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November is best movie month of the year

It hasn't been a great year for movies. ("John Carter" or "That's My Boy," anyone?) But start popping the popcorn, because it's time to escape to the movie theater again. November may just be the best month for movies so far this year, with James Bond returning, the "Twilight" vampires gathering for the final fight, and famous faces from books and history moving on to the big screen.

Francois Duhamel / MGM/Columbia Pictures

Daniel Craig in "Skyfall."

Here's a look at some of the bigger films coming to a cineplex near you:

NOV. 9
'Skyfall'
Bond is back, and it's about time. It's been four years since "Quantum of Solace" came out, and thanks to MGM's financial troubles, it seemed for a while as if the super spy wasn't going to make it back. But now that he has, previews look positive. It features a nice juicy role for Judi Dench's M, and who doesn't love her in that role? James Adams at Toronto's Globe and Mail has high praise for the film, writing, "Skyfall is one of the best Bonds in the 50-year history of moviedom's most successful franchise."

'Lincoln'
Steven Spielberg never picks tiny topics. The filmmaker's latest is "Lincoln," with Daniel Day-Lewis playing the beloved president, Sally Field as his wife, Mary Todd Lincoln, and Joseph Gordon-Levitt as their son, Robert Todd Lincoln. The film focuses on the last months of Lincoln's life, including the Union victory in the Civil War and the ending of slavery.

NOV. 16
'The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 2'
"Twilight" fans need to see their vampire saga wind up in a big way, especially after "Breaking Dawn Part 1," with its interminable Bella pregnancy and bloody birth scene. It's time for some good old-fashioned vampire butt-kicking, and since Bella is now just as much a vampire as husband Edward, the film should get right to the good stuff. And yes, for some folks, the only "good stuff" here is that the franchise is finally over. Unless Stephenie Meyer has another dream ...  

NOV. 23
'Life of Pi'

If you were in a book club in 2001 or 2002, you probably read "Life of Pi." It's a complex and beautiful fable that's hard to explain, but suffice to say a young man finds himself out at sea in a lifeboat with a Bengal tiger named Richard Parker. Ang Lee of "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon" fame directed the film version, of which Film.com raves, "There isn't a dull moment in the film, and there are about 300 worthy of a wow.'"

'Red Dawn'
"WOLVERINES!" "AVENGE ME!" The 1984 version of "Red Dawn" is so wonderfully campy, yet it's hard to meet anyone who was in high school or college in the 1980s who didn't see it. You know the plot: America is invaded and it's up to a wily group of high schoolers to fight for freedom. In this month's remake, the enemy's the Chinese, not the Russians, and Tom Cruise's son, Connor, is one of the young stars. We're not saying this is Oscar quality, we just like saying "WOLVERINES!"

NOV. 23
'Hitchcock'
Good eeeeeevening. Filmmaker Alfred Hitchcock's recognizable voice and rotund shape, along with his classic films, make him a pop-culture favorite. But you don't have to know anything about the man himself to have an interest in "Hitchcock," the biopic about the director's work on his horror classic, "Psycho," and his relationship with his wife, Alma.  Anthony Hopkins looks fabulous in trailers, and Helen Mirren matches him step-for-step as Alma.

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