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From a career-defining period piece for Knightley to a Stallone classic: The 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.

Snowpiercer

Chris Evans shed his nice-guy image in 2013 with this soot-soiled, sci-fi adaptation about class divides aboard a traveling train.

In this future, climate change has rendered the earth uninhabitable, and the lower class people are trapped at the back of the train, while soldiers keep them in their place.

Higher class citizens keep the luxuries in the front, and it’s all run by Mason -- played by Tilda Swinton -- in a gender-bending, non-conforming role.

Evans is fantastic, and Ed Harris, John Hurt and Jamie Bell only add to the shine of this cast.

It’s a dark film with a ton of really bright filmmaking moves by director Joon-ho Bong, and for the audience, that’s a great thing.

4/5 Stars

Body Of Lies

Let me preface this by saying that if you find a Leonardo DiCaprio film you don’t like, I’ll call you a liar.

I think everything the man touches is gold, and consider him the best in his generation.

So when he, Russell Crowe, director Ridley Scott and The Departed writer William Monahan all came together for this spy thriller, I couldn’t have been more excited.

The high-octane thrills combined with masterclass acting worked just right for me, and the story about a CIA agent in Jordan hunting a terrorist leader struck well with Americans in 2008.

It’s a taut, complicated film, but worth the investment.

4/5 Stars

Cliffhanger

There’s no doubting Sylvester Stallone, by 1993, was pushing his limits in these high-energy actioners, but this one was actually pretty awesome.

The easy concept involved a botched mid-air heist that results in the suitcases of cash being distributed all over the Rocky Mountains, with everyone wanting a piece.

Renny Harlin – known for movies like Deep Blue Sea – knows how to weave a 100-minute action story and provide just enough explosives – and he does it perfectly here.

Michael Rooker – who would later become villain Merle on The Walking Dead – is menacing here, as is John Lithgow.

It’s just a truly enjoyable, visual effects-laden spectacle. Don’t take it too seriously and you might enjoy it.

4/5 Stars

Colette

The crowd erupted into applause and hollers more than once during the FIN screening of this wonderfully passionate film about a strong-willed woman who refuses to give up her autonomy to her husband.

Keira Knightley deserved an Oscar nomination for her performance as Colette, the woman who had ghost-written her husband’s most famous novel.

As he pushes her for more work, she becomes less subservient, and there’s where the fun begins.

The love triangle between Knightley, Fiona Shaw and Dominic West is outrageously funny and interesting, and provides for one heck of a finale.

This is one of the best you didn’t see in 2018.

4.5/5 Stars

What They Had

This emotional drama hit me. It hit me hard, and for anyone who has dealt with someone who has dementia, it will leave you breathless.

It’s the story of Bridget (wonderfully played by Hilary Swank), who returns home to check on her mother, who the family believes is in the early stages of dementia.

Her brother is adamant they put her in nursing care, and her father is adamant he can still take care of her.

As the family comes to grips with their situation – and the way things have to change – the learn more about each other than they ever imagined possible.

Swank is incredibly here, but the true kudos goes to Michael Shannon as the frustrated brother, and Robert Forster as a husband who just can’t see the truth.

It’s a gripping, heart-breaking drama that won’t let go. Bring tissues.

4/5 Stars

New Releases To April 15, 2019:

  • The Oath
  • You Vs. Wild (Netflix Original Series)
  • A Land Imagined (Netflix Original Film)
  • The Perfect Date (Netflix Original Film)
  • The Silence (Netflix Original Film)
  • Happy Feet Two

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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