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The Pledge (Widescreen)

Jack Nicholson , Benicio Del Toro , Sean Penn    R (Restricted)   DVD
3.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (167 customer reviews)
Price: CDN$ 50.74
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The Pledge (Widescreen) + The Crossing Guard (Widescreen)
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Product Description

The Pledge

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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars Absorbing and Odd June 24 2004
Most movies that I think are "good" stay with me for a few days afterward. Many really good ones stay with me for far longer than that (I am still brooding about 21 Grams...). I think I am canny enough to recognize the flaws in this movie, but, despite any flaw, I am still thinking about this film...
What would lead Jerry Black to do such a monstrous thing as bait a trap with a child he loves? Obsession, maybe. Madness impending. Desperation to stop a monster in its tracks? Whatever: It's killin me.
I have small children. Since starting my family I have steered pretty clear of movies involving child-centered violence or violation, but the lure of Penn and Nicholson got the better of me. I sat folding laundry as I watched this movie late at night, and I wept copiously through at least three scenes (thanks, Vanessa Redgrave and Patricia Clarkson). I could not stop. The premise is monstrous and the actors absolutely and precisely execute grief and pain.
The ending is elliptical, but that's the point. This movie is very good. It'll gnaw at you.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Creepy April 25 2004
Format:VHS Tape
Jack Nicholson gives a very even keeled performance, restraining his natural essence to give a somewhat schizod personality to his character. Sean Penn lets the story unfold artistically, not giving away to much so we are surprised at what happens next. It is not a happy upbeat film and seems to be mainly a character study of a retired police cop, who really has not ever had a intimate relationship with anyone and hasn't gotten close enough to make friends with anybody in his force. They know him and respect him, yet there isn't that really cool camaraderie which goes with being really important to someone. The theme revolves around child sexual abuse and homicide, not a pretty picture. Jerry, Nicholson, becomes obsessed with the case and makes a pledge to the mother that he will find the killer. Intuitively, he knows that the wrong person got nabbed. A virtuoso performance by Del Toro and Eckerson. A real creepy confession, another artful turn by the director to take us off the beaten path. Jerry pledges to find the truth out and things seem to be going good, until a turn of fate, causing the cookie to crumble, a matter of speaking, I don' want to divulge to much, the cookie is Jerry. I really liked the film and recommend it.
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3.0 out of 5 stars LET'S FACE IT!!! April 25 2004
Most of the reviewers of this film have hit the nail on the head. The script simply is not believable. Everything else is there: the usual impeccable performance by Jack Nicholson, the supporting cast up to par, and Penn grows as a director, perhaps not quite relaxed or self-confident enough to let things flow once in a while, instead of holding such tight reins over each moment of the film. One assumes he will eventually become one of our country's great directors.
OK. As the film moves forward, it becomes more and more unbelievable. And at its end, the viewer cannot be sure whether the main character has gone insane or is simply very, very drunk. This great drunkenness, by the way, has never before been revealed in the film. Nicholson's character has been sober throughout. We are informed of this problem by another character near the film's ending.
While truth stretches truth, one only hopes that these wonderful performers will better themselves with more honest, quality scripts in future. The movie is worth it for the performances, I suppose. But five thumbs down on the story!
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4.0 out of 5 stars Fabulous Film with Suspect Ending March 2 2004
I, like many of the reviewers, really admired the quality of acting and direction in this film. It draws you into the mystery like a Hitchcock film, as it mesmerizes and enchants like Atom Egyoyan's "The Sweet Hereafter". Nicholson is far too often typecast as an abrasive maverick and in this film he is able to show off another side of his acting skills. Also, Penn has come a long way since the days of Sonic Youth's aptly titled "Crucifixion of Sean Penn". However...there were ways of ending this film in a non-mainstream way without resorting to cheap tactics. Just having everything cave in for the hero in the final moment is generally not an effective literary device, not much better than everything suddenly turning out great for the hero, as is often done in Holywood. The main conflict is keeping his pledge without putting the family at risk. It would have been better if he did capture and kill the serial killer, but in the crossfire the girl got injured and the mother dumped him as a result. That way he could have had the satisfaction of being right, but would also have been penalized for putting the girl in danger and not being honest with the mother. The film could then have had a bitter sweet ending that better suited the theme. He would have been forced to sacrifice his love of a family for higher justice and the viewers would have been left with a lot of material for discussion about the moral dilema he faced. It seems like Penn just wanted Nicholson to look like Gene Hackman in "The Conversation" sitting there in his dismantled room playing his sax in a state of dishelvelment and paranoia.
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2.0 out of 5 stars Yow!!!! Feb. 19 2004
I once knew a 13-year-old kid who decided to enter a short story contest by writing a piece of fiction about a bank robbery.
The story was pretty simple and straightforward. Four disaffected teenagers want to buy a car and drive out to California, but they don't have any money. One thing leads to another, and they rob a bank, using toy guns. They buy a car, drive to California, and live on the beach near Santa Monica, having completed the perfect caper.
Once the kids get to California, the story ended, sort of like this: "One day they were crossing the street and everybody got run over by a truck. The End."
Needless to say, "The" Ending for "The Pledge" is a lot like that. Otherwise, the story isn't bad, and the acting certainly isn't bad. Personally, I liked the direction and cinematography.
How entertaining is it? I'll put it this way - I was interested enough that I watched the thing all the way through, which is an acheivement in itself, since I find Jack Nicholson's "Man-driven-crazy" acts too tired.
However, as an intellectual execise, "The Pledge" is a joke. If the end of this movie was any more improbable, it would have drawn hoots and guffawws from any alert audience.
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Published 28 days ago by Marcelle Guay
5.0 out of 5 stars AMAZING
sean penn's 2nd best movie as a director, his first was the crossing guard my opinion, awesome movies both of em... very good director, only getting better..
Published 19 months ago by Jason Heidman
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent! I want to give it 10 stars
A study into the depths of madness. Jack Nicholson delivers the performance of a lifetime as an obsessed cop who will do anything to catch the killer. Read more
Published on July 12 2004 by DEC
3.0 out of 5 stars An uncomfortable movie
This is an unsatisfying, uncomfortable movie. Without giving away the plot, it involves a retired police officer who has made a promise to find a child-murderer. Read more
Published on March 29 2004 by Kirk McElhearn
4.0 out of 5 stars Nice movie!! Unexpected ending!!!
This movie is very good, as other reviewers have said, it has an exceptional direction and some very good acting by almost every character on the film. Read more
Published on March 29 2004 by Carlo Ferreira
5.0 out of 5 stars I Loved It
Seems like so many people didn't enjoy this one. I wonder why. Sean Penn proves he's a worthwhile director, he sets things up in an interesting way and what about Jack's... Read more
Published on Feb. 12 2004 by Harry James
5.0 out of 5 stars Hyper-realism marred by a history of Hollywood.
Jack Nicholson. Sean Penn. Benicio Del Toro. These three names alone will bring mainstream viewers to this film; however 90% of them will be expecting Hollywood and 90% will walk... Read more
Published on Jan. 5 2004 by OverTheMoon
2.0 out of 5 stars Ok, Nicholson can act! Great news...
We all know Nicholson can act. And tha''s the only thing worthwhile in this movie: to watch him interpret in a great and convincing manner a retired cop haunted by a Pledge to... Read more
Published on Jan. 3 2004 by M. Fonseca
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