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Freeze Frames

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Freeze Frames: The Monitor Movie Guide

Here are the week's reviews of both the latest releases and current films, rated according to the key below (''o'' for forget it). The capsule reviews are by Monitor film critic David Sterritt; the one liners from a panel of at lease three other Monitor reviewers. Movies containing violence (V), sexual situations (S), nudity (N), and profanity (P) are noted.

o Forget it

* Only if it's free

** Maybe a matinee

*** Worth full price

**** Wait in line

New Releases

THE ASSOCIATE (PG-13)

** Whoopi Goldberg is winning as a Wall Street wheeler-dealer who cooks up a fictitious male partner so traditional business types will take her one-woman firm more seriously. Dianne Wiest and Eli Wallach head a strong supporting cast, but the pace is too stretched-out and the plot is too tricky for the movie's stock to pay maximum dividends. Also contains a surprising amount of nudity and scatological humor. Daniel Petrie directed. S N P V

GET ON THE BUS (R)

* A dozen African-Americans head for the Million Man March on a chartered bus. Spike Lee gets surprising comic and dramatic mileage out of a few characters in a limited setting. There is much extremely vulgar language, however, including explicit dialogue about sexual activity. The lively cast includes Ossie Davis, Charles Dutton, Richard Belzer, and Andre Braugher. P V

*** Message-oriented, clever dialogue, funny.

JUDE (R)

* A young man and his cousin fall in love despite their marriages to other people, and encounter much unhappiness in a conservative society that won't tolerate their relationship. The basic plot of Thomas Hardy's great novel "Jude the Obscure" comes through accurately enough, but its sublime irony and sardonic wit apparently got lost in the misty English countryside. Christopher Eccleston and Kate Winslet star, and Michael Winterbottom directed. Contains explicit sex, animal slaughter, and a horrifying scene of death involving young children. S N V

LOOKING FOR RICHARD (PG-13)

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