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April 28, 2021  |  Electronics

New in May 2021: The best shows and movies on Hulu, Disney+, and Amazon Prime

By Anthony Marcusa

What to watch in May 2021

Fun summer blockbusters, new series, revealing documentaries, and a slew of old favorites will be hitting streaming services this month. Three of the most popular streaming platforms in Disney+, Hulu, and Amazon Prime Video have released their respective May lineups, and there are plenty of original stories and popular titles from years past to look forward to.

We’ve rounded up everything coming to your home, with plenty of offerings to satisfy the most diverse interests. Here’s what’s available and what’s worth checking out in May.

Best May 2021 Disney+ releases

Star Wars: The Bad Batch, May 4

The titular animated heroes of The Bad Batch made their debut about a year ago as part of the final season of The Clone Wars. This outcast group of soldiers was instantly popular, earning its own spinoff show. We’re excited to see their story continue in a post-Clone Wars world, and we’re curious about what familiar faces may pop in along the way.

High School Musical: The Musical: The Series, May 14

It’s a new semester for the High School Musical gang as season 2 debuts with higher stakes, more pressure, and plenty of drama. The whole group from the first season returns as the East High Drama Club is taking to competition this year and putting on Beauty and the Beast. This much-anticipated, highly teased season promises more intimate moments and character growth as well as undeniably catchy songs.

Cruella, May 28

Hitting the streaming services under the Premier Access category — which allows you to own the film for two months for a $30 fee — is the latest in Disney’s live-action remakes, Cruella. This prequel follows the rise of 101 Dalmatians villain Cruella de Vil, and an early trailer indicates a darker story than we might have anticipated. Villain prequels have been hit or miss the past few years, but we’re looking forward to Emma Stone in the lead role as well many terrific costumes.

Launchpad, May 28

This new series by Disney+ offers a collection of short stories from underrepresented voices, hoping to serve as a foundation — or launchpad — to greater success and more audience interest. Six short films will drop in this iteration, directed by a diverse group of filmmakers: Ann Marie Pace, Aqsa Altaf, Hao Zheng, Jessica Mendez Siqueiros, Moxie Peng, and Stefanie Abel Horowitz. Disney is already underway in preparation for a second collection, with submissions opening on May 10.

Bluey, May 28

For the young ones in the house, the second season of the popular animated Australian kids’ show Bluey makes its way to the service. The show follows the titular dog as he goes on adventures with his family and friends. The show received praise for its honest and charming depictions of social and family issues, as well as the imagination and optimism of its main character. The target audience — preschoolers — were on board as well.

Kingdom of the Polar Bears, May 28

National Geographic continues to make stunning, immersive documentaries about the animal world — and with such a successful track record, we’re all in on their latest title, Kingdom of the Polar Bears. This two-part series follows a group of polar bears as they adapt to evolving lifestyles due to climate change. Photos released ahead of time are stunning, and with 4K cameras capturing new and thrilling footage, this harrowing adventure is sure to be immersive.

Best May 2021 Hulu releases

The Assassin, May 1

If you haven’t had a chance to check out this historical drama from 2015, now is the time. A beautiful and sweeping tale set in 9th century China, The Assassin follows a young woman raised to kill. When she grants mercy on a mission, however, she is sent away to earn back her trust and respect — but her latest quest kindles doubt as well. Though a martial arts epic, this film offers slow pacing and an immersive environment, making it as stunning as it is dramatic.

Shrill, Season 3, May 7

This Hulu Original is back for its third and final season, with eight episodes of the sharp and funny comedy dropping on May 7. Aidy Bryant stars as Annie Easton who, after earning her journalism dream job, fights back against budget cuts and angry online commentary while contemplating her dating life and staying true to her friends. A blend of absurd humor and warmth, it’s a bittersweet return of this inclusive and insightful series.

Little Fish, May 7

We’re quite curious about this sci-fi romance starring two talented young actors. Olivia Cooke and Jack O’Connell play a couple fighting to preserve their relationship amid a spreading virus that destroys memories. It looks to be a heartfelt, compelling tale and one that’s accidentally timely as the couple tries to fight back against a disease that is slowly tearing their lives apart.

MLK/FBI, May 13

This stunning and emotional documentary bowed to rave reviews in January, and it's coming to home streaming services this May. It follows the FBI surveillance of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. across five years up to the leader’s assassination in 1968. The documentary draws on secret documents that are to be released later this decade, as well as investigative journalism that chronicles a dedicated campaign to diminish the influence of the civil rights icon.

Marvel’s M.O.D.O.K., May 21

Now for a different type of Marvel superhero show: a stop-motion animated comedy about a supervillain. Co-created by Patton Oswalt, who voices the titular failing evildoer, this series promises silly entertainment, sharp quips, and some cartoonish gore as our antagonist grapples with failing schemes and a bankrupt business. It’s not part of the MCU, offering a reprieve from complex storytelling and instead providing some mindless fun.

Plan B, May 28

We’re excited about this teenage comedy that has a familiar template with unfamiliar characters. It’s about two best friends on a quest — a common trope in young adult stories. However, the two friends are girls of color, and their quest is to travel out of their home state of South Dakota to get the Plan B pill. Directed by Natalie Morales and made with a dedicated, diverse crew over the last year, this film promises adventure, raunch, and of course, plenty of heart.

Best May 2021 Amazon Prime releases

The Boy From Medellín, May 7

This new doc follows Latin superstar J Balvin as he prepares for a hometown concert just as his home country of Colombia descends into political and social turmoil. Those around him want him to speak out, but he’s hesitant to voice his beliefs, despite his massive influence. It’s a familiar story, but one that is timely and compelling all the same.

Saint Maud, May 13

We surely can’t go a whole list without including something for horror fans. This atmospheric, psychological film follows an evangelical nurse who believes she needs to save the soul of a cancer patient in her care. The chilling film has been scaring audiences since it debuted in late 2019 and earned acclaim for the performances, music, and leadership of Rose Glass in her directorial debut.

The Underground Railroad: Season 1, May 14

Perhaps the most anticipated show on this list, Oscar-winning writer and director Barry Jenkins brings to life a riveting and harrowing story about the Antebellum South. It follows Cora (Thuso Mbedu) as she escapes Georgia in search of the famed safety network that turns out to be a literal railroad ride to freedom. The first trailer promises more of Jenkins’s impressive visuals and compelling storytelling.

P!nk: All I Know So Far, May 21

The second pop singer documentary on this list, this one promises to be a little more straightforward, offering a look at the life and success of Pink as she begins her 2019 tour. Interviews and intimate conversations as offered up alongside some lively performances. 

Solos, May 21

This limited anthology series has quite the intriguing premise with echoes of Black Mirror, albeit a bit more hopeful, it seems. Seven episodes in this series each star one actor in a story about technology, human connectedness, and what it means to be alone. The talented cast features Anne Hathaway, Helen Mirren, Morgan Freeman, Uzo Adubo, Anthony Mackie, Constance Wu, Dan Stevens, and Nicole Beharie, which makes this series all the more compelling.

Panic: Season 1, May 28

Young adult series continue to flourish and gain audiences, and the new series Panic hopes to find its own foothold. Based on the book of the same name, the story has echoes of The Hunger Games, as high school graduates in a poor town compete in a series of challenges to win money and hopefully the chance to escape their destitute future. Confronted with harrowing decisions and fearful circumstances, they must determine what they’re fighting for and what they’re willing to risk.

More shows to watch on Disney+ in May 2021

May 7

  • Star Wars: The Bad Batch: Episode 102
  • Disney Wander over Yonder
  • Everyone’s Hero
  • Flicka 2
  • Wild Hearts Can’t Be Broken
  • Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer
  • Big Shot: Episode 104
  • The Mighty Ducks: Game Changers: Episode 10

May 14

  • Disney Special Agent Oso (S1-2)
  • Disney Special Agent Oso: Three Healthy Steps (S1)
  • X-Men: The Last Stand
  • Life Below Zero (S15)
  • Race to the Center of the Earth (S1)
  • Big Shot: Episode 105
  • The Mighty Ducks: Game Changers: Episode 108
  • Star Wars: The Bad Batch: Episode 103

May 21

  • Disney Big City Greens (S2)
  • Disney Junior Mickey Mouse Mixed-Up Adventures (S1)
  • Tinker Bell and the Legend of the Neverbeast
  • Fury Files (Interstitials)
  • Ice Road Rescue (S5)
  • Running Wild with Bear Grylls (S6)
  • Inside Pixar: Unpacked
  • High School Musical: The Musical: The Series: Episode 202
  • Big Shot: Episode 106
  • The Mighty Ducks: Game Changers: Episode 109
  • Star Wars: The Bad Batch: Episode 104

May 28

  • Bluey Shorts (S2)
  • Disney Sydney to the Max (S3 – Episodes 1-8)
  • Wicked Tuna (S10 – Episode 1-7)
  • High School Musical: The Musical: The Series: Episode 203
  • Big Shot: Episode 107
  • The Mighty Ducks: Game Changers: Episode 110
  • Star Wars: The Bad Batch: Episode 105

More shows to watch on Hulu in May 2021

May 1

  • Are You The One?: Complete Seasons 4-6
  • Bad Girls Club: Complete Seasons 7, 9, 10 & 15
  • Blind Date: Season 1, Episodes 1 – 45
  • Dating #NOFILTER: Complete Seasons 1 & 2
  • I Am Cait: Complete Season 2
  • Married to Medicine: Complete Seasons 1 – 6
  • Shahs of Sunset: Complete Seasons 1- 6
  • Texicanas: Complete Season 1
  • (500) Days of Summer
  • The A-Team
  • The Age of Adaline
  • Almost Famous
  • An Elephant’s Journey
  • Any Given Sunday
  • The Assassin 
  • Betrayed
  • Blast From The Past
  • Blue Chips
  • Bound
  • Burning
  • The Crazies
  • Cyrus
  • Dances With Wolves
  • Detective Dee: The Four Heavenly Kings
  • Dinosaur 13
  • Fascination
  • Goodnight Mommy
  • Grace Of Monaco
  • Grudge Match
  • Gundala
  • Hannibal Rising
  • Harold & Kumar Escape from Guantanamo Bay
  • Harold & Kumar Go To White Castle
  • The Haunting in Connecticut
  • Haunting In Connecticut 2: Ghosts Of Georgia
  • How Stella Got Her Groove Back
  • I Am Legend
  • I Love You Phillip Morris
  • The Indian in the Cupboard
  • The Iron Giant
  • Knowing
  • Lost in Hong Kong
  • Lucky Number Slevin
  • Machete
  • The Man From Nowhere
  • Midnight Heat
  • Once Upon a Time in the West
  • One Fine Day
  • The Outsider
  • Predator
  • Predator 2 
  • Race for Your Life, Charlie Brown
  • Reservoir Dogs
  • Resident Evil: Afterlife
  • Resident Evil: Apocalypse
  • Resident Evil: Extinction
  • Sahara
  • Shattered
  • The Spy Next Door
  • Step Up 2 The Streets
  • Step Up 3D
  • Train to Busan
  • True Lies
  • Vampire in Brooklyn
  • Vantage Point
  • The Virgin Suicides
  • The Wailing
  • Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps
  • We Were Soldiers
  • What’s Love Got To Do With It
  • Zack And Miri Make A Porno

May 2

  • Flight
  • The Iron Lady

May 3

  • The Legend of Baron To’a (2020)

May 4

  • Pikwik Pack: Season 1A, Episodes 1 – 12

May 5

  • Shadow in the Cloud
  • Skyfall
  • Warrior

May 6

  • The Unicorn

May 9

  • Robot & Frank

May 10

  • Wander Darkly

May 13

  • Saint Maud
  • Some Kind of Heaven

May 15

  • A Perfect Ending
  • Cowboys
  • Good Kisser
  • Mosquita Y Mari
  • Reaching for the Moon
  • The Mountain Between Us
  • Tru Love

May 18

  • Supernova

May 19

  • Red Dawn

May 22

  • Neat: The Story of Bourbon

May 25

  • Baewatch: Parental Guidance: Complete Season 1
  • Escape from the City: Complete Season 1
  • Farmer Wants a Wife: Complete Seasons 7 – 10

May 26

  • Mr. Inbetween: Season 3 Premiere

May 27

  • MADAGASCAR: A LITTLE WILD: COMPLETE SEASON 3 (Hulu Original)
  • The Bold Type: Season 5 Premiere
  • The Bachelor: Complete Seasons 20 & 23
  • The Bachelorette: Complete Season 12

May 28

  • The Vigil (2021)

May 31

  • The Donut King
  • The One I Love
  • The World To Come

More shows to watch on Amazon Prime in May 2021

May 1

  • The Age of Adaline
  • Alien: Resurrection
  • Alien 3
  • Aliens
  • Almost Famous
  • Angels & Demons
  • Betrayed
  • Bound
  • The Dalton Girls
  • The Da Vinci Code
  • Deuce Bigalow: Male Gigolo
  • Dinosaur 13
  • Fascination
  • Flight
  • Flightplan
  • The French Connection
  • Georgia Rule
  • The Green Hornet
  • Green Zone
  • Gunsight Ridge
  • The Haunting in Connecticut 2: Ghosts of Georgia
  • Hidalgo
  • How Stella Got Her Groove Back
  • The Indian in the Cupboard
  • Jumping The Broom
  • Knowing
  • The Ladykillers
  • Leatherheads
  • The Men Who Stare At Goats
  • Nanny McPhee
  • Nanny McPhee Returns
  • One Fine Day
  • The Outsider
  • Priest
  • Reign Of Fire
  • Resident Evil: Apocalypse
  • Resident Evil
  • Rio
  • Sahara
  • Scent Of A Woman
  • The Secret Life Of Bees
  • See No Evil, Hear No Evil
  • Shattered
  • The Sixth Sense
  • The Sweetest Thing
  • The Towering Inferno
  • Two For The Money
  • Unbreakable
  • Vantage Point

May 5

  • Skyfall

May 7

  • Breach

May 9

  • Robot & Frank

May 19

  • Red Dawn
  • Trumbo

 

Anthony Marcusa is a writer for BestReviews. BestReviews is a product review company with a singular mission: to help simplify your purchasing decisions and save you time and money. 

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