Picks and Pans Review: Leah's Fall Favorites

updated 11/26/2007 at 01:00 AM EST

originally published 11/26/2007 01:00AM

Autumn is my favorite season, and it has nothing to do with the foliage. As temperatures drop, the quality of movies at the multiplex rises. Here are three you should definitely catch:

MICHAEL CLAYTON The grayer he gets, the better George Clooney is. In a tense corporate thriller, he gives a terrific performance as a Manhattan lawyer beginning to question both his own life choices and the ethics of the fancy law firm where he serves as a Mr. Fix-It. The final scene is a profane delight. (R)

LARS AND THE REAL GIRL When a shy man (a brilliant Ryan Gosling) dates a life-size doll, his family (Emily Mortimer and Paul Schneider, at left) play along in a warm, low-key comedy. (PG-13)

BEFORE THE DEVIL KNOWS YOU'RE DEAD A haunting psychological drama tells how two brothers (Philip Seymour Hoffman and Ethan Hawke) plan a crime that goes tragically wrong. (R)

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