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Movie Reviews

Double Jeopardy  

Travis Lehman (Tommy Lee Jones)
Libby Parsons (Ashley Judd)
Nick Parsons (Bruce Greenwood)
Angie (Annabeth Gish)

Directed by Bruce Beresford Written by Robert Benton
Rated R for language, sexuality, brief nudity, and some violence
Running Time: 106 minutes Distributed by Paramount

Double Jeopardy is a pretty good thriller that is paced by the terrific acting of Tommy Lee Jones. Libby Parsons (Judd) is a normal woman that is framed for killing her husband, Nick Parsons (Greenwood). The only family that Libby has left is her young son Mattie. After letting her best friend, Angie (Gish), adopt Mattie, Libby is sentenced to 10 years in prison. While in prison, Libby learns that Nick faked his death, along with the help of Angie in order to get money in an insurance scam. Now sealed away from her son and full anger Libby is informed about an important aspect from a fellow prisoner. Libby learns about the concept "double jeopardy", which is that the state already convicted her of killing her husband, the state can't do it again. So, when she gets out prison she can kill Nick and the state can not touch her. Libby then becomes focused and determined to get out prison as fast as she can. After being paroled, Libby is faced with one obstacle, her parole officer. Travis Lehman (Jones) is a strict and mean individual that is watching Libby's every move. Once, Libby breaks her parole by going after Nick, the film turns into a twisted chase of cat and mouse between Libby and Travis.

Double Jeopardy is an everyday thriller with a different type of story. The whole "double jeopardy" concept works very well as the backbone of this film.

The acting is what contributes most of all to the film. Tommy Lee Jones is outstanding as the fearless and obsessed parole officer. Jones' natural body language and tone really makes him standout as the highlight of this film. Double Jeopardy is Jones' first film in awhile; he is now one of those actors that makes a movie every once in awhile. However, every performance he gives is a real entertaining treat to watch. Ashley Judd gives a good performance as the frightful victim looking for revenge. Ashley Judd just keeps doing good work and establishing herself as a movie star out of her family's shadow. Judd breakthrough performance was in 1995's Heat as Val Kilmer's wife, ever since she has been receiving nice scripts and great male lead actors to work with. Jones and Judd really do blend well chemistry wise in the film. It is very similar to the chemistry that Judd had in her last film, Kiss the Girls, with Morgan Freeman. I think it is very enjoyable to watch two totally opposite actors work well together.

The script for Double Jeopardy is very quick and jumpy. The plot is present very simply without as many twists as one might expect from this film. It seems that some of the loopholes in the movie were either edited out or cut from the script. An example is that we see all of Nick's blood and the mysterious knife that was all set up to frame Libby, but the audience is never revealed to how Nick got off the boat he was on. The film is however a thriller, it doesn't hit on everything, just touch on the main plot points, and Double Jeopardy does.

Double Jeopardy will probably be a film that will click well with all ranges of adult audiences. The star power of Jones and Judd will probably also contribute to the film's success. Double Jeopardy is just one of those common and frequent movies that isn't incredibly great, it is just a fun movie.

Report Card Grade: B-

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