The first time Ashley Judd and Morgan Freeman teamed up in a film, they set out to solve the mystery of disappearing women. The movie was 1997’s Kiss The Girls, a thriller designed to shock female audience members into locking their doors and become aware of every smooth-talking stranger who crosses their path. Their latest film plays for more than just shock value. High Crimes takes its audience members on a roller coaster of twists and turns only to leave them at a predictable finish, but not before adding a few emotional elements to the thriller.
This time around, Freeman and Judd set out to solve the mystery of a supposedly innocent man on trial for murder. Judd plays Claire, a successful San Francisco attorney and the accused’s loving wife. Claire’s world is turned upside down when Tom (James Caviezel) gets arrested for crimes he allegedly committed while serving in the Marines several years earlier.
After she digests news that her husband may not be everything he appears, Claire convinces rebel military attorney Charlie Grimes (an exceptional Freeman) to assist in her husband’s defense. They start to investigate and every time they think they have the case solved, a new twist is thrown into the plot to make them start over.
Charlie has a past of his own, as well as questionable associates and a drinking problem. Claire’s need to help her husband inspires him. He finds himself helping her despite the incredible odds they are up against. He even risks his sobriety to help her uncover the truth.
Truth is one of the main themes in the film. It may be possible that a wife would be able to defend her husband after realizing he has lied to her for years, but how likely is that? Everyone around Claire becomes suspect at some point of lying or deceiving her in some way and it pulls the audience into figuring out the truth.
People who should be honest with her may not be. Who can she trust? Who can’t she trust? The line between the two becomes finer and finer through the course of the film.
The best parts come when the film intersperses the dramatic and emotional parts with spots of humor that keep the audience members in their seats eagerly awaiting the next twist.As the story progresses, the emotions only run deeper and faster for the audience and each twist adds another loop or drop to the roller coaster plot.
High Crimes starts slow, then takes its audience on a twisting, turning ride before stopping at a foreseeable finish. However, by the time it comes, the audience is ready for something they can predict.
High Crimes is Rated PG-13
Jennifer LeFleur is a junior majoring in journalism. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org