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Year 2005 Top Movie Picks

The Aviator

(Leonardo DiCaprio, Cate Blanchett, Alan Alda)

Martin Scorsese directed this fast-moving, epic-scale biography documenting the life and loves one of the most colorful Americans of the 20th century, Howard Hughes. (DVD and Videocassette)

Batman Begins

(Christian Bale, Michael Caine, Liam Neeson)

The origins of the Caped Crusader of Gotham City are finally brought to the big screen in this new adaptation of the perennially popular comic-book series. (DVD and Videocassette)

Because of Winn-Dixie

(Jeff Daniels, AnnaSophia Robb, Cicely Tyson)

The heartwarming tale of a young girl whose life is changed by a scruffy, fun-loving pooch she names Winn-Dixie. The special bond between them works magic on her reserved dad and the eccentric townspeople they meet during one unforgettable summer. Based on a novel (Because of Winn-Dixie) by Kate DiCamillo. (DVD)

Bride and Prejudice

(Aishwarya Rai, Martin Henderson, Naveen Andrews)

Spinning a Bollywood tale from Jane Austen's classic novel, director Gurinder Chadha and writer Paul Madeya Berges present this musical full of romance, intrigue and cross-cultural celebration. (DVD)

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

(Johnny Depp, Freddie Highmore, Helena Bonham Carter)

Willy Wonka is the secretive and wildly imaginative man behind the world's most celebrated candy company, and while the Wonka factory is famously closed to visitors, the reclusive candy man decides to give five lucky children a chance to see the inside of his operation by placing "golden tickets" in five randomly selected chocolate bars. Based on the book (Charlie and the Chocolate Factory) by Roald Dahl. (DVD and Vdeocassette)

Crash

(Sandra Bullock, Matt Dillon, Don Cheadle, Thandie Newton)

Issues of race and gender cause a group of strangers in Los Angeles to physically and emotionally collide in this drama from director and screenwriter Paul Haggis. (DVD and Videocassette)

Dear Frankie

(Emily Mortimer, Jack McElhone, Gerard Butler)

Deaf nine-year-old Frankie only knows his dad through the letters they exchange, and he reads each new letter reverently, saving the exotic stamps his dad sends from the different ports he visits as a sailor on the ship Accra. But Frankie's mother, Lizzie has a secret - she's the one writing the letters and sending them from a post office. When she reads that the Accra is coming to Glasgow, Lizzie must decide if it's time to tell Frankie the truth, or find a man to pretend to be his father for one day. (DVD)

East of Eden

(James Dean, Julie Harris)

Originally released in 1955, this screen version of John Steinbeck’s best-seller was the first starring vehicle for the explosive 1950s actor James Dean, who plays Cal Trask, the "bad" son of taciturn Salinas valley lettuce farmer Adam Trask (DVD)

Hitch

(Will Smith, Eva Mendes, Kevin James)

Date Doctor Alex Hitchens can help any man win the woman of his dreams, but when he falls for a gossip columnist who threatens to expose him, his methods are put to the test. (DVD and Videocassette)

Hotel Rwanda

(Don Cheadle, Sophie Okonedo)

The powerful true story of Paul Rusesabagina, the hotel manager at the fancy Les Milles Collines hotel in Kigali, Rwanda. Paul is a Hutu, and a very successful businessman who has made powerful connections in all strata of Rwandan life. His wife, Tatiana is a Tutsi, and she urges Paul to use his influence to help local Tutsis, who are being harassed and beaten with increasing frequency. As the violence escalates, and the Hutus begin their genocide of the Tutsis, he finds that his conscience won't allow him to watch as the innocent are slaughtered, and before long, the hotel has become a well-appointed refugee camp. Starring Don Cheadle and Sophie Okonedo. (DVD and Videocassette)

In Good Company

(Dennis Quaid, Topher Grace, Scarlett Johansson)

A middle-aged man finds a callow 20-something usurping his professional life and worming his way into his family in this alternately funny and poignant comedy drama. (DVD and Videocassette)

The Incredibles:

Fifteen years after ex-superhero Bob Par is forced to assume a civilian identity with his family, he takes an assignment from a mysterious agency that turns out to be a trap, leaving it up to his family to save him and the world. Animated. (Voices of Craig T. Nelson, Holly Hunter, Samuel L. Jackson) (DVD and Videocassette)

The Jerk

(Steve Martin, Bernadette Peters)

In Steve Martin's screen debut, he stars as the adopted son of a poor black sharecropper family, whose crazy inventions take him from rags to riches to rags. Originally released in 1979. (DVD)

Ladder 49

(Joaquin Phoenix, John Travolta)

As part of a tightly knit brotherhood of skilled firefighters, Jack Morrison grows from inexperienced rookie to seasoned veteran as he faces a dangerous job that makes him a hero to strangers but often shortchanges his wife and kids. Then, when he becomes trapped in the worst blaze of his career, the things Jack holds most important—family, duty and courage—come sharply into focus. (DVD and Videocassette)

The Life Aquatic With Steve Zissou

(Bill Murray, Owen Wilson, Cate Blanchett)

Steve Zissou, an eccentric and renowned oceanographer, decides to seek out and enact mortal revenge on a shark that ate one of the men on his team. Along for the ride is Ned Plimpton , a young man who has joined Zissou's crew after showing up claiming to be the seaman's long-lost son, and Zissou's co-producer (and estranged wife), Eleanor. (DVD and Videocassette)

March of the Penguins:

While many people think of penguins as comical birds who look like they've been decked out in tuxedos, the truth is they're among the strongest and most resilient creatures in the animal world. And they have to be as each year, the emperor penguins of Antarctica travel through the most punishing environment on Earth to their nesting grounds. After the females lay their eggs, the males keep them warm while their mates walk 70 miles back to the sea to fatten themselves with fish for themselves and their young. Filmmaker Luc Jacquet spent over a year braving the frigid temperatures of the South Pole to film this annual ritual of the penguins, and this documentary portrays their brave struggle to survive, as well as the close emotional bonds between the penguin families. Narrated by Morgan Freeman. (DVD)

Millions

(Alex Etel, Lewis Owen McGibbon)

A recent widower and his two precocious pre-pubescent sons move to the English suburbs. Missing his mother and the comforts of his old neighborhood, the youngest son, Damian, builds a cardboard-box fort on the outskirts of the suburb where one day his placid introvert existence is literally crushed by a giant gym bag full of thousands of pounds' worth of cash. Less concerned with the origin of the money than with how to spend it, Damian and his older decide to keep it a secret from their father, which becomes an increasingly tricky proposition as the days pass. Based on the book (Millions) by Frank Cottrell Boyce. (DVD and Videocassette)

The Motorcycle Diaries

(Gael Garcia Bernal, Mia Maestro)

A young, pre-revolution Che Guevara—a 23-year-old medical student—travels across South America in 1952 on a motorcycle with his friend Alberto Granado. As they embark on their journey, both young men come of age and find their individual world views broadened farther than they ever expected. In Spanish with English subtitles. (DVD and Videocassette)

One Day in September:

dramatic story of the taking hostage of Israeli athletes by Palestinian terrorists at the Munich Olympics in 1972 and how the situation was mishandled by the German police. Narrated by Michael Douglas.(DVD and Videocassette)

Twenty Bucks

(Linda Hunt, Brendan Fraser, Steve Buscemi)

This fascinating chronicle of the life and times of a 20 dollar bill was originally written by Endre Boehm in 1935 and was forgotten until his son Leslie resurrected it and had it made into this off-beat film. (DVD)