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This week's best in streaming - our critic picks the top 5 shows you can't miss

Check out this week's most buzz-worthy programs from top streaming services like Netflix Canada, Crave, Amazon Prime, and beyond.
Rose Byrne and Seth Rogen in "Platonic," now streaming on Apple TV+

Paramount+ -- Mississippi Grind

One of the most underrated Ryan Reynolds films, Mississippi Grind was lost in the midst of bombs like Green Lantern, R.I.P.D., and The Captive that threatened to derail the actor’s career.

It’s peculiar that this happens to be one of my favourite films of his – A pre-Deadpool gambling drama that shows some true range.

The movie follows Gerry – a financially-strapped gambler – who teams with younger Curtis to try to change his luck. 

They embark on a road trip poker tournament to try to bring some cash in. But their personalities collide, and their ambitions may just sink them.

Reynolds is fabulous, but he’s outshone a bit by Emmy winner Ben Mendelsohn, who is masterful here. Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck aren’t strangers to drama, with the incredible Ryan Gosling-starring Half Nelson to their names.

This isn’t as good as that film, but it certainly is suitable, engaging grown-up entertainment.

On Netflix – Dune: Part One

This epic is an adventurous sci-fi film that has grand ambitions, and reaches them on every single level.

It follows a wealthy, decorated family in the midst of a war for control of a major resource on the planet. However, when the heir to the family’s top role begins having visions of trouble in the future, the idyllic existence the brood enjoys is thrown into peril.

Timothee Chalamet, Rebecca Ferguson, Oscar Isaac, Zendaya, Dave Bautista, Jason Momoa, Josh Brolin, Javier Bardem and more make up and ensemble that exudes excellence.

A winner of six Oscars, the sound, cinematography, visual effects, and editing were all honoured, and the film is technically brilliant. While it can be a confusing watch for the uninitiated, it’s a pleasure once you become immersed.

On Apple+ -- Platonic

If you were a fan of raunchy R-rated flick Neighbors, then this Apple+ original will be right up your alley.

Seth Rogen, Rose Byrne and director Nicholas Stoller re-team here, and Stoller’s wife and collaborator Francesca Delbanco is involved as a co-creator.

It follows long-time friends Sylvia and Will, who haven’t seen each other for years after the former divulged she wasn’t a fan of Will’s wife.

They reconnect following Will’s divorce, but Sylvia’s husband soon becomes jealous of their close, unusual bond. As they try to work through past issues, they reignite a friendly relationships that was once crucial to them both.

Byrne and Rogen share an effortless chemistry, and it’s lovely to see Bros star Luke Macfarlane here in a supporting role. Carla Gallo is absolutely hilarious, and the show introduces us to Tre Hale, who I think is hilarious here.

It’s a winning show with a lovely cast, and you’ll find yourself smiling the whole time.

On Crave – Vengeance

One of the quirkiest, most oddly enjoyable films of the year, Vengeance is a really great meditation on true crime and our obsession with it as a culture.

It’s an absolute triumph for well-known producer and writer of The Office (U.S.) B.J. Novak. He brings his awkward, amiable brand of humour to this wonderful little dramedy.

Novak writes, directs and stars here as Ben, a New York writer who heads to the southern United States to investigate the death of a woman he hooked up with once.

Upon his arrival, he learns her family actually thinks the two were dating, and must navigate awkward circumstances as they seek revenge and closure around her death.

Joined by Lio Tipton, Boyd Holbrook, Issa Rae, and more, the cast is solid. Watch for a great turn from Ashton Kutcher that may change your opinion of the goofy comedy actor.

On Amazon Prime Video – Creed III

The Rocky films are absolutely legendary, and introduced us to Sylvester Stallone’s iconic character.

The first Creed film – focusing on Rocky opponent Apollo Creed’s son – should have nabbed Stallone an Oscar. Creed II showcased Michael B. Jordan more but wasn’t as good, and the third entry here writes Stallone’s Rocky out completely.

I will say this third entry is better than the sequel, but I do miss Stallone’s presence. That said, Michael B. Jordan impresses as Adonis Creed, thriving following a championship belt and retirement.

But when a former boxing titan and childhood friend with a grudge returns to his life following a prison sentence, he wants to square up in the ring with Creed and claim a title.

This isn’t an Oscar-type film, but it sure is a whole lot of fun. Jordan is great, Jonathan Majors gives a threatening, interesting performance as our antagonist, and Tessa Thompson, Phylicia Rashad and Wood Harris are all convincing.

If you like boxing or sports films and want to truly enjoy a night with an ambitious blockbuster, this is 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.

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]