Sky promises a new movie premiere every night and usually has some pretty high profile blockbusters lined up for its Friday and Saturday night slots. As we hit the halfway point in May, we take a look at what films and TV shows have made it to our screens over the last few weeks and what is still waiting to have the wraps taken off.
If you have a Sky TV subscription (even the most basic one) you know you’ll be tied in to a 12-18 month contract. While this is fine for some TV viewers who want the reassurance of continued service, customer support and a handle on regular monthly outgoings, others will favour the flexibility afforded by NOW TV, which allows live streaming and VOD access to Sky TV programming on a monthly basis by using different passes.
These monthly passes - Entertainment (£8.99), Sky Cinema (£11.99), Sky Sports (£33.99 with cheaper daily/weekly options) Kids (£3.99) and Hayu (£3.99 - Reality TV) - can be dropped, swapped or added to as required.
Generally, if a movie or show features in the Sky subscription package, it will be available on the relevant Now TV pass too - all you’ll need is a supported smart TV or device (iOS / Android phone, Apple TV, game console) or dedicated Now TV set top box / plug in stick.
Let’s take a look at the highlights from the first half of May and see what’s waiting to go in the second half of the month.
Pick of the Shows
Rob and Romesh Vs: S2 (Sky One, Now TV Entertainment Pass, new from 5th May)
Best pals Rob Beckett and Romesh Ranganathan return for a second series of their mission to interview more celebrities from the worlds of sport, entertainment, fashion, and more. The comedic duo travel the world and delve into the lives and careers of a variety of famous faces, while taking the opportunity to learn new skills completely outside their realms of experience.
This season they’ve already tried their hand (feet?) at ballet as well as getting involved in one of America’s favorite sports, basketball. Later on this month, they’ll be heading to Cape Town to spend time with the England Cricket team.
Brassic S2 (Sky One, Now TV Entertainment Pass, new from 7th May)
Sky’s most successful comedy drama in years returns and continues the antics of working-class bi-polar disorder sufferer Vinnie O'Neill (Joe Gilgun) and his friends as they face down the problems of poverty and listlessness in the fictional town of Hawley. Co-created by lead actor Gilgun (who starred as Cassidy in AMC’s Preacher on Amazon Prime Video) Vinnie and comrades embark on even bigger and bolder misadventures even while examining if there's more to life away from the town.
For those that might be wondering, the title comes from a shortening of 'boracic lint', which is Cockney rhyming slang for "skint".
I Know This Much is True (new limited series, Sky Atlantic, Now TV Entertainment Pass from 11th May)
You don’t give up on the ones you love. Middle-aged Dominick Birdsey recounts his troubled relationship with Thomas, his paranoid schizophrenic twin brother, and his efforts to get him released from an asylum.
Based on the bestselling novel by Wally Lamb and written and directed by Derek Cianfrance (Blue Valentine, The Place Beyond the Pines), Academy Award nominee Mark Ruffalo stars in this six-part limited series in a double role as both Dominick and his twin, in a family saga filled with betrayal, sacrifice and forgiveness.
9-1-1 S3 (Sky Witness, Now TV Entertainment Pass, from 19th May)
Fast-paced procedural drama starring Angela Bassett, Peter Krause and Jennifer Love Hewitt. The latest series will continue to delve into the lives and careers of the men and women of the LA emergency first responders – cops, paramedics, firefighters - as they deal with life and death situations on a daily basis.
McMillions (Sky Documentaries from 27th May)
Across six episodes, McMillions explores the McDonald's Monopoly Game scam that occurred between 1995 and 2001.
The scam was carried out by Jerome Jacobson, nicknamed 'uncle Jerry', an ex-cop turned security auditor who rigged the Monopoly game promotion for a decade, stealing millions of dollars and building a vast network of co-conspirators across the US.
The series draws on exclusive firsthand accounts and archival footage, featuring: the FBI agents who brought down the gaming scam; McDonald’s corporate executives, who were themselves defrauded; the lawyers who tried the case; and the culprits and prizewinners who profited from the complicated scheme.
Billions S5 (TBC)
Currently thought to be coming to Sky later in May, though with no confirmed date, Billions season 5 sees Bobby Axelrod (Damian Lewis) and Chuck Rhoades (Paul Giamatti) clash as their vicious rivalry is reignited, while new enemies rise and take aim, leading to the struggle for power becoming a struggle for survival, with all the protagonists having to adapt or risk extinction
Pick of the Movies
Once Upon A Time… In Hollywood (2019) from 1st May
A faded television actor and his buddy stunt-double strive to achieve fame and success in the film industry during the final years of Hollywood's Golden Age in 1969 Los Angeles. As their fortunes wax and wane, they are drawn into the orbit of an oddball cult led by one Charlie Manson.
Once Upon a Time… is Quentin Tarrantino’s loving and meticulous tribute to an age in Hollywood which is now consigned to cheesy 60’s movies, old TV re-runs and fading memories. Leonardo DiCaprio and Brad Pitt star as actor Rick Dalton and stuntman Cliff Booth whose reminiscences unfold in Tarrantino’s typical multi stranded narrative, which is populated by a huge ensemble cast.
Charming (2018) from 2nd May
Prince Philippe Charming is cursed to propose to every woman he meets, but things become more complicated when his father demands he find his true love by his 21st birthday or lose his claim to the throne. Before long, three fairy tale princesses find they are all engaged to the same guy.
Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker (2019) from 4th May
The surviving members of the resistance face the First Order once again, and the legendary conflict between the Jedi and the Sith reaches its peak, bringing the Skywalker saga to its end.
The Rise of Skywalker was released simultaneously on both Sky Cinema and Disney+ for May the 4th (the licensing lawyers must have earned their fees for getting that agreed!) and the ninth and final entry in the saga faced the difficult task of delivering a satisfying narrative conclusion combined with the inclusion of the all expected ingredients built up over three trilogies. You can now see for yourself whether J.J. Abrams successfully brought it off.
Dora and the Lost City of Gold (2019) from 8th May
The Lost City of Gold sees Dora make the leap from popular children’s book and cartoon character to big screen heroine, in which, having spent most of her life in the jungle with her explorer parents, she faces an all new challenge – high school in L.A. However, when her parents go missing, Dora and her new friends find themselves back in the wilderness in search of lost treasure AND her folks.
Isabela Moner, Eva Longoria and Jeff Whalberg star in this family adventure.
Stuber (2019) from 9th May
A quick-tempered cop who's recovering from eye surgery recruits Stu, a mild-mannered Uber driver obsessed with getting a perfect 5 star rating, to help him catch the brutal heroin dealer who murdered his partner. The mismatched pair soon find themselves in for a wild day of stakeouts and shootouts as they pursue violent criminals through the seedy streets of Los Angeles.
Dave Baustista and Kamail Nanjiani trade insults well enough and this brings back memories of 80s buddy movies but it’s patchy in tone. Overall, it’s an enjoyable enough ride, but a 5 star rating? Hmmm, perhaps on the next trip.
Alita: Battle Angel (2019) from 15th May
A deactivated cyborg is discovered and revived, but cannot remember anything of her past life and, helped by her mentor Doctor Ido, goes on a quest to find out who she is. But when deadly and corrupt forces come for her, Alita discovers she has unique abilities that serve as a clue to her past, and may be the key to saving her new friends and family.
Based on Japanese manga artist Yukito Kishiro’s 1990’s series Gunnm, Alita: Battle Angel was famously toiled over by James Cameron (Titanic, Avatar) for two decades before he assumed a producer role and handed over the directing reins to Robert Rodriguez (Sin City, Sky Kids). Rosa Salazar (Maze Runner: The Death Cure) stars as Alita and Christophe Waltz (Spectre) plays kind-hearted cyberphysician Ido.
The Angry Birds Movie 2 (2019) from 21st May
The flightless birds and scheming green pigs take their feud to the next level. As the prank war between the two tribes rages, massive icy projectiles coming from the feathery tyrant Zeta's ice-capped Eagle Island threaten the security of both havens, unless Red and King Leonard agree to form a difficult but honest truce.
There’s a reasonable voice cast with the like of Jason Sudekis, Josh Gad, Awkwafina, Danny McBride and Bill Hader and if you enjoyed the first instalment, there’s no reason to suspect you won't enjoy more of the same.
Fast and Furious 1-6 Week from 18th-25th May
Your car may have been sitting relatively idle for the past few months but you can still get your vicarious racing kicks from the first six movies in the franchise that absolutely no-one saw coming (it was probably travelling too fast!). With arguably the two best in the entire Fast & Furious series included in this gearbox gathering, you can get up to speed (sorry) before moving onto Hobbs and Shaw.
Fast and Furious Presents: Hobbs and Shaw (2019) from 22nd May
Muscles and male pattern baldness abound as lawman Luke Hobbs (Dwayne Johnson) and lawless outcast Deckard Shaw (Jason Statham) join forces to take on cyber-genetically enhanced anarchist Brixton (Idris Elba). The once sparring antagonists must now fight to save humanity from an insidious bio-threat and face off against the one man who could take them both down.
Mission Impossible Weekend from 22-25th May
Arguably one of the strongest franchises out there, with only one wobble in the six movies so far. The care and attention to detail in the filmmaking is second to none, with Christopher McQuarrie now the custodian of all things IMF - under the watchful eye of star, producer and stunt monster Tom Cruise.
Filming of the anticipated 7th instalment was halted due to coronavirus so there’ll be an extra long wait for the follow up to Fallout. However, with some careful planning over the late May Bank Holiday weekend you should be able to cram all six movies in. That’s not exactly mission impossible is it? Maybe just mission difficult.
Come to Daddy (2019) from 24th May
When Norval receives an invitation out of the blue from his estranged father to come and visit him, he jumps at the chance to reconnect and put his own troubled life behind him. Before long, though, he notices something off about his dad, an uneasy feeling triggered by inappropriate comments and a possible over-dependence on booze. Instead of a family reunion, he finds himself in a waking nightmare.
Elijah Wood stars in this darky funny horror about fathers and sons.
Crawl (2019) from 29th May
The Hills Have Eyes director Alexandre Aja brings some tight horror magic to the story of blonde bad-ass Haley, who sets out to rescue her depressed father in the middle of a huge Category 5 hurricane. However, in Crawl, the problem isn’t the rising water, it’s what’s in the water – gigantic alligators. For Haley, finding her father was the easy bit, now she’s got to get them both out of the house they’re trapped in and away from the ravenous reptiles.
Those are the main candidates that stand out but of course there’s plenty of other content coming that may appeal too.
Best of the Rest: Shows
Dateline - Dirty John: The Women (Sky Crime)
A special episode of the investigative series Dateline takes a look at the case of con man John Meehan, whose crimes were made famous by the true crime podcast Dirty John and the Netflix drama of the same name.
Tintoretto: A Rebel in Venice (Sky Arts)
Documentary that celebrates the 500th anniversary of the birth of the last great artist of the Italian Renaissance, the most unexpected mind that the world of painting has ever produced: Tintoretto. Narrated by Helena Bonham Carter, the open-minded, yet unstable and elusive Tintoretto was described as a “proto-rockstar” by David Bowie and “the first film director in history” by JeanPaul Sartre.
Kim Kardashian West: The Justice Project (Sky Crime, Now TV Hayu Pass)
Reality TV star and socialite (and now trained lawyer) Kim Kardashian West heads a campaign to secure freedom for those she believes have been wronged by the American justice system in this special documentary.
Dateline: The Manson Murders (Sky Crime)
An investigative special delves into the myth and mind of the notorious Charles Manson which includes rarely-seen video of Manson, interviews with his former parole officer and a “Manson Family” confidant and remarks from key players in the case.
Killed By Hate (Sky Crime)
Ten years after the Hate Crimes Prevention Act was signed, hate crimes in America are on the rise. This special report explores some of the most brutal cases, including the murder of Matthew Shepard, Blaze Bernstein and James Byrd Jr., the Charlottesville riots, and the Portland train attack.
McGuyver S4 (Sky One)
A reimagining of the classic 80’s series, Lucas Till takes the Richard Dean Anderson role as the 20-something Angus “Mac” MacGyver, who creates a clandestine organization within the U.S. government where he uses his extraordinary talent for unconventional problem solving and vast scientific knowledge to save lives.
S.W.A.T S3 Ep1 (Sky One)
Inspired by the 2003 Samuel L. Jackson/Colin Farrell film, the drama follows the sergeant of a Los Angeles S.W.A.T unit who is torn between his loyalty to his team and the streets on which he was brought up. The first episode in the new season to air will be Fire in the Sky.
Best of the Rest: Movies
Curious George: Royal Monkey (2019, Childrens, Animated - voice Frank Welker)
State Like Sleep (2018, Drama - Katherine Waterston, Michael Shannon, Luke Evans)
CRSHD (2019 Comedy, Drama)
Satanic Panic (2019, Comedy Horror - Rebecca Romijn)
The Bouncer (2018, Action, Drama, Thriller - Jean-Claude Van-Damme)
Killerman (2019, Action, Crime Drama - Liam Hemsworth)
Birds of a Feather
Badland (2019, Western - Mira Sorvino, Bruce Dern)
Disturbing the Peace (20209, Action, Adventure, Thriller - Guy Pearce)
The Wolf’s Call (2019, Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi, International Fr.)
Has anything in particular grabbed your attention? Let everyone know what you are looking forward to (or maybe even what to avoid!) in the discussion thread.