September 18, 1989 12:00 PM

>MICHAEL J. FOX and SEAN PENN Amid all the look-Ma-I’m-moralizing in Casualties of War, Fox and Penn create memorable characters.

GENE HACKMAN Like Spencer Tracy, Hackman radiates such substance that he’s interesting to watch just standing there. This trait is useful in The Package.

MARY ELIZABETH MASTRANTONIO Even as she and the rest of the film are going down for the 17th or 18th time, Mastrantonio keeps The Abyss from sinking any lower.

DIANNE WIEST It’s a lighten-up summer for Wiest, who, in addition to her triumph in Parenthood, makes a marvelous amateur floozie in the tasteless Cookie.

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