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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


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

"I find this film guilty of stupidity"
1 stars

I went to my local video store with a list of films I needed for a future column. I decided on the seven videos for seven days for seven bucks special, grabbed them all, and headed home. While my sons enjoyed "There Goes a Motorcycle" for the 958th time, I unloaded the rest of the videos. "High Crimes"? This was supposed to be "Iris." I called the video store, realizing that the clerk had mixed up "Iris"'s number (40850), and gave me (40805)- "High Crimes." I will go pick up "Iris" tomorrow, but I figured "what the hell, free video." Once again, fate has dealt me a cruel blow.

Claire (Ashley Judd) is a flamboyant defense attorney trying to have a baby with hubby Tom (Jim Caviezel). One night, strolling along, Tom is arrested by the FBI for multiple murders in El Salvador in 1988. Turns out Tom is really Ron, an ex-Marine who was in El Salvador in 1988, but he did not kill those people. Tom blames the crime on his superior, the killings were part of a terrorist interrogation raid gone wrong. Claire moves close to the Marine base where Tom is being held for court-martial. She hires boozy ex-Marine lawyer Charlie (Morgan Freeman) to help her and their military attorney (Adam Scott) get Tom off.

From this slapdash opening, rewind films like "A Few Good Men" and "The General's Daughter" in your head. Of course, Tom's arrest is part of a giant nationwide military cover-up, as the defense team is physically attacked but never killed, all while trying to prove Tom's innocence. Wait after the false ending for the big whoopdee-doo, gasp out loud, oh my heart, palm to your gaping open mouth surprise ending.

Much like "The General's Daughter," "High Crimes" gets little right about the military. I don't know about the background of the novel's author, or the screenwriters, but going on my two decades growing up on military bases around the world, and attending a number of court-martials in high school as part of a fleeting interest in a law career, I do not see a whole lot of research going into the film's portrait of military justice.

Also much like "The General's Daughter," this film hates the military. All the Marines here are trained killers who could flip out at any moment and do "what they were trained to do." Claire arrives, and suddenly has the run of the base...literally, at one point she takes to jogging around the base visiting the military lawyer. In all my years, I never saw any civilian lawyers taking a trot through base housing and calling on unsuspecting personnel. Claire also receives the fastest base pass in military history. She tries her gruff civilian manner in military court, something else no civilian lawyer I saw would try.

Ashley Judd and Jim Caviezel spend most of the film crying at each other. They have no chemistry, and overplay their parts. Hmmm...the boozy over the hill lawyer who gets that one big case to redeem himself, where have I seen this role before...oh, yeah, every network television and filmed legal drama from the last twenty years. Freeman plays the part, but this role is something anyone could do, why did Freeman sign up for this? Amanda Peet stops in to play peek-a-boob with an open shirt and colorful panties before calling in her role as "the successful attorney's hot flaky sister."

Franklin's direction is certainly pretty to look at, but he spends too much time right in Judd's face. Normally, I do not mind, but could we pull the camera back? I wanted lots of screen room so I could watch the Plot Convenience Police storm in and arrest the cast for Premeditated Leaps in Logic. This is one of the silliest scripts I have ever seen filmed. Coincidences that periodically stunned me into hysterical blindness, stock characters whose lines I was able to mouth along with the actors, and less accurate portrayals of the military than yesterday's "Beetle Bailey" comic strip. Throw in the globe hopping evil General (Bruce Davison), who is always just two hours from Claire, close enough to have lots of hushed and threatening conversations, and you have one loser of a movie.

"High Crimes" is so desperate to make you feel warm and fuzzy for the heroes, it makes the villains all the more evil. In the process, it bored me stupid whenever I could recover from my uncontrollable fits of laughter. It is a shame when such a good cast get shanghaied into a ludicrous flick. "High Crimes" for low times, I have got to get this thing out of my apartment and back to the store...

link directly to this review at http://www.efilmcritic.com/review.php?movie=5835&reviewer=325
originally posted: 01/20/04 05:02:00
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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!
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USA
  05-Apr-2002 (PG-13)
  DVD: 27-Aug-2002

UK
  N/A

Australia
  02-May-2002




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