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New comedy keeps it Casual and a Samuel L. Jackson indie: 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.

Cleaner

It’s hard to go wrong with Samuel L. Jackson leading your movie, and indie thriller Cleaner coasts on his bravado.

Jackson reunites with Deep Blue Sea director Renny Harlin for this murder-mystery film that sees the two of them breezing through familiar material.

However, the set-up for Cleaner is anything but cliché. Writer Matthew Aldrich – who went on to do Coco – pens this tale of a former cop-turned crime-scene cleaner who battles his past every day.

When Jackson’s character Tom accidentally cleans up a murder the police didn’t know about, he teams with the widow to figure out what happened.

Jackson is joined by Eva Mendes, Ed Harris, Luis Guzman and Keke Palmer in this great, twisty thriller.

4/5 Stars

A Love Song For Bobby Long

This movie is an incredible showcase for its star, and is an intense little portrayal of a broken man.

It follows a woman who comes home to New Orleans after the mother she hasn’t spoken to for years dies.

Based on Ronald Everett Capps’ “Off Magazine Street”, it’s a beautiful, difficult film about finding new connections and coping with loss.

Stars Scarlett Johansson, the incredible John Travolta, Gabriel Macht, and Deborah Unger really kill it.

This is an actor’s showcase, and it’s one of the best films of the 2000s.

4/5 Stars

Lord Of War

One of Nicolas Cage’s best of all-time, this is truly an incredible dramatic showcase.

It follows an arms dealer who struggles with his chosen profession and the consequences of his actions. Through it all, he’s chased by a determined INTERPOL agent.

Writer-director Andrew Niccol – of Gattaca fame – creates an intense, stylized film.

Cage is a tour-de-force. Ethan Hawke, Jared Leto, and Bridget Moynahan are also wonderful. This is a truly intense film.

4.5/5 Stars

Flypaper

This odd little gem of a movie is a great blend of comedy and drama, and one of the stranger films I’ve seen in a while.

It follows two bank robberies that take place at a location at the same time, and a hostage trying to solve the who-dun-it at the middle of it all.

Flypaper is far from your cliché bank robbery movie, and it’s pretty darn hard to forget.

Grey’s Anatomy star Patrick Dempsey shines with easy charisma, and he’s joined by Ashley Judd, who shares some great chemistry with him.

Character actors Mekhi Phifer, Jeffrey Tambor, Tim Blake Nelson, Matt Ryan, Octavia Spencer and Pruitt Taylor Vince are all in on the action too.

It’s one heck of a ride, and if you’re at all into off-kilter comedy, you should take a chance on this one.

3.5/5 Stars

Casual

An exercise in bad taste, snobbery and the difficult personalities of its characters, Casual is like Seinfeld with more sex.

It’s a hilarious show created by Zander Lehmann and Executive Produced by Juno and Up In The Air director Jason Reitman.

It follows a middle-aged divorcee Valerie as she moves in with sibling Alex, tech-guru loafer and giver of poor advice.

As Alex and his jilted sister navigate the world of dating, Valerie’s teen daughter Laura is also along for the ride.

Performances from Michaela Watkins, Tommy Dewey and Tara Lynne Barr are fantastic, and truly make this show work.

4/5 Stars

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




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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