Director: Robert Mandel
Stars: Brendan Fraser, Matt Damon, Chris O'Donnell, Cole Hauser, Ben Affleck, Anthony Rapp, Amy Locane
Lesson Learned: It's OK to want to kick the living shit out your least tolerant classmates.

Believe it or not, there was once a time when Brendan Fraser was one of Hollywood's most gifted actors and Matt Damon was a lowly nobody still reaching for leading man status. As evidence of such a Twilight Zone-like notion, School Ties is an oft-overlooked study in Fraser's earlier promise; as a mature and complicated look at the ills of anti-Semitism, it's an eye-opener that overcomes its sporadic schmaltz through rich performances. Fraser, for one, is actually outstanding; after revisiting School Ties, you'll never look at Furry Vengeance the same again.

The man who'd become George Of The Jungle plays a football stud of a high school senior who transfers into a prestigious academy in hopes of earning an Ivy League scholarship; what his new, bigoted teammates and friends don't know, though, is that he's Jewish. In often labored strokes, School Ties questions acceptance amongst pals, with Damon embodying the world's biggest turncoat, starting off as Fraser's boy but then becoming his religion's meanest detractor. Even when its message begins to feel heavier than a weighted yarmulke, School Ties achieves poignancy through first-class acting.