As we continue to be stuck in quarantine due to COVID-19, our streaming services have become essential to keep us entertained during this time. Luckily for us, our streaming services have had pretty great content during this time and May only adds to it. Along with Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hulu, and Disney+, I include the Criterion Channel on this list as well, as the content Criterion produces is spectacular. Here are my picks for the best movies coming to Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hulu, Disney+, and Criterion Channel in May.
Full list of everything coming to Netflix in April can be found here.
BACK TO THE FUTURE and BACK TO THE FUTURE PART II (Robert Zemeckis, 1985/1989)
- The third film was already on Netflix, so it’s only right to put the first two on as well. Back to the Future is a perfect movie and the best time travel movie ever made. The sequel is inventive and fun. Watch all three, it’s an excellent trilogy.
THE CURIOUS CASE OF BENJAMIN BUTTON (David Fincher, 2008)
- A visually stunning piece of filmmaking from the great David Fincher.
DEN OF THIEVES (Christian Gudegast, 2018)
- An interesting, methodical, Heat-like crime thriller that has grown on me after multiple viewings.
DISTRICT 9 (Neil Blomkamp, 2009)
- A wildly original sci-fi movie and the only good movie of Neil Blomkamp’s career.
THE LINCOLN LAWYER (Brad Furman, 2011)
- A cool little courtroom drama that kicked off the McConaissance of the early 2010’s.
THE LOVEBIRDS (Michael Showalter, 2020)
- I usually don’t put new Netflix movies on here, but a romantic comedy with Issa Rae and Kumail Nanjiani directed by the director of The Big Sick gives me hope that this could be a great one.
PUBLIC ENEMIES (Michael Mann, 2009)
- Johnny Depp gives one of the best performances of his career in Michael Mann’s engrossing, stunningly made biopic about gangster John Dillinger.
UNCUT GEMS (Josh and Benny Safdie, 2019)
- One of the best movies of 2019, Uncut Gems features a career-best performance by Adam Sandler in the Safdie Brother’s anxiety-enducing crime thriller.
UNITED 93 (Paul Greengrass, 2006)
- A tough watch, but Paul Greengrass rightly earned a Best Director Oscar nomination of this harrowing true story of passengers who foiled a terrorist plot on 9/11.
WILLY WONKA AND THE CHOCOLATE FACTORY/CHARLIE AND THE CHOCOLATE FACTORY (Mel Stuart, 1971/Tim Burton, 2005)
- Two films from the same source material that couldn’t be more different. Could be a cool little double feature.
Full list of everything coming to Amazon Prime in April can be found here.
COME TO DADDY (Ant Timpson, 2020)
- A horror flick starring Elijah Wood. That’s all I got and that’s all I need.
THE GOLDFINCH (John Crowley, 2019)
- 2019’s biggest Oscar-bait failure is a film I didn’t see in theaters, but one I want to check out and see why this movie failed as hard as it did.
LIKE CRAZY (Drake Dormeus, 2011)
- The 2011 Sundance U.S. Dramatic winner is one of the most authentic love stories I’ve ever seen on film and features stellar performances from Anton Yelchin and Felicity Jones.
ROCKETMAN (Dexter Fletcher, 2019)
- Taron Egerton is masterful in this unique biopic of music icon Elton John.
SEBERG (Benedict Andrews, 2020)
- Kristen Stewart, one of my favorite actresses working today, stars as French New Wave icon Jean Seberg, who was being watched by Herbert Hoover and the F.B.I. for her political and romantic involvement with civil rights activist Hakim Jamal.
THE VAST OF NIGHT (Andrew Patterson, 2020)
- I’ve heard nothing but great things about this movie for over a year and I am excited to finally watch this mystery thriller.
Full list of everything coming to Hulu in April can be found here.
BATMAN BEGINS and THE DARK KNIGHT (Christopher Nolan, 2005/2008)
- Kind of annoying that they didn’t make the entire trilogy available, but whatever. Batman Begins reinvented Batman on the silver screen and The Dark Knight is my favorite comic book movie ever and one of my all-time favorite movies.
THE CONJURING (James Wan, 2013)
- One of the best horror movies of the last ten years.
GOODFELLAS (Martin Scorsese, 1990)
- Goodfellas is my favorite movie ever made. I love this movie so much. It’s perfect.
THE GRADUATE (Mike Nichols, 1967)
- Another perfect movie, The Graduate is an undeniable classic with themes that still resonate today.
THE LODGE (Severin Fiala, Veronika Franz, 2020)
- Even though I’ve heard mixed things about this one, I’ve wanted to see The Lodge since the 2019 Sundance Film Festival and I’m excited to get the chance to check it out.
PAINTER AND THE THIEF (Benjamin Ree, 2020)
- This documentary, about a painter who befriends a thief who stole her paintings, was one that I missed at this year’s Sundance Film Festival, but one I really want to check out.
PREMATURE (Rashaad Ernesto Green, 2020)
- Rashaad Ernesto Green is a director I’ve been excited for since seeing his debut film Gun Hill Road in 2011, so getting to check out his latest film should be a treat.
SPACESHIP EARTH (Matt Wolf, 2020)
- I saw Spaceship Earth at this year’s Sundance Film Festival and it was a very interesting documentary about the group of people who built the Biosphere 2, a giant replica of the earth’s ecosystem, in 1991.
Full list of everything coming to Disney+ in May can be found here.
FANTASTIC MR. FOX (Wes Anderson, 2009)
- A stunning, hilarious, masterful stop-motion film from the great Wes Anderson.
JOHN CARTER (Andrew Stanton, 2012)
- A film that isn’t nearly as bad as its legacy precedes it, I’m excited to watch this one again for its sheer scale and insanity.
MALEFICENT: MISTRESS OF EVIL (Joachim Rønning, 2019)
- A decent movie that might be better than the first one. Angelina Jolie is pitch-perfect casting as Maleficent.
THE PRINCESS BRIDE (Rob Reiner, 1987)
- Could be argued as the most watchable movie ever made. A film full of action, adventure, comedy, romance, and drama and every piece is great.
STAR WARS: EPISODE IX – THE RISE OF SKYWALKER (JJ Abrams, 2019)
- I was not a fan of this movie (full review here), but it’s a Star Wars movie and it’s available to stream (along with the rest of the saga).
Full list of everything coming to Criterion Channel in May can be found here.
*The Criterion Channel does things a little differently than every other streaming service. The Criterion Channel, a wonderful streaming service that focuses on independent, foreign, and under-appreciates movies, doesn’t just throw a bunch of random movies to stream. They get more creative, by having categories like “DOUBLE FEATURES” or “FILMS FROM…”, giving us curated lists of films that somehow blend together or feature a specific artist.*
The Limey (Steven Soderbergh, 1999)
Mulholland Drive (David Lynch, 2001)
- A Soderbergh-Lynch double feature is always going to be great, but this one is going to be especially great because these two movies are some of the best work from these directing legends.
The Harder They Fall (Mark Robson, 1956)
Raging Bull (Martin Scorsese, 1980)
- Two movies that feature drama in and outside of the boxing ring. The Harder They Fall features Humphrey Bogart as an ex-sportswriter who is hired by a shady fight promoter to promote an unknown but easily exploitable boxer from Argentina. Raging Bull is a cinematic masterpiece and features Robert De Niro in, what this critic considers to be, the greatest acting performance ever on film.
JOSH AND BENNY SAFDIE’S ADVENTURES IN MOVIEGOING
- Josh and Benny Safdie are the most exciting directing duo since the Coen Brothers, so having a curated list from them is something that needs to be taken seriously.
SAUL BASS TURNS 100!
- Saul Bass is responsible for some of the most iconic opening credits in cinematic history (ex: Psycho, Vertigo). This impressive list of great films features some of Bass’ finest work.
STARRING JACKIE CHAN
- Jackie Chan is a martial arts legend and one of the greatest action stars to ever grace the silver screen. These films show Chan’s early work as an actor, as well as show off his chops as a director. This should be an absolute blast.