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A soapy Netflix law drama & a real-life football scandal: This week's best and biggest on Netflix

Check out Jordan Parker's 'The week's best and biggest on Netflix' every Friday on CityNews Halifax

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

Untold: The Girlfriend Who Didn't Exist

I've never really been a huge documentary person, but I'm a sucker for a fantastic, involving story.

The scandal that enveloped Manti Te'o's future and football career was like a car crash, fraught with emotion and unfortunate intrigue.

Te'o was a star football player at Notre Dame with an incredible story. He dedicated his season to his deceased grandmother and his girlfriend, the latter of whom died in a car crash.

One issue: Deadspin would soon release a story claiming the online girlfriend Manti Te'o was so in love with never existed.

Questions about his involvement and whether he had orchestrated the entire thing would soon threaten his NFL hopes and dreams.

It's an intense documentary that serves as a captivating re-telling of these truly insane events.

4/5 Stars

Hachi: A Dog's Tale

This is not only my favourite animal film ever, but one of the movies that makes me cry absolutely every time.

It follows a college professor who finds new purpose and an intense bond when he takes an abandoned dog home with him.

Director Lasse Hallstrom – who I highlighted for An Unfinished Life last week – creates one of the most beautiful movies ever created. – the biggest movie database – has users rating it as one of the Top 250 films of all-time, and it deserves to be there.

Richard Gere is fabulous, as is Joan Allen as his doting wife. Supporting turns by Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa and Jason Alexander round things out well.

I spent years avoiding it, assuming it was run-of-the-mill, and I couldn't have been more wrong.

4.5/5 Stars

Primal Fear

I guess it's Gere appreciation week. This courtroom thriller is one of the actor's crowning achievements.

It follows a head-strong, hotshot lawyer who decides to defend a shy altar boy accused of murdering a priest.

There's more to the story, though, than anyone realizes. Directory Gregory Hoblit – nine-time Emmy winner and NYPD Blue producer – ratchets up the tension and creates an incredible ride.

It was a shock that Gere managed to be out-acted by then-newcomer Edward Norton, though it doesn't seem so crazy now. Norton was nominated for his first Oscar here.

Gere, Laura Linney, Norton, John Mahoney, Alfre Woodard and Frances McDormand make up a perfect ensemble.

It's one of those movies that has affected me differently every single time I've thrown it on, and a near-perfect lawyer movie.

4/5 Stars

The Broken Hearts Gallery (Available Sunday)

This adorable romantic comedy could have been a sleeper hit at the box-office, but the pandemic stopped that.

Released in September 2020, the Canadian film could only open in a handful of theatres. A shame, because it’s actually pretty darn good.

It follows Lucy, an art gallery assistant who gets dumped. She creates a pop-up art gallery of collected things she’s kept from previous relationships. It’s a hit, but also teaches Lucy a few lessons in letting go.

Writer-director Natalie Krinsky is at the helm of a wonderfully hilarious little flick, with perfect casting.

Geraldine Viswanathan (Blockers) and Dacre Montgomery (Billy from Stranger Things) are great leads, and joined by Utkarsh Ambudkar and Molly Gordon.

It’s a heartwarming little film you won’t be able to help but smile at.


Partner Track

From creator Georgia Lee (writer and producer on The Expanse and The 100) comes this soapy drama set in a law firm.

Ingrid Yun is a young lawyer fighting and clawing with colleagues to become partner at a New York City law firm.

In a field and town where morals and ethics often get thrown out the window, she tries to ensure she remains true to herself while trying to advance.

The cast is diverse and absolutely fantastic, even if the material can be a bit over-the-top.

Arden Cho, Alexandra Turshen, the wonderful Bradley Gibson, Dominic Sherwood, Nolan Gerard Funk and more make up a great ensemble.

It’s all a bit over-the-top, but this one has plenty of room to grow into an enjoyable little show.

3.5/5 Stars

About the Author: Jordan Parker

Jordan Parker is a freelance journalist and runs entertainment firm Parker PR. He's been a movie nerd since he was old enough to walk.
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