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THE BEST IN STREAMING March 1: Our critic picks the top shows you can't miss this week

Check out our critics' can't-miss streaming picks: five sure-fire hits on Amazon Prime, Netflix, Crave, and more this weekend!
Cillian Murphy in Oppenheimer (2023)

Looking for your next binge-worthy series or film to add to your streaming queue? Check back with Village Life every Friday for Jordan Parker's comprehensive insights on the week's most buzz-worthy programs from top streaming services like Netflix, Crave, Amazon Prime, and beyond. 

On Netflix – Belfast

A splendid film of hope and courage amidst a tumultuous time in Ireland, Belfast is a triumph of a film.

Writer-director Kenneth Branagh creates a resonant, heartfelt film about family and community, and I simply could not get it out of my head for days following my viewing.

Against the backdrop of 1969’s The Troubles Of Ireland and their division in Belfast, young Buddy must confront the difficulties of his home and how they affect his family, while those he love consider leaving for good.

Jude Hill is a bundle of on-screen joy as Buddy, and characters young and old give incredible turns in this black-and-white feature

Jamie Dornan, Judi Dench, Ciaran Hinds, Lewis McAskie, and Caitriona Balfe are all fantastic, and this is an ensemble that really lights up the screen.

Deep, emotional, and full of unforgettable scenes, it’s one that will stay with you.

On Amazon Prime Video – Oppenheimer

This epic film is one of the best movies of 2023, and seems on-track for some Oscar glory next month. It’s great timing that folks can catch it on streaming now.

The story of J. Robert Oppenheimer – and his role in the development and dropping of the atomic bomb – is explored here through flashbacks and the contentious security hearing in 1954.

Nominated for 13 Oscars, this intense drama focuses on the events leading to the bomb’s deployment, but also the effect it had on Oppenheimer’s psyche. An exploration of war, guilt, and conscience, this is far more than a run-of-the-mill biopic.

Cillian Murphy is Oscar-nominated for his role as Oppenheimer, and the film in no way portrays him as a perfect human. He is shown with all his flaws, and Emily Blunt also earned a Supporting Actress nod as his wife.

Furthermore, Robert Downey Jr. looks to be on the cusp of his first Oscar win as Lewis Strauss, friend-turned-foe of Oppenheimer’s who leads the charge to have his security clearance revoked.

The cast is rounded out by frankly impressive supporting turns from Matt Damon, Alden Ehrenreich, Jason Clarke, Tony Goldwyn, Kenneth Branagh, Josh Hartnett, Florence Pugh, and so many other formidable screen stars.

This is one of the most satisfying films in a decade, and is widely being regarded as the best of auteur Christopher Nolan’s directorial career. 

On Crave – Thanksgiving

This horror film was one of the most shocking, surprising, and flat-out entertaining films of last year, and I couldn’t get enough.

Violent to the extreme, suitably scary, and full of levity and humour, Thanksgiving manages to be a commentary on America’s corporate culture while also managing to be a superb genre film.

Following a Black Friday riot that ends with death and mayhem, the small town of Plymouth, Massachusetts gears up for another day devoted to materialistic items over human decency.

But when a killer with a pilgrim mask starts picking off people with a connection to the previous year’s tragedy, a fight for the lives of the town’s residents becomes the sole focus.

Director Eli Roth first made a schlocky, B-movie trailer titled “Thanksgiving” as a fake spoof for Quentin Tarantino and Robert Rodriguez’s double-feature Grindhouse. Now, over two decades later, it’s become a bonafide feature-film hit.

Patrick Dempsey, Gina Gershon, Karen Cliché, and Rick Hoffman round out a veteran cast, but it’s young adult performers Nell Verlaque, Jalen Thomas Brooks, Tomaso Sanelli, and Jordan Poole who keep things lively.

For those who love their horror over-the-top, trust me, this one is for you.

On Disney+ – All Of Us Strangers 

I can genuinely tell you this was my favourite film of 2023 by a country mile. I can also tell you I have been told I’m full of it by many people for that opinion.

So I’ll say mileage will vary, but that this movie truly made me feel something. I absolutely bawled through it, and I identified with it so strongly that I haven’t stopped thinking about it for weeks.

Growing up, I did not see gay people on-screen unless they were stereotypes. All Of Us Strangers is the type of beautiful, queer-focused filmmaking that needs to be seen.

It follows lonely screenwriter Adam, who spends his days holed up in his apartment suffering from a severe case of writer’s block. One night, attractive neighbour Harry stops by and propositions Adam. 

The soft-spoken Adam rejects him, but eventually, the two begin to form a tender, burgeoning relationship. At the same time, Adam discovers an unorthodox way to heal from the car crash death of his parents three decades prior. 

Andrew Scott is a revelation as Adam, and deserved an Oscar nomination. Paul Mescal follows up his Oscar-nominated turn last year in Aftersun with a haunting performance here. Claire Foy and Jamie Bell give astounding, quietly effective turns in supporting roles.

All Of Us Strangers is a bittersweet melody of a film that won’t be an easy watch, but you’ll be better for it.

On Apple+ – Napoleon

The evolution of famed director Ridley Scott has been fascinating to watch over the years.

Once an auteur whose grand filmmaking inspired Black Hawk Down, Gladiator, and Alien, he’s been content of late to make entertaining fare that suits his distinct sense of humour.

Enter Napoleon, a grand epic like the films we’re used to from Scott, but with the satirical humour and wit some audiences just don’t know what to do with. Like Scott’s recent House Of Gucci, this entry leans into B-movie sensibilities while boasting the budget and scale of an epic.

I, for one, am completely charmed by the director’s newfound feeling that he just doesn’t need to take everything so seriously. This biopic of French Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte is hardly an account of what you read in history books, but it’s so enjoyable you won’t care.

Joaquin Phoenix goes all-in as the commander, who he portrays as jealous and ultimately a ruler with a little-man complex. His work is daring and fantastic, and to see Phoenix relishing the role is half the fun.

Vanessa Kirby, Tahar Rahim, and Rupert Everett (stealing scenes and eating them whole) are all fantastic, and they know the score. Everyone knows the genre-blend they’re making, and if you give in, you’ll have a really great time as they skewer the very historical figures they embody.

About The Author:


Jordan Parker is a freelance journalist and runs entertainment firm Parker PR. A huge lover and supporter of the local arts scene, he’s an avid filmgoer and lover of all genres.

A 2SLGBTQIA+ professional, he also works doing Events & Fundraising for the AIDS Coalition of Nova Scotia and has a passion for giving a platform to queer events and artists.

His writing often skews toward local businesses, productions, events, and covering arts & entertainment. He’s also an avid sports fan and spends every May getting let down by the Maple Leafs in the first round of the playoffs.

Jordan believes in an open-door policy and welcomes story pitches and questions from readers.

Email[email protected]