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TOP FIVE

Current movies recommended by the Times.

1 Chicago _ The celebrated Broadway hit becomes a movie that really moves, full of sexy struts, a dynamic score and action ingeniously transferred from stage to screen. The best film of 2002, nominated for 13 Academy Awards.

2 The Pianist _ Roman Polanski's tragic story of a Jewish musician (Oscar nominee Adrien Brody) escaping Nazis in the Warsaw ghetto concentrates on psychological terror. One of the best films of 2002, with seven Oscar nominations.

3 The Quiet American _ Oscar-nominated Michael Caine is superb as a weary journalist covering 1952 Vietnam politics, competing with an American visitor (Brendan Fraser) for the affections of a woman (Do Thi Hai Yen). One of the best films of 2002.

4 Adaptation _ Oscar-nominated Nicolas Cage plays a screenwriter suffering from writer's block on an arty project while his twin brother (also Cage) breezes through writing a cliched script. Spike Jonze's mind trip is even more dizzying than Being John Malkovich.

5 Bringing Down the House _ The concept is tired, but Queen Latifah and Steve Martin rise above it to make this comedy worth a look and a laugh.

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