Devon Major (Sebastian Spence) finds himself arrested for the murder of his ex-wife, Angela (Ingrid Torrance), as when the police arrive at her home they find him holding a knife and covered in blood, cradling her body having called the emergency services himself. In need of help Devon calls Susan Grace (Vanessa Angel) the divorce lawyer who represented Angela in their case as not only was she previously a defence lawyer but as she was a friend of Angela's knows that he was never violent towards her. But Susan is unsure as she knows that Devon is incredibly crafty, he had even represented himself in the divorce case. But the treasury department and agent Mark Fairfield (David Palffy) is also interested in Devon Major as he is involved with some very big corporations who he is helping embezzle money which leads to DA Kirsten Sorensen (Linda Purl) suspecting all is not as it seems.
I reckon that anyone who cares about the detail is going to find themselves groaning with the first few seconds of "Criminal Intent" starting as now only do we have a prejudiced cop attending a crime scene with the attitude it was a domestic despite no evidence of such but we have the woman on the line telling Devon to start CPR despite not knowing the state of the victim. And those are not the worst groan scenes you will come across in "Criminal Intent" as this ends up a movie riddled with the sort of scenes which are not realistic and are even sometimes cheesy.
There is a reason why "Criminal Intent" ends up a movie of groans as this is also one of those movies which after the opening scene begins to twist and turn as what starts of as a murder then brings in embezzlement and at one point a dark van pulls up with men in masks who bundle Susan in to it and threaten her. And it is because of these twists, turns and unbelievable revelations that we get all these slips from being realistic. It is also because of a storyline built of twists and turns that this ends up convoluted and sadly laughable with every new revelation.
Part of what contributes to "Criminal Intent" being laughable is the acting, although the writing of the characters is a big problem. This is one of those movies where everyone over acts, over emphasises every fourth word in a sentence and spends many a scene glaring at someone. Maybe the appeal of a cast of familiar TV movie actors and actresses might be enough to keep some entertained but for me that didn't help to lift this from being weak.
What this all boils down to is that "Criminal Intent" is twisted but it is also convoluted and messy with the final product featuring far too many groan scenes to entertain.