The Pledge 2001 ★★★½

Stick with it. Starts very ordinarily, but gets interesting in the second act.

Wasn't a fan of the artsy-fartsy flourishes, though. Felt like Sean Penn trying too hard to convince people to take him seriously as a director instead of a style that was pertinent to telling this particular story. It wasn't, and it stood out in an annoying way.

Otherwise, solid film with a typically fantastic Jack Nicholson performance and a wonderful supporting cast.


  • This was way better then Penn's other film The Crossing Guard. I actually think The Crossing Guard would of been way better if it was directed by someone other than Sean Penn. I kinda dig this movie but I agree with you on him trying to hard. Tom Noonan is always great. That guy creeps me out.

  • It was a really good film. The ending is memorably and disturbingly bleak, too.

  • It wasn't the directing that made The Crossing Guard weak, in my view. It was the plot that required the hero of the story to sit around and not do anything for almost the whole movie. 'I'm going to kill you in one week' does not have nearly the same level of impact, drama, or danger as 'I'm going to kill you *right now*!'

    Movies should be about people *doing* things, not about people who might do some things later. The hero of the story should be doing something at all times, not sitting around waiting, ever. Stasis = death. I'm not sitting around waiting, I'm watching the movie NOW. I want to see you do stuff NOW.

  • well said!

  • I can fully agree The Crossing Guard was bogged down by a boring plot. I like Penn as a director though. This and Into the Wild are two favorites of mine.

  • Oh Yeah! I forgot he did Into the Wild. I haven't seen it so I'll check it out.

  • Agree with the point about Penn trying too hard to convince people. Some scenes I felt were just not needed, for example the scenes of the horses running in the field at the beginning. Fantastic film, though.

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