Once dubbed by Details magazine as "the meanest man in Hollywood," writer-director-playwright Neil LaBute had indeed made some of the most caustic, cruel and wickedly funny films in contemporary cinema. LaBute's work as a playwright was no less vicious. His plays provoked anger from critics and audiences alike, and even prompted the Mormon Church - of which he had been a member - to disfellowship him for his negative characterizations of the faithful. But the most frequent, yet disavowed criticism of LaBute was to label him a misogynist. Time and again, LaBute had to defend himself against the charge, particularly with "In the Company of Men" (1997), an acid bath of a film that announced loudly his arrival on the filmmaking scene. He followed up with the independent hit "Your Friends and Neighbors" (1998), which helped launch his Hollywood career. LaBute's later films - in particular "Nurse Betty" (2000), "Possession" (2002) and "Lakeview Terrace" (2008) - stemmed the critical tide and showed the breadth of his talents, though those same critics claimed that he had gone soft. But for an iconoclast like LaBute, such criticisms only reinforced his belief in his work, as he continued to defy, outrage and shed light on multiple facets of human nature.