Every film from Roger Ebert's "Great Movies" essays.
Sean Penn’s 2001 drama with Jack Nicholson, Robin Wright, Sam Shepard, Helen Mirren and Vanessa Redgrave. A police chief about to retire pledges to help a woman find her daughter's killer. Based on a story by Swiss writer Friedrich Dürrenmatt.
The Pledge is an underrated gem that explores the nature of both promises and obsession, all wrapped up in the trappings of a stylish and high-quality thriller. Sean Penn's direction is out of this world, Chris Menge's cinematography is vibrant and lush, the music by Klaus Badelt and Hans Zimmer is simply haunting, and It's all topped off by a powerhouse of a performance by Jack Nicholson.
Let's face it, the story could be considered derivative, but it doesn't really matter when the technical elements are so fascinating and the themes that are interwoven are so dominant. By the end of the film, you'll be so invested in the story that it'll take awhile to realize the dark and devastating path that the film has taken you on. Truly, The Pledge is as engrossing as thrillers get.
All in all, a simply excellent film, and it's highly recommended for anyone who enjoys a quality slow-burn thriller.
Jack Nicholson is really one of our greats.
He delivers one of his all-time best performances as Jerry Black, a retired cop who thinks his last case on the job closed too easily. The story, refreshingly, is not about the ongoing murder mystery of the little girl in the red dress. This is a film about Jerry Black, a man who simply cannot let go.
Sean Penn surehandedly directs this meandering, almost lyrical, drama that is peppered by a cast of greats, old and new. The standout is Aaron Eckhart, who provides an original spin to the cliched character of a cocky, arrogant, younger partner.
"The Pledge" also featured a finale that kept me guessing, though I should have known that what was bound to happen would be completely inevitable.
Dark and mysterious, interesting and entertaining, Jack Nicholson with a great supporting cast, an amazing ending, I can't ask for more.
It had been years since I last saw this one, and it still stands as my favorite Sean Penn-directed film and one of the more overlooked films of the entire decade of the 2000's.
Nicholson gives his strongest late career performance here as Jerry, a homicide detective whose retirement comes simultaneous with the emergence of a haunting child murderer case, and it cannot leave his conscience. No matter how much he tries to ignore the lingering images and effect that this particular case has on him, with attempted trips out of town and out of country to catch up on his beloved hobby of fishing, he cannot escape it.
Stunning direction from Penn is complemented by a variety of terrific actors in the ensemble cast to make this a taut thriller. Everything culminates in one of the more daring and unexpected endings from a film of this kind that I have ever seen.
A nearly perfect film.
Sean Penn and Jack Nicholson re-teamed after The Crossing Guard for this thriller about a retired cop who just can't let go. The plotline of a cop who becomes so intrinsically entwined and obsessed with solving a case that he can't differentiate fact from fiction is a well worn thriller trope, but I don't recall too many instances of it being done this well. Penn directs stylishly, his composition and eye for a shot is quite masterful, and it creates an almost elegiac, dreamlike tone at times. Nicholson of course is terrific and the cast keeps bringing up little surprises in small roles. Aaron Eckhart! Helen Mirren! Mickey Rourke! A really good film, that in lesser hands could have been generic or forgettable.
On a re-watch some ten or so years later, Sean Penn's film has lost a considerable amount of its effect. What at first appeared to be a powerful character study now reveals itself to be a heavy-handed, poorly written drama that falls dangerously close to the type of generic TV fillers you could nod off to, wake up near the end and still recall everything you've missed.
It is quite a feat to make Jack Nicholson look poor in any film yet that is exactly what Penn achieves. A lack of ingenuity in the story department would be fine if this was even a half decent character study, which it is not. He is one of the few actors whose…
This review reportedly contains spoilers. I can handle the truth.
Segundo filme que vejo com direção do Sean Penn. E sua condução é ótima nesse drama misterioso protagonizado por Jack Nicholson. Já nos minutos iniciais, Penn mostra muita habilidade nas construções das cenas e que seguem em boa parte da trama. Aliás, o modo de contar a história em certos momentos lembra o longa posterior que ele dirigiu (Into the Wild). Nicholson e Del Toro (mesmo que rapidamente) ficaram muito bem nos personagens. História muito envolvente.
"I made a promise, Eric. You're old enough to remember when that meant something."- Jerry Black
The Pledge is the second film directed by Sean Penn that stars Jack Nicholson looking for someone who killed a little girl (the other being The Crossing Guard). Nicholson is excellent in this one and the rest of the cast is good too. The film was going quite well for me for most of its running time. It was interesting throughout and quite tense in parts. Unfortunately the ending was a complete letdown for me. All that build up with very little payoff. Still The Pledge is a pretty good film, despite the disappointing ending. 7/10
Strong thriller but unfortunately we have seen too many of these pictures.
Film #4 of the Scavenger Hunt #8 Challenge
Item #20: A psychological thriller film
Sean Penn is a damn fine filmmaker! I need to rewatch his earlier film, The Crossing Guard, as I barely remember it and this one blew me away. Jack Nicholson is wonderful and really the entire cast fires on all cylinders. Highly recommended!
I don't think that would be a good idea.
Gets boring somewhere in the middle. Rhythm mr penn!
The Pledge was a fairly interesting thriller, with a typically strong performance from Jack Nicholson. The mystery is initially engaging, but it unravels a bit clumsily at times. It has plenty of interesting things to say, particularly about commitment, and obsession, but the ending completely erases any potential of me revisiting the film.
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