What You Need To Know:

Ashley Judd stars in HIGH CRIMES as high-powered attorney Claire Kubik. Claire and her successful entrepreneur husband, Tom, have the perfect life and the most wonderful, romantic, trust-filled relationship. A random crime – a bungled burglary – at their home triggers a series of events that shatters their world. Tom is arrested for military crimes, and quickly the lawyer in Claire scrambles to defend her husband from an obvious case of mistaken identity. Her husband admits, though, that he was a military operative in a skirmish in El Salvador, but he persists in maintaining his innocence of murder charges. Claire teams up with a famous, but alcoholic lawyer and a rookie military defender to discover the truth, no matter what the consequences.

HIGH CRIMES is fast moving, fun, well acted, and gripping. It plays on one of a woman’s greatest fears . . . that she might not really know her mate. It challenges viewers to dig deeply from within and ask themselves how far they would be willing to go to find and defend hard truth. Since the sex, language, nudity and alcohol themes are widespread, however, this movie is unsuitable for teenagers


(BB, Ro, AP, PC, LL, VV, SS, NN, AA, DD, M) Dominant moral worldview espouses the triumph of truth, even when it hurts; secondary worldview is romantic, with emotions and relativism ruling behaviors; anti-patriotic and anti-military elements; politically correct elements; 18 obscenities and 4 profanities; numerous instances of violence, including war-time terrors, interrogations, shootings, domestic violence such as break-ins by burglars, man-to-man skirmishes, man-to-woman violence with woman chased, tied up, etc., and marine bar-type violence with attempted murders depicted; several instances of implied or depicted sex, mostly between husband and wife, but largely veiled, plus one scene of implied fornication with scantily-clad sister and boyfriend and a couple scenes showing prostitutes seducing a possible witness; partially nude dancers, partial upper female frontal nudity & women in underwear; alcohol use and abuse; some allusions to drug use or abuse; and, lying, stealing, cheating, rude insults, and betrayal.

More Detail:

HIGH CRIMES begins with grainy news shots of a small U.S. military skirmish in El Salvador in 1988 where several civilians are interrogated at gunpoint, then shot to death. Jump to present day, where feisty attorney Claire Kubik (Ashley Judd) and her handsome husband Tom (James Caviezel) are racing to make a baby because Claire has seen that she is ovulating. The couple shares a number of fun excursions together, including playing pool at their favorite hangout, walking through San Francisco hand in hand, dining, and generally being in love.

One night their revelry is interrupted in a startling way, when their home is burglarized. The police take fingerprints, and a week later, the couple finds themselves surrounded by military police. The police handcuff Tom and drag him off to a marine base in California. Claire quickly dons her lawyer hat, determined to get to the bottom of an obvious case of mistaken identity. After all, the police claim to be arresting someone named Ron Chapman, not Tom Kubik. She takes a leave of absence from her prestigious law firm (which doesn’t want any publicity) and sets about to join the young, inexperienced military lawyer assigned to her husband’s case.

When she gets to the base, she finds out that her husband is being charged with desertion and murder and is facing the death penalty. A big shot prosecutor, Major Lucas Waldren, is handling the case, and there might be a grand cover-up that involves top-level politicians as well.

Claire decides to get the help of a once-famous but now alcoholic lawyer, Charles Grimes (Morgan Freeman). At the same time, her financially- and morally-challenged sister, Jackie (Amanda Peet), moves into the small home Claire has rented near the base.

With this motley bunch as the defense team, they take on the big military system and seek to clear Tom of all charges. It’s tougher than it looks, however. Claire must deal with secret visitors, hidden testimony, mystifying photographs, strange messages in grocery stores, her partner’s skeletons of the past, a possible deadly love triangle involving her sister, and the power of officials in high places. As the investigation continues, both sides receive some shocking new evidence that might reveal some unthinkable answers to their dangerous and unwelcome questions. Claire must risk her career, her family and even her life in the quest for truth.

HIGH CRIMES is fast moving, entertaining, well-acted by top stars, and gripping in its suspense. It plays on one of a woman’s greatest fears . . . that she might not really know her mate. It challenges the audience to dig deeply and ask themselves how far they would be willing to go to find and defend hard truth. Though the movie contains too much of the typical Hollywood violence, sex and language, the story and pacing of suspense are great.

HIGH CRIMES has a moral worldview that values truth above all, but there are elements that disparage the military and patriotism, and the characters make many relativistic choices throughout the story. Since the sex, language, nudity, and alcohol themes are widespread, this movie is unsuitable for teenagers.