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The best shows and movies to watch on Apple TV Plus in May

Apple TV+ has an impressive library that includes great movies and shows

Austin Butler in Masters of the Air.
Apple TV+

When computer company Apple announced that it was getting into the streaming TV game, there were plenty of people who were skeptical about the company’s ability to pull it off. Why would the tech giant, which is most known for the Macintosh and the iPhone, have any credibility in making television shows? It doesn’t seem the two ideas would mesh in any meaningful way, but in the years since Apple TV Plus launched, the company has come up with some pretty impressive original shows, and it picked up a Best Picture Oscar on top of that.

What’s even more impressive is that these Apple TV shows and movies run the gamut from comedy to drama, and are all set in wildly different and imaginative places. Apple may be best known for making great phones, but it turns out it knows how to tell pretty interesting stories, too. These Apple TV movies and shows are the cream of the crop and the best on this streaming service.

If you’re looking for more great stuff to stream, you should also check out our lists of the best shows on Netflix, the best shows on Hulu, and the best shows on Disney Plus.

Masters of the Air (2024)

Masters of the Air
tv-ma
1 Season
Genre
War & Politics, Drama
Stars
Austin Butler, Callum Turner, Anthony Boyle
Created by
John Orloff
Watch on Apple TV+
A great companion piece to Band of Brothers and The PacificMasters of the Air tells the story of a division of the Air Force during World War II. Following a group of pilots over the course of the war, the series has Steven Spielberg’s backing, and it features an all-star cast that includes Barry Keoghan and Austin Butler. The show has already become a hit on Apple TV+, in part because, like its predecessors, it seems to be so deeply devoted to recreating every detail of this foregone era with precision.
Masters of the Air Limited Series Teaser

The Morning Show (2019)

The Morning Show
61%
8.3/10
tv-ma
3 Seasons
Genre
Drama
Stars
Jennifer Aniston, Reese Witherspoon, Billy Crudup
Created by
Jay Carson
Watch on Apple TV+
There are some major superstars that make The Morning Show one of the best shows on Apple TV+. Jennifer Aniston and Reese Witherspoon play news anchors who battle the inner politics and social conundrums of journalism. The writing team and the actors handle the social commentary around topics like sexism, betrayal, and media manipulation with care and confidence. On top of all of that, Steve Carell is also stellar in a supporting role.

Severance (2022)

Severance
tv-ma
1 Season
Genre
Sci-Fi & Fantasy
Stars
Adam Scott, Britt Lower, Patricia Arquette
Created by
Dan Erickson
Watch on Apple TV+
One of the best shows to come from Apple TV+ is this science fiction series directed in part by Ben Stiller. Severance follows Parks and Rec star Adam Scott as an office worker who only half-realizes he’s trapped in a nightmarish dystopia. At Lumon Industries, a mysterious biotech firm, employees are given a brain implant that severs their work selves from their personal selves, with no shared memories between the two halves. A mysterious former colleague (Britt Lower) soon appears outside of work, however, leading to a strange and eerie odyssey to find the truth about Lumon and their role there. Also starring John Turturro, Christopher Walken, and Patricia Arquette, this one is a perfect fit for dark sci-fi suckers.

Servant (2019)

Servant
87%
8.0/10
tv-ma
4 Seasons
Genre
Drama
Stars
Lauren Ambrose, Toby Kebbell, Rupert Grint
Created by
Tony Basgallop
Watch on Apple TV+
If you’re a fan of the dark and unsettling, Servant’s hair-raising weirdness is for you. Lauren Ambrose plays Dorothy Turner, a woman grieving the death of her infant son. Her at-wits-end husband, Sean Turner (Toby Kebbell) and concerned brother Julian Pearce (Rupert Grint) try to help her through grief with a last-ditch effort — a life-like doll as a surrogate. Things get even more mind-bending from there as the very nature of reality seems to warp. Servant is a one-two punch between M. Night Shyamalan and series creator Tony Basgallop, and it serves up a potent mystery filled with the pitched thrills audiences expect from any Shyamalan project.

The Afterparty (2022)

The Afterparty
72%
7.2/10
tv-ma
2 Seasons
Genre
Mystery, Comedy, Crime
Stars
Tiffany Haddish, Sam Richardson, Zoe Chao
Created by
Christopher Miller
Watch on Apple TV+
This drama-comedy combines two of TV viewers biggest draws: criminal procedurals and high school reunions. Christopher Miller and Phil Lord’s The Afterparty features a star-studded ensemble cast that finds themselves unwitting suspects in a murder investigation when the host of their reunion’s afterparty turns up dead on the cliffs next to his beachside mansion. What follows is a delightful dive into each character as they’re interrogated by the case detective. In a wonderful perspective twist, each episode changes formats to reflect each person’s answers to police questions. Turning from musical to rom-com to animation, The Afterparty is an engrossing genre feast held together by a magnetic whodunnit.

Little America (2020)

Little America
85%
7.5/10
tv-14
1 Season
Genre
Drama, Comedy
Created by
Lee Eisenberg
Watch on Apple TV+
Depending on your perspective, you may find Little America either surprising or utterly unsurprising. Either way, it’s riveting. Little America is a touching anthology series that goes beyond hyperbolic headlines to tell the funny, moving stories of immigrants in America. Immigration is always a hot-button political issue and these individual stories turn banal arguments into relevant, human stories. Join Africans, Asians, and Latinos in heartfelt, high-spirited immigrant journeys that reveal a country’s many triumphs and pitfalls.

See (2019)

See
40%
7.6/10
tv-ma
3 Seasons
Genre
Drama, Sci-Fi & Fantasy, Action & Adventure
Stars
Jason Momoa, Sylvia Hoeks, Hera Hilmar
Created by
Steven Knight
Watch on Apple TV+
This epic action drama is set in a world large enough for Jason Momoa, who plays Baba Voss, the father of a set of twins born with sight in a world filled with blind people. The footage is truly epic and Momoa gives a great performance fighting against a blind world that does not take kindly to his children. Season 1 received average reviews but in Season 2, See takes off, pitting Voss and his younger brother Edo (Dave Bautista) as they stand up for an evolution of their race amidst a complicated political situation.

Mr. Corman (2021)

Mr. Corman
tv-ma
1 Season
Genre
Comedy, Drama
Stars
Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Arturo Castro
Created by
Joseph Gordon-Levitt
Watch on Apple TV+
The plot line for Mr. Corman seemingly describes modern life for just about every millennial: “Anxiety-ridden, the titular Mr. Corman questions what he’s doing with his life and whether he’s a good person that deserves good things.” Who can’t relate? Josh Corman (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) is now a fifth-grade teacher after failing as a musician. He’s also reeling from a recent breakup, and the stress is bubbling into self-destructive behavior. The man feels like a ticking time bomb, going through the motions in tense relationships with students, family, and friends. “Accidents” happen, arising out of Corman’s uncaring and uncouth behavior. The man doesn’t seem to savor anything anymore, and is becoming a disappointment to the people around him. If this sounds desperate, it is, but amidst this disarray is a purpose that Mr. Corman seems to be stumbling toward. Apple chose not to re-up this show for a second season, but it’s worth it to take this relatable ride on its pessimistic 10-episode train.

Swagger (2021)

Swagger
7.1/10
tv-14
2 Seasons
Genre
Drama
Stars
O'Shea Jackson Jr., Isaiah R. Hill, Quvenzhané Wallis
Created by
Reggie Rock Bythewood
Watch on Apple TV+
Too often we view the lives of elite athletes as gifts that should be easily managed and ignore the pressure that comes from being one of the chosen. Swagger sweeps away that myth completely. Isaiah R. Hill plays Jace Carson, a basketball prodigy who must navigate the gauntlet of pressure and expectations if he’s going to overcome massive odds to embody what it truly means to have swagger. Inspired by the experiences of NBA superstar Kevin Durant, Reggie Rock Bythewood’s drama also stars O’Shea Jackson Jr. as a coach working in the high-stakes world of elite youth basketball. In this exploration of the AAU basketball world in the nation’s capital, players, families, and coaches all walk a fine line between dreams and ambition, and opportunism and corruption. Arriving ready to play, Swagger swings audiences right into the action and doesn’t let go until the final buzzer sounds.

Home Before Dark (2020)

Home Before Dark
64%
7.5/10
tv-14
2 Seasons
Genre
Mystery, Drama
Stars
Brooklynn Prince, Jim Sturgess, Abby Miller
Created by
Dana Fox, Dara Resnik Creasey
Watch on Apple TV+
Home Before Dark has undeservedly flown under the radar on Apple TV+. After breaking out as a young star in 2017’s The Florida Project, Brooklynn Prince leads Home Before Dark as Hilde Lisko, a real-life teenage journalist. After moving from Brooklyn to the small lakeside town her father left behind, Lisko’s dogged pursuit of the solution to a decades-old cold case uncovers secrets that everyone in town, including her own father, tried hard to bury. Both the show’s mystery and another fantastic acting performance from Prince were met with critical acclaim. Join Lisko on the hunt in the appropriately named Erie Harbor and you won’t be able shake the story until the kid journalist cracks the case.

Pachinko (2022)

Pachinko
tv-ma
1 Season
Genre
Drama
Stars
Youn Yuh-jung, Kim Min-ha, Lee Min-ho
Created by
Soo Hugh
Watch on Apple TV+
Adapted from a novel of the same name, Pachinko tells the story of one Korean family over the course of an expansive history. The earliest part of the story is set in Japan in the 1930s, when Korean immigrants were heavily discriminated against and treated like second-class citizens. As this one family rises to prominence, we come to understand their shared history and the tragedies that have befallen them over the decades. It’s a moving, epic work that paints a firm portrait of an experience many Americans may be unfamiliar with, and one of the best shows on TV.
Pachinko Limited Series Trailer | Rotten Tomatoes TV

For All Mankind (2019)

For All Mankind
73%
8/10
tv-ma
3 Seasons
Genre
Drama, Sci-Fi & Fantasy, War & Politics
Stars
Joel Kinnaman, Shantel VanSanten, Jodi Balfour
Created by
Ronald D. Moore, Ben Nedivi, Matt Wolpert
Watch on Apple TV+
One of the first shows that Apple introduced upon its launch was For All Mankind, an alternate history that imagines what would have happened if the Soviets landed on the moon first. Because the show is about the space race, it features plenty of truly dazzling sequences set in outer space but it’s also a thrilling series that gradually reveals how a single event can reshape history. The show has jumped all the way into the 1990s now, and while its third season was not quite as stellar as the first two, it remains a remarkably compelling drama in part because of its carefully choreographed climactic set pieces.
For All Mankind — Official First Look Trailer | Apple TV+

Silo (2023)

Silo
tv-ma
1 Season
Genre
Sci-Fi & Fantasy, Drama
Stars
Rebecca Ferguson, Common, Harriet Walter
Created by
Graham Yost
Watch on Apple TV+

One of the newest shows on Apple TV+, Silo is set in a post-apocalyptic future where a community is living inside the refuge of a silo that is hundreds of stories deep. Inside the silo, the members of this community are told to follow strict rules that they believe were created to keep them safe. As the show unfolds, though, we begin to understand that there are lots of secrets being kept in this particular dystopian future. Starring a better-than-ever Rebecca Ferguson in the lead role, Silo is the kind of sci-fi show that keeps you coming back for more.

Silo — Official Trailer | Apple TV+

CODA (2021)

CODA
112m
Genre
Drama, Music, Romance
Stars
Emilia Jones, Marlee Matlin, Troy Kotsur
Directed by
Siân Heder
Watch on Apple TV+
This surprising best picture winner tells the story of a hearing child of deaf adults who finds herself torn between her passion for music and her obligations to her family. While the story certainly has some conventional beats, CODA really soars in the specificity of each of its characters, and in its New England setting. The performances across the board are excellent here, as is the sharp direction that allows you to understand how alienated the movie’s deaf characters are by their daughter’s love of music. Not everything about CODA works, but it packs the kind of emotional wallop that few movies can deliver.

Causeway (2022)

Causeway
96m
Genre
Drama
Stars
Jennifer Lawrence, Brian Tyree Henry, Linda Emond
Directed by
Lila Neugebauer
Watch on Apple TV+
Starring Jennifer Lawrence and Bryan Tyree Henry, Causeway is a relatively low-key film that nonetheless feels like carefully considered Apple TV movie. The movie follows Lawrence, an Iraq war veteran who is forced to return to her home in New Orleans after being hit by a roadside bomb. Lawrence’s character has complicated feelings about coming back home, but she strikes up a friendship with a mechanic who has also lived through trauma. Causeway is really a gentle story about the difficulty of moving forward, and how often what you really need is a friend to push you along on that journey.
Causeway | Official Trailer 2 HD | A24

Hijack (2023)

Hijack
tv-ma
1 Season
Genre
Drama
Stars
Idris Elba, Neil Maskell, Eve Myles
Created by
Jim Field Smith, George Kay
Watch on Apple TV+
Telling the story of a flight that is hijacked, Hijack is a tense thriller that leverages everything Idris Elba is capable of as an actor. Elba plays a corporate negotiator who tries to navigate the hijacking to his own ends. Although the show is not exactly high art, Hijack is exactly what you need if you’re looking for a chill hang. It’s tense, pretty easy to follow, and features a genuinely great lead performance.
Hijack — Official Trailer | Apple TV+

Slow Horses (2022)

Slow Horses
tv-ma
3 Seasons
Genre
Drama, Crime
Stars
Gary Oldman, Jack Lowden, Kristin Scott Thomas
Watch on Apple TV+
A spy show in the most traditional sense, Slow Horses is adapted from a series of novels and follows a misbegotten crew of MI5 agents who are nonetheless charged with protecting their country from a variety of sinister forces. With a sloppy, wonderful performance from Gary Oldman at its center, Slow Horses is both deeply compelling and often wildly entertaining. Great spy shows are hard to come by, and Slow Horses is both totally distinct and deeply comforting.
Slow Horses — Official Trailer | Apple TV+

Flora and Son (2023)

Flora and Son
97m
Genre
Music, Comedy, Drama
Stars
Eve Hewson, Orén Kinlan, Joseph Gordon-Levitt
Directed by
John Carney
Watch on Apple TV+
Director John Carney is best known for his ability to use music to tell heartfelt, beautiful stories, and he manages to do that yet again with Flora and Son. The movie follows a young Irish mother dealing with her adolescent son, her own sense of purposelessness, and a new relationship she’s developing with her American guitar teacher. Thanks to some solid songwriting, a great central performance from Eve Hewson, and a good script, Flora and Son manages to be sweet and acidic in just the right combination.
Flora and Son Trailer #1 (2023)

Shrinking (2023)

Shrinking
tv-ma
1 Season
Genre
Comedy
Stars
Jason Segel, Jessica Williams, Luke Tennie
Created by
Brett Goldstein, Jason Segel, Bill Lawrence
Watch on Apple TV+
The idea of a comedy about grief may be a hard sell, but Shrinking manages to battle its conflicting tones beautifully. Starring Jason Segel, Harrison Ford, and Jessica Williams, the series follows a therapist who decides to start being radically honest with his patients about their lives in the aftermath of his wife’s death. Segel is brilliant in the central role, but Shriking is also a reminder that, even at 80, Harrison Ford is one of the most compelling actors alive today.
Shrinking — Official Trailer | Apple TV+

Monarch: Legacy of Monsters (2023)

Monarch: Legacy of Monsters
tv-14
1 Season
Genre
Action & Adventure, Drama, Sci-Fi & Fantasy
Stars
Anna Sawai, Kiersey Clemons, Ren Watabe
Created by
Matt Fraction, Chris Black
Watch on Apple TV+
Although this show is set in the universe of Godzilla, Monarch: Legacy of Monsters is much more human scale than many of the movies set in this universe. The show follows a pair of siblings who attempt to uncover the mysteries behind a sinister organization, even as they track their own father’s legacy. Although Monarch has its showstopping sequences, the show is allowed to be a little more quiet and feel more like a thriller. It’s a smart, well-written show anchored by Wyatt and Kurt Russell playing the same man in two time periods, a brilliant creative decision.
Monarch: Legacy of Monsters — Official Trailer | Apple TV+

Killers of the Flower Moon (2023)

Killers of the Flower Moon
206m
Genre
Crime, History, Drama
Stars
Leonardo DiCaprio, Robert De Niro, Lily Gladstone
Directed by
Martin Scorsese
Watch on Apple TV+
A masterwork from one of the greatest directors to ever live, Killers of the Flower Moon tells the true story of a series of murders of members of the Osage tribe that took place in the 1920s. Adapted from a nonfiction book of the same name, Killers of the Flower Moon looks directly into the heart of the evil white men who perpetrated this plot, but it also spends plenty of time focused on the Osage Nation and the way they were utterly exploited for the benefits of the white people around them. Above all, this is a movie about complicity, and it’s one where Scorsese doesn’t exempt either himself or the viewer from blame.
Killers of the Flower Moon | Official Trailer 2 (2023 Movie)

Manhunt (2024)

Manhunt
tv-ma
1 Season
Genre
Drama, Crime
Stars
Tobias Menzies, Anthony Boyle, Lovie Simone
Created by
Monica Beletsky
Watch on Apple TV+
Telling the story of the days immediately after Abraham Lincoln’s assassination, Manhunt is an ideal combination of conspiracy thriller and historical fiction. The series is as much about Lincoln’s assassination as it is about the scramble to ensure that his legacy remains intact, even as the country begins to reunify in the aftermath of a civil war. Starring Tobias Menzies, who is always brilliant, Manhunt is stacked with great performances by plenty of well-known character actors.
Manhunt Limited Series Featurette | 'An Inside Look'

Napoleon (2023)

Napoleon
158m
Genre
History, War, Romance
Stars
Joaquin Phoenix, Vanessa Kirby, Tahar Rahim
Directed by
Ridley Scott
Watch on Apple TV+
There are many fascinating movies that could be made about the life of Napoleon Bonaparte. The brilliant battlefield tactician managed to leverage the French Revolution into an empire all his own before his fall from grace, and Napoleon charts that rise and fall. What’s more important, though, at least to director Ridley Scott, is making it clear that in spite of his virtues, Napoleon was ultimately a very silly man who spent most of his time sending other Frenchmen off to die. Napoleon is not freighted with historical significance, and it’s all the better for its willingness to poke fun at one of history’s supposed great men.
NAPOLEON - Official Trailer (HD)

What new shows and movies are coming to Apple TV+ in May?

May 1

  • Acapulco (season 3)

May 8

  • Dark Matter (season 1)

May 17

  • The Big Cigar (season 1)

May 22

  • Trying (season 4)

Editors' Recommendations

Movie images and data from:
Joe Allen
Contributor
Joe Allen is a freelance culture writer based in upstate New York. His work has been published in The Washington Post, The…
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