Great Escapes: Our List of Holiday Movies to See When You Absolutely Have to Get Away from Your Family

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Casino Royale (MGM/Columbia, Nov. 17) Pierce Brosnan, we still love ya, but we're starry-eyed over the new Bond, Daniel Craig (it doesn't hurt that he canoodled with Truman Capote in Infamous). This franchise reboot, based on creator Ian Fleming's first Bond novel, sees 007 go from dangerous assassin to dapper albeit no less hazardous--superagent.

Backstage (Strand, Nov. 22) What if a Madonna-like pop star allowed one of her obsessed, sexually confused female fans to enter her inner circle? So goes the premise behind this provocative French psychodrama. Let's just say some divas are best worshipped from afar.

The Fountain (Warner Bros., Nov. 22) Three times the Jackman! Three times the Weisz! And three times the romance in this psychedelic, time-twisting fable about a 16th-century Spanish conquistador, a 21st-century scientist, and a 26th-century space traveler all determined to save the women--or woman?--they love.

Eating Out 2 (Ariztical, Nov. 22) Carbs aren't a concern for college students Tiffani and Marc--their delicacy of choice is Troy, a hunky and sexually undecided new guy on campus. This breezy sequel has full-frontals, hysterical set pieces, the first film's adorable Jim Verraros, and Mink Stole as his mama.

Mr. Leather (Regent, Dec. 8) Orphans, you may find your daddy yet. This documentary, revolving around the 2003 Mr. Los Angeles Leather contest, delves beneath the hide of the leather scene and its manly yet sweet-natured devotees.

The Good German (Warner Bros., Dec. 8) When VH1 finally gets around to I Love the '40s, they'd be wise to give Steven Soderbergh a call. The versatile director revives the Casablanca era with black-and-white cinematography and stylized turns by Cate Blanchett, George Clooney, and Tobey Maguire for his tale of love and intrigue in post-war Berlin.

The Holiday (Columbia, Dec. 8) A romantically frustrated Brit and her American counterpart--played by Kate Winslet and Cameron Diaz, respectively--swap homes for the Christmas holiday. Jude Law comes with the London property, Jack Black with the L.A. digs. We think Cameron got the better deal. …


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