A searing portrait of war and Lindsay Lohan’s Christmas delight: 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 CityNews Halifax.

Falling For Christmas

­­I guess I should openly admit I’m a sucker for a Christmas movie.

No, not the rockin’ around the Christmas tree kind – Worse, the Hallmark movie, will-they-won’t-they? Love stories.

So when I became aware Lindsay Lohan was returning to the screen in a Netflix Christmas romcom, I was sold.

Lohan has been a favourite since The Parent Trap and she doesn’t disappoint here. Her first starring role since 2013 sees a genuine charm and breezy substance we’ve been missing since Mean Girls.

She stars as a hotel heiress whose Instagram followers and popularity come before any sort of real responsibility. But when a freak accident leaves her with no memory, she soon begins to fall for the man who saved her.

Jake runs a small inn that’s being put out of business by the very type of hotels heiress Sierra’s dad runs. She spends days – still with no idea who she is – becoming in touch with the little things, and falling for Jake.

Lohan and Glee alum Chord Overstreet are so much fun. George Young is hilarious as Lohan’s clueless fiancé, and young Olivia Perez is absolutely adorable.

Critics have given this one a drubbing, but I truly think they need to just get into the spirit. It was a whole lot of fun, and I think you’ll enjoy it too.

3.5/5 Stars

The Good Nurse

A terrifying film based on a true story, The Good Nurse is about a caregiver who begins subtly killing off hundreds of patients at hospitals all over.

Charlie Cullen – a suave, sensitive nurse – works with Amy Loughren, and the two become close. But Amy soon begins to correlate dying patients with Charlie’s arrival.

What unfolds is a tense thriller a cut above the regular genre fare. That’s in large part to the incredible twosome who front this one.

Jessica Chastain is affecting and Eddie Redmayne is Oscar-worthy here. His portrayal of the murderous Cullen is truly chilling. Expect him to be in contention for a Best Supporting Actor slot.

It’s a quiet, tense, meditative thriller that you won’t soon forget.

4/5 Stars

Monster Hunter

I’m going to tell you right now not to expect cinematic greatness.

But Monster Hunter – based on the popular videogame – is an entertaining actioner with a pretty fun cast.

Directed by Paul W.S. Anderson – known for hits like Resident Evil, Event Horizon, and Death Race – it’s a mile-a-minute, violent adaptation that will get your adrenaline pumping.

He reunites with spouse Milla Jovovich – one of the most charismatic action stars running – for the story of Cpt. Artemis, who is transported to a new world along with her team.

They end up in a war for survival against monsters with powers beyond what they’ve ever seen.

Tony Jaa, Ron Perlman, T.I., Meagan Good and Diego Boneta also star in a movie that will simply allow you to turn off your brain and have a good time.

3.5/5 Stars

All Quiet On The Western Front

I don’t think I’d change a single thing about this incredible, searing portrayal of World War I.

The Netflix original film – told from the German perspective – is an incredible remake of the hit 1930 Oscar heavyweight, and it’s an epic foreign-language feat you can’t miss.

Director Edward Berger – best known for his work on shows like Your Honor, Patrick Melrose, and The Terror – makes the best film of his career here. It’s a beautiful, heart-wrenching and unforgettable piece.

As it follows one young German soldier’s experience from signing up to his time on the front line, we soon forget about sides and realize so many in these wars were just impressionable kids, doing what they thought was right.

A meditation on the senseless violence of war, it’s a debut performance from Felix Kammerer that will keep you enthralled more than any special effects.

Save for a supporting turn from Daniel Brühl, this is an affair with no recognizable faces to distract from the story.

It’s one of the absolute best films of the year, and a must-see for everyone.

5/5 Stars

Dead To Me

A pitch-black comedy, Dead To Me was a surprise hit for Netflix, and its final season is here to delight audiences.

Dead To Me follows uptight widow Jen and free-spirited Judy, who become friends in the wake of a hit-and-run that kills the former’s husband.

But Judy is harbouring a secret that could ruin their friendship, and soon things begin to spiral for the two.

Bloodline’s Linda Cardellini and Married… With Children alum Christina Applegate are both fabulous, and have amazing chemistry.

James Marsden, Brandon Scott, Diana Maria Riva, Max Jenkins, and young stars Luke Roessler and Sam McCarthy make up a great ensemble.

Creator Liz Feldman has previously written for The Ellen Degeneres Show and 2 Broke Girls, but this great dramedy is truly her crowning achievement.

4/5 Stars

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