IMDb Picks: Editors' Picks for May

by IMDb-Editors | created - 15 Apr 2016 | updated - 05 May 2016 | Public

"Penny Dreadful," "Bloodline," and some of our other favorite TV shows return this month, and the summer movie season kicks into gear early with the release of Captain America: Civil War. Take a look at the IMDb editorial team's picks for May.

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1. Penny Dreadful (2014–2019)

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: 100,706

A late-night conversation with friends convinced me to head home and stay up even later to watch the first few episodes of "Penny Dreadful," and I savored every bit of the show's first two seasons, which have a substance and style that bring the genius of Bryan Fuller to mind. If you haven't ever watched the show, I enthusiastically recommend it. Similar to "Game of Thrones," you don't have to be a fan of the genre in order to be pulled into this dark world centered around one of the most compelling female characters ever written: Miss Vanessa Ives, played with pitch-black perfection by Eva Green. — Arno

Season 3 premieres Sunday, May 1, on Showtime

2. Captain America: Civil War (2016)

PG-13 | 147 min | Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi

75 Metascore

Political involvement in the Avengers' affairs causes a rift between Captain America and Iron Man.

Directors: Anthony Russo, Joe Russo | Stars: Chris Evans, Robert Downey Jr., Scarlett Johansson, Sebastian Stan

Votes: 577,939 | Gross: $408.08M

Captain America: Civil War brings Steve Rogers' main arc to a close while kicking off the journeys (and franchises) of Black Panther and Spiderman. The Russo brothers made a tight, impressive, political thriller with Captain America: Winter Solider and have described Civil War as a "psychological thriller," with Brian De Palma and the classic Se7en as inspiration. (I really hope no one gets sent a box ...) Readers of the "Civil War" comics may be a little worried about who will make it out of this one alive, but all will be revealed May 6! Honestly, I'm just super excited to see the Avengers go head to head in what critics have been calling the best superhero dust-up of all time. Can. Not. Wait. #teamcap — Vanessa

Opens Friday, May 6, in wide release

3. 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: 29,139

Like a fine wine, "Grace and Frankie" just gets better with time. Season 2 is here! While the first season started out as a quirky story about two women who were forced to come together when their husbands fell in love with each other, by the end we see Grace and Frankie's relationship hit a new milestone, especially after Frankie ends up sleeping with Sol. Tune in May 6 to binge-watch the second season. — Shara

Season 2 premieres Friday, May 6, on Netflix

4. The Lobster (2015)

R | 119 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance

82 Metascore

In a dystopian near future, single people, according to the laws of The City, are taken to The Hotel, where they are obliged to find a romantic partner in forty-five days or are transformed into beasts and sent off into The Woods.

Director: Yorgos Lanthimos | Stars: Colin Farrell, Rachel Weisz, Jessica Barden, Olivia Colman

Votes: 181,375 | Gross: $8.70M

Writer/director Yorgos Lanthimos was introduced to the international film scene when his third feature, Dogtooth, wowed at Cannes and went on to become one of this most discussed movies of the year. He lost some momentum with Alps, a movie that I think is weirder and funnier than its predecessor. I've gone back for repeat viewings, too.

Lanthimos makes the sometimes tricky transition to directing in English with The Lobster. But from the ecstatic reception the movie has received from audiences and critics on the festival circuit, it appears that Lanthimos' wit and intention have lost nothing in translation. Personally, I am always rooting for Colin Farrell to find material that fits his unique talent as well. — Arno

Opens in limited release on Friday, May 13

5. What We Become (2015)

Not Rated | 85 min | Horror, Thriller

60 Metascore

A family of four is quarantined in their home as a virulent strand of the flu spreads into town and they are forced to the extreme to escape alive.

Director: Bo Mikkelsen | Stars: Benjamin Engell, Troels Lyby, Mille Dinesen, Ella Solgaard

Votes: 2,980

So "The Walking Dead" just ended, and "Fear the Walking Dead" isn't quite enough to fill that huge zombie hole in your heart? Well, May brings flowers and even more zombies to your eyeballs (rejoice!) with Danish horror film What We Become. Can't wait to see if the Danes handle the violent outbreak any differently (or better) than the Americans. — Chako

Opens in limited release on Friday, May 13

More: Visitor's Guide to Outbreak in America

6. High-Rise (2015)

R | 119 min | Drama, Horror, Sci-Fi

65 Metascore

Life for the residents of a tower block begins to run out of control.

Director: Ben Wheatley | Stars: Tom Hiddleston, Jeremy Irons, Sienna Miller, Luke Evans

Votes: 33,607 | Gross: $0.34M

The Cronenberg influences in Ben Wheatley's latest film had me attracted from the get-go, and I feel like Tom Hiddleston is making the most of his Loki fame with a series of cool role choices that never feel safe or expected. The reviews for High-Rise are mixed, but Wheatley is a divisive filmmaker, and with such racy material — the story is based on a novel by J.G. Ballard of Crash infamy — reactions will surely vary.

I'm thoroughly looking forward to Hiddleston slowly unraveling within the confines of a mysterious and chilly residential pleasure palace. — Arno

Opens in limited release on Friday, May 13

7. Houdini and Doyle (2016)

TV-14 | Crime, Drama, Fantasy

At the turn of the 20th century the Metropolitan Police were overwhelmed with bizarre cases so they turned to outsiders including Houdini and Doyle, who collaborated with New Scotland Yard on some unsolved and inexplicable crimes.

Stars: Michael Weston, Stephen Mangan, Rebecca Liddiard, Emily Carey

Votes: 2,460

There have been lots of TV shows about or inspired by Sherlock Holmes. Now there's one about the man who invented the character, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. David Shore, creator of one of the best riffs on Sherlock Holmes, "House M.D.," imagines Conan Doyle and the magician Houdini as a crime-solving duo. It's not completely far-fetched: The two men were friends in real life. While there are more than enough procedurals on TV, I'm hoping the period London setting and the potential fun of seeing Houdini make an improbable escape every episode will make this a mystery worth solving. — Sara

Season 1 premieres Friday, May 13, on FOX.

8. Money Monster (2016)

R | 98 min | Crime, Drama, Thriller

55 Metascore

Financial TV host Lee Gates and his producer Patty are put in an extreme situation when an irate investor takes them and their crew as hostage.

Director: Jodie Foster | Stars: George Clooney, Julia Roberts, Jack O'Connell, Dominic West

Votes: 86,260 | Gross: $41.01M

Money Monster is the latest film to take a critical look at how Wall Street impacts the ordinary people who live on the proverbial Main Street. George Clooney is perfectly cast as a smarmy cable TV stock guru who is taken hostage on-camera by a man who lost all his money by following his investment tips. Money Monster employs a real-time structure that should add to the tension, despite a trailer that seems to give away some key plot points. Jodie Foster directs an all-star cast that includes Julia Roberts, Giancarlo Esposito and Caitronia Balfe. All of that star-wattage makes me eager to invest my time in Money Monster. — Sara

Opens Friday, May 13, in wide release

9. The Nice Guys (2016)

R | 116 min | Action, Comedy, Crime

70 Metascore

In 1970s Los Angeles, a mismatched pair of private eyes investigate a missing girl and the mysterious death of a porn star.

Director: Shane Black | Stars: Russell Crowe, Ryan Gosling, Angourie Rice, Matt Bomer

Votes: 238,981 | Gross: $36.26M

Think "Starsky and Hutch" meets Boogie Nights plus a little bit of Lethal Weapon mixed in for good measure. This buddy cop flick mixes comedy, action, and mystery and pairs Russell Crowe and Ryan Gosling as an unlikely pair of detectives in 1970s Los Angeles who are on the case of a missing girl but end up uncovering something far larger ... and porn-related. Shane Black, who penned the Lethal Weapon hits, is at the helm. So, expect a light touch with plenty of sly humor to go along with the car chases. — Bret

Opens Friday, May 20, in wide release

10. Lady Dynamite (2016–2017)

TV-MA | 30 min | Comedy

Series is based on what Maria has accepted to be "her life." The occasionally surreal episodes, refracted across multiple periods of the actor/comedian's life, tell the story of a woman who loses - and then finds - herself.

Stars: Maria Bamford, Fred Melamed, Mary Kay Place, Ana Gasteyer

Votes: 2,920

If you've been missing "Arrested Development" or Maria Bamford (Stephen Colbert's favorite comedian), May has some good news for you. Mitch Hurwitz has teamed up with the ingenious stand-up comic for a new mockumentary series that promises to bring all the lunacy, genius, and wild-eye range of Banford's semi-real life. — Melissa

Season 1 premieres Friday, May 20, on Netflix.

11. The Angry Birds Movie (2016)

PG | 97 min | Animation, Action, Comedy

43 Metascore

Find out why the birds are so angry. When an island populated by happy, flightless birds is visited by mysterious green piggies, it's up to three unlikely outcasts - Red, Chuck and Bomb - to figure out what the pigs are up to.

Directors: Clay Kaytis, Fergal Reilly | Stars: Jason Sudeikis, Josh Gad, Danny McBride, Maya Rudolph

Votes: 69,318 | Gross: $107.51M

Why so angry? Now, we'll finally find out! The Angry Birds Movie features a hilarious, all-star voice cast. I'm curious to see how they'll transform the popular video game into an animated action-comedy. — Akimi

Opens Friday, May 20, in wide release

12. Preacher (2016– )

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

After a supernatural event at his church, a preacher enlists the help of a vampire and his ex to find God.

Stars: Dominic Cooper, Joseph Gilgun, Ruth Negga, Ian Colletti

Votes: 56,938

This is the fourth and what may be the darkest and grittiest of the Vertigo (DC Comics) TV adaptations. Dominic Cooper of "Agent Carter" fame takes on the role of Jesse Custer, a small-town preacher who is possessed by an entity that may be as powerful as god. I'm excited to see Dominic Cooper take on such a dark role and how the classic comic characters, The Saint of Killers and the hard-drinking, Irish vampire Cassidy, will be brought to life. AMC does not shy away from the visceral and violent, and "Preacher" looks to be as intense as sister shows "The Walking Dead" and "Hell on Wheels." — Vanessa

Season 1 premieres Sunday, May 22, on AMC.

13. The Bachelorette (2003– )

60 min | Drama, Game-Show, Reality-TV

A single bachelorette dates multiple men over several weeks, narrowing them down to hopefully find her true love.

Stars: Chris Harrison, Nick Viall, Ashley Hebert, Kaitlyn Bristowe

Votes: 4,238

Could Monday be the new funday?! Not quite but at least we'll have some fun TV to look forward to during the workday. That's right, the long-running ABC series "The Bachelorette" is back for its 12th season. This time, "The Bachelor" runner-up JoJo Fletcher will be vying for love after being left heart broken by Ben Higgins (you know, the guy who said "I love you" to two women!) during "The Bachelor" last season. Something tells me America's sweetheart JoJo won't have any trouble finding love this time around though! - Shara

Season 12 premieres Monday, May 23, on ABC

14. Bloodline (2015–2017)

TV-MA | 60 min | Drama, Thriller

A family finds themselves forced to face their past secrets and scars when the black sheep returns home.

Stars: Kyle Chandler, Ben Mendelsohn, Linda Cardellini, Sissy Spacek

Votes: 38,683

"Bloodline" is back, and the Rayburns are in the midst of dealing with Danny's death. John Leguizamo guest stars this season as Ozzy Delvecchio, a violent man from Danny's past who's looking to exact some serious revenge. And speaking of Danny, fans will get to see Emmy and Golden Globe-nominated actor Ben Mendelsohn quite alot this season as it explores Danny's dark past. We're also going to get to know Danny's son (Brandon Larracuente), whom we last saw asking some pointed questions about his old man. A mystery son, secrets, guns, drugs ... In other words, major drama to ensue! — Chako

Season 2 premieres Friday, May 27, on Netflix

Watch: "Bloodline" Official Season 2 Trailer

15. Scream: The TV Series (2015– )

TV-14 | 45 min | Crime, Drama, Horror

A serialized anthology series that follows a group of teenagers being targeted by a masked serial killer.

Stars: Willa Fitzgerald, Bex Taylor-Klaus, John Karna, Carlson Young

Votes: 29,582

This latest, small-screen iteration of the vaunted Scream film franchise brought MTV viewers much of what made the originals so appealing: sharp-tongued teenagers, a killer with a mask to write home about, and just as many twists and turns as you've come to expect in a slasher crafted for the Millennial set. Season 1 ended with a killer's reveal, along with the sad passing of series guru and horror legend Wes Craven. Season 2 promises a new killer and, since many of your cherished favorites were killed off last season, a couple of new faces to round out the cast. — Bret

Season 2 premieres Monday, May 30, on MTV

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