The plot has fewer holes than most thrillers, although most viewers will see the "twist" a mile away. And that a law firm would jettison one of its promising stars because her husband was arrested is preposterous. Wouldn't they help in the defense? Still, given the holes in most thrillers these days, these lapses are minor. The acting is solid, with Judd creating a gutsy, smart woman who is capable of both unfaltering love and fury. Morgan Freeman does a fine job with his thin material as a once-alcoholic lawyer who is "a thorn in the military's side." James Caveziel, as Claire's husband, is less complex; his pleading got on my nerves by the end. Supporting roles by Amanda Peet (Claire's floozy sister) and Adam Smith (a young military lawyer) are adequate, though not highly memorable.
The strength of this film is in the pacing and the seamless way in which it unfolds. The issues it raises about the United States's involvement in El Salvador provide an interesting, though not fully developed, frame. Highly enjoyable, though not perfect, this film is a good way to spend two hours with a bowl of popcorn at hand.
Morgan Freeman is the recovering alcoholic, former military attorney, who decides to help her out and keep off the juice.
Jim Caviezel (Passion of the Christ) is Ashley's husband and his performance is deeply moving, yet somehow dark and disturbing.
Bruce Davison's small role as the big shot general, is coldly efficient.
Amanda Peet plays Ashley's somewhat self-centered sister to the tee, and Adam Smith as Embrey, the green lawyer assigned to the case, also does well.
HIGH CRIMES pulls a twist at the end that's kind of "cheap" but it does work.
Joseph Finder, the author of the book on which this movie was based, gives some interesting commentary on the extras, and even has a featured role in the film.
Not a bad way to spend a couple hours.
A capable cast does what it can with truly wretched material.