Whatever might be flawed in Oliver Stone's searing, full-torque 1986 war movie, one thing is right: it's alive. It broils, snaps and explodes with energy. Condensed from two years of battles and political upheavals in El Salvador, the events fly pass at a murderous clip, hurtling you along almost demonically. The movie is based on the experiences of combat photojournalist Richard Boyles (James Wood) as a paragon of sleazy outlaw journalism. There are some brief moments of sentimentality, but "Salvador" may be the rare political thriller where the psychology moves you as much as the history. With Jim Belushi and John Savage (USA Monday at 10 a.m.).

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