Current movies recommended by the Times:
1 Apocalypto - Mel Gibson's ultraviolent historical epic establishes him as a filmmaker whose creative instincts are beyond question.
2 Stranger Than Fiction - An IRS auditor (Will Ferrell) discovers someone else is writing his life; one of 2006's best films.
3 Casino Royale - James Bond returns, meaner than ever thanks to a star-making turn by Daniel Craig as British secret agent 007.
4 The Nativity Story - The birth of Jesus of Nazareth is reverently dramatized, with Academy Award nominee Keisha Castle-Hughes (above) as Mary.
5 Blood Diamond - South African mercenary (Leonardo DiCaprio) seeks a priceless gem at the expense of an escaped slave (Djimon Hounsou).
All dates subject to change.
Dec. 15: The Pursuit of Happyness; Eragon; Charlotte's Web
Dec. 20: Rocky Balboa
Dec. 22: We Are Marshall; Night at the Museum; The Good Shepherd; The History Boys
Dec. 25: Dreamgirls; The Good German (limited); Black Christmas; Children of Men
Dec. 29: Miss Potter
Jan. 5: Home of the Brave; Hostel 2; The Cleaner