Netflix has added quite a selection of newer and classic movies to its roster this May. Two Tom Hanks films have made the cut, and should make your to-watch list if you haven’t seen them already, and rom-coms are always a great mood booster. Below, we’ve assembled a list of the best new movies on Netflix in May 2022, which includes library titles and a brand new Netflix original that’ll hit the sweet spot for a specific audience. So peruse our selections below to get your viewing plans sorted.
Forrest Gump (1984)
Robert Zemeckis’ Oscar-winning film starring Tom Hanks had to make the cut here. Hanks plays a man named Forrest Gump, who recounts his life story starting from his childhood in Alabama where his mother (Sally Field) encouraged him to do anything he wanted to do. The film chronicles how he learned to run, his relationship with sweetheart Jenny (played by Robin Wright), his time serving in Vietnam and the friends he made along the way. Just like Forrest’s mother says, Netflix’s selection can be like a box of chocolates, and you never know what you’re gonna get. With “Forrest Gump,” though, the quality is clear.
“You’ve Got Mail” (1998)
Tom Hanks brings his priceless facial expressions to this classic rom-com as Joe Fox, force behind the machine of Fox & Sons Books, the chain mega bookstore similar to Barnes & Noble that puts indie bookstores out of business in New York City. Meg Ryan is effortlessly charming as Kathleen Kelly, owner of The Shop Around the Corner, an adorable one-of-a-kind children’s bookstore across the street from the newest Fox location. Unknowingly, the two chat back and forth online and get along really well, but when they meet face to face (not realizing that they are pen pals), they can’t stand each other. The relationship is cute while wrapped up in an admittedly confusing story. Dave Chappelle, Steve Zahn and Sara Ramirez also star in this beloved Nora Ephron film.
“War of the Worlds” (2005)
ASteven Spielberg’s 2004 adaptation of “War of the Worlds” is not just an alien invasion film – it is very much a film about 9/11. Spielberg framed the story of alien invaders as his commentary on 9/11, and the fallout afterwards. The film is told entirely from the point of view of a single father (played by Tom Cruise) watching his kids, and the audience never sees anything they don’t see. It’s a masterful chronicle of panic and confusion, and the lengths to which people will go to keep themselves and their loved ones safe in the face of impending danger. – Adam Chitwood
“Crazy, Stupid Love” (2011)
The all-star cast of Steve Carell, Julianne Moore, Ryan Gosling, Emma Stone and young Joey King really make this movie. It is just the right amount of chaotic with some pretty sweet connections at the end. Cal Weaver (Carell) is floored when his wife of almost 25 years Emily (Moore) blurts out at dinner that she wants to get divorced. Then he meets Jacob (Gosling) one night in a bar, and Jacob takes pity on him, promising he will help Cal get his mojo back. Meanwhile Cal’s son Robbie (Jonah Bobo) has a crush on his babysitter Jessica (Lio Tipton), who in turn has a crush on Cal. True to its title, this one’s a little crazy.
“Soul Surfer” (2011)
The story of Bethany Hamilton brought to life on the big screen is a must watch. AnnaSophia Robb plays Hamilton, the resilient surfer who got back in the water after her left arm was bitten off by a shark. Dennis Quaid plays Hamilton’s protective father, and Helen Hunt portrays her gentle mother. Carrie Underwood guest stars as Sarah Hill, Bethany’s church mentor. This film captures the highs and lows of Bethany’s journey and ends with a triumphant surf sequence.
The late Chadwick Boseman brings the story of Jackie Robinson, the first Black player in the MLB, to life in “42.” From director Brian Helgeland comes the all-around triumphant, honest, heartbreaking and emotional portrayal of the path Jackie Robinson paved into professional baseball, as he faced many challenges including racism. Nicole Beharie plays Jackie’s fiancée and later wife Rachel Robinson. Harrison Ford portrays Branch Rickey, who partly made it possible for Jackie to play for the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1947. More big baseball names who were around Robinson include Dodgers manager Leo Derocher (Christopher Meloni), Dixie Walker (Ryan Merriman), Pee Wee Reese (Lucas Black), Ralph Branca (Hamish Linklater) and Harold Parrott (T.R. Knight).
“Along for the Ride” (2022)
Girl power, rom-com magic and more serious topics make “Along for the Ride” a must-watch to kick off summer movie season. Based on the novel by Sarah Dessen, this film tells the story of Auden West (Emma Pasarow) who spends the summer in small-town beachside Colby, where she meets Eli (Belmont Cameli), a fellow night owl. The two become close and help each other sort out some of the complications in their past. Lighthearted car jam session scenes balance out the more realistic fights between Auden’s father and her new stepmom as well as Eli’s grief over a lost friend. Directed and adapted by Sofia Alvarez, who also served as screenwriter for the first two “To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before” films, “Along for the Ride” combines teenage nostalgia with hope and some frolicking fun.