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THE BEST IN STREAMING May 17: Our critic picks the top shows you can't miss this week

Check out this week's most buzz-worthy programs from top streaming services like Netflix Canada, Crave, Amazon Prime, and beyond.
Nicolas Cage and Tye Sheridan in Joe (2013)

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 – Marmalade

One of the most shocking surprising so far this year, Marmalade is an absolute delight of a film that will throw you for a total loop.

Hapless Baron spends his days working a menial job and caring for his sick mother, but barely has the money to build a true life for himself.

Enter Marmalade, a beautiful, magnetic out-of-towner who convinces him a life of crime is a whole lot easier than an honest day’s work. They begin robbing banks together, but Baron lands himself in prison.

He tells the tale of his romantic Bonnie & Clyde-style love affair with Marmalade to his cell-mate Otis, and plots his escape from prison.

What makes Marmalade so great, though, is that writer-director Keir O’Donnell weaves a tale where nothing is as it seems, and everyone has their own agenda.

Joe Keery – of Stranger Things fame – stars as Baron, and his absolute commitment to the role anchors this one. Strong turns from Camila Morrone and Aldis Hodge only add to the intrigue. 

This is a movie you can’t miss, and so much better than I could have ever imagined.

On Amazon Prime Video – Joe

The incredible film Pig is largely credited with starting the Nicolas Cage renaissance, but I actually happen to believe it was this decade-old gem that really revitalized his career.

Cage was slumming it in C-movie, direct-to-video content, which was not befitting of the Oscar-winning actor’s talent. Known for his kooky on-screen persona, Cage muted things a ton for this centred, grounded performance. 

Cage stars as an ex-con who is content to live his own quiet life. But when nearby 15-year-old Gary, presents with issues at home, Joe tries to give a semblance of normalcy for the youth’s life.

Caught between realizing he cannot redeem his past and hoping to protect the Gary’s future, Joe is faced with difficult decisions.

Cage is incredible, but young Tye Sheridan also gives a stunning, poised turn. The two of them make a great on-screen duo, and director David Gordon Green lets them run with it.

If you want to see how good Cage is dialed-down, check out Joe.

On Crave – Cool Hand Luke

One of the absolute best movies of all time, Cool Hand Luke introduced audiences in 1967 to one of the most enduring characters of all time.

Southerner Luke Jackson is serving two years in a rural prison, but he decides early on hard labour isn’t for him. Under the rule of a hardened warden, he refuses to conform and pushes to buck the system.

Paul Newman was nominated for an Oscar – and enjoyed one of his most iconic performances – in this one, and Supporting Actor George Kennedy would win an Oscar for his turn.

It’s a beautifully-choreographed picture with a strong anti-establishment bent spurned on by the Vietnam War. It works as both a stunning entertainment piece and a commentary on the timeframe.

On Disney+ – Prom Dates

I didn’t expect much from Prom Dates, and yet I found myself laughing at the absolute silliness of it all – A lot.

This Hulu film is not highbrow entertainment, and it’s certainly not for families. But it reminded me of Superbad in a good way, and strayed from the more problematic pieces of that film.

It follows Jess and Hannah – lifelong friends – who have always wanted to the perfect prom. But when one finds out her boyfriend is cheating and the other comes out, they both break up with their dates and face new challenges to meet their goal.

Kim O. Nguyen makes a fearless, shameless film, and leads Julia Lester and Antonia Gentry are laugh-out-loud hilarious. Kenny Ridwan, JT Neal, and vets John Michael Higgins and Chelsea Handler keep things breezy.

It won’t change lives, but if you don’t mind raunchy humour, it’ll definitely make you chuckle.

On Paramount+ – Flight

I can count on one hand the amount of Denzel Washington films that have disappointed me – Flight was definitely not one of them.

It follows airline pilot Whip Whitaker who saves his entire flight crew and passengers when he makes a stunning landing to stop a catastrophic accident.

But following things up, questions of his sobriety and readiness to fly that day from a responsible, mental state are called out. Despite his heroics, many wonder if he was in the shape to be flying in the first place.

Famed director Robert Zemeckis sees Washington to another Oscar-nominated turn, and Nadine Velazquez, Don Cheadle, John Goodman, and Kelly Reilly keep this one interesting.

It presents some lofty moral questions, and is a film I still think about 12 years since its release.

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]