Joss Whedon's Serenity, just released on DVD, was easily one of the best movies of the year. Unlike most sci-fi flicks, this space western relies more on smart writing than CGI to engage your imagination. The film's intergalactic smugglers speak a cowboy English peppered with Chinese expletives that is as funny and as finely tuned as the gangster patois in a Mamet script, and the excellent pacing spins a stock plot into a meaty yarn that will leave you wanting more.

TMN Editor Liz Entman has lived in St. Louis, New York, and Nashville. She sweats the small stuff, like hyphens and commas, and has a day job, but won’t bore you with the details. More by Liz Entman

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