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Persall's Top Five

Recent releases recommended by Times film critic Steve Persall

© St. Petersburg Times, published February 8, 2001

  1. Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon -- Ang Lee's martial arts fable was the best film of 2000, a dreamy saga of flying warriors, feminist politics and the sheer joy of making fantasies become real on screen. Golden Globe winner for best foreign-language film and best director.

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  2. Traffic -- Steven Soderbergh's engrossing biopsy of the cultural cancer of narcotics, from the lowest dealers to Washington lobbying parties. An excellent cast includes Michael Douglas, Benicio Del Toro and Don Cheadle. One of the 10 best films of 2000.

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    State and Main -- Hollywood turns a sleepy Vermont town into a movie location, and nothing goes right except David Mamet's keen writing and direction. The best ensemble cast of 2000 includes Alec Baldwin, William H. Macy and Philip Seymour Hoffman.

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    O Brother, Where Art Thou? -- George Clooney, John Turturro and marvelously dumb Tim Blake Nelson escape from a chain gang and become Depression-era country music stars. Another weird, wonderful comedy from the Coen brothers.

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  3. Hannibal -- Ridley Scott's sequel to The Silence of the Lambs should satisfy fans of Dr. Hannibal Lecter, played by Anthony Hopkins with grand style and menace. Julianne Moore co-stars as Clarice Starling, ably subbing for Oscar winner Jodie Foster.

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