New Movie Releases: May 2016

By  · Published on May 3rd, 2016

5 Movies To See in Theaters in May

There’s more to May than just summer blockbusters…

The summer movie season is officially upon us! Some people might look down their nose at the news thinking it means theaters will only be filled with big, dumb sequels/reboots/garbage for the next four months, but the rest of us know better.

The next sixteen weeks promise plenty of smart, fun, entertaining movies for our enjoyment… alongside those big, dumb sequels/reboots garbage movies.

So let’s jump right in with our five picks for the movies to see in theaters this May!

5. The Darkness

Release Date: May 13th

Director: Greg McLean

Writers: Shayne Armstrong, Shane Krause, Greg McLean

Cast: Kevin Bacon, Radha Mitchell, Ming-na Wen, Paul Reiser

Why is it a must-see? The summer’s first wide-release horror film finds some front-loaded appeal with a strong cast guaranteed to get me into the theater. Both Bacon and Mitchell have headlined more than a few solid genre movies including Tremors, Triangle, Stir of Echoes, and Silent Hill, and they’ve shown a pretty good eye for picking horror projects. I’m not a fan of Wolf Creek 2, but both of McLean’s previous films – Wolf Creek and Rogue, which also starred Mitchell – are seriously good horror flicks. The question now is whether or not he make a movie about Native American ghosts who don’t wash their hands scary. We’ll find out this Friday the 13th.

4. X-Men: Apocalypse

Release Date: May 27th

Director: Bryan Singer

Writer: Simon Kinberg

Cast: Rose Byrne, Michael Fassbender, Nicholas Hoult, Oscar Isaac, Hugh Jackman, Jennifer Lawrence, James McAvoy, Olivia Munn, Tye Sheridan, Kodi Smit-McPhee, Sophie Turner

Why is it a must-see? Look, if you didn’t enjoy the last X-Men film then I really can’t help you. Days of Future Past is a big movie that balances both the somber and the goofy with a strong hand while delivering some truly entertaining action sequences and character interactions. Singer and Kinberg return for Apocalypse along with an ever-growing roster of heroes, and it looks to offer more of the same. That’s a good thing. That said, I do understand the issue this franchise has with multiple course corrections via time travel and questionable writing, but I choose to look at them like limited, separate comic book runs – the original trilogy is a story, the Wolverine films are their own thing, and now the First Class gang has their own three-film arc. Boom. Issue resolved.

3. The Lobster

Release Date: May 13th

Director: Yorgos Lanthimos

Writers: Yorgos Lanthimos, Efthymis Filippou

Cast: Colin Farrell, Rachel Weisz, John C. Reilly, Lea Seydoux

Why is it a must-see? Love. Love is what makes this a must-see because the odds are this is going to be the best love story of the summer. Lanthimos’ English-language debut is every bit as absurd, smart, and darkly comic as you’d expect from the mind behind Dogtooth, but he manages a human warmth here that has been absent from his other films. The story specifics may be ridiculous on their face, but like the satirical writings of James Morrow or Kurt Vonnegut the world-building is so complete as to have us immersed and along for the ride almost immediately. There are big laughs alongside legitimate moments of sadness, and by the time the credits roll it feels like you’ve experienced an affecting adventure unlike anything else you’ll see this summer.

2. Captain America: Civil War

Release Date: May 6th

Directors: Anthony Russo, Joe Russo

Writers: Christopher Markus, Stephen McFeely

Cast: Chris Evans, Robert Downey Jr., Scarlett Johansson, Sebastian Stan, Anthony Mackie, Don Cheadle, Jeremy Renner, Chadwick Boseman, Paul Bettany, Elizabeth Olsen, Paul Rudd, Frank Grillo, Daniel Bruhl, Tom Holland, William Hurt, Martin Freeman, Marisa Tomei, seriously this just keeps going

Why is it a must-see? As I’ve said before (and will soon be saying again) I’m of the opinion that the first two Captain America films are the two best Marvel films. They both mix action, humor, and heart better than any other Marvel entry – although The Avengers is a close third – so my expectations are stupidly high for this third entry. This ridiculously stuffed cast list is worrisome after the debacle of Age of Ultron, as is the knowledge that heroes fighting heroes is ultimately a bit pointless, but I’m staying optimistic. Advance word has been overwhelmingly positive, and with the same creative team behind the camera paired with more of Evans’ effortless charm the odds are optimism will be rewarded.

1. The Nice Guys

Release Date: May 20th

Director: Shane Black

Writers: Shane Black, Anthony Bagarozzi

Cast: Russell Crowe, Ryan Gosling, Kim Basinger, Matt Bomer, Keith David

Why is it a must-see? Kiss Kiss Bang Bang. Do you really need more of a reason than Black’s directorial debut to see his latest? The man’s a master of the buddy action/comedy, and like his 2005 film he’s once again paired two fantastic actors with mostly untapped comedic potential. Wit, style, and terrifically fun action scenes await, and while few things in life are guaranteed a new Shane Black film has got to be one of the exceptions.

Other May releases of note: High-Rise, Money Monster, Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising

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Rob Hunter has been writing for Film School Rejects since before you were born, which is weird seeing as he's so damn young. He's our Chief Film Critic and Associate Editor and lists 'Broadcast News' as his favorite film of all time. Feel free to say hi if you see him on Twitter @FakeRobHunter.