Feel lost in options when you cue up Netflix? Want to make sure you’re up to date on the latest movies and TV shows arriving on the massive streaming platform? Perhaps, more importantly, you don’t want to miss the chance to watch something great before it’s gone. Relax. Our critics check all the latest lineups to bring you the best things coming and going — so you don’t have to. It’s all right here.
Coming May 1
A River Runs Through It (1992)
Norman Maclean became a top author at 74 with his autobiographical ode to Montana fly-fishing, troubled brothers and distant dads. Robert Redford soulfully directed the hit film version, with superb performances by Brad Pitt and Tom Skerritt.
Watch it: A River Runs Through It
Road to Perdition (2002)
Tom Hanks excels as a Midwest hit man during the Depression who’s working for the mob boss who’s his surrogate father (Paul Newman). A brooding, absorbing story with period atmosphere to burn.
Watch it: Road to Perdition
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Forrest Gump (1994)
It’s light and sticky-sweet as cotton candy, but this historical sprint through the tumultuous American century is powered by Tom Hanks’ infinite charm. Sally Field is good as the dim hero’s wise mom — but how did she go from playing Hanks’ love interest in 1988's Punchline to playing his mom?
Watch it: Forrest Gump
Don’t miss this: 14 Things You Didn’t Know About the Movie ‘Forrest Gump’
Hello, My Name Is Doris (2016)
As if in vengeance for Forrest Gump, Sally Field plays an eccentric older woman who wins the affections of a lad decades younger, with Tyne Daly as her more sensible friend. Not a great film, but Field is a force of nature who keeps it aloft.
Watch it: Hello, My Name Is Doris
Menace II Society (1993)
In one of the most epic debuts since Martin Scorsese’s Mean Streets, the twins Allen and Albert Hughes depict the mean streets and cruel fates of L.A.’s crime-plagued Watts district.
Watch it: Menace II Society
When Harry Met Sally (1989)
When Nora (Ephron) met Rob (Reiner), they made one of the most legendary rom-coms in history, starring Billy Crystal and Nora’s on-screen counterpart Meg Ryan, who says Nora and Rob “distilled what worked about those fantastic comedies of the ’30s and ’40s and modernized it, brought it back.”
Watch it: When Harry Met Sally
You’ve Got Mail (1998)
It’s not quite as immortal as When Harry Met Sally, but Nora Ephron’s revision of 1940’s The Shop Around the Corner — with Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan as coincidental lovers at the dawn of AOL — has its dial-up-era charms.
Watch it: You’ve Got Mail
The Gentlemen (2019)
Guy Ritchie directs a pretty good action flick about a cannabis entrepreneur (Matthew McConaughey) and his sordid colleagues (Hugh Grant, Colin Farrell and Jeremy Strong). And if you like this one, watch this space for Ritchie’s Netflix original series based on the film, in production now.
Watch it: The Gentlemen
Coming May 4
Meltdown: Three Mile Island (2022)
An important four-part documentary on America’s worst nuclear plant mishap and the ordinary people who kept it from turning into our Chernobyl.
Watch it: Meltdown: Three Mile Island
Coming May 5
The Pentaverate (2022)
In this new original series, Mike Myers plays a Canadian journalist trying to expose the Pentaverate, five guys who’ve directed world history since the black plague of the 14th century. He also plays the Pentaverate patriarch, two conspiracy theorists, an ex-Russian oligarch, an ex-media mogul, a tech genius and Shep Gordon (the real rock manager immortalized in Myers’ 2014 documentary Supermensch). The cast includes Ken Jeong, Keegan-Michael Key, Debi Mazar and Jennifer Saunders.
Watch it: The Pentaverate
An unbelievable yet true limited series about Clark Olofsson (Bill Skarsgård), Sweden’s most charismatic criminal, who robbed a bank, took hostages, charmed them by crooning “Killing Me Softly,” married one of them and inspired the term “Stockholm syndrome.”
Watch it: Clark
Wild Babies (2022)
What could be more adorable than baby lions, elephants and penguins frolicking in their natural habitat? Nada.
Watch it: Wild Babies
Coming May 6
Coming May 10
Operation Mincemeat (2021)
John Madden (Shakespeare in Love) directs Colin Firth in an adaptation of the true World War II story Operation Mincemeat: How a Dead Man and a Bizarre Plan Fooled the Nazis and Assured an Allied Victory.
Watch it: Operation Mincemeat
Our Father (2022)
An only child discovers she has way more siblings than she ever knew in an adaptation of the true story of fertility doctor Donald Cline, who fathered 50 or more children without telling patients he was inseminating them with his own sperm.
Watch it: Our Father
Coming May 13
Senior Year (2022)
How has high-school culture changed in the past 20 years? A cheerleader (Rebel Wilson) gets a conk on the head, wakes up from a coma two decades later and tries to become a prom queen pushing 40.
Watch it: Senior Year
The Lincoln Lawyer (2022)
Matthew McConaughey first played attorney Mick Haller, who works out of his Lincoln Town Car, in a 2011 film of Michael Connelly’s mystery novel. In a new series by David E. Kelley (Big Little Lies), Manuel Garcia-Rulfo takes on the Haller role in an intelligent, if impersonal, adaptation of the second novel in the series.
Watch it: The Lincoln Lawyer
Coming May 27
Stranger Things, Season 4
The 1980s-saturated sci-fi show that cost more to make than Game of Thrones and The Mandalorian put together returns — and raises big questions. Why does Paul Reiser’s character warn, “A war is coming. I’m afraid your friends in Hawkins are very much in the eye of the storm”? Why does Winona Ryder’s California character get a package from Russia? Will scary bats invade like the dragons in Thrones?
Watch it: Stranger Things
Leaving Netflix May 13
Eye in the Sky (2016)
Did you like Helen Mirren in Prime Suspect? Try her as a tough British colonel hunting al-Shabab terrorists in Nairobi and confronted with a moral dilemma: Should she stop them with drones and Hellfire missiles — but at the price of killing an innocent child who wanders into the kill zone? A smart, superb thriller with a theme worth pondering.
Watch it: Eye in the Sky
Leaving Netflix May 31
A highly intelligent filmed play about four of the nastiest lovers you’ll ever see (Julia Roberts, Jude Law, Natalie Portman, Clive Owen), engineering the unhappiness they deserve.
Watch it: Closer
Coach Carter (2005)
Samuel L. Jackson scores in the fact-inspired story of a California basketball coach who forces kids to focus on studies as well as the championship.
Watch it: Coach Carter
Downton Abbey: Series 1 to 6
Get ready for the May 18 movie, Downton Abbey: A New Era, by seizing your last chance to Netflix and chill with the show that made Britons of us all.
Watch it: Downton Abbey
Top Gun (1986)
Get ready for the May 27 sequel, Top Gun: Maverick, by seeing flyboy Tom Cruise reacquire the need for speed.
Watch it: Top Gun
Ben Stiller directs and stars as a dim model assigned by fashion mavens (Will Ferrell and Jerry Stiller) to assassinate Malaysia’s prime minister — but not if fellow dim model Hansel (Owen Wilson) can stop it.
Watch it: Zoolander
Tim Appelo covers entertainment and is the film and TV critic for AARP. Previously, he was the entertainment editor at Amazon, video critic at Entertainment Weekly, and a critic and writer for The Hollywood Reporter, People, MTV, The Village Voice and LA Weekly.