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A weekly update of film releases

BOYZ N THE HOOD -A young African-American struggles with the challenges of growing up nonviolently in the Los Angeles ghetto, guided by his father but sometimes hindered by his friends. John Singleton, a stunningly gifted newcomer, directed this complex and nuanced look at an urgently important subject. (Rated R) EUROPA EUROPA - Through a series of misadventures and coincidences, a Jewish teenager finds himself hiding from the Nazis in the middle of the German Army and later in a German school, frantically concealing his circumcision so nobody will discover that he's not a young Aryan fascist like everyone else. Polish filmmaker Agnieszka Holland has directed the drama with great gusto, although her screenplay, based on a memoir by Solomon Perel, relies more on chance occurrences than one would expect of a story drawn from real events. (Rated R)

REGARDING HENRY - A rich, self-centered lawyer moves from complacency to sensitivity when a head injury damages his memory and shakes up his materialistic value system. Harrison Ford gives a smart and winning performance. But while the film pretends to expose the emptiness of '80s-style excess, it stays on the surface of events and personalities, substituting trendy slogans and oversimplified plot twists for genuine ideas about what needs improving in American society. Slickly directed by Mike Nichols. (Rated PG-13)

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