13
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17.

BPM

Autobiographical in nature, 120 BPM is French screenwriter Robin Campillo's first feature film. It revolves around the Parisian chapter of the AIDS advocacy group ACT UP, which Campillo was a member of in the early 1990s, and the love between Nathan, the group's newest member, who is HIV negative, and Sean, one of its founding and more radical members, who is positive and suffers the consequences of contracting AIDS. Using fake blood and spectacular direct action, ACT UP advocated more and better research of treatment, prevention, and awareness. This was at a time when many, implicitly or explicitly, viewed AIDS as a gay disease, even as a punishment for the gay community's propensity to pleasure and partying. The latter is reflected by the film's title, 120 bpm being the average number of beats per minute of a house track. Arnaud Rebotini's original score echoes the ecstasy-driven house music hedonism of the time with some effective original cuts, albeit with a melancholic streak. Because, for all the love, friendship, and emotion of the ACT UP crew that BPM so passionately portrays, anger and sadness pervade the lives of these young people as the lack of effective treatment threatens to claim the lives of their loved ones.

Genre: Drama
Actor: Adèle Haenel, Aloïse Sauvage, Antoine Reinartz, Arnaud Valois, Catherine Vinatier, Coralie Russier, Félix Maritaud, Nahuel Pérez Biscayart, Saadia Bentaïeb, Sabrina Aliane, Samuel Churin
Director: Robin Campillo
Rating: Not Rated
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16.

Detachment (2012)

A very poetic film by Tony Kaye (American History X) about an English Literature teacher (Adrien Brody - "The Pianist") who only works as a substitute in schools which are located in very poor urban areas. The reason behind his choice is that he doesn't want to bond too much with his students and colleagues because he is trying to control his dark emotions about life and the triviality of our existences (although it sounds depressing it is absolutely not). He also takes care of his last family connection, his grandfather, to whom he is very close and who lives in an elderly home. Unsurprisingly, their relationship is very emotional and deep. Every time you think about your existence, your place in the world, your interactions with other people; watch Detachment.

Genre: Drama
Actor: Adrien Brody, Betty Kaye, Blythe Danner, Bryan Cranston, Celia Au, Christina Hendricks, Isiah Whitlock Jr., James Caan, Josh Pais, Louis Zorich, Lucy Liu, Marcia Gay Harden, Ronen Rubinstein, Sami Gaye, Sami Gayle, Tim Blake Nelson, William Petersen
Director: Tony Kaye
Rating: Not Rated
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15.

Mr. Nobody (2009)

In a world where mortality has been overcome, people watch in awe as the as the 118-year-old Nemo Nobody, the last mortal on Earth, nears his end. He is interviewed about his life, recounting it at three points in time: as a 9-year-old after his parents divorced, when he first fell in love at 15, and as an adult at 34. The three stories seemingly contradict each other. Utilizing non-linear cinematography, Belgian director Jaco Van Dormael presents each of these branching pathways as a version of what could have been. The result is a complex, entangled narrative. That and the movie's ensemble cast, featuring Jared Leto, Sarah Polley, and Diane Kruger, have turned Mr. Nobody into a cult classic. The soundtrack, featuring several of the beautifully restrained music by Eric Satie, is also considered a masterpiece. While it is surely not for everybody, this is trippy, intimate, and existential sci-fi at its best.

Genre: Drama, Fantasy, Mystery, Romance, Science Fiction
Actor: Allan Corduner, Audrey Giacomini, Ben Mansfield, Carlo Mestroni, Catherine Demaiffe, Christelle Cornil, Clare Stone, Daniel Brochu, Daniel Mays, David Kennedy, David Schaal, Diane Kruger, Jan Hammenecker, Jared Leto, Jenna Wheeler-Hughes, Juno Temple, Laurent Capelluto, Leni Parker, Linh Dan Pham, Marc Zinga, Martin Swabey, Natasha Little, Nicholas Beveney, Philippe Godeau, Rhys Ifans, Sandrine Laroche, Sarah Polley, Toby Regbo
Director: Jaco Van Dormael
Rating: R
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14.

The Act of Killing (2012)

Joshua Oppenheimer's daring feat is a documentary unlike anything ever done. Despite it being one of the most difficult things to watch for any human being (or because of it), The Act of Killing received praise across the board, including an Academy Award nomination. Without Oppenheimer's efforts, you might have never heard of the unspeakable events that happened when, in 1965-66, Suharto overthrew the then-president of Indonesia and a gangster-led death squad killed almost a million people. Did they pay for their crimes? Quite the contrary: said gangsters went on becoming political mainstays in modern-day Indonesia, are still now heralded as heroes, and admit to all these crimes with a smile and not a hint of regret. The gruesome twist of this documentary is that Oppenheimer asks them to re-enact the killings in surreal, sadistic snuff movies inspired by the murderer's favorite action movies. You are forced to stand idly by as they re-create brutal mass murder and joke about raping a 14-year-old. However, somewhere amidst this terrifying farce, the killers, too, have fleeting moments of realization that what they're doing is wrong. If you make it through this in one piece, try watching its more victim-focused follow-up The Look of Silence. Bone-chilling but very powerful stuff.

Genre: Documentary
Actor: Anwar Congo, Haji Anif, Herman Koto, Syamsul Arifin
Director: Joshua Oppenheimer
Rating: Not Rated
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13.

What Maisie Knew (2012)

From the producers of The Kids Are Alright comes another excellent family drama starring Juliane Moore. She plays a hot-headed rock singer who battles her divorced husband, a narcissistic art dealer, expertly played by the unlikely Steeve Coogan, for custody of her daughter Maisie. When one of them marries the girl's nanny, the other rushes into marriage as well. Based on Henry James' titular novel from 1897, it tells the story of a quiet, sensitive young girl coping with being used as a pawn by egotistical parents who spite each other. It is sometimes hard to watch the girl get caught up in all this but the young actress playing Maisie, Onata Aprile, plays the part brilliantly. The screenplay adaption of the ahead-of-its-time material of the book by Nancy Doyne and Carroll Cartwright also hits every note with passion. A harrowing but powerful film.

Genre: Drama
Actor: Alexander Skarsgård, Amelia Campbell, Breanna Lakatos, Diana García, Diana García, Emma Holzer, Jesse Stone Spadaccini, Joanna Vanderham, Julianne Moore, Maddie Corman, Nadia Gan, Onata Aprile, Paddy Croft, Sadie Rae, Steve Coogan
Director: David Siegel, Scott McGehee
Rating: R
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12.

The Sea Inside (2004)

There are movies that leave you matured after you finished watching. You mature because you are forced to walk in someone's shoes and confront yourself with issues that you are not affected by. The Sea Inside is one of those movies –⁠ and won an Academy Award and a Golden Globe for it. Directed by Alejandro Amenábar, who you might know as the director of The Others, it tells the true story of Ramón Sampedro's decade-long fight for the right to end his own life. After he became quadriplegic after a diving accident, he was confined to the same bed in the same room for 26 years, except when he visited the hospital. Not an easy subject to say the least but Amenábar helps the fascinating story along with stylish directing, while Javier Bardem delivers a stellar performance to go with it. Thanks also to Ramón Sampedro's sunny real-life nature, this heart-wrenching watch also has plenty of uplifting moments.

Genre: Drama
Actor: Alberto Amarilla, Alberto Jiménez, Alberto Jiménez, Andrea Occhipinti, Belén Rueda, Belén Rueda, Celso Bugallo, Clara Segura, Federico Pérez Rey, Francesc Garrido, Javier Bardem, Joan Dalmau, Josep Maria Pou, Lola Dueñas, Lola Dueñas, Mabel Rivera, Marta Larralde, Tamar Novas
Director: Alejandro Amenábar
Rating: PG-13
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11.

A Man Called Ove (2015)

Based on Fredrick Backman's 2012 best-selling book of the same name, this Swedish hit comedy-drama introduces us to Ove, an elderly man who feels like his life is over. After losing his wife, the short-fused retiree spends his days grumpily enforcing block association rules in his neighborhood. He is your typical unhappy, old neighbor, somebody you would try to avoid. One new family does not give up and befriends Ove, played by an impeccable Rolf Lassgård, despite his best intentions to put them off. As the plot unfolds, however, you learn more about the story behind the man, and, in classic walk-a-mile-in-his-shoes fashion, start to find him rather loveable. After all, nobody is born grumpy and cynical. Naturally, this is a sweet and sentimental film. But an amazing lead performance and a charming, darkly funny script rescue it from drifting too far off the shore. The result is a wholesome, fun, and thoughtful dramedy with a beautiful message.

Genre: Comedy, Drama
Actor: Anna Granath, Bahar Pars, Borje Lundberg, Chatarina Larsson, Filip Berg, Ida Engvoll, Jerker Fahlström, Johan Widerberg, Klas Wiljergard, Poyan Karimi, Rolf Lassgård, Simon Reithner, Stefan Godicke, Tobias Almborg
Director: Hannes Holm
Rating: PG-13
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