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THE BEST IN STREAMING March 29: Our critic picks the top shows you can't miss this week

From some Hollywood classics to new releases, check out our critics' can't-miss streaming picks: five sure-fire hits on Amazon Prime, Netflix, Crave, and more this weekend!
Charlize Theron and Tobey Maguire in The Cider House Rules (1999)

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 – The Cider House Rules

This is one of the absolute best movies of the 1990s, and a drama that truly resonated with me to my core.

It follows Homer, a young man whose destiny seems pre-determined. He’s supposed to study to become a doctor, having come from an orphanage and taught by Dr. Wilbur Larch there.

Though Dr. Larch wants him to take over, he instead settles on an apple orchard and begins working there. He comes of age and begins to find his own path. From famed writer John Irving, it’s a passionate tale with wonderful performances.

Its director Lasse Hallstrom – known for What’s Eating Gilbert Grape? And Chocolat – infuses the film with serene, heartfelt qualities. Tobey Maguire, Charlize Theron, Delroy Lindo, Jane Alexander, and a very young Paul Rudd make up a great ensemble.

But it’s Michael Caine’s Oscar-winning performance as Dr. Larch that will really move you. Overall, the Best Picture nominee in 2000 is an unforgettable journey.

On Amazon Prime Video – Anatomy Of A Fall

This Oscar-nominated feature was up for Best Picture, Director, and Leading Actress at this year’s awards, and won Best Original Screenplay.

When Sandra is accused of murdering her husband, she is out through a painful trial that features the couple’s half-blind son as the main witness in the proceedings.

The moral dilemma the young man goes through – and the mother’s attempts to console her son while she fights for her freedom – envelope a film concerned with the moral compasses of all involved.

Sandra Huller basically holds this film on her shoulders, and the performance she gives will astound you. The only other performance of note is from young Milo Machado-Graner, who is affecting at just 14 years of age.

It’s a wonderfully-written film that truly will take you be surprise.

On Crave – Flee

One of the best Oscar movies of the last decade that no one saw, Flee is an inventive, gorgeously-done documentary.

The Denmark production was nominated for Best International film, but the fact it’s both a documentary and told through animation allowed it to compete in those categories as well.

Whether foreign-language, documentary or animated, it tells its story so well in every regard and fashion. Director Jonas Poher Rasmussen tells the story of queer man Amin with incredible grace and attention to detail, and this one brought me to tears.

Amin was forced to tell the honest truth about his sexuality as he awaits a marriage to a woman he does not want to be with.

In a foreign country where being gay is punishable by death, the anonymous telling of this tale through animation is a major feat. I absolutely love this film and its themes, and I just don’t want to give too much away. See this journey now, and get caught up in Flee.

On Disney+ – Ruthless People

My father has been going on about Ruthless People for at least 15 years, and I resisted the urge to watch it for years, mostly just to be stubborn and difficult.

If this film alone is an indication, I have to listen to my fathers’ taste more often. I gut-laughed for a full 90 minutes.

This pitch-black film follows Sam Stone, a rich, snobby man who conspires to have his wife Barbara murdered. But when a businessman unrelated to his plan kidnaps his wife for a ransom, the kidnapper is confused to realize Sam is actually happy to have his wife out of the picture.

A comedy in the vein of slapstick like A Fish Called Wanda, I totally could not control my laughter, and the performances from Danny DeVito (nominated for a Golden Globe here) and Bette Midler were priceless.

Judge Reinhold, Helen Slater, Anita Morris, and Bill Pullman are all great also. I absolutely love this movie, and will be adding it you my physical collection as soon as possible.

On Paramount+ – Dream Scenario

I am not exaggerating when I saw this is one of the absolute best films of 2023, and one of my favourites of the 2000s.

Nicolas Cage has been a polarizing figure in cinema for decades – his larger-than-life persona mocked, championed but never matched.

Dream Scenario marks one his quietest, most self-reflective works in his entire career. He plays awkward family man Paul who works as a professor at a low-tier college. His kids ignore him and his wife dotes on him, understanding his well-meaning ideals are often his downfall.

In layman’s terms, Paul is a pushover and he’s too polite for his own good. But he achieves overnight fame when he begins innocuously appearing in people’s dreams nationwide, with no rhyme or reason as to why.

Now recognizable to all, he’s sought after by marketing companies for endorsements and is beloved. However, when the dreams soon turn into nightmares, Paul must deal with the consequences of the things he does in people’s subconscious – even though he has nothing to do with it.

Cage plays Paul with a desperation to be loved I haven’t ever seen from him, and Julianne Nicholson, Michael Cera, and Tim Meadows all give fun supporting turns.

But this is absolutely Cage’s show. Perhaps too weird for the Academy, it received no Oscar nominations. But mark my words, this is going to be an absolute cult classic. I just know it.

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.