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High Crimes Reviews

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Anthony L

Super Reviewer

March 29, 2012
At its core, High Crimes has an interesting story to tell. Unfortunately it tells it badly and is full of unnecessary characters, plot twists, action, etc. A good thriller should be thrilling and High Crimes is pretty far from Thrilling. Carl Franklin experiments with different styles of editing (at least in the first 20 minutes or so) that serve no purpose at all, he adds pointless and irritating characters like Jackie (played by the pointless and irritating Amanda Peet), spends next to no time on character development (Give the bad guy a scar over his face, just so people know he's the bad guy) and in the end, you couldn't give a hoot if Jim Caviezel's character is guilty or not. Also, if you're going to advertise a film as a 'Courtroom drama' you might want to have more than 10 minutes worth of courtroom footage. Morgan Freeman is the only reason I kept watching, not because he's particularly good in it but because he's likable. I would say this film is instantly forgettable but I think it may be too bad for it not to be remembered.

Super Reviewer

September 10, 2007
really good interesting and surprising twist
Lady D

Super Reviewer

October 18, 2006
I like to think that my film ratings are aimed at great performances, storyline etc, rather than how good looking a person is, which is why this film gets a 3. It was an ok film, with ok performances and an ok storyline.

The reason I say this is because if I had such a thing as a list of good looking actors, then my guess would be, Jim Caviezel would be at the top.

VERDICT: Watchable, but forgetable

Super Reviewer

August 3, 2007
Ashley always plays the victim and does it very well. Great cast. Story about a husband who is accused of murder and his wife defends him in court. It has a twist though.
Dean !

Super Reviewer

June 18, 2007
A good military, court room drama with a strong cast.

Super Reviewer

February 25, 2007
An okay legal drama that mates A Few Good Men with Jagged Edge.

Super Reviewer

February 24, 2006
[font=Arial][color=darkred]The last film Ashley Judd starred alongside Morgan Freeman was 1997?s ?Kiss the Girls,? a laughably bad serial killer potboiler that solidified Judd as a rising star. Now five years have passed and while Judd remains a top female actress (at least looks wise) her choices involving Freeman continue to disappoint. Maybe he?s bad peer pressure.[/color][/font]

[font=Arial][color=darkred]Judd is a hot-shot attorney (is there any other kind in the movies?) happily married to retired military man Ronald Chapman (Jim Caviezel). As they walk merrily from holiday shopping arm-in-arm they are besieged by a police sting and Ron is hauled away. An angry Judd learns that the military is charging her husband with massacring civilians in a brief engagement in El Salvador in the 1980s. Judd is determined to prove her hubby?s innocence and contacts the wily and aged defense lawyer Charlie Grimes (Freeman). And, you guessed it, he?s a crafty ole? dog that doesn?t ?play by all the rules.? So they team up and try to trump the military court and endless shadowy figures behind the scenes.[/color][/font]

[font=Arial][color=darkred]The killing point for ?High Crimes? is that the movie has a giant black hole of a plot that keeps expanding and sucking more inside. There are more subplots than you can shake a stick at, that is, if you?re one of those people that shake sticks at movies. Also included in the whole convoluted mess is an appointed defense attorney (Adam Scott), Judd?s sister (Amanda Peet) who moves in on base, Bruce Davison as a general looking to hide some things, a distrusting former friend of Ron?s, and even in the most far-fetched way a shady character who just happens to have been a boy who witnessed the El Salvador massacre.[/color][/font]

[font=Arial][color=darkred]With ?High Crimes? the film keeps twisting and turning and dropping red herrings, but there?s much too much going on and too little of it mattering. It seems like the film embodies a shark, afraid that if it stops moving it will die.[/color][/font]

[font=Arial][color=darkred]Director Carl Franklin has officially failed to deliver on whatever promise he showed with his earlier films ?Devil in a Blue Dress? and ?One False Move?. He mines the material as far as he can but seems uncertain as to where this large revolving tale is going. Inconsistencies and logic loop holes abound. ?High Crimes? seems exactly like one of those movies where the book was so good but then they lost so much of its feel during the translation of mediums.[/color][/font]

[font=Arial][color=darkred]Judd and Freeman do credible jobs and have a fairly sparkling chemistry between them; however, this is not a movie either will place at the top of their acting oeuvre. Her scenes in the court room as the strong willed woman give about all the characterization that she gets in the film. Freeman remains solid, despite being aloof for most of his screen time.[/color][/font]

[font=Arial][color=darkred]?High Crimes? is like a pulpy formulaic puff piece that keeps squirming and writhing until the lights in the theater go back up. It may be harmless but it?s also joyless. But at least, for now, it stops Freeman from doing another serial killer movie. For now?[/color][/font]

[font=Arial][color=darkred]Nate's Grade: C[/color][/font]

Super Reviewer

January 16, 2010
High Crimes follows the struggle of attorney Claire Kubik, played by Ashley Judd, to exonerate her husband, played by James Caviezel, who has been charged with the murder of innocent people that supposedly happened during a covert operation fifteen years earlier. Jim Caviezel was magnificent and shone in his role here.... could weep tenderly on cue and be the affectionate husband to his wife who desperately wants a child, and be the perfect criminal to the extent of even passing a lie detector test when he was presumed guilty.

Claire defends her husband in the court case with the help of another lawyer, Charles Grimes (Morgan Freeman).They played off each other perfectly and Amanda Peet was very watchable in her underwritten role.
Despite its flaws, I was entertained and engrossed by the intriguing storyline but the final twist unfortunately became all too evident because the entire movie tried to convince us otherwise.
Nicolas K

Super Reviewer

November 25, 2007
Judd and Freeman have delivered a whole lot better than this...

Super Reviewer

July 9, 2011
Slick but unapologetically manipulative while losing credibility by the minute towards the end. Female lawyers were in high fashion during the Ally McBeal era, and here we get a crafty Ashley Judd sporting a variety of bad Marcia Clark hairdos. Her performance is a good one though, while Amanda Peet seizes the opening provided by Judd's lousy locks as top hottie, and Morgan Freeman steals every scene as a has-been military counsel. I was enjoying myself with a lenient attitude of acceptance, but High Crimes couldn't even behave itself within that loose criteria. Overplayed red herrings, people suddenly appearing to save the day in a different city (and in one case a different country!), and a "surprise" ending that finalizes the exasperation. Too bad because I was ready to give a recommendation at the halfway point, but it lamentably loses a full star from there on.
Henrik S

Super Reviewer

November 9, 2007
I lost track of how many times Morgan Freeman played the same role in different m ovies. The good-hearted renegade policeman or lawyer or whatnot whose streetwise ways of dealing with with problems make the world a better place. In this case, I do not really mind Freeman being typecast because he fills the stereotype well and adds wamrth and humanity to the movies. Yet, in some cases the films are unbalanced because the rest of the cast cannot hold their ends up. High Crimes suffers from an incredibly weak cast (except Freeman). While Ashley Judd is not the worst actor, her character is very superficial and you can tell that the script is written by a bloke because no woman like here exists in the world, shallow. The axis of the film, the accused, is James Cavaziel and he is a pain in the eye to see acting and he really breaks this movie, because I do not really care what happens to him. The story is simple and resemblent of "A Few Good Men" without the subtleness and tension, without the quality if you want to put it that way. The characters are all onedimensional and the bad guys look bad and the good guys look good, like an old western, but not in a good way. You can smell the twist from miles away so the climax is more or less a anti-climax. All this and many story inconsistencies make this a below average thrilles that is poorly executed as well. Can be missed.


Super Reviewer

October 21, 2007
Good movie..
Sunil J

Super Reviewer

April 29, 2008
January 4, 2012
I didn't have a lot of interest in seeing this movie- in fact, I only agreed to go see it because my best friend is an Ashley Judd fanatic and I had nothing better to do. Turns out it was a good thing I went, because it's a great, albeit a bit cheesy film. Jim Caviezel is outstanding as usual.
February 12, 2012
A decent film but not very believable. Good work as always by the great Morgan Freeman but Ashley Judd in a UCMJ case? I don't think so. I have never seen a civilian represent a service member in a UCMJ court. Is it possible? I am sure it is but give me a break. Jim Caviezel was excellent as Ron Chapman/Tom Kubik, especially when his true nature finally gets revealed at the end of the film. The subplots with Ashley Judd's Claire Kubik's relationship to her sister (Amanda Peet) took away from the film more than it added. While Carl Franklin is a solid director, this film was not one of his finest works. Good ending and good pace, but the acting in the film was not good. Worth seeing if you are a Morgan Freeman fan.
October 19, 2011
not a bad courtroom drama/thriller, but it seems to lack any real grit or ingenuity. while the twists and turns are many, there are still several unknowns (or at least unclears) when the story wraps up. the characters are neither particularly deep nor interesting. I like the overall suspense, and it's actually pretty good at challenging the traditional protagonist/antagonist perceptions, but as thrillers and character studies go, it's definitely on the bland side.
September 14, 2010
Own it and love it. Watch it over and over. Morgan Freeman and Ashley Judd are a great pair in movies like this
December 8, 2007
Good movie except for leaving me puzzled. Good twists. Actlon, suspense as well as courtroom drama.
July 3, 2010
despite the lousy title this is a pretty good, well acted crime drama reuniting morgan & judd (kiss the girls).
February 26, 2010
I am a big fan of Morgan Freeman, I think he is one of the best actors in the business. I also like Amanda Peet, she usually does pretty well, and Caviezel is a good actor. I have heard a lot about Ashley Judd, and I agree she is not hard to look at, but haven't see much of her. But overall the acting was just solid. Caviezel does a good job but we don't see enough of him in the movie or Freeman for that matter. Peet and Judd do OK but nothing special. The story seems like a not as good version of A Few Good Men (1992) with a little twist. I am not to surprised seeing how the story is based on a book by Joseph Finder, I have only read one of his book but it was boring and took me about 2 months to finish. If you are looking for a good legal drama. Try A Few Good Men if you saw it and liked it, then give this a shot.
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