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Critic's Pick

'Higher Learning'

February 18, 1996|Kenneth Turan.

This worthy though flawed 1995 film shows its youthfulness in both how much director John Singleton, who made a smash debut with "Boyz n the Hood," wants to say and the difficulty he has with all that he wants to express. Focusing on a trio of incoming students (Kristy Swanson, Omar Epps and Michael Rapaport) at the fictional multicultural Columbus University, "Higher Learning" has more on its mind than an entire year's worth of standard studio films. It explores, racism, ethnic polarization, date rape, neo-Nazis, bisexual experimentation, and the pressures society puts on black men. Omar Epps, pictured left with Laurence Fishburne. (HBO Tuesday at 8 p.m.)

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