From the gripping Swedish true crime drama Clark and scandalous investigative documentary Our Father to the long-awaited return of Stranger Things, these are the best new films and TV shows landing on Netflix in May 2022.
You might have heard in the news recently that Netflix has lost subscribers for the first time in a decade. Quelle surprise, one might say: with rising fees and fierce competition from a host of streaming platforms offering an array of brilliant TV shows, films, reality series and documentaries, we’re certainly spoilt for choice in the world of entertainment.
But today, we bring headline news of another kind. May is upon us, and Netflix has, despite the odds, pulled out all the stops this month with a veritable feast of content. Care to see what’s in store?
There’s also a glut of can’t-miss documentaries landing on the platform, including Our Father, the shocking real-life tale of an ex-fertility doctor who illegally artificially inseminated women with his sperm; Meltdown, which recounts the infamous Three Mile Island nuclear plant accident; and Cyber Hell, which chronicles the efforts of all those who brought down the “Nth Room”, an online criminal network of sexual exploitation in South Korea.
Plus, after a wait of almost three years, sci-fi horror series Stranger Things finally returns to our screens for the first part of its fourth and final season. Truly, there’s something for everyone this month.
So, let’s take a detailed look at what’s coming to Netflix in May 2022. Please note that this article will be updated regularly as more films and TV shows get announced.
Piranha – 1 May
After a dramatic underwater earthquake releases scores of prehistoric piranha, an unlikely group of strangers must band together to stop themselves from becoming fish food for the area’s new razor-toothed residents.
Ackley Bridge season 4 – 1 May
The fourth series of the much-loved Channel 4 drama series lands at the beginning of the month, following the lives of the staff and pupils at the fictional multicultural academy school Ackley Bridge College in the fictitious Yorkshire mill town of Ackley Bridge.
See For Me – 1 May
Starring visually impaired actor Skyler Davenport, this thriller follows Sophie, a blind teenager and former skier, who is house-sitting at a secluded mansion when three thieves break in seeking a hidden safe. Using a new smartphone app called See for Me, Sophie connects to an army veteran, Kelly, who promises that she can help her survive the night by seeing on her behalf.
Hold Your Breath: The Ice Dive – 3 May
In this remarkable feature documentary, free diver Johanna Nordblad attempts to break the world record for distance travelled under ice with a single breath.
The Souvenir – 3 May
Based on writer-director Joanna Hogg’s own early career, The Souvenir stars real-life mother and daughter Tilda Swinton and Honor Swinton Byrne. The film, which debuted to critical acclaim in 2019, follows a shy film student in the early 80s who falls into an intense relationship with a charismatic but untrustworthy older man, despite concern from her mother and friends.
Meltdown: Three Mile Island – 4 May
This gripping four-part documentary series tackles the near catastrophe at Three Mile Island nuclear power plant in Pennsylvania through the lens of chief engineer and whistleblower Richard Parks, as well as the community it impacted. Insiders recount the events, controversies and lingering effects of the worst nuclear incident in US history.
Wild Babies – 5 May
If you spend a good amount of your time watching videos of baby animals on Instagram, you’ll definitely want to bookmark this new series.
Narrated by Helena Bonham Carter, the show follows the adventures of baby lions, elephants, penguins, pangolins and more as they venture out into the wild.
Clark – 5 May
Based on the story of notorious Swedish bank robber Clark Olofsson, this new series stars Bill Skarsgård as the gangster who gave rise to the expression “Stockholm syndrome” on his life journey as he fooled all of Sweden to fall in love with him, despite several counts of drug trafficking, attempted murder, assault, theft and dozens of bank robberies.
Welcome To Eden – 6 May
Upcoming Spanish sci-fi series has a question for you: are you happy?
The trippy, mysterious new show follows Zoa and four young, attractive and social media-active boys and girls who are invited to the most exclusive party in history, set on a secret island and organised by a new drinks brand. What starts as an exciting adventure will soon turn into the trip of their lives. But paradise is not really what it seems…
Along For The Ride – 6 May
Take teenage romance, coming-of-age drama and a dose of insomnia and what do you get? Along For The Ride, that’s what.
Adapted from Sarah Dessen’s 2009 novel, this YA feature follows Auden, who meets the mysterious Eli, a fellow insomniac, the summer before college. While the seaside town of Colby sleeps, the two embark on a nightly quest to help Auden experience the fun, carefree teen life she never knew she wanted.
The Sound Of Magic – 6 May
Blending drama, magical fantasy and musical numbers, The Sound Of Magic follows the story of high school student Yoon Ah-yi, a girl who had to grow up too fast and abandon her dream of becoming a magician. When she meets mysterious magician Rieul, he presents an opportunity to pursue her dreams once more, even as he is determined to freeze time and remain as a child forever.
Hairspray – 8 May
Now one of the highest-grossing musical films in US cinema history, 2007 smash hit Hairspray tells the story of teenager Tracy Turnblad, who teaches 1962 Baltimore a thing or two about integration after landing a spot on a local TV dance show.
Our Father – 11 May
In the running for one of Netflix’s wildest documentaries to date, Our Father chronicles the horrifying story of ex-fertility doctor Donald Cline, who used his own sperm to impregnate scores of his unknowing patients in Indianapolis.
The official synopsis reads: “Jacoba Ballard was an only child, conceived via donor sperm, who always dreamed of having a brother or sister. An at-home DNA test led her to the discovery of not one but seven half-siblings – a number that defied best practices in fertility medicine.
“As the group set out to learn more about their curious family tree, they soon discovered the sickening truth: their parents’ fertility doctor had been inseminating his patients with his own sperm – without their knowledge or consent.
“As Ballard and her newfound siblings realised they’ve barely begun to untangle his dark web of deceit, their pursuit of justice lies at the heart of this profoundly unsettling story about an unimaginable breach of trust.”
42 Days Of Darkness – 11 May
This new crime thriller follows a woman’s race against time to find her sister Verónica following her disappearance. In her search, Cecilia will have to fight against the authorities’ negligence, society’s prejudices and harassment from the media.
Savage Beauty – 12 May
One of the standout releases of the month, high-octane South African thriller Savage Beauty tells the story of a a mysterious woman who seeks revenge for her tragic past by embedding herself in a powerful family.
“Fifteen years ago, Don and Grace Bhengu tested a toxic product on a group of children living on the streets,” reads the synopsis.
“Now one of the two survivors, Zinhle Manzini, returns to seek revenge. Zinhle becomes the invisible force that exposes family secrets, leading the Bhengus down a path of destruction. But innocent people get hurt along the way, while Zinhle’s own darkness threatens to consume her. Zinhle has to decide whether she wants justice or pure, cold revenge.”
The Lincoln Lawyer – 13 May
Based on the series of bestselling novels by renowned crime author Michael Connelly, the first season of the new adaptation of The Lincoln Lawyer is based on the second book in the series, The Brass Verdict.
The show follows Mickey Haller (Manuel Garcia-Rulfo), an iconoclastic idealist who runs his law practice out of the back seat of his Lincoln, as he takes on cases big and small across the expansive city of Los Angeles.
Senior Year – 13 May
Rebel Wilson stars as former high school cheerleader Stephanie Conway, who wakes up from a coma after 20 years to discover that she’s now a 37-year-old woman. Desperate to reclaim her status and become prom queen, she decides to re-enrol at high school – but a lot has changed in the two decades since she’s been gone.
Bling Empire season 2 – 13 May
Los Angeles’s beloved uber-rich Asians return to Netflix this month with a second instalment of luxury, glamour and drama.
This time around, a romance between Kevin and Kim percolates, Cherie and Jessey’s relationship is questioned and, as Kane and Kevin’s best bud friendship is tested, Beverly Hills’s rivalling queens, Christine and Anna, put a new twist on the art of social warfare. But through it all, the one thing these friends hold dearest to their hearts is their love for each other… and of course, impeccable style.
The Future Diary season 2 – 17 May
Billed as “a love diary of events that will happen in the future”, this legendary romance reality show that first made waves 20 years ago follows singles who have never met before who are cast to live out a romantic storyline by following a diary of a rough “script” that is handed to them containing only a rough outline of a story. Their semifictional exchange – based on the cast’s own words – takes them through an experience that impacts how they view each other. Ultimately, viewers will ask themselves, will the scripted adventures lead to real romance?
In the second season of this intriguing, experimental reality series, viewers will see a focus on the love triangle and the diary will demand the cruel trials with the higher barriers. Will the singles choose love or friendship?
The Good Liar – 15 May
If you’re loving stories of scammers, fraudsters and swindlers right now, supremely clever thriller The Good Liar might be your next obsession.
Starring veteran actors Helen Mirren and Ian McKellen, the film follows career con artist Roy Courtnay, who can hardly believe his luck when he meets well-to-do widow Betty McLeish online. As Betty opens her life and home to him, Roy is surprised to find himself caring about her, turning what should be a cut-and-dry swindle into the most treacherous tightrope walk of his life.
Cyber Hell: Exposing An Internet Horror – 18 May
This shocking feature-length documentary uncovers the 2019 chat room atrocities that shocked South Korea and became one of the devastating digital crimes of the modern era.
It tells the story of two female college students, a group of journalists and the cybercrime police officers who chased down the “Nth Room”, an online criminal network of sexual exploitation. Crafted from interviews, archives, animation and reenactments, the film reveals how women and girls were coerced into uploading explicit materials of themselves to Telegram chat rooms, which ringleaders charged fees in cryptocurrency for tens of thousands of users to access.
Who Killed Sara? season 3 – 18 May
In the third instalment of the thriller, Álex Guzmán, who is hellbent on finding out who killed his sister Sara, discovers that her body isn’t where it’s supposed to be. New clues lead him to an unknown entity called Medusa. Who is Medusa and what is her involvement in all this? Will Alex finally discover who is behind Sara’s disappearance?
The Photographer: Murder In Pinamar – 19 May
This compelling documentary tells the story of Argentine photojournalist José Luis Cabezas, who was murdered in his homeland in 1997. It ultimately revealed an organised crime network that appeared to involve the country’s political and financial elite. The consequences would be almost as dramatic as the crime itself, not only for the perpetrator but for the whole country.
A Perfect Pairing – 19 May
To land a major client, a driven LA wine company exec (Victoria Justice) travels to an Australian sheep station, where she ends up working as a ranch hand and sparking with a rugged local (Adam Demos).
Somebody Feed Phil season 5 – 25 May
Everybody Loves Raymond creator Phil Rosenthal travels the globe to take in the local cuisine and culture. This season will feature Phil traveling to all new destinations, including Oaxaca, Maine, Helsinki, Portland and Madrid.
Stranger Things season 4 volume 1 – 27 May
It’s the one everyone’s been waiting for. At the end of the month, the first part of the fourth instalment of Stranger Things is here to take us back to the Upside Down.
Six months since the Battle of Starcourt, which brought terror and destruction to Hawkins, the central group of friends find themselves separated for the first time – and navigating the complexities of high school hasn’t made things any easier. In this most vulnerable time, a new and horrifying supernatural threat surfaces, presenting a gruesome mystery that, if solved, might finally put an end to the horrors of the Upside Down.
Christobel Hastings is Stylist's Entertainment Editor whose specialist interests include pop culture, LGBTQ+ identity and lore.