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High Crimes (2002)

PG-13 | | Crime, Drama, Mystery | 5 April 2002 (USA)
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High powered lawyer Claire Kubik finds her world turned upside down when her husband, who has been living under a false name, is arrested by military police and placed on trial for the murder of villagers while he was in the Marines.

Director:

Carl Franklin

Writers:

Joseph Finder (novel), Yuri Zeltser (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
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Popularity
3,547 ( 680)
2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Ashley Judd ... Claire Kubik
Morgan Freeman ... Charles W. Grimes
Jim Caviezel ... Tom Kubik / Sgt. Ron Chapman
Adam Scott ... Lt. Terrence Embry
Amanda Peet ... Jackie
Bruce Davison ... Brig. Gen. Bill Marks
Tom Bower ... FBI Agent Mullins
Juan Carlos Hernández ... Maj. James Hernandez
Michael Gaston ... Maj. Lucas Waldron
Jude Ciccolella ... Col. Farrell
Emilio Rivera ... Salvadoran Man
Michael Shannon ... Troy Abbott
John Billingsley ... Lie Detector Coach
Dendrie Taylor ... Lola
Paula Jai Parker ... Gracie
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Storyline

High powered lawyer Claire Kubik finds her world turned upside down when her husband, who she thought was Tom Kubik, is arrested and is revealed to be Ron Chapman. Chapman is on trial for a murder of Latin American villagers while he was in the Marines. Claire soon learns that to navigate the military justice system, she'll need help from the somewhat unconventional Charlie Grimes; meanwhile, Claire's sister, Jackie, is falling in love with wet-behind-the-ears Lieutenant Embry assigned as the official defense lawyer. And most of the eyewitnesses have rather too conveniently died. Written by Jon Reeves <jreeves@imdb.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Everything you trust. Everything you know. May be a lie...


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for violence, sexual content and language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | Spanish

Release Date:

5 April 2002 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Crimen en primer grado See more »

Filming Locations:

Bavispe River, Sonora, Mexico See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$42,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$14,005,550, 7 April 2002, Wide Release

Gross USA:

$41,543,207, 18 August 2002

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$63,781,100
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

DTS | Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Ashley Judd and Morgan Freeman also appeared in Kiss the Girls (1997), Olympus Has Fallen (2013), and Dolphin Tale 2 (2014). See more »

Goofs

While Christmas shopping in Union Square, Claire and Tom change from carrying zero bags, to six shopping bags, to six bags and a giant red box, all in the span of less than 20 seconds. See more »

Quotes

Salvadoran Man: Lawyers are a waste of oxygen.
See more »


Soundtracks

Stripper Bar Groove
Written by Robert J. Walsh and Michael Parnell (as Michael William Parnell)
Courtesy of FirstCom Music, Inc.
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User Reviews

 
Formulaic story saved by strong performances
31 August 2002 | by FlickJunkie-2See all my reviews

Morgan Freeman and Ashley Judd (`Kiss the Girls') team up again in this courtroom thriller, which is entertaining despite its worn plot and obvious ending. The reason it doesn't descend to a level consistent with the screenplay's unoriginality is the superior acting by the three principal performers.

Claire (Ashley Judd) and Tom (James Caviezel) are living an idyllic and romantic married life, trying hard to have a baby. Everything is going swimmingly until one day Tom is arrested and charged with murder and war crimes dating back to his military service and raid in El Salvatore years earlier. It seems Tom's entire identity is a lie and his name is really Ron Chapman, a former Special Forces commando.

Claire, who is conveniently a prominent defense lawyer, takes up his case determined to prove he is innocent, choosing to believe his denials despite the fact that everything she knows about him is a fabrication. She hires Charlie Grimes (Morgan Freeman) to assist her because until he became a broken down alcoholic, he was once one of the top lawyers in the military.

The film is paced well and balanced between courtroom drama and other related storylines like constant death threats, a dirty general and a mystery man. It is fairly standard fare, but the presentation is engaging.

Morgan Freeman is such a terrific actor, that even a trite script can't keep him down. He is wily and insolent as the washed up lawyer with a few tricks left up his sleeve. Freeman projects an unassuming power in his work, full of dynamism yet highly amiable. His interaction with Judd is wonderful, treating her with avuncular kindness and intellectual respect.

Ashley Judd is a fine dramatic actor, who returns to serious drama after an ill advised detour into romantic comedy (`Someone Like You'). Judd is razor sharp in this film, coming across as bright, energetic and passionate. She is tough as nails and doesn't back down to pompous military officers or thugs trying to intimidate her.

Jim Caviezel rounds out the cast with a strong performance as the accused. This is a tough character because he is so mysterious and duplicitous. Caviezel delivered a strong portrayal of an enigmatic character in `Angel Eyes', so he had some experience with this type of role. He handles the part well, appearing utterly sincere whether his character is telling the truth or not.

Amanda Peet gives her standard performance as Claire's hair brained and sex obsessed sister. Peet is no serious dramatic talent, but she has this character down and comes across as believably ditzy and concerned about her sister despite their obvious sibling rivalry.

This film doesn't fool anyone with its surprise ending, but it does deliver good suspense, a tried and true formula and some excellent performances. I rated it a 7/10. It's worth a look for viewers who like mysteries.


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