New Documentaries on Netflix in May 2021

Melissa Taylor What's on Netflix Avatar

new netflix documentaries may 2021

We have a slightly smaller haul of documentaries landing on Netflix this month, but there’s still plenty of great new movies and series for you to enjoy! 

The headline title arriving in May is Sons of Sam: A Descent Into Darkness. This limited Original series follows the infamous Son of Sam murders, and one journalist’s desperate attempt to solve the case.

However, if true crime isn’t your thing, we also have some documentaries exploring UFOs and the paranormal, sports, LGBT activism, and the messy world of finance.

Featured Videos

Here’s your full roundup of all the documentaries coming to Netflix in May…

Hangar 1: The UFO Files (Season 2)

Episodes: 11
Available on Netflix: 2 May

The History Channel has become somewhat infamous for its UFO documentaries, and this title is no different. Hangar 1: The UFO Files features a range of UFO experts, researchers, and witnesses, as it explores numerous UFO sightings over the last century.

The series received mixed reviews on IMDb: sceptics don’t believe any of it, but UFO enthusiasts think it doesn’t go into enough detail and the recreations are corny. Watch and decode for yourself…

The Sons of Sam: A Descent Into Darkness (Limited Series) N

Episodes: 4
Available on Netflix: 5 May

The Son of Sam killings were a series of mass shootings that took place in New York in the 1970s. After a slippery manhunt, the perpetrator was eventually captured. However, investigative journalist, Maury Terry, was never convinced by the accepted explanation.

The Sons of Sam: A Descent Into Darkness explores Terry’s theory, along with many twists and turns. As with most Netflix true-crime titles, it’s a wild ride.

Money, Explained (Season 1) N

Episodes: 5
Available on Netflix: 11 May

The team at Vox has tackled a number of subjects in their Explained documentaries, including sex, the mind, coronavirus, and the US voting system. Now, they’re back to tackle the (sometimes murky, often complicated) world of money.

Money, Explained attempts to make sense of a number of financial topics, such as credit cards, student debt, pensions, and gambling.

Alma Matters (Season 1)

Episodes: 3
Available on Netflix: 14 May

This short Original series takes a deep look at the IIT (Indian Institutes of Technology) system, and how the competitive environment affects the students that go through its paces.

India has 23 IITs: prestigious institutions designed to provide middle-class students with the skills to obtain a career in technology. While studying at an IIT is often a dream for many students and their families, the reality is often much harder.

Haunted (Season 3) N

Episodes: 6
Available on Netflix: 14 May

With just under six months to Halloween, it’s never too early to get into the ‘spirit’ of spooky season.

Each episode of Haunted features a terrifying paranormal tale, told by the person who experienced it and backed up with chilling recreations.

Haunted has come under fire from viewers who claim the show is all faked. If you’re a real paranormal fan looking for some new ‘evidence’, you probably won’t find it here. However, if you’re looking for something spooky and silly to watch with the lights off, you won’t be disappointed.

Amy Tan: Unintended Memoir (2021)

Runtime: 101 minutes
Available on Netflix: 18 May

Available to viewers in the US, this PBS production explores the life of belove Chinese-American author, Amy Tan.

Tan rose to fame in the late 80s with the publication of her best-selling novel, The Joy Luck Club: a story about Chinese immigrants living in New York. Since then, Tan has enjoyed a career as an award-winning author, publishing a number of novels, children’s books, and non-fiction titles.

The Last Days (1998)

Runtime: 1hr 27
Available on Netflix: 19 May

Steven Spielberg and The Shoah Foundation present this Oscar-winning documentary about the Holocaust.

With a tagline of ‘Everything you’re about to see is true’, The Last Days tells the harrowing story of five Hungarian Jews who survived imprisonment at Auschwitz concentration camp.

Hating Peter Tatchell (2021)

Runtime: 1 hr 31
Available on Netflix: 20 May

Produced by legendary musician, Elton John, and his husband, David Furnish, Hating Peter Tatchell tells the story of the iconic civil rights campaigner.

An openly gay man at a time when it was still illegal, Peter Tatchell organized the UK’s first Gay Pride celebration and campaigned for the fair treatment of LGBT people under the law.

Hating Peter Tatchell features interviews with iconic LGBT figures, such as Ian McKellan and Stephen Fry.

High on the Hog: How African American Cuisine Transformed America  (Limited Series) N

Episodes: 4
Available on Netflix: 26 May

This new food and travel documentary, High On The Hog, demonstrates how Black food is American food. The delicious new series explores the roots of some of America’s favorite cuisines, including barbeque, grits, fried chicken, gumbo, and Hoppin’ John (AKA rice and peas).

Our journey through Africa, into Texas and beyond, is lead by chef and food writer, Stephen Satterfield.

Nail Bomber: Manhunt (2021) N

Runtime: 72 minutes
Available on Netflix: 26 May

Across three weekends in April 1999, three people were killed and almost 150 were injured in a spate of terror attacks concerning London’s Black, Bangladeshi and LGBTQ+ communities.

The attacks, organized using homemade nail bombs, sparked one of the biggest manhunts London has ever seen.

The Least Expected Day: Inside the Movistar Team 2019 (Season 2)

Episodes: 6
Available on Netflix: 28 May

Second part of the cycling docuseries following the Spanish cycling team sponsored by Movistar. This time, the action sees them into the 2020 season.

Which documentary will you be streaming first on Netflix? Let us know in the comments below! 

Written by

Melissa is a freelance writer from Norwich. She has over seven years' experience running company blogs, social media, and PR campaigns. She has a degree in English Literature from the University of East Anglia, and studied journalism with the NCTJ. In her free time, Melissa runs her own book club and tells people she's writing a novel. Usually, she's just watching period dramas on Netflix.