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5 Netflix movies and shows to watch before they leave in May 2022

a dance scene from Downton Abbey
(Image credit: Carnival Film and Television Limited for Masterpiece)

More great movies and shows are leaving Netflix at the end of May. While many of the best Netflix movies and best Netflix shows remain, and more join the ranks of what's new on Netflix, these these titles are ones you should make time to see before they disappear. 

Netflix is constantly adding and subtracting stuff, though movies tend to cycle through more than shows. We're not sure if any of these departures will push you to cancel Netflix, but their absence will surely be frustrating to some. Just like how Schitt's Creek is leaving Netflix.

With our recommendations, you'll have a better chance of making the most of your Netflix subscription this month. The list of departing films has something for everyone, whether you're in the mood for a sexy thriller or you feel the need for speed. A fan-favorite comedy series and a long-running period drama are on their way out, so set aside time for a good binge. 

Here's what to watch before they leave Netflix in May 2022. Plus, check out our guide on new movies and shows to watch this weekend and our picks of the best new movies to watch this week across all the top streaming services.

The best Netflix movies and shows leaving in May 2022

Downton Abbey: Series 1-6
Leaving May 31

The sudsy period drama captivated viewers on both sides of the pond (and around the world) with the romances, intrigues, scandals and misadventures going on upstairs and downstairs at the English estate of Downton Abbey. Over the course of six seasons, the show followed the Earl of Grantham, the aristocratic Crawley family and their servants through marriages, births, deaths and witty zingers by the formidable Dowager Countess (Maggie Smith). 

Now, the characters have graduated to the big screen, with a second movie Downton Abbey: A New Era playing in theaters this month. That makes this the perfect time to binge the series. 

Stream it on Netflix

Happy Endings: Seasons 1-3
Leaving May 31

In the years after Friends ended, a number of ensemble comedies rose up to try to fill its iconic shoes. Some, like How I Met Your Mother, were successful, while others weren't funny or only lasted for a few episodes. Happy Endings landed somewhere in the middle. It was hilarious and ran for three seasons on ABC, yet still never received significant recognition. Its time on Netflix seemed bound to change that, but now the comedy is leaving for streaming parts unknown. 

Happy Endings centers on six friends in their 20s living in Chicago. When ditzy Alex (Elisha Cuthbert) leaves aspiring restaurateur Dave (Zachary Knighton) at the altar, the rest of the group tries not to let the event affect their friendships. They include Alex's neurotic sister Jane (Eliza Coupe) and husband Brad (Damon Wayans, Jr.), as well as slacker Max (Adam Pally) and serial dater Penny (Casey Wilson). 

Stream it on Netflix

Top Gun
Leaving May 31

If you feel the need for speed, hurry up and watch Tom Cruise's classic 1986 action flick before it leaves Netflix and before the sequel Top Gun: Maverick hits theaters on May 27. 

We probably don't need to summarize the movie for you, but here goes: Cruise plays hotshot fighter pilot Pete "Maverick" Mitchell, who is sent to an elite naval aviation academy for advanced training. There, he ruffles feathers, vies against Iceman (Val Kilmer) for top honors and romances his instructor (Kelly McGillis). But after a devastating tragedy, Maverick must regain his nerve to carry out a tense international engagement.

Stream it on Netflix

The Blind Side
Leaving May 31

Few things are as rousing and heartwarming as an underdog sports movie. The Blind Side tells the true story of Michael Oher, who overcame childhood poverty to play in the NFL. He did it with the help of adoptive parents Sean and Leigh Anne Tuohy, and the story is chronicled in a book by Michael Lewis. 

The Blind Side is a pretty standard inspirational weeper, yet it did earn a Best Picture Oscar nomination and a win for Sandra Bullock's feisty portrayal of Leigh Anne. The 2009 movie's time on Netflix didn't last long; it only just arrived on April 1 and is heading into the end zone on May 31.

Stream it on Netflix

Wild Things
Leaving May 31

The '90s were the heyday of erotic thrillers like Wild Things, but they just don't make many of them anymore. It's too bad, because the current cinematic landscape is really missing out on "trashy but good" films. Just check out this amazing endorsement from the late Roger Ebert: "like a three-way collision between a softcore sex film, a soap opera and a B-grade noir. I liked it"

So, get your dose of racy, riveting entertainment. Wild Things starts with high school guidance counselor Sam Lombardo (Matt Dillon) being accused of rape by two female students, the wealthy and popular Kelly Van Ryan (Denise Richards) and poor outcast Suzie Toller (Neve Campbell). When police detective Ray Duquette (Kevin) suspects the trio of working a scam, his investigation leads to twists and turns nobody expected. 

Stream it on Netflix

Everything leaving Netflix in May 2022

Leaving 5/1/22
Colony: Seasons 1-3
Hoarders: Season 11
WWII in HD: Season 1

Leaving 5/3/22
StartUp: Seasons 1-3
The Clovehitch Killer

Leaving 5/12/22
Eye in the Sky

Leaving 5/19/22
Rosario Tijeras (Mexico): Seasons 1-2

Leaving 5/23/22
Shot Caller

Leaving 5/31/22
Battleship
Bill Burr: You People Are All the Same
Chloe
Closer
Coach Carter
Dennis the Menace
Downton Abbey: Series 1-6
Final Destination 3
Final Destination 5
Free Willy
Hairspray
Happy Endings: Seasons 1-3
Happy Feet
I Know What You Did Last Summer
I Still Know What You Did Last Summer
New Year's Eve
Sniper: Legacy
Stardust
Sucker Punch
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: The Secret of the Ooze
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles III
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Movie
The Blind Side
The Devil's Advocate
The Disaster Artist
The Final Destination
Top Gun
Wild Things
Zoolander

Kelly Woo
Kelly Woo

Kelly is a senior writer covering streaming media for Tom’s Guide, so basically, she watches TV for a living. Previously, she was a freelance entertainment writer for Yahoo, Vulture, TV Guide and other outlets. When she’s not watching TV and movies for work, she’s watching them for fun, seeing live music, writing songs, knitting and gardening.