A weekly update of film releases

* CRUSH - A teenage girl finds herself involved with a washed-up novelist and a manipulative woman in this overripe but vividly filmed melodrama, directed by Allison MacLean from a screenplay she wrote with Anne Kennedy. Marcia Gay Harden leads the hard-working cast. (Not rated)


Harvey Keitel plays a filmmaker whose personal life undergoes difficult changes as he directs a movie about a married couple locked in a vicious, destructive relationship. Abel Ferrara's drama is extreme in its feelings and its images, using sexual aggression and violence as outward signs of deep-rooted emotional blindness in nearly all the characters. The film ultimately proves little more insightful or intelligent than the people in it, but its audacity is impressive even when its story and cinematic elements fall completely apart. (Rated R)

* HIGHWAY PATROLMAN - A rookie cop wrestles with crime and corruption in a near-anarchic Mexican region. Directed by Alex Cox with his usual sense of emotional distance, the story never develops much momentum or conviction. Roberto Sosa stars in the Spanish-language production. (Not rated)

* THE SAINT OF FORT WASHINGTON - A former mental patient and a wounded Vietnam veteran, both deeply honest but down on their luck and without a home, struggle to survive in New York, where they shuttle between the mean streets and the even meaner environment of the public-shelter system. Matt Dillon and Danny Glover give heartfelt performances, but Lyle Kessler's screenplay becomes regrettably sappy after a promising start, and director Tim Hunter seems most interested in the story's least compelling elements. Frederick Elmes did the moody cinematography, and Joe Seneca gives a sprightly performance in a small role. (Rated R)

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