Best New Movies on Netflix - Featured

Every month, dozens of movies arrive on Netflix, but it can be a hassle keeping track of all the great content that comes and goes. Don’t fret though, we’re going to break down the best new movies on Netflix each month to help you decide on what to watch. These are the best of what’s coming to Netflix in May, 2020.

New Movies on Netflix

1. Back to the Future (1985)

Back to the Future  •  Theatrical Trailer

The influence of the Back to the Future franchise on filmmaking can’t be quantified. Just think about how iconic elements of the production design are from props (hoverboard, custom DeLorean) to wardrobe (Marty McFly sneakers, Doc Brown goggles).

It’s been 35 years since the release of Back to the Future, but we’re still seeing it’s lasting impact on popular culture today. Whether you’ve never seen it or seen it a dozen times, Back to the Future is simply a popcorn pleaser for audiences of all ages.

Top New Netflix Movies

Conclusion

To go forward, sometimes you have to go back -- evidence by the surprisingly nuanced story of Back to the Future.

Best New Netflix Movies Ever

2. Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory (1971)

Why Snowpiercer is a Sequel to Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory

Only with a movie bizarre as Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory could theorists posture such insane ideas and ridiculous associations. But that kind of rhetoric, the kind of breaking down every fame rhetoric that we’ve come to expect from fans of Mel Stuart, adds to the fun and mystique of one of cinema’s most unexpected classics.

Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory is based on Roald Dahl’s book Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Dahl also co-wrote the film’s screenplay alongside David Seltzer. 

New Movies on Netflix

Conclusion

Both Mel Stuart’s Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory and the Tim Burton remake are joining Netflix in May, 2020.

Best New Netflix Movies of All Time

3. The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (2008)

The Curious Case of Benjamin Button  •  VFX Breakdown

Loosely based on F. Scott Fitzgerald’s short story of the same name, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button is a story of a man who ages in reverse. It’s a novel idea for a story that was excellently written by Fitzgerald.

 Renowned perfectionist David Fincher decided to recreate the story as a film -- which proved to be a difficult task. Although VFX were far better in 2008 than they were a decade before, they still had a long way to go to reach a state of realism. But thanks to a strong performance from Brad Pitt and the help of some masterclass artists, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button resulted in a mostly believable film, if not sensational as well.

Best New Netflix Movies of All Time

Conclusion

The Curious Case of Benjamin Button may be better suited to the page than the screen, but that didn’t stop it from grossing over $330 million.

New Movies on Netflix

4. District 9 (2009)

District 9  •  Behind the Scenes

District 9 broke out in a big way with critics and audiences. Not only did the film receive four Academy Award nominations, it grossed more than seven times its budget at the global box-office.

Although District 9 was a massive success for writer/director Neil Blomkamp, he hasn’t been able to match the film’s quality with either of its spiritual successors, Elysium or Chappie.

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Conclusion

District 9 was a massive moment for the international filmmaking community -- inspiring countless other films that look at poverty through a futuristic lens.

Best New Netflix Movies of All Time

5. Trumbo (2015)

Dalton Trumbo  •  Featurette

Fans of cinema history are sure to find a lot to love in Trumbo; a story of the Blacklist, HUAC, and one of the greatest screenwriters of the Hollywood golden age.

Despite being blacklisted from Hollywood for his supposed Communist sympathies, Dalton Trumbo worked for years under pseudonyms. That is until Kirk Douglass put his name on the line to re-integrate Trumbo back into the industry.

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Conclusion

Bryan Cranston gives a tour de force performance as the film’s eponymous Dalton Trumbo.

Top New Netflix Movies

6. United 93 (2006)

Director Paul Greengrass on  •  United 93

Every now and then, a film comes along that demonstrates the immense power of the medium. United 93 is one such film. Writer/Director Paul Greengrass took on the mammoth task of directing United 93, which follows the events of the titled hijacked flight en route to San Francisco from New Jersey on September 11, 2001.

Greengrass does a tremendous job of bringing us inside that fateful day -- which often feels overwhelming to watch. But United 93 is about more than just the tragedy of the passengers onboard, it’s about the heroism of the everyday man and woman in the face of absolute defeat.

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Conclusion

Many argued that United 93 was released too close to the film’s inspired events, but without shining a light on the heroes who saved countless lives with their bravery, their actions may have been more forgotten.

New Movies on Netflix

7. Public Enemies (2009)

Public Enemies  •  Trailer

With direction from Michael Mann (Heat, The Insider), acting from Johnny Depp, Marion Cotillard, and Christian Bale, and a story about prohibition-era gangsters, you may be thinking, what could go wrong?

Well Public Enemies certainly had all the making of a hit, but it never quite connected all the pieces together. Instead, the film is a mostly disjointed effort that could’ve been so much better.

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Conclusion

Due to a plodding story, hokey writing, and bizarre accents, Public Enemies never quite gets off the ground.

Best New Netflix Movies of All Time

8. Song of the Sea (2014)

Song of the Sea  •  Trailer

Song of the Sea follows the story of siblings at odds over the disappearance over their mother. There aren’t many recent animated films that have been as critically lauded as Song of the Sea.

We considered placing Song of the Sea on our list of the best animated movies of all time, but it just narrowly missed the cut. However, it’s a great addition to Netflix’s catalog of movies.

New Movies on Netflix

Conclusion

Tomm Moore, the co-founder of Cartoon Saloon and director of The Secret of Kells, kept the momentum going with the visually brilliant Song of the Sea.

Top New Netflix Movies

9. The Lincoln Lawyer (2011)

Matthew McConaughey on  •  The Lincoln Lawyer

It’s easy to forget that not long ago, Matthew McConaughey was more likened to rom-coms than dramas. Although he acted in some great films as a young actor, such as Dazed and Confused and Amistad, McConaughey shifted to a lengthy period of starring in b-rate rom-coms like How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days and Ghosts of Girlfriends Past.

The Lincoln Lawyer is the film that started the renaissance of McConaughey’s acting career, which ultimately led him to an Oscar Win for his performance in Dallas Buyers Club.

Best New Netflix Movies Ever

Conclusion

Not only did The Lincoln Lawyer re-launch McConaughey’s dramatic acting career, it also led to a series of car commercials directed by Nicolas Winding Refn (Drive).

New Movies on Netflix

10. The Lovebirds (2020)

Lovebirds  •  Netflix Trailer

Kumail Nanjiani (Portlandia, The Big Sick) and Issa Rae (Awkward Black Girl, Insecure) star in this romantic-thriller that’s set to premiere on Netflix on May 22, 2020.

The Lovebirds was originally slated for a theatrical release but was instead ordered straight to video amidst cinema closures due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Top New Netflix Movies

Conclusion

We’re going to have to wait and see if The Lovebirds can live up to the hype generated pre-release.

Best New Netflix Movies Ever

11. Ace Ventura: Pet Detective (1994)

Jim Carrey on  •  Inspiration for Ace Ventura

Ace Ventura: Pet Detective is one of the strangest films of Jim Carrey’s very strange career. In the film, Carrey plays the titular pet detective Ace Ventura, who is tasked with finding the thief of the Miami Dolphins mascot Snowflake.

It’s no secret that Ace Ventura: Pet Detective has its detractors, but as a lesson in film history, it’s certainly a worthwhile watch.

Best New Netflix Movies of All Time

Conclusion

For those looking for a quintessential Jim Carrey movie, Ace Ventura: Pet Detective may just be the movie for you.

Top New Netflix Movies

12. Sinister (1994)

Sinister  •  Behind the Scenes

Sinister was a huge hit in theaters, bringing in a return of its budget at the box office twenty-nine times. Film studios are always looking for the next horror movie to make a big profit, so for anyone looking to break into the genre, there’s lots to learn from Sinister.

Ethan Hawke stars in the film as a down on his luck writer that moves his family to a cursed home.

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Conclusion

Although it’s far too reliant on genre cliches, Sinister is a mostly enjoyable romp for hardcore horror fans.

New Movies on Netflix

13. Uncut Gems (2019)

How Tarantino, Kauffman, and the Safdie Brother Twist Real Life  •  Subscribe on YouTube

Fresh off their surprise 2017 hit Good Time, the Safdie Brothers delivered the great Uncut Gems. According to the Safdie Brothers, the script for Uncut Gems was in development for a long time, and even went through arduous re-writes to work around whichever basketball player was available for the part.

When Hall of Fame inductee Kevin Garnett joined the production a few years ago, Uncut Gems really found its footing. Adam Sandler stars in the film alongside Garnett and gives his best performance since 2002’s Punch Drunk Love.

Best New Netflix Movies Ever

Conclusion

Fans of Adam Sandler’s dramatic acting will be happy to see him absolutely kill the juicy role of Howard Ratner in Uncut Gems.

Best New Netflix Movies of All Time

14. The Patriot (2000)

The Patriot  •  Trailer

Is The Patriot a good movie? Not particularly. Is The Patriot a responsible movie? Not at all. Is The Patriot fun to watch? Oftentimes, yes.

Mel Gibson and Heath Ledger star in The Patriot as a father-son duo who become directly involved in the American Revolutionary War. It sounds pretty interesting, and at times it is. But it’s important to remember, that many, myself included, were introduced to The Patriot in school. Now, there’s a few problems with that. Not only is The Patriot averse to historical accuracy, it purposefully neglects key aspects of history to build a sense of patrioti-- nay, nationalism.

Top New Netflix Movies

Conclusion

Not every film has to have a social agenda, but if a film is going to make a point of addressing an important historical time-period, it should at least attempt to do so accurately.

New Movies on Netflix

15. Soul Surfer (2011)

Soul Surfer  •  Behind the Scenes

Soul Surfer follows the incredible true story of Bethany Hamilton, a professional surfer who miraculously survived a shark attack. But although Hamilton survived, she lost her left arm.

It’s a bit disappointing that Soul Surfer is so reliant on Hollywood cliches, because Hamilton’s story is anything but typical. In the end, the film is more concerned with manufacturing an inspirational message than it is with recreating the story.

Best New Netflix Films

Conclusion

Many critics have knocked Soul Surfer, but audiences have been far more lenient on the film, and have mostly expressed admiration.

UP NEXT

Best Movies on Netflix

Some great new movies are coming to Netflix in May, 2020, but perhaps you’re still looking for something else to watch. Don’t worry, check out our list of the best movies of all time that are on Netflix! We update this list as movies come and go from the service so make sure to check back each month,

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