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Neil Patrick Harris delivers in new comedy and Chris Hemsworth’s best performance: 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
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Check out Jordan Parker's 'The week's best and biggest on Netflix' every Friday on CityNews Halifax.

Spiderhead

Director Joseph Kosinski wowed everyone with Top Gun: Maverick this summer, and now he’s dominating streaming with Spiderhead.

He teams with Deadpool scribes Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick on this twisted little psychological thriller.

Set in a prison where convicts are given privileges and shorter sentences for volunteering as medical subjects, it’s a tense exploration of love, loss and medical tampering.

When Jeff finds himself questioning feelings for another inmate after being given a dose of a drug meant to make subjects fall in intense love, he begins to realize the tests he undergoes may not be for his own benefit.

The charming, gregarious Steve runs the program at the Spiderhead prison, but his intentions are unclear. Soon Jeff and Steve begin a battle of wills that can only end in tragedy.

Miles Teller pits himself against Chris Hemsworth – in a marquee dramatic performance – and they’re joined by Jurnee Smollett and Mark Paguio.

This is a strange, hugely difficult film to watch. But I was enthralled entirely.

4/5 Stars

In The Name Of The Father

This film is one of the most powerful I’ve seen in recent years, and I can’t believe it took me this long to see it.

The 1993 drama – based on a true story – follows petty thief Gerry Conlon and his time in prison for a crime he didn’t commit.

He is brutally tortured into confessing to a terrorist bombing carried out by the I.R.A., which results in the imprisonment of his father as well.

He and his dad spent years in a facility, mistreated for something neither did. This one is a doozy, and it features some incredible performances by young stars.

Daniel Day Lewis is a revelation as Gerry Conlon, and the late Pete Postlewaite is fabulous as his headstrong father. Emma Thompson does wonderful work as a journalist trying to have them freed.

The film nabbed seven Oscar nominations, including for the above actors, as well as Best Picture and Best Director for Jim Sheridan. It is a triumph of a film.

4/5 Stars

Tenet

If I told you I fully understood what I watched following the first viewing of Tenet, I’d be lying.

This is a hugely complicated endeavour, but it’s also spellbinding for every single minute.

It follows our nameless protagonist, who is fighting to save the world. It’s partially a spy film, but mostly just an absolute cinematic wonder.

The cast, led by John David Washington, Robert Pattinson, Elizabeth Debicki, and Michael Caine is uniformly great.

It plays out like a big-budget adventure feature with wonderful visuals and effects, and it’s a beautiful flick.

Though it is one of writer-director Christopher Nolan’s more difficult efforts, it remains worth a viewing – or two.

3.5/5 Stars

Small Engine Repair

I went into Small Engine Repair knowing absolutely nothing about the concept or plot, and that was the best way to do it.

Based on the names attached alone, I made the effort to seek it out. I was hugely rewarded.

It follows three childhood friends who see events spiral out of control following a night of drinking and partying together for the first time in months.

Writer-director John Pollono is also the star here, and depicts the bond between three working-class men, and the indisputable fact they’ll do anything for each other.

Shea Whigham – of Boardwalk Empire fame – and the always-great Jon Bernthal create a movie that will leave you absolutely floored.

4.5/5 Stars

Uncoupled

This hilarious TV show brings Neil Patrick Harris back into the limelight, and provides a role worthy of his fabulous talents.

Created by Darren Starr (Sex & The City) and Jeffrey Richman (Modern Family), the comedy-drama is a wonderful little 2SLGBTQIA+ show.

It follows Michael and Colin, who have been in a long-term relationship for 17 years. When Colin leaves suddenly, Michael must forge a new path without him.

It’s a show that focuses squarely on gay dating culture and the myths and issues that face queer men specifically.

Patrick Harris, Tisha Campbell, Brooks Ashmanskas, Emerson Brooks, Marcia Gay Harden, and Tuc Watkins make a great ensemble cast.

It’s a show made by a queer cast for a queer audience, and by God, it was about time.

4/5 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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