How that opening scene turns out is best left to be discovered, though to say what the rest of the movie is about might give a slight hint: "Criminal" deals with an attempt to thwart a terrorist ring by implanting, into the head of an experimental subject, the thoughts and memories of a dead CIA agent.
Only the CIA agent knew where to locate a computer whiz, known as the Dutchman (Michael Pitt), who has hacked the American nuclear codes and is about to hand them over to a German terrorist group that thinks it would be a neat idea to blow up all the world's capitals and start all over.
Apparently, a scientist (Tommy Lee Jones) has developed a way to implant the memories of a corpse into another person's mind, but only if the receiver has a rare condition called "frontal lobe disease," which Jericho has.
The casting of Costner as a stone-cold violent wacko might seem odd at first, but Costner is big enough to be scary, and he can do dead-eyed menace.
[...] he is the ideal actor for playing the awakening of a moral nature, the first stirrings of a conscience.