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Top 5 movies

By Times staff
© St. Petersburg Times
published March 7, 2002

1. The Time Machine -- H.G. Wells' classic science fiction story gets reworked by his great-grandson, director Simon West. Imaginative special effects and a running time that gets the job done briskly.

2. Monster's Ball -- An excellent ensemble cast -- especially Halle Berry and Billy Bob Thornton -- breathes life into a suffocating tragedy of racism, capital punishment and family skeletons. The best new movie produced in 2001.

3. We Were Soldiers -- Mel Gibson leads U.S. troops into the first major battle of the Vietnam War while Madeleine Stowe keeps the home fires burning. No political rhetoric, just heroism overlooked too long.

4. Black Hawk Down -- Director Ridley Scott commands a gripping, fact-based story of a U.S. Special Forces operation in Somalia in 1993. A movie war more hellish than Saving Private Ryan. One of the best films of 2001.

5. Iris -- The life and mind of author Iris Murdoch are dramatized at two crucial stages by Kate Winslet (inquisitive, adventurous youth) and Judi Dench (aged dementia). Golden Globe-winning support by Jim Broadbent as Murdoch's devoted husband.

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