High Crimes

High Crimes (2002)
20th Century Fox Home Entertainment
Cast: Ashley Judd, Morgan Freeman, Tom Bower, Jim Caviezel
Extras: Commentary Track, Featurettes, Theatrical Trailer

Out of the blue, Claire Kubik’s (Ashley Judd) world falls apart. Her husband is arrested for killing many innocent people during a military operation many years ago. A successful lawyer, she is determined to represent him, but she quickly learns that the military deals with legal matters in their own ways.

She hires ex-military lawyer Charlie Grimes (Morgan Freeman) to help her defend her husband when they discover that they may have hit upon a big government cover-up with her husband as the scapegoat to take the fall.

20th Century Fox Home Entertainment delivers ’High Crimes’ in its original 2.35:1 widescreen aspect ratio on this DVD in a transfer that is enhanced for 16×9 TVs and shows a high level of detail. The image is absolutely clean and stable without an specks or mars. Color reproduction is also strong and nicely restores the color schemes used throughout the film for atmosphere. Colors never bleed and are free of noise. Black levels are meticulous, creating deep blacks and shadows that never lose definition, yet are impenetrable whenever desired. Some very slight edge-enhancement is evident on occasion but for the most part the transfer is free of any distracting artifacts. The compression is very well done and leaves all the definition of the transfer intact at all times.

The disc features a 5.1 channel Dolby Digital mix, as well as Dolby Surround tracks in French and Spanish. The multichannel mix is very active and makes good use of the surround channels. Though there are few moments during which surrounds could be use very aggressively, the movie mostly relies on surrounds to enhance the ambiance of the images we see on the screen. Dialogues are nicely integrated and always understandable and are never drowned out by the music of sound effects.

’High Crimes’ contains a commentary track featuring director Carl Franklin in which he talks about his ambitions, the production and his cast in quite some length. The track is very informative and manages to relay a good amount of specifics about the making of the movie.

The disc also contains 6 featurettes covering many of the aspects touched upon in the movie, such as beating a polygraph, the differences between Civilian Law and Military Law among others. They are quite informative and make a great addition to the disc.

’High Crimes’ is not a bad film. It’s not a great one either. It is an entertaining thriller that manages to create suspense despite the fact that it is very formulaic and offers very little new or surprising. Still Judd’s and Freeman’s performances help keep the movie grounded and the direction help move the film along at a brisk pace.