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A reviewer top five and a modern coming-of-age anthem: Netflix's Biggest and Best for the Week

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 Edge of Seventeen

Perhaps the closest a film has ever come to being an interesting, evocative riff on classic Pretty In Pink, this coming-of-age story is both poignant an hilarious.

Director-writer Kelly Fremon Craig used this as her debut feature launching pad, and my goodness, is this story of teen angst still relatable.

The film follows Nadine, whose 17-year-old life as she knows it comes crashing down when her best friend starts dating her older brother.

Former Oscar nominee Hailee Steinfeld – who got a Golden Globe nod for this performance – is hilarious and moving as the main character, and Haley Lu Richardson is fantastic as her friend.

Oddly enough, though, other than Steinfeld, it’s the adults who impress. Kyra Sedgwick is incredible as her mom and Woody Harrelson is an absolute treasure as her witty, smart-ass, foul-mouthed teacher.

It’s a hilarious, stirring film you’ll be happy you turned on.

4/5 Stars

Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind

Have you ever sat in the agony of a break-up and wished you could wipe all memory of your ex-partner away?

Well, in the minds of Michel Gondry and Charlie Kaufman – the writer-directors behind this flick – there exists a universe where you can have a procedure done to have all trace of your ex, your deceased loved one, your old pet, erased for a cost.

When mawkish Joel Barrish realizes his ex Clementine has undergone the operation, he goes to do it himself – only he realizes partway through the procedure not all painful memories are ones you need to part with.

I consider this one of the most affecting, inventive movies of all time, and it won the duo a Best Original Screenplay Oscar.

Though Kate Winslet was nominated for her predictably incredible work as Clementine, it really is Jim Carrey who shines in the lead role. He proves here he’s more than a guy who can make funny faces, and this changed his trajectory to that of a dramatic actor worth noticing.

This is a transformative, deeply touching work, and one of my top five of all time.

5/5 Stars

Baby Driver

No film since Pulp Fiction has so intimately and perfectly used its soundtrack to convey emotion and move the plot along.

Baby Driver is about a getaway driver – a hearing impared man aptly named Baby – who becomes embroiled in more than he bargained for when he tries to get out of the life of crime.

Writer-director Edgar Wright creates a stylistic crime masterpiece with this film, and brings characters to full fruition, giving them breath and life.

Young star Ansel Elgort – known for teen romance films and YA adaptations – is given his first chance to shine here, and knocks it out of the park. He’s joined by a flat-out scary good cast including the Punisher’s Jon Bernthal, Mad Men’s Jon Hamm, Lily James and pre-scandal Kevin Spacey as a scary mob boss.

Oh, and don’t forgot Oscar winner Jamie Foxx, who roars back into the mainstream with a tough, taut role that will make you remember he’s more than his last few flops.

This is a pitch-perfect film, and you should see it – or rewatch it—immediately.

4.5/5 Stars

Ralph Breaks the Internet

Ah, this incredible sequel brings Wreck-It Ralph back to life, and every part of me was happy to see this animated feast for the eyes.

Ralph and Vanellope – former nemesis turned friend – discover a router in their arcade, and are transported from their VR games to the world wide web for an adventure.

John C. Reilly is still an incredible voice actor, and brings a pizazz to the character no one else could have. With Sarah Silverman, Gal Gadot, Taraji P. Henson and more, this has so much star wattage behind it.

Its hilarious, full of pop culture references, and will entertain adults and kids alike. It’s so witty and funny, and a great summer movie to check out.

4/5 Stars

Taking Lives

I won’t lie, readers, this one could prove a controversial pick. But this Canada-set serial killer film starring two actors in their prime is pure joy for me.

FBI profiler Illeana (Angelina Jolie) is called in to find a serial killer, and becomes involved in a web of deceit and lies with a strange man (Ethan Hawke). It’s a pretty taut, sensual and fun movie with a seriously dark tone.

It has a raw sense of humour and an incredible cast that also includes Kiefer Sutherland. This really is a film you’ll either love for it’s trashy sensibilities or hate.

I leave it to you to figure out which way you’ll fall.

3.5/5 Stars

New Releases To June 21, 2019:

  • Murder Mystery (Netflix Original Film)
  • The Mechanic
  • Adam Devine: Best Time of Our Lives
  • Mr. D: Season 8
  • Dark: Season 2
  • Mr. Iglesias (Netflix Series)
  • Queen Of the South: Season 3

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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