Jim Sturgess and Anne Hathaway in One DayONE DAY

When Emma (Anne Hathaway) and Dexter (Jim Sturgess) first meet in director Lone Scherfig's One Day, it's the morning after their 1988 university graduation, and a few minutes before the happily drunken pair tumbles into Emma's bed. They don't wind up consummating their flirtation, but the young Brits - and best-friends-to-be - seem perfectly content to smile and snuggle while the sun rises, and Emma makes the observation that the new day, July 15, is the English near-holiday of St. Swithin's Day. Or, as Scherfig's comedy/drama/romance might cause me to think of it from now on, St. "Well, Isn't That an Astounding Coincidence?" Day.

Will Ferrell and John C. Reilly in Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky BobbyTALLADEGA NIGHTS: THE BALLAD OF RICKY BOBBY

The Will Ferrell spoof Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby, like the actor's Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy, is less a movie than a sketch-comedy figure with a little bit of movie draped around him. And despite its narrow conceit - again, just like Anchorman - it isn't bad at all.

Philip Seymour Hoffman in CapoteCAPOTE

When I first saw Bennett Miller's Capote back in November, I was so knocked out by Philip Seymour Hoffman's portrayal that I fear I may have undervalued the movie itself; Hoffman's channeling of this singular author was so extraordinary that, although the film itself wouldn't fit anyone's definition of "feel-good," I'm not sure I stopped smiling once through its two-hour running length. (Performances of this quality have a way of putting me in a fantastic mood, regardless of a movie's subject matter.) But on a return visit to Capote this past weekend, I was able to more fully luxuriate in the brilliance of its design and the strength of its presentation; what could have been a "mere" performance piece proves, in the hands of Miller and screenwriter Dan Futterman, to be a work of rare artistry and depth. Capote is so beautifully crafted - thematically rich, psychologically insightful, and mordantly funny - that you might be embarrassed by what a fine time you're having at it.

Tim Allen and Erik Per Sullivan in Christmas with the KranksCHRISTMAS WITH THE KRANKS

Christmas with the Kranks is terrible. (Big surprise, huh?) What more needs to be said? As it turns out, a lot more.

Jamie Lee Curtis and Lindsay Lohan in Freaky FridayFREAKY FRIDAY

Everyone I know has enormous fondness for the 1976 Disney comedy Freaky Friday, wherein mother Barbara Harris and daughter Jodie Foster switched bodies and discovered, on one very strange day, how the other half lived.

Colin Farrell in Phone BoothPHONE BOOTH

Joel Schumacher's Phone Booth starts off so poorly that it's a major surprise - a shock, really - when the movie winds up being thrilling, even exhilarating; it proves that a great, meaty premise can overcome almost all obstacles.

Jennifer Garner and Ben Affleck in DaredevilDAREDEVIL

Though he tries mighty hard, Ben Affleck isn't quite able to ruin Daredevil, Mark Steven Johnson's screen adaptation of the Marvel comic. Among comic-book fans, the news that Affleck would be portraying the tortured hero - an angry, despressed, and, oh yeah, blind lawyer who, when not losing cases in court, dons leather and kicks bad-guy ass - was met with a collective rolling of the eyes; a friend of mine, upon hearing about the casting, put it succinctly: "Oh great. It's gonna suck."

Al Pacino and Colin Farrell in The RecruitTHE RECRUIT

In Roger Donaldson's The Recruit, Colin Farrell plays M.I.T. graduate James Clayton, whose astonishing computer prowess catches the attention of C.I.A. agent Walter Burke (Al Pacino). Burke enlists Clayton to join the organization, bringing the young man to a top-secret, governmental compound nicknamed The Farm, where Clayton will train as a C.I.A. operative. While at The Farm - a hall-of-mirrors environment where, we're told ad nauseum, "nothing is what it seems" - Clayton falls for fellow recruit Layla (Bridget Moynahan), who, Burke later reveals, is secretly a mole, attempting to sabotage the C.I.A. from within; Clayton's assignment is to catch her in the act. Will Clayton's love for Layla threaten his allegiance to the C.I.A.? Does Layla even have a secret agenda? Is Burke really who we think he is? Is anything what it seems?

Tom Cruise and Samantha Morton in Minority ReportMINORITY REPORT

Last summer, when Steven Spielberg's science-fiction epic A.I.: Artificial Intelligence was released, it was greeted with a few rave reviews but near-universal audience apathy. Working from material shepherded by the late Sultan of Cynicism, Stanley Kubrick, Spielberg directed the film as if Kubrick's ghost perched on his shoulder, demanding that every scene be moodier, uglier, and above all slower than the one than preceded it; the film was brilliantly designed but emotionally vacant, and it drained you of your energy.

Aaliyah in Queen of the DamnedQUEEN OF THE DAMNED

Granted, the new year is only eight weeks old, but I already have a nominee for Best Guilty Pleasure of 2002: the Anne Rice adaptation Queen of the Damned. I'm not suggesting the movie is great, or even good, but this tacky amalgam of vampire clichés, hard rock, and MTV posturing is a surprisingly deft and confident work, and about a hundred times more fun than the pompous, enervated Interview with the Vampire.