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This 1989 drama penned by pre-Basic Instinct screenwriter Joe Eszterhas is a powerful tale of family identity and loyalty threatened by a ghost from the Third Reich. Jessica Lange stars as a Chicago criminal attorney whose beloved immigrant father (Armin Mueller-Stahl, in his American film debut) is accused of once having been a monstrous SS officer for Hitler. While Lange's character does a good job defending the old man in court against witnesses who charge him with numerous unspeakable acts, her own certainty that he is innocent slowly crumbles, leaving her with a horrifying personal dilemma. Directed by Costa-Gavras (Z), the film displays some of his distracting tendency toward unnecessarily broad storytelling, but Eszterhas's script is disciplined and moving, and Lange and Mueller-Stahl are stunning in their depiction of a loving relationship deeply shaken by history. --Tom Keogh
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