Sean Penn, Emile Hirsch, Josh Brolin, James Franco | R |

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DRAMA
Dominated by a towering performance by Penn as politician Harvey Milk, the first out gay person elected to major office in the U.S., Milk tells a stirring and timely story. The movie traces the small businessman's political and personal journey from the closet to city hall—he was elected to San Francisco's board of supervisors in 1977—to his untimely death in 1978, when Milk was gunned down by a political opponent (Brolin).

In a performance as subtle as it is affecting, Penn is careful to show us Milk the man rather than just milking him as a symbol. His Milk is a cunning charmer, one steadfast in his beliefs but wily and pragmatic in his methods of advancing the cause. (Milk's political success came at a price: His personal life suffered when lovers, played here by Franco and Diego Luna, grew weary of playing second fiddle to protest rallies.) At a time when gay rights have again become a hot-button issue, director Gus Van Sant (Good Will Hunting) uses Milk to movingly remind us that change is never easy, nor quickly accomplished.

Voices by John Travolta, Susie Essman, Miley Cyrus
PG

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ANIMATED
Forget dopey Beverly Hills Chihuahua. Here's a doggie movie worth barking about. This clever animated comedy, which both kids and chaperoning adults will enjoy, tells of Bolt (Travolta), a canine superhero on a Hollywood TV series. After he's plopped accidentally into real life in scary Manhattan, Bolt begins an arduous journey back to L.A. and Penny (Cyrus), his beloved owner-costar. Travolta makes for a sweet, courageous puppy, but the true treasure here is Essman's tetchy Mittens, a bad-tempered, bossy cat who could turn even the milk she's drinking sour.

In Quantum of Solace, 007 is still mourning the death of Vesper Lynd (Eva Green, top), who drowned in Casino Royale. But she wasn't his first lost love:

NAME: Corinne Dufour (Corinne Clery)

DATED 007 IN: 1979's Moonraker

CAUSE OF DEATH: Mauled by dogs.

NAME: Tracy Draco Bond (Diana Rigg)

WED 007 IN: 1969's On Her Majesty's Secret Service

CAUSE OF DEATH: Gunned down on their honeymoon.

NAME: Jill Masterson (Shirley Eaton)

DATED 007 IN: 1964's Goldfinger

CAUSE OF DEATH: Smothered in gold paint.

Before he crashed weddings—and the A-list—Owen Wilson starred in the quirky indie film Bottle Rocket (1996), directed by his pal Wes Anderson. Now his debut is back in a new DVD with commentary by Wilson; it's a trip down memory lane fans won't want to miss.

The 18-year-old L.A. native falls for a hot bloodsucker in the vampire romance.

YOUR CHARACTER BELLA GOES BATTY FOR AN UNDEAD GUY [ROBERT PATTINSON]. DO YOU LIKE BAD BOYS? I can relate to that! It makes you feel special when you see something other people don't.

IS THERE A DOWNSIDE TO KISSING ROBERT? He has the thickest beard! At times you don't notice it until you're like, "Oh, wow, I think I'm bleeding."

ANY PERKS WITH YOUR NEWFOUND FAME? I'm becoming more fashion-conscious. But no, that's not a perk! Four-hour fittings are ridiculous.

The Ugly Betty star (and expectant mom) gets a make-under to play a country cop in the indie drama Lake City.

The best thing about playing a no-nonsense cop for Rebecca Romijn? Car chases. "I loved pretending I was Boss Hogg!" she says. "It was such a nice break from all the hair and makeup." Romijn, 36, costars with Troy Garity and Sissy Spacek in the independent movie Lake City, which she filmed before her summer '07 wedding to Jerry O'Connell. Her next role? Motherhood. "I'm taking quite a bit of time off," says Romijn, who's due with twin girls in January. "I'm excited to visit a completely different chapter in my life."