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Roku buyer’s guide: Which Roku streaming device is right for you?

Roku buyer's guide - Roku Premiere

If you’ve done any video streaming in the past decade, odds are you’ve at least heard of Roku. The company’s set-top boxes rose to popularity alongside streaming giant Netflix, and at one point the two companies were actually connected.

Today Roku still offers set-top boxes, now with 4K streaming support, HDR, surround sound, and more. It also competes with Google’s Chromecast and Amazon’s Fire TV with its smaller streaming sticks. Roku even has deals with multiple TV manufacturers around the globe to release smart TVs under its Roku TV brand.

This means that for newcomers to Roku, it can be confusing knowing which device to buy. To help, we have put together this comprehensive Roku buyer’s guide, with information on each of the company’s offerings, as well as some background on the company and platform.

What is Roku?

what is roku

Roku is a line of set-top boxes, streaming sticks, and smart TVs that enable media streaming from a variety of online platforms. The set-top boxes paved the way for the small, inexpensive streaming sticks that millions of consumers around the world now use to watch Netflix, Hulu, Disney Plus, and others.

The first Roku device, released in 2008, was developed in collaboration with Netflix, which started its online streaming business a year earlier in 2007. Rather than release it under the Netflix brand, it was spun-off into a separate company to avoid any potential licensing issues.

Roku devices were ahead of the curve in 2010, offering HD streaming with the Roku HD-XR, at a time few streaming services supported it. In 2015, the Roku 4 was released: the first device to support UHD (4K) streaming.

Related: Does Amazon Prime Video support 4K resolution?

Since then, Roku has expanded its offerings to include a range of devices at varying price points. One of the main things that separates them from competitors is support for nearly all streaming platforms and an included remote control.

Why is it called Roku? What does Roku mean?

The origin of the brand name comes from the company’s founder Anthony Wood. The word Roku means six in Japanese, and it was the sixth company he started. Wood still remains the CEO and Chairman of Roku, inc. in 2020.

How do Roku devices work?

Roku Streaming Stick Plus 2019Using a Roku device is simple. All you need to do is plug it in, log into your Roku account (or create one for free), and select the content you want to stream. Roku separates content into channels, which can be a TV network, a website, an application, or a streaming service like Netflix.

Depending on where you live in the world, you will have access to a few Roku channels for free. There is no subscription fee involved, and as long as you own a working Roku device, you can stream these channels free of charge. One of them is the Roku Channel, which has a small selection of movies and shows and is permanently free.

Once you boot up your Roku stick, you can use the remote to select which channel to watch, add or subscribe to channels on your account, or search for content to watch. One great feature of Roku devices is that once you set up your channels, you can search for content across all of them at once, instead of browsing each individual library separately.

If the content you want to watch isn’t on one of your channels, Roku will even show you the cheapest way to watch it.

Best Roku channels

There are literally thousands of channels on Roku, with a huge selection of both free and premium channels for kids and adults alike. Below we’ve listed some of the best Roku channels to give you an idea of what’s available on the platform.

  • Apple TV Plus — Apple’s platform is filled with exclusive TV shows and movies, available for a small subscription fee.
  • Crackle — This free ad-supported platform has a solid list of popular movies that rotates frequently.
  • CuriosityStream — A subscription streaming service filled with great documentaries and other non-fiction content.
  • Disney Plus — Disney’s subscription service includes all of its animated classics, as well as the Pixar, Marvel, Nat Geo, and Star Wars catalogs.
  • HBO — HBO’s impressive library of original TV shows and movies is available for a monthly fee, but the expanded HBO Max catalog is not supported.
  • Hulu — A great selection of TV shows and some movies, with both ad-supported and ad-free plans available.
  • MLB.tv — One of many subscription sports channels on Roku, enabling streaming of all Major League Baseball games.
  • Netflix — The largest subscription streaming service in the world. Streaming quality depends on which subscription plan you choose.
  • PBS Kids — Free access to classic kids programming like Sesame Street, Arthur, and The Electric Company, with no ads or interruptions.
  • Prime Video — Amazon’s service includes a library of content behind a subscription fee, as well as the ability to buy and rent individual titles.
  • The Roku Channel — Free, ad-supported access to a rotating list of movies and TV shows.
  • Twitch — The most popular video game streaming platform available free of charge. Streamers may run ads, and in-app subscriptions are available.
  • YouTube — The largest video platform functions largely the same as the phone app or website, allowing you to stream well over a billion hours of content free of charge.

What about DVR?

Roku DVR options YouTube TV

Roku devices are fairly low-cost streaming options, and as such don’t have DVR capabilities built-in. Most have very little onboard storage. Only the more expensive models like the Roku Ultra offer SD card memory expansion.

However, in today’s age of streaming ubiquity, there is another way to get DVR on your Roku device — cloud DVR. Many services, like YouTube TV, Hulu with Live TV, and fuboTV, allow you to save live content on the cloud and stream it whenever you want.

Don’t miss: Here are the best live streaming TV services

This is great because it eliminates the need for on-device storage, and allows you to stream in other rooms of the house (or other houses entirely). However, it also means that you won’t be able to stream them offline, which is one of the major draws of DVR in the first place.

Best Roku devices

Roku offers a line of streaming devices at different price points, including set-top boxes, streaming sticks, and even other types of products like smart speakers. Odds are if you’ve found your way to this Roku buyer’s guide you’re looking for a streaming device, so let’s start with those.

Learn more: The best Roku streaming players: What are your options?

Below we’ve listed our picks for the best Roku streaming devices you can currently buy. The latest were released in late 2019, and there’s no word yet on updated models for 2020. A bit further down we’ve also included details about other Roku products like the soundbar and Roku TVs.

Roku Express

Roku Express Streaming Player

The cheapest device in the 2019 Roku lineup is the Express. It is a small and simple HDMI device that provides everything you need to start streaming on any modern TV. It connects to the internet via Wi-Fi and comes with a basic remote to navigate menus and control playback.

Streaming is limited to 1080p HD quality and the remote doesn’t have any special features like a headphone jack or voice controls. Nevertheless, it’s the best Roku device for casual watchers. It runs at just $ 30, making it a great entry point into the Roku ecosystem.

If you can afford to spend a bit more, you should check out the Walmart-exclusive Roku Express Plus. It adds voice commands and the ability to control normal TV functions with the remote, eliminating the need to juggle two remotes. It only costs $ 10 more, bringing the total cost to $ 40.

Roku Premiere

Roku Premiere Streaming Player

4K TVs have become more and more affordable over the years, and if you want a Roku streaming device that supports this resolution, you’ll want to look at the Roku Premiere. It’s the cheapest model to offer UHD 4K streaming with HDR.

Read also: The best 4K monitors you can get on a budget

Apart from that, it’s virtually identical to the Roku Express. You get the same basic remote with no voice controls, and it connects via single-band Wi-Fi. The good news is that it only costs $ 10 more, so you can get your 4K streaming fix for just $ 40.

Roku Streaming Stick Plus

Roku Streaming Stick Plus Headphone Edition

If there’s one Roku device that’d we’d have to pick for most users, it would be the Roku Streaming Stick Plus. It has a smaller, USB stick-like appearance that plugs into your TV’s HDMI port so it won’t clutter up your entertainment system. It can also be plugged in directly into your TV’s USB port for power (although you should make sure your TV supports this first).

Despite its small size, Roku Streaming Stick Plus packs a lot of features: UHD 4K, HDR, and a premium remote with voice controls. That’s a lot of convenience for a device that costs just $ 60.

But before you go out and buy it, you should check out the Best Buy-exclusive Roku Streaming Stick Plus HE (pictured above). It has all the same features, but the remote also has a headphone jack. Audio is streamed directly from your Roku device, so you don’t have to mess with your existing home audio setup. There’s even a set of headphones included in the box!

To make matters even better, this enhanced model carries the exact same price tag. That makes the Streaming Stick Plus HE the real best value Roku device, provided you have access to a Best Buy location near you.

Roku Ultra

Roku Ultra Streaming Player

The Roku Ultra is the most premium device Roku currently offers. It has all the bells and whistles you’d expect from a high-end model: 4K UHD, HDR, a premium remote, and even an ethernet port for a more consistent connection while streaming.

There are several things that make the Roku Ultra remote better than other models. First, it has a headphone jack for private listening. You’ll find a nice set of JBL earbuds to get started in the box. The voice-enabled remote also has customizable buttons that you can program to navigate to your favorite Roku channels instantly.

Read also: Best Headphones under $ 50

If you’re someone who constantly loses remotes into the couch cushion abyss, there’s even a “Find My Remote” button on the streaming device itself. All of this comes at a cost, however, with this model running at roughly $ 100.

You can save some money by buying the Walmart-exclusive Roku Ultra LT, which swaps the fancy JBL earbuds for a normal set and removes the new customizable buttons on the remote. Apart from that, you still get the same great streaming experience. It costs $ 80, so you can put those extra $ 20 towards more streaming subscriptions!

Other Roku devices

roku smart soundbar

Although streaming devices are by far Roku’s most popular products, the company offers several other gadgets as well. These range from premium streaming speakers to full-on smart TVs with a Roku-based operating system. Some of these are manufactured by Roku itself, but the TVs are always made in partnership with established brands like HiSense or TCL.

Perhaps the most attractive is the Roku Smart Soundbar. It solves two problems with a single device. Not only does it enhance your existing TV’s speakers, but it also has built-in 4K streaming support, and comes with a remote. It costs $ 180, with an additional Roku subwoofer and Roku speakers available. These extra speakers are also able to connect to Roku TVs, eliminating the need for any other streaming devices.

Related: How to get Spotify on Roku TVs, sticks and boxes

There is a variety of Roku Smart TVs on the market too, and some of them start as low as $ 130. They are a solid alternative to streaming devices for people who have outdated TVs and want an upgrade.

Roku alternatives

Roku was one of the first companies to blaze a trail into the unknown wilderness of streaming media a decade ago. Nowadays, there are many more options available. Some of these are coming from the biggest companies in the world like Google, Apple, and Amazon.

Read also: The best media streaming devices you can buy

If you’re not entirely convinced by any of the Roku devices above, we’ve broken down a few of the best alternatives below. Not included are Smart TVs, which often have many of the same capabilities but are far too numerous to list here.

Google Chromecast

Google Chromecast Ultra

Google launched its first Chromecast streaming dongle in 2013 and has since expanded the line to include two models. The cheapest, called simply Chromecast, costs $ 35 and allows up to HD quality. The Chromecast Ultra, costing $ 69, allows 4K streaming and has an ethernet port for a more consistent connection.

Read also: 16 things you didn’t know you could do with Google Home and Chromecast

Price-wise, this makes Chromecast devices comparable to Roku’s streaming sticks, but in practice, they work completely differently. First, there is no operating system or channel store. In order to stream to your TV via Chromecast, you need to “cast” media from a smartphone or a computer. Most streaming apps support casting, so compatibility isn’t much of an issue.

An even bigger difference is the lack of a remote. Just like you need another device (usually your phone) to start streaming via Chromecast, you also need it to control playback. There are some ways to use your TV remote with a Chromecast, but they aren’t ideal. There are rumors of an upcoming Chromecast with a remote included, but for now, your phone or PC will have to do.

Apple TV

Apple TV

Way back in 2007, before Roku had even entered the streaming game, Apple had already released a streaming set-top box called Apple TV. Today, there are two Apple TV devices currently available: the Apple TV HD and the Apple TV 4K.

Apple TV devices work very similarly to Roku devices, with a built-in OS and an app store to navigate streaming services. They both come with a physical remote, but you can also use a normal remote control or a remote app on your smartphone.

As expected from Apple-brand devices, they start at a much higher price point than those of most competitors. The HD model costs $ 149, while the 4K model has two versions with 32GB of storage ($ 179) and 64GB of storage ($ 199). However, all new purchases come with a free year of Apple TV Plus, which would normally cost $ 60.

Amazon Fire TV

Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K press render

Amazon, not to be outdone by other tech giants, currently offers three streaming devices under the Fire TV brand. They run on the Android-based Fire OS, which has channel support similar to Roku OS. However, Fire TV doesn’t support nearly as many channels.

Read also: What is Amazon Prime? Costs, features, and more

There are two streaming sticks on offer: the HD-only Amazon Fire TV Stick at $ 40, and the Fire TV Stick 4K at $ 50. There’s also a set-top box called the Fire TV Cube, which adds integration with Amazon Echo smart speakers and costs $ 120.

All three come with Alexa voice-enabled remotes, making them a great alternative to Roku streaming devices. They’re best for people who have already bought into the Amazon home ecosystem, or for people who just love using voice commands to control everything in their homes.

Nvidia Shield TV

NVIDA Shield TV 2019 modle and controller upright

There are countless Android TV devices available on the market, but the Nvidia Shield TV is easily the best. It takes a unique approach by including a Tegra X1+ processor, which is more powerful than the processor found in Nintendo Switch consoles. It allows you to play a variety of games and, more importantly, upscale 720p content all the way to 4K with help from Nvidia’s AI neural network.

Read also: 2019 Nvidia Shield TV review: The best Android TV box, again

The two latest models available are from 2019. The first is the standard Shield TV with 8GB of storage and 2GB of RAM, which costs $ 150. The more powerful Shield TV Pro costs $ 200, with 16GB of storage and 3GB of RAM. Both models come with a comfortable remote control. Older models used to come with a gamepad, but Nvidia has dropped it on the Shield TV and Shield TV Pro.

Capable of running demanding Android games and AAA titles via the GeForce Now streaming service, Nvidia Shield TV devices are a great option for those who want to stream media and game from time to time. The streaming device doesn’t hold a candle to the next-gen PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X consoles, but it’s still one of the best Android TV boxes out there.

Other FAQ

Q: Does Roku have Disney Plus?
A: Yes, there is a channel for Disney Plus. Read more about it here.

Q: Does Roku have YouTube? 
A: Yes, there is a free channel for YouTube.

Q: What about YouTube TV?
A: Yes, there is another channel for YouTube TV.

Q: Does Roku have HBO Max?
A: No, HBO Max is not available on Roku devices. You can access the HBO app but it doesn’t include the extra content of HBO Max. Learn more about HBO Max here.

Q: Which Roku is the best?
A: For most users, the Roku Streaming Stick Plus HE is the best option. It offers UHD 4K streaming and a remote with a headphone jack for just $ 60. Its only downside is that it can only be purchased at Best Buy.

Q: Are Roku channels free?
A: Some Roku channels, like Pluto TV, PBS Kids, Crackle, the Roku Channel, YouTube, and others are available for free. Many subscription channels like Crunchyroll and Cartoon Network have limited ad-supported libraries, too.

Q: Does Roku have a web browser?
A: No, there are no browsers available on the Channel Store. There have been web browsers in the past, but they have since been removed.

Q: Is Roku free to use?
A: Yes! There are no additional subscription fees after buying your device, which you can do for as little as $ 30. Certain channels may pull support for older models, but this isn’t something you should worry about with new devices.

Android Authority

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Motorola Razr 2: Everything we know right now (Update: Battery specs!)

Moto Razr foldable unfolded screen in hand 1

Update: August 18, 2020 (2:10AM ET): We’ve updated our Motorola Razr 2 rumor hub to include new details of the foldable’s possible battery layout, capacity, and charging speed. Read on for the latest.

Original article: May 20, 2020 (10AM ET): The Motorola Razr reboot captured the imagination of many consumers upon its unveiling last year. The phone was a modern, foldable take on the original Razr flip phone of the 2000s.

Unfortunately, the reboot didn’t enjoy a fantastic critical or commercial reception. That isn’t stopping the company from releasing a follow-up though. From specs and design to availability, here are all the major Motorola Razr 2 rumors in one place.

When is the Motorola Razr 2 launching?

We first got word of the new Razr in early June, when a Lenovo South Africa executive told the Reframed podcast that a “second-generation” Razr was coming. More specifically, the representative said the new foldable phone was supposed to launch around September.

This would mean the Motorola Razr 2 release date is roughly eight months after the first-generation phone, which is a very quick turnaround time.

However, display industry insider Ross Young later tweeted that the new foldable has been delayed by a quarter due to the COVID-19 pandemic. More specifically, Young said the phone was likely pushed out to 2021.

On August 12, Motorola finally teased the Razr 2’s announcement date as September 9, 2020. While not mentioning the Razr by name, the virtual event will “flip the smartphone experience once again,” so it’s safe to assume the launch will include the company’s foldable successor.

Motorola Razr 2 design rumors

Moto Razr foldable half folded moto logo on table

The new foldable phone is expected to offer the same basic form factor as the previous model, so that means a clamshell design with a foldable internal screen and a smaller (non-folding) external display.

However, XDA-Developers reports that the screens will be the same size as the original phone’s displays. That means a 6.2-inch foldable display and a 2.7-inch external screen. Either way, the latter is shaping up to be bigger than the Galaxy Z Flip‘s tiny ticker display.

Meanwhile, display industry insider Ross Young tweeted that the Motorola Razr 2’s screens will both be bigger than the first-generation model. Check out the tweet below.

Nevertheless, here’s hoping the internal screen is more durable than the first Razr. We’d also like to see Motorola bring more features to the external display.

motorola moto razr 2020 odyssey leak

On July 27, leaker Evan Blass added an image to his Patreon detailing potential design tweaks on the upcoming foldable. Dubbed “Odyssey,” the foldable’s external screen remains but boasts a smaller chin with no visible signs of a fingerprint sensor.

Motorola Razr 2 rumored specs

The original Razr offered an upper mid-range Snapdragon 710 chipset that was actually quite old by the time the phone went on sale. In fact, the processor first appeared in phones back in 2018 and was succeeded by the Snapdragon 730 series in mid-2019.

Now, this wouldn’t be a big deal if the Razr was reasonably priced for a foldable, but the phone was extremely expensive upon launch. So critics were understandably annoyed at this. Toss in 6GB of RAM, 128GB of non-expandable storage, a single 16MP main camera, 5MP selfie camera, and a tiny 2,510mAh battery, and you’ve got a phone that seems more like a mid-ranger at best.

XDA-Developers managed to obtain some Razr 2 specs though, and it seems like we’ve got a somewhat improved phone overall. The new device is said to offer a Snapdragon 765 chipset with 5G, 8GB of RAM, 256GB of storage, and a still small 2,845mAh battery. Furthermore, it’s believed that we’ve got a 48MP main camera and a 20MP selfie shooter this time.

More specs leaked on July 2 via Evan Blass, which largely corroborates XDA-Developers‘ initial leak. Blass’ information includes mention of a Nano-SIM and eSIM combo, with a colorway dubbed Mercury Silver. Again, a 20MP selfie camera and 48MP primary camera are also listed.

Certification documents from TUV Rheinland (via MySmartPrice) on August 17 shed light on the possible battery configuration of the Razr 2. The listing suggests the phone could arrive in as many as four variants, but it’s not clear what differentiates these devices.

As for the Razr 2’s battery design, the phone may use two batteries in its folding body with a combined rated capacity of 2,633mAh. The listed 18W charging is also a step up from the 15W charging offered on the first device.

What to expect in terms of pricing?

Moto Razr foldable folded sitting in box speaker

The original Razr launched at an eye-watering $ 1,500, which wasn’t great when you consider the actual spec sheet. Making matters worse was the fact that the cheaper Samsung Galaxy Z Flip seemed to offer better build quality too and overall specs too.

The high price may have contributed to disappointing sales, with Verizon offering a two-for-one Razr deal a couple of months after its initial release.

There’s no word on the Motorola Razr 2 price, but you can bet that the firm doesn’t want to have to resort to a two-for-one deal again in order to shift units. And with foldable phone production expected to drop in price over time, here’s hoping we see a price drop compared to the original Razr.

Availability is another big question mark, as the first model was released in Europe, India, the UK, and the US. Unfortunately, this was a carrier exclusive in the latter two markets (EE and Verizon respectively). There’s no word on carrier exclusivity once again, but it would be a shame if the Motorola Razr 2 turns out to be fantastic but limited to certain networks.

That’s it for our Motorola Razr 2 rumor rundown. Be sure to check back regularly as we update this page! In the meantime, you can check out more noteworthy articles below.

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The Galaxy Note 9 is at its cheapest price on Amazon right now

Samsung Galaxy Note 9 Amazon Deal

The Samsung Galaxy Note 9 is still a great phone to buy even if it’s a little older at this point. It features Qualcomm’s 2018 flagship Snapdragon 845 chipset, making it a pretty powerful phone even in 2020.

You also get Samsung’s gorgeous 6.4-inch Infinity Super AMOLED display, a dual 12MP camera with variable aperture, a large 4,000mAh battery, and of course the S-Pen. Amazon is offering up the smartphone at its cheapest price to date.

You can grab a factory unlocked Samsung Galaxy Note 9 with 128GB storage for just $ 599.99. This represents a cool 40% discount on the retail price of the phone. You can make even bigger savings on the 512GB model, which is also 40% off at $ 749.99 ($ 500 off). The deal applies to all three colors of the device.

This deal is today only, so there are literally hours to run on the clock. Click the widget below to get the Galaxy Note 9 for $ 599.99.

Samsung Galaxy Note 9 128GB storage, 6GB RAM

More posts about Galaxy Note 9

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The 10 best scary movies on Hulu you can stream right now

Best scary movies on Hulu

We’ll be right up front: if you’re a horror purist, you’ll find that Hulu is severely lacking in great horror flicks. While there are plenty of scary and thrilling movies on offer from the popular streaming service, the pure horror genre is in meager supply. Luckily, we can still make a great list of the best scary movies on Hulu, assuming you won’t go into a rage over how many of our selections are not traditional horror films.

If you don’t yet have a Hulu subscription, it really is a terrific value. On top of the movies listed below, there are also some great comedies, documentaries, and of course TV shows to binge. If you’re a horror fan looking to get the most bang for your buck, though, we highly recommend checking out Shudder, which is a streaming service made just for you.

If all you’re looking for right now is a good movie that will also inject a little bit of terror into your evening, you’ve come to the right place. Check out our list of the best scary movies on Hulu below!

The ten best scary movies on Hulu:

Editor’s note: We will update our list of the best scary movies on Hulu regularly as the service rotates its movie library.

1. 28 Days Later

Let’s be perfectly clear: not only is 28 Days Later one of the best scary movies on Hulu, but it’s also one of the best movies on Hulu. Period.

We know what you’re thinking: once you’ve seen one zombie movie, you’ve seen ’em all. Well, this movie isn’t technically a zombie movie. The “undead” are actually alive but infected with a virus that causes them to act very similarly to zombies. The major difference though is that the zombies in this film are fast. Prior to 28 Days Later, zombies were always depicted as slow and brainless, but this film upended the entire genre.

Related: The best scary movies on Netflix

Even if you ignore that, the movie is a brilliant turn from director Danny Boyle. The opening shots alone of Cillian Murphy’s character wandering through an empty London are both chilling as well as a marvel of ingenuitive filmmaking. Later on, in the movie’s second and third acts, 28 Days Later becomes a parable about mankind’s own nihilistic tendencies as well as a treatise on the dangers of military power.

If you see only one movie on this list, make it this one. It is truly a gem.

2. Annihilation

Including Annihilation on this list is actually kind of funny. When the movie came out, it was expected to be a new horror/sci-fi masterpiece. However, it ended up being not at all a horror film and so metaphysical that it also didn’t feel like a sci-fi film, either. Audiences, unfortunately, were disappointed.

Regardless, Annihilation is a terrific film if you go into it not expecting it to stick to any one genre. Plus, there are plenty of very tense moments as well as some seriously scary events that will shock you. The film also has a lot to say about relationships, life in general, and the finding of one’s true self.

This is definitely one of the best scary movies on Hulu but try not to watch it on your phone. The cinematography and effects in Annihilation deserve to be seen on a big screen.

3. The Cabin in the Woods

The Cabin in the Woods, in many ways, is a quintessential horror film. The only reason it’s not a “pure” horror film is that it’s so damn funny.

Written by Joss Whedon — the creator of Buffy the Vampire Slayer — The Cabin in the Woods is like a horror version of The Wizard of Oz. The curtain is pulled back and we see that the old tropes of scantily clad teenagers getting lost in the woods and making stupid decisions that get them killed is actually by design.

We don’t want to give away too much of the plot as going into the movie not knowing what to expect is half the fun. Just be prepared to laugh as well as scream with this one, as it works equally on both levels. Either way, it’s one of the best scary movies on Hulu!

4. Cube

When Cube came out in 1997, it landed with a big thud. Critics essentially dismissed it and the creative team behind the movie didn’t go on to have illustrious filmmaking careers. Over time, though, the film developed a cult following and has gone on to spawn both a sequel and a prequel. There’s even talk of remaking it soon.

Related: The best horror films you can stream on Amazon Prime

The plot of Cube is simple: a handful of seemingly random individuals find themselves caught in a cube-shaped room. Within the room are various traps designed to kill them all and the captives need to figure out how to save themselves.

Of course, not everyone is who they say they are and nothing is what it seems.

In certain ways, Cube plays like a precursor to the series of Saw films, albeit less gory. There are still a lot of scares here, though, and it’s worth a look if you’re on the hunt for scary movies on Hulu.

5. Hellbound: Hellraiser 2

Unfortunately, the original Hellraiser is not currently one of the scary movies on Hulu that you’re able to watch. That film is a bonafide horror classic, and it’s essential you watch it before attempting to watch Hellbound: Hellraiser 2.

If you’ve seen Hellraiser before or are able to watch it via another streaming serviceHellbound: Hellraiser 2 is worth checking out. While it’s definitively not as good as the original, it’s absolutely the best of the sequels (of which there are too many, and most of them are awful).

Hellbound: Hellraiser 2 is also one of the most well-made films in the series. Since the original film was such a success, the filmmaking team had more money when making this one, and you can see it in every frame.

We’ll give you a heads up though: if you are squeamish about blood, gore, or explicit sexual situations, this is not the film for you. Some of its elements might seem tame by today’s standards, but this film still earns its “R” rating.

6. Overlord

Prior to the release of Overlord, rumors suggested that it would be a new installment in the very loose Cloverfield series. However, the final cut of the film has no connection with the Cloverfield universe although, after watching it, you can see how it could easily fit with just one expository scene inserted.

Overlord centers on a group of American soldiers in World War II who are dropped behind enemy lines shortly before the D-Day invasion is set to begin. The soldiers enter deeper and deeper into Nazi territory and discover that the Third Reich has been experimenting with chemicals in order to create a breed of super soldiers. Naturally, the American team — aided by oppressed German villagers — must put a stop to this evil scheme.

This film has some scary and gory moments but is overall a war/action film. Still, the plot and several intense scenes definitely make it worthy of being on this list of the best scary movies on Hulu.

7. Proxy

A lot of the films on this list of the best scary movies on Hulu are fairly straightforward. Proxy, however, is not that. If you like your scares coupled with some thought-provoking filmmaking and don’t mind experiencing some non-traditional storytelling, Proxy is right up your alley.

If you’re looking for the simplicity of something like The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, though, Proxy won’t be your bag.

Related: The best indie movies on Netflix

The film focuses on a pregnant woman who loses her unborn baby after she is viciously attacked. After her physical recovery, she joins a support group for women dealing with the loss of a child. There, she meets another woman who doesn’t end up being who she says she is.

The first 20 minutes of this film alone earns it a spot on this list, as the assault scene is absolutely terrifying. The rest of the film has some super creepy scenes and a few more scares, but ultimately this is more of a psychological examination of a woman going through one of the toughest things a woman could ever go through. Proxy definitely isn’t for everyone, but it deserves a look if you’re prepared for it!

8. A Quiet Place

As with 28 Days Later, this movie isn’t just one of the best scary movies on Hulu but one of the best movies on the entire service. The plot of A Quiet Place is deceptively simple, but the characters and direction elevate it to a serious form of art.

Set some time in the future, A Quiet Place centers on a family living through a hellish existence after a race of aliens obliterate most of mankind. The monstrous aliens have incredible hearing abilities but are also mostly blind, making it essential that every living member of humanity stays as quiet as possible.

With the plot as it is, there is very little spoken dialog in A Quiet Place. Most of the communication between the family members is through sign language or simple looks and glances. This creates an immediate tension that plays out for some serious scares in the second and third acts.

A sequel to this film is slated to land in 2020, so give this a watch on Hulu before you head to the theater to see the story continue!

9. Super 8

Five years before the premiere of the Netflix TV show Stranger Things, we saw a film with a very similar plot called Super 8. Developed by J.J. Abrams, the film is essentially a mix of all your favorite 80s films involving kids, including The GooniesStand By Me, and E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial. It’s also one of the best scary movies on Hulu at the moment.

Related: The best sci-fi movies and shows on Hulu

Steven Spielberg was involved in two out of those three films, so it should come as no surprise that Super 8 is essentially an homage to the legendary filmmaker. The film centers on a group of young friends who are making a movie using Super 8 film. During filming, they come across a trainwreck that unleashes a very dangerous problem for them and possibly the world.

Once you watch Super 8, you clearly see where Stranger Things got a lot of its influence. Despite the film being mostly forgotten now, it still holds up as one of the best things J.J. Abrams has ever done. The only thing we wish was different is the ending — it’s a little bit of a disappointment. You be the judge, though!

10. Thelma

As with the previously mentioned Proxy, this film Thelma doesn’t tell a simple story with some jump scares scattered throughout. Instead, it’s much artsier and abstract and might even take a second watch for you to fully understand what’s going on.

The plot of Thelma centers on the titular character, a young woman heading to college. Although she seems like a fish-out-of-water at the large school, she eventually befriends another young woman to whom she is instantly attracted. However, Thelma is harboring a dark power that she doesn’t even know about — but it could destroy everything she holds dear.

As a heads up, Thelma is the only film on this list of the best scary movies on Hulu that is not in English. There is no dubbed version available, so you’ll need to deal with subtitles. If you’re not into that, you’ll need to pass on this one. But we highly suggest not doing that because it is pretty spectacular!

That’s all we’ve got for the best scary movies on Hulu! Be sure to bookmark this page and check back often as we will update it with new titles as they become available.

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The 10 best drama movies on Netflix you can stream right now

The King movie drama on Netflix

Netflix is full of movies, TV shows, documentaries, and more. There’s lots to navigate, making the right movie somewhat hard to find. If you’re in the mood for a tear-jerking or knuckle-whitening drama, have we got the list for you. Here are the ten best drama movies on Netflix you can stream right now, from old favorites to recent releases you might have missed.

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Best drama movies on Netflix:

Editor’s note: We will update this list of the best drama movies on Netflix regularly as the service rotates its library.

1. The King

The King movie on Netflix

This movie follows the story of Hal, also known as King Henry V. After trying to escape royal life most of his life, he is forced to take the throne after his father dies. The rightful heir to the throne must now deal with politics and everything that comes with ruling. He is also found in the middle of a war his tyrannical father left behind. The leader needs to adapt to the new life while he settles personal matters.

2. Bird Box

Bird Box

Consider this Netflix’s nod to A Quiet Place. Instead of tiptoeing and keeping quiet to avoid blind monsters, humans must wear blindfolds when going outside. A single look at these supernatural entities drives humans insane to the point of suicide.

The story follows Malorie Hayes (Sandra Bullock) and her two children. They’re heading downstream in a rowing boat packed with a blanket, supplies, and blindfolds. Their goal is to reach a sanctuary, but the journey won’t be easy.

3. Lincoln

Lincoln movie on Netflix

Steven Spielberg serves up this historical drama chronicling Abraham Lincoln’s fight to end slavery. The movie opens at the beginning of Lincoln’s second term as he ponders over the Civil War’s coming end, and how his Emancipation Proclamation of 1863 doesn’t make slavery illegal. He aims to create the Thirteenth Amendment before the war ends and Southern slaves return to servitude.

The movie chronicles Lincoln’s (Daniel Day-Lewis) struggles to win over the House of Representatives and pass his proposed amendment. Meanwhile, Lincoln goes through issues of his own at home.

4. Mudbound

Mudbound drama movie on Netflix

Based on the novel by Hillary Jordan, this movie focuses on two World War II veterans who return home. Jamie McAllan (Garrett Hedlund) served as an Army pilot flying the B-25 Mitchell bomber and suffers from PTSD. Ronsel Jackson (Jason Mitchell) commanded a Sherman tank in the Army’s infantry and is now a defiant man.

However, Jamie’s family owns a farm outside Marietta, Mississippi, where Ronsel’s family works. Ronsel’s dad tends to the cotton fields, while mom is the McAllan’s housekeeper. The two veterans become friends, but racism still runs deep in the McAllan family blood.

5. El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie

El Camino movie on Netflix. Breaking Bad side film.

Breaking Bad is a massively popular TV show, and fans can now find closure in El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie. This film follow Jesse Pinkman after the events in Breaking Bad’s finale. As a fugitive he must now escape from a massive police operation and his past.

Jesse is trying to get out of Albuquerque, but needs a hefty amount of money to do so. Watch the movie to find out how he deals with everything!

6. Pulp Fiction

Pulp Fiction movie drama on Netflix

This crime drama mixes gore with humor to create three stories told out of sequence. Stealing the show are hitmen Jules Winnfield (Samuel L. Jackson) and Vincent Vega (John Travolta), along with prizefighter Butch Coolidge (Bruce Willis). At the center is gangster Marsellus Wallace (Ving Rhames) who controls all three.

In the Jules Winnfield’s story, Wallace sends his two hitmen to retrieve a briefcase carrying something glowing inside. In the Butch Coolidge story, Wallace tells him to purposely lose an upcoming fight, but Coolage accidentally kills his opponent, sending him on the run from Wallace.

7. Roma

Roma movie on Netflix

Cleodegaria “Cleo” Gutierrez (Yalitza Aparicio) is one of two live-in housekeepers in a family’s home located in Mexico City’s Colonia Roma neighborhood. Antonio (Fernando Grediaga) is a doctor, while his wife Sofia (Marina de Tavira) stays home with their four children. Sofia’s mother Teresa (Veronica Garcia) lives in the home too along with the other live-in housekeeper, Adela (Nancy Garcia). With all these people living elbow-to-elbow under one roof, everyone — at least all the adults — knows your business.

This family drama focuses on Cleo as she struggles with pregnancy and locks down the baby’s daddy.

8. Room

Room movie on netflix

Based on Emma Donoghue’s novel, we are introduced to Jack (Jacob Tremblay) celebrating his fifth birthday. He lives with his mom (Brie Larson) in a tiny soundproof shed they call “Room” complete with a tiny kitchenette, a bed, a toilet, a sink, a bathtub, a television, and a skylight serving as their only window. They’re locked away by Jack’s biological father, Old Nick (Sean Bridgers).

Jack doesn’t realize there’s an outside. He’s led to believe Room is his entire world. Moreover, he doesn’t know Old Nick abducted his mother, Joy, seven years ago.

9. Schindler’s List

Schindlers list

Here’s another historical drama by Steven Spielberg. Based on Schindler’s Ark written by Thomas Keneally, the story follows businessman Oskar Schindler (Liam Neeson) of Czechoslovakia who arrives in Krakow, Poland, seeking fortune during World War II. He acquires a factory to produce enamelware for the German army, pleasing the Nazis.

Once Amon Göth (Ralph Fiennes) — one of Hitler’s Nazi butchers — arrives to build a concentration camp, he kills everyone within the Krakow Ghetto, a walled zone housing the Jewish population. The massacre changes Schindler’s view of his Jewish factory workers.

10. The Boy in the Striped Pajamas


The Boy in the Striped Pajamas tells the story of two boys. One is the child of a Nazi officer overseeing a concentration camp during World War II, and the other a Jewish child imprisoned in the camps.

The movie runs a pretty serious risk of equivocating the experiences of the victims of the Holocaust with those of its perpetrators (which, uh, yikes), but it still offers a pretty compelling look at how inflicting harm can cause both expected and unexpected trauma. On top of that, the ending twist is so sad it borders on emotionally manipulative.

That concludes our list of the best drama movies on Netflix you can stream right now. We’ll update this post with new titles once they launch on the streaming service.

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