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Coming Soon: Everything to Watch on Netflix, Disney+, Hulu, HBO Max and in Theaters in May 2022
We won’t blame you if you haven’t caught up yet on everything we recommended you watch in April and March . We haven’t either. There are only so many hours in the day and between an abundance of limited series, new seasons of returning shows and the latest movies — both in theaters and on streaming — being released every. single. week. it’s a lot .
Things may be getting a bit less crowded in the future since the content bubble appears to be bursting . Perhaps the future holds a more limited number of new titles premiering each month. In the meantime, we’ll try to help you decide, once again, what to watch this month. Here are some of the most anticipated titles to debut in May.
Some of May’s Most Anticipated New Shows
Ridley Road (May 1), PBS: This four-part drama series is set in London in the summer of 1962 and features newcomer Agnes O’Casey as Vivien Epstein. The PBS Masterpiece is based on Jo Bloom’s novel of the same name and inspired by true events. Vivien is ”a young Jewish hairdresser who fits right into London’s mod scene, while secretly infiltrating the British neo-Nazi hierarchy on behalf of Jewish antifascists,” reads the PBS synopsis of the show. The show also features Rory Kinnear as Colin Jordan, the real-life leader of Britain’s post-World War II Nazi movement, and Tom Varey as Jack, Vivien’s true love.
Ten Percent (May 1), BBC America, Sundance Now and AMC+: If you enjoyed Netflix’s French comedy Call My Agent , you may want to check out this British adaptation. The eight-episode first season follows a small and struggling London talent agency, and how a tragic event puts the professional lives of the agents and assistants on the line, all while they try to keep the show going and cater to their famous clients’ every need. Kelly Mcdonald, Helena Bonham Carter, Dominic West, David Oyelowo and Emma Corrin all make cameos in the show, playing versions of their very demanding selves.
The Staircase (May 5), HBO Max: This eight-episode limited series stars Colin Firth and Toni Collette as Michael and Kathleen Peterson and adapts the true-crime docuseries of the same name that’s streaming on Netflix (as well as several books and reports on the case). The show is an “exploration of the life of Michael Peterson, his sprawling North Carolina family, and the suspicious death of his wife, Kathleen Peterson,” according to HBO Max’s logline.
Bosch: Legacy (May 6), Amazon Freevee: You could tag this as Bosch season eight. Prime Video’s procedural drama about the seasoned LAPD homicide detective Harry Bosch returns — this time for a spin-off show. Titus Welliver is still the protagonist of the series and plays Bosch in his new phase as a private detective. Maddison Lintz and Mimi Rogers also return as Maddie Bosch, Harry’s daughter, and lawyer Honey Chandler. Bosch: Legacy will be available on Amazon’s free and ad-supported streaming service Freevee (previously known as IMDb TV).
Candy (May 9), Hulu: Add this title to the long list of recent limited series based on disturbing true events. Jessica Biel executive produces and stars here as Candy Montgomery. She’s a 1980s housewife who seems to have it all: a good husband, two kids, a nice house… But the semblance of a perfect façade starts cracking when her friend Betty (Melanie Lynskey) turns up dead and Candy is accused of murdering her after having an affair with Betty’s husband (Pablo Schreiber).
The Lincoln Lawyer (May 13), Netflix: Here, Mexican actor Manuel Garcia-Rulfo plays the idealist Mickey Haller, a lawyer who runs his practice out of the back seat of his Lincoln. Michael Connelly fans can rejoice since — with Bosch: Legacy — this is the second adaptation of one of his novel series to hit screens this month. The first season of The Lincoln Lawyer will follow the second book in Connelly’s Lincoln series, The Brass Verdict . Connelly’s work had previously been adapted in the 2011 film that starred Matthew McConaughey as Haller.
The Essex Serpent (May 13), Apple TV+: This limited series is based on Sarah Perry’s novel of the same name and stars Claire Danes as Cora Seaborne. She’s a London widow who moves to Essex to investigate reports of a mythical serpent. She bonds with the local pastor (Tom Hiddleston) over science and skepticism. But a tragic incident prompts the locals to accuse her of attracting the creature.
Conversations With Friends (May 15), Hulu: If you too followed Winona Ryder’s path of watching Normal People during lockdown — and being saved by it — you’ll be happy to know there’s a new Hulu limited series adaptation of another Sally Rooney novel on the horizon. Lenny Abrahamson returns as executive producer and director in Conversations With Friends . Rooney is also executive producing but, unlike in Normal People , she isn’t credited as a screenwriter. Jemima Kirke, Sasha Lane and Joe Alwyn star in this story that features Alison Oliver as Frances, a 21-year-old college student navigating life and relationships.
The Time Traveler’s Wife (May 15), HBO: Steven Moffat ( Dr. Who ) adapts Audrey Niffenegger’s romantic science fiction novel of the same name . “ The Time Traveler’s Wife follows the intricate and magical love story between Clare (Rose Leslie) and Henry (Theo James), and a marriage with a problem…time travel,” reads the HBO synopsis. Moffat has talked about how he loved the idea of time travel affecting romance when he first read the book.
“What is brilliant and thrilling about the interaction of time travel and a love story here is [that] it makes the most common phenomenon of a completely happy marriage interesting again,” he said during a virtual press conference in front of the Television Critics Association. Niffenegger’s book had previously been adapted in the 2009 movie that starred Rachel McAdams and Eric Bana.
Now & Then (May 20), Apple TV+: This bilingual thriller, both in Spanish and English, centers on a group of college friends whose lives change forever when one of them ends up dead during a celebratory weekend. Twenty years later, the remaining five friends are reunited after being blackmailed. The international cast is headed by Rosie Perez, Marina de Tavira, Maribel Verdú and José María Yazpik.
Obi-Wan Kenobi (May 25), Disney+: This may be the one fandom-adjacent title that the geekier side of Ask Media Group’s team of editors and writers is actually excited about . The Scottish actor Ewan McGregor dons the titular Jedi’s garb once again in this six-episode series that will explore Obi-Wan Kenobi’s exile on Tatooine prior to the events of the original 1977 Star Wars film.
Pistol (May 31), Hulu: This FX original is a six-episode limited series that chronicles the ascension of the Sex Pistols to worldwide fame. The show is based on Steve Jones’ memoir, Lonely Boy: Tales from a Sex Pistol . “This is the story of a band of spotty, noisy, working-class kids with ‘no future,’ who shook the boring, corrupt Establishment to its chore, threatened to bring down the government and changed music and culture forever,” reads the FX synopsis.
Danny Boyle ( Slumdog Millionaire ) serves as an executive producer. The show stars Toby Wallace as Steve Jones, Jacob Slater as Paul Cook, Anson Boon as John Lydon, Christian Lees as Glen Matlock, Louis Partridge as Sid Vicious, Sydney Chandler as Chrissie Hynde, Talulah Riley as Vivienne Westwood, Maisie Williams as punk icon and model Jordan, Emma Appleton as Nancy Spungen and Thomas Brodie-Sangster as Malcolm McLaren.
Must-See Returning TV on Streaming
The Wilds , Season 2 (May 6), Prime Video: Missing Yellowjackets ? We are too. But while we wait for the second season of the Showtime teenage drama series, maybe we can sample this Prime Video original with a similar premise: a group of girls gets stranded on a deserted island after their plane crashes. But in The Wilds , they didn’t end up on the island by accident — they’re the subjects of a social experiment. Season two introduces more test subjects: a group of teenage boys who are stranded on a different island.
Hacks , Season 2 (May 12), HBO Max: One of our favorite comedies from last year returns for a speedy second season to showcase, once again, Emmy winner Jean Smart’s many talents. The new episodes see the veteran comedian Deborah Vance (Smart) on tour across the country. She’s joined by sharp writer Ava (Hannah Einbinder) who helps Deborah workshop material for her new stand-up act. But Ava’s betrayal at the end of last season — she sent an email with damaging information about Deborah to a couple of TV producers — looms large over her.
Stranger Things , Season 4, Volume 1 (May 27), Netflix: The 1980s-set fantasy drama returns for a fourth season in which El (Millie Bobby Brown), Joyce (Winona Ryder), Jonathan (Charlie Heaton) and Will (Noah Schnapp) are now living in sunny California, far away from Hawkins, Indiana, and the town’s troublingly easy access to the Upside Down. Chances are we’ll all need a recap of what happened during Stranger Things ’ season three finale, which first streamed in July of 2019. Just a reminder that, yes, Jim Hopper (David Harbour) is very much alive .
Movies and Documentaries on Streaming
Here, we’ve included a selection of films that will debut on streaming as well as movies that first premiered in theaters and are now available digitally.
Along for the Ride (May 6), Netflix: This romantic drama stars Emma Pasarow as Auden and Belmont Cameli as Eli. Auden is an overachiever whose whole life has been about school and her mom’s (Andie MacDowell) world. She spends her last summer before college in the seaside town of Colby, where her father (Dermot Mulroney) lives. There she meets Eli, a fellow insomniac. At night, Eli helps Auden experience the teen life she never had — or knew she wanted.
The Takedown ( Loin du périph ) (May 6), Netflix: Fans of Lupin and Omar Sy rejoice. The French actor again joins Lupin director Louis Leterrier in this buddy comedy that also stars Laurent Lafitte. This sequel to the 2012 film On the Other Side of the Tracks ( De l’autre côté du périph ) sees Sy and Lafitte playing two very different cops. The two police agents reunite for a new investigation that takes them across France. “What seemed to be a simple drug deal turns out to be a high scale criminal case wrapped in danger and unexpected comedy,” reads the Netflix synopsis. And remember that even if Netflix defaults to showing you this movie dubbed in English, we recommend you opt for the original French version with subtitles instead.
Sheryl (May 6), Showtime: Told through present-day interviews with Sheryl Crow; behind-the-scenes footage from her studio sessions and time on the road; and archival footage from the last 20 years, Sheryl tells the story of the iconic singer-songwriter. Keith Richards, Laura Dern, Joe Walsh, Emmylou Harris and Brandi Carlile are also interviewed in this story. “Director Amy Scott navigates Crow’s seminal yet hard-fought musical career battling sexism, depression, perfectionism, cancer, and the price of fame — before harnessing the power of her gift,” reads Showtime’s synopsis of this documentary.
Operation Mincemeat (May 11), Netflix: Based on a real event that would change the course of World War II, as well as the non-fiction book by Ben Macintyre that relates said event , this film stars Colin Firth and Matthew Macfadyen as two intelligence officers who came up with the most improbable of plans. The British forces were about to strike Sicily’s southern shore but the Nazis knew about it. The intelligence officers devised a plot to convince Germany that the target was actually Greece: A corpse would wash up on shore in Spain bearing fake papers. Given the fascists’ network there, the intelligence officers hoped that those documents would make their way into the enemy’s hands, giving them the wrong information. The first part of the plan would be to find a dead man.
The New York Times Presents: Elon Musk’s Crash Course (May 20), FX and Hulu: After a first season of The New York Times Presents , which featured two compelling episodes dedicated to Britney Spears , season two opens with a film dedicated to one of the most influential and controversial figures of the last few years: Elon Musk .
“A New York Times investigation reveals the quixotic nature of Musk’s pursuit of self-driving technology, and the tragic results. Drawing on first-hand accounts, the film traces how Autopilot has been a factor in several deaths and dozens of other accidents that Tesla has not publicly acknowledged,” says the FX logline of this documentary. “It details pressure Elon Musk put on government officials to quash investigations and features inside stories from several former Tesla employees, who speak out against Musk for promoting a self-driving program that they believe was perilous.”
And a Few Movies You’ll Only Be Able to Watch in Theaters
Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness (May 6): The Marvel Cinematic Universe’s (MCU) first 2022 film after last year’s Spider-Man: No Way Home is a sequel to 2016’s Doctor Strange . While Benedict Cumberbatch returns to the titular role, Sam Raimi — director of the Tobey Maguire Spider-Man trilogy — helms this film that’ll also feature past MCU characters, including Wong (Benedict Wong), Wanda Maximoff/Scarlet Witch (Elizabeth Olsen), Dr. Christine Palmer (Rachel McAdams) and Mordo (Chiwetel Ejiofor), with the addition of fan favorite comics character America Chavez played by Xochitl Gomez ( The Baby-Sitters Club ). And yes, Patrick Stewart also stars here in what could be the return of his Professor Charles Xavier and — with him — the addition of the X-Men to the MCU.
Happening (May 6): This film, directed and co-written by Audrey Diwan, is set in 1963 France, a time in which abortion wasn’t yet legal in the European country. Anamaria Vartolomei plays Anne, a young student with a promising future. “But when she falls pregnant, she sees the opportunity to finish her studies and escape the constraints of her social background disappearing. With her final exams fast approaching and her belly growing, Anne resolves to act, even if she has to confront shame and pain, even if she must risk prison to do so,” reads the movie’s logline.
Pleasure (May 13): Ninja Thyberg writes and makes her feature directorial debut with this portrayal of the porn industry in Los Angeles. Sofia Kappel plays Bella Cherry, an ambitious actress determined to become the best — at any cost — in the adult industry.
Men (May 20): After Ex Machina , Annihilation and the trippy TV show Devs , Alex Garland returns as writer and director of a film that’s simply titled Men . The film stars Jessie Buckley ( The Lost Daughter ) as Harper and Rory Kinnear, who dons a variety of wigs and prosthetic teeth to play different men throughout the movie. After a tragic personal loss, Harper retreats to the countryside, hoping to heal. “But someone or something from the surrounding woods appears to be stalking her. What begins as simmering dread becomes a fully-formed nightmare, inhabited by her darkest memories and fears,” reads the A24 synopsis of this idiosyncratic horror film.
Downton Abbey: A New Era (May 20): First there were the six seasons of the television drama about a family of British aristocrats, their estate and the servants who ensured everything ran smoothly. Then there was a 2019 movie. And now it’s time for a film sequel: A New Era . Julian Fellowes, the creator of the show, returns once more as the writer. And, yes, the good news is that despite the dire health diagnosis the Dowager Countess revealed to her granddaughter Mary (Michelle Dockery) at the end of the previous movie, Maggie Smith returns to A New Era to dispense fresh doses of perfectly delivered puns. She seems to have inherited a French villa and the whole clan won’t resist the temptation to visit it.
Top Gun: Maverick (May 27): The original Top Gun opened in 1986. Now, this sequel that’s been decades in the making — and spent years waiting to be released due to the pandemic — follows Tom Cruise’s Maverick after he’s served more than 30 years as a pilot in the Navy. When he has to train a group of Top Gun graduates for an impossible mission (pun intended), Maverick meets Lt. Bradley Bradshaw (Miles Teller), the son of his long-lost friend Goose. Expect spectacular aerial sequences and a lot of need for speed.
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Top 10 movie recommendation engines
If you don't know what to watch Friday night, look no further than this list of the top movie recommendation engines on the Web. They all offer something different.
There are dozens of movie recommendation engines on the Web. Some require little or no input before they give you titles, while others want to find out exactly what your interests are. I've been using 10 movie recommendation engines on both sides of the equation. They're all different, but some are definitely better than others.
10. Netflix Netflix asks you to rate movies to determine which films you'll want to see next. And although it does make it easy to rate movies and it does return huge lists, there's too much duplication in the results and the ideas it gives you aren't all that strong. It's easy to use, but it's not the best way to get movie recommendations.
9. Rotten Tomatoes Instead of telling Rotten Tomatoes which films you like, you can tell it what kind of films you enjoy, which actors you want to see, and other criteria to help it find the best movie for you. There's a lot of variability in the quality of Rotten Tomatoes recommendations but it's also a nice way to find the right film for any mood.
8. Movielens Movielens is ugly. But what it lacks in beauty, it makes up for with a great recommendation engine that evaluates your tastes based on ratings to films you've seen before. Once you rate 15 movies, it returns recommendations that, based on my testing, were quite accurate and certainly more relevant than results from Netflix.
7. Flixster Flixster is the pretty version of Movielens. The site allows you to rate films and it returns recommendations that are about as good as Movielens. Beyond beauty, Flixster beats out Movielens because it offers extras like film quizzes, the capability to monitor friends' ratings, and more. It's good for people who want more than just movie ideas.
6. IMDb Instead of asking you to input ratings or to tell it what movies you like, IMDb automatically recommends similar films to the movie you search for. At the bottom of the page, a "Recommendations" section explains that if you liked a respective film, you'll like the handful of other films being displayed, based on information gathered from an IMDb database, which examines films to find similarities and differences. It's a great way for people who don't have time to rate movies to find some films worth watching. Even better, the recommendations are solid.
5. Criticker Criticker is another one of those sites that places no stock in design, but it does a fine job of finding movies worth watching. Instead of just allowing you to rank films, the site compares your ratings to those of other users and employs something called the "Taste Compatibility Index" to see how closely your tastes match these other users. Once the service finds matches, you can view other users' profiles and see which movies they like. When I tried it, the other users' preferences were in line with my own on almost every film. Combining community and functionality, Criticker is a unique, yet worthwhile service to check out.
4. Clerkdogs Input the name of a film you like and Clerkdogs will return similar films. It's that simple. And it works. For both major movies and small films, it always found relevant recommendations when I gave it a starting point of a film I liked.
3. Nanocrowd At first glance, Nanocrowd looks like every other film search engine: you input the name of a film you like and it returns results. But the site goes well beyond a simple results page. Nanocrowd allows you to drill down into a more refined search with the help of a "three-word nanogenre." On the results page, you click which three-word category you prefer, based on keywords related to the movie you input into the search field, and Nanocrowd immediately refines your search to get the best film for you. Even better, the films it displays aren't always blockbusters.
2. Taste Kid If you want more than good movie recommendations, Taste Kid is the site for you. It's simple enough--you input a film you like and it returns results that offer similar action to your favorites. But it goes beyond just movies. If you really like "The Godfather," Taste Kid fills you in on what kind of bands you'll like to listen to, books you'll want to read, and "other stuff" that's related to that film. Taste Kid is a full entertainment recommendation engine.
1. Jinni Jinni is the best movie recommendation engine on the Web. Period. Whether you want to search for films in the search field or you want to find films based on your mood, time available, setting, or reviews, the site has it all. I searched for movies based on my mood and followed that with a search based on my plot preference. Each time, films that I've watched and loved in the past, or that I haven't watched but definitely want to see popped up.
But perhaps the most compelling feature that Jinni offers is its semantic search. You can input terms like, "movies that have gangsters" or "films that show Chris Farley yelling" and the site will return films that match your query. It's mind-blowing.
Go use Jinni. You won't regret it.
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To find a next movie for watching, enter the title of the film you like in the form below and similar movies will be displayed. The lists are generated automatically, taking into consideration different parameters of movies and using suggestions and expert assessments ("hand picked").
The formula of selecting movies is constantly improving, so don’t be upset if already watched films are displayed in the list of similar movies. Subscribe to watch new films you haven’t seen yet and which you’ll definitely like.
Also you can choose a movie to watch on the subject you are interested in. We divided all themes into several groups: Style, Plot, Audience, Time and Place.
On the tag page, all movies are sorted by relevance in which they refer to the theme. You can also quickly select only the best or newest from them using different sorts.
5 New Recommendation Sites for Movies You Would Hate to Miss
Don't have the time to decide which movie to watch next? Use these movie recommendation sites as a shortcut.
From a podcast that reintroduces the classics to publicly voted lists, check out these new ways to quickly find a movie to watch.
Modern digital life has too many streaming services, too many movies, and too little time. It's no wonder that there are new movie recommendation spaces popping up so often, not to mention old ones that get facelifts. Whether it's a quick search for similar film titles or a way to watch bad movies that you'll enjoy, try out these new ways to find a film worth watching.
1. Cinemate (Web): Movie Recommendations by AI
Cinemate is a free web app to quickly find movie recommendations based on AI. The system is based on over 100 million user ratings, the developer says. So while it isn't clear, it likely borrows from the best movie ratings sites . Technically, it's machine learning, not technically artificial intelligence, but it works quite well.
Search for a movie you have seen in the main dialog box and give it a rating from 1 to 9. The AI will recommend movies with a similar rating by others. Use this system for multiple films, assigning low ratings for the types of films you want to ignore and high ratings for those you want to watch to create a user profile of your current tastes.
The nice part is that you aren't doing this for perpetuity. If you're in the mood for a particular type of suspense thriller but usually prefer lighter movies, you can now find the kind of film you currently want to watch without affecting your overall profile.
2. Pick A Movie For Me (Web): Answer a Short Quiz to Get Movie Recommendations
Pick a Movie for Me (PAMFM) is a neat little app to find movies by answering six short questions.
- Start with your mood, choosing between happy, neutral, or sad.
- Choose the occasion, like a movie date night, watching by yourself, watching with family, or watching with friends.
- Choose genres you're interested in.
- Establish how old the movie should be, whether in the past year, three years, five years, 10 years, 20 years, or if it doesn't matter.
- Choose an age-appropriateness rating.
- Select from PAMFM's specialized categories like true stories, movies set in New York City, films based on a book, a movie with prequels or sequels, and so on.
Based on your answers, you'll get a list of recommendations. Each title comes with a poster, basic description, and a trailer.
The difference here is that PAMFM's catalog of 707 films is hand-picked and manually tagged by its team of film connoisseurs. So these movies already come with a tag of quality-control that you won't find on other sites.
3. Unspooled (Web): In-Depth but Light-Hearted Look at Classics
Like many of us, actor and comedian Paul Scheer hasn't watched some of the most well-known and critically appreciated films even though everyone keeps telling him to. Film critic and co-host Amy Nicholson is taking him through the classics and icons of cinema in a hilarious podcast called Unspooled.
Each episode is roughly between an hour and two hours, as Amy and Paul analyze what made the movie great. They take a look at both the technical aspects as well as its impact on popular culture, and why the film stands the test of time.
Most importantly, it never gets too serious. Movies are to be enjoyed without getting scholarly about them, right? Do yourself a favor and watch (or re-watch) the movie before listening to the episode. If there's anything on the list so far that you haven't seen, it ends up serving as a wonderful way to find movies to watch.
If you like Unspooled, check out Scheer's other podcast How Did This Get Made? , where they dissect bad movies. It's one of the best movie podcasts for film fans , and especially lovely if you enjoy watching campy B-movies.
4. So Bad It's Good (Web): Movies So Terrible That They're a Must-Watch
We've all seen a few movies that we would describe as "so bad that it's good." There's a fun factor to watching these train wrecks, especially in a group as you pass comments and wisecrack. If you're looking for a film like this, here are two resources.
Wikipedia's List of Films Considered the Worst is a fascinating compilation of movies that got universally panned by critics and audiences alike, from Roger Ebert to the Razzies. The chronological list is broken down by decade, but doesn't have clear rankings. But rest assured, everyone here is a loser.
If you're looking for a ranked list, our sister site ScreenRant has a guide to the 15 most beloved so-bad-they're-good movies . Their Rotten Tomatoes score is but a mere indication of how terrible they are, but you'd be crazy not to watch them.
And in case you think you're alone in enjoying such fare, don't worry. There's an entire community of people like you at the subreddit r/BadMovies . It's time to celebrate the worst that cinema has to offer.
5. FilmAffinity (Web): Best Movie Lists for Film Recommendations
FilmAffinity is a movie catalog that builds a profile of your tastes, and then recommends films based on it. That sounds pretty standard, but the website does a better job than most others, not to mention it's easier to browse.
So what makes FilmAffinity good? For starters, you can browse recommendation lists based on new releases in the theaters, streaming services (Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hulu, Disney+, Apple+), or lists like Academy Awards, Golden Globes, Sundance Film Festival, Venice Film Festival, etc. Within each list, you can find ways to match tastes or filter the movies.
But the most interesting thing is the Collective Voices page. FilmAffinity makes generic lists like "My favorite 2020 movies" or "My favorite 2020 series" and encourages all its users to make that list. That way, you also get an overall ranking. For example, most people added Soul to their top 10 movies of 2020, and so it features first in the Collective Voice. It's a nice way to find movie lists without relying on ratings.
Don't Forget Independent Movies
The bulk of these new movie recommendation engines focus on streaming services like Netflix. And that's natural given how it's the new way to consume videos, not to mention how Hollywood has embraced these. But you might be missing out on awesome but little known flicks.
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