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A beautiful Canadian masterpiece and a new LGBTQ2S+ series: 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.

American Gangster

One of the most polished films of the 2000s, American Gangster represents a top-tier film from director Ridley Scott.

The Alien and Gladiator helmer teams with The Irishman and Gangs Of New York writer Steven Zaillian for this intense flick.

Following the cop chasing Harlem's drug kingpin Frank Lucas, this partially-true story is astounding.

Denzel Washington is incredible as Lucas, and Russell Crowe is also fantastic as disgraced cop Richie.

With incredible stars like Ruby Dee, John Hawkes, Ted Levine, Josh Brolin, and Chiwetel Ejiofor, there's plenty of star wattage.

It's a dramatic tale worth checking out for sure.

4.5/5 Stars

Take This Waltz

This is one of those Canadian features that is just so wise and interesting beyond anything you could imagine.

Writer-director Sarah Polley – who was nominated for an Oscar for writing Away From Her – creates a truly beautiful picture that will have you welling up.

It follows a woman in a happy marriage who falls in love with the aloof artist living across the street.

Oscar nominee Michelle Williams is joined by Seth Rogen (in his most mature turn), as well as Sarah Silverman, Aaron Abrams and Luke Kirby.

Everyone is at the top of their game, and it's a truly emotional effort.

4/5 Stars

One Shot

Known primarily for being a film done in a single, continuous shot, it's well-executed, even if the plot isn't anything special.

It re-teams Scott Adkins with director James Nunn, and though the story of an elite group of Navy SEALs who go on a mission to transport a prisoner isn't novel, it's a decent actioner.

They're trying to get him off a black site island prison, but when insurgents attack, they're sitting ducks.

Scott Adkins is a serviceable lead, and he's joined by standout turns from Ashley Greene and a supporting turn from Ryan Phillippe.

It's a fun, B-movie shoot 'em up, and you should enjoy it as such.

3.5/5 Stars

1917

Director Sam Mendes truly made the best film of his career with this war epic, and should have won an Oscar.

It follows the 1917 battalion that pushes deep into enemy territory. Two men are tasked with getting a message to a commander that could stop 1,600 men from sure death. It's a race against the clock.

Dean Charles-Chapman and George MacKay are fantastic here. Strong veteran performances from Colin Firth and Mark Strong also buoy things.

This is a heartfelt, incredible picture that needs to be seen to be believed.

4.5/5 Stars

Heartstopper

Young, gay meets straight boy. They become friends. He falls for this guy, but could the attraction be mutual?

You've heard this story 1,000 times, but the way it's told here is absolutely breathtaking.

Charlie and Nick – in simple terms, a nerdy, young gay guy and a rugby jock – are seated together in home room and strike up a friendship.

But Charlie wants more, and this coming-of-age series – based on Alice Oseman's novel – explores this dynamic relationship so well.

Joe Locke and Kit Connor are perfectly cast, and are joined by a fantastic young cast that includes Yasmin Finney, William Gao, Cormac Hyde-Corrin, and a surprise cameo from an Oscar winner.

Honestly, I watched it all back-to-back, and I smiled and bawled the whole time. It affected me so much, and I just think you'll love it.

5/5 Stars

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

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