The Best TV Shows and Movies New to Netflix, Amazon and More in May

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Watching is The New York Times’s TV and film recommendation newsletter and website.

At the beginning of every month, subscription streaming services add a new batch of movies and TV shows to their libraries. Here are the titles we think are most interesting, broken down by service and release date. Streaming services occasionally change schedules without giving notice.

New to Netflix

‘Don’t Think Twice’
Starts streaming: May 1.

If Netflix’s steadily increasing supply of stand-up specials has put you in a comedy mood, say “yes, and” to this movie about an improv group that finds fame and then jealousy. It would be silly not to actually put silly people in a film like this, so Keegan-Michael Key, Gillian Jacobs, Kate Micucci, and Chris Gethard star alongside Mike Birbiglia, who wrote and directed the film (and whose recent Netflix stand-up special, “Thank God for Jokes,” is a sweet and fun time.)

‘Hunter Gatherer’
Starts streaming: May 8.

After serving time, a man (Andre Royo, who played Bubbles on “The Wire”) attempts to reconnect with his girlfriend but discovers that she’s moved on with her life. Royo gives a passionate performance as his character attempts to work toward both societal and personal redemption. Joshua Locy makes his scrappy directing debut with this heartfelt story.

‘Get Me Roger Stone’
Starts streaming: May 12.

Among the more shadowy characters in Donald Trump’s political sphere, the self-proclaimed “agent provocateur” Roger Stone has made headlines recently over allegations of collusion between the Trump campaign and the Russian government. A sensation at the Tribeca Film Festival, the documentary “Get Me Roger Stone” delves into Stone’s long and sordid history as a Machiavellian operator for the Republican Party and all of the controversies he’s stirred up and survived.

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‘Lovesong’
Starts streaming: May 15.

An inspired film for late spring, this romance stars Riley Keough and Jena Malone as two longtime friends who discover stronger feelings for each other while on a road trip. This movie from director So Yong Kim feels warm and sun-drenched.

‘The Place Beyond the Pines’
Starts streaming: May 16.

A drama about fathers, sons and how lives intersect, Derek Cianfrance’s follow-up narrative feature to “Blue Valentine” is an equally somber film. The movie stars Ryan Gosling, Bradley Cooper, Eva Mendes and Mahershala Ali, who won an Oscar for his role in “Moonlight,” as a weary boyfriend who wants his partner’s ex to get out of his family’s life.

Netflix Originals

‘Sense8’ Season 2
Starts streaming: May 5.

Lana and Lilly Wachowski, along with co-creator J. Michael Straczynski, perplexed some and enthralled others with their ambitious series about eight “sensates” from different parts of the world, who share fluid identities through a metaphysical connection. The second season finds the sensates doing battle against a nefarious organization called B.P.O. in a global battle that recalls past Wachowski projects like “The Matrix,” “V for Vendetta,” and “Cloud Atlas.”

‘Anne With an E’ Season 1
Starts streaming: May 12.

On the heels of PBS’s remake of “Anne of Green Gables” comes this version from the “Breaking Bad” writer Moira Walley-Beckett. The New York Times Magazine has a great piece on it here.

‘Master of None’ Season Two
Starts streaming: May 12.

The world didn’t necessarily need another semi-autobiographical half-hour comedy about the life of a struggling funnyman, but this show’s co-creator and star, Aziz Ansari, carved out a niche for himself with “Master of None,” a funny and self-deprecating show with fresh insight into what the entertainment business is like for minorities in America. John Legend and Bobby Cannavale add to the list of guest stars in the second season, which finds Ansari’s put-upon actor, Dev, returning to New York after a brief sojourn in Italy.

‘The Keepers’
Starts Streaming: May 19.

Over a year after its addicting “Making a Murderer” became a sensation, Netflix gets back into the true-crime business with a new documentary series, which follows a band of amateur sleuths as they as they try to crack a 50-year-old crime involving a Baltimore nun and a possible cover-up of sexual abuse. “The Keepers” was directed by Ryan White, a top-shelf documentarian who previously made “Good Ol’ Freda,” “Serena,” and “The Case Against 8.”

Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt Season 3
Starts streaming: May 19.

Throughout the first two seasons of this, Netflix’s zippiest and cheeriest sitcom, Ellie Kemper’s can-do Kimmy has reluctantly confronted unresolved feelings over having been abandoned by her mother and imprisoned by a cult leader for more than a decade. This year, the special guest stars Laura Dern, Daveed Diggs, Maya Rudolph and Jon Hamm will help creators Tina Fey and Robert Carlock tell the next phase of their heroine’s story, as she tries once again to restart her life in New York City.

‘War Machine’
Starts streaming:
May 26.

The acclaimed Australian director David Michôd (“The Rover,” “Animal Kingdom”) shepherds what is easily Netflix’s biggest gamble yet in the original movie department: a big-budget adaptation of the Michael Hastings book “The Operators,” with Brad Pitt producing and starring as a fictionalized version of Gen. Stanley McChrystal. A cast that includes Tilda Swinton, Ben Kingsley, and Anthony Michael Hall (as a fictionalized Michael Flynn!) join Michôd and Pitt in delivering the kind of hefty political satire that not long ago was something only Hollywood movie studios made, not video streaming services.

House of Cards’ Season 5
Starts streaming: May 30.

Have you watched the four first seasons of “House of Cards?” Then this note’s for you!

Also of interest: “Chocolat” (May 1), “Happy Feet” (May 1), “Beyond the Gates” (May 8), “Inglourious Basterds” (May 22), “Bloodline” Season 3 (May 26) and “F For Family” Season 2 (May 30).

Martin Mull and Madeline Kahn in “Clue.”Paramount Pictures

New to Hulu

‘The Bad News Bears’
Starts streaming: May 1.

Before Billy Bob Thornton berated bratty kids on a baseball team in Richard Linklater’s 2005 film of the same name, Walter Matthau did the same to a group of potty-mouthed misfits in the 1976 original. Matthau’s grumpy schtick never got old (he appeared grumpy onscreen for decades), but the real M.V.P. here is a spunky Tatum O’Neal, who not only plays ball with the boys, but proves she’s better than they are.

‘Big Fish’
Starts streaming: May 1.

This is not one of Tim Burton’s better-known works, but it’s certainly one of his most emotionally affecting. In search of the truth about his family history, a man (Billy Crudup) attempts to figure out which of his dying father’s life stories are real or fake. Burton’s style here is playful, colorful and whimsical, very different than the darker style of his earlier films. Imagine “Pee-wee’s Big Adventure” combined with the sensitivity of “Edward Scissorhands.”

‘Clue’
Starts streaming: May 1.

Feel free to dress as your favorite character (unless you’re the singing telegram lady) to watch Tim Curry, Madeline Kahn and Christopher Lloyd bring to life Clue, the murder-obsessed board game. Originally panned on its release, “Clue” gained a following on VHS and cable. With over-the-top moments like Kahn’s now famous “flames on the side of my face” scene, it’s easy to discern why.

Winter’s Bone
Starts streaming: May 1.

In her powerful breakout role, Jennifer Lawrence plays a teenager desperately trying to find her jailbird dad, who has skipped bail and put their family home at risk. This dark Ozark tale also features a formidable performance from John Hawkes as the girl’s cryptic, drug-addicted uncle.

‘A Fistful of Dollars’
Starts streaming: May 4.

Start the “Dollars” trilogy right with “A Fistful of Dollars,” the first of three Spaghetti Westerns by director Sergio Leone starring Clint Eastwood — known simply as the Man With No Name that . Unlike many of the fairly antiseptic black-and-white westerns that preceded them, Leone’s movies are unflinchingly violent, and everyone in them looks as weather-beaten as the side of a stable.

‘He Got Game’
Starts streaming: May 15.

In this 1998 sports drama from Spike Lee, Denzel Washington plays a pushy dad who tries to cut a deal to get out of prison early by convincing his son — a teenage basketball star — to play for a particular university. In addition to Washington, the movie featured several Lee regulars like the “Do the Right Thing” alums Bill Nunn and John Turturro as well as the N.BA. star Ray Allen as the son.

Also of interest (starting May 1): “48 Hrs.,” “Life is Beautiful,” “Barbershop,” “The Naked Gun: From the Files of Police Squad!,” “Planes, Trains and Automobiles,” “Coming to America” and “The Doors.”

Alex R. Hibbert in “Moonlight.”A24

New to Amazon

‘Life is Beautiful’
Starts streaming: May 1.

In this three-time Oscar-winner (one of which resulted in this moment), a Jewish-Italian father tries to protect his young son from the horrors of a concentration camp after they are captured by Nazis. Roberto Benigni starred in, wrote and directed the movie, which uses slapstick comedy to balance some of the film’s tragic scenes.

‘Pride’
Starts streaming: May 1.

This is a feel-good movie based on a true story about a British miner’s strike and the gay and lesbian organization that came to its aid. “Pride” has a lot going for it, including a poppy ’80s soundtrack and an accomplished cast of British TV and film stars like Bill Nighy, Imelda Staunton and Dominic West.

The Wizard of Oz
Starts streaming: May 1.

Be honest, when was the last time you watched Judy Garland pine over rainbows and skip down a yellow brick road? It’s always a good time to rewatch this classic musical or to introduce it to the younger members of your family.

Manchester by the Sea
Starts streaming: May 5.

Casey Affleck plays a man struggling with the death of his brother and the responsibility of parenting his nephew in this sobering Kenneth Lonergan drama. The film deftly cuts between the characters’ current tragedy and the grief that haunts them from their past. Affleck won the Academy Award for best actor at this year’s Oscars ceremony and Lonergan won the award for best original screenplay.

‘Jackie Brown’
Starts streaming: May 7.

This isn’t your typical Quentin Tarantino film. It’s better. Based on a novel by Elmore Leonard, “Jackie Brown” stars Pam Grier as a resourceful airline stewardess and Robert Forster as a bondsman who could be falling in love with her. The film follows Grier’s titular character through a complex hustle to outwit both a criminal (Samuel L. Jackson) and his right-hand man (Robert De Niro) while turning a nice profit. Naturally, it’s all set to an incredible soundtrack.

‘I Love Dick’
Starts streaming: May 12.

Having already turned her own life into the award-winning series “Transparent,” the writer and director Jill Soloway joins writer Sarah Gubbins in adapting the offbeat semi-memoir by Chris Kraus about an artist at a personal and professional crossroads. Kathryn Hahn plays a struggling filmmaker who lands in rural Texas, where she becomes captivated by a macho, charismatic academic (Kevin Bacon) who’s everything that her husband (Griffin Dunne) is not. What follows is another of Soloway’s frank looks at how our career priorities and sexual tastes shift as we move through life.

Moonlight
Starts streaming: May 21.

Will the real best picture Oscar winner please stand up? In this beautiful film from director Barry Jenkins, the protagonist Chiron is played by three different actors at three different ages. Each time, his struggles with his sexual identity and his struggle to belong are challenged by outside forces, which Jenkins gorgeously illustrates with dreamlike camerawork and lighting. This movie is worth the hype.

Also of interest (starting May 1): “No Way Out,” “The Bad News Bears,” “The Doors” and “Planes, Trains and Automobiles.”

Tom Hanks as the title character in “Sully.”Keith Bernstein/Warner Bros. Pictures

New to HBO

‘Good Will Hunting’
Starts streaming: May 1.

This mid-90s weepie follows a janitor (Matt Damon) in South Boston whose genius is recognized by an MIT professor (Stellan Skarsgard) and a therapist (Robin Williams). Damon and Ben Affleck won an Oscar for the film’s screenplay while Williams won best supporting actor. “How do you like them apples?!

‘Scream 2’
Starts streaming: May 1.

It may not have the same reputation as that of Wes Craven’s original, a modern horror classic, but this sequel continues that film’s skewering of horror movie tropes. It also employs a darkly funny conceit by serving as a spoof of the fan culture that sprung up around the original.

‘Sin City’
Starts streaming: May 1.

Robert Rodriguez teamed up with the renowned comic book artist Frank Miller to bring his dark and pulpy work to the big screen. The result is this visually striking and shockingly violent set of stories about seedy characters in the criminal underground. The film marked the beginning of Mickey Rourke’s brief comeback, which peaked with his Oscar nomination for “The Wrestler.”

‘Sully’
Starts streaming: May 6.

Tom Hanks plays the American hero Capt. Chesley Sullenberger in this dramatic recreation of “the Miracle on the Hudson” by Clint Eastwood. The movie mixes those moments with a courtoom-like examination of Sullenberger, known as Sully, by aviation investigators.

‘Wizard of Lies’
Starts streaming: May 20.
Add it to your Watchilst

Will every superstar actor of the 1970s be taking a turn playing crooked financial adviser Bernie Madoff? After Richard Dreyfuss gave a terrific performance as Madoff in the ABC mini-series “Madoff,” Robert De Niro reprised the role for HBO in this adaptation of the Diana B. Henriques book “The Wizard of Lies.” Directed by Barry Levinson, the film also stars Michelle Pfeiffer as Madoff’s wife, Ruth, and looks to explore the chutzpah needed for a man to bilk a lot of smart, successful people out of billions.

Noel Murray and Scott Tobias contributed reporting.

Source: New York Times

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