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Rated 2.97 stars
by 1152 people

ReelTalk Movie Reviews
An Edge-of-Your-Seat Thriller
by Betty Jo Tucker

Few moviegoers can resist a “woman in jeopardy” film. When that woman is lovely Ashley Judd (Kiss the Girls), box office success seems assured. Adding Tommy Lee Jones (The Fugitive) as Judd’s gruff pursuer/protector makes the entertainment package complete in Double Jeopardy, an edge-of-your seat thriller. But don’t expect a May-December romance to blossom between these two lead characters. That’s one of the pleasant surprises in this exciting mystery.

Their relationship is much more complicated and intriguing. Judd plays a woman framed by her own husband for his murder. While in prison, she discovers the cad is still alive. After winning a probationary parole, she tries to find her despicable spouse and their son. Does she just want her child back --- or does she intend to kill her husband? After all, she has been convicted of his murder once and can’t be tried again for the same crime. Jones, as the disgruntled manager of a halfway house from which Judd escapes, trails her relentlessly, hoping to bring her back and save his job.

Both talented actors fit their roles perfectly. Bruce Greenwood (The Sweet Hereafter) also gives a terrific performance as the evil husband. He could be the poster boy for Shakespeare’s warning, “A man may smile and smile and be a villain.” Director Bruce Beresford (Driving Miss Daisy) deserves three cheers for keeping the action at a lively pace without neglecting character development.

Among the most riveting scenes in Double Jeopardy are a scary buried alive sequence, a daring underwater escape from a sinking auto, and an elegant bachelor auction party in colorful New Orleans. Too bad the movie also contains some unfortunate plot problems. For example, it’s hard to believe a convicted murderer would receive a parole after six years. Or that Jones’ character would change his mind practically overnight about his parolee’s innocence. Or that Judd would look so darn gorgeous after her rough prison life. Still, considering the film’s overall impact, these are minor concerns.

Fine acting, outstanding production values, and an involving story combine to make Double Jeopardy a movie not to be missed.

(Released by Paramount Pictures and rated “R” for violence, sexuality, strong language, and brief nudity.)

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