Everyone might be enjoying Double Jeopardy now that it’s on Netflix, but back when it came out, the film took a bit of a beating from critics.
The late Roger Ebert was more charitable than many in his two-and-a-half star review, published in September 1999, though he still called the film “not a successful thriller, but with some nice dramatic scenes along with the dumb mystery and contrived conclusion.”
Lisa Schwarzbaum of Entertainment Weekly described the movie as “toothless” and “a strained reworking of The Fugitive.” Meanwhile, James Berardinelli at Reel Views wrote, “Unfortunately, this movie is too focused on action, melodrama, and plot twists to allow for more than a moment’s intelligence to worm its way into the script.”
Despite the middling reviews, the movie was a hit with audiences. It spent several weeks at No. 1 at the US box office and raked in nearly $178 million across the globe (via Box Office Mojo). Considering its current popularity on Netflix, it’s clear that something about Double Jeopardy has always connected with the general public, despite the silly plot. In his review, Berardinelli provided a possible answer: the work of Ashley Judd. Though Berardinelli critiqued the movie as a whole, he did lavish praise on Judd’s performance, saying, “Ashley Judd almost makes Libby credible. In fact, the actress is so good that, against all odds, we like the character even though she only uses about 1% of her brain cells.”