High Crimes

Starring: Ashley Judd, Morgan Freeman & Jim Caviezel
20th Century Fox Home Entertainment
Certificate: 12
Available now

An attorney with no prior knowledge of military court procedures is forced to defend her soldier husband when he is accused of summarily executing nine civilians in El Salvador. Soliciting the aid of the best ex-military lawyer around, she soon suspects a cover-up surrounding a covert operation. Refusing a deal places her life, and those closest to her, in danger...

This is one of those courtroom dramas which highlights the rebel in us all. For that reason alone it's far from original. How many celluloid underdogs have we seen go up against the government, the military, mobsters or any other establishment in an apparent no-win situation? That many? Well, there you are then!

However, I can understand the validity of wishing to clear a loved one's name and reputation at all costs, and that's the main strength of this film. Morgan Freeman eases his way through most performances with little sign of outward effort; nevertheless, you can't help but enjoy his understated example again here. Why his character has to be an ex-alcoholic though is beyond me, as this is practically the most overused strand of plot padding in American film history.

I'd like to say more positive things about High Crimes, but the truth is I'm struggling. It's watchable but mediocre fair. Even the inevitable twist succeeds little in jolting the nerves or getting the blood pumping. File under: Nothing New.

Ty Power

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