The end of the month means a fresh new crop of interesting films coming to platforms like Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime — but it also means scrambling to say goodbye to all the great movies you forgot about or always meant to get around to but didn’t. You’re looking for the good stuff and you don’t have a lot of time. We get it; we got you covered.
We’ve combed through the wave of outgoing streaming releases to bring these platforms have to offer during this, the twilight of the month. Here there are, 10 of the best movies leaving the major streaming platforms by May 1.
Back to the Future
Robert Zemeckis’ Back to the Future trilogy is one of the definitive classics of 1980s science-fiction cinema, a masterclass in charismatic character acting, brisk comedic writing, and brilliant speculative storytelling. Michael J. Fox stars in a career-defining role as Marty McFly, a California high school student who is accidentally sent 30 years back in time using time-traveling DeLorean created by the eccentric Doctor Emmett “Doc” Brown (Christopher Lloyd). Stranded in the past, Marty must come up with a way to power up the DeLorean and safely return home without inadvertently erasing his own existence in the process. —TE
Back to the Future, Back to the Future Part II, and Back to the Future Part III leave Amazon Prime Video on April 30.
Coming to America
At the top of his game after Trading Places, two Beverly Hills Cop movies, and his legendary (if not controversial) stand-up concert film Raw, Eddie Murphy turned his eye to the story of a rich, famous young prince from the made up African nation of Zamunda who pines for a normal life. Unlike his hard-R-rated comedy, Coming to America is an unexpectedly sweet, level-headed rom-com, with the open-hearted Prince navigating the ups and downs of Queens, New York as he searches for the perfect woman. It’s also the movie that hooked Murphy on playing multiple roles in a single movie; he and Arsenio Hall slip into old-age makeup and jerry curl wigs to play a variety of side characters who bring bigger laughs than Murphy’s Prince Akeem Joffer. The comedian must be nostalgic for that experience — Coming to America exits Amazon just a few weeks after the release of the long-awaited sequel, Coming 2 America, which sticks around as an Amazon exclusive. —TE
Coming to America leaves Amazon Prime Video on April 30.
Dazed and Confused
Set during the waning days of the senior class of a Austin, Texas high school in 1976, Richard Linklater’s 1993 coming-of-age comedy follows a group of teenagers navigating that awkward ephemeral crossroads period of looking to future all while looking to get stoned, drunk, and lucky in the here and now. It’s wickedly funny and boasts a cast of nascent names that would deliver breakout performances, including Milla Jovovich and Matthew McConaughey. Haven’t seen it yet? Well, you’d be a lot cooler if you did. —TE
Dazed and Confused leaves Amazon Prime Video on April 30.
The Dark Knight
So I wasn’t going to watch this movie, but then I found out that Eric Roberts, the star of The Killers’ “Mr. Brightside” music video, played a villain in it and I absolutely had to see what that was like. Turns out, he’s great! Roberts really channels that Brightside energy as Sal Maroni, an edgy gangster in Gotham City who has fallen on hard times because a man dressed in a bat suit has been making it difficult for him to make a living. So he hires an independent contractor who dresses like a clown (this movie isn’t just about crime, but also the gig economy, which is kind of the same thing) to solve his problem and it turns out, freelancers actually kind of resent not having good health insurance and paid time off — something the movie is a little on-the-nose about when the Joker (they really call him that! Wild.) threatens to blow up a hospital and some boats, but it mostly works in context.
It’s really surprising how much of a crackerjack movie director Christopher Nolan made with The Dark Knight, considering that no one in it is really having a good time. (Well, one person is, but we are not supposed to relate.) If you’re not sure about checking this one out, I’d gently suggest you reconsider, because you’ll probably enjoy it! It’s true, the “Batman” is a little ridiculous to watch and his voice is tremendously silly but also: that costume is probably extremely uncomfortable! I wouldn’t be very friendly in it either! Something to think about. —Joshua Rivera
The Dark Knight leaves Netflix on April 30.
Before Fury Road, before the Thunderdome, before he became the Road Warrior ... Max Rockatansky simply went mad. The 1979 original that sparked the landmark post-apocalyptic action series, George Miller’s Mad Max stars Mel Gibson as a police officer working in the dystopian future outskirts of Victoria, Australia. When his partner, wife, and child are ruthlessly murdered by a band of marauding criminals, Max embarks on a campaign of vengeance to take revenge on their murderers. Think Dirty Harry, but with a whole lot of explosions and way more sand. —TE
Mad Max leaves Hulu on April 30.
Once Upon a Time in the West
Sergio Leone defined the genre of Spaghetti Westerns throughout the 1960s with his legendary “Dollars” Trilogy starring Clint Eastwood. Despite announcing his retirement from Westerns following his work on 1966’s The Good, the Bad and the Ugly, Leone accepted an offer from Paramount Pictures to make Once Upon a Time in the West. The film follows a mysterious gun-totting stranger with a harmonica, played by Charles Bronson, who teams up with a notorious desperado (Jason Robards) to protect a widow from the ruthless machinations of an assassin (Henry Fonda) working for a railroad company. The film stands today as the one of the greatest Westerns ever produced and was selected for preservation in the United States Nation Film Registry by the Library of Congress in 2009. —TE
Once Upon a Time in the West leaves Amazon Prime Video on April 29.
Two years before defining the comic book movie with 1978’s Superman, director Richard Donner made one of the horror genre’s essential films: The Omen. Conceived in the wake of The Exorcist, the story centers on the birth of the Antichrist ... and the two parents assigned by fate to raise him. Starring Gregory Peck and Lee Remick as two head-spinning adults trying to make sense of their morbid situation, and the young Harvey Spencer Stephens as the creepy, creepy, creepy Damian, Donner finds a way into nearly every type of horror pleasure. There’s gruesome kills, ominous supernatural danger, and a sense of cosmic unraveling — thanks in large part to Jerry Goldsmith’s legendary score — that sends an existential chill up the spine. Spirituality itself comes under fire in The Omen. —Matt Patches
The Omen leaves Hulu on April 30.
Nolan’s 2006 The Prestige, much like a magic trick, is (roughly) composed of three parts, or acts. The first part is exposition, where we’re introduced to the film’s protagonists in the form of two rival illusionists played by Hugh Jackman and Christian Bale vie to become the greatest living magician of their time. The second part is the premise, where things sour in the wake of a devastating on-stage accident, pitting the two men on a life-long collision course that transforms their professional rivalry into a perilous blood feud. The third part is the climax, where the film takes everything we thought we knew about these characters and turns those assumptions on their head to pull off the single greatest cinematic twist of Christopher Nolan’s career. Oh, and David Bowie is here dressed up like Nikola Tesla. Are you watching closely? —TE
The Prestige leaves Amazon Prime Video on April 30.
John Singleton’s 2000 action crime thriller Shaft (a sequel to the 1971 blaxploitation classic that shouldn’t be confused with the unfortunate 2019 Shaft) is where it’s at. Samuel L. Jackson stars as the NYPD Detective (and nephew of the namesake protagonist of the original) who embarks on a ruthless campaign to bring the sociopathic yuppie son of a powerful real estate tycoon (played perfectly by future American Psycho/The Dark Knight star Christian Bale) to justice in the wake of a horrific racially motivated murder. Westworld star Jeffrey Wright appears as ruthless drug lord Peoples Hernandez alongside Vanessa Williams as Detective Carmen Vasquez and rap legend Busta Rhymes as the fast-talking taxi driver Rasaan. —TE
Shaft leaves Hulu on April 30.
Before he pulled off the coveted Oscar hat trick of winning Best Director, Best International Film, Best Original Screenplay, and Best Picture with his black comedy thriller breakout Parasite at the 92nd Academy Awards, Bong Joon-ho introduced western audiences to his taste for trenchant commentaries on class warfare with his 2013 sci-fi action film Snowpiercer. Adapted from Jacques Lob and Jean-Marc Rochette’s French graphic novel Le Transperceneige, the film stars MCU leading man Chris Evans as Curtis, a working-class-passenger-turned-revolutionary aboard the Snowpiercer, a high-speed train hurtling across a planet-spanning rail system as the sole remaining bastion of humanity in a desolate frozen world. —TE
Snowpiercer leaves Netflix on April 30.
Based on the book by Robert Graysmith (and starring Jake Gyllenhaal as the author himself), Zodiac recounts the search for the infamous “Zodiac Killer.” The film follows Graysmith as he becomes more and more obsessed with the investigation, and co-stars Mark Ruffalo as proto-Columbo Dave Toschi, and Robert Downey Jr. as the journalist Paul Avery. The real-life case remains unsolved, and the film — mildly spicy take incoming — remains David Fincher’s best film.
Zodiac leaves Amazon Prime Video on April 29.