August 21, 1998 at 04:00 AM EDT

STARRING Patricia Arquette, Dermot Mulroney, Don Johnson, Mary-Louise Parker, Ellen DeGeneres

DIRECTED BY Roland Joffe

Arquette’s character seems to be a pleasant enough young woman. Mulroney acts like a suicidal drunk. Mary Louise Parker appears to be an innocent. And Johnson, as Mulroney’s brother, might just be a good guy. Suffice it to say, DeGeneres’ policewoman has her hands full unraveling the characters’ infinite deceptions, which revolve around money, marriage, and murder. ”There’s not one likable person in the entire movie,” Johnson says gleefully, ”but the characters I like the most are damaged, and [my character], he’s f—ed up.”

THE LOWDOWN Warner Bros. isn’t great at marketing midsize movies. No wonder that despite a cool cast (and a good reception at Cannes), this one’s been sitting on the shelf.

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