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Critics Picks

'Hero'

July 17, 1994|Kenneth Turan

This 1992 movie is something of a mess but still offers more than many tidier pictures. Haphazard and erratic, "Hero's" core is nevertheless so shrewdly cynical about public heroism and the cult of celebrity that it is impossible not to be at least sporadically amused and entertained. Directed unevenly by Stephen Frears and written by "Unforgiven" screenwriter David Webb Peoples (from a story by producer Laura Ziskin, Alvin Sargent and Peoples), "Hero" asks whether heroism is truly selfless or rather an act of stupidity. Dustin Hoffman (pictured) stars as a curmudgeonly, anti-social weasel who nevertheless winds up bringing about the rescue of 54 people in a plane crash only to vanish immediately afterward. Among the rescued is your usual hard-charging TV reporter (Geena Davis), who knows that the disappearing hero could be the story of a lifetime. But then a handsome guy (Andy Garcia) shows up to claim the laurel wreath (Cinemax Monday at 6 p.m.).

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