IS “HIGH CRIMES” THE REAL CRIME?

CRITIC DOCTOR EXAMINES: Michæl Dequina (filmthreat.com), Jack Garner (democratandchronicle.com), Betty Jo Tucker (reeltalkreviews.com), Susan Stark (detnews.com), Rob Blackwelder (splicedwire.com) ^ * * 1/2 OUT OF FIVE STARS
Ashley Judd and Morgan Freeman (“Kiss the Girls”) work together again – this time as lawyers in High Crimes. Charlie Grimes (Freeman) helps Claire Kubik (Judd) try to prove her husband Tom (James Caviezel) is innocent of murder.
Michæl Dequina (filmthreat.com) said, “Anyone who really wants to see them work together would be better off renting ‘Kiss the Girls’ – which isn’t that good of a film, either, but it’s certainly better than this bore.”
Boring? Not so. Judd and Freeman single-handedly saved this film from total ruin. Jack Garner (democratandchronicle.com) accurately describes how this team affects the material, “They have an unusual and intelligent screen chemistry, a near-romance of a platonic sort that elevates the average material with which they’re working.”
Indeed! Judd and Freeman obviously worked hard to make this “average” script come to life. The suspense starts out strong and slowly dissolves. Then we have a useless subplot concerning Claire’s horny sister (Amanda Peet) who seduces a young lawyer. Question: Will Amanda Peet ever play a character who is actually an important part of a plot?
Betty Jo Tucker (reeltalkreviews.com), said, “Amanda Peet, as Claire’s sexy sister, also disappointed me. Her few scenes in ‘High Crimes’ fail to showcase the comic talent she displayed so hilariously as the wannabe hit-woman in ‘The Whole Nine Yards.’”
Peet is a disappointment in all her films because she plays meaningless characters. She was fabulous in The Whole Nine Yards, but would someone please give this talented woman a worthy role!
Then we have the film’s ending. Susan Stark (detnews.com) said, “At film’s end, ‘High Crimes’ mounts the kind of double-whammy surprises that have become a convention for high-octane pop thrillers since ‘Basic Instinct.’”
For the love of God, Susan! The ending sucked and it’s a crime you even liked it. I figured out the conclusion early in the film when Claire met with a man from South America. Their dialogue revealed the guilty party in one sentence!
Rob Blackwelder (splicedwire.com) summed the movie up best, “When ‘High Crimes’ finally puts all its cards on the table, the good performances and relative intelligence of the script are revealed to be nothing but a facade that falls aside for another hackneyed Hollywood ending.”
High Crimes is fun to watch, thanks to Judd and Freeman, but the film’s predictable ending ought to be a crime. When this movie gets sentenced to video row – go rent it. ^ -CRITIC DOCTOR
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Posted on April 22, 2002 in Features by
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