High Crimes (2002) artwork

High Crimes (2002)

11th March 2003

Everything in Claire Kubik 's life is going wonderfully well. That is until her husband is arrested by the FBI and charged with murder.
Ashley Judd, Morgan Freeman, James Caviezel, Adam Scott, Amanda Peet, Bruce Davison, Tom Bower, Juan Carlos Hernández, Michael Gaston, Jude Ciccolella, Emilio Rivera, Michael Shannon
Suspense/Thriller, Crime, War/Western, Drama
1 Hour 50 Minutes

Life couldn't be any better for happily married attorney in law Claire Kubik and her husband, Tom. After yet another successful defence case her career is rapidly heading skywards and the office is full of talk of her becoming a partner in the law firm. Things are just as good at home with the pair enthusiastically trying for a child. However, things soon come crashing off the rails during a Christmas shopping trip when the FBI ambush the pair and take Tom into military custody.

Thinking it is all just one big mistake Clair heads over to the military base to confront the base commander and read the charge sheet. Upon her arrival she is horrified to learn that Tom has been charged with the cold blooded murder of a number of Latino civilians in a Marine mission to El Salvador several years earlier. Determined to clear her husband of all charges she decides to become his attorney in what will be a military trail - a trail with no civilian jury or appeal of which the sentence could be the death penalty

Unfamiliar with the workings of a military court, and the fact that the military has appointed Tom an attorney who is a total rookie, she approaches Charlie Grimes for assistance. Charlie is a recovering alcoholic, legal wildcard and unconventional ex-army attorney to boot. Many an eyebrow has been raised whenever this scruffy man wearing a leather jacket and poor excuse for a tie turned up in court. However, Charlie is as good at his job and as the pair start to dig for evidence they discover that key witnesses have died in mysterious circumstances. After touching such a raw nerve the military soon become edgy and start using underhand tactics. Is this a cover up, and how far up the chain does it go?

The picture is bright and colourful with a good level of detail. With the majority of the film taking place at night or in dimly lit locations there could be problems with the picture reproduction. Fortunately it all holds up well with an above average bit-rate throughout the film with impressive levels of blacks along with no signs of any artifacting or outlining. Naturally for such a new film the print is clean and there are no signs of picture imperfections or dust scratches. It could have all been so much different. During the opening shaky and bright scenes I was wondering just what the heck was going on. Fortunately, breathing a sigh of relief, this was deliberate as it turned out to be camcorder footage

Whilst the picture reproduction is good the sound is hardly anything to get excited about. Mind you, with this genre of film there isn't really any need for heavily amounts of surround effects or LFE's, although as the tension in the film mounts the surround channels could have been utilised in a more effective manner. Putting this criticism aside the dialogue is impressively clear and precise in the centre channel where it remains firmly locked at a consistent level throughout. You can then set the volume at a reasonable level without having to keep diving for the remote whenever the action is cranked up

The menu system is animated and scored with a number of cut scenes playing in the background of the main menu. Unfortunately the sub menus are a static and silent affair. For what is a relatively unknown title, well in the UK at least as I hadn't even heard of this title until a review copy was presented to me, the menu system is reasonably effective and certainly better than some of the more high profile and big budget films available of DVD. At least Twentieth Century Fox made the effort.

Whilst the film may not be everyone's cup of tea, the extras accompanying the film certainly go some way to make the package more interesting. There's also the suspicion that a bit of effort has been made to bump up what was a box office flop. Never the less the extras are interesting enough with six featurettes including a useful split screen crash scene deconstruction and one on how to beat a polygraph test - pay attention as you never know when it may come in handy!

There's also a reasonable director's commentary with the occasional interesting insight into the direction and editing of the film. It's just a pity that neither Ashley Judd nor Morgan Freeman could pick up the microphone to assist. Perhaps because it was such a poor show in the cinema they decided it was best forgotten, either that or the DVD budget couldn't be stretched to accommodate their fees!

Overall, this film is a little disappointing and if anything a tad predictable. However, if you like you courtroom dramas with a twist (or ten!) then you'll probably like this film. The acting from both Ashley Judd and Morgan Freeman is good whilst the appearance of either of these actors is enough for some people to warrant a purchase. And if you don't fancy buying a copy? Well, it's certainly worth while considering it for rental.

  • Director's commentary
  • A military Mystery - Interview with author Joseph Finder
  • FBI Takedown in Union Square - Making of featurette
  • A Different Kind of Justice - Military Justice featurette
  • Liar Liar: How to Beat a Polygraph - interview with FBI specialist
  • Together Again - Interview with Ashley Judd and Morgan Freeman
  • Car Crash : Making of featurette


Coco, the story of a 12-year-old aspiring musician's extraordinary journey to the magical land of his ancestors, is released 21st May 2018 on Blu-ray, 3D Blu-ray and DVD from Disney-Pixar.Read more
Shanghai Job, The artwork

Shanghai Job, The


Ex-private security agent Danny Stratton is given a second chance following the biggest mistake of his career when he is tasked with escorting a valuable antique vase out of China. When the mission is derailed by a criminal gang who kidnap ...
Goats artwork



Gomorrah artwork



Disappearance, The artwork

Disappearance, The


Lee Mack  artwork

Lee Mack


Braquo artwork



Den of Thieves artwork

Den of Thieves


The inevitable clash between an unbeatable crew addicted to heists and an elite unit of Los Angeles detectives comes to a head in Den of Thieves, coming soon to Blu-ray and DVD from Sony Pictures Home Entertainment.
My Hero Academia artwork

My Hero Academia


Buck Rogers in the 25th ... artwork
Great British Railway ... artwork
Threads artwork



Lies We Tell artwork

Lies We Tell


The Emoji Movie


The Emoji Movie unlocks the never-before-seen secret world inside your smartphone. Hidden within the messaging app is Textopolis, a bustling city where all your favourite emojis live, hoping to be ...

Hacksaw Ridge


Hacksaw Ridge is the extraordinary true story of Desmond Doss [Andrew Garfield] who, in Okinawa during the bloodiest battle of WWII, saved 75 men without firing or carrying a gun. He was the only ...
Two men, one a reckless criminal and the other a gentle family man, fight over the love of the same woman.
"You got unfinished business? Finish it!"
The Best of Times (1986)

Murder On The Orient Express


The Shanghai Job


The Mountain Between Us




Broken City


Fast Girls


The Ghost


Escape Plan


Racing Stripes


Austin Powers


The Simpsons


#MyHeroAcademia Season Two, Part One available #DVD #BluRay 2nd April by @SonyPicturesUK





Only The Brave