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A swords-and-armour Netflix triumph and a Rob Lowe holiday treat: The biggest & best 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.

The King

Netflix has always had a penchant for providing great television content with marketable stars, but they’ve taken a huge step forward this year in providing Oscar-worthy, A-list films.

The King may not be worth an Oscar, but blockbuster-level entertainment is what it provides. Writer-director David Michôd of War Machine, The Rover and Animal Kingdom fame, teams with co-star Joel Edgerton for this interesting historical take.

Timothee Chalamet (Call Me By Your Name) stars as Hal, reluctant heir to the English throne. He claims the crown as King Henry V after the death of his father, and deals with war, politics, and undoing the legacy of tyranny his father created.

The cast, including Chalamet, Edgerton and Ben Mendelsohn is dynamite the whole way through. But watch for Robert Pattinson, hot off an Oscar-worthy performance in The Lighthouse, having a grand time here playing a French monarch.

The King is a bit overlong and has a flair for overdramatics, but when it comes down to it, it’s one of the most interesting, ambitious entries into the Netflix original canon yet.

3.5/5 Stars

Ferdinand

I initially bypassed this adorable little animated treasure when it was playing in theatres over Christmas 2017, but it’s more than the sum of its parts.

The Oscar nominee for Best Animated Feature is the story of a literally clumsy bull, Ferdinand, who is consistently seen as dangerous despite his big heart. When he’s taken from his home, he must devise a plan to get back.

John Cena is admittedly hilarious as Ferdinand, and is joined by Kate McKinnon, Bobby Cannavale, and funnymen Anthony Anderson and Gabriel Iglesias for this feel-good flick.

It won’t rise to the levels of Pixar greats or anything, but it’s a heartwarmer for everyone.

3.5/5 Stars

The Sum Of All Fears

This modern spy actioner based on Tom Clancy’s famous Jack Ryan series of novels is equal parts intelligent and thrilling.

This time – his one and only go in the role – Ben Affleck takes the mantle from Harrison Ford as Ryan, a C.I.A. analyst with a secret tough guy streak. At the height of his career, Affleck brings charisma to the role and holds his own.

Also on his side is Morgan Freeman, an actor impossible to dislike. With fellow co-star James Cromwell, the cast is stacked to be likeable and infinitely interesting.

The story of trying to stop a Russian nuclear weapon from detonating at a Baltimore football stadium may seem more timely now than it even would have during the film’s 2002 release.

If you’re looking for honest-to-goodness entertainment, with well-drawn characters and no animals, robots or any other distractions, this is for you.

4/5 Stars

Zero Dark Thirty

This incredible, explosive film is one of the best of the entire decade and will stick with you.

Jessica Chastain is at her career-best here in this real-life imitation of the hunt for Osama Bin Laden, and the day he was killed by S.E.AL. Team 6 in May 2011.

Director Kathryn Bigelow (best known for The Hurt Locker) is in her element here, and delivers an absolute triumph of a drama-thriller.

Chastain – I contend to this day – deserved the Oscar over Jennifer Lawrence in Silver Linings Playbook, and she has never been better.

With co-stars Joel Edgerton, a jacked and fantastic Chris Pratt, Jason Clarke, Jennifer Ehle and Kyle Chandler, this is a fantastic ensemble.

You absolutely need to see this movie.

5/5 Stars

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Holiday In The Wild

So, I know it’s a bit early, but with the first snowfall set to touch down, it may be a perfect time to escape to Africa with this flick.

The holiday romance from Netflix brings Sex & The City’s Kristin Davis and the ever-watchable Rob Lowe together for some charming, conventional fun. The two are charismatic, have chemistry and rely on their built-in appeal.

As a tour guide and a woman going through a divorce, they meet during an African safari, and bond over saving elephants in a nearby orphanage. It’s all predictable, but it’s also bright.

If you’re ever looking for a pick-me-up, this will definitely do the trick.

4/5 Stars

New Releases To November 11:

  • Patriot Act with Hasan Minhaj: Volume 5
  • Let It Snow
  • Green Eggs and Ham: Season One
  • Little Things: Season Three

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




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About the Author: Jordan Parker

Jordan Parker is a freelance journalist & public relations student. He's been a movie nerd since he was old enough to walk, and the first movie he saw in theatres was Beauty & the Beast.
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