More in-depth film festival coverage than any other website!
Home Reviews  Articles  Release Dates Coming Soon  DVD  Top 20s Criticwatch  Search
Public Forums  Festival Coverage  Contests About 
Advertisement

Overall Rating
2.07

Awesome: 2.82%
Worth A Look: 5.63%
Average: 11.27%
Pretty Bad56.34%
Total Crap: 23.94%

4 reviews, 47 user ratings



High Crimes
[AllPosters.com] Buy posters from this movie
by EricDSnider

"Typical Ashley Judd generic crap."
2 stars

The people in "High Crimes" keep making the point that military courts don't follow the same rules as civilian ones. Unfortunately, movies about either topic follow the same rules, with the same cliches and fake-outs. This is a lazy, perfunctory movie.

It begins with idyllic scenes of San Francisco lawyer Claire Kubik (Ashley Judd) shopping with her darling husband Tom (Jim Caviezel), having dinner with him, trying to make a baby with him -- in other words, making it clear, if you are at all familiar with movies, that he will soon be taken away from her.

Sure enough, Tom the ex-Marine is charged with murdering nine villagers during a U.S. mission in El Salvador in 1988. His name isn't really even Tom. Everything Claire knows about him may be a lie -- but he insists he is not guilty of this crime. He says he was framed, and that his commanding officer, Major Hernandez (Juan Carlos Hernandez), is the true murderer.

The Marines have assigned the undefeatable Major Waldron (Michael Gaston) as prosecutor, and wimpy new guy Lt. Embry (Adam Scott) as defender. That's not good enough for Claire, so she decides to defend her husband herself. She enlists the help of Charlie Grimes (Morgan Freeman), who was once a military lawyer but -- you guessed it -- is now a washed-up alcoholic who initially refuses to help Claire because "you can't beat these guys."

Did I mention Claire has a trashy sister played by Amanda Peet? Well, she does. She doesn't do anything, but there she is.

Director Carl Franklin, perhaps lacking confidence in the script (which is based on a novel by Joseph Finder), engages in cheating to convince the audience it's being thrilled. Take note of every time the music, sound effects and ominous camerawork combine to make us think Claire is in peril, only to have it turn out to be nothing. I counted four instances of this deception -- often enough that it becomes unintentionally funny.

But there are more desperate attempts to please the crowd without really surprising or entertaining it. The script continually sets up Claire to say cool things like, "I've already survived you once. The question is, can you survive me?" (Audience cheers.) It gives us a character who can act as deus ex machina and save the day. (Audience cheers.) It lets someone discover an important clue because someone else's personal daily calendar from THREE YEARS AGO is still on his computer. (Audience cheers, then stops and says, "Wait, what?")

Morgan Freeman has been nominated for three Oscars, so he shouldn't have to do by-the-numbers material like this. Ashley Judd -- well, this seems about right for the woman who gave us "Double Jeopardy." It also seems about right for the audiences who loved "Double Jeopardy," or for anyone else who doesn't see enough movies to know that "High Crimes" doesn't have an original thought in its head.

link directly to this review at http://www.efilmcritic.com/review.php?movie=5835&reviewer=247
originally posted: 04/06/02 08:07:29
[printer] printer-friendly format  

User Comments

10/03/08 Lenny Zane Painful seeing Amanda Peet slumming in this typical Ashley Judd wallow. 2 stars
5/18/08 PAUL SHORTT OVERLONG, PREDICTABLE THRILLER 1 stars
1/07/08 Shannon This was the best movie ever, James Caviezel was steaming hott!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 5 stars
9/27/07 Shelley Splinters Really, Sugarfoot? WHOSE lifetime deserves to be so afflicted? 1 stars
9/19/07 Sugarfoot Ashley Judd really does belong on Lifetime and not in the multplexes. 1 stars
6/20/05 R.W. Welch Overplotted conspiracy flick is okay most of the way but phony finale sinks it. 2 stars
10/26/04 Fenstwhip Shiggins Shit! Ashley Judd and Jesus in the same movie. You'd think they'd annihilate each other! 2 stars
8/04/04 Katie I wasn't even paying any attention to the movie, it was so boring! 2 stars
6/21/04 Rock Hound Could have been an episode of J.A.G., which I regard with utter contempt and loathing. 1 stars
4/27/04 4x4 Pretty bad. Although Amanda Peet looks hot. 2 stars
4/04/04 Tiffany Faye Hawthorne Compelling until twist ending, when same old Ghastly Judd bites our butts. 2 stars
3/30/04 Marcia Lartz Come on, EricDSnyder, DOUBLE JEOPARDY was much better than this! 2 stars
3/02/04 Ashley Judd Wrong, Jim! I've never had any crap in me! I shit chocolate ice cream! 3 stars
2/26/04 Jim Ever notice how Ashley Judd gets the crap beat out of her on a Rocky-like regularity? 1 stars
2/21/04 Denise Duspiva Okay 3 stars
2/04/04 Chris I actually like this film. It has a very good cast but the ending needs work. 4 stars
1/21/04 Jack Sommersby Well-crafted but palpably absurd and idiotic. 1 stars
1/20/04 Charles Tatum God, this stunk 1 stars
10/06/03 Doc Hollywood Absolute Trash. The twist was just there to fill more movie time. 2 stars
9/01/03 Phil M. Aficionado Well acted but implausible and predictable story line and Hollywood antics 3 stars
7/21/03 Udoka I thought it was okay. 3 stars
4/22/03 Marcia Lartz Come on, EricDSnyder, DOUBLE JEOPARDY was much better than this! 2 stars
4/20/03 Tiffany Faye Hawthorne Compelling until twist ending when same old Ghastly Judd bites our butts. 2 stars
4/19/03 Wendy Welch Don't knock it too much, Jim. If it's the only way to regularity..... 2 stars
4/19/03 Ashley Judd WRONG, Jim! I've never had any crap in me. I shit chocolate ice cream! 3 stars
4/19/03 Jim Ever notice that Judd gets the crap beat out of her on a Rocky-like regularity? 1 stars
4/17/03 Veronica Foxx (The Raven-Haired Temptress) Judd: Same shit, different shovel. Freeman doesn't deserve this cinematic ass-rasping. 2 stars
4/12/03 Jack Sommersby Asinine, unbelievable plotting undermines good perfs and agile direction. 2 stars
1/05/03 EDS i thought it was ok 4 stars
11/06/02 Allison Lafferty Too bad Ashley J wont declare moratorium on killing, being beatup & being framed for murder 2 stars
10/27/02 MarktheShark6 I thought it was pretty good, Freedman being an alcoholic was hilarious though. 3 stars
9/27/02 Marcia Lartz Come on, EricDSnyder, DOUBLE JEOPARDY was much better than this! 2 stars
7/05/02 Tiffany Faye Hawthorne Compelling until twist ending when same old Ghastly Judd bites our butts. 2 stars
6/08/02 Allison Lafferty Too bad Ashley J wont declare moratorium on killing, being beatup & being framed for murder 2 stars
6/07/02 Ashley Judd WRONG, Jim! I've never had any crap in me. I shit chocolate ice cream! 3 stars
6/07/02 Jim Ever notice that Judd gets the crap beat out of her on a Rocky-like regularity? 1 stars
6/04/02 Veronica Foxx (The Raven-Haired Temptress) (ha93s164.d.shentel.net) Judd: Same shit, different shovel. Freeman doesn't deserve this cinematic ass-rasping. 2 stars
6/02/02 QT Pie Great Movie! 5 stars
6/02/02 Chris This is a crimaly good movie with solid assured performances. Questionable ending. 4 stars
5/16/02 Allison Lafferty Too bad Ashley J wont declare moratorium on killing, being beatup & being framed for murder 2 stars
5/11/02 Jim Ever notice that Judd gets the crap beat out of her on a Rocky-like regularity? 1 stars
4/21/02 Janine Lay I agree with Erik, I guessed he was guilty right off the bat and stupid plot 3 stars
4/17/02 Ziggy Stardust a bad movie all around. the director should be proud. 2 stars
4/13/02 JB Yet twish endings are becoming pretty cliche. Morgan Freeman has good moments. Judd!!! 4 stars
4/10/02 Veronica Foxx (The Raven-Haired Temptress) Judd: Same shit, different shovel. Freeman doesn't deserve this cinematic ass-raping. 2 stars
4/07/02 Arthur Yorra A big,confusing,ridiculous tease so that the movie can have a surprise ending. 2 stars
4/07/02 Todd Why the fuck do I subject myself to this shit? 1 stars
IF YOU'VE SEEN THIS FILM, RATE IT!
Note: Duplicate, 'planted,' or other obviously improper comments
will be deleted at our discretion. So don't bother posting 'em. Thanks!
Your Name:
Your Comments:
Your Location: (state/province/country)
Your Rating:


Discuss this movie in our forum

USA
  05-Apr-2002 (PG-13)
  DVD: 27-Aug-2002

UK
  N/A

Australia
  02-May-2002




Home Reviews  Articles  Release Dates Coming Soon  DVD  Top 20s Criticwatch  Search
Public Forums  Festival Coverage  Contests About 
eFilmCritic.com: Australia's Largest Movie Review Database.
Privacy Policy | HBS Inc. | |   

All data and site design copyright 1997-2017, HBS Entertainment, Inc.
Search for
reviews features movie title writer/director/cast