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The 7 Best New Movies on Netflix in May 2023

The 7 Best New Movies on Netflix in May 2023

Hopefully, those May flowers will start blooming soon after the many April (and previous months’) showers. But whatever the weather, Netflix has a solid selection of new movies to watch this month.

Netflix’s May lineup has several bright and joyful animated films as well as more serious stories with light at the end of the tunnel. Tom Hanks’ latest theatrical release “A Man Called Otto” arrives on the streaming service, adapted from Frederick Backman’s book “A Man Called Ove” and following the story of a grumpy old man who struggles to find purpose in life after the death of his wife.

Animated adventures for the whole family include “The Croods” and “The Tale of Desperaux” which teach lessons of bravery in their own way. For those in the mood for slightly quirkier stories, Jason Moore’s “Pitch Perfect” and “Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events” should do the trick. And that barely scratches the surface.

Here are seven of the best new movies to watch on Netflix in May.

“The Croods”

Eep (voiced by Emma Stone) in “The Croods” (Twentieth Century Fox)

Eep (voiced by Emma Stone) in “The Croods” (Twentieth Century Fox)

From Directors Kirk DeMicco and Chris Sanders, “The Croods” provides a fresh take on the coming of age story in telling it from the perspective of a family of cave people. Grug (voiced by Nicholas Cage) takes overcautious measures to keep his family safe, but his daughter Eep (Emma Stone) is growing up and pushing his boundaries. When Eep meets Guy (Ryan Reynolds), Grug senses that he might lose her, but the adventures that Guy through which leads the whole family teach him valuable lessons about family and the world. Plus, who doesn’t love an adorable creature with a high-pitched voice? Guy’s companion Belt, a really cute sloth, provides satisfaction in that category.

“Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events”

Jim Carrey as Count Olaf in “Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events”

Jim Carrey as Count Olaf in “Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events”

The cast of this film alone warrants a rewatch every once in a while. Jim Carrey portrays the villain himself Count Olaf, whose creepy eye symbols are everywhere. The gloomy mystery film also stars Liam Aiken as Klaus Baudelaire, Emily Browning as Violet Baudelaire and Kara Hoffman as baby Sunny Baudelaire. Goofy and quirky moments balance out the depressingly dark and scary ones. Based on Lemony Snickers’ book series, the distinct illustrations make it into the film as well. Plus the supporting cast of Meryl Streep as Aunt Josephine, Catherine O’Hara as Justice Strauss, Jennifer Coolidge as a White Faced Woman, Dustin Hoffman as The Critic, Cedric the Entertainer as Constable, Luis Guzmán as the bald crony and Bily Connolly as Uncle monty. To top it all off, Jude Law voices narrator Lemony Snicket.

“Peter Pan” (2003)


The Lost Boys in “Peter Pan” (2003) (Universal Pictures)

“I do believe in fairies! I do! I do!” With “Peter Pan & Wendy” on the way to Disney+. the 2003 version of Peter Pan in which Jeremy Sumpter portrayed the flying boy and Jason Isaacs portrayed Captain Hook as well as Mr. Darling would make a great watch to prepare. The uplifting music and live-action take on the magical story will transport you away from any worries or stress. After a long hard day of adulting, the concept of never growing up that Peter believes in so strongly is a welcome escape. The scene where Wendy (Rachel Hurd-Wood), John (Harry Newell and Michael (Freddie Popplewell) learn to fly and speed through the galaxy to Neverland is an adrenaline rush, and all the mythical creatures like mermaids, fairies (Ludivine Sagnier makes a great Tinkerbell) and of course the ticking crocodile that swallowed a clock cements the film’s aloofness.

“The Glass Castle”

Brie Larson as Jeannette Walls in “The Glass Castle” (Lionsgate)

Brie Larson as Jeannette Walls in “The Glass Castle” (Lionsgate)

Based on the best-selling memoir by Jeanette Walls, “The Glass Castle” tells a true story of a girl raised in a dysfunctional family constantly on the run from the FBI. Woody Harrelson portrays Rex, Jeannette’s alcoholic father who is protective when sober. Naomi Watts plays Rose Mary. Max Greenfield portrays David, Jeannette’s fiancé. You’ll even be able to spot Iain Armitage (“Big Little Lies,” “Young Sheldon”) and a young Sadie Sink (“Stranger Things,” “The Whale”), aside from star Brie Larson, who portrays adult Jeanette. Sara Snook also portrays adult Lori. A triumphant, yet tragic tale, this beautifully shot film is worth a watch for the biographical element.

“Pitch Perfect”

Anna Kendrick in

Anna Kendrick as Beca in “Pitch Perfect” (Universal)

So many good memes came out of Jason Moore’s musical comedy film that it would be a shame to miss out on reliving those moments. From Rebel Wilson’s “Fat Amy” and her horizontal cardio to the amazing a capella duets and group numbers, there is never a dull part of the film. Beca (Anna Kendrick) puts forth a great effort at modernizing the Barden Bellas, the all-girls singing group she joins during her first year at college. Her DJing ear lends to great combinations of songs, but the stiff leaders of the group Chloe (Brittany Snow) and Aubrey (Anna Camp) refuse to change routine. They have to contend with the boys group, helmed by Bumper (Adam Devine) and Jesse (Skylar Astin) and Benji (Ben Platt). Kelly Clarkson’s “Since You Been Gone” and Jessie J’s “Pricetag” get great mashups.

“The Tale of Desperaux”

Desperaux (voiced by Matthew Broderick) in “The Tale of Desperaux (Universal)

Desperaux (voiced by Matthew Broderick) in “The Tale of Desperaux (Universal)

A tale of mice, rats and soup that is not “Ratatouille,” based on Kate DiCamillo’s book watches Desperaux (voiced by Matthew Broderick aka Ferris Bueller) reverses a curse enacted on rodents when one fell into the Queen’s soup long ago. Desperaux makes up for his small size with his big ears and even bigger heart. He is not afraid of mouse traps or cats, and his parents wonder where he could have gotten this frame of mind. Other notable voices in the film include Emma Watson as Princess Pea, Dustin Hoffman as Roscuro, Tracey Ullman as Miggery Sow, Stanly Tucci as Boldo, Robbie Coltrane as Gregory, Tony Hale as Furlough, Christopher Lloyd as Hovis and Sigourney Weaver as the Narrator.

“A Man Called Otto”

Tom Hanks in

Tom Hanks as Otto in “A Man Called Otto” (Sony Pictures)

Tom Hanks portrays curmudgeon Otto, who lost his wife Sonya (Racel Keller) to illness when they were younger. Otto doesn’t see much purpose in life since he has lost his love, but he does enjoy rules and structure, so whenever there is chaos, he is sure to step in and try to regulate it. Otto’s life gets a lift when Marisol (Mariana Treviño) and Tommy (Manuel Gario-Rulfo) move across the street and check on him from time to time. Based on the book by Frederik Backman, Tom Hanks, wife Rita Wilson and son Truman Hanks bring the film to life as a family.