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The Best TV Shows and Movies to Watch on HBO and HBO Max in May

Angelina Jolie is here to put out fires and chew gum and she's all out of gum

Tim Surette
Angelina Jolie, Those Who Wish Me Dead

Angelina Jolie, Those Who Wish Me Dead

Emerson Miller

HBO Max is coming into May HOT LIKE WILDFIRE because its big movie release is quite literally about wildfires. After the nation clamored for Angelina Jolie to play a skydiving firefighter, she's finally doing it in the morosely named Those Who Wish Me Dead, a Warner Bros. movie written by Yellowstone's Taylor Sheridan in which Jolie runs from both assassins for hire and deadly woodland infernos after taking in a kid who witnessed the murder of his own father. It sounds like a busy movie, which is appropriately on theme for HBO and HBO Max's busy month.

Also coming to HBO Max is the comedy Hacks, which is one of the funniest new shows I've seen all year, the Alex Gibney documentary The Crime of the Century, and the streaming debut of Christopher Nolan's Tenet for everyone who was too cheap to rent it or too technologically obtuse to illegally download it. 

Our list of suggestions for the best shows and movies on HBO and HBO Max in May is below. We also have suggestions for what to watch on HuluAmazon, and Netflix in May.

The Best TV Shows and Movies on HBO and HBO Max in May

Available May 1 on HBO and HBO Max
*crazy Christopher Nolan soundtrack noises* *expensive bending buildings special effects* *the heavy breathing of someone who thinks they're smarter than you telling you this is the best movie ever* Yep, it's another Christopher Nolan cinematic experience, for better or worse. The sci-fi film stars John David Washington as a secret agent who learns to bend the flow of time, allowing Nolan to splatter the screen with special effects and create a sonic typhoon of electric bassoons or whatever that Nolan-y sound is. It'll look great, that we know. But will it make sense? 

The Crime of the Century
Miniseries premieres May 10 on HBO, HBO Max at 9/8c

Alex Gibney isn't going to let anyone get away with a damn thing as long as he has a camera. The Oscar-winning documentarian responsible for Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief, Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room, and more turns his attention to the legal drug dealers responsible for the opioid epidemic that's ravaged the country. The focus of the two-part miniseries is on big pharma's push to get doctors and the FDA to approve their heroin pills through bribes, parties, and other methods. You're going to come out of this thinking, "Wow, these guys are assholes."  

Series premiere May 13 on HBO Max
Jean Smart is a living legend, and we owe it to human civilization to do everything we can to protect her, starting with watching everything she's in. Smart stars in what's easily HBO Max's best original comedy so far as Deborah Vance, an aging Las Vegas comedian whose time at the top is nearing its end, so circumstance teams her up with an entitled young comedian (Hannah Einbinder) recently canceled for a joke she made on Twitter. Watch this to cackle at Smart dropping delicious one-liners and chucking iPads into a pool. The cast also includes Kaitlin Olson and co-creator Paul W. Downs (go watch his episode of Netflix's The Characters if you like laughing).

Those Who Wish Me Dead
Available May 14 on HBO Max
This month's big HBO Max home theatrical release stars Angelina Jolie as a skydiving firefighter (yes!) who encounters a boy on the run from assassins who killed his father. Not only must Jolie's character keep the kid safe from the gunmen who want to murder the only witness to their crime, but she also has to outrun massive forest fires. Taylor Sheridan (Yellowstone) directed the film, which also features Jon Bernthal and Aidan "Littlefinger" Gillen. 

Adventure Time: Distant Lands - Together Again
Available May 20 on HBO Max
After a pair of movies following BMO and Marceline, the third film in the quartet of Adventure Time films brings Jake and Finn back together again -- ahh, I get it now -- for "their biggest adventure yet." Usually that's promotional hyperbole, but at three times the length of a normal Adventure Time episode, this is technically the truth.

In Treatment
Season 4 premieres May 23 at 9/8c on HBO, HBO Max
HBO's Emmy-winning drama returns with a new iteration more than 10 years after Season 3 wrapped up its original run, with Orange Is the New Black's Uzo Aduba replacing Gabriel Byrne as the centerpiece therapist. Expect a similar format to the first three seasons, with Aduba's Dr. Brooke Lawrence helping out clients both in person and online. This season's cast also includes Joel Kinnaman, Anthony Ramos, and John Benjamin Hickey. 

Looking for more recommendations of what to watch next? We have a ton of them! And if you're looking for more hand-picked recommendations based on TV shows you love, we have those too.