Click on CAPCon Alert
image for explanation
A service to our youth through you,
their parents and grandparents, in His name by His Word
High Crimes (2002), PG-13
Analysis Date: April 5, 2002
CAP Score: 13
CAP Influence Density: 1.76
HIGH CRIMES (PG-13) -- I would officially declare the MPAA useless this date.
Distributed by: Twentieth Century Fox
Director(s): Carl Franklin
Producer(s): Jesse Beaton, Naomi Despres, Lisa Henson, Arnon Milchan, Kevin Reidy, Janet Yang
Written by/Screenplay: Joseph Finder (novel), Yuri Zeltser (screenplay), Grace Cary Bickley (screenplay)
Cinematography/Camera: Theo van de Sande
Music: Graeme Revell
Editing: Carole Kravetz
A PG-13 with God's name in vain with the four letter expletive more times than without it [Deut. 5:11], preparations for and strong suggestions of intercourse, two hookers for servicing one man [Prov. 6:20 - 35, Rev. 22:15], graphic gunfire murders and murder of an unborn baby [Rev. 21:8], more. Quite the entertainment for the modern middle schooler wouldn't you say? High Crimes is definitely a R-13! Most definitely. The R-rated movies of the CAP comparative baseline database earned scores from 54 and below of 100. High Crimes earned a score of 13. I simply cannot imagine what the MPAA were thinking! An investigation area score of zero in Impudence/Hate and Sex/Homosexuality and ALL investigation area scores less than 50! What were they thinking! Leaving out the most foul of the foul words a PG-13 does not make. If I had the authority to do so I would officially declare the MPAA useless this date.
Though saturated with literally hundreds of examples of unacceptable programming, of the five movies I viewed for analysis Friday, April 5, 2002, High Crimes was likely the best of the bad. It required the viewer to think and pay attention. That Morgan Freeman was opposite to Ashley Judd most assuredly helped the movie. Some of my favorite stars are Harrison Ford, Linda Hunt, Denzel Washington, Mel Gibson, Goldie Hawn, Tommy Lee Jones, Nichelle Nichols, Will Smith, Morgan Freeman and Ashley Judd. High Crimes had two of them together in the same show. But some of what the writers had them doing was disappointing.
In an idyllic lifestyle effectively combining pleasure and profession, high powered defense attorney Claire Kubik (Ashley Judd)and her ex-Army husband Tom (Jim Caviezel), the pleasureful flow of things is broken when Tom gets arrested by the FBI and charged with murdering nine innocent civilians in Las Colinas, a Latin American village during a police action by the Army. Being a defense attorney, Claire decides to defend her husband but is unfamiliar with military tribunal type legal proceedings.
Coming to her aid is washed-out alcoholic attorney Charlie Grimes (Morgan freeman) who warns her that "Military justice is to justice as military music is to music." The duality of that expression is as clear as the believability of dual paths this movie takes. Is Tom really guilty and is there a huge cover-up? Or is Tom really Ron Chapman? Whether he is Tom or Ron, is he not guilty in a case of lying and coercion. It is awful convenient that one charged with mass murder has a different name than when the murders happened. But polygraph and interviews reveal Tom - err - Ron - err - whomever is innocent of the charges. I believe it was Lieutenant Hernandez (Juan Carlos Hernández) who is now a Major who says he is guilty. The Lieutenant says he witnessed Kubik shoot the civilians. Tom says he isn't guilty and even has evidence that the very scars Lt. Hernandez bears are the result of the lieutenant doing the shooting.
Aiding the Kubik/Grimes legal duo is Lt. Embry (Adam Scott), a still wet-behind-the-ears young military attorney with no wins to his credit which doesn't serve well the confidence of Kubik and Grimes. As things progress and discussions and findings discovered by Kubik and Grimes are leaked to the prosecution, Embry is suspected of being a planted cohort of the prosecution. Kubik fires Embry but later discovers he is quite up-n-up.
In a very subjective note, Judd and Freeman are quite the pair for this plot and theme. Judd brings her proven skills in just about any casting, giving a performance that helps the viewer to become part of the proceedings. Freeman is and always has been the wise mentor in just about any role he plays and he does a very good part of it in High Crimes, effectively enough that one doesn't question whatever he says about anything. Caviezel is discomforting in his performance, discomforting that the viewer can easily believe either of the two "paths of truth" in this movie, marking a superb performance caliber. High Crimes could have been a fine Saturday night at the movies movie ... if it were not for several matters, one of which is the R-13 caliber of the script.
In addition to the matters revealed in the first paragraph of this Summary/Commentary, there are many other examples of inappropriate programming, whether 13 or 30. One example is several visual and vocal suggestions of intercourse though not seen [Rev. 21:8, Rev 22:15]. Whether Judd and Caviezel play a married couple in the movie, they are not married when they get their paychecks for their performances. Even if they were, intercourse is unfit in and as movie entertainment because of several things, not the worst of which is the implantation of impure thoughts [1Ths. 4:7, Eph. 5:5]. And if drinking alcoholic beverages in entertainment was not such a problem, why is there and has there been such a push to get booze commercials off primetime TV? Graphic gunfire murder, physical assaults and firearm threats to the face are not something our middle schoolers if any of us should be thinking about nowadays if ever [Phil. 4:8]. There is much more in this movie that might and maybe should be of concern to the Christian parents and grandparents listed in the Findings/Scoring section.
If needed to focus or fortify, applicable text is underlined or bracketed [ ]. If you wish to have full context available, the Blue Letter Bible is a convenient source. If you use the Blue Letter Bible, a new window will open. Close it to return here or use "Window" in your browser's menu bar to alternate between the CAP page and the Blue Letter Bible page.
*******Food for Thought*******
As always, it is best to refer to the Findings/Scoring section -- the heart of the CAP analysis model -- for the most complete assessment possible of this movie.
Wanton Violence/Crime (W):
Offense to God (O)(2):
Christian Media News
Biblical based Management Consulting
|NOTE: The CAP Analysis Model makes no scoring allowances for trumped-up "messages" to excuse or for manufacturing of justification for aberrant behavior or imagery, or for camouflaging such ignominy with "redeeming" programming. Disguising sinful behavior in a theme plot does not excuse the sinful behavior of either the one who is drawing pleasure or example from the sinful display or the practitioners demonstrating the sinful behavior. This is NOT a movie review service. It is a movie analysis service to parents and grandparents to tell them the truth about movies using the Truth.|
|"There are some in the entertainment industry who maintain that 1) violent programming is harmless because no studies exist that prove a connection between violent entertainment and aggressive behavior in children, and 2) young people know that television, movies, and video games are simply fantasy. Unfortunately, they are wrong on both accounts." And "Viewing violence may lead to real life violence." I applaud these associations for fortifying 1 Cor. 15:33. Read the rest of the story. From our nearly seven years of study, I contend that other aberrant behaviors, attitudes, and expressions can be inserted in place of "violence" in that statement. Our Director - Child Psychology Support, a licensed psychologist and certified school psychologist concurs. For example, "Viewing arrogance against fair authority may lead to your kids defying you in real life." Or "Viewing sex may lead to sex in real life." Likewise and especially with impudence, hate and foul language. I further contend that any positive behavior can be inserted in place of "violence" with the same chance or likelihood of being a behavior template for the observer; of being incorporated into the behavior mechanics and/or coping skills of the observer. In choosing your entertainment, please consider carefully the "rest of the story" and our findings.|