Our Best Entertainment Picks for May

The month's don't-miss Movies, Music and TV

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Civil War: The Untold Story

Narrated by Downton Abbey's Elizabeth McGovern, this gripping five-part public television series revisits several lesser-known but pivotal battles fought during the U.S. Civil War.


Airs April and May (dates vary—check local listings).

Great Divide Pictures

Belle

In this true story, the affair between a slave and a Royal Navy admiral produces a daughter (Gugu Mbatha-Raw, near left). Raised by an aristocratic uncle, she copes with a racist society—and helps end slavery in Britain.


In theaters May 2.

David Appleby

24: Live Another Day

Jack's back. Kiefer Sutherland (left) returns in the Fox hit for a 12-episode run as agent Jack Bauer. The latest 24-hour global crisis unspools in London, where he has been living in exile the past four years.


Airs May 5.

Daniel Smith/Fox

All or Nothin'

Loretta Lynn-style honky-tonker Nikki Lane (left) creates a fetching batch of pedal steel-drenched numbers with producer Dan Auerbach, among them the feisty bad-girl narrative "Seein' Double."


Album comes out May 6.

Chuck Grant

Natalie Merchant

On her first album of originals in 13 years, Natalie Merchant, the former 10,000 Maniacs vocalist, displays her distinctive alto on lyrical character studies (“Texas,” “Black Sheep”) and meditations on our troubling world (“It’s A-Coming,” “The End”).

Album comes out May 6

Dan Winters

Chef

Director, writer and star Jon Favreau (right) mixes up a tasty treat in this culinary comedy, winning over Sofia Vergara in the process.

In theaters May 9

Merrick Morton

Chinese Puzzle

Vive l’amour! Twelve years after we met them in L’Auberge Espagnole, the lovers played by Audrey Tautou (Amélie) and Romain Duris (with Tautou, right) cross pathsagain, in America, in this romantic comedy. 

In theaters May 16

Courtesy of Cohen Media Group

Are We There

With her emotive vocals and dramatic piano, songstress Sharon Van Etten (left) crafts a majestic collection of original tunes, including the moody "Tarifa" and the vulnerable "Break Me."


Album comes out May 27.

Dusdin Condren

Night Moves

Three idealistic eco­terrorists (Dakota Fanning, Peter Sarsgaard and Jesse Eisenberg, right) plot to blow up a dam in this slow-burn thriller from contemplative director Kelly Reichardt (Wendy and Lucy).

In theaters May 30

Next: Chelsea Handler on How to Live a Playful, Prosperous, Balanced Life

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