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Double Jeopardy

movie reviewmovie review out of 4 Movie Review: Double Jeopardy

Starring: Ashley Judd, Tommy Lee Jones
Director: Bruce Beresford
Rated: R
RunTime: 105 Minutes
Release Date: September 1999
Genre: Thriller

*Also starring: Bruce Greenwood, Annabeth Gish, Roma Maffia, Jay Brazeau

Review by Susan Granger
1½ stars out of 4

In this action/revenge movie, a clever woman goes after her conniving husband after he frames her for his supposed murder. Ashley Judd stars as the wife and mother who is wrongly imprisoned for killing her husband. While serving her sentence at a Washington State Prison, she discovers that her spouse is, in fact, living with another woman and raising their son. In addition, she's told by another inmate that she can't be tried twice for the same crime so, when she gets released, she figures: Why not really murder the two-timing rat? The vigilance of her parole officer, played by Tommy Lee Jones, is her only obstacle. Directed by Bruce Beresford, strong and slender Ashley Judd seems perfectly cast, yet she was not the first choice for this plum part. Jodie Foster was supposed to do it until pregnancy forced her to drop out. Tommy Lee Jones is stalwart, as always, doing the relentless law enforcement officer gig which he perfected during "The Fugitive," but Bruce Greenwood's husband part is just too slippery and sleazy. But superficiality is the keynote of the slick, plot-heavy screenplay by David Weisberg and Douglas S. Cook. As for the legal question about whether Judd's character truly has a legal license to kill, the answer is "no." Under the principle of double jeopardy, a person cannot be tried twice for the same crime. But, if the crime was really never committed, then the concept is invalid. On the Granger Movie Gauge of 1 to 10, "Double Jeopardy" is an angry, violent 4. It's an implausible, illogical but mildly intriguing thriller.

Copyright 2000 Susan Granger

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