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.