I was originally going to review this film under my BEST MOVIES YOU’VE NEVER SEEN category, which is for films I enjoy that didn’t become hits when they were first released, but while doing a little research for this post, I discovered that this film made $171 million dollars, off of a $70 budget, so it is considered a hit after all. So I’m just reviewing it because Ashley Judd is my favorite actress, and I just re-watched this film.
She plays a woman named Libby who is (seemingly) happily married to a man named Nick, and they have a young son named Matty. One weekend Libby and Nick take a trip out on a yacht for a little romantic getaway. That night they go to sleep on the yacht, and when Libby wakes up, she is covered in Nick’s blood, and he is missing. The Coast Guard arrive and arrest her for murder.
Libby is convicted of murder and sent to jail. She leaves her son in the custody of her best friend Angela. Over the years, Angela eventually stops writing back to Libby or returning her calls, and Libby begins to suspect that Nick is still alive and that he and Angela faked his death to get rid of Libby so that they could run off together. A fellow convict points out to Libby that since Libby has already been convicted of killing Nick, if he is alive and Libby were to kill him, she could not be charged with killing Nick again, due to the U.S. law against “double jeopardy” (although that interpretation of the law may not be accurate in real life).
After 6 years in jail, Libby is paroled, and sent to a halfway house for female ex-convicts, run by a man named Travis. Even though she is supposed to be there a couple of years, she ends up running off to track down evidence that Nick is still alive and find out where he is, so she can get her son back, and possibly kill Nick. But now Travis has to go after her, to bring her back to jail.
I don’t want to spoil what happens next, but I really enjoyed this film. Lots of drama and suspense in the story, and the plot keeps moving forward. Great performances all around from the cast, which includes Bruce Greenwood as Nick and Tommy Lee Jones as Travis.