After years behind bars, Max Dembo faces Straight Time. He hopes it will mean a new life, a job, a place to call home, perhaps even a girl of his own. Instead, it's a one-way ticket to disaster. Dustin Hoffman plays Max, a freed con trapped by an indifferent criminal system and his self-destructive bent. Before and during the film's shoot, Hoffman apprenticed himself to Edward Bunker, the ex-con whose book No Beast So Fierce inspired the movie. The resulting experience is intensely real and superbly acted by Hoffman and a terrific ensemble cast (Theresa Russell, Harry Dean Stanton, Gary Busey, M. Emmet Walsh and Kathy Bates). As Newsweek's David Ansen wrote, Straight Time has an edgy, lingering intensity.