Providence's Alternative Source!


Successful San Francisco trial lawyer Ashley Judd is stunned to learn that her adoring husband (Jim Caviezel, a soulful but rather large and violent puppy) was once part of a Marine detail that massacred nine civilians in a tiny El Salvador hamlet. Now Caviezel is charged with the mass murder, which he maintains was done by his commanding officer. To help defend her husband, Judd recruits rumpled Morgan Freeman, a lawyer who's said to be good with military cases.

Slick and lachrymose, the film doesn't wallow in clichés, it high-fives itself over them. Freeman has another of his plum parts (lovable recovering alcoholic who falls off the wagon while chasing witnesses through sleaze). Judd, a can-do babe in a power suit, morphs into a damsel in distress whenever the film wants to be a heavy-handed thriller instead of a humdrum whodunit. Her character miscarriages during the course of the film, by way of demonstrating that High Crimes is also meant to be a "character study" about "emotions." And Carl Franklin directs as if he were mentally interpolating commercials every 10 minutes. At the Apple Valley,Entertainment, Flagship, Opera House, Showcase, and Tri-Boro cinemas.

By Chris Fujiwara

Issue Date: April 5 - 11, 2002