IMDb Picks: May

by IMDb-Editors | created - 17 Apr 2015 | updated - 28 May 2015 | Public
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1. Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015)

PG-13 | 141 min | Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi

66 Metascore

When Tony Stark and Bruce Banner try to jump-start a dormant peacekeeping program called Ultron, things go horribly wrong and it's up to Earth's mightiest heroes to stop the villainous Ultron from enacting his terrible plan.

Director: Joss Whedon | Stars: Robert Downey Jr., Chris Evans, Mark Ruffalo, Chris Hemsworth

Votes: 682,305 | Gross: $459.01M

The first Avengers is a personal favorite among comic book movies – no matter how many times I see it, I’m still amazed at how it perfectly balances action, humor, story and character. Early reviews for the second one suggest that it doesn’t work quite as well; still, I can’t wait to see all of these characters get back together again.

I could go on and on about all of the specific reasons I’m excited about this movie, but what’s the point? By the time you read this, you’ll have probably already bought your ticket for what could be the biggest opening weekend ever (ahead of the first movie’s $207 million).

  • Ray

Release Info: Opens in theaters on May 1st.

2. Welcome to Me (2014)

R | 87 min | Comedy, Drama

69 Metascore

When Alice Klieg wins the Mega-Millions lottery, she immediately quits her psychiatric meds and buys her own talk show.

Director: Shira Piven | Stars: Kristen Wiig, James Marsden, Linda Cardellini, Wes Bentley

Votes: 17,406 | Gross: $0.61M

I've always been a fan of Kristen Wiig and although i think she's one of the funniest comedians working right now, I prefer her in dramatic roles. While the premise of the film has certainly comedic elements, I imagine it will also be a bit heartbreaking watching this character who is suffering from Borderline Personality Disorder. The film received rave reviews for its festival run, so I hope this film can be an indie alternative to those who might be looking for something else to see on Avengers' opening weekend.

  • Michelle

Release Info: Opens in theaters on May 1st.

3. Iris (IX) (2014)

PG-13 | 79 min | Documentary, Biography, History

80 Metascore

A documentary about fashion icon Iris Apfel from legendary documentary filmmaker Albert Maysles.

Director: Albert Maysles | Stars: Carl Apfel, Harold Koda, Dries Van Noten, Inez Bailey

Votes: 3,968 | Gross: $1.31M

Given filmmaker Albert Maysles's recent passing and Iris Apfel's iconic status in the worlds of fashion, design, and style, this documentary could be a box-office happening, and it should pair well with the recent Advanced Style at a time when older models are en vogue on fashion runways.

  • Arno

Release Info: Opens in theaters on May 1st.

4. Penny Dreadful (2014–2016)

TV-MA | 60 min | Drama, Fantasy, Horror

Explorer Sir Malcolm Murray, American gunslinger Ethan Chandler, scientist Victor Frankenstein, and medium Vanessa Ives unite to combat supernatural threats in Victorian London.

Stars: Josh Hartnett, Timothy Dalton, Eva Green, Reeve Carney

Votes: 102,686

The first season explored the emotional guts and tortured soul of the beautiful Miss Vanessa Ives (Eva Green), a woman possessed -- as well as a woman who harbors grim gifts. Although she's also shielded by her companions Sir Malcolm Murray (Timothy Dalton), and Ethan Chandler (Josh Hartnett), it turns out the biggest danger to Ives and company happens to be a person we met for scarcely a moment in season one, the mysterious Evelyn Poole, aka Madame Kali (played by Helen McCrory).

McCrory's elevation to series regular makes us excited to see an array of riveting scenes between her character and Green's Ives, upon whom she apparently has designs. Before Poole's plans come to fruition, however, I'm most looking forward to seeing the resolution to Chandler's cliffhanger. Remember how his most dangerous secret clawed its way into the moonlight? Simply terrifying! I'm also curious to witness the resurrection of Billie Piper's Brona Croft, and how her return will shape the trajectories of Chandler, Dr. Frankenstein (Harry Treadaway) and the Doctor's lonely, homicidal creature (Rory Kinnear). Regardless of how the next chapters unfold, drinking in the sumptuous Gothic visuals, which vacillate between gorgeous and gory, will be reason enough to make a weekly visit mandatory.


Premieres: 10pm Sunday, May 3, on Showtime.

5. Cobain: Montage of Heck (2015)

TV-MA | 145 min | Documentary, Animation, Biography

83 Metascore

An authorized documentary on the late musician Kurt Cobain, from his early days in Aberdeen, Washington to his success and downfall with the grunge band Nirvana.

Director: Brett Morgen | Stars: Aaron Burckhard, Chad Channing, Don Cobain, Jenny Cobain

Votes: 26,418

I saw this documentary when it premiered at the Sundance Film Festival but I can't wait to watch it again (and again) when it airs on HBO. Yes, I was a huge Nirvana fan but that's not the only draw here. Brett Morgen had unprecedented access to home movies, artwork, and recordings from Cobain's life, in addition to intimate interviews with his family. But this isn't just talking heads and old footage. Morgen brings these stories to life with motion graphics and animation. Even if you are not a Nirvana fan, this is one of the best rockumentaries I've ever seen. I couldn't recommend it more.

  • Michelle

6. Grace and Frankie (2015– )

TV-MA | 30 min | Comedy

Finding out that their husbands are not just work partners, but have also been romantically involved for the last twenty years, two women with an already strained relationship try to cope with the circumstances together.

Stars: Jane Fonda, Lily Tomlin, Sam Waterston, Martin Sheen

Votes: 30,511

Knowing next to nothing about this new comedy, it's still worth recommending based on the incredible cast and the dark, potentially hilarious premise. Even if it turns out to be a trainwreck, it's a trainwreck we don't want to miss.


Premieres: Friday, May 8 on Netflix.

7. Wayward Pines (2015–2016)

TV-14 | 60 min | Drama, Mystery, Sci-Fi

A Secret Service agent goes to Wayward Pines, Idaho, in search of two federal agents who have gone missing in the bucolic town. He soon learns that he may never get out of Wayward Pines alive.

Stars: Siobhan Fallon Hogan, Toby Jones, Shannyn Sossamon, Hope Davis

Votes: 49,275

Having seen the first five episodes, I can honestly say that this 10-hour event series is worth watching if only for the opportunity to discuss theories and frustrations with fellow fascinated viewers. It also helps that Matt Dillon, Carla Gugino, Melissa Leo and Terrence Howard do tremendous work in carrying the story through even the most confusing pits in road.

Then again, it's executive produced by M. Night Shyamalan, a man who utterly bungled the film version of one of the best TV mythologies available. And this was an insult thrown on top of many previous cinematic disappointments. You know the old saying: "Fool me once..." So although I'm hopeful about where this event series will end up, the end of episode five had not convinced this viewer that he was to be trusted.

Maybe that will change by the end of episode six. That's right...I'm going to keep watching. Shame on me? We'll see.

-Melanie Premieres: 9pm Thursday, May 14 on Fox.

8. Pitch Perfect 2 (2015)

PG-13 | 115 min | Comedy, Music

63 Metascore

After a humiliating command performance at The Kennedy Center, the Barden Bellas enter an international competition that no American group has ever won in order to regain their status and right to perform.

Director: Elizabeth Banks | Stars: Anna Kendrick, Rebel Wilson, Hailee Steinfeld, Brittany Snow

Votes: 132,803 | Gross: $184.30M

I’d be lying if I said I was in the key demographic for the first Pitch Perfect; I didn’t bother seeing it until well after its theatrical release. As many others also discovered, though, the musical comedy turned out to be absolutely infectious. Unless you actually physically have somewhere else to be, it’s quite difficult to turn this off when it’s on TV (you might even call it “aca-addicting”).

The sequel appears to be a strong continuation of the first. It returns most of the original’s cast – including the absolutely delightful Anna Kendrick – and seems to retain that movie’s self-aware sense of humor. It also appears to have some fun cameos (apparently the Green Bay Packers are a cappella fans?). After making tons of fans on home video, look for the sequel to make much, much more than the first movie’s $65 million.

  • Ray

Release Info: Opens in theaters on May 15th.

9. Mad Max: Fury Road (2015)

R | 120 min | Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi

90 Metascore

In a post-apocalyptic wasteland, a woman rebels against a tyrannical ruler in search for her homeland with the aid of a group of female prisoners, a psychotic worshiper, and a drifter named Max.

Director: George Miller | Stars: Tom Hardy, Charlize Theron, Nicholas Hoult, Zoë Kravitz

Votes: 795,925 | Gross: $154.06M

I don’t have a relationship with this franchise at all: I was too young when they were initially released ("too young" = "not born") and they never really became part of my cinematic education. So when this sequel was announced, I initially shrugged.

Of course, that was before the first trailer – and subsequent trailers – blew my mind apart. The stunning apocalyptic visuals! The gravity-defying stunts! As others have remarked, the movie looks like two hours of non-stop money shots. It’s also exciting that, in an age where everything seems to be getting watered down to a PG-13, this is going to be a big, bad, R-rated epic. I can’t wait.


Release Info: Opens in theaters on May 15th.

10. I'll See You in My Dreams (2015)

PG-13 | 92 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance

75 Metascore

A widow and former songstress discovers that life can begin anew at any age.

Director: Brett Haley | Stars: Blythe Danner, Martin Starr, Sam Elliott, Malin Akerman

Votes: 6,325 | Gross: $7.43M

I heard about this movie's warm reception at Sundance earlier this year and was happy to see it scored a distribution deal and summer-y release date. I didn't think much more about it until watching its trailer, which completely drew me in; the frank talk about aging, sex, smoking dope, and friendship gives me all sorts of munchies.

  • Arno

Release Info: Opens in theaters on May 15th.

11. Bessie (2015 TV Movie)

TV-MA | 115 min | Biography, Drama, Music

The story of legendary blues performer Bessie Smith, who rose to fame during the 1920s and '30s.

Director: Dee Rees | Stars: Khandi Alexander, Michael Kenneth Williams, Tika Sumpter, Queen Latifah

Votes: 3,647

The first high-profile directing project from Pariah (2011) writer and director Dee Rees promises to be a conversation piece, and if there's a end-of-the-year list for perfect casting choices, we're predicting Queen Latifah's rendition of the unapologetic, brash Bessie Smith will have a place on it. Reportedly this is the role Queen has been wanting to play for a long time. We expect she'll make the most of it.

  • Melanie

Premieres: 8pm Saturday, May 16 on HBO.

12. Tomorrowland (2015)

PG | 130 min | Action, Adventure, Family

60 Metascore

Bound by a shared destiny, a teen bursting with scientific curiosity and a former boy-genius inventor embark on a mission to unearth the secrets of a place somewhere in time and space that exists in their collective memory.

Director: Brad Bird | Stars: George Clooney, Britt Robertson, Hugh Laurie, Raffey Cassidy

Votes: 163,218 | Gross: $93.44M

I love it when a major release can maintain a sense of mystery, and now I can see why Brad Bird passed on his Star Wars opportunity in order to make this movie, which is directly connect to Walt Disney's legacy. We've just seen bits of the world Bird has created and I feel as wide-eyed as Britt Robertson's character as opening day draws near.

  • Arno

Release Info: Opens in theaters on May 22nd.

13. Isabella Rossellini's Green Porno Live (2015 TV Movie)

Not Rated | 66 min | Documentary

Isabella Rossellini's takes her educational series about the mating habits of different animals on the road.

Directors: Jody Shapiro, Tommaso Rossellini | Stars: Norika Fujiwara, Isabella Rossellini

Votes: 95

Welcome to the strange, strange world of creature sex as unabashedly explained by the brilliant, hilarious Isabella Rossellini, who's absolutely resplendent when in full furry glory. Need I say more?

  • Chako

Premieres: 8pm Sunday, May 17 on Ovation.

14. American Ninja Warrior (2009– )

TV-PG | 40 min | Action, Game-Show, Sport

Contestants run, jump, crawl, climb, hang, and swing through crazy obstacles as they compete to become the next American Ninja champion.

Stars: Matt Iseman, Akbar Gbajabiamila, Jenn Brown, Angela Sun

Votes: 2,809

What I like about ANS is that it's nearly impossible to win. In a world where competition shows can seem a little too forgiving, there's something so refreshing about the ridiculously challenging road to Mount Midoriyama. And is there any other show influential enough to get you to even consider getting your butt off the couch to do a few burpees during the commercial break? Take that, "Biggest Loser!" What we're really hoping for this season is the second coming of kick-ass Kacy Catanzaro.

  • Chako

Premieres: 8pm Monday, May 25 on NBC

15. The Connection (2014)

R | 135 min | Action, Crime, Thriller

67 Metascore

A French police magistrate spends years trying to take down one of the country's most powerful drug rings.

Director: Cédric Jimenez | Stars: Jean Dujardin, Gilles Lellouche, Céline Sallette, Mélanie Doutey

Votes: 9,114

Loving Jean Dujardin's '70s look for this alternate view of the drug syndicate that was immortalized in The French Connection. Being a huge fan of that movie and its grim sequel, I'm setting fair expectations before heading to see the Eurocentric, Popeye-free version.

  • Arno

Release Info: Opens in theaters on May 15th.

16. Saint Laurent (2014)

R | 150 min | Biography, Drama, Romance

52 Metascore

Yves Saint Laurent's life from 1967 to 1976, during which time the famed fashion designer was at the peak of his career.

Director: Bertrand Bonello | Stars: Gaspard Ulliel, Jérémie Renier, Louis Garrel, Léa Seydoux

Votes: 4,914 | Gross: $0.43M

Since there's never been a proper documentary on Yves Saint Laurent -- L'amour fou was specifically focused and unsatisfying -- I've looked to the competing biopics on the fashion designer to give me life. This movie, from director Bertrand Bonello and starring Gaspard Ulliel as YSL, has a more luxe pedigree than its rival; it also won more César Awards in their recent face-off.

  • Arno

17. San Andreas (2015)

PG-13 | 114 min | Action, Adventure, Drama

43 Metascore

In the aftermath of a massive earthquake in California, a rescue-chopper pilot makes a dangerous journey with his ex-wife across the state in order to rescue his daughter.

Director: Brad Peyton | Stars: Dwayne Johnson, Carla Gugino, Alexandra Daddario, Colton Haynes

Votes: 196,161 | Gross: $155.19M

Paranoiacs of the West Coast, here's one way to face your greatest fears. Other than the inevitable disaster movie-induced panic, what looms large? This big, burning question: How many Americans can Dwayne Johnson actually save? We'll soon find out. All I know is that if you're not chanting "Rock! Rock! Rock!" by the end of the white-knuckle ride that is the "San Andreas" trailer, something is definitely wrong with you.

  • Chako

Release Info: Opens in theaters on May 29th.

18. Aloha (I) (2015)

PG-13 | 105 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance

40 Metascore

A celebrated military contractor returns to the site of his greatest career triumphs and reconnects with a long-ago love while unexpectedly falling for the hard-charging Air Force watch-dog assigned to him.

Director: Cameron Crowe | Stars: Bradley Cooper, Rachel McAdams, Emma Stone, Alec Baldwin

Votes: 56,209 | Gross: $20.99M

I must admit, after watching this trailer I had no idea what it's about. Not a clue. I'm hoping it's the case of a story that is so unique it's hard to capture what it's about in a trailer. So why am I still excited to see it? Quite simply, I believe in Cameron Crowe and I can't imagine this stellar cast would sign on to a film unless it had an engaging story. Maybe I'll regret it later, but I will be checking out the film.

  • Michelle

Release Info: Opens in theaters on May 29th.

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