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SNEAKS '06 | Drama

A first run at the year's movies

Sent With Hope Into The World, Each Is A Potential Hit -- But Filmgoers Always Have The Final Say.

January 15, 2006

Akeelah and the Bee An 11-year-old girl from South L.A. displays a prodigious aptitude for spelling. With Keke Palmer, left, Angela Bassett, right, Laurence Fishburne, Curtis Armstrong, J.R. Villarreal, Sahara Garey, Sean Michael Afable, Erica Hubbard, Lee Thompson Young, Julito McCullum, Sara Niemietz and George Hornedo. Written and directed by Doug Atchison. Lionsgate, April 28

*

Almodovar Film Festival The best of Pedro, from "Matador" and "Law of Desire" to "All About My Mother," "Talk to Her" and "Bad Education," get revivals. Sony Pictures Classics, April 21

*

Alpha Dog The saga of a mid-level Southern California drug dealer who becomes the youngest person ever to make the FBI's most wanted list. Emile Hirsch, Justin Timberlake, Bruce Willis and Sharon Stone star. Written and directed by Nick Cassavetes. New Line Cinema, TBA

*

Annapolis James Franco stars as a local kid accepted into the Naval Academy who enters the Brigade Boxing Championship to prove himself. With Tyrese Gibson, Jordana Bewster, Donnie Wahlberg, Chi McBride and Vicellous Shannon. Justin Lin ("Better Luck Tomorrow") directs. Touchstone Pictures, Jan. 27

*

Ask the Dust Robert Towne's adaptation of John Fante's classic Depression-era L.A. novel stars Colin Farrell as a young Italian American who arrives with literary aspirations, and Salma Hayek as the Mexican waitress who obsesses him. Paramount Classics, March 30

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ATL Hip-hop and roller skating fuel the lives of four teens in working-class Atlanta. With Tip "T.I." Harris, Lauren London, Mykelti Williamson and Keith David. Directed by Chris Robinson. Warner Bros., March 31

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Babel Writer Guillermo Arriaga and director Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu ("21 Grams" and "Amores Perros") continue their collaboration with this story about the effect a rifle changing hands has on people around the world. Brad Pitt, Cate Blanchett, Gael Garcia Bernal, Elle Fanning and Koji Yakusho star. Paramount Pictures, fall

*

Battle in Heaven Director Carlos Reygadas ("Japon") looks at contemporary Mexico City through the plight of chauffeur, his and his wife's ill-fated kidnapping of a baby, and his odd relationship with his boss' troubled daughter. With Marcos Hernandez, Berta Ruiz and Anapola Mushkadiz. Tartan Pictures USA, Feb. 24

*

Blood & Bones Takeshi "Beat" Kitano stars as a man who immigrates to Japan from Korea in 1923 and overcomes discrimination to become a successful businessman, but greed drives him into loan sharking. With Suzuki Kyoka. Directed by Yoshi Sai. Tartan Pictures USA, TBA

*

Boys Briefs 4 An anthology of gay-themed shorts directed by Welby Ings, Armen Kazazian, Greg Atkins and Bastian Schweitzer. Picture This Entertainment, May

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Breaking & Entering Writer-director Anthony Minghella's story about a landscape architect drawn into a darker world than he's accustomed to. Jude Law, Juliette Binoche, Robin Wright Penn and Ray Winstone star. The Weinstein Co., fall

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Brick Contemporary noir set at a Southern California high school where an intrepid student (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) searches for his missing ex-girlfriend. With Nora Zehetner, Noah Fleiss, Matt O'Leary, Noah Segan, Meagan Good, Emilie de Ravin, Richard Roundtree and Lukas Haas. Written and directed by Rian Johnson. Focus Features, spring

*

Brothers of the Head Conjoined twins (Luke and Harry Treadaway) are marketed as a novelty rock act in '70s Britain and become early punk sensations. Based on Brian Aldiss' novel. Directed by Keith Fulton and Louis Pepe ("Lost in La Mancha"). IFC Films, July 28

*

Bubble Director Steven Soderbergh uses people from the southern Ohio-West Virginia border region as actors in this stark tale about a romantic triangle that forms between workers at a desolate doll factory. With Debbie Doebereiner, Dustin James Ashley, Misty Dawn Wilkins and Decker Moody. Magnolia Pictures, Jan. 27

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Clean Maggie Cheung plays a drug addict who moves to Paris to straighten out her life after her fading rock-star husband overdoses. With Nick Nolte, Martha Henry and Beatrice Dalle. Directed by Olivier Assayas ("Irma Vep"). Palm Pictures, April

*

Conversations With Other Women Aaron Eckhart and Helena Bonham Carter star as a couple who reignite old passions and regret when they meet again at a wedding reception. Directed by Hans Canosa. Fabrication Films, TBA

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The Death of Mr. Lazarescu A Bucharest man begins a long night's journey into day with a call for an ambulance. With Ion Fiscuteanu and Luminita Gheorghiu. Directed by Cristi Puiu. Tartan Pictures USA, April 26

*

Delwende A mother is ostracized from her village in Burkina Faso because the elders believe she is a witch responsible for the deaths of several children, but her daughter returns from an arranged marriage to stand up for her. With Blandine Yameogo, Claire Ilboudo and Celestin Zongo. Directed by S. Pierre Yameogo. New Yorker Films, March

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