Thai Treasure? Born to a rural family, Tony Jaa herded elephants as a kid and apprenticed with stuntman and action-film director Panna Rittikrai when he was 15. Magnet Releasing hide caption

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He's King Of His World: Max (Max Records) brandishes his scepter before his loyal — well, loyal as wild things can be — subjects. From left: The Bull (Michael Berry), Douglas (Chris Cooper), Alexander (Paul Dano), Judith (Catherine O'Hara), KW (Lauren Ambrose), Ira (Forest Whitaker) and Carol (James Gandolfini). Warner Bros. Pictures hide caption

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Life studies: A 16-year-old schoolgirl (Carey Mulligan, center) learns hard lessons — but also discovers a thing or two about the value of experience — as she navigates an affair with an older man. Kerry Brown/Sony Pictures Classics hide caption

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The Sky Is Falling: With his world crashing down around him, physics professor Larry Gopnik (Michael Stuhlbarg) looks for a new perspective. Wilson Webb/Focus Features hide caption

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Overture Films

"Now a soft kiss ..." A dying John Keats (Ben Whishaw) locks lips with his "stedfast" muse and secret lover, Fanny Brawne (Abbie Cornish). Apparition hide caption

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For the love of the game: Paul (Patton Oswalt) and his buddy Sal (Kevin Corrigan) are die-hard Giants fans who watch games on TV in the stadium parking lot. First Independent Pictures hide caption

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Up Where They Walk, Up Where They Run: Ponyo, a goldfish turned little girl, gets her chance to live where the people are in a sweet-natured film by Spirited Away director Hayao Miyazaki. Nibariki-GNDHDDT hide caption

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