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“Booksmart” And “Rocketman”: Films To See In May

Welcome to May, folks. Another month has passed us by, bringing us to the second third of the year, if you can believe it. As the summer blockbuster season fast approaches (even though it’s clearly already underway, content wise, with the biggest movie of all time having just opened), we’re left to ponder such things as if we have any surprises to look forward. Upon first glance, May isn’t looking too outstanding, but anything is possible and some fun titles are hitting theaters. Below you will see ten films opening this month that I think are most worth making time for. Some I have seen, some I haven’t, but they’re all hitting over the coming weeks. Take a gander and cross your fingers that some exceed expectations here in this section of 2019. As a bonus, one of the year’s absolute best titles is only a few weeks away…

Here now are May’s best cinematic bets:

10. Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil, and Vile – Having debuted at the Sundance Film Festival and currently playing at the Tribeca Film Festival, this look at serial killer Ted Bundy is largely notable for Zac Efron playing the role. Stay tuned for my take on it in just a few days time as it hits Netflix!

9. Ma – A low budget horror outing starring Octavia Spencer is a real curiosity. Directed by Tate Taylor, to boot? This is not the pairing normally for genre fare. Spencer could really sink her teeth into this one. It looks kind of ridiculous, but someone of her stature slumming like this could lead to a lot of fun, right?

8. Detective Pikachu – Could this Pokemon tale be the first truly strong video game movie? Ryan Reynolds as the voice of Pikachu isn’t necessarily who you think of here, but the early word is fairly strong. Color me interested, at least. If it’s of note, I’ll be sure to let you all know about it…

7. Knock Down the House – A documentary about Congresswoman Alexandria Oscasio-Cortez and the women of her ilk in the last election cycle, this couldn’t be more timely. The doc blew folks away at Sundance, leading to a major buy from Netflix. Could this be an Academy Award player? At this point, it may very well be the early frontrunner for the Best Documentary Feature Oscar.

6. Brightburn – Birthed from the mind of James Gunn, this reverse Superman tale is a horror outing with a ton of potential. If nothing else, the Trailer apes a lot of Man of Steel’s choices, which is kind of phenomenal. Whether the final product works or not remains to be seen, but I can’t wait to find out.

5. Long Shot – I see this Seth Rogen comedy shortly, and frankly can’t wait. Pairing Rogen with Charlize Theron supposedly made for comic gold at SXSW earlier this year. The festival was blown away by this one. Could this be an under the radar hit? It’s definitely possible, especially if reviews are strong!

4. Aladdin – The latest Disney live action remake, this one has been met with a fair amount of skepticism. It’ll still make some major bank, but Will Smith certainly has some incredible shoes to fill with the late Robin Williams having made the Genie an absolute icon. Sit tight to see if he can pull it off…

3. Rocketman – Elton John gets his own musical biopic with this Oscar hopeful. Debuting at the Cannes Film Festival in a few weeks, all eyes will be on this one. There’s a chance we have a huge awards player here, especially if it can make the enthusiasm that audiences met Bohemian Rhapsody with. There’s a chance at least, right?

2. Godzilla: King of the Monsters – This sequel brings the giant green lizard back, this time going to war with some of the famous monsters of his previous franchise outings back in Japan. Building towards a match up with King Kong next year, this hopefully will be a bunch of fun, if not the behemoth that Avengers: Endgame currently is.

1. Booksmart – I’ve seen this comedy and it’s arguably the best film of the year so far. Olivia Wilde’s directorial debut is hilarious, smart, and even touching. Kaitlyn Dever and Beanie Feldstein are the screen pair of 2019 to date, without question. More on this one soon. I’m saving the full rave for my review, trust me there…

Honorable Mentions: Ad Astra (since it doesn’t seem likely to actually come out this month), Charlie Says, A Dog’s Journey, The Hustle, John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum, and Trial by Fire

Be sure to check out these movies throughout the month of May!

About Joey Magidson

A graduate of Stony Brook University (where he studied Cinema and Cultural Studies), resides in Brooklyn, New York. He contributes to several other film-related websites and is a member of the Broadcast Film Critics Association.

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