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Top Five

Published Sep. 2, 2005

1 E.T. the Extra-terrestrial _ Steven Spielberg remastered his 1982 fantasy with enhanced special effects, a bit of new footage and politically correct digital revisions. Still a classic.

2 The Time Machine _ H.G. Wells' classic science fiction story gets reworked by his great-grandson, director Simon Wells. Imaginative special effects and a running time that gets the job done briskly.

3 Monster's Ball _ An excellent ensemble cast _ especially Halle Berry and Billy Bob Thornton _ breathes life into a suffocating tragedy of racism, capital punishment and family skeletons.

4 We Were Soldiers _ Mel Gibson leads U.S. troops into the first major battle of the Vietnam War while Madeleine Stowe keeps the home fires burning. No political rhetoric, just heroism overlooked too long.

5 Kandahar _ A Western woman's journey through Afghanistan reveals the emotional wreckage resulting from Taliban rule. Director Mohsen Makhmalbaf's quasidocumentary is a sobering piece of work.