The AlamoTHE ALAMO

The Alamo is surprisingly not-bad. John Lee Hancock's long-delayed drama is by no means a great movie, but it's a pretty darned good audience movie, a middlebrow weeper like A Beautiful Mind or Titanic that, despite its flaws (and against your better judgment), you can find yourself really falling for.

Brendan Fraser, Jenna Elfman, Steve Martin, Bugs, and Daffy in Looney Tunes: Back in ActionAlthough I'm sure some of you are wondering if Dr. Suess' The Cat in the Hat is as thoroughly obnoxious as its trailers indicate, I'll begin assessing the major holiday releases next week. Until then, here's a look at the pre-Thanksgiving leftovers ... .

Harry Altman in SpellboundSPELLBOUND

I have always considered it a personal mission to convince people that documentaries can actually be fun - recently, I enjoyed a hard-won victory when my mother (who, as she is wont to say, "gets enough drama in life") acceded to watch Bowling for Columbine and found herself liking it - and, bless their hearts, the folks at the Brew & View appear to as well.

Capturing the FriedmansCAPTURING THE FRIEDMANS

In November of 1987, as Thanksgiving dinner was being prepared in the seemingly unexceptional household of the Friedmans - father Arnold, mother Elaine, and sons David, Seth, and Jesse - of Great Neck, Long Island, there was a knock at the door.

Winged MigrationWINGED M IGRATION

At the beginning of Jacques Perrin's documentary Winged Migration, even before the title has appeared, we are informed that the film took more than four years to complete, that it required near-global group participation, and that "no special-effects shots were employed in the making of this film." It seems like an overly grandiose introduction until you actually see the movie. For Winged Migration, currently playing at the Brew & View, is an absolutely astounding experience, a visually breathtaking work that is also more pure fun than just about anything in current release.

Finding NemoFINDING NEMO

Fish, by nature, aren't the most expressive of species, but try telling that to the loopy geniuses at Pixar. In the studio's latest computer-animated adventure, Finding Nemo, director Andrew Stanton, his wizardly animators, and the vocal talent contribute such breathtaking life and range of emotion to sea dwellers that you leave the movie dizzy with happiness.

Hugh Jackman in X2: X-Men UnitedX2: X-MEN UNITED

Most reviewers disliked the original X-Men, Bryan Singer's Marvel Comics adaptation that earned money but little critical respect in the summer of 2000. I, on the other hand, loved the original, so much so that, three years later, it still merits regular rotation in my DVD player.

Shia LaBeouf and Khleo Thomas in HolesHOLES

Here's something I never thought I'd write about a live-action family movie from Disney: I hope it makes tons of money and spawns sequels galore. The movie in question is Holes, and here's something else I never thought I'd write: Thus far, it's easily the finest movie of the year.

Pages