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THE BEST IN STREAMING May 24: 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.
Timothée Chalamet in Dune: Part Two (2024)

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 – Mean Dreams

There were few actors quite as reliable as Bill Paxton, and he elevated absolutely every film he was in during his long career.

Director Nathan Morlando's greatest choice here is letting the veteran actor chew the scenery and getting the heck out of his way.

The story follows Casey and Jonas, two star-crossed lovers who attempt to run away from their abusive homes together. With a love-conquers-all attitude, they attempt to get out of town, but not if Casey's father Wayne has anything to say about it.

Josh Wiggins and Sophie Nelisse are great here, but it's the veteran stars Paxton and Colm Feore who provide a menacing air to the proceedings that are formidable on-screen.

This is a great little festival film I saw at the Halifax International Film Festival, and it made such an impression I still remember it eight years on.

On Amazon Prime Video – The Iron Claw

Writer-director Sean Durkin has not yet made a film short of magnificent, and The Iron Claw is his best yet.

It follows the Von Erich family, titans in 1980s wrestling who suffer from a fabled curse on their brood. The four brothers are pushed by their father Fritz to be the best in the sport, but a plethora of illnesses and tragedies continue to befall the boys.

The cast is magnificent – With Zac Efron giving his best performance of his career and Harris Dickinson, Jeremy Allen White, Stanley Simons, Holt McCallany, and Maury Tierney each giving formidable turns as well.

It's a film that earns your emotional response, and I was transfixed. If this is what Sean Durkin is offering so early in his career, I see some huge Oscar achievements in his near future.

On Crave – Dune: Part Two

I'm surprised I'm saying it, but this sequel somehow manages to have more immediacy, beauty, and spellbinding moments than the original.

Co-writer and director Denis Villeneuvre has brought this universe to full, breathtaking life, and it's the best theatre movie I've seen in years.

Picking up where Dune left off, it follows Paul Atreides, who is in hiding with his mother following the devastation of his people. He unites with the Fremen and his love Chani as they fight for their land.

Timothee Chalamet once again stuns here, but it's really nice to see Zendaya with an expanded part. She is a star and commands the screen. Rebecca Ferguson, Javier Bardem, Josh Brolin, Dave Bautista, Charlotte Rampling, and Stellan Skarsgard all reprise their roles.

Florence Pugh and Christopher Walken bring some new gravitas here, but it's no stretch to say Austin Butler is the highlight here. He is the best villain I've seen on-screen since Heath Ledger's Joker in 2008, and he absolutely terrifies me.

This globe-spanning sci-fi epic can be difficult to follow, so I suggest watching the 2021 Dune over again before you sit down for this one. But they are absolutely thrilling together.

On Disney+ – Tin Men

There are few genres I love more than a purely black comedy, and Tin Men is about some outrageously awful humans.

I'm not 100% sure I rooted for either of our protagonists here at any point, who meet when they have a fender bender on a busy street. They begin a feud that continues to escalate, and neither has any plan on backing down.

It turns out both men sell aluminum home siding, and use scams to fraudulently get money out of good, working people to do it. Neither are particularly nice humans, and their attempts to one-up each other bring out the worst in both.

Writer-director Barry Levinson – known for Get Shorty, Rain Man, and Wag The Dog – makes a hilarious film that has very little shame.

Danny DeVito and Richard Dreyfuss are both great, and you'll find small-but-memorable turns from John Mahoney, Bruno Kirby, and a really fantastic role for Barbara Hershey.

It's a whole lot of fun, even if it does have trouble managing the different tonal shifts at times.

On Paramount+ -- Fast Charlie

Sometimes you just really need a palate cleanser, and Fast Charlie was an express ticket to a thrilling, enjoyable time.

A mob movie that spins a truly enjoyable yarn, it follows fixer Charlie Swift, who goes on a revenge rampage following a tragedy he didn't see coming.

It's relatively breezy, but penned by Richard Wenk – the writer of The Equalizer – this one has plenty of style and substance.

Director Phillip Noyce – who made Salt, Clear & Present Danger, and The Bone Collector – creates another evocative film here.

But perhaps the best reasons to watch are the performances, including a cool, bravura turn from Pierce Brosnan and the late James Caan in his final role.

I liked this movie way more than I expected to, and I think if you want some solid entertainment, this one should be on your list.

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]