Rated R for some sexuality, language and violence
Starring Ashley Judd, Tommy Lee Jones, Bruce Greenwood and Anabeth Gish
CineSight Rating ** 1/2
Libby Parsons (Judd) seems to have it all - a devoted, extravagant husband, Nick (Greenwood), a healthy young son and a very comfortable lifestyle. Nick indulges her love of sailing by buying her a yacht. Leaving their son, Matty, with a friend (Gish), they head off for a weekend of sailing. Things go fine, until Libby wakes up alone on the boat. Nick is nowhere to be found; instead she finds a trail of blood-stained hand and footprints, and a bloody knife up on deck.
The coastguard arrive to find her literally red-handed with the knife, and unable to explain Nick's absence. Next thing she knows, Libby is doing time for murder; six long years. During that time, her friend has mysteriously disappeared with her son, and Libby's life is consumed with the thoughts of seeing Matty again and finding the person who put her in jail.
Once outside, and under the watchful eye of her parole officer, Travis Lehman (Jones), Libby begins to track down her son and plan her own form of justice for the real perpetrator of the crime. She escapes from Lehman, and leads him on a chase through Colorado and on to New Orleans. Gradually, Lehman begins to believe in Libby's innocence, and joins forces with her for the final act.
At first DOUBLE JEOPARDY sounds like a female version of Harrison Ford's THE FUGITIVE (in which Tommy Lee Jones also did the chasing). However, this is less of an edge-of-your-seat action movie, and more of a drama. Although it contains a few twists, which I've done my best not to ruin for you, DOUBLE JEOPARDY has a slower, more even pace. Director Bruce Beresford (DRIVING MISS DAISY) does a great job of capturing the atmosphere of his locations, and manages to coax serviceable performances from his actors. Although plausible enough, there are a number of details that are never fully explained and motives that remain unexplored, making this feel more like a work in progress, rather than the finished product.