During May, viewers can expect many interesting new films and TV series that will delight fans of different genres.

Featuring the latest Mad Max and Planet of the Apes films, along with Jerry Seinfeld’s comedy about Pop-Tarts, this month’s must-watch movies to see in theaters and stream.

1. IF

What if children’s imaginary friends weren’t just imaginary? What if they were real creatures stuck in limbo after the children who played with them had grown up? This is the premise of IF, a family comedy written and directed by John Krasinski. The film stars Ryan Reynolds and Cailey Fleming as two of the only people in the world who can see these outdated imaginary friends. Krasinski’s former co-star from The Office, Steve Carell, lends his voice to a giant furry imaginary friend named Blue. Krasinski was inspired by the games of his two daughters, as well as by his wife, Emily Blunt, who appreciated his shift from the dark themes of his directorial debut, A Quiet Place. Krasinski recalled in Entertainment Weekly, “I remember Emily saying to me, ‘I’m really glad that you’re doing this.’ And I asked, ‘Why?’ She replied, ‘Because living in that dark, dark place is really tough for too long.’ Coming from Mary Poppins, I thought, she must know what she’s talking about.”

On general release from 17 May

2. Robot Dreams

Pablo Berger’s Oscar-nominated Spanish-French animated film, adapted from Sara Varon’s graphic novel, tells the charming story of a dog named Dog living alone in 1980s New York. His life takes a turn when he orders a robot named Robot by mail and discovers the joy of having a best friend. However, their friendship faces a challenge when the rusty Robot gets stuck on a beach, behind locked gates. Can Dog cope without him? Robot Dreams is filled with sparkling humor, inventive ideas, and touching insights, all conveyed without any dialogue. Wendy Ide in The Observer describes it as “one of the finest animations of recent years,” highlighting the tenderness of the storytelling and its emotional depth. The film appeals to a broad audience, from children who will enjoy the cute characters and gentle wit, to adolescents and adults who will relate to the themes of loneliness and self-reliance.

Released on 9 May in Germany and 31 May in the US

3. The Garfield Movie

One of the funniest moments in Zombieland features Bill Murray, playing himself, responding to whether he has any regrets with his dying breath: “Garfield, maybe.” While Murray may not have been a fan of the two live-action Garfield films where he voiced the CGI cat, the new film promises to be a different story. Directed by Mark Dindal (The Emperor’s New Groove), The Garfield Movie is an action-packed animated feature. Chris Pratt voices Garfield, though considering he also voices the main characters in The Lego Movie and The Super Mario Bros. Movie, it’s not the most original casting choice for a film with “movie” in the title. Samuel L. Jackson voices Garfield’s father, Vic; Nicholas Hoult plays his owner, Jon; and Snoop Dogg lends his voice to a character named Snoop Catt. “There’s a physicality, curiosity, and playfulness, a mischief at Garfield’s core,” said Pratt. “I lost myself in that. I literally just ate and napped, and the doctors were concerned… But I did make an authentic connection. I’m pretty sure audiences are going to feel it. And the Academy.”

On general release from 24 May

Back to Black – The Leatherhead Theatre

4. Back to Black

Amy Winehouse was one of the most significant singer-songwriters of her generation, passing away in 2011 at the age of 27 after years of struggling with addiction and evading tabloid photographers. In 2015, Asif Kapadia crafted her life story into the poignant documentary Amy. Now, the inevitable biopic, Back to Black, has arrived, directed by Sam Taylor-Johnson and written by Matt Greenhalgh, the duo behind the John Lennon biopic Nowhere Boy. Marisa Abela stars as Winehouse, with Jack O’Connell as her husband, Blake Fielder-Civil, and Eddie Marsan as her father, Mitch Winehouse. Peter Bradshaw in The Guardian describes Taylor-Johnson’s “gentle, forgiving film” as “easily her best work so far,” highlighting Marisa Abela’s “thoroughly engaging and sweet-natured performance as Amy that conveys her tenderness, and perhaps most poignantly of all, her youth, so tellingly at odds with that tough image and eerily mature voice.”

Released on 17 May in the US and Canada

5. The Fall Guy

At this year’s Oscars, Ryan Gosling and Emily Blunt introduced a video tribute to Hollywood’s stunt performers. While their sincerity was evident, they also had a promotional angle: their new film is an action comedy centered on Hollywood stunt performers. Directed by David Leitch (Atomic BlondeDeadpool 2) and based on the 1980s television series, The Fall Guy stars Gosling as Colt Seavers, a stuntman recruited by his ex (Blunt) to find a missing movie star (Aaron Taylor-Johnson). Perri Nemiroff of Collider praised the film, saying, “I truly had a massive grin on my face from start to finish watching The Fall Guy. It’s an extremely well-crafted action movie that’s absolutely buzzing with energy and charm for all 125 minutes of its running time… Yes, it’s a crowd-pleasing romantic comedy thriller, but first and foremost, it’s one big-hearted ode to the artists responsible for movie magic.”

On general release from 3 May

Jerry Seinfeld's 'Unfrosted' Reviews:

6. Unfrosted

In the past year, we’ve seen films about the creation of Air Jordan shoes, BlackBerry phones, Flamin’ Hot Cheetos, and Beanie Babies – and now there’s a film about the development of Pop-Tarts. But don’t worry if that sounds absurd: it’s meant to be. Unfrosted is a gleefully parodic comedy with little connection to the real story, directed and co-written by Jerry Seinfeld, who also stars as a Kellogg’s executive. When their competitor, Post, introduces a dehydrated breakfast pastry in 1964, Kellogg’s scrambles to create their own version. The film features an ensemble cast including Melissa McCarthy, Amy Schumer, Peter Dinklage, and James Marsden, with Hugh Grant as a frustrated Shakespearean actor portraying Tony the Tiger in Frosted Flakes commercials. “I don’t think anybody’s done this before,” Seinfeld told Total Film magazine. “I feel like we’re ready for a colorful, dumb, silly comedy.”

Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga (2024) : r/textlessposter

7. Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga

It’s been 45 years since the first Mad Max film and nine years since George Miller revived his post-apocalyptic series with the high-octane Mad Max: Fury Road. Yet, the 79-year-old director isn’t done. His latest film is a prequel to Fury Road, featuring Anya Taylor-Joy as Furiosa, the one-armed, shaven-headed heroine previously played by Charlize Theron. “It’s different,” Miller told IndieWire. “You don’t want a film to be a repetition of what you’ve just done; it has to be uniquely familiar, as I like to say.” The uniquely familiar villain is portrayed by Chris Hemsworth, who is almost unrecognizable under extensive prosthetic makeup, a stark contrast to his role as the mighty Thor.

8. Kidnapped

Marco Bellocchio’s opulent period drama recounts the harrowing true tale of Edgardo Mortara, a six-year-old Jewish child forcefully taken from his home by authorities one fateful night in Bologna, 1858. His parents (portrayed by Fausto Russo Alesi and Barbara Ronchi) learn that when Edgardo was an infant, a maid clandestinely had him baptized, thus decreeing that he must now be raised as a Catholic. Despite the family’s persistent efforts to reclaim Edgardo, Pope Pius IX (played by Paolo Pierobon) repeatedly rebuffs them. However, as time progresses, the scandal threatens to precipitate the Pope’s political demise. “Marco Bellocchio stands as the last luminary of a golden era in Italian cinema,” remarks Jason Solomons in The New European. “What’s truly remarkable about his career isn’t just its enduring span or unwavering productivity, but the fact that his films continue to ascend in quality. Kidnapped is narrated with exquisite detail and intensity, reminiscent of the dark drama and human intricacies found in the masterpieces adorning the halls of the great Renaissance galleries, evoking the essence of Titian, Caravaggio, or Tintoretto.”

Released on 24 May in the US

Directed by Tony Goldwyn, Written by Tony Spiridakis

9. Ezra

In this heartfelt comedy-drama directed by Tony Goldwyn, the consistently outstanding Bobby Cannavale takes on a rare leading role. Cannavale portrays a stand-up comedian from New Jersey who is the primary caregiver for his autistic 11-year-old son, Ezra (played by William A Fitzgerald), with the assistance of his father (portrayed by Robert De Niro). His ex-wife (played by Cannavale’s real-life partner, Rose Byrne) advocates for Ezra to attend a specialized school for children with special needs. However, when the comedian receives an invitation to appear on a prestigious talk show in Los Angeles, he opts to embark on a cross-country road trip with Ezra instead. “Cannavale recognizes the magnitude of his role and delivers a stellar performance,” remarks Michael Rechtshaffen in The Hollywood Reporter. “The outstanding ensemble and thoughtful direction gracefully complement a tender screenplay by Tony Spiridakis, enriched by his own experiences raising a neurodivergent son.”

Release on 31 May in the US

10. Kingdom of the Planet of The Apes

Keeping up with the Planet of the Apes franchise can be challenging. The series began in 1968 with the first film, followed by four sequels. In 2001, Tim Burton attempted a reboot, which received mixed reviews. However, the franchise was revitalized in 2011 with a trilogy of prequels, culminating in War of the Planet of the Apes in 2017. Now, it’s time for more monkey business. In the latest installment, directed by Wes Ball, intelligent chimpanzees and orangutans have governed Earth for 300 years, while speaking humans are a rarity. “We are entering a new era in this longstanding film legacy since 1968, while still paying homage to our predecessors,” Ball explained in ScreenRant. “We are building upon the foundation laid by the previous trilogy, but introducing new characters and storylines, presenting fresh opportunities.”

On general release from 9 May

11. The Beach Boys

The Beatles: Get Back, Peter Jackson’s three-part documentary series chronicling the journey of the Fab Four, has been available on Disney+ since 2021. Additionally, Jackson has overseen the restoration of a classic Beatles documentary, 1970’s Let It Be, scheduled to debut on the streaming service on 8 May. However, attention now turns to The Beatles’ American counterparts, The Beach Boys. A new documentary delves into the history of the pop pioneers formed by three Californian brothers, Brian, Carl, and Dennis Wilson. Brian, heralded as the musical genius of the group, faced personal challenges due to his abusive father, Murry Wilson, who also served as the band’s initial manager. “I’m thrilled with how the documentary turned out; they did an exceptional job,” remarked Brian Wilson. “It truly transported me back to those days with the boys, the joy, and the music. And, of course, those extraordinary harmonies.”

Released on 24 May on Disney+

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