Fri, Jan 06, 2006 - Page 17 News List

2006 looks set for a bumper crop of movies

By Larry Ratliff  /  NY TIMES NEWS SERVICE , SAN ANTONIO, TEXAS

Mystery and occult fans wait with bated breath for the release of director Ron Howard's The Da Vinci Code.

PHOTO COURTESY OF FOX MOVIES

The Da Vinci Code, the most anticipated and fretted about novel-to-screen adaptation since the first Harry Potter

adventure in 2001, tops the list of must-see movies for this year.

Jennifer Aniston and Vince Vaughn, the new year's celebrity mystery couple (or not a couple), share the screen. And we'll finally answer that gnawing question (or not a question):What would cars say if they could talk?

Mark these down on your shiny new calendars: The Da Vinci Code -- Ron Howard may have retreated from The Alamo, but the Oscar-winning director of A Beautiful Mind and Cinderella Man is charging full-steam ahead through post-production on the much-anticipated movie version of Dan Brown's religious-themed thriller, which has become a publishing phenomenon. Tom Hanks takes on the role of Robert Langdon, the Harvard scholar and expert on iconic symbols caught up in a bizarre murder investigation in Paris. French actress Audrey Tautou (Amelie) is Sophie Neveu, a cryptologist who helps

Langdon unravel the mystery of a secret, powerful and dangerous religious society.

The Break Up -- Are Jennifer Aniston and Vince Vaughn a couple or not? Do we really care? In this romantic comedy, a couple calls it quits but can't decide which one will vacate the condo the two share. Peyton Reed (Bring It On) directs.

It might be a good idea to push what happened with Gigli, which teamed former hot celebrity couple Jennifer Lopez and Ben Affleck, as far back in the memory bank as possible.

Cars -- Call this one John Lasseter's baby. The Pixar Animation Studio vice president and founding member has been guarding this animated family comedy in the Pixar garage for years.

Owen Wilson heads the voice cast as Lightning McQueen, a cocky stock car taken down a notch or two when he breaks down. Paul Newman, Bonnie Hunt, Richard Petty and Larry the Cable Guy rev up the impressive voice talent list.

Mission Impossible 3 -- Star and driving force Tom Cruise got a rocky start on the third installment of the

10-year-old action-thriller franchise. Ving Rhames, Capote's Philip Seymour Hoffman and Michelle Monaghan hop on for the ride this time. J.J. Abrams (TV's Alias and Lost) makes his feature directing debut.

Lady in the Water -- From writer-director M. Night Shyamalan, responsible for The Village and The Sixth Sense, comes a supernatural thriller about a lonely guy and a striking figure in the pool. Paul Giamatti (Sideways, Cinderella Man) plays a handyman at a Philadelphia apartment complex who discovers a very strange woman (Bryce Dallas Howard) -- or is she something else? -- lurking in the swimming pool.

Casino Royale -- Pass the tuxedo and the license to kill, please. British actor Daniel Craig (Munich) becomes the sixth James Bond, taking over from Pierce Brosnan, who suited up as Agent 007 four times. Shooting begins shortly.

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