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IN COUNTRY - A drama about the aftermath of the Vietnam war, set in a Kentucky town that would like to forget all about the conflict. The main characters are a veteran who's haunted by memories of Southeast Asia, and his teen-age niece, who's full of questions about her father, who died there. The performances by Bruce Willis and Emily Lloyd are solid, and the picture shows commendable sincerity in its treatment of a serious and important theme. Unfortunately, the last half-hour slides into the weepiest sort of sentimentality. Norman Jewison directed. (Rated R) OLD GRINGO - A large-scale but utterly forgettable epic about a schoolteacher and a rich landowner coping with the turbulence of the Mexican Revolution. Although there's plenty of action, it lacks the human dimension that might have made it gripping or at least involving. Jane Fonda gives a competent performance, but Gregory Peck is sadly dull. Luis Puenzo directed. (Rated R)

THELONIOUS MONK: STRAIGHT, NO CHASER - Documentary about the greatest piano player of the bebop era. The film only touches the surface of Monk's complex and mysterious personality, and it doesn't explore the deepest roots of his innovative style. It's full of magnificent jazz, though, and offers an unprecedented look at Monk's unconventional behavior, both onstage and off. Directed by documentary veteran Charlotte Zwerin, and photographed largely by Christian Blackwood, who gained Monk's trust for a few months when the late jazzman's career was in full swing. Clint Eastwood was the executive producer. (Rated PG-13)

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