Each month, Showtime adds new movies to its library. Below, you’ll find our May 2017 recommendations. For more comprehensive coverage of the best titles available on Showtime and elsewhere, check out Vulture’s What to Stream Now hub, which is updated throughout the month.
If you love top-secret intrigue: Breach
Writer-director Billy Ray has a special gift for crafting stories about traitors, figuring out the psychology that allows them to make peace with their own moral codes. After dramatizing one of the biggest frauds in journalism history with Shattered Glass, he turned his attention to the real-life story of FBI double agent Robert Philip Hanssen (Chris Cooper), who secretly sold intelligence to the Soviet Union and Russia throughout his 20-plus-year career. Following the perspective of a rookie agent (Ryan Phillippe) trying to expose Hanssen’s secrets, Ray’s smart political thriller finds the sinister qualities lying underneath the banality of a workaday bureau man’s life. Too bad the story of Russian spies doesn’t any modern-day relevance. Available May 1.
For anyone trying to quit smoking: The Insider
Every decade gets the crusading-journalist movie it deserves. In 1999, that movie was Michael Mann’s thriller about the time 60 Minutes revealed that the Brown & Williamson tobacco company was secretly stuffing its cigarettes with unreported additives, and the show’s defiance of CBS executives’ orders not to run the story. Al Pacino, Russell Crowe, and Christopher Plummer chew so much scenery they give the tobacco a run for its money, but the film’s true chilling power lies in how it predicted the dangers an increasingly corporatized media would pose on our country’s journalistic institutions. Available May 1.
For an on-the-ground look at America’s abortion fight: Jackson
A vérité-style documentary about abortion access in Mississippi, Jackson follows three women: the director of the state’s only abortion clinic, a 24-year-old pregnant single mother of four, and the director of a pro-life crisis-pregnancy center. Director Maisie Crow spent three years gathering her footage, and the film crosses the intimacy of a character study with the expansiveness of the impassioned national debate over reproductive rights that lies at its center. Available May 2.
Noteworthy selections in bold. Only complete TV-season releases listed.
Available May 1
A Civil Action
Jimi: All is By My Side
Available May 2
Available May 5
Al Madrigal: Shrimpin’ Ain’t Easy
Available May 13
Available May 16