The Interpreter

The Interpreter (2005) PG-13

Directed by Sydney Pollack and starring Nicole Kidman and Sean Penn, this movie of political intrigue is set at the U.N. and is a thriller. The acting is superb and this “whodunit” has many twists and turns.

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Freaks and Geeks: The Complete Series

Freaks and Geeks: The Complete Series (1999-2000)

If you missed this TV series when it aired, never fear! The entire 18 episodes are in one DVD set. Go back to 1980-81 and visit with the Weir family, the geeks, the freaks and the teachers of McKinley High School. Relive high school, remember everything you wanted to forget, but enjoy the terrific acting, great music and fun storylines.

5ive Days to Midnight

5ive Days to Midnight (2004)

A sharp mystery! A physicist receives a file about his murder in the future. He has five days to solve his own murder before it becomes reality. Fast paced and very suspenseful, fans of The X-Files will enjoy this miniseries.

The Ultimate Gift

The Ultimate Gift (2006) PG
Based on the bestselling novel by Jim Stovall, the movie tells the story of Jason, who was expecting to inherit millions from his grandfather Red (James Garner) when the old man dies. But as fate would have it, Jason must complete 12 assignments within a year to receive his share of his grandfather’s will. What can be best described as a “crash course in life” leads Jason to a better understanding of what it is to be a man.
--Gail

A spoiled grandson inherits a large sum of money from a cold, billionaire grandfather that he hated. Before he can get the money there’s a catch. The grandson must accomplish 12 tasks that will eventually teach him life lessons and the relationship between wealth and happiness. This movie stars Abigail Breslin from Little Miss Sunshine.
--Sandy
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H. H. Holmes: America’s First Serial Killer

H. H. Holmes: America’s First Serial Killer (2003)
A 64 minute biography of Herman Mudgett, focusing mainly on the murders committed while Mudgett used the name H. H. Holmes, but still describing Mudgett’s early life and later his trial and execution. In the late 19th century, Mudgett built what was then called a “castle,” but in what was more reminiscent of a spider web, he captured and killed visitors thronging to the Columbian Exposition of 1893. This could be thought of as the movie version of the book Depraved by Harold Schechter and could accompany a reading of The Devil in the White City by Erik Larson.

Wild Hogs

Wild Hogs (2007) PG-13
Have you ever been tired of your life and just wanted to take off for places unknown? Well, sit back and let the Wild Hogs take you on that trip. This is a zany story, filled with stereotypes, slapstick humor, biker wannabes and a cast of characters that work well together. A group of four suburban men (Tim Allen, John Travolta, Martin Lawrence and William H. Macy) find themselves looking for adventure on the open road. They encounter a real biker group called the Del Fuegos and the fun begins.
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Million Dollar Baby

Million Dollar Baby (2004) PG-13
Clint Eastwood, Hilary Swank, and Morgan Freeman star in this dark but moving and inspirational movie that won four Oscars, including “Best Picture of the Year.” The top notch acting and the heart wrenching and powerful story make this movie more than a simple “female boxer does good” tale.
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Spotlight: Christina Ricci

Spotlight: Christina RicciAt 28 years old, Christina Ricci has starred in over 40 movies. Watch her grow up from child star to serious actress in her twelve movies available at the library. Her lighter roles include The Addams Family (1991), Addams Family Values (1993), Casper (1995), Now and Then (1996), Anything Else (2003) and Penelope (2008). Ricci had heavier roles in The Ice Storm (1997) – her breakout adult role, The Opposite of Sex (1998), Sleepy Hollow (1999), The Man Who Cried (2000), Monster (2003), and Black Snake Moan (2006). She came full circle with Speed Racer (2008) – a family film out today on DVD.

Xena, Warrior Princess: Season 3

Xena, Warrior Princess: Season 3 (1997-1998)
Join Xena and Gabrielle (Lucy Lawless and Renee O’Connor) in this action-packed comedy adventure. Set in Ancient Greece, Xena decides to reform her outlaw ways by wandering the country to fight evil. Learn a bit about Greek mythology. Watch Xena come up with clever solutions by the end of each show.

During season 3, Gabrielle gives birth to a daughter, who ages quickly and soon becomes a source of contention. Follow the drama throughout the season. Also check out the musical episode in season 5 – it's hilarious.

If you like this, you’d also like Buffy – same action packed comedy adventure, but with a vampire slant (and high school kids).

Becoming Jane

Becoming Jane (2007) PG
Anne Hathaway stars in this beautifully filmed movie about Jane Austen. This love story about young Jane and her intense attraction to a young, cocky and arrogant Irish fellow plays out like the very best Jane Austen novel. The movie starts slowly and then the chemistry between the two draws the viewer in as it builds to an emotional ending. This was a very good movie and as a tagline for the movie says, “Jane Austen’s greatest love story was her own.”

Also starring James McAvoy, Julie Walters, and Maggie Smith.

Freedom Writers

Freedom Writers (2007) PG-13
Based on a true story about first year teacher Erin Gruwell (played by Hilary Swank). This is a powerful story that pulls at your heart as you watch naïve but stubborn Erin try to survive and reach her students in a racially violent school after the Rodney King episode in Southern California. With little support, except from her ambivalent father, she takes on the establishment and changes the lives of her students forever. As always, Hilary Swank’s performance is top notch and makes the movie spectacular. Danny DeVito produced this movie...who would have thunk!

Read the basis for the movie -- the real The Freedom Writers Diary, written by Erin Gruwell and her 150 students. Also check out Gruwell's 2007 memoir, Teach with Your Heart. And for more on the Freedom Writers and their mission, visit their website -- Freedom Writers Foundation.
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The Green Mile

The Green Mile (1999) R
Based upon a Stephen King book, this movie tells the story of Louisiana prisoner, seven foot John Coffey. Coffey’s mystical powers, his wrongful execution, and the ensuing strange happenings create a movie that’s spellbinding from beginning to end. Nominated for four Oscars.
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I’m Not There

I’m Not There (2008) R
Six different actors portray various aspects of Bob Dylan’s life (chronologically). At times the movie seems to drag, but what makes this movie is Cate Blanchett’s performance as Bob Dylan. It’s definitely a must see. She was nominated for an Academy Award for best supporting actress and didn’t win, though she deserved the honor (but she did win the Golden Globe).

The six actors as Dylan: Ben Whishaw, Marcus Carl Franklin, Christian Bale, Heath Ledger, Cate Blanchett, Richard Gere.
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Prancer

Prancer (1989) G
An oldie but goodie! Eight year old Jessie finds an injured reindeer and believes he is Santa’s Prancer. While Jessie is working on a plan to return the reindeer to Santa, her widowed father is trying to figure out how to keep their family afloat. This heartwarming tale is a great movie for the whole family.

Starring Sam Elliott, Cloris Leachman, and Rebecca Harrell.
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Control Room

Control Room (2004)
It’s an eye-opening step into what was happening during the American invasion of Iraq in March 2003. Told from the point of view of Arab television network Al Jazeera, the documentary follows Al Jazeera employees and covers time spent in the US Central Command briefing room in Doha, Qatar. It explores the media’s role in modern war.

The only American featured prominently in the documentary – Marine Corps media liaison officer John Rushing – later becomes a Washington, D.C.-based correspondent for Al Jazeera International (check out his YouTube channel). After I saw the documentary, I read Mission: Al Jazeera (2007) by Josh Rushing; he resigned from the Marines after he was forbidden to speak about the documentary with the press.

Read TIME's interview with Rushing shortly after he accepted the job with Al Jazeera or look at Fast Company's article.