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Tom Hanks embodies Mr. Rogers and Matt Damon is an unlikely action star: 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

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

A Beautiful Day In The Neighbourhood

There's something really special about a biopic where the principal performer absolutely becomes the person they're portraying.

But this true story about the friendship between TV personality Fred Rogers and a journalist is spellbinding and adorable.

The heartfelt story, based on an article written by Tom Junod, shows the way Rogers' persona and absolute caring for those around him helped Junod become a better person.

Director Marielle Heller – who continues to grow as a filmmaker each year, following the success of 2018's Can You Ever Forgive Me? -- gives a sensitive, honest portrayal of Rogers, and the indelible mark he made on the world.

But for all the reasons to see this movie, the biggest one is Tom Hanks. His turn as Fred Rogers, which earned him an Oscar nomination, is spot-on and a treat to watch.

He absolutely matches the demeanour and energy of Rogers note-for-note, and Matthew Rhys and Chris Cooper, good as they are, become overshadowed by Hanks' quiet dominance here.

It's a showcase for America's nice guy star, and a wonderful little film.

4/5 Stars

L.A. Confidential

One of the best films about Hollywood ever put to screen, L.A. Confidential is a crime noir that will astound you.

Entirely reminiscent of Sunset Blvd, it follows three cops who handle their business and jobs in very, very different ways.

They represent the seedy underbelly of L.A.'s cops as they investigate a string of murders and their link to Tinseltown.

Kim Basinger won an Oscar for her role here, and she's joined by stalwarts Russell Crowe, Guy Pearce, Kevin Spacey, Danny DeVito and James Cromwell.

It's an incredible ensemble, and director Curtis Hansen creates a world that earned him a Best Director nomination at the Oscars, as well as one for the film itself.

The tense and atmospheric film will keep you guessing and involved for its entire runtime, and you're almost guaranteed to love it.

4/5 Stars

National Lampoon's Animal House

While National Lampoon movies can be hit-or-miss, I dare say this is the absolute best one ever made, and in my top three comedies of all time.

Director John Landis – known for classics like The Blues Brothers, Trading Places, and Coming To America – creates a frat house comedy that is crass, gross-out and plain hilarious.

Keep in mind this 1975 film is not conservative in any way, and you'll have a great time with this one. It follows a 1962 college, and a dean who attempts to expel a fraternity. But he never expects them to fight back.

Co-written by the famous, incredible Harold Ramis, it represents a highpoint and a yardstick for frat comedies of the same ilk.

Starring John Belushi, Karen Allen, Tom Hulce, Eric Matheson and a very young Kevin Bacon, it's absolutely hilarious. The ensemble is pitch-perfect.

I could not contain myself watching this one, and if you can forgive some of the language, you'll find yourself snort-laughing as well.

4.5/5 Stars

The Bourne Trilogy

It was a huge shock when The Bourne Identity hit in 2002, and introduced us to Matt Damon, action star.

Previously known for dramatic work like Ocean's Eleven, Good Will Hunting and Rounders, it was hard to conceive of Damon as a rough-and-tumble fighter.

And yet, his turn as an amnesiac running from assassins – and trying to regain a hold on who he is – has become career-defining.

Spawning three direct sequels with Damon and an instalment with Jeremy Renner, the original film with its star is a mysterious modern action classic.

With the first three on Netflix, you can journey with Damon through the series, and learn the story of Jason Bourne.

Based on Robert Ludlum's novels, the franchise has attracted fantastic actors, wonderful directors and the talent translates into intense filmmaking.

4/5 Stars

Minority Report

This Steven Spielberg movie is among the famed director's most underrated, and I can always go back to it.

It's one of the better sci-fi films to hit since 2000, and the screenplay is simply magnificent.

Based on Phillip K. Dick's short story, it takes place in a future where a police unit arrests murderers before crimes are committed using incredible technology that can predict crimes that will happen.

But when a top officer is accused of a murder in the future, he must go on the run to change his fate.

Tom Cruise is spectacular in the lead role, and the ensemble with him is fantastic. With Colin Farrell, Samantha Morton, Max von Sydow and Neal McDonough on board, there's plenty of talent.

This is a movie that I just can't stop going back to. It's so well-told, and I love the concept. It's a definite rainy Sunday movie on my list.

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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