By Melissa Pierson
Updated September 27, 1996 at 04:00 AM EDT
  • Movie

For the first riveting hour you’ll barely register anything but what’s happening on the screen. After one moment in an otherwise normal day, the existence of sculptor Ben Ryan (Liam Neeson) and his doctor wife (Meryl Streep, in an understated performance) will never be the same. Their son (Edward Furlong) has disappeared and is the only suspect in the apparent murder of a local girl. Where is he? Did he do it? Once director Barbet Schroeder’s movie tells you what happened, though, it loses impetus by becoming a brainteaser: Where do truth, family loyalty, and courtroom justice meet? At least Before and After encourages full use of one of video’s advantages — the ability to engage in loud debate without getting ejected from the theater. B

Before and After

  • Movie
  • PG-13
  • 108 minutes
  • Barbet Schroeder