Here are the most promising new and returning titles for U.S. subscribers this month, including a new season of “Stranger Things.”
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Every month, Netflix adds movies and TV shows to its library. Here are our picks for some of May’s most promising new titles. (Note: Streaming services occasionally change schedules without giving notice. For more recommendations on what to stream, sign up for our Watching newsletter here.)
Starts streaming: May 5
The maverick Swedish filmmaker and music video director Jonas Akerlund (“Spun,” “Lords of Chaos”) brings his visual panache and his affection for incorrigible rogues to the six-part biographical drama “Clark.” The series is based loosely on the life of Clark Olofsson, the man credited with inspiring the term “Stockholm syndrome” after he bonded with his hostages during a bank robbery. Akerlund uses zippy editing, varied color schemes and dynamic camera moves to emphasize the rush Olofsson got from theft, assault and drug trafficking. Bill Skarsgard (“It”) plays the title character, capturing both his puckish charm and his terrifying willingness to hurt and deceive people.
Starts streaming: May 6
Based on a Sarah Dessen young adult novel, “Along for the Ride” follows a socially awkward high school graduate named Auden (Emma Pasarow) who spends the summer before college living with her father and stepmom at the beach. There, she meets a mysterious and brooding boy, Eli (Belmont Cameli), who like her suffers from insomnia and shares her interests in reading and wandering along the shore. The writer-director Sofia Alvarez works this teen romance plot into a larger story about Auden’s efforts to escape the shadow of her domineering mother (Andie MacDowell) and learn how to take more chances.
Starts streaming: May 13
Next to the detective Harry Bosch, the scrappy defense attorney Mickey Haller is the crime novelist Michael Connelly’s greatest creation: a champion of the innocent who empathizes with his clients in part because he, himself, is often just a few bad breaks away from calamity. Matthew McConaughey played Haller in a well-received 2011 film, “The Lincoln Lawyer,” based on Connelly’s first book about the character. Season 1 of this new TV series is based on the novel “The Brass Verdict,” and it hews a bit closer to the source material — beginning with the casting of the Mexican actor Manuel Garcia-Rulfo to play a man who is described as half-Mexican in the original stories. In this first set of episodes, the lawyer inherits a colleague’s practice. While working mostly out of his flashy car, Haller has to prepare a new celebrity client’s murder defense in under a week.
Starts streaming: May 13
Rebel Wilson stars in this high school comedy, which like her 2019 film “Isn’t It Romantic?,” repurposes the conventions of a popular movie genre. In “Senior Year,” Wilson plays Stephanie Conway, who has been in a coma since 2002, when she was the captain of her school’s cheerleading squad. In her mind, no time has passed, so Stephanie decides to re-enroll and get her degree — although she soon finds that because so much has changed about adolescent cliques and pop culture over the past 20 years, she is now more misfit than teen queen. Directed by the TV sitcom veteran Alex Hardcastle, “Senior Year” is a fish-out-of-water story about a woman coming to terms with her past and her future.
Starts streaming: May 27
When last we left the “Stranger Things” crew, the adventurous Hawkins, Ind., teenagers and their perpetually worried parents and guardians had survived a huge escalation of the inter-dimensional war against their tiny town. Season 3 of this nostalgia-steeped science-fiction adventure ended with several characters leaving town after the Soviet Union exacerbated a crisis involving the alternate reality known as “the Upside Down.” The pandemic-delayed Season 4 — arriving three years after Season 3 but advancing the plot only six months — will move into the second half of the 1980s. This season’s episodes will be lengthier and larger in scale (they’ll also drop in two parts, the second landing on July 1) as the show’s creators, Matt and Ross Duffer, start bringing the scattered pieces of their story together in preparation for a big Season 5 finish.
“The Circle” Season 4
“El Marginal” Season 5
“Meltdown: Three Mile Island”
“Summertime” Season 3
“Wild Babies” Season 1
“The Sound of Magic” Season 1
“Welcome to Eden” Season 1
“Outlander” Season 5
“42 Days of Darkness” Season 1
“Savage Beauty” Season 1
“Bling Empire” Season 2
“Vampire in the Garden” Season 1
“The Future Diary” Season 2
“Cyber Hell: Exposing an Internet Horror”
“A Perfect Pairing”
“The Photographer: Murder in Pinamar”
“Love, Death + Robots” Season 3
“Ghost in the Shell: SAC_2045” Season 2
“Somebody Feed Phil” Season 5