High Crimes (2002) - Plot Summary Poster



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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.

  • 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.


The synopsis below may give away important plot points.


  • Claire Kubik (Ashley Judd) is happily married to her husband, Tom [Jim Calviezel]. The movie opens with her having sex and becoming pregnant.

    Claire is a high profile lawyer who is pretty famous. While Claire and Tom are strolling along the street, a SWAT team swoops down on them and takes Tom away.

    He is charged with murder while serving in the army. Apparently, three American students were killed in a cafe in El Salvador. A terrorist was suspected of the killings, and Kubik's battallion was sent to a remote village where the terrorist may be hiding. Their search was fruitless; but, apparently, a soldier lost his cool and killed nine civilians. The Government is accusing Kubik.

    Claire has no experience in a military tribunal, so she enlists the services of Morgan Freeman.

    Tom Kubik claims another member of the platoon named Hernandez shot the civilians in a fit of rage and convinced the rest of the platoon to lie and say he (Tom) did it.

    Freeman tracks down another former member of the platoon and gets him drunk. Freeman tapes the ex-soldier admitting he was bribed into accusing Kubik. The tape is not allowed in court because the man mysteriously vanishes. Apparently, there is a huge conspiracy because many of Claire's associates are attacked many times during the course of the movie, and Claire is attacked by a Mexican man.

    Claire confronts the Mexican man and he tells the real story: Hernandez threw the bomb into the cafe because the head terrorist was really there and was really killed. The Army didn't know there were Americans in the cafe. As a cover up, the Army claimed the head terrorist did it and sent in the platoon to look for the terrorist in that remote village. Clarie verifies this because Hernandez had a patch in his eye from when the Mexican dude claimed Hernandez got cut from the debris from the blast. Medical records prove this.

    Later, for some reason not known, the case is just thrown out. Apparently, Freeman has dug up some dirt and found out that two witnesses were murdered in Texas and Mexico. Tom happened to be in both towns on the day of the murders. We then learn that Tom was also involved in this whole conspiracy.

    That blew me away because all this time, they were trying to prosecute him....

    Tom finds out that Claire found out about him attacks her, and Mexican dude comes in at last second to save her.

    End of movie.

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