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Life struck me as several cuts above “meh” but never made me jump out of my seat.

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Trashy, goofy, and surprisingly sincere, this superhero fantasy is better than you expect but not as good as it should be.

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Ballad of Narayama

"The Ballad of Narayama" is a Japanese film of great beauty and elegant artifice, telling a story of startling cruelty. What a space it opens…

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Three little Oscars

From: Eric D. Snider, Portland, OR

This year, the most Oscars won by any film was three -- and four films managed that. It struck me that THREE seemed like an awfully low number to be the most awards given to a particular movie, so I did some digging, and I was right: The last time the winningest film had only three Oscars was 1949, when "Miracle on 34th Street" and "Gentleman's Agreement" each got that many. Since then, something has gotten at least four Oscars every year, and of course higher numbers are common, too.

What this says to me is that while there were a lot of excellent films in 2005, there was nothing that jumped out as being an obvious, clear-cut choice for Best Movie Of The Year. I noticed that when I compiled my own top 10 list in December and realize my top four entries could have been arranged in pretty much any order.

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