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Still shot from the movie: High Crimes.

High Crimes

A successful lawyer (Ashley Judd) is shocked when her husband (Jim Caviezel) is arrested under a different name, and accused of a military crime. Her resolve to prove him innocent soon has her digging up secrets of the past that put her own reputation and safety at risk. Get the movie review and more. »


Overall: C-
Violence: D+
Sexual Content: C-
Language: D+
Drugs/Alcohol: C
Run Time: 115
Theater Release: 05 Apr 2002
Video Release: 01 Sep 2009
MPAA Rating: PG-13
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You gotta know something is about to go wrong when a movie opens with a happily married couple overflowing with giddiness about trying to have a baby (and we get to share in the first moments of their passionate attempt). Later that same evening, the prominent attorney Claire (Ashley Judd) and her contractor husband Tom (James Caviezel) are awakened by thieves breaking into their home.

The botched burglary sets off a surprising chain of events -- beginning with heavily armed tactical police officers ambushing the couple as they stroll home from shopping. When Tom is arrested on multiple murder charges, Claire is immediately convinced her spouse is an innocent victim of mistaken identity, until she discovers he literally isn't who he said he was.

Tom Kubik is really Ronald Chapman -- a man trained to kill during his Marine Corp days. While admitting to changing his name, he holds firmly to the story that he was avoiding prosecution after becoming the target of a massive setup involving some top brass. Wanting to believe the man she loves, yet unfamiliar with the strict military legal system, Claire hires crusty ex-military lawyer Charlie Grimes (Morgan Freeman) to help her dig for the truth -- which in this case, proves to be a very elusive target.

This "how much worse can it get" thriller is full of flat bad guys in khaki, including a tough prosecutor and stiff judge, who are both anxious to pummel the underdog defense. Meanwhile, our pretty and increasingly paranoid protagonist is never short of shady characters following her home late at night, resulting in too many "made you jump" moments.

While I can't accuse High Crimes' predictable plot for being shot full of holes, I wish I could say the same about the on-screen action. A likely candidate for the honor of "Most On-Screen Shootings in a PG-13 Movie," parents should be aware of the graphic (although not gory) and intense violence in this film. Finally, three-dozen profanities and heady sexual situations (including an implied "threesome" with another male watching) will likely leave this movie in the brig for most families.

High Crimes is rated PG-13: for violence, sexual content and language

Cast: Ashley Judd, Morgan Freeman, James Caviezel
Studio: 2002 Twentieth Century Fox

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About the Reviewer: Rod Gustafson

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