- A Canticle for Leibowitz: Walter M. Miller - an apocalytic sci-fi classic from the late 50's. This is a perfect mix of speculative future fiction and discussion about the intersection of religion and culture and history and politics and violence.
- Life: Gwyneth Jones - a brilliantly written work of speculative fiction about relationships and sexuality and gender roles and the struggle of women in science.
- The Plot Against America: Philip Roth - an alternative history work about if the anti-semitic Charles Lindbergh had become president in 1940 and kept America out of World War II. But much more than that, it is an intimate look at a Jewish family from Jersey from the perspective of an anguished 9 year old boy as it struggles against prejudice and fear and its own internal fractures. It's a perfect blend of "what if" fiction and actual history and personal narrative. I felt like I was there and I cried a few times reading it, too.
- Secretary: Maggie Gyllenhal and James Spader deliver subtle and brilliant performances in this quiet, dark and romantic peek into two people's intimate exploration of S&M and how if can set you free.
- Boys Don't Cry: If Hilary Swank's portrayal of the tragic boxer in Million Dollar Baby didn't convince you of her acting brilliance, see this predecessor that put her on the map. It's an equally tragic story of a blossoming but troubled female-to-male transsexual who was murdered.
- Brick: The spunky teenage son from "3rd Rock from the Sun," Joseph Gordon-Levitt, stars in this ultra-cool , hyper-literate, modern-day film noir.
- Primer: An almost incomprehensibly dense, but very thought-provoking, low-budget sci-fi thriller about time-travel. I had to watch this twice to undertsand some parts, but I loved it both times.
- The Fountain: Hugh Jackman and Rachael Weisz star in this brilliantly mystical sci-fi love story by the equally brilliant director Darren Aranofsky ("Pi" and "Requiem for a Dream"). The imagery alone in this film is like pleasantly strolling through a museum of masterpieces, some of which you know contain more meaning than you can discern at first glance.