Following are VHS videocassette reviews from the U.S. Catholic Conference (USCC) Office for Film and Broadcasting.

Brassed Off (1997)

British story set in a depressed 1992 Yorkshire mining town where the mine's band leader (Pete Postlethwaite) insists the group carry on with their music sessions in hopes of winning a national band contest. Writer-director Mark Herman's spirited drama goes overboard in its indictment of Tory social policies, but is otherwise a winning, warmly human story of a working-class community coping with economic ruin. Brief sexual innuendo, fleeting locker-room nudity, minor violence, and intermittent rough language. The USCC classification is A-III. The film is rated R. (Miramax, rental)

Career Girls (1997)

British drama of a woman (Lynda Steadman) renewing her friendship with a former college roommate (Katrin Cartlidge) on a weekend visit that recalls their frenetic, uncertain lives as undergraduates and how much each has changed in the six years since then. Written and directed by Mike Leigh, the impressionistic narrative is loosely assembled from scenes of past and present, relying mainly on improvisational performances but the result is too disjointed to add up to more than a tentative understanding of how much progress the two have made in their lives since college. Sexual encounter with brief nudity, sexual situations, recurring rough language, and occasional profanity. The USCC classification is A-IV. The film is rated R. (FoxVideo, rental)

The Game (1997)

Twisty drama about an arrogant San Francisco investment banker (Michael Douglas) whose birthday gift from his estranged brother (Sean Penn) is membership in a bizarre game club that puts the banker's life and fortune in constant danger from unknown assailants. Directed by David Fincher, the wildly imaginative proceedings are absorbing, suspenseful, and patently illogical. Stylized violence, occasional profanity, and frequent rough language. The USCC classification is A-III. The film is rated R. (Polygram, rental)

Mr. Klein (1977)

French drama about a dealer in art objects (Alain Delon) who buys family heir-looms from Jews needing cash to escape the Nazi terror, then is himself mistaken for a Jew and handed over to the Germans, as were 13,000 others on what is known as Black Thursday, July 16, 1942. Directed with great sensitivity by Joseph Losey, it is exceptional in viewing the Holocaust as a universal experience, as meaningful to gentiles as to Jews. Subtitles. The nature of the theme, and some incidental nudity make this a film for serious viewers. The USCC classification is A-III. The film is rated PG. (New Yorker, rental)

Nothing to Lose (1997)

Coarse comedy in which a bumbling carjacker (Martin Lawrence) helps a despondent ad executive (Tim Robbins) rob his boss of a fortune, then the adman has second thoughts and insists they try to return the money before its absence is discovered. Writer-director Steve Oedekerk's manipulative buddy plot goes for cheap laughs while implying circumstances may justify grand theft. Ambivalent attitude toward crime, comic treatment of violence, a fleeting sexual encounter, and constant rough language. The USCC classification is A-IV. The film is rated R. (Touchstone, rental)

Orchestra Rehearsal (1979)

Italian production about an orchestra whose members are constantly being distracted by each other and the inane questions of a television crew until a union dispute leads to violence and ultimately chaos. Director Federico Fellini's failed fable about the tension between authority and the individual becomes a disjointed series of gags and jabs at music, nationality, television, art, sports, sex, and so on in this minor work from a great director. Subtitles. Mature themes and treatment. The USCC classification is A-III. The film is rated R. (Fox Lorber, rental)

Pixote (1982)

Harrowing and poignant Brazilian drama about a gang of boys living on the streets of Rio and the terrible things they do to survive. Directed by Hector Babenco, this powerful movie is definitely not for the faint of heart or weak of stomach because it involves sordid violence and graphic sexuality. Subtitles. The USCC classification is A-IV. The film is not rated by the Motion Picture Association of America. (New Yorker, rental)

When the Cat's Away (1997)

Seriocomic tale of a lonely Parisienne (Garance Clavel) who gets lots of help searching for her lost cat, particularly from older women, but others prove more interested in romance than locating the missing feline, until the picture's sweetly hopeful ending. Writer-director Cedric Klapisch's wistful picture of a single woman whose search for a pet turns into a quest for the right man with whom to share her life is treated earnestly yet with humor in an odd series of unsuitable encounters before a real prospect finally turns up. Subtitles. Several restrained sex scenes, sexual references, coarse expressions, and occasional rough language. The USCC classification is AIII. The film is rated R. (Columbia TriStar, rental)