Time no longer has any meaning, but according to the calendar it’s now May 2020. A new month means a new batch of movies hitting streaming services like Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime, and Disney Plus. Sorting through those new movies can be daunting, but we here at Polygon are here to help with recommendations of our favorite movies new to streaming.
There are some recurring themes this month, namely time travel (Back to the Future and Looper), LA-set neo-noir thrillers (Mulholland Drive and The Limey), and Christopher Nolan’s Batman (Batman Begins and The Dark Knight.) Read on for what makes these films worth watching, as well as a few more recommendations (and here are April’s movies if you need even more picks).
Back to the Future trilogy
All three movies in Robert Zemeckis’ sci-fi comedy trilogy are new to Netflix this month. The story of Marty McFly’s (Michael J. Fox) travels through time in a souped-up DeLorean, aided by his friend Doc Brown (Christopher Lloyd), is a classic for good reason. The first movie, in which Marty has to make sure his parents fall in love lest he be erased from existence, is always a hit, but it’s especially fun to revisit Back to the Future Part II just to see what people in 1989 thought 2015 would look like.
Back to the Future, Back to the Future Part II, and Back to the Future Part III are streaming on Netflix.
Batman Begins and The Dark Knight
The first two movies in Christopher Nolan’s Batman trilogy are headed to Hulu this month, after leaving Netflix at the beginning of April. Christian Bale’s take on the caped crusader led to a decade of dark and gritty superhero origin stories, and Heath Ledger’s mesmerizing performance as the Joker in The Dark Knight is nothing short of iconic, winning him a posthumous Oscar.
Batman Begins and The Dark Knight are streaming on Hulu.
Directed by James Wan (Saw, Furious 7,) The Conjuring is one of the best haunted house movies of the last decade. Very loosely based on a husband-and-wife team of real-life paranormal experts (played by Vera Farmiga and Patrick Wilson, who is a horror movie savant,) The Conjuring tells the story of a family who moves into a spooky old farmhouse. Spoiler alert: the house is haunted as heck.
The Conjuring is streaming on Hulu.
Mulholland Drive and The Limey
Two stellar neo-noir thrillers by auteur directors are coming to the Criterion Channel this month: David Lynch’s Mulholland Drive and Stephen Soderbergh’s The Limey. Both films are mysteries set in Los Angeles. Mulholland Drive follows a woman with amnesia (Laura Harring) who befriends an aspiring young actress (Naomi Watts) as they try to piece together her identity. The Limey stars Terrence Stamp as a father investigating his daughter’s death. If you haven’t seen either, they make a killer double feature.
Mulholland Drive and The Limey are streaming on The Criterion Channel.
If you only know Rian Johnson from Star Wars: The Last Jedi and/or Knives Out, its worth going back through his filmography before he helmed one of the biggest franchises in the world. Looper, his last film before The Last Jedi, stars Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Bruce Willis as two different versions of the same man, a time-traveling assassin, known as a “looper,” named Joe. It’s both a compelling time travel narrative and a slick action movie with neat visual effects. In the wise words of Elijah Wood, long live Rian Johnson.
Looper is streaming on Tubi.
Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again
Do you like unfiltered joy? Beautiful Greek vistas? Disco costumes? Meryl Streep as a ghost? Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again has all of those things, and also Cher singing ABBA. We loved the sequel to 2008’s Mamma Mia so much, we’re ready for an entire Mamma Mia cinematic universe. Bring on the MMCU!
George of the Jungle
Perhaps the most 1997 movie of all time, George of the Jungle stars Brendan Fraser as George, a human raised by apes, in an adaptation of the late ’60s cartoon. The always delightful Leslie Mann plays Ursula, a tourist whom George saves from being attacked by a lion. Ursula brings George home with her to San Francisco, and, naturally, hijinx ensue. Come for Fraser in a loincloth, stay for the theme song that will be stuck in your head for the next six months.
George of the Jungle is streaming on Disney Plus.
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