'Apocalypse Now' and then some
Few movies will hit you in the gut like Apocalypse Now, Francis Ford Coppola's 1979 epic.
Loosely based on Joseph Conrad's Heart of Darkness, Apocalypse Now translates the action to Southeast Asia during the Vietnam War, where Capt. Willard (an affecting Martin Sheen) is sent to assassinate rogue Col. Kurtz (Marlon Brando).
Coppola doesn't create a simple movie, but rather an experience that stays with you long after the final credits have rolled. It's a war movie by definition, but its reach is beyond that: It's about what times of great tragedy and danger reveal within us.
You've seen Apocalypse Now before, you say? And you don't need to watch it when it hits Hulu? Then navigate over to Hearts of Darkness: A Filmmaker's Apocalypse. If you need any proof about the power of Apocalypse Now, Hearts of Darkness is necessary viewing. Narrated by Coppola's wife, Eleanor, who shot countless hours of behind-the-scenes footage, Hearts follows the arduous filmmaking process behind the film, from Sheen's near-fatal heart attack to the editing process that almost destroyed Coppola's life. - M.E.
Where to stream it: Hulu.
If you like these, stream this: Coppola's uber-paranoid The Conversation streams on Hulu and Amazon and holds up equally well.