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Double Jeopardy

movie reviewmovie review out of 4

All-Reviews.com 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



Reviewer Roundup
1.  GaryW review follows movie reviewmovie review
2.  Susan Granger read the review movie reviewvideo review
3.  Dustin Putman read the review movie reviewmovie review
4.  MrBrown read the review movie reviewmovie review
5.  Harvey Karten read the review ---

Review by GaryW
2 stars out of 4

At first, the previews for Double Jeopardy made the film look pretty good.  But then I wondered whether these previews had given away the whole movie and whether the movie would have more going for it than its interesting premise.   Unfortunately, the answer to these two question is yes and then no (rather than in the other order!).   This movie is supposed to be a thriller, but the key elements of the plot are known by anyone who has seen the trailer or one of the promotional commercials.  For the first third of the movie I kept thinking this might be somewhat interesting, if I didn't already know exactly what was going on.  During this part of the movie, there is no suspense whatsoever.

Unfortunately, there are many other problems with the movie.  Most importantly, the characters are not fully developed, and, worse for a thriller, the plot is about as straightforward as you could posssibly get.  Please let me know if there is a single major  surprise anywhere in this movie.  While Ashley Judd's performance is okay, I found her character to be unbelievable, due to weaknesses in the script.  We are to believe her character undergoes some kind of transformation during the movie, especially during her stint in prison, but the main way this is demonstrated is by us seeing her do laps around the prison yard in the rain while another inmate intones "that woman must be driven by pure hate".  This is how character development is handled in the movie.  I would have preferred her to become a much darker (and interesting) figure-- and perhaps really torment her former husband.  In fact, this is what I expected based on the trailer.  Unfortunately, none of this happens.  Tommy Lee Jones provides an adequate performance, but though his character is more human (i.e.,  flawed) than in the superior "Fugitive" thriller, I still felt he was playing essentially the same character, which by now is getting quite tiring.  Perhaps the movie could have been saved by an effective bad guy, but Bruce Greenwood's character and performance is extremely bland and uninvolving.

Even with all of these flaws, the movie doesn't fail completely.  There are several exciting action scenes which make the movie tolerable.  Also, parts of Ashley Judd's performance are quite effective.  However, these cannot hide the fact that this movie is, ultimately, an extremely mediocre thriller, without a single major surprise.  If you have seen the good movies out there (like American Beauty and Three Kings) and it is a rainy day, this movie might be worth the price of a bargain matinee.

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