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HIGH CRIMES

Starring: Ashley Judd, Jim Caviezel and Morgan Freeman
Director: Carl Franklin
Rated: M15+

In High Crimes, Claire Kubik (Ashley Judd) is a high-flying San Francisco lawyer.

She is married to Tom (Jim Caviezel) who has a carpentry studio at home. While out Christmas shopping Tom is arrested by the FBI and charged with war crimes, dating back 13 years when he was a marine in El Salvador.

The problem is Claire didn’t know Tom was a marine and that he ever lived in El Salvador. She has been married to a stranger and doesn’t know if he is guilty.

Teaming up with fellow lawyer Charlie Grimes (Morgan Freeman) she stands by her man and defends him at the court martial.

High Crimes is a big budget, beautifully shot film with fine actors. It also has a good story

which gets lost along the way because it tries too hard and has a few too many gaps in the tale to enable us to ride with it all the way home.

Tom has told Claire he was an orphan raised in a foster home but we are never told how Tom accounts to his wife for the years he was in El Salvador. Tom is appointed an army lawyer, but does he always have to be an idiot? Does Claire have to have a no-hoper promiscuous sister? Does Charlie Grimes have to be a no-hoper alcoholic ex-marine lawyer?

In High Crimes the answer to these questions is yes, yes and yes. No cliche is left unused!

Director Carl Franklin should have spent less time on silly set-ups trying to scare us and instead reworked a decent story into a believable script.

With the money and talent at his disposable his negligence in this regard means his film amounts to a cinematic high crime.

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