Brad Pitt and Morgan Freeman in 'Se7en'

Classic ‘80s and ‘90s Movies Coming to and Leaving Hulu in September

Looking to binge a couple of bold-colored ‘80s flicks about underdog protagonists? Are you a fan of energized, somewhat melodramatic performances like Arnold Schwarzenegger in Terminator or Molly Ringwald in The Breakfast Club and Pretty in Pink

Or, are you more of a ‘90s aficionado — with a bias toward gritty realism and glossy fantasies that delve into the dangers of technology, existentialism, and personal identity? From The Matrix and Pulp Fiction to American Beauty, there was a shared self-awareness throughline that seemed to define the ‘90s cinematic zeitgeist. 

If you’re looking to stream some ‘80s and ‘90s classics, Hulu has you covered this September. Yet, be sure to start binging the ones that are scheduled to disappear at the end of the month!

‘Se7en’ (1995)  | Coming September 1

The crime mystery Se7en — featuring an all-star ensemble, including Brad Pitt, Morgan Freeman, Gwyneth Paltrow, and Kevin Spacey — creates a dark and brooding atmosphere to dive into the twisted motives of a serial killer. The film’s use of the seven deadly sins as a thematic framework adds a moral complex to the suspenseful saga,  and it works to reflect that classic ‘90s exploration of societal decay and existential crises. 

‘True Lies’ (1994)  | Coming September 1

Who could forget Jamie Lee Curtis’s iconic strip tease in True Lies? The soaking wet, slicked-back hair. Those wild and seductive dance moves in black stilettos. The little displays of anxiety that hint at her inexperience and feigned comfort. It’s cinematic excellence. 

The film perfectly blends action-packed espionage with laugh-out-loud comedy, making it a rewatchable, high-octane Blockbuster from famed director James Cameron. The film also notably highlights family dynamics amidst the protagonist’s double life as a spy — adding a layer of relatability while examining gender roles and work-life balance in domestic relationships. 

‘Die Hard’ (1988)  | Leaving September 30

Is it a Christmas movie? Is it not a Christmas movie? Does it matter? It’s Bruce Willis at his badass finest. We love a lone hero taking on overwhelming odds (as did 1980s cinema). A single cop on a mission to thwart a terrorist organization in an ultra-confined space…we’ll suspend our disbelief and hop on the action-packed ride. Yippee Ki Yay, Mother F*cker. 

‘Father of the Bride’ (1991) | Leaving September 30

A Heartwarming exploration of family dynamics and generational shifts, Father of the Bride perfectly balances sincere, tear-jerking scenes with comedic reprieves. And, with help from a glorious Steve Martin, it seamlessly finds its way into our hearts and nestles there for all eternity. This is such a nostalgic and relatable viewing experience for so many, as it navigates what it means to let go and embrace the future. 

‘I Know What You Did Last Summer’ (1997) | Leaving September 30 

The ‘90s went full-fledged with teen horror movies. The Craft, Urban Legend, Scream, Disturbing Behavior, The Faculty. The list is endless.  I Know What You Did Last Summer is a secret-fueled narrative with heapings of teenage angst working to propel a dark and twisted mystery. Moral crises, accountability, the threat of retribution. It’s got all the ingredients to keep you hooked — even if it is a cheesy, by-the-book slasher. But hey, when you put on a teen-centric ‘90s fright, aren’t you hoping for a bit of ridiculous melodrama and spoofy sensibility? 

‘Mrs. Doubtfire’ (1993) | Leaving September 30

Back to family dynamics. This time, let’s center on the challenges of divorce and place a perfectly cast Robin Williams in the leading role to ensure the film is just as humorous as it is heartwarming. This father will go to any lengths to stay close to his children — he will cross-dress as a Nanny with a high-pitched Scottish accent to stay in their lives. He’ll cook. He’ll clean. He’ll make sure homework gets done. And he’ll do it all with vivacity and charm. Williams gets to do his shtick, and though the film may get overly sentimental at times, Williams knows how to get a laugh…over and over again at every turn.  

‘St. Elmo’s Fire’ (1985) | Leaving September 30 

A tale of post-college life, St. Elmo’s Fire follows a group of friends as they navigate reality after the safe confines of the educational institution. Dilemmas surrounding love, career, personal identity, and more surge to the surface in this coming-of-age drama. The movie spotlights the ‘80s adolescent’s pursuit of self-discovery as the children of the silent generation. 

‘Don’t Tell Mom the Babysitter’s Dead’ (1991) | Leaving September 30 

Don’t Tell Mom the Babysitter’s Dead centers on a group of kids forced to fend for themselves when their babysitter spontaneously passes away. The film is filled to the brim with outlandish hijinks and escapades reminiscent of the kids-in-control premise akin to Home Alone. The movie mixes humor with relatable situations to tackle themes like personal growth and the exploration of independence. 

‘Wild Things’ (1998) | Leaving September 30

Yet another provocative journey into deception, manipulation, and intrigue, Wild Things is a twisty-turny web of schemes that emphasizes the ‘90s fascination with scandalous storytelling. Think Cruel Intentions, Basic Instinct, and The Net. 

Themes of wealth, power, hidden agendas, and more come to a boil as unexpected alliances merge in this often-erotic neo-noir thriller chronicling the interactions between a hunky guidance counselor, a wealthy heiress, and a cunning police officer. 

About the author

Josh Lezmi

Josh is an entertainment writer and editor at Thought Catalog.