Every film from Roger Ebert's "Great Movies" essays.
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.
Why I watched this movie? Mr. Jack Nicholson...this was one of the few Nicholson movies that I had not seen before.
What is this one about? A retiring police chief (Jack) pledges to catch the killer of a young child
My thoughts on this one? This has solid performances scattered throughout the movie. Nicholson appears in almost every scene in the movie and gives a memorable performance. The director, Sean Penn, gives Nicholson some major talent to act with in this movie. Benicio Del Toro, Robin Wright, Helen Mirren, Aaron Eckhart, Sam Shepard, Patricia Clarkson and Vanessa Redgrave all show up in this movie....the power of working with Jack? I do have some issues with the movie.....the pace is slow,…
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.
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…
Well, I've just come to the conclusion that Sean Penn isn't that good of a director.
this movie: jack nicholson playing darts in slow motion
me: gasping for air, tears rolling down my cheeks bc that shit looked as if it came out of some shitty commercial and i couldn't stop laughing
a deeply frustrating film, where penn takes the source material and instead of recognising the deep levels of irony involved decides to head for art film tragedy instead. and as that it's good, if a little portentous at times (hello hans zimmer and your shitty music). but that's obviously not what the point of the plot/ screenplay is - it's an aim to play by the rules of the crime genre whilst not giving you the payoff you want. it needs a direction like the first version of "the vanishing", not this art house mush...
Een mooie combinatie, Sean Penn als regisseur met Jack Nicholson in de hoofdrol in een interessant verhaal over een net gepensioneerde politie inspecteur die een belofte die hij aan de ouders van een slachtoffer doet probeert waar te maken.
Nicholson zet subtiel doch effectief de rol neer waarbij de kijker samen met hem meegesleept wordt in zijn obsessie de zaak op te lossen.
Penn heeft in mijn ogen goed de sfeer van een slapend dorpje in the middle of nowhere neergezet en een mooie cast samengesteld die stuk voor stuk hun rollen daarin goed spelen.
Met uitzondering van twee kleine rollen van juist twee favoriete acteurs van mij, te weten Benicio del Toro en Mickey Rourkey.
Zij legde, vond ik,…
Jack Nicholson's obsession with catching a child murderer who struck on the last day before his retirement drives him to ruin in this underrated thriller directed by Sean Penn. There's also an excellent supporting cast here - Helen Mirren, Tom Noonan, Vanessa Redgrave and Benicio Del Toro all pop up. The mystery story itself is riveting, but the path that Nicholson's character takes is the focus of the story. He's technically retired, but he can't force himself to go easily into the night no matter how hard he tries or how much he wants to. This is easily the cream of the crop of Nicholson's later movies, and his haunted, weary performance is perfect for an actor so far removed from his counterculture hell-raiser days.
A very, very bleak picture, an unusual but solid cop drama driven by a haunting soundtrack and strong acting. Beautiful setting; the people, the glimpses of places, all seem very real in a dusty way, with the snow and the Northwestern charm, amidst all those green, green trees...
Nicholson's talent sustained the emotional thread that was sadly only modestly supported by other aspects of the film. There were some gaps in the story's development and the editing seemed a bit choppy to me. Uneasy and unsatisfying.
This is an amazing movie. So fucking bleak. In Nicholson's top 5 best performances
Only inches from being a convential, forgettable crime flick, nonetheless the unique ending of it really knocked it out of the park and made it absolutely worth watching, even though a large part at first appears to be pretty generic apart from Nicholson's usual great performance!
Watched this one as part of our quest to watch all of Ebert's 4-star reviewed films. I can't say I think this one quite lived up to the hype, although it did feature a great, subtle performance by Jack Nicholson. Normally you're so aware of the actor himself as you watch him perform, but this time he was more mellow and more of an Everyman than we're accustomed to seeing. It's somewhat of a familiar trope - cop about to retire gets sucked in for One. Last. Case. While some clearly think the film rises above that somewhat overplayed story, I can't always agree. I think it worked best as a thriller - with so much at stake (a child's…
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