Netflix may have been sitting pretty during the pandemic, but the streamer’s anemic May 2021 lineup makes clear that even the most deep-pocketed and prolific movie studio on Earth struggled to create new content during the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic. The streamer is sticking to its guarantee of releasing at least one new Netflix Original every week, but fulfilling that promise has required them to grasp at straws; notable titles over the next few weeks include the Amy Adams thriller “The Woman in the Window” (which Netflix bought from Paramount, and was originally scheduled for release in 2019) and the Anthony Mandler’s legal drama “Monster” (which has been languishing since its Sundance premiere in 2018, despite a cast that boasts Jennifer Hudson, Jeffrey Wright, and John David Washington).
As usual, there are a handful of intriguing unknowns (e.g. Alexandre Aja’s woman-stuck-in-a-cryogenic-chamber thriller “Oxygen”) and at least one brilliant diamond in the rough — “The Disciple” is technically hitting the service on April 30, but we’re counting it as the biggest May discovery waiting to happen — but there’s a reason why Netflix’s latest slate is heavy on surefire library hits like “Back to the Future” and “Notting Hill.”
That being said, the streaming giant can always be counted upon to help subscribers get ready for the summer movie season, and the company’s efforts to bring the multiplex experience home should be especially appreciated by those who are still hesitant about going back to theaters. The jury is still out on Zack Snyder’s “Army of the Dead,” but the trailer alone has such big “it’s almost Memorial Day” energy that synthetic butter might as well be oozing out of your iPhone screen.
From history’s first(?) zombie heist movie to an Indian character study that will fill your soul with music, here are the seven best movies coming to Netflix this May.