High Crimes (2002)

(In theaters, April 2002) I wasn’t a big fan of the original Joseph Finder novel, and as far as movies go, High Crimes is roughly of the same level of quality; strictly middle-of-the-pack, and maybe even a bit lower than that. The biggest problem, of course, is that the “big twist” of the film can be seen hours in advance. It doesn’t help that the central casting (Ashley Judd and Morgan Freeman, both rather good) is instantly reminiscent of other featureless thrillers. Multiple changes to the book’s storyline help to simplify the action, and to speed up the narrative. Whatever can be said about the hum-drum nature of High Crimes, at least it usually moves quickly, and is over almost before you start asking yourself good questions about what’s happening. The final twist isn’t as gloriously insane as in the book, but the film’s coda is far more satisfying than the way the novel ends. For audiences unfamiliar with the source novel, though, High Crimes remains an average stock thriller, nothing worth getting excited about. For times where you positively have to watch a thriller and you haven’t seen that one…

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