As we reach the one-third mark of 2023, there have been numerous highly entertaining movies that have gained significant attention. In particular, The Super Mario Bros. Movie was the standout film in April and is expected to surpass $1 billion in box office earnings by the beginning of May. Additionally, April saw the release of 15 movies, which is more than the number of wide releases in 2019 before the pandemic (11), indicating a return to a sense of normalcy.
May marks the beginning of the summer blockbuster season and Marvel will start the month with the conclusion of one of its most popular trilogies. Along with this highly anticipated film, there are several other exciting movies set to release in May, including a thriller from a well-known pop star, a live-action version of a beloved Disney classic, and the latest installment of The Fast Saga. To ensure you don’t miss out on the best movies this month, here are five must-watch films in May.
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 (May 5)
It’s time to bid farewell to the endearing bunch of misfits in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, whose journey from a relatively obscure superhero group to one of the most popular Marvel franchises has been one of the more surprising sagas in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
Reflecting on where the cast was in their careers before the franchise’s inception in 2014, it’s remarkable to note that Chris Pratt, now known for his role in Jurassic World, was once just the funny guy in Parks and Recreation, while Zoe Saldaña, who will be seen in Avatar: The Way of Water, was mainly recognized for her work in the technically impressive Avatar. Dave Bautista, now a part of Dune, was still trying to shed his WWE persona, and Bradley Cooper and Vin Diesel, the two biggest stars, were playing a raccoon and a tree, respectively.
Nevertheless, these actors came together to create an imperfect yet delightful team that audiences could root for. Vol. 3 marks the end of the trilogy, as several actors, including Bautista and Saldaña, will be moving on from the MCU, and James Gunn, the director, will be departing Marvel to take charge of DC Studios.
This will also be the final iteration of the Guardians featuring this cast and crew. For their last mission, the team must protect Rocket and prevent the destruction of the universe, resulting in an emotional farewell to the MCU’s underdogs.
Guardians of the Galaxy will be released in theaters on May 5.
The Mother (May 12)
In 2023, Jennifer Lopez remains one of the most popular American movie stars, having starred in a slew of dramas and romantic comedies such as Second Act, Hustlers, and Marry Me. However, in 2023, Lopez took on a new challenge by portraying an action hero in Prime Video’s Shotgun Wedding, a surprisingly entertaining action comedy where she played a bride who takes on the gunmen holding her guests hostage at a wedding.
In her latest movie, The Mother, Lopez takes on the role of an assassin in a thrilling action-packed film. She plays the lead character, a former assassin who abandoned her dangerous career to protect her daughter after a deal with the FBI goes awry. However, her 12-year-old daughter is abducted to lure her out of hiding, and the Mother is compelled to return to her past life as she shoots, stabs, and tortures her way to her daughter while hunting down her captors. With Lopez as an action hero, The Mother has the potential to debut at the top of the Netflix charts.
The Mother will be available to stream on Netflix starting May 12.
Fast X (May 19)
The Fast and Furious franchise has always been about the importance of family, with its characters being more than just friends or acquaintances. It’s hard to believe that the first movie was about a group of street racers stealing electronics from a truck, especially when you compare it to the latest installment, F9, which features a scene where two of the characters, Tej and Roman, travel to space in a modified Pontiac Fiero.
In the upcoming 10th film of the Fast Saga, Fast X, Dom Toretto (Vin Diesel) is once again faced with a challenger from his past. Dante Reyes (Jason Momoa), the son of drug lord Hernan Reyes, wants to avenge his father’s death, which occurred in Fast Five.
He teams up with Cipher (Charlize Theron), a villain from the previous two movies who is a cyberterrorist, in order to harm Dom and his loved ones. However, with plenty of over-the-top action and excitement, the trailer for Fast X promises to be just as enjoyable and ridiculous as the previous films, as Dom and his crew come together once more to protect their family.
Fast X will be released in theaters on May 19th.
White Men Can’t Jump (May 19)
Hollywood has a tendency to produce reboots, which usually have a negative reputation. Movies like Planet of the Apes, Carrie, and Point Break are all classic films that suffered from their respective reboots in the 21st century.
Although reboots have the potential to bring creativity and new perspectives to familiar stories, they are often seen as a way to make money from existing intellectual property.
In May, a reboot of the 1992 film White Men Can’t Jump will be released, starring Sinqua Walls and Jack Harlow in the roles previously played by Wesley Snipes and Woody Harrelson.
The film revolves around two hustlers, Kamal and Jeremy, who make money by playing basketball, eventually participating in a tournament with a grand prize of $500,000.
Despite its negative connotation, the trailer for the reboot suggests that it has the potential to be an engaging film with strong chemistry between the actors. The movie will be available to stream on Hulu from May 19th.
The Little Mermaid (May 26)
Disney has been making live-action remakes of their animated classics for decades, and the success of movies like The Jungle Book and 101 Dalmatians proved that audiences were interested in seeing animated Disney films reimagined with human actors.
This strategy gained significant traction in 2010 after Alice in Wonderland’s success, and in 2019, the live-action remakes of Aladdin and The Lion King each grossed over $1 billion worldwide. Now, it seems like every Disney animated movie is getting a live-action remake.
The next film to receive this treatment is The Little Mermaid, with Halle Bailey (The Color Purple) starring as Ariel, the mermaid princess who longs to be human.
In the movie, Ariel makes a deal with the evil sea witch Ursula (played by Melissa McCarthy from Bridesmaids) to trade her voice for human legs to explore her potential love interest, Prince Eric (played by Jonah Hauer-King from World on Fire).
While the trailer received mixed reactions due to its CGI and realistic animal effects, the soundtrack is fantastic, and the story is likely to appeal to children, making it a strong contender to be Disney’s next billion-dollar success.
The Little Mermaid is set to be released in theaters on May 26.