Critics Have Spoken—These Are the Best Shows and Movies to Stream This Month

Updated 05/06/19

@brooketestoni

Breaking news: May is here. Of course, this means every streaming service from Netflix and Hulu to HBO and Amazon will be adding dozens of new titles to their platforms all month long, which begs the question: Which shows and movies are actually worth watching? To find out, we decided to consult the pros, aka the entertainment industry's leading critics at The New York Times, The Washington Post, and more (many, many more).

We sifted through hundreds of reviews to edit our watchlist down to the best of the best, so you don't have to. Spanning a garish film described as "the freaky ballet horror reboot we all deserve" to a classic that's been called "one of the most scathingly honest American films ever made," these are the comedies, dramas, documentaries, and thrillers the critics are endorsing this month. Ready to update your watchlist? Read on to find out which titles made the cut.

Amazon

The Show: Fleabag. Phoebe Waller-Bridge's critically acclaimed series is back—and as irreverent as ever. If the teaser trailers are any indication, season two is poised to be as side-splittingly hilarious and as surprisingly heartwarming as season one.

The Critic's Endorsement: "Waller-Bridge’s dialogue is whetted to such a fine edge that you hardly notice when it strikes—you’re too busy laughing at the joke, the audacity—until the blood starts to well up in the wound a second later," endorses The Guardian.

Available to Stream: May 17

The Movie: Suspiria. Aptly described by The New York Post as "the freaky ballet horror reboot we all deserve," this is a must-watch for fans of garish horror films.

The Critic's Endorsement: "The finale should have you clutching your face 'Home Alone' style as Guadagnino goes totally for broke," warns The New York Post.

Available to Stream: May 3

The Movie: The Yellow Handkerchief. Williams Hurt, Kristen Stewart, and Eddie Redmayne hit the road in this charming indie film about love and loss, as well as finding a sense of belonging within unlikely friendships.

The Critic's Endorsement: "William Hurt, who specializes in playing high-strung, upscale neurotics, brings his formidable skills to The Yellow Handkerchief," commends The New York Times.

Available to Stream: May 2

Netflix

The Movie: Knock Down the House. This uplifting documentary follows the groundbreaking campaigns of four female Democratic candidates relying on their grit—and grassroots efforts—to effect change.

The Critic's Endorsement: "Knock Down the House is the rare documentary about today’s American political landscape that might make you shed happy tears," explains Vox.

Available to Stream: May 1

The Show: She's Gotta Have It. Season two of Spike Lee's seriously sexy comedy follows its strong female protagonist as she grapples with her new-found success—will she follow her creative ideals or conform to the corporate world?

The Critic's Endorsement: "Throughout the series, [Spike Lee] constructs a virtual gallery, library, and phonothèque of forebears, references, inspirations, and delights, an instant classicism of conscious pleasures and under-recognized legacies," gushes The New Yorker.

Available to Stream: May 24

The Movie: Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? The 1966 film starring Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton as a married couple—whose volatile relationship is equal parts love and hate—is a must-watch this month.

The Critic's Endorsement: At the time of its theatrical debut, The New York Times deemed director Mike Nichols' adaptation of Edward Albee's play "one of the most scathingly honest American films ever made."

Available to Stream: May 1

Hulu

The Movie: Iris. This inspiring fashion documentary follows icon Iris Apfel, highlighting the seemingly boundless creativity of a woman whose playfully eclectic personal style is, in a word, captivating.

The Critic's Endorsement: "There are few better ways right now to spend 80 movie minutes than to see Iris, a delightful eye-opener about life, love, statement eyeglasses, bracelets the size of tricycle tires and the art of making the grandest of entrances," says The New York Times.

Available to Stream: May 15

The Show: Broad City. ICYMI, the final season of the binge-worthy cult comedy starring Abbi Jacobson and Ilana Glazer as besties navigating life in New York City is streaming on Hulu at the end of the month.

The Critic's Endorsement: "Ilana Glazer and Abbi Jacobson are taking us out on a high, with a series of episodes that capture their warm, raunchy friendship as strongly as ever," recommends The Boston Globe.

Available to Stream: May 27

The Movie: Flashdance. As Rotten Tomatoes notes, this 80s movie boasts more style than substance, but sometimes that's exactly the kind of movie you're in the mood to watch.

The Critic's Endorsement: "This spirited rock musical about a young factory worker go-go dancer in Pittsburgh who aspires to be a ballerina is the best kind of adolescent fantasy: colorful, involving and full of leaping, prancing energy," says People.

Available to Stream: May 1

HBO

The Movie: At the Heart of Gold. This poignant documentary delves into the "win-first" culture that enabled a U.S. Olympic Doctor to abuse gymnasts for years.

The Critic's Endorsement: "Will cause heartache, stomach churning, and festering anger. If symptoms persist, consult a doctor. One you hopefully can trust," notes The Los Angeles Times.

Available to Stream: May 3

The Movie: Amélie. An irresistible French rom-com, queue up this foreign language film starring Audrey Tautou as a delightfully charming heroine to turn around an otherwise boring evening.

The Critic's Endorsement: The Wall Street Journal describes Ameélie as "hip nostalgia, a postmodern fairy tale in which faith is replaced by predestination or simple luck, and the universe proves, against all odds, to be a place of kindness and abiding love."

Available to Stream: May 1

The Movie: The Danish Girl. Inspired by the lives of artists Lili Elbe and Gerda Wegener, Eddie Redmayne and Alicia Vikander star in this visually stunning and thought-provoking biopic.

The Critic's Endorsement: "Watching Redmayne’s character blossom into her true self is remarkable, and the awkwardness getting there only helps make it more relatable to audiences who might not be on board with the subject matter initially," reviews USA Today.

Available to Stream: May 1

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