A mobster classic and a hilarious long-running sitcom: This week’s best and biggest on Netflix

By Jordan Parker

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

The Shawshank Redemption

Possibly the best Stephen King adaptation ever put to film, The Shawshank Redemption is an enduring classic that many place atop their list of the best films of all time.

Following two men in prison who become unlikely friends over decades, the character arcs and development make this one worth checking out.

Director Frank Darabont fills the film with emotion and intensity, and it does justice to King's short novel.

Tim Robbins plays Andy Dufresne, a man who maintains his innocence even after his conviction for killing his wife. Similarly, Morgan Freeman plays an incarcerated man who also committed a heinous act years before.

But this movie gives depth to men beyond their crimes, and it lets us feel for them.

Freeman and Robbins give incredible performances, joined by Bob Gunton, William Sadler and Clancy Brown.

It's a beautiful, heartbreaking portrayal of prison life, and just how it can change one's perspective.

5/5 Stars

The Matrix

With the trailer for the new Matrix movie dropping this week, I thought it was the perfect time to revisit this sci-fi flick.

Director team Lana and Lilly Waschowski wrote and directed this epic, completely revelatory picture, and it's one of my favourites.

It follows computer hacker Neo, who is tapped as the one who can combat a dark, foreboding evil to save the world.

The film is a whole lot more complicated than that, but the more left as a surprise, the better.

Keanu Reeves gets the best role of his career here, and he's joined by iconic turns from Laurence Fishburne and Carrie-Anne Moss.

The Matrix contains some of the most incredible action sequences and visual effects I've ever seen, and it's an innovative one for sure.

4.5/5 Stars


Next to The Godfather, this is the best gangster film ever made.

This brutal epic pulls open the curtain on the the culture of this group, and shows the seedy underbelly of organized crime.

Based on Nicholas Pileggi's book Wiseguy, the mobster-turned-informant has his life turned into this incredible film.

Goodfellas follows Henry Hill and his exploits, as well as the way it affects his family.

Director Martin Scorsese creates a film that has been lauded for over 30 years, and for good reason.

The turns from actors Ray Liotta, Robert De Niro, Lorraine Bracco and the Oscar-winning performance from Joe Pesci are all incredible.

It's an unforgettable triumph of a film that will always be considered one of the best of all time.

5/5 Stars

Den Of Thieves

Out of absolutely nowhere came this January 2018 release, and it was one of the biggest surprises of that year.

Writer-director Christian Gudegast assembles a great cast for a high-octane, interesting cop drama that is more surprising than it has any right to be.

It follows a law enforcement department tracking down a bank robbery crew trying to take down the Federal Reserve Bank.

Gerard Butler is grizzled and angry here, giving one of his better performances. With Pablo Schreiber, O'Shea Jackson Jr. and even 50 Cent rising to the occasion, the acting is better than you'd expect.

It's a visually satisfying and interesting actioner that will keep you fully satisfied.

4/5 Stars


My goodwill for half-hour sitcoms has waned over the last few years. As adult comedies hit HBO, Showtime and more, I just find the highly censored fare on cable boring.

But enter Mom, a comedy about a recovering alcoholic who tries to keep things together while dealing with her mother.

It's absolutely hilarious and lasted eight seasons. From The Big Bang Theory scribe Chuck Lorre, I was surprised how much I liked this one.

It's due in large part to the perfect performances from Anna Faris and Allison Janney, who elevate the material a huge amount.

Mom is a sitcom that isn't afraid to be edgy, and it works because we actually care about these characters. It's definitely worth a look.

3.5/5 Stars

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

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