Projections - Movie Reviews

High Crimes

High Crimes

Ashley Judd plays Claire Kubik, a high-priced lawyer whose life is turned upside down when her husband Tom (Jim Caviezel - Frequency and The Count of Monte Cristo) is arrested by the FBI.

He is charged with murdering innocent villagers of El Salvador in 1988 while he was a U.S. Marine, and has to stand trial in a military tribunal.

Claire takes on his defense, but since she had no experience with military law, she hires Charlie Grimes (Morgan Freeman), an ex-JAG lawyer and recovering alcoholic, to help with Tom's case.

Tom tells his wife that he's innocent, but his old squad and a respected General (Bruce Davison) say he's guilty.  Did he really murder those people or is he just a victim of a massive cover-up to protect the real killer?  The film uses flashbacks to show two different versions of the crime.

Tom's version has another Marine committing the murders and the other version, according to several eyewitnesses, has Tom killing the villagers in a rampage.

Judd is solid playing professionals who are brave and confident in all situations.  In fact, some of the spots in which she places herself appear beyond her ability to handle, but she always pulls them off.  One example is when she gets into a stranger's car; another when she enters her house at night while suspicious characters are lurking outside.

This second pairing of Judd and Freeman (1997's Kiss the Girls) shows that the original chemistry between them wasn't just a fluke.  They really seem to like and respect one another.

I like Freeman's capable character, even through he has a bad drinking problem, you know he'll be someone you can count on in the end.

Director Carl Franklin provides plenty of twists and turns to keep you guessing until the very end.  That, plus some good performances, make this a better than average thriller.

High Crimes

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