Looking for some quality Canadian content? Tired of watching the same movies or shows on repeat? Well, fear not. Here’s a shortlist of “filmed in Canada” content available to watch on Netflix right now. Some of these titles will be older than the last few years but hopefully, you haven’t seen them so you have something new to watch! Either way, we all should be supporting more Canadian content.
This list will comprise both Canadian and American productions but have been filmed in Canada.
Legends of the Fall (1994)
Running Time: 2h 12m
Filmed primarily in western Canada (Calgary and Vancouver, to be exact), Legends of the Fall is based on the 1979 novella of the same name. It takes place over the course of the 1900s, World War I, and through the Prohibition era. A retired army colonel (Anthony Hopkins) moves to Montana and raises his three sons (Brad Pitt, Aidan Quinn, Henry Thomas) among the wilderness and Indigenous plains. We see how their lives are affected by nature, history, war, and love when the sons fall in love with the same girl (Julia Ormond). The cinematography in this film is spectacular and has a beautiful score. If you want to see a young Brad Pitt as a wild child or if you find love triangles thrilling, this film is for you.
Running Time: 2h 12m
You’ve probably seen this DC film in theatres already. But if you liked it enough, it’s available to watch on Netflix right now! While it is a co-American production, it was shot right here in Toronto! In case you’re not familiar with the film, Shazam! follows teenager Billy Batson (Asher Angel) as he is chosen by the ancient wizard Shazam (Djimon Hounsou) to be his new champion by saying the name "Shazam", allowing him to transform into an adult superhero (Zachary Levi) with various superpowers. Billy and his foster brother Freddy Freeman (Jack Dylan Grazer) must discover Billy's new powers to stop the evil Thaddeus Sivana (Mark Strong) and the Seven Deadly Sins. This is a fun film that is both action-packed and laugh-out-loud funny. It’s a fun time and a great way to spend your Saturday night.
Urban Legend (1998)
Running Time: 1h 39m
Starring a young Jared Leto, Rebecca Gayheart, Alicia Witt, Joshua Jackson and Freddy Kreuger himself, Robert Englund, this film shot around various locations in Toronto and the GTA; they even filmed in Peterborough at Trent University. I remember watching this one with my best friend and pointing out, “Hey, that’s my college!”. One of the end scenes features the Lakeshore campus as a character falls out the window.
Any horror movie fan, especially those who loved Scream and I Know What You Did Last Summer, will have fun with this one. It contains a simple plot: a female college student (Alicia Witt) suspects a series of murders on the campus of a private New England university, all of which appear to be done in the way of popular urban legends. It is by far from a perfect film; there are plot holes and underdeveloped character development. But if you are looking for a fun, 90s horror mixed with a whodunit subplot, you’ll be glad I recommended this one to you.
Bon Cop, Bad Cop (2006)
Running Time: 1h 57m
If there was ever a film that screamed Canada, this would be the one. Filmed in Ottawa, Vancouver and Toronto, it also includes Canadian landmarks in each respective city; the plot relates to Canada’s sport, hockey, and the film revolves around the concept of mixed cultures and languages as most scenes include a mixture of French and English dialogue, Canada’s official languages. The title alone is a wordplay and translation of the phrase "Good cop/bad cop". While the film doesn’t include any well-known actors, the only big star is Colm Feore, (who is half Canadian) and a cameo by Canada’s own Rick Mercer.
The film’s plot revolves around two police officers - one Ontarian (Feore) and one Québécois (Patrick Huard) – who reluctantly join forces to solve a murder. The creative twist? The body is found hanging on top of the sign separating the Ontario-Quebec border. What ensues is a dark-comedy thriller as you find yourself rooting for both sides. Whether you’re Francophone or not, subtitles are recommended so you can make the most of the film and what’s going on. And if you enjoy this one, you can catch the sequel from 2017, also on Netflix!
Running Time: 1h 58m
Room is a hauntingly, beautiful film. Based on the 2010 novel of the same name, it stars Brie Larson as Ma and Jacob Tremblay as her son Jack and tells the story of their freedom and escape after being held in captivity for seven years. The main cinematography of the film took place in Toronto – we see a shot of Apache Burgers in Etobicoke and Nathan Phillips Square, in a scene where they go skating. Room was nominated for four Oscars and won nine Canadian Screen Awards, including Best Motion Picture. What a great way to represent Canada.
Copyright Element Pictures / Room Productions Inc. / Channel Four Television Corporation
Of course, this is just a small list. There’s so much more Canadian films worth researching and exploring for yourself!
If you’re looking more for a binge-watch by way of TV shows, I recommend Schitt’s Creek (Orangeville, Toronto), Kim’s Convenience (Toronto), Designated Survivor (Toronto, Cambridge) and The Umbrella Academy (Toronto, Hamilton).