New Netflix movies: May 26, 2023 update
Tom Power, entertainment reporter
The final May 2023 update for our new Netflix movies article sees Mother’s Day, a gritty action-thriller that’s edged its way into the Netflix Top 10 films list, join the party. We’ve also updated our ‘coming soon’ section to remove a couple of entries that are also out now on Netflix.
Searching for all of the new Netflix movies to land on the streaming giant recently? We’ve got you covered.
In this guide, you’ll find a large selection of the great (and not so great) films to land on the world’s best streaming service since March. Our list comprises Netflix originals and licensed movies, too, so you’ll see a variety of genre-based flicks as you read on. If you’re looking for a more comprehensive rundown of the best films on the platform, however, our best Netflix movies guide is the one for you.
From iconic movie franchises including Harry Potter, to newer Netflix first-party fare, such as Mother’s Day, then, here are all of the new Netflix movies worth catching before May ends.
New Netflix movies: May 2023
Release date: May 24
Less than two weeks after Jennifer Lopez’s The Mother joined the Netflix film party (more on this film in a moment), another maternal action-thriller flick has landed on the platform – and it’s doing as well as, if not better than, the J-Lo-led movie.
Mother’s Day is a Polish language film starring Agnieszka Grochowska as Nina Novak, a former NATO special operative who is presumed dead by those who knew her. However, when her 17-year-old son is kidnapped on May 26 – the date that Mother’s Day is celebrated in Poland – Nina comes out of hiding to rescue him.
It may sound pretty schlocky, but Mother’s Day is actually winning over a lot of viewers. In its first 48 hours on Netflix, it was the second most-popular movie in the US, and eighth most-streamed film in the UK. And, with reviews calling it “gutsy”, “a good mix of many things”, and a movie that’s “worth your time”, it might surprise you.
The Harry Potter movie collection
Release date: May 17
The Harry Potter films need no introduction. For those who have been living in a cave for the last 15 years, though, here’s a brief synopsis: they’re based on J.K. Rowling’s hugely successful fantasy book series, and tell the magical story of Harry Potter, a young wizard who attends Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Oh, and his increasingly dramatic and perilous conflict with Lord Voldemort, a dark wizard who wants to subjugate wizards and muggles (that’s non-magic wielders) alike.
With a cumulative box office haul of $7.7 billion, Harry Potter‘s multifilm adaptation was incredibly popular, and remains so to this day. For more coverage based on the movie series, find out how to watch the Harry Potter movies in order, or read our Harry Potter movies ranked piece while you’re here.
(NB: the Harry Potter movie collection is only available on Netflix in the UK and Australia. US audiences can stream it on HBO Max.)
Release date: May 16
Ted stars Mark Wahlberg as John, a 35-year-old manchild who shares every aspect of his life with Ted (voiced by MacFarlane), his childhood stuffed bear that came to life one night when John wished for him to do so. The pair are inseparable and enjoy a hedonistic lifestyle, but soon find themselves at odds when John’s girlfriend Lori (Mila Kunis) gives him an ultimatum: grow up and enjoy their lives together without Ted in tow, or forever be associated as the single guy who lives with his anthropomorphic toy.
A raunchy and hilarious flick, albeit one with a somewhat generic plot, Ted is a film that you’ll either love or hate. Netflix users, however, should note it’s unavailable on Netflix outside of the US. UK fans can catch it on Sky and NOW TV, while Australian audiences will need to load up Binge or Stan.
Release date: May 12
Cue generic Netflix thriller plot: in The Mother, a deadly female assassin (Jennifer Lopez) comes out of hiding to protect the daughter she gave up years before, while the pair go on the run from, well, dangerous and armed men. Hey, we did say it was pretty formulaic, even for a Netflix movie.
This one is a bit of a change of pace for Lopez after glitzy 2022 romcom Marry Me, though, and might go some way to appealing to fans of Lopez’s best movies (we’re thinking Hustlers, Out of Sight, and Blood and Wine). Based on its early critical reception, however, The Mother is another J-Lo special that sits around the “bang average” department. Watch one of these six other great Lopez movies instead.
The Austin Powers trilogy
Release date: May 1
An absolute must-see movie trilogy – albeit one you couldn’t get away with these days – the Austin Powers films are a satirical take on the oversaturated spy genre.
The film series stars Mike Myers as the titular British spy, who’s tasked with thwarting the increasingly hilarious attempts by Doctor Evil (also played by Myers) to extort large sums of cash from the world’s various governments.
A parody of legendary spy franchises like James Bond, Austin Powers is stuffed with outrageous plots, rampant sexual innuendo, humorously cringe-inducing jokes, tons of slapstick comedy (that luggage cart scene in International Man of Mystery will never get old), and ’60s-era one-dimensional characters. Each passing movie gets more repetitive and generic, but they’re still fun to watch.
Release date: May 1
It’s high time this stone cold UK classic made its way onto Netflix. After all, its sequel – Chicken Run: Dawn of the Nugget – will debut exclusively on the streamer later this year.
Set on a British farm, Chicken Run stars Ginger (voiced by Julia Sawalha), a rebellious hen who constantly tries and fails to lead her fellow hens into breaking out of Tweedy Farm before they’re slaughtered by the evil partners who run the estate. The arrival of the seemingly flying rooster Rocky (voiced by, of all people, Mel Gibson) leads to a renewed effort on Ginger’s part to finally escape captivity. And, with the Tweedys enacting a new masterplan to turn Ginger and company into meat pies, Rocky appears to be the anthropomorphic hens’ last chance of success.
A stop-motion animated comedy that draws heavily from Steve McQueen’s iconic The Great Escape, Chicken Run is a seriously underrated flick that the whole family can enjoy. From its adult jokes to its kooky characters and original narrative, it’s designed to *ahem* fly high.
Léon: The Professional
Release date: May 1
Léon: The Professional is a storming urban action-thriller from acclaimed director Luc Besson. It follows the titular Italian hitman (played by Jean Reno), who becomes the surrogate protector of Mathilda (an extremely young Natalie Portman) after her family are murdered by the corrupt and drug-addicted DEA agent Norman Stansfield (Gary Oldman). Léon winds up taking Mathilda under his wing and teaches her the ways of being a hitman.
A stylish, witty, graphically violent, and oddly-moving thriller, Léon: The Professional contains standout performances from Reno and Oldman. The pair are overshadowed by the clear natural talents of Portman, though, who shines on her acting debut.
Release date: May 1
This supernatural horror – written, directed, and edited by Oren Peli – is often cited as the most profitable movie ever, thanks in part to its supposed $15,000 budget and eventual $194 million global taking. Unsurprisingly, its unprecedented success spawned one of the most beloved horror film franchises of all time.
Paranormal Activity focuses on a young couple who, after moving into their new San Diego-based home, are haunted by a supernatural presence. To catch the spirit in question, they set up a camera to document what’s going on, with suspense-filled and horrifying results.
A relentless and at-times pulsating watch, Paranormal Activity will make you question whether ghosts and ghouls are real. Oh, and it’ll ensure you’re sleeping with the light on for the foreseeable future, too.
New Netflix movies: April 2023
The Hateful Eight
Release date: April 25
It’s surreal to think that The Hateful Eight launched in theaters in 2015. Eight years on from doing so, though, it’s finally available on Netflix.
Starring the likes of Samuel L Jackson, Kurt Russell, Tim Roth, and Jennifer Jason Leigh, The Hateful Eight is a Western mystery thriller that tells the tale of eight strangers who seek shelter from a blizzard some time during the American Civil War. This being a Tarantino movie, you can expect plenty of political and cultural paranoia to exist among the octet, as well as plenty of gratuitous violence.
The Hateful Eight isn’t the best Tarantino movie around – read our Quentin Tarantino movies ranked piece to see where we placed it among its brethren – but it’s still damn good fun. There are plenty of characters to love to hate, underrated humor to be had, and multiple twists to keep you guessing about where its plot will go.
Whitney Houston: I Wanna Dance With Somebody
Release date: April 22
Musical biographical dramas are becoming an increasingly common fixture on the big screen – and, in late 2022, it was the iconic pop diva Whitney Houston’s turn to get the theatrical treatment.
Naomi Ackie plays the world-famous singer/actress in this retelling of the highs and lows of Houston’s life and career. As has become the norm, it’s a movie that’s based on real events, but one sprinkled with more outlandish drama and some creative deviations from what actually transpired. If you plan on watching I Wanna Dance With Somebody, then, it’s best to take certain aspects of its story with a pinch of salt.
The Sony Pictures-developed flick wasn’t a critical or commercial hit upon release. Fans of Houston’s, though, are sure to enjoy what’s on offer. (NB: I Wanna Dance With Somebody is only on Netflix in the US. UK and Australian viewers can rent or buy it from the Amazon, Apple, Google Play, Microsoft, Rakuten, and YouTube stores).
The Last Kingdom: Seven Kings Must Die
Release date: April 14
The feature film-length swansong of Netflix’s popular The Last Kingdom TV show, Seven Kings Must Die brings the curtain down to the Saxon era-based tale that’s run for seven seasons.
Somewhat expectedly, the movie sees multiple Lords and Kings – includes series protagonist Uhtred (Alexander Dreymon) vie for the English throne following the death of King Edward. Expect plenty of brutal action, historical drama, and (hopefully) a fitting end to one of the best history-positioned Netflix shows of recent times.
Release date: April 7
Billed as a fantasy adventure film, Chupa tells the tale of US-Mexican teenager Alex (Evan Whitten), who discovers a young chupacabra living in his grandfather’s shed. Unsurprisingly, it isn’t long before the authorities get wind of a magical creature living out in the sticks, forcing Alex, his family, and his friends to protect the creature dubbed ‘Chupa’ at all costs.
Chupa looks like it’ll be another by-the-books family-friendly flick, but there’s sure to be enough charm and heart-warming story beats to make it worth streaming.
New Netflix movies: March 2023
Release date: March 31
This Korean crime drama movie raked in almost 20 million hours viewed in its first week on Netflix. And, by all accounts, it’s another East Asian winner for the world’s most popular streamer.
The flick focuses on the titular Gil Bok-Soon (Jeon Do-yeon), a contract killer with a 100% success rate in the field. However, the secret agent has had to marry her job with being a mother in recent years, causing numerous splits in her relationship with her boss Cha Min-Kyu. When Bok-Soon refuses to complete a specific assignment, an major confrontation is inevitable, leading the titular character to fight for her survival.
Critics have hailed Kill Boksoon as a highly satisfying thriller in the mould of John Wick. So, if you’re a fan of the gun-fu genre, you should check it out.
Murder Mystery 2
Release date: March 31
A sequel to one of Netflix’s most popular original comedy films ever, Murder Mystery 2 sees A-listers Jennifer Aniston and Adam Sandler return as married couple Audrey and Nick as they look to thwart another whodunnit from going down. Unsurprisingly, a plethora of comedy capers ensue.
Like its 2019 predecessor, Murder Mystery 2 is a pretty derivative take on the murder mystery formula, and some of its humor leaves a lot to be desired. Even so, Murder Mystery 2 has been a sure fire hit for Netflix, with over 120 million hours streamed since it debuted on the platform. Expect a third Murder Mystery movie to be greenlit sometime soon, then.
The Magician’s Elephant
Release date: March 17
This heart-warming, family-friendly tale doesn’t immediately stand out from the pack. After all, its official trailer (see above) depicts it as a fairly average film. But The Magician’s Elephant is a wonderful watch. Sure, it contains familiar themes about family and destiny, and its plot is pretty basic at times. Children, though, will love it and adults are sure to get a kick out of its beautiful animation (it’s that, or they’ll be pleased that it’ll keep the kids quiet for a bit).
Based on the Kate DiCamillo’s novel of the same name, it stars Noah Jupe as Peter, a boy searching for his long lost sister. A chance encounter with a fortune teller puts Peter on a collision course with a magician who, well, owns an elephant, with the latter pair seemingly holding the key to Peter locating his sibling.
Luther: The Fallen Sun
Release date: March 10
Luther: The Fallen Sun transforms the hit BBC crime drama series into a franchise capable of telling thrilling tales in the movie medium. Or, rather, that was the goal from its cast and crew. Unfortunately, Luther‘s metamorphosis into a big-budget theatrical offering leaves a lot to be desired, with its janky plot, rushed pacing (especially early on), and lack of captivating villain (Andy Serkis does his best with what he’s given, though) ensuring The Fallen Sun is nothing more than an average watch.
Still, Luther fans are sure to enjoy what’s on offer. With the disgraced detective (Idris Elba) locked up for the various illegal acts he committed in the TV show, Serkis’ antagonistic David Robey has free reign to carry out his serial killer masterplan. That’s until Luther unceremoniously breaks himself out of jail, however, and reluctantly teams up with Inspector Odette Raine (Cynthia Erivo) to put an end to Robey’s murderous ways.
New Netflix movies: what’s coming in 2023?
Want to know what other new Netflix movies are coming in 2023? Below, we’ve picked out some of the most eagerly anticipated films set to be released before the end of the year:
Release date: June 16
As its name suggests, Extraction 2 is a direct sequel to Sam Hargrave’s 2020 Netflix original movie, and will see Chris Hemsworth’s seemingly indestructible hero – Tyler Rake – returning for another high-stakes and invariably globe-trotting special ops mission.
The streamer showed off a first-look teaser in April, which reveals Rake will be tasked with rescuing the battered family of a ruthless Georgian gangster from the prison they’re being held in. Extraction 2’s official trailer arrived in mid-May (watch it above), too, and marks an explosive and fiery return to Netflix for Hemsworth after his more cerebral role in 2022’s Welcome to Spiderhead. It’ll also contain a pulsating, 21-minute long ‘oner’ sequence, too, which we only get an exciting tease for in the latest footage.
Run Rabbit Run
Release date: June 28
Succession‘s Sarah Snook stars in this Australian psychological horror flick, which is sure to give you Hereditary and Midsommar vibes.
Run Rabbit Run follows fertility doctor and mom Sarah (Snook) and her daughter Mia (Lily LaTorre), who live alone in a home in rural Australia. After the inquisitive Mia asks Sarah what happened to Alice, Sarah’s sister, Sarah reveals the rabbit-loving Alice went missing when she was seven – the same age Mia, who also has a fondness of rabbits, is now. Cue the beginning of a mind-bendingly spooky story that looks like it’ll leave us all on tenderhooks.
Release date: June
Another potentially fantastic animated Netflix movie is on the way in June. Nimona, which stars The Peripheral‘s Chloe Grace Moretz and Star Wars alumnus Riz Ahmed, will aim to follow in the footsteps of superb Netflix animated offerings like Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio and The Sea Beast.
Ahmed plays Ballister Boldheart, a knight in a futuristic medieval kingdom, who’s framed for a crime he didn’t commit. The only person who can prove his innocence is Nimona (Grace Moretz), a shapeshifter who Boldheart has been trained from birth to kill. Cue a blurring of the lines between what’s considered good and what’s seen as being bad in this classic buddy cop-style flick. Its first teaser debuted online on May 18 and, by all accounts, it looks pretty fun.
Bird Box Barcelona
Release date: July 14
A spin-off/prequel to Netflix’s massive movie hit Bird Box in 2018, Bird Box Barcelona is a Spanish-language flick that explores the origins of the cataclysmic event that pushed humanity to the brink of extinction.
Mario Casas plays Sebastian, a father of one who must navigate his own survival through the desolate streets of the Catalonian city amid the unprecedented catastrophic event. Expect this one to be as suspenseful and shocking as the Sandra Bullock-starring original was.
They Cloned Tyrone
Release date: July 21
Not too much is known about They Cloned Tyrone, but its synopsis reads as follows: “A series of eerie events thrusts an unlikely trio (Jamie Foxx, John Boyega, and Teyonah Parris) onto the trail of a nefarious government conspiracy in this pulpy mystery caper.” By the sounds of things, then, this new Netflix movie – from first time director Juel Taylor – has more than a few tricks up its sleeve. Its cast looks pretty great, too.
Miraculous: Ladybug and Cat Noir
Release date: July 28
Netflix’s family summer line-up of movies continues apace in late July with the arrival of Miraculous: Ladybug and Cat Noir.
An adaptation of the French animated series of the same name, Miraculous follows two Paris-based teens – Marinette and Adrien – who transform into their superhero aliases to protect the French capital from all manner of supervillains.
It seems like the movie adaptation will retread old ground, choosing to tell the duo’s superpowered origin stories in an effort to entice new viewers, rather than act as a continuation of the TV show. Our view? It looks quite generic as far as kids’ superhero genre fare goes. But hey, the TV series has been well received since its 2015 debut, and has run for five seasons so far. Maybe it’ll be another big Netflix family friendly hit in the vein of The Sea Beast? Time will tell.
Heart of Stone
Release date: August 11
With her time as Wonder Woman seemingly coming to an end in the DC Extended Universe (DCEU), Gal Gadot needs a new headline-making film franchise to lead.
Luckily for Gadot, Heart of Stone could be that movie series. Positioned as Mission: Impossible-style franchise, this action thriller stars Gadot as Rachel Stone, a CIA agent who “is the only woman standing between her powerful, global peace-keeping organization and the loss of its most valuable – and dangerous – asset”.
Unsurprisingly, little else is known about this one, but we know it’ll co-star Jamie Dornan (50 Shades of Grey), Matthias Schweighofer (Army of the Dead), Alia Bhatt (RRR), and Sophie Okonedo (The Wheel of Time). Peaky Blinders and Misfits director Tom Harper helms this entry in our new Netflix movies guide.
The Monkey King
Release date: August 18
Inspired by a popular Chinese tale, The Monkey King follows the, well, titular monkey protagonist and his magical staff as they battle hordes of demons, dragons, and even Gods. Oh, and the monkey’s own self-importance. Because it’s not a action-style film if there isn’t an inner struggle at the heart of it.
Jimmy O Yang, Stephanie Hsu, BD Wong, and Andrew Lang are among the starry cast of this animated fantasy-action-comedy family movie.
Chicken Run: Dawn of the Nugget
Release date: November 10
Having pulled off a death-defying escape from Tweedy’s farm, Ginger has finally found her dream – a peaceful island sanctuary for the whole flock, far from the dangers of the human world in Chicken Run: Dawn of the Nugget. When she and Rocky hatch a little girl called Molly, Ginger’s happy ending seems complete. But back on the mainland, the whole of chicken-kind faces a new and terrible threat. This long-awaited sequel is being helmed by Flushed Away director Sam Fell.
Release date: December 22
Army of the Dead director Zack Snyder is returning to Netflix this year with Rebel Moon, an epic space opera reportedly inspired by both Star Wars and Akira Kurosawa’s Seven Samurai. The film’s official synopsis reads as follows: “A peaceful colony on the edge of the galaxy is threatened by the armies of a tyrannical regent named Balisarius. The desperate civilians dispatch Kora, a young woman who has a mysterious past to seek out warriors from nearby planets to help them challenge the regent.”
Sofia Boutella, Charlie Hunnam, Ray Fisher, Djimon Hounsou, Jena Malone, Corey Stoll, Ed Skrein, and Anthony Hopkins are all confirmed to star, which we expect will enjoy a limited theatrical release before it lands on Netflix.
Release date: TBA (2023 confirmed)
Produced by Todd Phillips, Martin Scorsese, Steven Spielberg and leading man Bradley Cooper (who also directs the film), Maestro centers on the life and legacy of West Side Story composer Leonard Bernstein. Judging by the prosthetics used to transform Cooper into the much older Bernstein, we expect this entry in our new Netflix movies list to be a shoo-in for next year’s Best Makeup and Hairstyling Oscar (release date depending).
Release date: TBA (2023 confirmed)
The Mothership is a sci-fi adventure that follows Sara Morse (Halle Berry) one year after her husband (Omari Hardwick) mysteriously vanishes from their rural farm. When she discovers a strange, extraterrestrial object underneath their home, Sara and her kids embark on a race to find their husband, father, and – most importantly – the truth. Sounds ominous.
For more Netflix-based coverage, read our best Netflix documentaries guide. Alternatively, find out how to sign up to Netflix or get the lowdown on whether it’s worth cancelling your Netflix subscription.