Check out Jordan Parker's 'The week's best and biggest on Netflix' every Friday on CityNews Halifax.
Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery
In a world where remakes and sequels reign supreme, Knives Out came out in 2019 and proved original content could still bring people to theatres.
Now, the spiritual sequel Glass Onion has defied expectations again and proved director Rian Johnson had more than enough up his sleeve to deliver a superior second film.
Johnson infuses his mystery thriller – think Clue, but modern – with intrigue, drama, and whole lot of laughs. Glass Onion is a franchise movie that landed in my top 10 of 2022, and for good reason.
It follows southern detective Benoit Blanc – the only character to return from the original film – as he attends a murder mystery party in Greece for a wealthy tech guru whom he doesn’t know.
His subsequent interactions with Miles Bron and a cast of the man’s eclectic frenemies makes Blanc suspicious that the game may just become real, with Bron becoming the intended target of a real-life murder.
Daniel Craig is once again fabulous as Blanc, and with Edward Norton, Kate Hudson, Dave Bautista, an Oscar-worthy Janelle Monae, Kathryn Hahn, and Halifax pride Leslie Odom Jr., it’s an even better ensemble than the original.
This is a thrill-a-minute, twisty film you’ll love so much it’ll merit multiple viewings. It’s a pure delight.
Despite the relative failure of big-buzz Don’t Worry Darling, actress Florence Pugh has still managed to be one of the most-talked-about stars this year.
She was the best thing about that film, and she manages to stun again in Netflix drama The Wonder.
Director Sebastian Lelio’s film follows English nurse Lib, who is sent to a small Irish village to observe a young girl, who ostensibly is managing to survive without eating.
The psychological drama is a fabulous little endeavour, and Pugh gives an incredible, understated performance.
It was really with this film that I truly realized she can carry a picture all on her own, and while it wasn’t perfect tonally, it’s a wonderful showcase for her talents.
Roald Dahl’s Matilda the Musical
Everyone my age remembers the fantastic 1996 film Matilda, and though this musical adaptation may not have the same charm, it still delivers.
Based on Tim Minchin’s stage musical and Roald Dahl’s book, it follows young Matilda, who can move and manipulate things with her mind.
When she’s sent to a terrible private school by awful parents, she takes a stand against the terrifying headmaster Trunchbull and defends her classmates.
Alisha Weir is lovely as Matilda, and Lashana Lynch, Stephen Graham, and Andrea Riseborough all bring life to their characters. But Emma Thompson’s turn as Trunchbull is the main reason to watch.
With exuberant musical sequences and a gorgeous visual style, this one will please the whole family.
Sound Of Metal (Releasing On Saturday)
One of the best modern movies no one’s seen, this Amazon original film was one of my top five films of 2019.
It follows heavy-metal drummer Ruben, who in a dark twist begins to lose his hearing, rendering it nearing impossible to do his job.
A film for the senses and a meditation on the love of music, it’s one of the most deeply affecting films made in the last few years.
Riz Ahmed rightly received an Oscar nomination for the lead turn, and Paul Raci also gained Oscar praise for his supporting performance.
Director Darius Marder’s debut is fierce and formidable, a one-two punch that makes for an intense experience.
Treason may not be the strongest show you’ll see this year, but it’s espionage entertainment fluff at its finest.
From Matt Charman (writer of Tom Hanks film Bridge Of Spies) comes a drama about allegiances, and what happens when lies begin to pile up.
Adam Lawrence is an up-and-coming MI6 operative who assumes control of the organization when his boss is poisoned and lands in hospital.
But he soon realizes his position leaves him open to blackmail, and an former lover and Russian spy tries to leverage him for her own purposes.
Best known for Daredevil, Charlie Cox gets to flex and play a morally complicated character here. Olga Kurylenko, Oona Chaplin, Oscar nominee Ciaran Hinds, and Tracy Ifeachor make up a great ensemble.
It’s all a bit contrived, but if you don’t analyze too hard, this limited series may be just the distraction you need.