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A 2000’s teen comedy gem and a new Guy Ritchie classic: This week’s best and biggest on Netflix

Check out Jordan Parker's 'The week's best and biggest on Netflix' every Friday on HalifaxToday.ca
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Check out Jordan Parker's 'The week's best and biggest on Netflix' every Friday on HalifaxToday.ca.

Mean Girls

Perhaps one of the most quotable films of the last 15 years, Mean Girls represents a true comedy classic of the 2000s.

Lindsay Lohan – during her glory years – stars as Cady, a formerly home-schooled student who grew up in Africa. She goes to public school in America, and soon discovers it’s a jungle.

As she straddles the line between ostracization and popularity, she begins to cross her own boundaries in the name of surviving high school.

Co-starring the likes of Rachel McAdams, Amanda Seyfried, Lizzie Caplan and Jonathan Bennett, this is a stacked cast with a huge array of talent.

This film, written by 30 Rock alum Tina Fey, is uproarious, completely off-kilter, and perhaps one of the best representations of high school life out there.

4/5 Stars

The Gentlemen

Writer-director Guy Ritchie has two box-office bombs for every hit these days.

Though films like Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels, Snatch and Sherlock Holmes worked, The Man From U.N.C.L.E., Revolver, and his recent take on King Arthur have been less-than-pleasing.

However, with crime story The Gentlemen, Ritchie hits hard and fast, reminding skeptics why he’s a master of the genre.

The story of a major marijuana exporter and grower who fights against a hostile takeover of his empire is multi-layered and one of Ritchie’s most entertaining in years.

Hugh Grant is an absolute revelation, giving the most hilarious, off-brand performance of his career. He shines here.

Matthew McConaughey, Charlie Hunnam, Michelle Dockery, Colin Farrell, and young Henry Golding are all consistently fantastic here.

This is a superbly-acted, rollicking, hilarious good time with plot twists aplenty. It will surely make it into my top 10 for the year. I can confidently say that now.

4.5/5 Stars

Road House

A huge guilty pleasure, I can’t sit here and tell you Road House is a good movie.

It absolutely isn’t. But over the years, it’s become iconic and it’s a whole lot of fun. If you’re looking for escapism, this is your ticket.

When a hard-as-nails bouncer is hired to settle down a rowdy, rough-and-tumble bar, he has a lot of work ahead of him. But Patrick Swayze’s Dalton is up for the challenge.

A sex symbol and household name after Dirty Dancing, this was a foray into new territory for the young actor. He oozes charisma and charm here, even with limited material.

With Sam Elliott and Drugstore Cowboy’s Kelly Lynch also aboard, the three do the heavy lifting to overcome the script.

It’s cheesy. It’s pretty ridiculous. It’s Road House. If you don’t take it too seriously, you might just enjoy yourself.

3.5/5 Stars

The Big Short

This flick bounces on and off Netflix’s server constantly, but it really is a gem of a film.

Who knew the director of Anchorman and Step Brothers could create an Oscar-calibre movie about the collapse of America’s financial system?

Well, in 2015, that’s exactly what Adam McKay did, surprising everyone. The Big Short is about a group of investors who bet against the U.S. mortgage market ahead of the real-life collapse.

While the narrative is fictional, what happened to America hurt a whole lot of people, many of whom still didn’t know how it happened when this flick arrived. I know I didn’t.

The game cast – Brad Pitt, Christian Bale, Ryan Gosling – give bravura performances and somehow make economics interesting. It an irreverent, sometimes hilarious movie about a serious financial crisis.

McKay balances the tone perfectly, and we’re given an informative, entertaining and outraging feature.

4.5/5 Stars

The Rundown

Marking Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson’s first foray into non-franchise, non-WWE fare, The Rundown is endlessly entertaining, and showed exactly how much charisma the newcomer had.

As an aspiring chef hired to bring a mobster’s son home from the Amazon, Johnson absolutely stuns. He’s an action hero, he’s got a knack for physical comedy, and his chemistry with the other actors is wonderful.

He teams up with Seann William Scott as they also find themselves looking for treasure and pushing against a formidable villain in Christopher Walken.

Featuring one scene in particular that’s so funny my family still quotes it, The Rundown is a huge cut above your normal genre fare, and a great welcome to movies for Johnson.

4/5 Stars

Jordan Parker's weekly film reviews can be found on his blog, Parker & The Picture Shows.


About the Author: Jordan Parker

Jordan Parker is a freelance journalist and runs entertainment firm Parker PR. He's been a movie nerd since he was old enough to walk.
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