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Animal Kingdom returns and a mixed-race love story: This week's biggest and best on Netflix

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

The Man From Toronto

I'm not going to lie, folks, this one should have been a lot better than it is.

The Man From Toronto is a buddy-comedy that had incredible potential, but only manages to be good-not-great.

It follows screw-up Teddy, who through a series of accidents, is mistaken for a notorious hitman. Together, he and the Man From Toronto must complete a mission to return their respective lives to normal.

That said, if the pairing of Kevin Hart and Woody Harrelson intrigues you, something enjoyable can be found here.

It's a genre movie from director Patrick Hughes – of Hitman's Bodyguard fame – and it delivers the explosions and wisecracks, even if I expected more of both.

For their part, Hart and Harrelson are well-matched, their easy star-power bolstering this one. Throw in a villainous turn from Ellen Barkin, a nice little role for Kaley Cuoco, the stellar Jasmine Mathews, and a off-brand turn from soap star Pierson Fode, and it's a good ensemble.

It's diverting and entertaining, even if this one could have been better.

3.5/5 Stars

Loving

Based on a true story, Loving examines the relationship of Richard and Mildred, a mixed-race couple in the 1960s.

They were arrested for their interracial marriage in Virginia, and would fight it during the decade before a historic Supreme Court ruling in 1967.

Writer-director Jeff Nichols made this film based on the documentary, and the Mud helmer creates a difficult piece of film.

Joel Edgerton and Ruth Negga are fantastic here, with the latter earning an Oscar nomination for her work.

It's an emotional ride, but one of the more underrated movies of the 2010s.

4/5 Stars

Total Recall

Do sci-fi films really get much better than this massive spectacle?

It's an incredible film set in 2084, where Douglas goes to Rekall, a company that puts false memories in people's heads. He wishes to have some of Mars, a place he daydreams about.

But before the process can be completed, he is brought out of it, and the implant becomes a reality for him. As Rekall tries to stop his rampage, he can't separate reality from fiction.

Starring Arnold Schwarzenegger in full action-hero mode, as well as Sharon Stone, Michael Ironside, and Ronny Cox, it's a great genre picture.

It's also incredibly violent and shocking, courtesy of shock director Paul Verhoeven, who gleefully adapts Philip K. Dick's short story.

With incredible set design, costumes, and special effects, it's definitely a movie I've always absolutely adored.

4.5/5 Stars

Angel Eyes

I'm going to start by saying this romantic drama was a bit schmaltzy for my taste, but genre fans will eat it up.

This film about forgiveness, healing and second chances is a bit melodramatic, but Angel Eyes does deliver its fair share of emotion.

It follows a female police officer – following a traumatic attack – who falls for a mysterious man who saved her life during the incident.

Jennifer Lopez is an actress I always love watching, and she anchors this one, despite an uneven script by Gerald Di Pego.

Director Luis Mandoki – also known for Message In A Bottle and Trapped – has a flair for the over-dramatic, and he really leans into it here. It put me off, but I can see some hopeless romantics really getting into it.

The big saviour is the chemistry between Lopez and Jim Caviezel. With supporting performances from a very young Terrence Howard, Jeremy Sisto, Sonia Braga and Shirley Knight, it's a montage of familiar faces.

It's a love-it-or-hate-it movie, but if you love a romance with some intrigue, this may be a great bet. At the very least, you'll see Jennifer Lopez owning the screen, as usual.

3.5/5 Stars

Animal Kingdom

Based on the incredible Australian movie of the same name, this TNT show is one of the best currently on TV.

It follows a Southern California crime family, who work together despite their differences and obvious quarrels within. They're run by matriarch Smurf, and consistently on the edge of massive destruction.

Followed by cops and plagued by double-crosses within the family, their lives are intense to navigate.

The show – brought to life by Yellowjackets producer Jonathan Lisco – is a highwire act with plenty of great intrigue and twists.

Ellen Barkin, Shawn Hatosy, Finn Cole, Ben Robson, Jake Weary, Scott Speedman and more make up one of my favourite ensembles in recently memory.

It's currently airing season six on TNT, but the first five seasons are on Netflix is you want to catch up.

5/5 Stars



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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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