THE ACCUSED - Jodie Foster gives the performance of her career as a working-class rape victim who insists on prosecuting all her tormentors. Jonathan Kaplan has directed the drama intelligently and imaginatively, capturing not only the events of the story but the nuances of American culture that spark such atrocities. Contains a graphic rape scene. (Rated R) BAT 21 - Gene Hackman gets shot down in Vietnam, and Danny Glover has to rescue him. The key performances are strong, and the action, based on real events, is reasonably suspenseful. Directed by Peter Markle, who gives the old war-story format a lot of energy without transcending it or coming up with any real surprises. (Rated R) THE BOXER AND DEATH - Powerfully filmed story of a Czech prizefighter who's allowed to stay alive in a Nazi concentration camp because the commandant needs a sparring partner. Made in 1962 by Czech director Peter Solan, who turns the drama into a brooding study of power relationships and the urge to survive under the most tormenting circumstances. (Not rated) FILM ACTRESS - A dramatized biography of movie actress Kinuyo Tanaka, who entered the Japanese cinema during the legendary period when filmmaking giants like Kenji Mizoguchi and Yasujiro Ozu still had active careers. Directed by Kon Ichikawa, who tells the tale too languidly but punctuates it with evocative images. Kaneto Shindo collaborated with Ichikawa on the screenplay. (Not rated) THE LAIR OF THE WHITE WORM - It's kind of a dragon, really, and it likes a human sacrifice every now and then. At times this loony yarn is close to hysterical in the sex-and-violence department, but cinematically it's director Ken Russell's most coherent work in years. He also wrote the screenplay, which is based on a novel by ``Dracula'' author Bram Stoker and full of deliberate howlers. (Rated R) MADAME SOUSATZKA - She's a piano teacher who gives her all to her pupils, including the young Indian prodigy who's her brightest new hope; and she demands their all in return. Although the film is manipulative and anything but subtle, Shirley MacLaine turns a new corner in her career with her all-stops-out performance, and the story has a momentum that never quits. Directed by John Schlesinger. (Rated PG-13) MYSTIC PIZZA - Emotions run high in this Connecticut pizzeria, where three young women deal with boyfriends, parents, and peers. In all, it's ``Diner,'' female style. Directed by Donald Petrie from a blatantly manipulative screenplay that took four people to cook up. (Rated R) THINGS CHANGE - An aging cobbler finds himself spending some unexpected days with gangsters who need a favor from him. Joe Mantegna is wryly amusing as the story's main hoodlum, and Don Ameche is better yet as his befuddled new friend. But the screenplay, by David Mamet and Shel Silverstein, lacks the punch of Mamet's solo scripts; and the visual style of his film ``House of Games'' was more pungent. (Rated PG)

RATINGS: Films with ratings other than G may contain varying degrees of vulgar language, nudity, sex, and violence.

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