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Parasite
Photograph: Courtesy Neon Parasite

40 best movies on Hulu to watch right now

Dig into our list of the best movies on Hulu to stream, from blockbusters to indies and everything in between

By Tim Lowery and Time Out editors
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In concocting our list of the best movies on Hulu to stream, we sifted through amazing thrillers, comedies, indies, horror films and much more. And you know what we learned? The streaming service has a bunch of great titles—so much so that narrowing down our favorites to just 40 films was no easy feat. Below you’ll find the best of the best, which has a bit of everything: Oscar winners (Parasite, the most recent Best Picture nabber), stellar documentaries (Apollo 11, Jiro Dreams of Sushi), stylized fright fests (A Quiet Place, Let the Right One In), ’80s essentials (Heathers, Say Anything…), big-budget thrills (Mission: Impossible—Fallout, both Kill Bill volumes) and a whole bunch of favorites from the U.S. and abroad. Find a comfy spot on the couch, sit back and enjoy. 

RECOMMENDED: 100 best movies of all time

Best movies on Hulu

40. Good Will Hunting (1997)

Movies

Director: Gus Van Sant

Cast: Matt Damon, Robin Williams, Ben Affleck, Minnie Driver

Ah, the movie that made "Matt and Ben" a thing seemingly overnight. Good Will Hunting's sincerity comes capitalized, which is not to deny the film is honest and moving in its own way—albiet with less punch than it had 20-plus years ago. What's aged better? The comedic bits still sing (hat tip to Casey Affleck), and Elliott Smith's songs throughout remain as perfect as ever. 

Good for fans of: Dead Poets Society

Wild Rose
Wild Rose
Photograph: Entertainment One/Film4

39. Wild Rose (2019)

Movies Drama

Director: Tom Harper

Cast: Jessie Buckley, Julie Walters

In contrast to Lady Gaga’s Ally in A Star Is Born, the wannabe singer at the center of this hugely likeable zero-to-musical-hero country fable is frequently her own worst enemy. On parole, working-class Glaswegian single mum Rose-Lynn Harlan is desperate to kickstart her dream of making it in Nashville. As she tries to do so, you will cheer. You will cry. And you may even tap your toes. 

Good for fans of: We Are the Best!

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38. Warrior (2011)

Movies

Director: Gavin O'Connor

Cast: Joel Edgerton, Tom Hardy

In the left corner: seething military-man-cum-pugilist, jonesing to step back in the ring after mysteriously arriving on the doorstep of his estranged alcoholic father. In the right corner: his older brother, a family man whose salary as a high-school science teacher just ain't covering those mortgage payments. Despite all the sports-movie cliches, this moving MMA drama works like gangbusters—and we're betting you'll stifle more than a few tears by the finale. 

Good for fans of: Creed 

37. Cold Case Hammarskjöld (2019)

Movies Documentary

Director: Mads Brügger

Cast: Documentary

In this bonkers conspiracy doc, Danish director Mads Brügger often appears in a white suit and pith helmet, sitting in the shadows and dictating notes to a secretary. He’s an adventurer hunting down the truth; even though he tells us that his quarry often wore the same outfit, there’s something silly and Lars von Trier–ish about him. Yet Cold Case Hammarskjöld's curveballs are genuinely unusual, upsetting and thrilling to behold—and tough to shake. 

Good for fans of: Into the Abyss

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36. Zombieland (2009)

Movies Comedy

Director: Ruben Fleischer

Cast: Woody Harrelson, Jesse Eisenberg, Emma Stone

Sure, zombie movies may be filled with guts and gore and people getting ripped, graphically, in two. But there’s something about those goofy, shuffling bastards that’s just inherently funny. This action comedy set in a post-apocalyptic America is hardly original, but it breezes by on charm, aided by arguably the starriest cast ever assembled for a zom-com: Woody Harrelson, Emma Stone, Jesse Eisenberg and a very dead Bill Murray.

Good for fans of: Shaun of the Dead 

35. Little Men (2016)

Movies Drama

Director: Ira Sachs

Cast: Theo Taplitz, Michael Barbieri, Paulina García, Greg Kinnear

In this indie by Ira Sachs, parents fight over a Brooklyn building while their children—the brainy Jake and the sparky Tony—grow up around them. Little Men is too sophisticated to blame all this on gentrification. Rather, all these are people are in a tough spot, and Sachs develops their conflicting views in a calm, grown-up manner, getting plenty of comic and sweet mileage out of the boys’ bond.  

Good for fans of: Love Is Strange 

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34. Minding the Gap (2018)

Movies Documentary

Director: Bing Liu

Cast: Documentary

Golden hour for three skaters in a Rust Belt town is captured by the glidecam of Bing Liu, who won the breakthrough director award at Sundance for Minding the Gap. His doc initially flies on the euphoric energy of youth, before becoming an unflinching exploration of growing up amid male violence. 

Good for fans of: Tarnation

Photo: Matt Nettheim

33. The Nightingale (2019)

Movies Drama

Director: Jennifer Kent

Cast: Aisling Franciosi, Sam Claflin, Baykali Ganambarr

Multiple rapes. Infanticide. Aboriginal strange fruit. You’ve been warned. Brutal is too soft a word to describe The Nightingale, a brilliantly harrowing indictment of white male oppression set in British-ruled Australia circa 1825. If you thought Jennifer Kent pulled no punches in her terrifying supernatural debut The Babadook, brace yourself for the existential evil that lurks in the hearts of men here.

Good for fans of: The Babadook

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32. The Cabin in the Woods (2012)

Movies Horror

Director: Drew Goddard

Cast: Kristen Connolly, Chris Hemsworth

Charmingly, like a throwback to the pre-Twitter age, here’s a horror film that’s been made with no reasonable way to discuss it beforehand. (You know the boat sinks in Titanic, but these surprise-laden plot twists are another matter entirely.) The Cabin in the Woods works thrillingly for audiences, especially the pointy-headed kind who have been trained to predict the outcomes of every slasher.

Good for fans of: Cloverfield

31. Honeyland (2019)

Movies Documentary

Directors: Ljubomir Stefanov, Tamara Kotevska 

Cast: Documentary

Meet Turkish beekeeper Hatidze, who lives with her dying 86-year-old mum in a dirt-floored house when she's not lovingly tending to buzzing hives. This mesmerising and powerful doc, a Sundance favorite, provides a stinging reminder to respect nature.   

Good for fans of: Grizzly Man

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30. Love & Mercy (2015)

Movies Drama

Director: Bill Pohlad

Cast: Paul Dano, John Cusack, Elizabeth Banks, Paul Giamatti

Beach Boy genius Brian Wilson loved being nestled in the recording studio, especially, as Love & Mercy suggests, when the other guys were off chasing Barbara Anns in every port. To watch the delicate Paul Dano (a magically right choice with a beautiful voice) steer his ace session band through what would become Pet Sounds is to have a piece of essential rock history recreated right before your eyes. Wilson, a pop savant, was chasing some kind of dragon, and as the movie toggles years forward to the scared, overmedicated Wilson of the 1980s (John Cusack, absorbingly strange in the tougher part), you sense that the dragon bit back. 

Good for fans of: I’m Not There

29. Columbus (2017)

Movies Drama

Director: Kogonada 

Cast: John Cho, Haley Lu Richardson

As perfect as indies get, this intimate drama—set in a town known for its striking modernist architecture—showcased 2017's most exquisite onscreen flirtation. If you were looking for economy of scale, this debut effort by the mono-monikered writer-director Kogonada had no equal. And yet, he managed to cram a universe of ideas and feelings in there.

Good for fans of: All the Real Girls 

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28. Border (2018)

Movies Thriller

Director: Ali Abbasi

Cast: Eva Melander, Eero Milonoff

Leave all expectations at the door and give this knotty, genre-defying Swedish folk tale a spin. Border, which follows an outcast of a  customs officer, mingles social realism and Scandi folklore in the same vein as Let the Right One In, another film adapted from a story by novelist John Ajvide Lindqvist. Expect a wholly unusual, unique viewing experience.

Good for fans of: Let the Right One In

27. Blackfish (2013)

Movies Documentary

Director: Gabriela Cowperthwaite

Cast: Documentary 

Somewhere between Orca and Free Willy, killer whales became cuddly creatures suitable for wide-arm hugs, plush toys and gentle riding. But take a look at those teeth and the brutal truth is obvious. Blackfish, a troubling exposé of Sea World’s hazardous entertainment trade, does much to restore a realistic sense of danger, interviewing former park workers who detail their shoddy, nonscientific training, and chronicling the much-suppressed history of whale-on-human violence.

Good for fans of: The Cove

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26. Goldfinger (1964)

Movies Action and adventure

Director: Guy Hamilton 

Cast: Sean Connery, Gert Fröbe

The Bond series already had two films under its belt by the time 007 matched wits with Gert Fröbe’s precious-metal obsessive, but the third time was the charm. This was the movie that perfected the template for what we consider a proper Bond film: tricked-out sports cars and spy gadgets, eccentric supervillains and quirky sidekicks (the hat-throwing Oddjob), a name-dropping opening song and a fun, flirty, tongue-in-cheek version of Ian Fleming’s hero.

Good for fans of: Casino Royale

25. Three Identical Strangers (2018)

Movies Documentary

Director: Tim Wardle

Cast: Documentary

The light mood sours, gradually and surprisingly, in this thoughtful, journalistic documentary about three identical triplets who were adopted separately at birth and reunited as late teens in 1980s New York. As a film, Three Identical Strangers is fairly straightforward; as a story, it’s gripping and will have you screaming at the sheer cruelty of it all. 

Good for fans of: Dear Zachary: A Letter to a Son About His Father

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Booksmart
Booksmart
Photo: Francois Duhamel

24. Booksmart (2019)

Movies Comedy

Director: Olivia Wilde

Cast: Kaitlyn Dever, Beanie Feldstein

In her behind-the-camera debut, actor-turned-director Olivia Wilde shows off something rarer than technique or comic timing: She’s got loads of compassion. Booksmart follows a socially awkward, Ivy League-bound duo, who reevaluate their choices when they realize that abstinence and studying aren't the only route to a stellar university career. The classic high-school  types—the spoiled loner, the spaced-out drama chick, the buff bro—are all given the chance to evolve into genuine characterisations over the space of a single sex-positive night.

Good for fans of: Superbad 

Missão: Impossível – Fallout
Missão: Impossível – Fallout
©2018 Paramount Pictures

23. Mission: Impossible—Fallout (2018)

Movies Action and adventure

Director: Christopher McQuarrie

Cast: Tom Cruise, Henry Cavill

Twenty two years into its run as a franchise, this is easily the best, slickest and most daring Mission: Impossible instalment. The film has a self-aware level of wit, and—most importantly—no action sequence is allowed to peter out, or be chopped to ribbons in the editing, or lean on the crutch of CG augmentation. From a frantic Parisian chase to a brutal brawl in a loo to the climactic mountain-skimming helicopter fight, it’s fantastically executed throughout. And it pays just enough attention to physics to make you feel like it all could really be happening. 

Good for fans of: Edge of Tomorrow

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22. True Grit (2010)

Movies Action and adventure

Directors: Joel Coen, Ethan Coen 

Cast: Hailee Steinfeld, Jeff Bridges, Matt Damon

The Coens as auteurs take a back seat to the Coens as respectful master craftsmen for this superb adaptation of Charles Portis’s 1968 novel. This tale of Old West justice has plenty of black humor, warmth and wit, yet the brothers don’t ignore the grim realities of danger and death. It's straightforward (for them, anyway) but still its own kind of wonderful.   

Good for fans of: No Country for Old Men 

21. The Tenant (1976)

Movies Thriller

Director: Roman Polanski

Cast: Roman Polanski, Isabelle Adjani

What is it about Polanski and confined spaces? With Repulsion, Rosemary’s Baby and finally this Paris-set film, the Polish director proved himself a master of turning the humble flat into frightening domestic terrain. Here, Polanski himself plays a man who moves into an empty apartment, previously occupied by a woman who attempted suicide, and finds himself at the center of a paranoid storm in which his neighbors are increasingly accusing and vicious towards him.

Good for fans of: Rosemary’s Baby

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20. Heathers (1988)

Movies Comedy

Director: Michael Lehmann

Cast: Winona Ryder, Christian Slater

"Did you have a brain tumor for breakfast?" This wicked black comedy about teenage suicide and pernicious peer-group pressure is full of delightfully venomous lines like that. In its telling of cool Veronica and her quirky new boyfriend toppling a high-school trio of popular girls, Heathers still feels fresh and edgy—even three-plus decades after its release.

Good for fans of: Brick 

19. Tangerine (2015)

Movies

Director: Sean Baker 

Cast: Kitana Kiki Rodriguez, Mya Taylor

Set in an unglamorous stretch of Hollywood, with its sun-faded donut shops, mini-mall laundromats and fleabag motels, Sean Baker’s mesmerizing feature opens like a shot of indie adrenaline and doesn’t let up. Filmed completely on an iPhone, this day-in-the-life of two hustlers is the kind of fresh modern story Tinseltown just doesn’t tell—even though it’s happening in its backyard.

Good for fans of: The Florida Project

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18. Blazing Saddles (1974)

Movies Comedy

Director: Mel Brooks

Cast: Cleavon Little, Gene Wilder

"My movies rise below vulgarity," Mel Brooks once quipped in the salad days of his career. Exhibit A for that claim, surely, is Blazing Saddles. A satire of Hollywood’s white-centric accounts of the American West, and told from the perspective of the first black sheriff in an all-white town, the film can be wince-inducing in the politically-charged, highly racial tone of its humor. It remains a riot of bad taste.

Good for fans of: Young Frankenstein

17. A Quiet Place (2018)

Movies Horror

Director: John Krasinski 

Cast: Emily Blunt, John Krasinski, Millicent Simmonds, Noah Jupe 

A Quiet Place follows a family’s attempts to survive in a post-apocalyptic world patrolled by an alien species that hunt by sound, like some kind of satanic land dolphin. First-time director John Krasinski shows an almost Hitchcockian command of tension as the slightest creak or spillage can bring slathering hell-beasts raining down from the surrounding countryside. Emily Blunt steals the show in front of the camera: The childbirth scene, in particular, will never leave you. 

Good for fans of: It Comes at Night

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Free Solo
Free Solo
Jimmy Chin

16. Free Solo (2018)

Movies Documentary

Directors: Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi, Jimmy Chin 

Cast: Documentary 

Without using any ropes, a death-defying adventurer scales Earth’s tallest cliffs in this jaw-dropping, so-terrifying-you’ll-hyperventilate Oscar-winning documentary. “Free soloist” Alex Honnold demonstrates his will power—and a bit of madness—by attempting the impossible: climbing El Capitan with only his bare hands.

Good for fans of: Meru

Romantic movie: Say Anything
Romantic movie: Say Anything
Photograph: 20th Century Fox

15. Say Anything... (1989)

Movies

Director: Cameron Crowe

Cast: John Cusack, Ione Skye

It’s the film that made high-schoolers think that standing on someone’s lawn holding a boombox was the ultimate declaration of love. A baby-faced John Cusack stars as a wannabe kick-boxer who falls for straight-A student (Ione Skye) in this charming, critically acclaimed gem.

Good for fans of: High Fidelity  

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14. Hunt for the Wilderpeople (2016)

Movies Comedy

Director: Taika Waititi

Cast: Julian Dennison, Sam Neill

Director Taika Waititi (What We Do in the Shadows, Jojo Rabbit) rambles into sort-of-family-movie territory in this massively endearing road movie on foot. There’s a strong whiff of Up in its story about a chubby boy and an old man setting off on a jungle adventure. And indeed this might be the best kids’ movie since Pixar’s masterpiece (with a spot of bad language and several jokes about perverts thrown in).

Good for fans of: Jojo Rabbit

13. Kill Bill (2003/2004)

Movies Action and adventure

Director: Quentin Tarantino

Cast: Uma Thurman, David Carradine 

Though released in two “volumes,” Quentin Tarantino’s extraordinary martial-arts magnum opus is best viewed as one four-hour whole. The first part is action-packed, achronologically detailing the roaring rampage of revenge undertaken by the Bride. The second volume becomes more contemplative (ass-kicking mobile-home standoff with a one-eyed killer notwithstanding) as the Bride closes in on the gang’s leader. As always with Tarantino, it’s the words that provide the real action, cutting deeper than any blade could.

Good for fans of: Pulp Fiction  

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The 100 best horror films, horror movies, the descent
The 100 best horror films, horror movies, the descent
Photo: Courtesy of Lions Gate Films

12. The Descent (2006)

Movies Horror

Director: Neil Marshall

Cast: Shauna Macdonald, Alex Reid, Natalie Jackson Mendoza

For their annual trip, six girlfriends plunge into an Appalachian cave system and discover they are not alone. As well as the cold, the dark and the claustrophobia, they find ancient, blind and ferocious predators with a highly evolved sense of smell. As the women fight to survive, they must also cope with their own half-buried secrets: betrayals surface, tensions explode and loyalties disintegrate. This aughts horror standout is smart, nasty and crazy intense.  

Good for fans of: Rec 

11. Akira (1988)

Movies Animation

Director: Katsuhiro Ôtomo

Cast: Mitsuo Iwara, Nozomu Sasaki

Anime’s breakout moment, this supercharged sci-fi thriller turned a niche subgenre into a global phenomenon: Western teens started using the term cyberpunk in casual geek-speak, while Japan’s printed manga suddenly flew off the shelves. Akira was also a watershed moment for sci-fi in a larger sense, popularising ideas of citywide ruination, futuristic rebirth and a distinctly Asian notion of psionic powers that would influence everything from The Matrix to Inception

Good for fans of: Spirited Away 

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10. We Need To Talk About Kevin (2012)

Movies Drama

Director: Lynne Ramsay

Cast: Tilda Swinton, John C. Reilly, Ezra Miller

Talk about a killer third feature. Lynne Ramsay’s chilling adaptation of Lionel Shriver’s novel is gripping from start to finish, with a constant sense of intrigue. Tilda Swinton is perfectly cast as the mother of a child who raises alarm bells, but perhaps not loudly or clearly enough, and Ezra Miller is a revelation as the older Kevin. And the story, sadly, remains relevant today. 

Good for fans of: Elephant

9. I, Tonya (2018)

Movies Drama

Director: Craig Gillespie

Cast: Margot Robbie, Sebastian Stan, Allison Janney

Not the movie the notorious ice-skating flameout Tonya Harding probably deserves—but happily (for us) the one she’s gotten—I, Tonya is a dazzlingly complex and exuberant treatment of a disgraced figure. Like Goodfellas and Boogie Nights, it has a supercharged style and creates an unshakable tension, the kind that has you laughing and cringing at the same time. 

Good for fans of: Goodfellas

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If Beale Street Could Talk
If Beale Street Could Talk
Tatum Mangus / Annapurna Pictures

8. If Beale Street Could Talk (2018)

Movies Drama

Director: Barry Jenkins 

Cast: KiKi Layne, Stephan James

A swooning romance peppered with jarring moments of institutionalised racism, Barry Jenkins’s Moonlight follow-up may have been set in the early ’70s but it spoke to modern America just as surely as contemporary race dramas like The Hate U Give and Monsters and Men. For a novelist of such epic standing, James Baldwin has rarely been adapted for the screen, but Jenkins and his cast bring real poetry to his prose.

Good for fans of: Moonlight

7. Jiro Dreams of Sushi (2012)

Movies Documentary

Director: David Gelb

Cast: Documentary

A dream, indeed. Gelb’s documentary on the world’s greatest sushi chef not only traces Jiro Ono’s legacy; it also utilizes a spare, elegant style that perfectly complements its subject’s monastic devotion to purity. Eat beforehand, or this might be nearly impossible to sit through.

Good for fans of: Big Night 

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6. 28 Days Later (2002)

Movies Horror

Director: Danny Boyle

Cast: Cillian Murphy, Naomie Harris, Christopher Eccleston

If every generation gets the zombies its deserves, what would ours be like? Full of rage was the answer Danny Boyle came up with in 28 Days Later, in which a bicycle courier awakes from a coma to find London cloaked in an unearthly silence (and, eventually, a bunch of berserk flesh eaters). Expect more than a few shivers down your spine.

Good for fans of: Dawn of the Dead

Photo: Courtesy of Neon

5. Parasite (2019)

Movies Drama

Director: Bong Joon-ho

Cast: Song Kang-ho, Chang Hyae-jin, Choi Woo-sik, Park So-dam

It takes a certain kind of genius—part social scientist, part sadist—to build a stinging contraption like this Best Picture winner. To a list that includes Alfred Hitchcock and David Fincher, let’s now add South Korea’s Bong Joon-ho. Sleek and impeccably acted, his movie taps into an undercurrent of class resentment.

Good for fans of: Us 

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Portrait of a Lady on Fire
Portrait of a Lady on Fire
Photograph: Neon Pictures

4. Portrait of a Lady on Fire (2019)

Movies Drama

Director: Céline Sciamma

Cast: Noémie Merlant, Adèle Haenel

When a movie opens your eyes to a new way of seeing, it’s almost insufficient to praise it. French filmmaker Céline Sciamma’s radical feminist love story turns its viewers into artists close to the canvas, sketching out a line that leads to expression, desire and the remaking of identity. The story takes place within the strictures of 18th-century Brittany but gives way to something frank and modern.

Good for fans of: Tomboy

3. Let the Right One In (2008)

Movies

Director: Tomas Alfredson

Cast: Kåre Hedebrant, Lina Leandersson

Just when we thought every ounce of metaphor and meaning had been wrung from the vampire movie, along came Swedish director Tomas Alfredson’s chilly, claustrophobic tale to infuse fresh blood into the genre. This instant classic, whose snowy setting suits its sadness, is a coming of age story about a youngster falling in love for the first time, complete with some truly touching moments between the bloodshed. 

Good for fans of: Green Room

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Apollo 11
Apollo 11
Photograph: Dogwoof Pictures

2. Apollo 11 (2019)

Movies Documentary

Director: Todd Douglas Miller

Cast: Documentary

July 2019 marked the 50th anniversary of humankind’s most inspiring adventure, a story that's been told countless times through tributes, testimonials and that famous TV live feed. Yet Todd Douglas Miller’s stunning documentary finds a new way to capture the first journey to the moon and back: by using only the footage (much of it unseen) captured in the moment.   

Good for fans of: Apollo 13

Shoplifting
Shoplifting
Photograph: Thunderbird Releasing/AOI Promotion

1. Shoplifters (2018)

Movies Drama

Director: Hirokazu Koreeda

Cast: Lily Franky, Sakura Andô, Kirin Kiki

Japanese giant Koreeda won the Palme d’Or for his lovely, melancholy urban fable about poverty and family. It’s set in contemporary Tokyo but could easily be transplanted to just about any other city, revolving around a surrogate clan who scrape by through doing peep shows, being a laundress and, yes, shoplifting. With its warm, beating heart and strong sense of social conscience, it feels all too timely. 

Good for fans of: The Bicycle Thief

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