Although not as awful as last month’s Joss Whedon purge, there are still a lot of great movies and TV shows leaving Netflix in May. Last month we lost most of Bob’s Burgers despite fan outcry and multiple petitions popping up to keep them on the streaming service. Unfortunately, come May, the Belchers are gone indefinitely. Other well-loved TV shows like Scrubs are seeing multiple seasons disappear off Netflix starting May 1st as well, but at least they’ll be replaced with lots of original shows premiering brand new seasons (hello, House of Cards Season 5!).
Also getting the ol’ heave-ho? A select number of both ’90s and ’00s crime dramas, action/adventures, and even a certain guilty pleasure dance movie starring Magic Mike’s Channing Tatum. Not included on our list are some straight to video animated releases, a handful of mediocre romantic comedies and horror films alike and a few hit or miss nature documentaries. Altogether there are over forty titles leaving Netflix in May, most of them you won’t miss very much. However, we’ve put together a handy guide of the 15 Best Movies and TV Shows Leaving in May, seeing as Netflix annoyingly got rid of their five-star rating system.
15. Bob’s Burgers: Season 2
Previously known for his work on Adult Swim shows like Home Movies and Metalocalypse, Loren Bouchard introduced the Belcher family to the world in 2011. Essentially an animated sitcom in the vein of Family Guy, Bob’s Burgers takes things to another level by showing what happens when a family both lives and works together in the same place.
Each episode, the Belchers encounter some form of antagonization by various recurring characters including fellow restaurateur, Jimmy Pesto, or are faced with an obstacle that they inevitably overcome as a family. Aside from an excellent voice cast featuring H. Jon Benjamin, Eugene Mirman, and Kristen Schaal among others, the show’s frequent musical numbers have inspired a live show, which premieres in Los Angeles this summer.
Unfortunately, on April 1st, the majority of Bob’s Burgers six seasons were pulled from Netflix. Come May 7th, they’ll no longer have any episodes left at all. Unless you’re caught up with the current season or don’t mind buying previous seasons on Amazon, it looks like you’ll only have access to season two until the end of the month.
14. American Dad: Seasons 7-10
After pulling season six of American Dad last month, seasons 7-10 are gone from Netflix starting May 7th. Seth MacFarlane’s patriotic satire centers on an overzealous CIA agent, Stan Smith, who goes to ridiculous measures to ensure the safety of his family and country. Although chock full of humorous shock value, American Dad has far less physical comedy than MacFarlane’s other animated projects. Instead, the show relies on absurd characterizations of stereotypes and showcasing the hypocrisy of political extremism.
While Stan tries to keep up appearances as a staunch conservative with the perfect American family, in reality, they’re anything but. His daughter Hayley is an uber-liberal, hippie vegetarian; his son Steve’s an awkward nerd with few friends and no athletic ability, and his wife was actually adopted and raised by a Chinese couple. They’re also housing an alien in their midst, Roger, who escaped from Area 51 and saved Stan’s life. Easily the most ridiculous character on the show, Roger’s flamboyant nature, and frequent disguises, steal the show and add a welcome bit of camp to every episode.
13. Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown: Seasons 1-5
Culinary powerhouse, Anthony Bourdain, has rocketed to fame for his no-holds-barred attitude in relation to food and culture. His questionable past and rough around the edges exterior puts him in sharp contrast to many of the so-called “celebrity chefs” with their own reality-style TV shows. While most cooking shows prior to the early 2000’s were mainly focused on recipe instruction, Bourdain popularized food shows that linked both travel and cuisine.
After a long run on the Travel Channel with his show, No Reservations, Bourdain switched over to CNN for Parts Unknown. Where No Reservations incorporates off-the-beaten-path experiences and pop culture references, Parts Unknown has a more serious tone focusing on local delicacies from a particular city or region. Each episode not only highlights culinary traditions and dishes, but the culture that inspired them. Ultimately Parts Unknown approaches food with a journalistic eye, exploring how each location has inspired the meals it’s known for. Highly regarded and recommended, foodies would do well to binge what they can before the first five seasons disappear from Netflix.
12. Grosse Pointe Blank
One of John Cusack’s greatest roles and the one that cemented him as more than just a teen heartthrob, Grosse Pointe Blank quickly became a cult classic after its 1997 release. Cusack stars as a hitman who’s assigned a hit while home for his high school reunion. Unintentionally, he rekindles a relationship with his high school sweetheart, played by Minnie Driver, nearly putting her in danger as he’s stalked by those who seek to prevent him from doing his job.
Dan Aykroyd appears in a minor role as Cusack’s rival who’s trying to form a hitman’s union of sorts. They don’t share too many scenes together, but the ones they do are comedy gold as they expertly play off each other. As is often the case in many of his films, Cusack’s sister, Joan, makes an appearance in addition to two of their other siblings, Ann and Bill. In addition to its well-rounded cast and funny premise, Grosse Pointe Blank also has one of the best soundtracks of the late 90s with a score by The Clash’s lead singer, Joe Strummer.
11. Things We Lost in the Fire
A low budget indie drama directed by Danish film director Susanne Bier,Things We Lost in the Fire still managed to profit upon its release due to a well developed story and immense emotional depth. Halle Berry, and particularly Benicio Del Toro, deliver Oscar-worthy performances, despite snubs from every major award show. Debuting on a limited release and flying well under the radar has kept this film off best-of lists for the most part, but it’s well worth the nearly two hour run time.
After a tragedy brings Audrey (Berry) and Jerry (Del Toro) together, they each play a hand in the other’s recovery from the depths of despair and drug addiction, respectively. Although not the first film to delve into such dark territory, Things We Lost in the Fire succeeds because of the emotional nuances delivered by the lead actors. If nothing else, it’s an intimate character study of how loss permeates every aspect of a person’s life and sometimes opens doors that would have otherwise stayed close.
10. The Doors
Oliver Stone’s love letter to The Doors, features Val Kilmer at his best, portraying troubled poet and lead singer, Jim Morrison. Kilmer secured the role by sending a video of himself to Stone, singing like Morrison and embodying his larger than life presence. In fact, Kilmer sounded so much like Morrison he not only got the role, but he provided all the live vocals for the film—no easy feat.
While The Doors gained mixed reviews upon its release and major criticism by those who were close to Morrison, fans of the band generally hold it in high regard. If anything, it perpetuates the tabloid persona of Morrison as a self-destructive rock god, although there was obviously more to the man than womanizing and drunken outbursts. Sure it’s a sensationalized biopic that Stone took artistic liberties with, but it still captures the freewheeling spirit of the 1960s. Plus it’s full of The Doors music, man!
9. To Catch A Thief
When most people think Alfred Hitchcock, Psycho or The Birds come to mind, but the master of suspense directed well over fifty films. From among his lesser-known gems comes To Catch A Thief, a thriller featuring Cary Grant and Grace Kelly, whose onscreen chemistry is what really pulls the film along.Released between Rear Window and The Trouble With Harry, To Catch A Thief tells the story of a retired cat burglar (Grant) who finds himself back in the spotlight when someone in town starts stealing the locals’ jewels.
The film won Best Cinematography at the Academy Awards for its sweeping views of the French Riviera and perfectly framed two-shots of Grant and Kelly. Aside from the beautiful landscapes, both actors are in their prime here and aren’t too bad on the eyes either. Film buffs will enjoy looking for Hitchcock’s cameo and marveling at the pervading star power of both Grant and Kelly. It’s a shame to see it go, but hopefully, Netflix will replace it with other Hitchcock films in the future.
8. The Seven Dwarfs of Auschwitz
Documentaries don’t often end up on our best-of what’s leaving lists, but that’s because most people only put them on as background noise, rather than sitting down to actually enjoy them. However, if there’s one documentary worth paying attention to on Netflix right now, it’s The Seven Dwarfs of Auschwitz. There are tons of World War II documentaries on the streaming site, many of which focus on the Nazis and concentration camps, but none have the pull of an entire family of dwarfs.
Harry Potter actor Warwick Davis presents the story of the Ovitz family, Romanian Jews who were taken to the Auschwitz concentration camp in Poland. Seven of the twelve family members were afflicted with pseudoachondroplasia (a form of dwarfism), the largest number ever recorded in a single family. They were also the largest family to survive Auschwitz, due to Angel of Death doctor Josef Mengele’s interest and experimentation on them. The film is a fascinating look at how “otherness” actually helped save the Ovitzes, allowing them to return to their lives as performers after the liberation of the camp.
7. Graceland: Seasons 1-3
Fans of USA Network’s White Collar will find solace in Jeff Eastin’s other crime drama, Graceland which aired for three seasons until its cancellation in 2015. While White Collar primarily followed the lives of two men who were constantly at odds—but forced to work together—Graceland has an ensemble cast of six actors who are actually living together.
Mike Warren (Aaron Tveit) is assigned to a seized drug house nicknamed “Graceland” where a special team of undercover agents from different law enforcement agencies are already living. As you might expect with a bunch of people who have to pretend to be someone else all the time, things are not always what they seem in the house, especially when it comes to Senior FBI agent, Paul Briggs.
Although it sounds like an interesting twist on a reality show (and in some cases has as much drama as one), in actuality it’s the foundation for a lively police procedural interwoven with plenty of lies and deception. Graceland leaves Netflix in May, but it’s not doing so until the end of the month, which is plenty of time to watch all forty-three episodes.
6. Step Up
Before he was Magic Mike or Jenko in 21 Jump Street, Channing Tatum appeared in a number of films as a romantic lead. In fact, his breakout film was none other than Step Up, one of those cheesy dance films from the 2000s, which spawned a series of mediocre sequels. It was during the shooting of this film, early in his career, where he met his future wife, Jenna Dewan.
Tatum plays a charming bad boy who’s sentenced to community service at an arts school of all places. He just happens to observe Dewan preparing for a performance and eventually convinces her to let him be her dance partner after her former one injures himself. There are a lot of West Side Story elements and convenient coincidences that move the plot along, but ultimately it’s one of the better dance movies out there. Both Dewan and Tatum are incredible dancers and it’s worth watching their real life chemistry come to life through their immense talent.
Aside from their animated and live action adaptation films, Disney has a history of putting out family-friendly sports films. You might remember some of them from the 90s: Angels in the Outfield, The Mighty Ducks, Cool Runnings. Those films became classics to kids who grew up watching them. Well, 2006’s Invincible, starring Mark Wahlberg, throws back to those inspirational sports tales and is based on the true story of Vince Papale.
Set in 1970s Philadelphia, Invincible follows Papale (Wahlberg), a bartender and ordinary guy who gets the chance of a lifetime when the Philadelphia Eagles hold open tryouts. Despite a series of stressful life events, he manages to gain a spot on the team, lifting his own spirits as well as that of his friends and co-workers. Invincible fulfills every sports fanatic’s fantasy while also existing as a genuinely exciting piece of storytelling. Leave it to Disney to remind us that it’s never too late to live up to your full potential and follow your dreams.
The first feature from former BlackBook film critic, Eddie Mullins, Doomsdays tells the story of two guys who have given up on contemporary society and have embraced the inevitability of a coming apocalypse. In Mullins own words, “I wanted to make a film about people who think their time is so short that they stop giving a f*ck and become pirates.”
Dirty Fred (Justin Rice) and Bruho (Leo Fitzpatrick) have taken to a life of freeloading—squatting in mountain vacation homes til the owners come back or they get bored. They live life without any regard for authority or ownership, doing as they please with little consequence. That all changes when they’re joined by an eager teenager (Brian Charles Johnson) and a young woman (Laura Campbell) who force the two vagabonds to reexamine their impulses lest they become what they’ve turned their backs on. An easy watch for the disaffected youth among us and those who wish they still had a bit of that anarchic spirit left in them.
3. What About Bob?
What About Bob? has comedy gold written all over it just by looking at who was involved in the making of the film. You can’t go wrong with a movie directed by former Muppets puppeteer, Frank Oz, and starring Bill Murray and Richard Dreyfuss. Murray plays the dimwitted neurotic, Bob Wiley, who follows his therapist, Dr. Leo Marvin (Dreyfuss), on vacation after an abrupt interruption in their sessions. Hilarity ensues as Bob continuously inserts himself into Leo’s life even going so far as to befriend his family.
No matter what Leo does, Bob can’t take a hint and sees Leo’s attempts to get rid of him as just part of therapy. As the movie goes on, their roles start reversing as Bob drives pompous Leo to his wit’s end. Despite the comedic premise, you can feel the irritation oozing from every pore of Richard Dreyfuss’ skin. Bill Murray knows how to do annoying so well in fact, that the two actors didn’t get along outside of shooting. With that in mind, a viewing of What About Bob? has an almost voyeuristic appeal since who doesn’t love watching the subtext of actors’ real life relationships played out onscreen?
2. Scrubs: Seasons 1-9
One of the most beloved TV comedies of the last twenty years, Scrubs features Zach Braff and Donald Faison as a couple of medical interns at a private teaching hospital. John C. McGinley plays the sardonic Dr. Cox, whose tough love keeps J.D.’s head on straight while also preparing him for the rigorous life of a doctor. Sarah Chalke also appears as Dr. Elliot Reid, J.D.’s on again off again love interest and the source of much of the awkwardness on the show (aside from Ted Buckland).
Scrubs was loosely based on the experiences of creator Bill Lawrence’s friend Dr. Jonathan Doris (J.D.) when he was a resident at Brown Medical School. As the series progresses, Braff and Faison’s characters rise in the ranks from interns to residents to full blown doctors, eventually mentoring a new breed of interns at the end of the show’s run. As they advance in their careers they encounter all the challenges that come with the medical profession, both serious and comedic, in addition to complicated love lives. Ultimately, it’s their hardcore friendship that makes it all worth watching. EAAAGLLLLLLEEEEEE!!!
1. Jurassic Park
There’s so much to love about Jurassic Park it’s hard to know where to begin. Steven Spielberg took Michael Crichton’s best selling novel and turned it into one of the first and best Blockbusters of all time. For a film that was released nearly twenty-five years ago, it holds up better than most others of its time. The combination of CGI and animatronics brought about an unprecedented realism that makes its dinosaurs, particularly the T-Rex, all the more terrifying.
Sam Neill and Laura Dern shine as the paleontologist and paleobotanist team, Dr.’s Alan Grant and Ellie Sattler—who are invited to tour the park before its opening—along with mathematician Dr. Ian Grant (played by a dreamy Jeff Goldblum). Along with the always impressive Richard Attenborough, Samuel L. Jackson, B.D. Wong, and Wayne Knight appear in supporting roles as well. Basically, if you haven’t seen Jurassic Park yet, um, get on that and stop living under a rock. It’s a classic for good reason and far out rivals the reboot, Jurassic World. Oh, and if for some reason you feel the need to watch the original sequels, The Lost World and Jurassic Park III, they’re also leaving Netflix on May 1st.
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