Paul Schrader's perennial fascination with subterranean states of grace (Mishima, American Gigolo) takes a responsible Cleveland vacation in this family problem drama about an underemployed factory hand (Michael J. Fox) caught between the twin ferocities of rock 'n' roll rebel sis (rock performer Joan Jett) and spiritual zealot mom (Gena Rowlands). Uncharacteristically, Schrader keeps the emotional darkness at a distance (musician and religionist are the privileged possessed, but Schrader's moral sympathies are with the straight-arrow brother/son) and concentrates instead on Fox's innocuous go-between chores. But Fox has nowhere to go with his dutiful refereeing, and his character becomes less and less consequential with every conflict he defuses (his own emotionality is swamped by the two warring women: he hardly exists apart from them at all). The film is finally as gray and depleted as the city in which it's set: if Schrader's after a rust-belt analogue for his own creative enervation (the dark, satanic energies of industry and id equally spent) he's certainly found one here. With Michael McKean and Jason Miller.