Check out Jordan Parker's 'The week's best and biggest on Netflix' every Friday on CityNews Halifax.
Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile
There has been a ton of content made about Ted Bundy of late, but this one is by far the best.
Released this time in 2019, it’s a genuinely surprising, disturbing feature. While Chad Michael Murray’s take, Ted Bundy: American Psycho, is featured prominently on Netflix currently, you should give this a whirl instead.
It follows the true-life crimes of Bundy, one of the most notorious serial killers in American history. But it focuses on his girlfriend, Liz, and the way she processes his capture and conviction.
Lily Collins is incredible as Liz Kendall – in a film based on the real Elizabeth’s book – and Zac Efron gives the performance of his career as the magnetic, murderous Bundy.
Jeffrey Donavon, Dylan Baker, Kaya Scodelario, Haley Joel Osment, John Malkovich, and Jim Parsons also star in this amazing ensemble.
It’s terrifying, with performances from Efron and Collins that elevate the material considerably.
The incredible comedian Rebel Wilson hasn’t graced screens since major flop Cats, and she’s back with a vengeance.
Sporting an incredible new look – Wilson lost considerable weight due to her desire to become a mother – Wilson headlines this raucous comedy, and is absolutely hilarious.
Known as a supporting character in the Pitch Perfect franchise, Wilson proves with Senior Year she can headline a big film and hit all the notes, without the self-deprecating comedy she once used consistently.
Wilson is exuberant as Stephanie – a woman who wakes from a 20-year coma. When a cheerleading accident put her in a hospital bed, she was 17.
Now Stephanie wants to live out her high school dream of becoming prom queen, and heads back to school, despite her age.
Wilson is joined by Mary Holland, Sam Richardson, Zoe Chao, and This Is Us alum Justin Hartley.
This one is absolutely silly, but it’s also gut-busting and a nostalgia trip for 90s kids. I adored every minute.
Falling For Figaro
A FIN Festival selection, I was sad to miss this one when it was playing in Halifax.
It’s a fantastic little gem of a comedy, with a big beating heart and some truly memorable moments.
When an unhappy fund manager leaves her successful gig, she moves to the Scottish Highlands to pursue her dreams of becoming an opera singer.
She leaves her long-term, doting boyfriend behind as she goes on an adventure, despite the skepticism of those around her.
Most skeptical are her new vocal coach and her star pupil. But young Millie tries to defy the odds.
Danielle Macdonald is divine as Millie, and Joanna Lumley is delightfully cruel as the coach. As a potential love interest, Hugh Skinner is also great.
It’s a well-cast ensemble and, while not perfect, it’s a perfectly enjoyable little endeavour.
This uplifting sports film was a rousing touchdown better than I could have ever expected it to be.
The Express – which opened in 2008 – was barely a blip on my radar back in the day. And yet, watching it now, I know it’ll stay with me.
It’s based on football player Ernie Davis, and his career and life. The man became the first African-American to win the Heisman trophy.
Rob Brown is incredible as Davis, and he’s joined by Dennis Quaid, who gives a formidable performance as Coach Ben Schwartzwalder.
Clancy Brown, Darrin Dewitt Henson, Omar Benson Miller, Charles S. Dutton and True Blood’s Nelsan Ellis round out a great cast.
It’s a bit overlong, but otherwise The Express is a triumphant sports picture.
Westerns are dime a dozen these days, but Old Henry is bar none the best of the bunch in at least five years.
Writer-director Potsy Ponciroli, a producer known for Ted K and Jay And Silent Bob Reboot, makes a nuanced, intense film.
Henry is world-weary, raising a son alone who sees him as a failure following the death of his wife.
They live a quiet life farming their land, but when Henry discovers a man near death in possession of a satchel of cash, he brings him home to help him.
But he's soon visited by three men who say the stowaway is a criminal, and they're the law looking after him. The injured man says the opposite, of course.
Tim Blake Nelson is the best he's ever been as Henry, and Stephen Dorff is genuinely terrifying as the leader of the gang.
Throw in great supporting turns from Scott Haze, young Gavin Lewis, Trace Adkins and Richard Speight Jr., and we have ourselves a great gunslinging flick.