Denise Lanctot
May 08, 1998 AT 04:00 AM EDT

Religious and racial hate crimes fester and grow in Billings, Mont., until an outspoken mother (Baker) organizes against a clan of neo-Nazis and finds herself, her Jewish family, and the entire community in danger. This made-for-USA true-life account presents a compelling portrait of the American conscience under siege: Will ordinary citizens fight back or cower? Not In This Town‘s terse screenplay builds to a crescendo of disharmony, and as Tammy Schnitzer, the converted wife of a Jewish doctor (Arkin), Bates offers a moving performance; while the incongruous Ed Begley Jr., as the head hatemonger, makes you see how it can happen — anywhere. A-

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