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PERSALL'S TOP 5

Recent releases recommended by Times film critic Steve Persall.

1 All About My Mother _ Pedro Almodovar's best film yet, a tale of maternal devotion containing his trademark perversity and a sweeter streak than ever. Tampa Theatre and Beach Theater only.

2 The Hurricane _ Denzel Washington's Golden Globe-winning portrayal of wrongly convicted boxer Rubin "Hurricane" Carter makes this tale of pride and prejudice a Top 10 film.

3 Magnolia _ A rainy day in L.A. becomes an emotional battleground for a brilliant ensemble cast including Tom Cruise, Jason Robards and Julianne Moore. One of the 10 best films of 1999.

4 The Talented Mr. Ripley _ Matt Damon is excellent as an impostor with an impulsive murderous streak. One of the 10 best films of 1999.

5 Stuart Little and Toy Story 2 _ Family-friendly film quality is hard to find these days. Support it when it comes, or risk facing Mighty Ducks 4.

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