By Lisa Schwarzbaum
Updated September 04, 1998 at 04:00 AM EDT

In Neil LaBute’s bleak, scathing, and utterly compelling follow-up to In the Company of Men, a sextet of urban moderns — among them Catherine Keener, Ben Stiller, Jason Patric, and Amy Brenneman — turns sex into warfare. The action is circular, closed, and formally structured. But the rigor of LaBute’s argument, the strength of the acting, and the bravado of the script powers his unnerving psychological study to its mesmerizingly miserable conclusion. Self-help tip: Don’t see this on a date. A-