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(1999) (Ashley Judd, Tommy Lee Jones) (R)

Blood/Gore Disrespectful/
Bad Attitude
Tense Scenes
Mild Moderate Extreme Heavy Heavy
Mild Minor Heavy None Extreme
Smoking Tense Family
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Suspense/Thriller: Having served six years in prison for a murdering her husband -- a crime she didn't commit and which never occurred -- and armed with the knowledge that she can't be convicted of the same crime twice, a woman sets out to find him and reclaim her child.
Libby (ASHLEY JUDD) and Nick Parsons (BRUCE GREENWOOD) seem to have a decent marriage and a happy family life that includes their young son, (BENJAMIN WEIR). Yet in the middle of an unexpected but romantic sailboat cruise, Libby awakens to find herself and the boat covered in blood and Nick missing.

Despite the efforts of her lawyer, Bobby Long (JAY BRAZEAU), the fact that Libby was discovered holding the bloody murder weapon and that she's the beneficiary to a two million-dollar insurance policy convinces the police and a jury that she's guilty and thus is sent off to prison. Having entrusted the care of Matty to her best friend, Angie Green (ANNABETH GISH), a local school teacher, Libby begins what turns out to be a six-year sentence.

There she meets fellow inmates, Evelyn Lake (DAVENIA MCFADDEN) and Margaret Skolowski (ROMA MAFFIA), the latter of whom is a former lawyer who gives Libby an important piece of information. Since Libby has discovered that Angie has run off with Matty and more importantly, that Nick is still alive and with them, Margaret reminds her of the double jeopardy clause. Since she was already convicted of murdering Nick and is doing time for that, upon her release she can find and kill him, and not worry about being charged with the same crime twice.

Upon her parole where she has to report to her gruff and no-nonsense parole officer, Travis Lehman (TOMMY LEE JONES), a former law professor, Libby sets out to find Nick, possibly kill him, and retrieve Matty. After she breaks her parole and heads across the country in search of Nick, Lehman tries to find and stop her before she does anything she'll regret.

If they're fans of Ashley Judd, Tommy Lee Jones, or suspense thrillers, they might.
For language, a scene of sexuality and some violence.
  • ASHLEY JUDD plays a woman wrongly accused of murdering her husband. When she discovers that he's alive, she sets out to find (and possibly kill) him and retrieve her son. Along the way, she breaks some laws and briefly uses strong profanity.
  • TOMMY LEE JONES plays a no-nonsense parole officer who tries to track down Libby and briefly uses strong profanity.
  • BRUCE GREENWOOD plays a man who frames his wife for his own murder to collect the insurance money and later tries to kill both her and Lehman.
  • ANNABETH GISH plays Libby's so-called friend who apparently was having an affair with Nick and was in on framing Libby for his faked murder.
  • ROMA MAFFIA plays one of Libby's prison-mates who admits to being a murderer and briefly uses strong profanity.


    Curious if this title is entertaining, any good, and/or has any artistic merit?
    Then read OUR TAKE of this film.

    (Note: The "Our Take" review of this title examines the film's artistic merits and does not take into account any of the possibly objectionable material listed below).

    The following is a brief summary of the content found in this R-rated suspense thriller. Profanity is extreme due to at least 12 uses of the "f" word, while other profanities and colorful phrases are also present. A briefly seen sexual encounter features partial nudity, movement and related sounds, while a few sexually related comments are also made.

    Violence is extreme due to several shootings (with one death and one wounding), while other non-lethal violence also occurs (including a faked, but bloody murder scene). Some of those scenes and others may be suspenseful to viewers, and a heavy amount of suspenseful music adds to such scenes. Meanwhile the actions of the "villains" obviously prove that they have bad attitudes, and our heroine breaks some laws while trying to prove her point and retrieve her son.

    Beyond all of that and some drinking and smoking, the film's remaining categories have little or nothing in the way of major objectionable content. Should you still be concerned about the film's appropriateness for yourself or anyone in your home, however, we suggest that you take a closer look at the detailed content listings.

  • People have drinks at a reception held at Nick and Libby's home, including Nick who has a martini. After the reception, Angie walks out with a drink.
  • Onboard their sailboat, Nick brings up a bottle of wine for him and Libby.
  • Among the rules that Lehman spells out to Libby are "No drinking -- no drugs."
  • A guy hits on Libby in a library, asking if she wants to go to a bar to get a drink. She agrees, but when she admits she served time for murdering her husband, the guy takes off.
  • Some parolees tell Libby that they heard that Lehman had an accident while driving drunk (sometime in the past).
  • Lehman has a beer and a shot in a bar where others also drink.
  • Lehman pours some liquor from a flask into his coffee.
  • People have drinks at an auction, including Libby who has champagne.
  • Nick has a martini.
  • People have drinks in a bar.
  • Libby wakes up to find blood on her hands, robe and throughout the boat. Panicked, she goes through the boat looking for Nick and finds a bloody knife up top.
  • Lehman's head and some gauze applied to it are a little bloody from where Libby hit him with his gun.
  • We see a dead and somewhat shriveled body inside a coffin.
  • Lehman's shoulder is bloody after he's been shot there (seen several times).
  • We see some blood on a mirror from where a person was just shot.
  • Nick and Angie have both for setting up Libby to take the fall for Nick's faked murder so that they could run away with the insurance money (as well as apparently having an affair).
  • Both Margaret and Evelyn are serving time for murder.
  • Some viewers may take offense to a scene where Margaret tells Libby to throw in some "born again Jesus stuff" to the parole board since "they like that," while others may not like a cop asking Lehman, "Why'd you get your panties in such a twist?"
  • Some guys on the street do some catcalling aimed at Libby.
  • Libby breaks her parole and some laws while trying to find Nick and Matty, such as breaking into a school to rifle through their records looking for info on Angie.
  • Libby charges an expensive dress to another woman's room account.
  • Although he knows nothing about Libby, a bartender tears up her police "wanted" sheet and doesn't turn her into the police just as they arrive.
  • Libby wakes up to find blood on her hands, robe and throughout the boat (floor, walls, etc...). Panicked, she goes through the boat looking for Nick and finds a bloody knife up top.
  • After Libby breaks into a school at night to look for info on Angie, two cops show up. They eventually find and chase after her in a several minute sequence.
  • The car in which Libby is handcuffed to the door handle plunges into a large body of water and begins sinking. Lehman then struggles to unlock her handcuffs as they sink deeper into the water. They finally get free and swim to the surface where they struggle and she finally hits him on the head with his gun.
  • Armed with a gun and as some suspenseful music plays, Libby walks up to a house where she believes Angie now lives.
  • The cops and Lehman try to nab Libby as she makes her way through a street crowded with other pedestrians.
  • Libby awakens to find herself stuck in a closed coffin alongside a dead body and desperately tries to get out.
  • The ending confrontational sequence between Libby, Nick and Lehman may be suspenseful to some viewers.
  • Bloody knife: Found by Libby and believed by the police to be the murder weapon she used on her husband (which isn't true).
  • Handgun: Used to threaten, wound or kill people. See "Violence" for details.
  • Phrases: "Sh*t for brains," "You're talking sh*t," "Rich bitch," "Bitch," "Life's a bitch," "Pissed me off," "Idiot," "Screwing" (nonsexual), "Screw ‘em" and "Why'd you get your panties in such a twist?"
  • It's possible some imaginative kids could try to set up someone they know for a crime they didn't commit.
  • A person jumps out and grabs Libby.
  • A heavy amount of suspenseful music plays during the film.
  • None.
  • At least 12 "f" words (1 used sexually, another with "mother"), 10 "s" words, 1 slang term using male genitals ("c*cks*cker"), 4 S.O.B.s, 3 hells, 3 asses (2 used with "hole"), 1 damn, and 6 uses of "Oh my God," 5 of "G-damn," 3 of "Jesus," and 1 use each of "Oh God," "God," "For Christ's sakes" and "Jesus Christ" as exclamations.
  • We see Libby in a bikini top as she and Nick go sailing. When she asks if there's anywhere he'd like to go, he replies, "Bed" and she states that can be arranged. Later that night, we hear sexual sounds as the camera pans through the boat's interior until we see the two of them having sex with her on top of him (we see her bare back, part of her bare butt and some movement). He then climbs on top of her and they continue having sex (with more sounds and movement, as well as brief glimpses of her bare breasts in the shadows -- and one glimpse in the light).
  • Among the rules that Lehman spells out to Libby are "No fornicating."
  • When one of his former parolees refuses to help him, Lehman loudly announces whether her employee knows that she used to engage in "the art of fellatio" (presumably referring to prostitution).
  • Libby and some other women at an auction show some cleavage. Later, Libby asks Nick, "How long were you and Angie f*cking before you decided to get rid of me?"
  • Nick holds or smokes cigars several times, while Evelyn smokes cigarettes several times. Libby, her lawyer and Margaret all smoke once, while miscellaneous characters also smoke.
  • Libby must deal with her husband's presumed death, as well as allowing Angie to adopt her son while she serves her prison sentence. She then learns that Angie has run off with Matty and later tries to track him down.
  • We learn that Lehman's wife took their daughter and left him sometime in the past.
  • The issue of double jeopardy -- not being charged with the same crime twice -- and how that plays with the revenge motive here.
  • The parole process and how it works, etc...
  • A woman who broke her parole tries to hit Lehman, but he grabs and then pins her to the floor.
  • Libby breaks a window to get into a school at night.
  • A police jeep goes over a beach dune and crashes, but the two occupants are okay.
  • After Lehman handcuffs her to the passenger door handle (with the car parked on a ferry), Libby starts the car, puts it in reverse and tries to break off the car handle by scraping the door along a post. As she does so, she smashes into a car parked behind her, and then hits the one in front of her, sending it off the ferry and into the large body of water where it sinks. Lehman notices this, races to the car and breaks the window to get in just as Libby sends him, her and the car they're in off the ferry. Later, she and Lehman struggle in the water and she hits him with his gun.
  • We learn that a woman died in an explosion several years ago (and possibly wasn't an accident).
  • Libby purposefully backs her old and large pickup truck into Lehman's car, and then does so again but rams it from the front this time. As she flees from Lehman, she smashes through a street phone booth.
  • Nick grabs Libby and bashes her head against a wall, knocking her unconscious.
  • Libby uses a gun to blast holes through a coffin to free herself from it and then throws a vase through a mausoleum's stained glass window to get out.
  • Libby holds a gun on Nick and then fires a warning shot right next to him. Nick then grabs his gun, shoots Lehman in the shoulder and fires several shots at Libby. As he prepares to kill her, Lehman tackles him and the two struggle for the gun. Nick gains control and then punches Lehman several times in his shoulder wound.
  • A person is shot twice and is killed.

  • Reviewed September 20, 1999 / Posted September 24, 1999

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