No, it's not the long-awaited film version of Bob Dylan's tour, but the first of what promises to be an artillery barrage of movies about Vietnam. William Devane is convincing as a returned POW who witnesses the brutal murder of his wife and son, then seeks revenge. Tommy Lee Jones looks appropriately shell-shocked as his sidekick, but the real sneak attack in this film is the marvelously gritty performance of Linda Haynes as the girl who goes along for the ride. Based on a story by Paul (Taxi Driver) Schrader, the climax is predictably violent—and the moral, if any, is drowned in a sea of blood. (R)

In this soggy French comedy, two 40ish men decide they are tired of women and flee to the country, where they enjoy lazy days, sumptuous meals and the company of other like-minded males. Their bucolic reverie is interrupted by a regiment of female warriors bent on dragging them back to civilization—and the film is all downhill after that. One scene finds the heroes, Jean Rochefort and Jean-Pierre Marielle, pressed into service as studs in a gigantic fornication factory—but then, who ever said the war of the sexes had to be fought fair? In French with subtitles. (Unrated)

Forget the familiar Love Story crescendo of emotion, the clutching couple disappearing into a tangerine sunset. The relationship here rambles on forever. Al Pacino plays a vapid but terribly sweet jet-set racing driver who denies his humble Newark, N.J. origins. Marthe Keller is a wealthy Italian flaking out due to terminal illness. Their hot-cold meeting progresses into a hit-miss relationship. Once they do connect, they remain a most unlikely twosome—even though Pacino and Keller are a genuine number offscreen. Though the dialogue is drab and the plot aimless, Pacino's facial expressions are worth the admission. (PG)

Thanks to an original screenplay by Neil Simon, filmgoers get a delicious dose of saucy and mind-tickling dialogue. Marsha Mason is an over-the-hill chorus-liner whose Manhattan apartment serves as a revolving door for struggling actors on the way up—and out. Until, that is, a failed Richard III, eloquently portrayed by Richard Dreyfuss, enters the scene. From his verbal sparring to his pleasantly rumpled demeanor he emerges an enormously likable leading man. Quinn Cummings also steals hearts as Mason's 9-year-old daughter cynically monitoring her stage-struck old lady. (PG)

On Broadway, British playwright Peter Schaffer's story of a doubt-ridden psychiatrist trying to find out why a young boy has blinded six horses was thoroughbred drama. Unfortunately, this slow-moving, self-conscious film version for which there were high expectations finishes out of the money. Directed by Sidney Lumet, Equus (Latin for "horse") stars an aging Richard Burton as Dr. Martin Dysart (a part he played briefly on the stage) and elastic-faced Peter Firth, who created the role of the sexually disturbed boy on Broadway. Joan Plowright is superb as Firth's Bible-quoting, confused Mum, and Burton's frequent soliloquies—directed straight at the camera—are suitably tortured. But all the tension and stark symbolism of the stage production are dissipated as the movie plods like an old wheelhorse to its inevitable conclusion. Sadly, one of the major disappointments of the year. (R)